Review by Rob:
The Virtual Season team has hit a home run! If “Honor Bound,
Part II” were a “real” episode, it would have definitely been
one of my favorites.
I am now completely convinced
that the Virtual Season understands the characters better than
TPTB ever did (or would allow themselves to).
Needless to say, the reunion scene between Xena and Gabrielle was
all I could ever want and more. I could feel my heart lifting and
tears coming to my eyes as they ran into each other’s arms, and I
could vividly imagine Xena’s ashes coming together.
A very beautiful scene, that, of
course, segued to a classic Xena episode-ender. Namely, Xena and
Gabrielle walking together (or in this case, sitting together)
after the adventure has ended, and sweetly joking with each other
about what has happened.
This episode continues “Honor Bound”’s
trend of impeccable continuity, both character and storywise. It somehow
managed to brilliantly tie up all loose ends, and appeal to both fans and
non-fans of “A Friend in Need.” It does not take TPTB’s stance that Xena
was right to remain dead, but does not rewrite their work.
It continues exactly from where
TPTB left off, creating a much richer, more thoughtful story. By
having Xena meet with Lao Ma, Borias, and Akemi, she is able to,
herself, decide that she should come home. By making the villagers
part of the resurrection ceremony, it clears up any doubts that
Xena would have to stay dead to keep the souls in a state of
Akemi makes it clear that she
never meant Xena to remain dead. Xena decided that herself. And
therefore Xena must decide to return. As I said last week, this
episode examines the issue of Xena’s death from every angle. It
even dares to do something that the original series would never
do—open up the possibility that Xena is not always right!
~ Rob ~