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REVIEWS  806 - Small Sacrifices

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Review: Episode 806 - Small Sacrifices
by: 41 Cyg

Rating:  7.6

In the forum comments on this episode, the author, Karen Lines, said the production had been rushed because of a hole in the schedule, and it shows. Several scenes in Small Sacrifices were also seen or rehashed in the next episode, Queen Maeve's Grave, with the treatment in the latter much better than that in the former. Also Small Sacrifices seems more somber than Queen Maeve's Grave (despite the title) and I do tend to lower my ratings
because of that (I like happy endings.). Anyway, I give this episode a 7.6 (out of 10).


I was expecting an underworld episode before our heroes got back to their usual haunts (Being living beings, the underworld would be an unusual haunt.). Maybe Xena and Gabrielle could have found Joxer and brought a message back to Meg.

Teaser: The illustrations (Xena + Gabrielle coming out of the pond and later the pair on horseback) are excellent! Gina (I think. I'm still not certain on which style goes with which artist.) has captured the pond beautifully and almost perfectly. If this were a photo, I would be trying to figure out where I'd seen the place. I think fall scenes are her forte.

Act II: When Paulinus mentions how long he hasn't been sleeping well, it should be since the Kalends (or Calends) of September, not Kalend (By the way, the Kalends of September is September 1st, so he's had the problem for 2 1/2 months.).

Weather - I live in western Oregon where the climate is very similar to Britannia (Or at least the British Isles. Many English plants flourish untended here.), and while mid-fall is cold and wet, snow is very unusual below 3000-4000 feet (1100-1500 meters) before December. Also, with the wet weather, dirt roads can quickly become quagmires, which would effectively halt a legion's travels.

(After the posting of the original version of these comments in the forum, Karen informed me that the
mid-November snow was present in her ancient source, Suetonius' De Vita Caesarum (Lives of the Caesars, commonly known as the Twelve Caesars). Suetonius is one of the best sources of first century Roman history, although, as the Encyclopedia Britannica says, he was `free with scandalous gossip' (Picture Kitty Kelly in a toga and you'll have the right idea.). Maybe it was a cold winter or the legion camp was in a higher area.

Freezing weather could have solidified the mud, too, or maybe it was an unseasonably dry fall, so the legion, if properly provisioned, could still move around.)

Act III:
From scene 26:


He (Decianus) places two firm hands on each of her shoulders.

Where did Decianus get four hands?

Act IV: In scene 51, where Paulinus and Ethne are at the legion camp, Decianus is suddenly resurrected from the dead and returns from the tavern to say `Let's go.' I think Karen meant Paulinus.

When the ship captain speaks to the guard, a better excuse than a dream is that he must set sail with the tide (which is probably true no matter what)(or is he feeling guilty or trying to warn his passengers in some way?).

Additional comment:
In the discussion on the forum (Click on forum at the top of this page and go to the episode 8.6 area in the VS Episode Discussion category to see the whole thing.) Karen mentioned that, instead of being executed, Postumous was given the opportunity to `fall on his sword' when accused of dereliction of duty.

Chris S., who is basically in charge of this website, decided to change it. I'm not sure that was a good idea. Honorable suicide was an integral part of the upper class Roman character and would fit the characters shown very well.






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