REVIEWS 806 - Small Sacrifices
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Review: Episode 806 - Small Sacrifices
by: 41 Cyg
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
General: 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
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?).
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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