This review has taken a long time to come; in fact To Helicon and Back is the only Xena episode I have never watched until today. First let's start with the necessary info about this episode
To Helicon & Back Episode Review by MaryD
Season 6 Episode 15
SCRIBES & SCROLLS: Written by Liz Friedman and Vanessa Place.
Directed by Michael Hurst. Edited by Robert Field.
PASSING PARADE: Tsianina Joelson (Varia); Craig Parker (Bellerophon); Morgan Reese Fairhead (Cyane); Kirstie O'Sullivan (Gwyn-Teir); Madeleie Sami (Tyro); Marise Wipani (Kanae); Michelle Blanchard (Mawu-Ka).
DISCLAIMER: No shark bait was harmed during the making of this motion picture.
STORY SO FAR: Gabrielle leads the Amazons into battle against Bellerophon, son of Artemis, who is seeking vengeance against the tribe over his mother’s death.
I was looking forward to this episode because it was the only one I hadn't seen so I settled on this weekend as being the best time to see it. I did something I never do and that is live tweet an episode. That was interesting.
Some thoughts to ponder:
Xena taking a back seat to all of this from the first scene towards the end of the scene was not to my liking; I want the Big X to lead; it's her natural way of being. She let Gabrielle lead and I have to say I just didn't enjoy Gab leading and being so bloodthirsty. So much so that she was racing after a soldier who was trying to escape from her. She was ready to kill him and would have, had not Xena called her out. Hello? Where has our Gabrielle gone? A killing machine? I accept her as such when she is defending Xena in Ides of March (I welcomed it because she was defending a defenseless Xena) but defending a group of women she didn't know all because she was an Amazon? Don't buy it.
When Gabrielle was giving her Amazon rally the troops, the look on Xena's faced mirrored my reaction. Not good at all. The words were coming out of Gabrielle's mouth but it was like Pod Gabrielle that I was watching. When did the Amazons become her focus and not Xena?
Watching Renee fighting as Gabrielle with both sais is ALWAYS impressive. I did enjoy that.
Watching Lucy fight as Xena is never dull and she had some great scenes; she did cop a hammering for her love in this episode but it was for the greater good: her greater good was Gabrielle and always would be. Gabrielle forgot who her greater good is in this episode.
It's been a long time Xenaverse in-joke that Xena only got sliced on one arm; always the same arm for 6 seasons..until this ep where she got sliced in both arms. (we won't talk about FIN 2).
I was appalled at Gabrielle's action of feeding the injured Amazon to the shark. REALLY? It was only after the shark did Gabrielle ask if it was honourable. A bit late for that Gabrielle. I was wondering why Xena risked her life to save the redheaded Amazon (now isn't that the ultimate in the redshirts of all redshirts?) and bring her to safety when she didn't do that for any of the others. It was for shark bait later on..those writers, you just need to watch what they do!
What truly astounded me was Xena giving her "end of cycling of killing" chat to Bellerophon while Gabrielle was killing a soldier in the background! That was just one of the most incredible scenes in this show for me. Gone are the days when Xena knelt in the moonlight and begged the Gods to save Gabrielle's innocence. Gone were the days when Gabrielle urged Xena to end the cycle of violence. It was out of Xena's mouth that those words came out while Gabrielle was killing in the background. Smack in the head amazing.
I think I might go watch In Sickness and In Hell or A Tale of Two Muses for the sheer joy of it. Love watching Xena and Gabrielle dancing always perks me up.