Transcriber's Note

This transcript is temporarily hosted on NewXenaland. It will shortly be moved to accompany the transcripts of all the Xena episodes on Xena Torres' site as soon as that is set up.

First, thanks to Xena Torres for the transcript of the episode which provides the basis for the left-hand column (headed 'Episode') below.

The commentary to the Director's Cut was provided by Rob Tapert, Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor. It appears to have been completely unscripted, the participants commenting on scenes as they came up on screen or as a point occurred to them.

Often, the discussion of a point would trail on long after a scene was over and run over following scenes. Generally, this is obvious from the transcript.

Rob Tapert was usually the easiest to follow, he would consider his words carefully and enunciate them clearly (much practice making himself heard on busy sets, perhaps?)

Lucy had a habit of commenting as a particular shot struck her - 'Look at that! Cool!' Where this happens I have made some effort to have the words line up with the relevant scene description.

Renee talked least, and often spoke very softly, although she often indicated agreement by a chuckle or a vaguely agreeable noise. A few of these are indicated by [laughs] or 'Mmmhmm' or similar in the transcript. Frequently she would make a comment which I could not make out.

Transcribing this was not easy. Many times, LL and ROC would start talking at the same time. The bits I can't make out, usually I've put a [???] there. If I couldn't make out who was speaking, I've put LL[?] or ROC[?] (I could always tell RT apart!) If anyone can discern exactly what the words were, or offer any improvements or additions, please email me at cr@orcon.net.nz.

Words in square brackets [ ] are my comments.

Episode Commentary
[Title Sequence]
In a time of ancient gods, warlords, and kings
a land in turmoil cried out for a hero.

She was Xena, a mighty princess,
forged in the heat of battle.

The power. The passion.

The danger.

Her courage will change the world.

LL: Love that music

RT: We love Joe LoDuca's music
LL: I remember ...
RT: Lucy and I first heard it at 5 o'clock in the morning
in a hotel room in Auckland, with three different versions
LL: What was the star doing in your hotel room [laughter]
ROC: Contemplate each other [??]
LL: Err, we were talking about the intro. ROC: [laughs]
LL: But that, umm, the studio really fought against that wacky instrument at the beginning ...
RT: .. against the bagpipes
ROC: Oh, really?
RT: Yes
?: [Wailing noise imitating bagpipes]
LL: Oh that's such a cool signature.. wacky.. sound
RT: Luckily we won that battle

LL: Eeewww [at clip of Xena pulling the 'face' off her skull from Them Bones]

LL: New titles
RT: Our all new Season 6 title sequence
Gabrielle is looking up at an aura in the sky.
Looking out at the cosmos makes you think about where we are, where we've been, where we're going now.
RT: The original idea for this scene was to have - in any other episode Xena wouldn't be listening to what Gabrielle wanted to say, ...
Xena sits up on her elbows from her bedroll.
Yeah and like the bigger now. I mean, Gabrielle, what are we gonna do? Wander around Greece our whole lives looking for trouble? Why don't we go away ? far away? Whaddya say?
... and we wanted to change this around so that Xena responded rather than going to... rolling over and going to sleep...
I can't believe you're awake, much less listening to me.
... by wanting to go and have a life change with Gabrielle.
Let's go south to the land of the Pharaohs. I hear they're in need of a girl with a chakram.
LL: I think we did a little bit... if not ad-libbing, just ....
You know that there's somebody out there.
... did we re-tool this a little bit, so that it was ...
Yeah, he's been trying to find us the past half-hour.
Xena whistles.
Gabrielle gets up and leaves. Xena follows. Gabrielle moves over to Kenji who is in the bushes and has fallen. He is wearing a wooden piece on his back that would provide him with shade when there's sun. Gabrielle helps him up.
... would heark forward to a scene that plays later.
ROC: I think we kind of re-wrote a little bit.
RT: We did at the end of the scene.
[This presumably refers to "I knew you'd say that"]

Are you all right?
Ah, yes. Thank you.
He bows, nearly hitting Gabrielle with the wood piece on his back.
LL: This guy used to do card fortune telling.
Are you Xena?
LL: Remember on the boat - were you with us on the boat that day? -
Who's askin'?
A messenger - sent by Akemi.
[ROC and LL both talk at once - can't make it out]
Akemi? You saw Akemi?
LL: He did - umm - read fortunes - with cards
Several weeks ago. I was journeying with another monk through a forest - near the town of Higuchi.
ROC: I think I do remember, it's that funny [??]
LL: We were on the boat travelling back from [??]
ROC: I remember what [??????]
[Both talking at once - difficult to make out]
LL: [laughs] Do you?

Kenji and Saburo move over to the tea house. ROC: I'm wrestling [?] ghost stories on the way back.
KENJI (voice-over)
It started to rain. And we sought shelter at a tea house.
LL: That's right
Saburo knocks on the door, the door opens and they enter. RT: Now, one of the reasons we decided to take Xena to Japan for the fi - uh, season finale or series finale was, um, both R J Stewart and myself are huge fans of Hong Kong pictures and, um, this was somewhat our tribute to Chinese Ghost Story...

Inside, Akemi, Miyuki and Ayako are bowing on the floor in front of them. They raise their heads and Akemi smiles at them. ... which in itself was a tribute to Evil Dead 2 so, um, some of the influences in that - in Chinese Ghost Story were in Evil Dead 2 so I felt it came full circle and, um, we'd always talked about going to Japan and then it just seemed like the right thing to do for this finale.
LL: Michele, [Akemi] she's a lovely girl, such a nice actress to work with and, she's a - like a chemistry scholar. She's really young, I think she's only like...
(laughs) Kenji...(chuckles) not even you could be frightened of this.
RT: Seventeen

Outside, thunder crashes and lightning strikes. LL: ... seventeen, yeah, and um, terrific actress, smart human being, and - brilliant. [laughs] Gotta hate her! [laughing]

Saburo is bathed by Ayako and Miyuki. RT: This sequence was actually shot by the third unit director, Mark Beesley.

Inside, Kenji is with Akemi who plays a zeng. Kenji is reading a scroll. The robe Akemi is wearing slides down her shoulder. Kenji looks at her bare shoulder and then quickly turns away. RT: Umm, I had storyboards and gave him what I thought the sequence should be and he actually filmed this sequence
Your shuji has great dignity and beauty.
[Noise off]
LL: That's Renee's son Miles, he kept sucking on her finger
ROC: And watching the show
Akemi pulls her robe back up and continues to play. LL: That's Rob sucking on my finger
ROC [laughs] [???]
LL: It calms him down [laughs]

Saburo is bathed by Ayako and Miyuki.
KENJI (voice-over)
I am blessed with a certainty about what it means to be a monk. But my companion was not as steadfast in his resolve.
ROC: You used fabric visually throughout the episode, didn't you Rob?
RT: I did, umm, ...
LL: It's a real Rob thing, that
RT: We tried to use as many, umm, fabric and smoke and, umm, to keep something moving all the time in the frame
Miyuki shakes her foot and the anklet on her ankle rings. Akemi looks up in shock.... and, umm, that's one way of doing it.

Yodoshi's POV, moving through the woods. This is the style used by Sam Raimi for the Force in the woods in 'The Evil Dead' including the sound effects. It's called 'Monster Cam.' LL: Love that girl who played the bad girl - what was her name? Oh my goodness, she was amazing ...

Akemi and Kenji.... She had very short, punky hair in real life. Japanese punk
You must leave - now.
Akemi helps Kenji up and leads him out.
Come on!

Yodoshi's POV, moving through the woods. RT: This is of course our tribute to Evil Dead series...

Akemi picks up the sacred katana.

Yodoshi's POV, moving through the woods. ... umm, gotta give Sam a great deal of credit in teaching me how to run through the woods with a camera

Akemi leaves.

Yodoshi's POV, moving through the woods.

Saburo is in the tub. He opens his eyes to see that Miyuki and Ayako are gone. LL: But wasn't that you denying him the dolly and the track?
RT: That's right. We had no money [?] for a dolly and a track.
LL: Just grab the camera and run with it. "Naaah, 'll be great, Sam".

Yodoshi's POV, moving through the woods, over to the tea house and smashes into it. ROC: [????] in fact. [?]
[All were talking at once & laughing]
LL [sotto voce]: Stingy producer!

Yodoshi roars as he enters, smashing through the wall. He is a giant head and then the rest of his body joins him and his head returns to normal size. He blows out cold air from his mouth, which freezes Saburo. Kenji watches. Yodoshi then inhales, pulling Saburo apart and into him. Saburo screams. Kenji runs off. LL: Whoah. Scary man.
RT: I vacillate back and forth whether it was a good idea to put this actor in makeup 'cos it was so distancing for the audience, it turned him into a bit of a caricature and I'll never get a chance to play it straight, but I think it would have been stronger in the long run had I not gone with the very heavy, almost theatrical makeup with that character, but, umm, in the rush to get to production you go "Oh that looks great" and it did look great ...
LL: The kabuki mask kind of idea
RT: Yeah, it was running with the kabuki mask idea and, umm, if I could do it again I'd kind of like to try it one time without it but, umm, you don't get those [???] in television
[LL laughing]

Kenji jumps into the water around the tea house. He pulls himself out of the water and Akemi touches his arm. She has the sacred katana. RT: R J Stewart, one of the other executive producers, was a great fan and scholar of Japanese history and culture ...
I know you're a good man. In the tea house, I felt the compassion in your heart. Don't fear me.
... and, umm, the sword is really something that he felt very strongly that should drive the story forward because it was such an important aspect of Samurai culture so this sword, umm,
W--who--who was that demon?!
... really plays an, ahh, incredibly important role in the first part of this finale as a motivator and a, umm, ...
The Lord of the Dark Land. He's preparing an army to wage war in Higuchi and slaughter, the populace. Honorable monk...I beg you to do what must be done to stop him enslaving the souls of that city.
LL: The holy grail
Akemi holds out the scared katana to Kenji. RT: ... instrument. The holy grail. It really is the holy grail of the episode.
But I'm no swordsman!
There's one in the west, far beyond the setting sun.
A samurai?! A priest?! A god?!
No. A warrior princess.
LL [dramatically]: Dah dah dah daaah. And her friend. And her trusty sidekick.

Kenji holds out the sacred katana to Xena.
Xena, you must save Higuchi from destruction.
LL: I didn't really know how to play this.
Xena slowly takes the katana. LL: It was like "Oh yeah, here's another relationship and I [?????] forgot to tell you about"
The Land of the Rising Sun. That's beyond Chin. I didn't know you were there Xena.
ROC: Yeah, who's this ...
Yes I was there. I was there. Gabrielle, this is not going to be the trip that I promised you, but if Akemi calls, I must go.
LL: It's like finding out that yeah, your partner was a crack addict and [laughter]
.. has been a few years on the street.
ROC [laughs]
Wherever you go, I'm by your side.
I knew you'd say that.

Aerial shot as the camera sweeps across the sea towards and over the boat
RT: This is an added scene and this is something that got cut out for the .. umm.. to make television time but it was a scene that I felt paid off .. the dialogue there paid off at the very end of the episode so I put it back in for the Director's.. umm..
LL: Oh, did that get lost ..
RT: .. version.
LL: ... from the first episode?
RT: It got lost from the orig...
LL: Television
RT: ... television airing because I had to squeeze what I wanted was 101 minutes into, umm, ninety.. eighty-four.
[Director's Cut is indeed 101 minutes - ed.]

Xena sits in a bikini with her legs stretched out, holding the sacred katana and watches as Kenji trains Gabrielle with staffs like they are using swords. LL: How far pregnant were you here, Renee?
ROC: I was ...
LL: Four months?
ROC: four months, yeah.
KENJI (voice-over)
The way of the sword is the most ancient of the warrior's art. With practice, the samurai develops the sacred virtues of bravery, self-discipline and honor. A samurai would rather die a warrior, than live as a coward.
This Akemi who sent for Xena, what do you know about her?
LL: Agh!
RT: [Apparently directed to Kenji who is practice-fighting with Gabrielle]: Don't kill her [?]
LL: [????????] I could kill those girls for making me sit like that...
Katrina too - "Now put your leg this way" "Err, OK"
"Katrina!" [???????????] anyway..
She was forced by Yodoshi, the Lord of the Dark Land, to seduce souls into his grasp. She's very beautiful...and she's a ghost.
RT: This was a setup for a sequence that never really paid off, that I tried to - wanted to set up sounds sliding and, umm, it was also to set up a big scene in the mud that, umm ...
She's a - ?

ROC: For my fight later
Gabrielle looks at Xena. RT: .. for ...
ROC: with the stepping and ...
Gabrielle, before we reach Jappa...I should tell you everything that happened there last time.
RT: and the sliding and umm, I just didn't have the footage to do it properly here, umm, and it didn't make sense because it was really, umm, Xena's story at this point in time, so...

Gabrielle sits with Xena. RT: ... but that was the stepping and sliding to set up later later in the mud fighting the, umm,
Many years ago...Borias told me about a young girl who was kidnapped by a Chinese warlord. She'd been taken hostage from a mighty island, even further east than Chin.
LL: You need a lot of time to fulfil that idea, don't you?

A drop of black ink moves slowly in water.
XENA (voice-over)
Being the kind of person I was then ...
LL: I remember I had to learn all this ...

Xena and Borias enter Kao's home. LL .. I think I'd lost my script on set or something and
XENA (voice-over)
... the challenge of finding a new land to plunder was just too much for me. I had to meet her.
I had to learn a page of really solid dialogue
So, her daddy's rich, you say?
in no time flat.
And powerful. He should pay well for the return of his sweet daughter.
LL: Challenge.
ROC: With Marton?
LL: No, the boat scene.
They move over to Kao.
ROC: But the scenes with Marton, are those scenes the best?
[Couldn't quite make that line out]
He leads them over to Akemi who is bowing on the floor. LL: You don't want people to know that you're not prepared so ...
ROC: [laughs]
LL: guilty really on [?]
Akemi, meet -
Xena, the Warrior Princess.
Xena lifts Akemi's head with her boot. RT: Every time we reset that costume with her on the ground like that it was a nightmare, it was a ten minute reset to get all those panels laid out properly and it never really showed, umm, the ostrich or the peacock effect I was hoping to achieve there but ...
You know me?
Oh, yes. I've heard that you're afraid of nothing. Kao here - he's afraid of many things.
This girl has spirit.
This girl deserves to die. Speaking like that in front of my guests.
LL: That guy's got such a Kiwi accent.
You won't kill me. Xena won't let you. Because in her heart...she knows that she will soon love me.
Xena loves no one.
Xena glares at him. LL: Marton Csokas - he's such a lot of fun to work with.
I'll be your student, Xena. You'll take me with you. You'll teach me everything you know.
ROC: I can't imagine anyone else playing Borias.
I have a few lessons for you!
LL: No. I think his mother was Hungarian or something. That's where he got the accent from.
Kao pulls her to her feet and moves to strike her, but Xena stops him.
Here. Fifty pieces of gold. It's the best offer you'll get for her.
I do what I want with my property. I say this isn't a good day to trade.
LL: This was a fun scene.
ROC: Why's that?
Is it a good day to die?
LL: I dunno, it's just fun to watch it. It's got cool dialogue.
It's unhealthy to negotiate with this one. I'd take the gold.
RT: This scene had a little problem - coming up. We were two shots away from finishing it, when - because it got shot out of order of course -
Xena puts the Pinch on Kao. Xena flips.the way that the warlord picked up young Michelle,
he grabbed her by the elbow and froze her arm and she couldn't move it, and we had to break down the setup and walk out of the set before we had completed the sequence because she couldn't move her arm. She went to the hospital and it was just a pinched nerve but the guy kept pulling her up by her arm and had slightly dislocated her elbow.
She defeats the guards. Akemi watches. Xena moves over to Kao who is lying on the floor, dying. LL: It always happens with new actors doing stunt things, they're too rough aren't they, they ...
ROC: It's interesting though, there were very few episodes throughout the six years where we had all the guest actors injured in some way, and that's what happened on these two episodes..
LL: Oh that's right.
RT: Every single guest episode .. err, guest actor, pretty much got hurt during the course of this episode
ROC: It's so strange
LL: And bizarre accidents, like walking to set, so-and-so slips and ...
RT: Breaks his ankle.
ROC: After six years of stunts.
LL: Yeah
I've shut off the flow of blood to your brain. You got ten...nine...eight...ah, forget it.
LL [laughing] That old thing [?]
Akemi holds out her hand to Xena who takes it and pulls her up. They leave. Borias moves over to Kao. RT: The whole pinch was, umm, appropriated and my homage to the Swordsman series of Hong Kong movies with Bridget Lanten [?] and, err, they used that kind of idea for extracting information and this was one of the final payoffs to the pinch.
I would have taken the gold.
RT: It was great for Xena, she never had to hold a knife to anyone's throat to say 'You tell me this or I'll slit your throat', because I never thought that was a heroic image.
Borias leaves. Kao dies.

The boat.

Akemi writes. Borias looks at her and then moves over and joins Xena who is looking out over the ocean. LL: I found bad Xena much easier to play during these two episodes than regular Xena. Dunno why, maybe because of what I knew was coming, ahh, that I had trouble umm, you know making sense of all the things I had to say and all the deception of Gabrielle umm, y'know, was a little jarring for me.
You know, Borias? I have a dream - a dream of conquering every land between here and Brittania.
Xena, you're always looking for green pastures to rape and pillage.
Yep. And maybe there's more in this than just the ransom, huh? I mean, with her father as an ally, I could get a nice toehold on that island.
RT: These were very tough sequences on the boat to film 'cos I had to shoot it all in umm, essentially one day I had to shoot on this boat, I had to shoot ten pages of dialogue on a boat and we got the calmest stillest day of the entire year to go out and do it and it worked great.
What makes you so sure she'll lead you to Daddy?
Ah, she wouldn't lie to me. Hm-m. She worships her teacher.
Borias laughs.
What's so funny?
Xena, you couldn't teach a dog to bark.
LL: But every time you finish filming on a boat you've got to turn the boat around and go all the way back, it's a big slow boat, hard to manouvre and it just makes everything ...
RT: Lugubrious
LL ... really really lugubrious.
Xena hits his hand away when he reaches out to her and Borias laughs. Xena whistles.
Akemi! Come here. I wanna show you something.
Akemi joins them.
You're wrong. Xena will be a great teacher.
Xena looks at Borias and snickers. LL: Heh! So there!
I'm ready.
All right. If someone's comin' atcha with a right/left combination, this is what I wantcha to do - you feint back, twist in the direction of the blow, and then deliver a vicious jumping, spinning back-kick. All right?
RT: I really like the idea that Akemi was playing Xena a little bit, to know exactly how to play into Xena's weakness - 'Teach me' -
Right, so...that's right, a left, a feint, uh, a jumping, swinging?
and she was able to exploit Xena, find that little bit of weakness of playing into her ego...
Jumping, spinning back-kick. All right. Now, I'll be a bad guy.
LL: I remember, yeah
Xena attacks Akemi, who does the moves she was told, but when Xena kicks her in the chest, Akemi fails to block her and is knocked back. Borias laughs and Xena glares at him. RT... time and time again and it was a difficult road to walk but because she was deceiving Evil Xena so to speak, I never felt I had to protect Xena as the hero in that story.
Lesson one - trust no one.
Xena moves off. LL: I like it that Evil Xena - well, she's not evil but - she's such an instinctual character.

Night.RT: Raw animal.

Xena and Akemi are on a row boat beside the larger boat. LL: She's totally raw - I really like her. A lot of fun to play.
Remember, Xena, I get ten percent of the ransom. (laughs) Good luck, 'Teacher.'
RT: This - the sun had set and I shot this hoping there would be something but you really can't see the little boat on the water because the sun had set and the day's shooting was over,

The row boat moves off.RT: ... and this was actually second unit that shot this little piece later 'cos we needed to pick up this story point that they were going ashore.


Xena and Akemi walk along. Several other landscapes are over cut with this image.
Xena and Akemi walk through the woods in the snow.
RT: Scriptwise there was a giant scene that happened here of them coming ashore where they were attacked and Xena saves her life but errr, I knew the episode was going to be really long so I cut it right before we shot. And it was going to be very difficult because it took place on ice and under water and... instead I settled for this cheesy snow.
Come on, Akemi. Keep up.
(sighs) My ribs are still a little sore.
Well, next time we'll start with something a little simpler.
LL: I love the fact that Bad Xena doesn't cut her any slack just because Xena broke her rib - doesn't mean she should be dragging, bringing up the rear so slow.
Xena stops and listens. LL: Just totally selfish [laughs]
Like listening. Listen to that.
To what?
To life and death. Every sound, every movement, is a message. A wagon just crossed a creek up ahead. (closes eyes) A deer grazing nearby.
RT: I had to make a big decision in the mix, 'cos everyone was divided -
When you listen to the Kami like that, you must be at peace.
Joe had written specific music for listening and the post-production supervisor Bernie Joyce
The Kami? What's that?
wanted to go with actual sounds of what Xena was hearing,
The Kami are the powers behind all nature. They make the sun shine, the grass grow. They brought you to me.
and I listened to it one way, listened to it the other, and Joe made a very strong argument about -
No, no, no. When I listen like that, I'm at war. Every sound is a possible warning of an enemy approaching.
hearing wagon wheels in the actual sounds that she'd reported didn't give us new information and...
I believe that one day, Xena, the Kami will help you know peace. And I would be honored...if you would accept this.
I went with just his musical composition and not with the sound effects that the post people had provided...
Akemi hands her a scroll with Japanese writing on it. LL: Are you pleased with that decision?
RT: I'm very happy with it now.
Xena chuckles, confused.
It's really pretty.
It's our scripts. When my people are overcome with a feeling, that needs to be preserved, we write verse.
LL: She would never have said 'it's really pretty', that was silly of me. She'd have said 'What is it?'
Oh, yeah? Like what feeling?
'Yesterday, the moon took lodging on my sleeve. Today, I have hope for even the brokenhearted stars.'
Xena turns away from her.
GABRIELLE (voice-over)
So beautiful.

Xena and Gabrielle are on the boat.
To write something like that, she must have loved you very much.
Xena says nothing.
What's wrong?
The truth is, Gabrielle...she broke my heart.
LL: See we have for years been playing these characters as if they're....
Xena and Gabrielle are on the boat.
She broke your heart? I don't understand.
LL: ... all of a sudden we're coming up and going 'Yup. I had a former girlfriend...
For a while, I didn't understand myself.

ROC laughs

A drop of black ink moves through some water. LL: ... like it's just an accepted fact that our characters are gay,

Xena and Akemi travel. and you and I, no matter what our characters had to do,
XENA (voice-over)
When I traveled with Akemi to her island for the ransom, I was to learn that my heart was seeking something else.
or no matter about the subtext, never really thought about our characters in terms of ...

Xena and Akemi arrive at her grandfather's house. Xena turns back and looks at Akemi. ROC: Stereotypes
LL: .. sexual beings or, you know, umm
I thought I was taking you to your father.
ROC: It was about the love of our friendship
His castle's in the north. We came here first to visit my grandfather. He...died here many years ago.
LL Yeah, that you play it kinda straight no matter what you're doing cos none of my lesbian friends scream "I'm a lesbian" every second of the day, right?
Are you telling me that we have walked days in the wrong direction to see a dead guy?!
LL: But here all of a sudden our characters are just so out, explicitly out, I think
We must visit my grandfather to seek his blessing. He's dead, but I can still speak to him.
ROC: Yeah Xena... it's funny you say that because I didn't ever think about it again, while we were filming, I just thought that it must have been someone that you cared about so deeply, as much as Gabrielle did, you didn't wanna...
Akemi moves before a stone statue. She claps her hands, puts them together and kneels. LL: So you were playing it straight again in your own head?
ROC: Yeah, I was playing it straight. Isn't that funny? I just thought that, well she must have kept this one from me because - there's a one that'll really hurt
All your talk about moons up your sleeve - you were playing me for a fool.
LL: Because what?
ROC: Because... it was someone that you maybe loved more than Gabrielle or as much as....
Xena draws her sword. LL: Really? So, Rob....
I oughtta just?
ROC: ... so the loss was too tremendous
Xena is ready to strike off Akemi's head with her sword, when Akemi moves her hair aside LL: ... Rob said that they didn't wanna play it with Gabrielle being jealous 'cos it was... it's unappealing and it's out of...
ROC: Petty [?]
LL: ... yeah it's petty, it takes the episode somewhere it doesn't wanna go.
You hear the Kami through the sounds of nature. In the same way, I hear sounds that are silent to you.
LL: 'Cos it can't be fully explored so ...
so you're saying that your character thought she was holding back an important part of her life for...
Akemi faces the statue again and prays. She places a scroll on the statue and smiles. She stands and faces Xena. ROC: Because Xena's loss was so tremendous. It had to be about Xena, Xena had to be hurting and it couldn't be about how Gabrielle was...
LL: Ahh, that's really interesting
ROC ... so it had to be about how my friend here is in mourning and in pain because of the loss of her friend that was so cherished.
My grandfather says that you are a wise and appropriate teacher and... he feels your sword is not good enough.
LL: Wow. Wow. You're a very special character.
ROC: Well, there ya go.
ROC: That's how I played it - non-jealousy.
There's a string of widows from here to Greece that say different.
Compared to a katana...all other swords are toys.
RT: And this is where we can set up the sword and where Akemi plays Xena to go get the sword that she knows...
Well...then get me one of those.
... is one of the greatest swords in the land.
The great katana lies near here, but...you must know - in our country, women are forbidden to own katana.
RT: She knew that Xena would rise to the bait of 'women'...
Akemi moves off.
Well, they're just gonna have to get used to it, aren't they?
LL: Xena's hubris is pride and she just keeps hittin' that, pushin' them buttons
Xena follows.

A forge hut. RT: This was a shot from... the... that I pulled out of the stock footage library that I had shot for another episode I had directed called 'Destiny', and that was ...

Inside. Four large men and a Master Swordsman forge katanas. Akemi enters. LL: Fortunately they were all the same guys
Sensei...I come bearing a challenge. My master wishes to fight you for possession of the katana, forged from the purest ore of the Hakiman temple.
LL: [having second thoughts?] What did you pull out?
Your master must be a mighty samurai.
RT: The establishing shot was from.. err... another episode, I didn't have any sword factory in Japan that I could find to use.
Xena enters.
Oh, no. I'm just a girl...in search of a real good sword.
Xena takes off her coat and hat. LL: That wasn't cut tight enough.
A woman? A foreigner ? challenging us for the sacred katana?! This is a great insolence!
LL: If things aren't cut hard it just looks cheesy.
Xena draws her sword.
Well, I guess you're gonna have to teach me a lesson, hm-m?
LL: I feel like Alti. Like I'm doing Alti acting there.
He holds out his katana. Xena attacks him with her sword, but the katana breaks hers in half. The Master Swordsman laughs.
Ooh, gimme, gimme.
LL: Horrible insert. Too long. [Unsure if she's referring to the shot of the sword breaking or her own 'Gimme'].
Xena punches him and then fights the other four men. She fights them with no weapons, even though they all have katanas. RT: This was a sequence that I had to condense down and cut out the one thing I really really wanted to do, it was an early idea that I had and one of the reasons I wanted to do this fight in a sword factory was a parasol that I had built that was fireproof ...
LL: A parasol
RT: .. a parasol, that Xena and Akemi were going to come down from the second level like Mary Poppins under the parasol at the end of this sequence, and I just ran out of time, money, and... it never got shot but I built all of the things [?]
Two of them grab her and run her over to a wall with spikes. She manages to use her feet to prevent being impaled on them, but one spike stabs her above her right breast (where Lucy Lawless has a small scar in real life, thus explaining where Xena got the scar). Xena pushes them back with her feet and escapes. She flips.
RT: And this was how we explained that... how Xena got her ..
RT and LL in unison: Scar
RT: ... scar on her chest and it's something ...
LL: For years we have faithfully been sticking that on me in makeup every morning, and here's the payoff.
Xena lands on a table where finished katanas lie face up. She lands with her feet on either side of a katana. The guys come at her again. Xena flips off of the table.
RT: It was hard to justify why someone would fight in basically a bikini and barefoot in the dead of winter but
[LL laughs]
She kicks one of the men back, onto the swords. The Master Swordsman moves on Akemi. Xena battles the other men. Akemi backs away from the Master Swordsman who comes at her with a katana. Xena grabs a rope and swings. RT: ...with all the hot things and all the sharp things, unless there was skin, it just doesn't have the same dangerous.. ummm...
LL: Well you can't differentiate things either, you know
Xena lands before the Master Swordsman and punches him until she knocks him out. She runs over and holds the sacred katana. RT: You can't differentiate so that you know that it's skin with steel, is a bad thing, so ummm... therefore I called for a costume that is perhaps inappropriate for the dead of winter but worked within the storytelling here.
Yeah. Grandpa was right. Now, this is a sword.
LL: People respond to skin, too, on screen, whether we know it or not, even if it's not sexual, but it's just an organic response.
She smiles.

A drop of black ink moves through water.

Xena and Akemi are camped. Akemi writes with black ink in the snow.
'In a flurry of snow, two breaths of wind unite and become as one and then disappear into each other.'
Listen, Akemi...I don't want you to take this the wrong way. I really love this sword and you're a nice kid, but I just came for the ransom.
LL: This was a really noisy scene.
RT: Also the entire scene has been ADR'd.
I don't believe that.
LL: I can't believe you guys put those machines on, you can't see a bloody thing.
Xena looks away from her. RT: It was the snowflakes falling.
What do you hear now?
LL: Couldn't we have had two guys, shaking it off a board? RT: You know, we probably could've.
Snow falling on cedars. Now...your heart...beating harder than normal.
RT: That was a Lucy addition, snow falling on cedars.
LL: I know, it was just a cheesy little - joke.
They look at each other.
You're a master of war, yet you know no words to speak of love. And then you go and save my life. There's no greater gift of love a teacher can give a student than that. I have another gift I must ask of you. I saw what you did to kill that coward, Kao.
LL: It's weird though, she doesn't seem the sort of human being - I mean she's nothing like Borias.
It's a sacred trust.
RT: Evil Xena you mean?
I would be honored, beyond words...if you'd teach me that.
LL: No no no, Akemi. So peculiar that Xena's attracted to her but I guess... uhhh... it was in the script so we did it.
Xena slowly smiles.
All right.
Akemi chuckles.
GABRIELLE (voice-over)
You knew her for a few weeks?

Xena and Gabrielle are on the boat. It's night.
- and you taught her the pinch? Xena, in all the time -
ROC: That hurts! [Laughter]. Don't care about the friendship... the pinch!
Higuchi is under siege, and there's no place to dock. I'm turning back.
LL: "Friendship" in inverted commas....
He leaves.
Gabrielle, I've got to go ashore.
LL: "I can't talk to you about this right now".
I'm with you.
I knew you'd say that.
Xena jumps into the water and Gabrielle follows her. ROC: Oh, no, not in cold water Xena, please.
LL: What'd she say? "I'm with you".
ROC: Yeah, but not in the water, not in the water. Just the boat [?] [?????] you can have.

Yodoshi's POV, running through the woods and then smashing into the tea house.

Yodoshi's POV as he smashes into the tea house. Miyuki and Ayako jump out of the way and Yodoshi stops before Akemi who doesn't even finch as she puts the last touch on what she is writing. Yodoshi kneels before her and slams his fist down in front of her. She looks at him. RT: This scene was never in the television version, I added it to this DVD version because I wanted to re-establish the bad guy, and also to show Akemi standing up against him.
LL: Such a shame that things get cut down that are so beautiful and important. And just... you know - informative about characters.
The katana! You sent it to the foreign whore.
Akemi shares a look with Miyuki who is bowing behind Yodoshi. LL [about Miyuki]: She's so good, I wish I could remember her name.
RT: Sherry... Sheree... umm...
Thank you. (laughs) She's traveling to the city of Higuchi which my army, right now, is destroying. My general awaits her and when he captures Xena and my katana...she'll lose her head to the sting of its blade. So thank you...daughter.
LL [about Akemi]: It's quite nice 'cos she's so sort of clean and gorgeous and he's so hideous and painted - that's kinda nice
He turns into a tornado and leaves the tea house and the wall reforms behind him, like he had never been there. LL: He's a cool character in the things that he can do.

Higuchi is on fire. Yodoshi's soldiers battle the villagers. ROC: This was an extraordinary set wasn't it.
Come on!
LL: It was amazing with all those Asian people who spoke fiftten different languages running in different directions.
Harukata moves about. ROC: Right, and these flames - flame bars - throughout this massive area.

Xena and Gabrielle emerge from the water. Harukata sees them. LL: You were trying to say 'go away from the flames'
ROC: Synchronise your action with the flames.
Xena and Gabrielle climb ashore. LL: Yay! Please can we go swimming in that lake?
ROC: This is the set that they built within... five days and we burned it down in .. ten minutes did we?

Xena and Gabrielle look around. LL: Yeah. Razed it to the ground. I think they got two takes of us coming out of the water, that's all there was time for, it burned so fast ...

A catapult fires.
ROC: and the heat was incredible ...
LL: They didn't stop the camera rolling, we just ran back to Number Ones and ...

ROC: That's right, I remember the crew kept getting further and further away from the flames ...
LL: cos it was staggeringly hot ...
They're going to burn Higuchi to the ground.
ROC: We were cold and wet, so we had no idea that it was that warm
Xena sees the water tower on the other side of the village.
We've gotta release the water from the tower. Gabrielle, what would you do?
ROC: 'What?' [?] the flame, [?]
LL: "OK, Gabrielle, we've gotta release the water from the tower, umm, I'm confused. You got any ideas? I'm fresh out."
I saw these acrobats. They used a -
ROC: "Well I haven't practised my somersault in a long time"
Show me, Gabrielle.
LL: "Show me. Stop yabbin' about it and just show me".
Gabrielle moves off and Xena follows. Harukata watches them. Gabrielle grabs a rope. LL: Harukata. Sweet man.
Climb on!
She does and they swing through the village. LL [yells]: "Good thinking Gabrielle!"
ROC: What was the video - was it Donkey Kong? Where they went up the different steps and ladders
They land on a cloth overhang and bounce, flipping backwards. LL: Donkey Kong? I think you're giving away one of your ... some of your viewing pleasures.
ROC: This is what I do on my weekends. It's what some of this reminded me of. [???] our way.
They land on a roof top.
All right. What's next?
LL: "... smartypants."
This way!
ROC: You didn't know I could do that.
They run off. More explosions go off. Gabrielle jumps through a window into another building, but before Xena can follow, a firebomb hits the window, blocking Xena's way. LL: Walk across the rooftops.... Rob will talk in here about the second unit ...
ROC: They had [?] actually very little to do... in this sequence.. didn't they?
A warrior climbs up the ladder to the window. Gabrielle kicks the ladder. The warrior yells. The ladder lands on a crate, like a see-saw. Gabrielle jumps. ROC: It took a couple of nights, but most of it was all... Rob dreams[?]
LL: ...talked about how it was all.. . they filmed the second unit first and we were just insert [?]
ROC: we ran across a platform
Gabrielle lands on one end of the ladder. LL: [?] ladders up and down
LL: There goes your double with the bad wig. Go Lynn!
Xena sees the other side of the ladder and jumps onto it.
LL: I did a lot of handstands this night, though
Gabrielle is launched across the village and yells as she flies across. She lands hard on a roof top. Xena cartwheels and then flips. ROC: Did you? Oh because of the ... the circular movement... the gymnastic one [?]. No-one knew that Zoe could do that. That was a surprise for everyone.
LL: Hey! Shhhh!
ROC: Sorry. I mean, that you were so talented.
Xena jumps off of a bar and grabs another, and starts to swing around it. LL: The giants.
LL: Here I go!
ROC: Yeah, see. Luce, you amaze me.
LL: 'cos Zoe's quite tall for...
Go for the ladder!
ROC: a gymnast...
LL: yeah, she's quite a tall girl
She stops, upside down and looks at the ladder. Gabrielle runs to the ladder. ROC: Hey, [????]
LL: and she looks so much like me
LL: (laughs). It's very hard to make that sound upside down. I needed a stunt shrieker
Xena starts to spin around the bar again. Gabrielle gets to the ladder. LL: Go Gabaielle. [?]
ROC: The balance.
Kill her!
LL: [?????????]
Xena flips from the pole, across the village.
LL: All our wonderful stunt men.
Xena hits the ladder on the other side of Gabrielle. They spin through the village on the ladder until they reach the water tower. ROC: Out of six years this is the most intricate fight sequence that we've ever had, isn't it? Together.
LL: Yeah, yeah. It was cool. I've always liked doing it with you, actually.
ROC: Just as well.
LL: Yeah.
We've only done two, maybe three together, actually, with the Indian episode [????????]
ROC: The Indian episode
Gabrielle grabs the wheel and grunts as she turns it. LL: I didn't make out [????????]
ROC: (laughs)
LL: Good girl!
ROC: [?????????]
LL: Yeah, work them shoulders.
LL: Go, you little pregnant woman, you.
ROC: Yeah yeah.
LL: I'll just stand here and wobble a bit.
Xena draws her sword and hits it. LL: Oh...
ROC: That was the last time....
LL: You're always brawn [?], isn't it, Xena? Violence is always your last resort.
Water sprays out over Higuchi, putting out the fire. ROC: Yeah, just pull out that sword.
This was our last night of filming
LL: Was it?
ROC: ... the Xena series. Yes, it was.
LL: And it was a hideous night too, because we were all so beyond tired that there was no... no joy left...
ROC: And yet there was an excitement that came back
LL: was there?
ROC: into umm...
LL: maybe it was just me
ROC: [?????]
Morimoto looks up at Xena. LL: completely wrung out, long before the end...
A wise general knows when a fight is lost, but I think we will meet again. Soon.
ROC: It had been one, umm... I think we started filming four or five o'clock that afternoon and this was about six in the morning wasn't it? Was [???????????] all break for daybreak.
He bows he head and Xena nods. He rides off. Xena laughs. LL: That's right and then there was that little scene at the end where we were going 'wow not the way I woulda done it' and the sun was coming up, we were trying to shoot it out, and oh, my god ...
ROC: Trying to get a quick [?]
LL: I think I went mad though through this episode
The soldiers retreat. LL: There's some scenes - when we get to them I'll point them out - where I was so like insane
Yeah! We've won! We've won! We won! We won!

ROC: We were tired
This way!
Higuchi is saved.
LL: Tired on every level like, emotionally....
Not quite the way I would have done it, Gabrielle, but it sure worked.
ROC: I mean, Lucy, is when the show's over and we finished our last shot and the crew brought us a gift and when you didn't say anything at first I realised how tired you were and how moved you were at the same time and then you came back out with your poem that you had written for everyone, which was great, 'cos everyone laughed, but I - that's when I realised, wow, it's taken a toll
They chuckle.
Higuchi is still smoking, but the fires are out. LL: Yeah I was devastated for a long time after Xena ended actually .. over six months
GABRIELLE (voice-over)
You know, Xena, I still don't understand.

Xena and Gabrielle walk along in Higuchi.
You taught Akemi the pinch. Did she ever use it?
ROC: Physically or just ...
Yes, unfortunately, she did.
LL: Umm, mentally... I dunno, just ... every possible way

Yodoshi's home.
XENA (voice-over)
After a many days' walk, we reached her father's fortress.

Inside. Yodoshi watches some dancers. Akemi enters and moves over to her father, her face hidden behind a mask like she is part of the dance. She stands before him and takes off the mask. LL: Cool scene, jump ahead. I love this is so different to what we usually see, in other - it's a shame 'cos it's cut down for this format, I want to see it big and expansive and cinematic because it's such a...
ROC: To see the dancing
LL: ... cinema feel.
ROC: To see the kabuki dancing
LL: Yeah just so beautiful ...
ROC: Now what happened with the kabuki dancers?
LL: Well she is - this is - what it is.
ROC: But I mean on the actual filming day, something happened.. or their masks and makeup were different than what... than what Rob ...
LL: I think the director yeah - flipped out and said he wanted something different...
LL: ... I can't remember. There was a lot of... this was a difficult day's filming [inaudible]
Xena enters. LL: And always when you're spending a lot of time away from your stars, they are weighing up how much time they ought to be spending ...
Akemi, what are you doing?
LL: ... on this, but I mean that was an important scene for Akemi, she's....
Akemi puts the Pinch on him. The guards attack Xena and she fights them. ROC: But that's because we had to finish in the other... umm..
LL: Yeah we were busy on something
ROC: There were four units going at the same time so Lucy and I, when we weren't working with the main unit, we were going on to the second or third
LL: And this fight was improvised 'cos we had to keep Xena busy, not with egg on her face sat in the back while Akemi goes and kills the cash cow
You have thirty seconds to live. (claps) My brothers, my sisters, my mother, and my gentle grandparents - I avenge all your deaths at the hands of this monster.
RT: With the pinch, that's right.
Xena defeats the guards and moves over to Akemi. RT: It was really the only way to get the story point across that she was the last of her line and was killing her father who had destroyed everyone in her family.
...I pray you suffer in death the way your family suffered in life.
He dies. Akemi stands.
What the hell did you do that for?
It was my duty. (faces Xena) He had to die.
LL: It was very hard to find Japanese actors down under. Most of these guys had to come from Australia, we were very limited in casting, and it seems that...
Akemi leaves.
I don't care about that. What about the ransom?
LL: ... in some Asian cultures like Chinese and the Japanese, acting as we understand it is not considered an honourable profession, and so...

Akemi kneels outside.

Where's my money?!
I mean Adrian is half-Caucasian, but some of the others were explaining that it was difficult for their parents to understand that they were acting on this show - on any show.
Xena follows her.

Xena joins Akemi.
Forgive me, Xena.
I don't suppose there's any inheritance in this!
Their parents back in Korea or wherever.
I have one last thing to ask of you. Restore my honor. The sacred katana.
Akemi pulls her hair back from her neck. RT: My thought on this scene was that everything moves so fast that Xena is in control of nothing and ...
You want me to cut off...that's why you wanted me to take the katana.
RT: she has the realisation that what's happening...
After that is done, take my ashes and place them in the family shrine in the town of Higuchi.
LL: She's being manipulated specially for this moment so she will go through with it
(whispers) No, no. (normal) No, I'm not going to...
RT: Act as the second in her suicide, and I was very concerned that I was showing a seventeen-year-old killing herself and Xena chopping her head off, that there would be some sort of backlash against this but...
Akemi stabs herself in the stomach with a dagger. ... it was Xena's head coming off that caused the backlash.
LL: [snorts with amusement] Heh!
I pray you will. 'The snow melts...flowers fade...and I pass as all things do.'
'But--but time and love...they go on.' (gasping) Restore my honor, Xena.
LL: Well that's because this was so well justified... you know... I mean she's all ready... and culturally we just accept that this is something that someone in her position would do.
Akemi is dying. Xena gets ready to strike. My concern was that we had established enough of a love relationship in so short a period of time so that... to justify Xena cutting her head off.

Clip from ?A Friend in Need ? Part I.?
XENA (voice-over)

Xena gets ready to strike.

Clips from ?A Friend in Need ? Part I.?
XENA (voice-over)

Xena gets ready to strike.

Xena gets ready to strike.
Xena cuts off Akemi's head.

A drop of red ink lands in water. RT: And all the previous ink shots was just really to set up this one, to explain that her head had been cut off. Cos I was worried that the audience really still would not understand what had happened there, so I had the various ink transitions to set up that one in particular.

Xena and Gabrielle walk amoung the villagers. The villagers cheer.
Yeah, Xena!
How will you feel when you come face-to-face with Akemi's ghost?
Better question is, 'How will Xena feel face-to-face with the ghosts of the people she killed at Higuchi?!'
Who are you?
ROC: Can you imagine, after all that's happened , you know, in the United States, think of Xena having massacred a town.
My family name is Harukata.
I mean the enormity of that just completely substantiated the ending, I thought, and now [?] she takes responsibility for what she's done.
But he's know as the Killer of Ghosts.
LL: That's right.
Xena saved your city.
This time. But that does nothing to atone for what happened when last she was here.
LL: Yeah, enormous, actually.
What's he talking about?
I was fulfilling Akemi's dying wish - to place her ashes at the family shrine here in Higuchi.
LL: Yes, in the context of post-9/11, [?? (inaudible)]

XENA (voice-over)
Word got out that I was honoring the ashes -

Xena has cut her hair very close to head in ugly clumps. Her face is painted white and she wears wooden shoes. She has a jar with Akemi's ashes in one hand and a bottle of ale over her neck which she takes swigs out of as she walks along the ice. ROC: I was just surprised to see the way you looked when I watched the episode becuuse I wasn't there during the filming, and you did look insane. [laughs]
XENA (voice-over)
- of a girl who had killed her father. The townsfolk felt that I would be defiling their graveyard. They banded together to stop me.
LL: I was insane, I told you I was insane.
ROC: I know but it was wild
One person throws a snowball at her. Most of them carry torches. They surround her. Another snowball is thrown. Xena takes a drink and spits. ROC: And yet we've never seen Xena looking so crazy and ...
LL: This is why she...
Bitch! Go away.
ROC: ... distraught.
LL: ... she didn't want to bring it up - the whole Akemi subject.
She killed her father.
ROC: Right
LL: It was my period of mental illness.
Go! Go!
RT: This was the heroin chic period.
Get her! Get her.
LL: Heroin chic, yeah. Should've been on heroin, that would've got me through -
XENA (voice-over)
I tried to ignore them, but they came after me.
LL: Umm, there's a thing at the end where she's scrabbling around on her knees, and my director just wanted me like screaming insanely and in all that I knew it was going to have to be ADR'd anyway, but umm, I just did it -
ROC [inaudible]
LL: I just screa - and I knew - somehow I thought it wouldn't be useful but I was ...
ROC: It worked
LL: ... [?????????] to argue and just felt like screaming anyway so I just...
ROC: Yeah
LL: ... just cut loose, boy
One attacks her and she knocks him back and takes the torch he is holding. Xena swings the torch around to try to hold them off. The townspeople attack Xena. Her feet are knocked out from under her and she falls, the jar holding Akemi's ashes flying into the air. RT: And actually, little portions of this sequence were Xena's - or Lucy Lawless's very last scene on Xena Warrior Princess
ROC: Parts of this scene here
RT: Parts of this scene
LL: Cos we had to go back and re-shoot didn't we?
RT: We had to go back and re-shoot a couple of things for focus and ...
LL: That's right
Akemi! Akemi.
ROC: To re-do the scene would be difficult
The jar hits the ground and breaks, Akemi's ashes blowing away in the wind. RT: ... just bits and pieces where there was a focus problem but this was the very very last scene that Lucy Lawless ever shot as the character of Xena.
Oooooh! No! Akemi!
LL: That's why it kind of dribbled on for ever... the filming of this
Xena swings the torch around at the feet of the townspeople. LL: That nice orchestral music juxtaposed with what's going on is kind of cool and bizarre
ROC: Mmmm
Aaaaaah! Aaaaah! Aaaaaaaah! Aaaaaaah!
LL: Just like some old forties movie
She takes a swig from the bottle as she stands and spits the liquor onto it. A flame hits one of the townspeople who runs around, screaming since he's on fire. The town catches fire as he runs. RT: In fact Xena right here blowing fire
LL: That's right! That's the first and last time I breathed fire in a few years
RT: ... was the last time she blows fire, and it was shot after midnight on her birthday
Fire! Fire!
LL: Oh really.
RT: Yes
Xena walks off. She looks at the torch and drops it as she takes a swig from the bottle. LL: Happy birthday to me, I thought I was gonna burn my eyebrows off again. We had to wait till Eric Gruendeman had left the show before I could do that again
RT: Eric had insurance problems with Lucy blowing fire
LL: [laughs] Burning her eyebrows off

The wind took the fire from house to house. Forty thousand of my townsfolk perished in the flames!
ROC[?]: And [?????] was a-watching
LL: It was fine actually, it was easy
No, it's not possible.
That is only the beginning!
Akemi told me that after she killed her father, Yodoshi's spirit was so full of evil, even the underworld would not allow him to enter. He became Lord Yodoshi, the Eater of Souls. The forty thousand lost spirits were at his mercy. Now he holds them, inside him, enslaved.
LL: Jeez, it's so dark!
RT: I think the context is - Renee, is Xena guilty?
If this is true, then I am guilty of a greater evil than I ever thought possible.

ROC: Yes, well, she did it. Even though she wasn't conscious of what the effect was that she was having.
Xena, it was a horrible accident.

LL: Yes, she was woefully negligent - endangerment of the population.
No. No, I must put things right.
ROC: All those people died because of her acting out.
Overlooking the land.
XENA (voice-over)
Can you hear them?

Xena and Gabrielle overlook the land from a high wall. Gabrielle has her eyes closed.
I thought I heard a horse, before.
Listen not just to the sounds, but to what's behind the sounds.
LL: Yes, she's a very flawed hero. I think none of us realised how flawed until...
Gabrielle listens. She hears marching and flames and a horse snorts. These images overlap Gabrielle's face. Gabrielle opens her eyes and the overlapping images fade. ROC: [?What she did in?] the last episode
LL: Didn't realise how gay she was, didn't realise how....
ROC: [laughs]
How many are there?
At least three armies are gathering. The general we met at the water tower was right. We will meet again and soon.
RT: Renee, running [?] for time I missed your close-ups over Lucy's shoulder. It was one of those calls you make as a director that I know you understand, and it's tortured me for ever in this sequence.
I'll warn the others.
RT: ... Cos [????] I'm stuck with this angle for your dialogue and exit.
Gabrielle leaves. Harukata enters with Kenji. LL: Cleavage looks good though, from that angle.
RT: Yeah.
LL: That's always a plus.
ROC: But now with the Director's Cut were you able to put back all the scenes that you wanted?
RT: I did put back the scenes I wanted but that was just one I was just missing a camera angle.
ROC: Oh I see.
Ghost Killer...
LL: Gonnggg....
I know that you think of me as your enemy, but you must believe this. My spirit aches for the torment I've caused. ROC: [laughs]
LL: Ding a ling a ling
LL: [inaudible]
He nods. LL: You know I wish we had all talked faster.
We both want the same thing - to release those souls.
RT: I wish I could ...
LL: I wish I had've spoken faster ...
You've devoted your life to killing Yodoshi. Why is it that you have never succeeded?
ROC: Myself as well
LL: 'cos ...
ROC: It's funny isn't it?
I have the power to slay him, but it is impossible for me to get close enough to use my blade.
LL: there was times ... sometimes if you ... because, I suppose, we were so tired, we were dragging things out and then the edit gets slower and everything's just a little heavier. And I used to know that and I just kinda lost the plot.
ROC: But it was a dark episode, I thought. Y'know I think we were trying to carry the weight of it...
LL: I just mean technically, yeah, technically it was a little...
RT: Technically I knew that and my comment constantly was 'Pick up the energy pick up the energy pick up the energy'
Because...I am mortal. Only another ghost can trap a spirit as mighty as Yodoshi.

LL: I think maybe we just didn't have any more energy that ...
RT: [???]
LL: give, yeah. Which is, in its own way, very good because it meant that - y'now - we weren't holding anything back.
Xena looks out over the country. She nods to Harukata and moves off. Everybody gave everything they had, all the time. By the end we were all out.

Xena is wearing Japanese armour and is kneeling in a temple. ROC: Such a beautiful scene. The set, the lighting.
LL: Yeah. [????] lit that beautifully.
ROC: It's a miracle.
Akemi...I know what I must do, but I'm afraid that this day, what's done may not be undone.
RT: For me this is actually my favorite scene in the two episodes. This and the very final scene but ...
ROC[?]: Yes.
Gabrielle enters wearing Japanese armour over her clothes. RT: I really like this scene.
ROC[?]: Me too.
Xena, the militia is prepared. Why aren't you ready?
RT: Nothing fancy, but ...
ROC[?] Right.
Gabrielle, come here. (sniffs) Come here. Give me your hands.
RT: Set up the cameras and let the stars do what they do best.
Gabrielle kneels before her. Xena takes her hands and brings them to her throat. LL: Your original idea was to have one of us lying in the other one's lap or something
ROC: Oh that's right
LL: ... and then it just got simplified and simplified and I think it's much more effective.
All right. Here. Feel the surge of blood under the skin. Now, just behind -
ROC: Face to face.
LL: Just face - yeah just keep it straight and keep it - Japanesey[?]
Gabrielle pulls her hands back from Xena.
Xena, you don't have to do this. I understand why you would never wanna teach me the pinch.
LL: Just simplicity, that's all.
No. No, today more than ever, I want you to know what I know. Please -
ROC: I love that line. Cos it takes me back, as Gabrielle, to the first episode - 'teach me everything you know, Xena.'
Xena holds Gabrielle's fingers to her throat and smiles. She helps Gabrielle do the Pinch on her. LL: Right, exactly, yeah. I think you mentioned that at the time, I think.
Why are you doing this?
Blood runs down from Xena's nose.
Gabrielle, if I only had thirty seconds to live, this is how I'd want to live them - looking into your eyes.
LL: I think this is Xena's practice run, at death. Cos she knows she won't be able to go through it, with Gabrielle. So she's doing it now so that Gabrielle knows what it might have been like. Later.
Stop this. Stop it.
Always remember, I love you.
Xena uses Gabrielle's hand to undo the Pinch. Xena coughs and falls forward onto Gabrielle, who holds her. LL: Except I didn't want it to look like Xena was taking the pinch off, 'cos she couldn't.
Why would you teach me this right now? I don't understand!
Xena wipes the blood from her nose. I was intending it - I thought that we were doing it so it looked like...
ROC: You were just ...
There's nothing to understand. I just wanted you to know everything I know.
LL: ... Gabrielle was but - is that how you were playing it cos it - I don't know, it always looked to me like I was motivating the -
Harukata enters. ROC: Well I think you were putting it in the right position - well, it was kind of half and half wasn't it really
Are you ready?
LL: But once she's got the pinch on she's paralysed...
ROC: That's true
Xena looks at Gabrielle. LL: so.... she's giving Gabrielle...
Let's go. We got a battle to win.
ROC: and achieving
LL: ... and also achieving it. Taking it off, you know.
Xena leaves. Gabrielle is stunned and doesn't move. ROC: Right.

Mountain lake.[They both talk at once] LL: Could be it's so much else going on.

Gabrielle, Kenji and the soldiers step out of Higuchi. ROC: So doesn't Gabrielle know how to take off the pinch for some episode>
RT: She does indeed.
Wouldn't it be better if we stayed with Xena?
LL: Oh she does?
[Both talk and laugh at once]
Xena wants us to lead a contingent to the east plain. She said a group of Yodoshi's archers are gathering there.
ROC: I forgot?
LL: Why d'you wait all that time? [Referring to how long it took Gabs to take the pinch off ?]
ROC: Because you cry beautifully.
LL: "Just want to see you squirm".
Gabrielle and the others move off. ROC[?]: [bursts out laughing]: There goes Min. You could always pick Min eg?
RT: That was Renee's umm...
Xena steps out behind them and watches them leave. Xena moves off in the other direction, off into the mist. LL: ... double, Min ...
RT: ... double, who walks a bit stiffly at first
ROC: I never noticed that.

RT: And Lucy's double running through the same setup.
Jappa. LL: Which double was that? Was that - that was Cindy or - umm - yeah. Terrific.
[sotto voce] Cindy or it might have been - one of the others.

Xena buries her breastplate and her sword. The sound of heavy drums are and Xena looks up. She finishes burying her armour and stands. Drums are heard through the rest of the battle. RT: I ummm ...
LL: This scene for some reason took for ever.
RT: It did take forever and it was a very last-minute addition this scene, but I thought that since the series started with Xena burying her... her ... accoutrements, that the series should end with this note. It was never scripted ...
[ROC? interjects briefly but inaudible]
RT: ... and nobody wanted to shoot it but I thought it very important that ...
LL: It's lovely
ROC: [???]
RT: ... that it comes kinda full circle. Xena knows she's gonna die ...

LL: And it also sets up the clock of jeopardy like ...
ROC: This is it?
Xena runs. LL: ... you know with the pounding and the war in the distance... so now you know that she's on the clock.

Drums are played. RT: This sequence I talked at great length with Joe LoDuca about how to sustain the drums

as the driving force through it 'cos he kept saying six minutes of drumming would not -
Xena closes her eyes and listens. you just can't do it so I said "Joe well we can work to mini-climaxes within it but I really

need the drums to continue to drive the entire scene" and umm, and I think he did a great job
Soldiers march.and umm, then he was stuck with having to post-sync cos we had no playback on the set of course,

Gabrielle and the solders stop.umm, for the drummers so the drummers did their thing then Joe synced back up to it.
It's too quiet out here.

Clip from 'A Friend in Need - Part I.' LL: And, if you see that film 'Barraca', [?] that awesome film, you can have forty minutes of drumming if it tells the story.
Gabrielle, what would you do?

Gabrielle shakes her head.
XENA (voice-over)
(echoes) What would you do?

Clip from 'A Friend in Need - Part I.'
Listen not just to the sounds, but to what's behind the sounds.

Gabrielle and the soldiers. ROC: The Romans did that, didn't they? When they were ...
XENA (voice-over)
(echoing) What's behind the sounds.
RT: The Romans did do it.

Clip from 'A Friend in Need - Part I.' ROC: ... off to battle.
Always remember, I love you.

Gabrielle opens her eyes.
XENA (voice-over)
(echoing) I love you. Love you.
Gabrielle runs. RT: So did the Japanese. Went into battles with drummers

Xena opens her eyes, having heard Gabrielle.
(can be heard yelling) Xena!

Drums are played. LL: I think every culture has drums.
RT: Yuh.
LL: Motivating force.

Morimoto rides his horse. RT: This entire scene was very hard for me to convey, cos your direc - your job as a director is

Xena hears the horse neigh.to communicate to people and for some reason I had great difficulty explaining

A wagon moves along. It hits a rock and the jars inside clink together. to all the components that it was only about sound, and the little bits and pieces of sound ...

Xena listens. She throws the chakram. LL: Well you've got no geography either, that's the problem. Cos you've got all that fog.

The chakram hits the wagon and the jars fall out, the oil pouring over the ground. RT: I wanted no geography, so ...

Xena listens to the chakram. LL: [snorts with amusement] god...

The chakram hits a soldier with a torch and the torch falls into the spilled oil.
Look out! Look out!
The oil catches fire. RT: And this is my idea that Xena would drop the first atomic bomb in Japan

Xena catches the chakram. LL: Oooooooh [as if she's just realised this]

The oil explodes.

BOOM! LL: [laughs] Well there's nothing new under the sun is there?
RT: Nothing
LL: Now it can be told

The soldiers near the cart are vapourized. LL: Holy smoke, look at that!

Xena ducks as the after shock blows around her, intense.

Morimoto is knocked off of his horse.

Gabrielle is knocked to the ground.
She shields her head from the after shock.

Xena shields her head from the after shock that pounds on her.

Gabrielle shields her head.

Xena shields her head. RT: Massive blue screens, big wind fans ....

Mushroom cloud. ROC: [?????]
LL: That is so cool Rob, look at that!

Gabrielle gets to her feet.
Gabrielle runs.

Morimoto stands and draws his katana. His soldiers run around behind him.

Xena runs up a tree, holding a bow.

Gabrielle runs.

Xena fires arrows and kills soldiers, never missing. RT: And then, just as a director, the idea was here that everything is getting closer and closer that, so that the fights themselves as Xena first blows things up and then fights with arrows and then each of these sequences is getting more and more towards a direct one-on-one ...

Gabrielle runs. LL: [???????]
RT: ... hand-to-hand combat, exactly.

Drums are played.

Xena jumps from the tree, three arrows firing. LL: This is where they wanted to anchor me to a three-foot platform like a disk, on a crane, by the soles of my feet, just like - as if they had a staple gun and stapled - but there was - they thought it was physically possible ...
ROC: [laughs]
LL: ... for ...
They all hit their marks. Xena lands and fights a group of soldiers who all have spears. Xena breaks off the tips of the spears and they land in the dirt. She then kicks them, killing the soldiers. She kicks a spear head into the air. ROC: [??????]
LL: maybe it is for some people, maybe Jackie Chan and ...
ROC: Right
LL: ... stunt people could do it but
ROC: [?????]
LL: flop [?] the actress so
ROC: [laughs]
Xena kicks the spear head. LL: ... and I think that I'm being uncooperative by saying "No I just don't, I don't think I can do that".

The spear head comes flying at Morimoto's head, but he catches it. LL: ... We tried, but it was like "I'm gonna fall off and kill myself and be hanging by my bloody toes"

Xena moves forward. ROC: [laughs] Just the red boots left on ...

Drums are played. LL: [laughing [?????????] yeah.

Xena stops and listens. LL: Good thinking

Drums are played. LL: [???], you really feel like you're holding things up. I said 'No, you could've built me something to hold onto'.

Many archers draw back their bows. LL: 'cos they wanna fly you throught the forest in this thing.

Xena hears the bows readying.

Morimoto gives the order to fire in Japanese and the archers do.

A wave of arrows fly.

Xena looks about as a wave of arrows cascade down around her. She catches two and ducks behind two trees to try and escape the overwhelming amount of arrows raining down upon her.

Archers fire.

Arrows fly.

Xena stands between the trees and knocks arrows away from her. Xena is hit in the left shoulder with an arrow. RT: This scene was very very difficult to ...
LL: Oh boy, wasn't it.
RT: ... to shoot, only because the arrows were a nightmare hitting the tree
She leans against one of the trees. and eventually I... the effects guys said

The drums are played.'you know what, we can do what you want to do,

Xena breaks off most of the arrow, but some of the shaft is still sticking out in front of her (the arrow did not pass through). Arrows are still raining down upon her. She glares at one that hits near her. She throws down the part of the arrow she broke off and moves again behind the tree.we'll add all the arrows in' cos the arrows kept going into things and bouncing

Archers fire.and so many many of these arrows are actually C...

Xena is hit in the left knee with an arrow and falls, facing away from the camera.LL: My favourite angle, whoooh.
The arrow did not pass through. Xena breaks off most of the shaft as arrows continue to rain down all around her. Xena sees a turned over cart. She gets up and limps her way over to it, arrows still raining down. RT: ... CGI angles. [he meant 'arrows']
LL: Every actress's favourite angle.
Could you have CGI'd my *butt* a little smaller?
ROC [laughs]

Drums are played. ROC: So all those arrows, in the end, were CGI?

RT: Oh, probably eighty per cent are CGI
Xena limps to the cart. She ducks as more arrows are fired. LL: So, Xena singing the old school song. 'Dah de dah da dah...'
However, the arrows are coming from both sides of the cart and it offers no real protection. More arrows are coming from behind her however, so she ducks over to the other side. LL: We shot a lot more footage of her running thr...

The archers raise their bows. Someone shouts orders in Japanese. They fire. impaled through the forest singing the old school song

Xena catches two arrows. trying to keep her spirits up...

Archers fire.and it didn't make it to the final cut.

Xena is hit with a third arrow in her right shoulder as more hit the cart and the ground all around her.
Xena falls to her knees and breaks off most of the shaft. She bares her teeth in pain. Blood is running down her stomach from her other shoulder wound and down her leg from the one in her knee. Xena tosses the broken shaft away. LL: Hmmm - good face, good face!

Archers fire.

A forth arrow pins Xena's right arm to the cart by shooting through her elbow. She grunts in pain and breaks it off, freeing herself. RT: This arrow in the arm is CGI. So that's a CGI arrow into her arm, there was no real arrow there.

Morimoto shouts in Japanese. The soldiers draw their swords and run forward. ROC[?]: Just know it's near the end

Xena flexes her right hand. LL: Such a shame, cos there was really cool sound over this and I had to loop it and it didn't come out quite as well.
All right. (stands) Now you asked for it.
She draws the katana as even more arrows hit the cart. Xena marches forward. LL: Cos now I have nothing to lose.

Drums are played.

Two archers fire as Xena marches towards them, and she's hit in the stomach with a fifth arrow. LL[?]: 'You asked for it'. It's actually kind of funny her saying that, 'cos she's so screwed.

Morimoto shouts in Japanese.

Xena breaks the shaft just in time as soldiers attack her. Xena fights single handed with the katana, slaughtering everyone who steps up to fight her. She kills them all, one after the other, all falling under her blade. Blood is running from her mouth. RT: This was a scene that we had to really go with all of our stunties, who are not Japanese, so we had to mask their face for the most part, because, umm, we had a big sword with Gabrielle - er, with Xena, and you don't like to put unexperienced stuntmen against your star.

Clip from 'One Against an Army.'
XENA (voice-over)
If I only had thirty seconds to live...
Clip from 'Chakram.'
We're going to be together.

Xena battles.

Clip from 'The Ides of March.'
You brought out the best in me.

Xena battles.
Overlapping image from 'A Friend in Need - Part I.'
XENA (voice-over)
...this is how I'd want to live them - looking into your eyes.
ROC: This is great[?] ....
Xena battles, killing everyone who moves to fight her. LL: This is a lovely montage, yep

Morimoto shouts orders in Japanese. ROC: And that we know what's going on in her mind

Xena battles, no one even getting a chance to cause further injury to her as she kills them the second they step in reach of the katana. LL: And it drags out the fight a bit longer - we actually went back and re-shot all this, too, didn't we on a Saturday in the forest

Morimoto shouts orders in Japanese. ROC: Why was that - [?????]

Xena, covered in blood from both her wounds and the blood of others, has defeated the soldiers. She stops and looks ahead, her vision blurred. She sees Morimoto, but makes no move to fight him. He cuts off her head. Red moves down the screen. LL: Just ...
RT: No we didn't re-shoot it, ...
LL: ... just cuts
RT: ... we just shot more of it, 'cos I needed - I knew how this scene would go together and no-one could really understand what was happening from the production point of view.
Gabrielle runs through the battlefield.
She sees the chakram, sitting in a river of blood. Gabrielle follows the river of blood with her eyes. ROC: You know it's interesting that I was filming this, with second unit, when you were filming the actual fight sequence with the main unit
LL: Mmm
ROC: and it's interesting 'cos we were all on parallel journeys and I really had no idea what Xena had been through, all I saw then was this [?bloody?] chakram ....
LL: Oh yeah, that's interesting. Well cos that's prettty - that's pretty intense, isn't it?
ROC: Yeah
LL: That river of blood

The tea house. LL: [American accent] 'You lost a little blood there, Xena'

The katana appears. Akemi bows her head. The doors open and Xena enters the tea house, naked. Ayako takes her hand and leads her in. Akemi plays the zeng. Xena is dressed in a red robe by Miyuki and Ayako. RT: The tea house
LL: I can't wait to get that special wig on
ROC: [laughs]
LL: This - phenomenal set, boy. Art department and wardrobe were such stars when this - in these episodes.
And of course direction darling.
ROC: Beauty shots
You came to me in my dreams and I thought it was reality. Now you come to me in reality. It feels like it's a dream. Either way, I'm filled with joy.
RT: Xena entering the land of the dead
Xena moves to her, the red robe floating behind her. LL: This is the hair shot. We didn't see it from behind.
RT: It didn't work from behind, I shot it from behind but it didn't work.
LL: And now make sure that train goes up
ROC: That worked
LL: Tricky actually, to get fabric to behave like it does in a painting is very hard

Harukata stands before a dead body. Kenji is standing with Gabrielle.
The Ghost Killer. What's he doing?
His job - speeding wandering souls on their way before they can be devoured by Yodoshi.
ROC: [???] you didn't have enough time to show him - ummm...
A soul comes out of the dead body and Harukata stabs it. It becomes a floating face and flies off. LL: There you go
ROC: ... freeing the souls
Perhaps he sees Xena.
RT: Yes
Xena is alive! Do you understand? She is alive.
ROC and LL: [laugh]
LL: Holding the ... the grey matter from her brain on the chakram
Gabrielle moves off. [LL was incorrect here - probably having a flashback to Motherhood]

Akemi is with Xena.
I want to write a verse to express how I feel but there's no poetry of sufficient beauty.
Xena smiles. Miyuki slowly moves her foot. LL: Love that woman
Akemi...I've been in the underworld before, but it never felt like this.
Akemi sees that Miyuki is about to jingle the anklet. Akemi looks at Xena. RT: She has a great look. This was an incredibly difficult scene to get her to take direction on
What's goin' on?
LL: Really?
RT: Oh, hoh
Our bodies? They're an illusion, projected by Yodoshi. While we are under his power, we must obey his will.
LL: Cos why?
RT: Cos - people don't speak English, I needed a translator for a lot of this and I didn't have it 'cos she really didn't speak English, as many of the extras didn't and this made it very difficult.
Miyuki raises her foot. RT: ... So, I'd say, 'lift your leg'
Funny, you're just the way I remember you.
LL: Oh well, you did great with her then 'cos she's ... she looks amazing ...
Miyuki brings down her foot. ... but, she's an interesting energy on set

Yodoshi's POV, moving through the woods..?

Miyuki, Ayako and Akemi bow.

Yodoshi's POV, smashing into the tea house.

Yodoshi smashes into the tea house like a tornado. He appears solid and sees Xena. He laughs then blows her back. He starts to lash at Xena with a flaming whip that his arm has become. He whips the clothes from her back leaving her lying naked on the floor. RT: This sequence we spent a great deal of time doing the research on as to how to get a burning kimono and umm move an actress through the air - a stuntwoman through the air and spinning her around, and umm 'cos we did it as a practical - put her on fire for most of it except for where you see Lucy and umm it was a very complicated scene and went into a lot of rehearsals to get the flinging across the room.
ROC: [?????] you
LL: Strategically placed hand, yeah
Yodoshi moves over to her, his hand back to normal. He pulls her up by her hair and then forces her head down. LL: ... my wonderful double and friend, Cindy.
I am at your service, Lord Yodoshi.
RT: Actually that was the Hungarian woman
LL: Oh was it? Slaka[?]
You most certainly are. An eternity of playing the whore to service my appetite for souls.
RT: Slavka[?]. Slavka is your naked double
LL: Love her too
He leaves like a tornado. Once he leaves out the smashed part of the tea house, it repairs itself like he had never been there. ROC: [laughs] LL: Such good people, boy. We're lucky

Outside the teahouse: Xena and Akemi sit back-to-back, tossing rose petals into the water. Miyuki watches them.
Xena...I was so worried that you wouldn't show Yodoshi respect. He's very dangerous.
RT: This scene was expanded out to its current form, it was a much more abbreviated scene that I thought really didn't work in the television version; the emotions didn't flow and the information was just so minimal
It wasn't respect I was showing him. I have a job to do. The job that you called me for. I'm going to destroy Yodoshi.
It will be very dangerous. He seems to grow mightier with each passing day.
You're going to have to trust me Akemi. There's someone I have to meet. They can help us.
LL: Mmm. Funky looping
You know you are being watched.
RT: This whole scene had to be ADR'd or looped because of, umm, putting lights in the water that were overheating so the crew was standing out of frame dumping bucketloads of water ...
LL: Oh that's right
Akemi, I can still hear your heart beating and I can hear everyone of Miyuki's clumsy foot falls. She'll try to follow me. Let her.
RT: ... over the lights - the underwater lights that they brought above water - and it was just a nightmare trying to keep the lighting cool. That whole set had hundreds of thousands of watts of light and it - the whole set was a hundred and ten degrees.
Xena runs off. LL: That's right that was a really an impressive setup wasn't it that... you can't quite see there how magnificent the stage was

Xena walks through the woods and Miyuki follows a few paces behind her. RT: There was 350,000 watts in that
LL: Which is how, compared with your average scene
RT: I don't know, its a small city

Kenji joins Gabrielle. LL: And the lighting guys love doing that
RT: They live for those big setups
Shh. I saw something. The samurai may have seen the captive. We'll split up.
She moves off. RT: This was always a weak script point. Why... Just splitting them up, we had to get Gabrielle off on her own to enter the land of the dead somehow to ...
ROC: Right
LL: Mmm
RT: We never did solve it, amongst those thousands of things you never solve

Gabrielle moves through a sort of overgrown Japanese garden, with pools and waterfalls. She catches glimpses of something moving through the bushes, but can't make out what it is. Gabrielle walks slowly and cautiously, her hand on her sword, and suddenly Xena steps out in front of her. ROC: She was determined to find her alive
LL: I can't remember how you got there. I'm going to have to watch [???] aren't I?
ROC: Here again you can't quite grasp the set, because when I was in the land of the living, it was the smoke environment that was the forest, and then I just moved on to this surreal fantasyland
LL [laughs]: Remember the trouble you had getting that fountain - uh, trying to make it look more like a fountain
RT: And it all foamed up with black,
LL: [laughs]
RT: ... oily water
LL: That's right
RT: I can't believe this was...
LL: 'Let's get the... let's get the foam off'
RT: (Right) .. this was a failure on my part to build up and create a scare,
They hug.you'd think someone who has been involved in so many horror films,
What are you doing here?
umm, would find a way to make this scare work and I never thought that scare worked
I was so worried about you. I found your chakram. There's so much blood.
but I was trying to go for one and umm it just didn't work quite right
I'm all right.

ROC: Was a limited time
What's with the robes?
Gabrielle, I'm going to kill the Lord of the Dark Land.
Gabrielle sighs and holds out the chakram to Xena. LL: I had - in there we had some line, she goes 'What's with the robes' and Xena goes 'I'm working undercover' [laughter]
You'll need this.
Somehow I never found a way to say it so thank god we just - it got cut out or I don't know what happened to it
Xena tries to take the chakram, but her hand passes through it. Xena is as surprised as Gabrielle.
I can't take that. It's difficult to explain.
LL: It's a nice scene[?] [???] look
You're dead. How could you let yourself be killed?
ROC: And originally, Xena discovered that she was dead in this scene - is that correct? that her hand - or did I get confused
I'm sorry, Gabrielle. I couldn't tell you. You'd have tried to stop me, and then we'd both be dead.
LL: There was some discussion of that in very early drafts,
RT: Right
LL: ... that's right. Wow.
Is that supposed to make me feel better?
LL: And that was something that - that line you workshopped in the read-through, no?
ROC: Yeah
We've overcome death before. We will find a way to bring me back. But only by becoming a spirit can I kill Yodoshi and free those souls that I condemned to torment. Don't you see that?
Gabrielle hugs her. LL: It's a nice scene for Gabrielle
You're my whole life, Xena. I won't lose you.
RT: In fact this whole second part of the finale is all driven emotionally by Gabrielle 'cos Xena's kinda...
You won't lose me.
LL: We were.. and we were always worried about, you know, could they actually touch and how do we convey that she is able to touch and yet not able ...
Harukata enters and draws his katana. Gabrielle faces him and draws a katana. and yet not a physical form - that she can't touch the weapons we settled on.
Harukata, don't you come near her.
There was a dilemma ...
Put down your weapons, Gabrielle. He's working with me.
RT: My... my logic was that the chakram itself was the defining thing of a living Xena and she was no longer able to hold that one.
LL: Aaaaah!
Xena gestures with her head to Miyuki in the bushes who is watching them. Harukata gets ready. Xena runs over and grabs Miyuki. RT: That was my weak logic
LL: I like it
RT: But she was able to hold Gabrielle.
Xena tosses Miyuki who screams she is tossed. She lands on Harukata's sword and vanishes, screaming. Her anklet falls. LL: I just enjoy her on screen so much
The anklet!
LL: Just in case anybody missed the significance of 'the anklet'
Xena leaps and catches the anklet before it hits the ground. Harukata looks to Kenji who is behind him. Kenji smiles. RT: Yes, I felt the audience had to know that if that rang, it would call the bad guy and that their goal was to get that anklet so they could call him and destroy him. and I don't know that that story point is ever made crystal clear.
Xena hands the anklet to Akemi outside of the tea house. ROC: But that was a horrendous day for the schedule, I remember ... as they all were...
RT: Absolutely
ROC: you had a entire shot listing you had to throw away because of lack of time
RT: It was an eleven-page day, yes
With this, we can bring Yodoshi to us when we're ready.
ROC: That[?] bring back memories
RT: [????]
ROC: [???] well just ... we'll keep ....
Gabrielle enters. LL: I remember the last scene of the day that we shot and I was truly out of my mind - I'll show you when it comes back up. Whooo, I did probably the worst acting I've ever done on this show.
This is my soul mate. She's a poet like you, Akemi.
RT: Not this scene though. Everyone ...
LL: No, one comin', yuh. It's comin'. My shame. I saved it for last.
Harukata and Kenji enter. Harukata touches Gabrielle's shoulder and Gabrielle turns to face him.
I have one question. Would you risk your life for the return of hers?
Without hesitation.
There is a way, Gabrielle. You must take her body, burn it, then sprinkle the ashes into the Fountain of Strength on Mount Fuji. You must find the fountain before the second sunset after death.
That's tomorrow.
Harukata will say the incantations necessary to give the sacred katana power against malicious spirits.
Xena and Akemi join them.
This is Akemi.
Akemi bows low. LL[?] or ROC[?]: 'We meet at last'
It is an honor to meet you at last.
LL: It's nice that such a complex relationship that's - you played it really subtly. That's great.
And you, Akemi.
LL: .. and she played it nice, too.
Gabrielle can't help with our work in the tea house. She knows what she must do. And she should leave soon.
ROC: They're so similar. The characters were very similar.
RT: Very similar.
LL: Really?
Xena looks at Gabrielle who nods. ROC: Both poets ...
Thank you.
LL: Oh right, yeah, ostensibly, yeah
Gabrielle sniffs and starts to leave.
Gabrielle turns back.
I would like to give you something to protect you on your journey.
ROC: 'This won't hurt a bit'
LL: [laughs] I love it. 'It's okay, we've got time'.

Gabrielle lies down, her back exposed. Akemi starts to put a tattoo on her back. Xena lies down next to her. RT: This was a scene that I could've shot for a week and it doesn't nearly match the storyboards that I had in mind and ummm...

Akemi puts on the tattoo. ROC: Where did this originate?

Xena watches. RT: I just ...
LL: [as Gabrielle is jabbed] 'OWWWWW!'

Kenji kneels with the sacred katana and Harukata starts to chant over it. ROC: D'you remember if... how the dragon was symbolic in some way
RT: Well I know that I wanted it at the end so that Gabrielle .... I had to have this in order to set up Gabrielle getting hit by the thing and...

Akemi puts the tattoo on Gabrielle's back. ROC: ...surviving
RT: ...protection, yeah. I liked the idea that Akemi gave Gabrielle something that was instrumental to the story and ummm...

Gabrielle has a giant tattoo of a dragon on her back and a fish on her leg. Xena and Akemi dress her. ROC: And there's the fish.
LL: And something protective ... (there's always a fish) ... and something protective too because Akemi had been such a little manipulator
RT: That's right
LL: ... while she was alive and now she's doing something genuine and honest and ... well, actually...
RT: She's still a manipulator
LL: [laughs] she's still a manipulator
RT: but she didn't like Gabrielle to be killed
LL: That's right. Something kind
RT: She knew how important Gabrielle was to Xena.

Harukata chants over the sacred katana.

Outside of the tea house, the katana is handed to Xena who hands it to Gabrielle. Gabrielle is now wearing a blue shirt under the Japanese armour. LL: That's nice, that blue thing under [???]
ROC: Mmm
Good luck, old friend.
Gabrielle starts to leave, but she turns back to face Xena.
I am getting your body back, Xena no matter where they have hidden it. Before sunset tomorrow, we will meet again on the side of Mount Fujisan.
ROC: Incredible weapon. I don't know if you rehearsed with it but it's very precise in how you draw the sword out of the scabbard ...
LL: Mmm
ROC: and put it back in. It's like a ritual.
LL: Mmm
Gabrielle starts to leave, but then looks back. RT: Renee was forced to learn that ritual for this upcoming scene, my tribute to the mud fight in 'Seven Samurai' but ...
See you there.
ROC: It was worth it
Gabrielle leaves.

Clouds, thunder and lightning. LL: Whoof

Gabrielle enters Morimoto's camp. It's pouring rain. Gabrielle enters and takes out the guards with a whip. She moves forward and finds Xena's headless body, the arrows still in it. RT: This sequence was inspired by The Seven Samurai and it's where Gabrielle learns to heed some of the lessons or applies the lessons that Xena has taught her, how to listen so she's now come to get Xena's body back and ummm...
ROC: It's funny I've never felt so staunch as Gabrielle before
LL: Is that right?
ROC: Yeah it's something about the sword and going... the mission of finding her body that... everything made sense.
LL: Mmmmmm
ROC: Completely driven
Xena's body is hanging up, naked and headless, seen in a lightning flash. RT: This was the incredible controiversial 'we took Xena's head off' and...
LL: You know, it couldhave done wiuth just the one lightning flash, but I tjhink you see it again, don't you? And that - and it's too much. Maybe it was taken out.
Gabrielle falls to her knees, retching. LL: Dry heaving.
RT: Dry hreaving
Another lightning flash LL: There! I said - now that's a little unnecessary. Don't you think? No?
Gabrielle stands, drawing her katana.
Give me her head!
LL: Ahh, it's cool for the DVD.
RT: I thought the audience wouldn't know, I even insisted - in fact I called Renee on the phone and said 'I'm going to have you scream "Give me back her head"
Gabrielle cuts down Xena's body and wraps it in a cloth. Morimoto enters behind her. Gabrielle stops, stands and turns to face him. RT: ... because I didn't know that the audience would understand that Xena was missing her head that - I didn't think that I could get away with ...
LL: I _love_ that line 'Give me her head' but ...
ROC: [??????????]
LL: .... we needed the visual a little -
RT: Yeah
LL: ... yes, so I thought
ROC: But you weren't sure you were going to be able to use that
RT: I wasn't sure I was going to be able to use it ... and it was just a toin coss in the editing room
LL: Mmmm
RT: Will they understand what it is and what that story point is
LL: Yeah, I think they'd understand.
I've been expecting you. Your friend was a fine opponent. She provided me with one of the greatest trophies an honorable samurai could ever claim.
LL: And you never felt so powerful - that's really interesting
ROC: [?]
LL[?]: It's different.
LL [mimicking the actor]: 'Oppownent'
You call yourself honorable? You outnumbered her a thousand to one. You're not a samurai. You're a fraud. You couldn't have killed Xena unless she wanted you to.
LL [again]: 'Oppownent'.
RT: This was me, trying to - my best to be a tough mean director but taking pity on our actors because it was freezing cold, the water was cold, everything was cold and freezing, and we were in mud, and it was taking ...
I think it's you with a death wish!
LL: And Renee was pregnant
RT: And Renee was pregnant
I accept the challenge.
LL: [laughs]
RT: .. and umm...
ROC: You let us wear - umm, our shoes
Gabrielle and Morimoto face off. RT: That's right
LL: Oh, 'cos it was supposed to be barefoot.
ROC: Barefoot in the mud
RT: That's what we set up on the boat, and that's how you do the Japanese sa...
LL: Ahh, that would've been cool
RT: ...that was ...
ROC: I was appreciative
RT: I remember I was saying ...
ROC [laughs]
RT: ... it was just so cold thgat night I went to the trailer and said 'Renee, we're just going to do this all with ...'
Gabrielle slowly raises her sword LL: Ah, look how beautiful you look. Look at that!
They slowly cross swords in the moonlight LL: Oh that's so cool - look how styley it is!
Gabrielle and Morimoto slowly circle each other in the rain. ROC: So you lengthened this sequence
RT: This sequence yes, got lengthened back out because umm, this was one of the first things that I tried to figure out how to do because it was all about her learning the lesson ...
LL: Oh my god, that's so beautiful isn't it?
XENA (voice-over)
Listen not just to the sounds...but to what's behind the sounds. (echoes) Behind the sounds.
RT: And it was also one of the ones that I wish I had a month to mix properly because umm it never quite got to where I wanted it
Gabrielle listens to the sounds of the rain, the fire, the horses and Morimoto's boots in the mud. [This is a really long scene]. ROC: That right there, the close-up of my eyes ....
LL: [????]
ROC: is my last shot on Xena
LL: Is that right? Mmmhmmm.
That is so cool and so filmic and I wish we were doing this for the big screen 'cos ...
ROC: Beautifully done
LL: ... you've got really cool ideas, Rob
ROC: Yeah, it was a great idea, and you stuck with it

RT: These poor extras had no idea what they were in for ...
LL: [laughter] Just sat there, all alone
RT: .. they sat in the rain all night and finally the interpreter came forward and said that she thought they should all be paid fifteen dollars more per day, Kiwi, which is about six dollars American for the entire night for standing in the rain and ummm, I don't know how it ever settled out but I would've paid it.
LL: You probably did.

ROC: This is much better, you can actually get a sense of the style of fighting that you'd wanted, where it's all about a liquid movement
RT: Yeah
ROC: instead of a traditional hand-to-hand combat.
RT: Hand to hand - this is all about the non-fight, the setup the setup - there is actually umm, once again my tribute to one of my - errr - 'The Sword' I think it was called, anyway it's a very famous Japanese movie from the sixties, that I remember from film school and later resurrected for umm, for just this.
LL: That's beautiful ehh.
Suddenly, Morimoto attacks with a yell, but Gabrielle is ready and knocks him forward onto his knees. She holds the katana at his neck. LL: 'Ooh'.
RT: And this was ...
LL: This is the great insult
It was the greatest honour of my life to send Xena to an early grave. If I cannot do the same to you then I ask you to grant me a noble defeat. Please, remove my head in one stroke.
RT: It was but, my take is that Gabrielle couldn't kill the guy in cold blood here, not that she was gonna deny him honor.
ROC: Ohhh
RT: That was my take but you know what ...
ROC: No I thought she was denying him honor
Gabrielle knocks him out. LL: Yeah, I thought she was too
ROC: .. that this was it, you know she would have done anything on behalf of Xena's body and ...
LL: And I think Rob, because the actor wouldn't have been able to fulfil that idea ...
RT: It comes across that she's ...
LL: ... later, it's better that sh... it's stronger choice that Gabrielle does it that way 'cos you don't really understand that in the end when he comes after her saying, y'now, 'give me back my honour'.
The soldiers part, revealing Xena's head on a table. ROC: Ahh.
LL: This was such fun filming this, sitting there in that funny green suit
ROC: [laughs] You kept calling it the frog outfit LL: [laughs]

Gabrielle puts Xena's body on her horse. Gabrielle rides off. RT: Of course we didn't take Xena's head off , it was an ill... ahh, green screen effect so that we could... umm ... put her head on a plate.

Tea house. Harukata chants in a voice over.

Harukata chants. Xena is disguised as Miyuki, wearing the anklet. She brings down her foot. LL: Oh that wig cracks me up man!
ROC: I love this stamp.

Yodoshi's POV as he moves through the woods. LL: I know I don't have one of those nice little Japanese feet like the other girl but
ROC [laughs]: [????]
LL: [???] the ground shakes.
Kiwi hobbit feet!

Xena hears him.

Yodoshi's POV as he smashes into the tea house.

Yodoshi smashes in like wind and then forms. He sees Kenji who is lying on his back on the floor before Xena.
Xena turns to look at him.
Huh? Where's Miyuki?!
Harukata rises from the bath and stabs Yodoshi in the back. LL: 'Kill him Harukata, do it!'
Oh, he did do it.
Yodoshi lunges forward catapulting Harukata over his back. Harukata does a somersault and lands flat on the floor. LL: That's cool, man. Good stuff.
The katana falls and Xena grabs it, kicking Yodoshi into the bath. The bath boils and Xena stabs it, but just hits the bottom. RT: This is a non-traditional TV action scene 'cos there is no big master like we usually shoot in two cameras, it's umm... it's all little bits and pieces and once you got in the middle of it, and were running out of time there's no way to combine, consolidate 'cos it's all tiny bits and pieces like you would do a feature film, and suddenly I found myself trying to consolidate things that were inconsolidatable and uhh, had to hand off much more information than [???]
Where is he?
He is evaporating and becomes the dew on the plank above them. It starts to drip and he forms from a pool of water before them. Xena attacks. LL: This was ... this is a great idea though, the water ...
ROC: Hmmm
LL: ... dripping off the ceiling and ...
He blows fire which hits Ayako who explodes. Akemi's robe is on fire and Xena kicks her into the tub. LL: That's right, this was a tense day and I think he .... was some sort of a health problem with one of these people at the time.
And I know he stomped on my foot really good.
And he healed it with Raki[?] - he did some Raki[?] thing on my foot
ROC: Really?
LL: Yeah, ...
Kenji stands and Yodoshi turns with Xena and uses the katana to cut off his head, his blood splattering on the walls. LL: [recovering her voice] ... oooh, wow.
RT: Total CGI.
LL: Oooh. Poor little man.
Yodoshi blows cold air over the bath, freezing Akemi under ice. Xena breaks free and fights him. He grabs her wrist and burns it. LL: 'She's iced under. Quick!'
He throws her across the tea house. Harukata stands and Yodoshi stabs him, lifting him into the air. ROC: So many effects, it's amazing
RT: The idea was is that he's, y'know,. earth, wind, foire, water and umm ...
ROC: Okay
We finally meet...Ghost Killer!
LL: An element god
Yodoshi shoves him off the sword. Xena stands and attacks him. Xena kicks the sword from his hand and cuts off his right arm from the shoulder. RT: An element god but it never truly paid off in the final fight at the end but ...
The arm turns into fire and snakes at Xena's legs. She jumps over it. LL: Yeah. This is like - it's a big movie and it needed lots of time and plenty of time to develop the script properly and ... y'know
Xena stabs him. He turns into the fire and shoots out the ceiling.

Outside, Yodoshi shoots out of the ceiling. RT: Seventeen days in ... on a TV production is not adequate but, umm ...

Inside. Xena moves to the bath. LL: No. For all these fabulous ideas
LL: ... but, considering that ... pretty amazing.
RT: Still stand by it.
Xena breaks the ice. LL: Yep
ROC: Mmm
RT: How'd she roll over?
LL: What ha... I don't know, she ...
Xena pulls her out.
(whispers) Akemi, are you all right?
Xena and Akemi look at Kenji's body and then over at Harukata who is dying. LL: Renee[?] and I are gonna get my hair done like that in real life... 'cos...
(can be heard yelling) Eghaaaaaaaaaah!
LL: [???] like I'm fifty years old. Matronly
Xena holds Harukata.
Harukata, what went wrong?
There is only one explanation. He's drinking from the fountain of strength on Mount Fuji. If you drink...from the fountain and use the sword I blessed it will be the final destruction for any spirit. Xena my soul will soon join the others, trapped in Yodoshi's grasp. You must finish a job and release us all.
RT: And Lucy, as soon as we could get your hair down out of that, we did
ROC: Yeah
LL: [Laughs out loud]
LL: 'Final destruction'. They ...
LL: These guys[?] have such soft delivery, sometimes you miss that it's very important story points being brought up but ...
RT: And this poor gentleman had all the exposition
LL: [???] yuh
He gasps and dies.
I will not rest 'til it is done.

Moon. An owl hoots. LL: It still worked, you were giving him all the focus
LL: Right

Gabrielle burns Xena's body.
GABRIELLE (voice-over)
(whispers) I can't let you die

Clip from 'A Friend in Need - Part I.'
If I only had thirty seconds to live -
Clip from 'The Ides of March.'
XENA (voice-over)
- this is how I'd want to live them - looking into your eyes.
Clip from 'Return of Callisto.'
XENA (voice-over)
Even in death, Gabrielle -

Gabrielle looks at the fire.
XENA (voice-over)
- I will never leave you.
You will return to me, my friend.
LL: 'My fwiend'
ROC: 'Fwiend'
She sniffs.

Gabrielle closes the lid on the jar with Xena's ashes. LL: We start calling each other 'friend', [??????????????]

Setting sun. LL: Uh-oh. Sun's going down, that can't be good.

Gabrielle rides towards Mt Fuji. RT: That's the horse and rider going towards a giant 130-foot long blue screen.
ROC: All right.

Yodoshi lands and gasps. He sees a hawk and possesses it. RT: These are all new sequences...
[?]: Yeah
RT: ... that were added as to how people moved around, I ... I cut them from the TV version because umm, I had to get time out and you could live without how people did this but I think explaining that they flew and became birds at least makes for better storytelling.

Yodoshi flies.
Yodoshi a hawk. Even with his injuries, in bird form he can reach Fujisan in half a day.
LL: And this is the scene where I was totally crazy. And I've loop... - we thankfully had to go back and loop it and I managed to mini... - mitigate the bad performance somewhat but ...
Yes, but he's weakened. We're no longer confined to these physical illusions. We could change into other vessels.
What about them?
Akemi looks to see an owl and a mynah bird. LL: Wow. I had lost all my judgement ... yeah, yeah I'm not being modest but, err, if you heard the original vocals [laughs]
Xena starts to move off, but Akemi stops her.
Xena. Gabrielle is on her way to Mount Fujisan and...if she succeeds...
She'll succeed, don't worry. She's very good at what she does.
LL: I've calmed it down a bit. I was like [imitating her bad delivery] 'She's very good at what she does'
I'm so sorry.
ROC: [laughs]
LL: Dah dah dah dummm... Just over-acted
Akemi...what's wrong?
ROC: You never know [??????]
I have to tell you, what must be done to save those souls but I feel my own soul is doomed for what I am about to tell you.
LL: It was though, wasn't it Rob? 'cos Rob didn't say anything about .. to me at home 'cos he knew.
ROC: Yeah
LL: [???] didn't go there.

Yodoshi flies as the hawk. RT: And this scene wasn't in the TV version ei... this was totally cut out. So you never got that information.

Xena is shocked. LL: You can't ... yeah. Why, you can't even tell I'm crazy.
I know that you did what you thought you had to Akemi and perhaps by releasing those souls we'll all be redeemed.
LL: Or maybe it's this scene.
RT: This is just a continuation.
LL: 'We'll all be redeemed'.
The owl hoots. Xena and Akemi stand. LL: It did suck, didn't it? Before I looped it.
Come on.
RT: I can't say that about anything.
ROC: [laughs]

Mount Fuji.

Gabrielle rides and arrives at the foot of Mount Fuji. An arrow hits her horse and it falls. Morimoto draws his katana. RT: This is Renee being carried on a board. She didn't want to ride a horse for that little bit, so they put her on the most dangerous thing they could come up with
ROC: I had a blast
LL: [laughs] ROC: Here I am straddling a platform - a plank, right? - with my legs wrapped underneath it
LL: Aww, [?????] ROC: ... and four men carrying me across the, y'know, the terrain but... there was just no safety
You'll come to regret not allowing me a warrior's death.
LL: They wanna give you as little surface area as possible to anchor to - it's their trick.
It's not too late to put that right!
He jumps down and faces Gabrielle.
I will not allow you to find a fountain and revive your friend.
Gabrielle draws her katana and attacks. They fight. The jar is kicked from Gabrielle's hand. Gabrielle runs off and Morimoto follows. Gabrielle kicks him and they fight hand-to-hand. Gabrielle hits him and he falls, his hand knocking the jar which rolls. LL: This was an awesome fight Renee, I've gotta ...
ROC: This was well [??????]
LL: ... congratulate ... it, well ....
ROC: It was well done
RT: I wanted it all on the rocks, and of course it just became impractical to shoot on the rocks, because we had never done ...
LL: [?And as?]...
RT: [???]
LL: That stunt man, Glenn, is phenomenal, isn't he?
ROC: He's wonderful
LL: Glenn's just gonna be a superstar, he's umm... I think he's working - trying to work here in the states now but, boy is he a hot property.
RT: 'course the actual actor tore his tendon warming up for this sequence
LL: I think he was afraid
RT: Well he tore his tendon and was on ...
LL: People always hurt themselves when they're afraid - which is why they all hurt themselves walking to set
ROC: Huh
No-o-o-o-o! No-o-o-o! No!
The jar rolls off of a cliff. Gabrielle looks over the cliff and sees the jar in a bird's nest. RT: And here was just - you get lucky
ROC: [???] was the perfect shot, yes
LL: [laughs] Wasn't that good, how that thing rolled? That wasn't CGI, that was actual, wasn't it?
ROC: [makes agreeing noises]
RT: That was practical and it just worked well and ...
LL: Magic
ROC: Everyone cheered afterwards
LL: Yeah. Yeah, so hard to get it all in the frame at the same time
RT: All of the [?] frame working [?] and the timing ...
ROC: One of those shots went for... five days or something...
RT: Yeah. We had one an episode ...
LL: Not even one ... [?]

Yodoshi flies as the hawk. He lands on Mount Fuji, back in his form.

Xena and Akemi fly as the owl and the small bird. LL: 'There we go. Fly...'

Yodoshi walks along.

Xena lands as the owl on Mount Fuji. LL: You wanted some really groovy birds eh - I mean the owl's groovy but - what's the other one, a mynah bird?

Yodoshi uses the katana to turn a brass socket set in the cliff face. The fountain starts to flow. RT: Yes ...
ROC: [? Aren't we supposed to be some... ?]
RT: ... it's a very traditional Japanese bird ...
LL: A mynah is?
RT: Yes it is
LL: Oh, I didn't know that
RT: Yes it is, so ummm
LL: I just thought it was the only one ... this little ring-in Kiwi bird
[Editor's note: The mynah is a common introduced bird in New Zealand. By 'Kiwi' LL meant 'New Zealander' not the true flightless kiwi bird.]
Xena jumps behind him and tosses him aside. He yells. When he falls, he loses the katana. Xena stands under the fountain, waiting for the water. Akemi watches, still in the form of the small bird. RT: So there's added footage coming up through this sequence that - and just before of course, the birds landing, but ummm, Xena waiting around for the water to come, and umm, there's a double sequence here where...
Come on. Come on!
Yodoshi freezes the water, and it knocks Xena back. ... she gets blown back ...
LL: This is cool. That's a really good... good bit of rigging there from second unit.
Xena goes flying. She lands. LL: That's Zoe
RT: This is all new material, yeah.
Akemi takes her form and picks up the katana.
What?! My own daughter!
Xena turns and sees Akemi moving on Yodoshi and then get blown back.
Xena sees the frozen fountain and runs to it. Xena tries to reach up and grab an icicle, but Yodoshi spits out a fireball, which breaks the fountain and sends Xena flying. LL: [laughs] [addressing herself on screen] Close your mouth! I look like a groper.
[A large fish - ed.]
Uh! Aaaaaaaaaaah!
Xena goes flying. She smashes into a rock and then falls to the ground. Gabrielle sees her. RT: I gave the ...
LL: Bounce! That was a ... beautiful bounce.
RT: ... second unit director 'Can we bounce Xena off of a wall or something' and they came up with that stunt of her ...
LL: That hurts me every time I see it!
RT: ... hitting that rock, and it really works well
LL: Yeah
RT: ... and, umm, I have to give the stuntwoman a great deal of credit ...
LL: Yeah
RT: ... for going head... face first into a styrofoam rock harnessed and ...
LL: Hard styrofoam though and umm...
Shards of ice fall near Yodoshi. Gabrielle runs to Xena. The fountain flows.
Yodoshi sees the ice and his tongue snakes out and grabs a piece, which he swallows. LL: ... this is a cool little ... thing. [laughs derisively]
What a guy!
Gabrielle sees her.
Gabrielle runs to her.
Xena, what happened?
Yodoshi stands and in a blaze of fire, his arm reappears. Yodoshi inhales, pulling Akemi to him. She plants the katana into the ground, trying to stop being sucked in, but it's only slowing her down. RT: This was an incredibly difficult set to shoot on, I got suddenly trapped into shooting in one corner 'cos of line crossings and all that and I've realised now never to pay attention to script supervisors and people talking about crossing lines and all the technical things that directors are supposed to do and just umm... because there's a geography problem that I've always had in this sequence but ...
ROC: You wish you'd come back and ...
RT: I wish I had
ROC: A master?
RT: A big master and uhh...
RT: I don't think people realise how many ...
LL: They're such long sequences
(weakly) Told you I'd see you here.
ROC: You don't think about it though
RT: No I hope not
LL: No. You don't.
Yodoshi inhales and Akemi is pulled closer to him, and finally, she's sucked into him. Yodoshi catches the katana. Gabrielle holds Xena. RT: The question is, where is Xena and Gabrielle here.
LL: See, nobody knows what they're not seeing.
ROC: Mmm
LL: They don't realise that there was an [???????] set with a lot of depth.
(weakly) The Fountain of Strength...get water. Fountain...water.
LL: 'Water. Waaater'
Xena is nearly unconscious. Gabrielle runs over to the fountain and scoops up some water in her hand which she puts in her mouth. Yodoshi spits a fireball, which hits her back, but the dragon tattoo protects Gabrielle and sends the fireball flying back at Yodoshi. It hits him and he is sent flying back. ROC: All right
LL: Cool idea
ROC: Yeah
LL: Yeah.
ROC: At one point the dragon was going to come to life as a CGI, wasn't it?
RT: It was - it was going to be a 3-D CGI and it just got umm... it didn't need to be I think they told the story right here ...
LL: Yeah. [???] It was a shield
RT: ... that it was a shield.
Gabrielle runs to Xena and kisses her, putting the water into her mouth. Xena opens her eyes and Gabrielle smiles. LL: Now the director got very tense here, because ...
RT: Everyone got tense
LL: ... because he thought we were trying to be obstructive or something but I didn't realise - there, see, I thought it was a drip dripped from her mouth to Xena's mouth and that you have to see the separation, you know between the two characters, in order for that drip to fall in slow mo or something. And you thought I was being recalcitrant ...
RT: Obstinate
LL: yeah, but I didn't realise it was an actual sort of kiss thing. And you were going for the whole enchilada, honey.
RT: That was a very uncomfortable moment, filming that, because it wasn't scripted and I always had a very specific idea of what it would look like, and umm, I don't think ...
ROC: Was that what we captured or was it something ...
RT: Actually, at the end of the day I got exactly what I wanted.
LL: Was that a CGI drip or a real one? [????]
RT: A real drip
ROC: It was in the end.
RT: It was a real drip.
LL: I think that worked out really well.
ROC: Yeah
Mount Fuji. Gabrielle chuckles.
Xena flips up and her leather and breastplates form on her, the robe gone. Yodoshi stands.
Gabrielle, I need the sacred katana to finish the job.
Gabrielle gives it to her.
Thank you.
Gabrielle looks at the sun.
The sun is setting, Xena. I have to find your ashes.
(whispers) Gabrielle -
Come on!
He turns into fire and spins into the air. Xena looks at him and Gabrielle runs off. Xena turns back to finish what she was going to say, but Gabrielle has already moved to the cliff. LL: That's a beautiful bloody matte shot at the back of her
Gab -
Xena looks back to Yodoshi who is still flying fire.
Xena turns into fire and jumps into the air.
Gabrielle looks at the jar and then back at Xena and Yodoshi who are both flying fire, setting the forest ablaze.
They hit into each other and explode. Xena lands on the ground and reforms. Gabrielle starts to climb down the cliff. Yodoshi lands in pieces and then reforms before Xena. RT: This is one of the silly things you do in film-making. 'Let us put Renee on a twenty-foot cliff over nothing against a blue screen' when it could have been on a stage or anywhere
ROC: [laughs] And I just step down, right?
RT: Instead of stepping onto a crane below twenty feet off the ground with the safety people and the makeup people saying 'what are you doing?'
ROC: Well Simon the ... kept reassuring me everything was fine and [???] yes it was. I was nervous.
Enough of this!
They battle as Gabrielle climbs. Xena kicks Yodoshi back and he disappears into the woods. Xena looks for him. RT: Now the lead actor here had also broken his ankle walking to the set so basically he's doubled through this entire sequence except for his closeups which are him in a wheelchair on the set ...
LL [noisily]: Aaaah no! Really! I didn't know that.
RT: Yes
LL: So this is the fabulous Shane Dawson, ...
RT: Shane
LL: ... who is also one of the stunt co-ordinators in the end.
RT: And umm, the other gentleman, I forget his name
LL: Other Shane
RT: Ummmm
LL: Slade
RT: Yeah
LL: Yeah. The big guy.
Gabrielle is still climbing down to retrieve Xena's ashes. ROC: All my rock climbing experience came in handy.
RT[?]: Mmmhmm.
ROC: You loved this moment didn't you Rob
RT: I did [??????????]
ROC: Happysack
RT: The happysack moment and I argued with production and I eventually lost, I wanted a bird in that nest, trying to push the little urn of ashes out so Gabrielle had a ticking clock of gettting to that before the bird pushed the ...
LL: [laughs] Oh that is so funny
RT: ... the urn out of the nest and of course I showed up on the set and there was no bird so I just had to shoot what was there but, umm, it had always been - everyone laughed every time I said that, they thought it would make it too silly and comical, but I thought it was a great ticking clock for...
LL: I think it's bright, I think it's worth it. Umm....
Yodoshi flies down at Xena. She knocks him aside and he lands. They fight. They each kick each other and go flying into the air. They battle above the trees and then come back to the ground and lock katanas. RT: And this was umm...
LL: Wait on, what's the happysack moment?
ROC: Kicking the ashes in the urn up and catching ...
LL: Oh yeah, right right right, that was cool.
You are about to join the forty thousand souls you condemned, Xena. And the first thing I'll do is take the head off your little friend with the tattoo.
You won't live that long.
They fight. RT: And this was just massive rigging, massive burning, trying to find a way to have a great fight for the final Xena fight and umm, I don't know that we ever accomplished the all new different fight but, ummm, we certainly tried to bring all the production aspects into bearing.
She flips over him then kicks him back. He flies back at her and she stabs him. LL: Yeah. I think this was the greatest fight we we ever did, that's for sure, but you know what, there's plenty of new stuff in these episodes.
ROC [at Yodoshi getting stabbed]: Oooh.
RT: Mmhmm. Plus it's not about this fight, it's really about the upcoming moments with ...
LL: That's right.
Gabrielle kicks the jar and catches it. LL: Oooh yes!
RT: The happysack moment. I always see the double there.
LL: I didn't. Till you said it.
RT: No?
Xena pulls the katana out of Yodoshi and he falls. RT: That's the poor guy in the wheelchair right there.
Xena cuts off his head and the souls begin to fly free of him. LL [laughs]: We'll get done by the Society for the Prevention of - against cruelty to people in wheelchairs.
Gabrielle gets to the top of the cliff and Morimoto is there, his katana drawn. Gabrielle looks back at the setting sun. LL: The setting sun.
I deserve the dignity of a warrior.
Dignity, huh? (draws chakram) Like you showed my friend?
She throws the chakram and it cuts him across his forehead, killing him. Gabrielle catches the chakram and looks at it. Gabrielle looks again at the sun and then moves towards the fountain. RT: Gabrielle throws the chakram for the first time in six seasons basically.
ROC: And succeeds.
LL: Whoooooh.
RT: With a whole new throwing style than Xena's. Gabrielle, Warrior Princess is born.
ROC: It felt quite strange killing him. Trying to find that moment there, but ...
LL: You know what, I didn't understand that he was killed.
The souls move around Xena. Akemi is before her as a soul.
You've redeemed me. You've redeemed them! You've redeemed yourself!
Go in peace, Akemi.
Akemi leaves and the souls are freed.
We'll meet again...one day.
Xena moves off. LL: I wish Xena hadn't stepped out in that size frame, it's ...
RT: Yes, I do
LL: ... weak, it's really weak
RT: It was a weak exit
LL: Yeah
RT: I agree
Gabrielle is moving to place Xena's ashes in the fountain, but Xena stops her.
No, Gabrielle.
(whispers) Xena.
Xena puts the lid on the jar.
Xena, the sun is setting. I have to bring you back to life.
No. Not if it means condemning the souls of the forty thousand who burned at Higuchi.
The souls are free.
They're free from Yodoshi's grasp. Akemi didn't wanna tell me this in case I wouldn't come back to help...but for those souls to be released into a state of grace, they must be avenged. I must stay dead.
ROC[?] or LL[?]: [???????????] Seeing this.
RT: Sure all those fans are saying 'Gabrielle don't put those ashes in there, don't listen to her'
ROC: [????]
But if I bring you back to life...
LL: She would have no kind of a life, if she was brought back to life.
Those souls will be lost forever.
LL: In fact, I wish we had've had that point in the scene, what kind of life would it be ...
ROC: Mmmm
LL: ... if I came back.
But, Xena?
She turns away and then looks at her again. RT: As you both recall, this scene was - the sun had set and we're now shooting with ...
That is not right. (sobs, then sniffs) I don't care. (crying) You're all that matters to me.
LL: This is nice. This is nice. 'That is not right. I don't care about them'.
RT: Right.
LL: That's a cool point.
ROC: I love that line because it was warring[?] against Gabrielle's nature
LL: 'I don't care' - yeah
ROC: Yeah
LL: Yeah. So she [????????]
ROC: ... about the people. Yeah.
Don't you know how much I wanna let you do this? But if there is a reason for our travels together, it's because I had to learn from you, enough to know the final, the good, the right thing to do. I can't come back. (whispers) I can't.
LL: I hated that speech at the time but I couldn't think of anything better to say err...
ROC: I think it's great.
RT: I think it's a great speech Lucy
LL: Well, yeah, I mean it is in the final analysis, for some reason I didn't like it. 'The final, the good, the right thing to do.' What the hell does that mean?
Gabrielle sits down at the fountain. Xena sits beside her.
I love you, Xena. How am I supposed to go on without you?
I'll always be with you, Gabrielle.
RT: I fell in love with this piece of music. Joe had written a giant piece of score and this was on the temp track. It's an old piece of Xena music that the editor had put in, and Joe wrote this giant farewell to Xena with her theme and it just didn't hold the same emotion for this.
Gabrielle puts her head on Xena's shoulder.
The sun sets and Xena closes her eyes and disappears. Gabrielle looks to where Xena was and then out at the sun set. LL: Renee had to hold so still here
ROC: Ahh, ....
LL: ... while I vanished. And she couldn't move at all, it was quite a... for ages.
RT: They tried to talk me out of doing this desperately, they did not wanna do this, said it wouldn't work.
ROC: Yeah.
RT: Worked fine. A lesson to young directors, don't listen to anybody, go ...
(whispers) Xena.
Xena's face is shown in an overlaying image over the sun. ROC: It's hard to believe that was it.
RT: That was the very first day we shot title footage, that shot of Xena was from six years ago before we ever started shooting, and it was for the titles and we never used it, and the editor dropped it in there, and umm, it worked great.

Gabrielle is alone on the boat in the ocean.

Gabrielle is alone on the boat, holding the jar that contains Xena's ashes.
A life of journeying has brought you to the farthest lands, to the very edges of the Earth.
Xena moves into frame and puts her arm around Gabrielle. LL: [laughs] I want to see Gabrielle dressed in the warrior costume
ROC: [laughs]
LL: ... it's like ... [laughs] .. 'Yep, it's me now'
And to the place where I'll always remain - your heart. So, where to now?
I think we should go south to the land of the Pharaohs. I hear they need a girl with a chakram.
RT: I made a little editing fudge here, coming up. So that it ... Gabrielle wasn't left alone on the boat.
ROC[?]: So at least they'll be together still.
RT: Yep.
Where you go...I'm at your side.
I knew you'd say that.
RT: So kind of pay off that 'I knew you'd say that'. Now Gabrielle says it to Xena whereas the teaser it was Xena saying it to Gabrielle. And they're together rather than Gabrielle alone on the boat.
Xena chuckles and kisses her head.

The boat sails off into the sun rise. LL: There's a lovely symmetry in that isn't it?
ROC: It's nice 'cos everyone wants to see them together.
RT: They do.
ROC: It's hard to believe that a television show had such dedicated fans that raised all that money for different charities...
LL: Hundreds of thousands of dollars. And thankyou very much for keeping us on the air so long ...
ROC: For creating a movement
LL: Yeah. It was an amazing privilege to be part of the show and umm, and thankyou very much for...
ROC: Thankyou for the letters, for letting us know how much the characters influenced young children and empowered women ...
LL: ... and guys. Yeah, it was umm very important to get positive feedback so umm, thanks a lot cos when the going gets tough - we need to get going and so it was great to have a bit of umm...
ROC: [????]
LL: Yeah and to feel that the fans were such a great force.
ROC: Absolutely.
LL: Yeah.
ROC: That was [??????????]