Episode Reviews (4)
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In the modern day, a scroll is found that details how Xena, desperate to find Gabrielle after she fell into the lava pit, was made an offer for her to marry him in return for him finding her missing friend. A fair episode awkwardly placed...
This review contains spoilers.
I found this a mostly (if not altogether) reasonable episode, but with it being placed before the final two-parter, I was expecting some big lead up to the finale. This episode's biggest problem, in my opinion, is that it feels very awkwardly placed in the running order of the season.
After the previous episode, 'Many Happy Returns', was the final all-out comedy (if you can call it that), this episode is half comedy, half drama.
It is another modern-based episode this season, coming after 'Send in the Clones', and the rather bizarre 'You Are There' before it. I can't help but feel they were over-playing the modern card this season somewhat; I think it works better limited to once a season.
Half of the episode is told in flashback, to the period after the third season finale 'Sacrifice II', when Gabrielle had fallen into the lava pit with Hope and was presumed dead.
What happened to Gabrielle at that time and how she survived was never fully explained, and this episode tries to bridge some of the gaps. It's a noble effort, but I can't help but wonder if after all this time it's really worth it.
Being told in flashback, we see the return of Joxer, who was still alive back then of course. It took me a little while to warm to the character when he was first introduced into the series, but I grew over time to really like him, and it's great to have him back.
Ares' proposed marriage to Xena seems very sudden and forced, and doesn't really fit in with anything we had seen after the time in which it was supposedly set. The only really good scene is as Xena is preparing for her wedding and comforts Joxer who is missing Gabrielle.
The modern day sections are much more comical, and feature Annie, Harry and Mattie from the fourth season's 'Déjà vu All Over Again'. As with 'Send In The Clones', there are some paradoxes as Xena is presented as a historical figure and the television series that we are watching is based upon it (it's kind of hard to explain).
The modern sections have much more in-jokes that the shaky 'Send in the Clones', with many nods to the show's fandom.
I did wonder why the nerds (I mean, 'fans') from 'Clones' weren't used though, instead of two new actresses.
This episode contains the last appearance of Kevin Smith as Ares; sometimes foe, sometimes uneasy ally, but always entertaining. Sadly, Smith was killed in an accident on a film set less than a year after this episode.
This is quite a hard episode to sum up. The flashback scenes deal with a subject that, after all this time, doesn't really need doing, and doesn't seem to fit in with surrounding events very well. The modern set moments are more satisfying, but the episode as a whole feels awkwardly placed before the two-part finale. I think this sort of episode would have been much better placed mid-season.moreless
The countdown is on - the end of the series is almost here, and we are all back to the future, again! The final farewell to some of the most beloved Xena characters - all sorely missed.
Soul Possession was a really amusing episode that was a fitting send off for some of our most beloved characters in the series. Although it was really designed to fill in the gaps for fans from Season 3's Adventures in the Sin Trade II and A Family Affair, it was a funny, witty episode with great dialog and some really touching moments.
The episode is quite unusual in the plotting, and at closer inspection definitely has some holes in the story that cannot be disguised by the return of so many beloved characters. However, this does not mean that the episode loses any of the magic that you would expect from the third last episode of the season - it definitely delivers!
It has to be said that it was bizarre to see Joxer back again (as himself). It really felt like an eternity since his character had a role but it was a welcome addition to the episode. The return of Ares is also fantastic. In this episode he is manipulative, evil, seductive and positively delicious! Kevin Smith as Ares played an absolutely integral role in Xena, his comedy, the drama he introduces and his fantastic acting helped to make the series what it is. As an actor he is sorely missed.
The flashbacks were also welcome, again reminding fans where the series has been, and drawing our attention to some of the more important moments of the series. There were really some touching moments, especially the memorable moment between Xena and Joxer on the night before her wedding... there have not been a great number of Xena/Joxer moments that stick in memory, but this is without a doubt one of the greatest.
Overall, this episode (as a 'modern day' episode) still doesn't meet the standard of The Xena Scrolls - which truly was a brilliant episode, but it stands alone as a great episode with a valid place in the series. The return of so many great characters, such as Joxer, Ares, Meg, Harry, Maddie and Annie (all great characters with important places in the story) for their final farewell was funny and touching - a great episode!moreless
And the Award for Most Pointless Revelation goes to...
Soul Possession-Ares wants Xena's soul for eternity, and he will do just about anything to get it. He bargains with Xena over Gabrielle's soul using a contract, and almost gets Xena to marry him. Of course Xena is aware of Ares' tricky nature and backs out of the marriage. So, the reincarnations of Gabrielle, Joxer and Xena have to fight with Ares at a modern-day meeting of CH.A.K.R.A.M. Xena manages to destroy the contract Ares created to get her soul. Once again, Ares' plans are ruined. While it was nice to see characters of Harry, Annie, and the psychologist again, this episode is rather random and pointless. First off, the gap between Adventures in the Sin Trade and Family Affair is ruined by inconsistantcy. Second, the Xena and Ares getting married was unrealistic and came off forced. Third, the revelation of Ares saving Hope and Gabrielle is way over due and after 3 seasons of believing that vague explaintion of Family Affair, it's really not need and pointless at this late in the series. The parts that I did enjoy was seeing Joxer again for the last time and Meg singing with the whip cream on her body. But that's about it! All and All, A pointless episode that brings up some unneeded plot developments!moreless
A late and terrible explaination for a Season 3 finale and premiere of Season 4.
Soul Posession's flashback (taking place after Sacrifice, but before Sin Trade and A Family Affair) do not coincide with each other at all. Everyone seems to act out of character (with the exception of Joxer, who is very good in this one), and the overall vibe doesnt feel right.
The only redeeming qualities is the humor: the present day sequences we're halarious, aswell as [some] parts of the S3 flashbacks. And of course, Annie Day and Harry are always fun (Mattie never did much) to watch. Along with some sweet Xena/Joxer scenes [S3 flashback] Soul Posession doesnt have much to offer.
Take the vague explaination of Gabrielle and Hope's whereabouts in 'A Family Affair' anyday.moreless