Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 3 Episode 17

Forget Me Not

1
Aired Monday 8:00 PM Mar 09, 1998 on
8.0
out of 10
User Rating
73 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Tortured by her memories of Hope and past misdeeds, Gabrielle visits the temple of Mnemosyne, Goddess of Memory, and must revisit her past in order to either find a way to live with her memories or erase them forever. Meanwhile, Joxer tries to reclaim his friend by reminiscing about the good times in their past.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Gabrielle's decision...

    8.0
    It's a pretty drastic step to forgo every memory you have in lieu of ridding yourself of a painful past. Gabrielle decides to take that very step. What has not been resolved in 'The Bitter Suite' must be resolved here in "Forget Me Not". Ares interferes to prevent Gabrielle from learning the real motive for betraying Xena to Ming T'ien. The reason goes farther than just getting even with Xena for the pain she endured.



    I loved the cute inside joke of Gabrielle looking at her halter top and exclaiming to Joxer, "Very strange. In every story you tell me this thing I'm wearing gets smaller." Also loved Joxer's version of Gabrielle's scrolls as he reads them to her and also making her believe she's in love with him.



    I generally do not like flashback episodes but this one has a decent storyline to support it.moreless
  • "I hated her for loving someone else" - finally Gabrielle is forced to come to terms with her betrayal of Xena, and the cause of her inner-turmoil and pain.

    8.5
    "Forget Me Not" is a predominantly strong and emotive episode, despite the fact that it is made up almost entirely of clips from other episodes. There are some really strong points to the episode, but there are also some particularly weak moments, and plot problems that are just too large to overlook. I'll start with the not-so-great features, so that we can end on a positive note.



    While this is an overall solid episode, "Forget Me Not" falls down a little for me based on its unusual placement within the season. The Rift dominated the third season, making it the most easily recognizable season, as well as the most dramatic. Given how involved the whole story-arc was, it was almost a relief when "The Bitter Suite" bought closure to the whole saga. Or so we thought. Apparently it didn't all end there, and this is the episode that brings it all back to the fore.



    My problem with this is that I think it is too late in the season to bring up The Rift (and the accompanying emotions) again. It was an emotional journey for fans as well as for the characters, and I was ready to put it all behind me. I always thought the plot hole that allowed Gabrielle to make it to Chin ahead of Xena was very minor, and it was not something that kept me up at night. It was therefore surprising to me to hear how much of an issue it was to fans, to the point that the writers felt like they had to devote an episode to addressing it. I feel that this point should have been dealt with either after "The Bitter Suite", or after "One Against An Army", if at all.



    My second key problem is the depth of Gabrielle's 'pain'. In this episode, Gabrielle is clearly tormented. Yet how is it that we have been through 4 episodes without seeing a hint of this inner-turmoil? In "One Against An Army" Gabrielle was content enough with her life and her actions to be at peace with death, simply because she was with Xena. It seems logical to me that if she truly were plagued by such distress, then it would have surfaced on her death bed.



    My conclusion to this problem is that Gabrielle, as a character, consistently gets her emotional turmoil glossed over in favour of Xena's distress. In "When In Rome…" this inner pain could have been used very effectively to show Gabrielle's distrust of Xena, and her own angst, and yet the focus was on Xena and her interactions with Caesar. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that for this episode to be believable, this particular story-arc needed to have been brought up before this.



    So, now that I've gotten those little gripes out of the way, on to the positive aspects of the episode.



    I thought that Ares was a very clever inclusion in this episode. His presence was incredibly symbolic for me – in this episode Ares constantly plays with words to confuse Gabrielle into making the wrong decision. Thus, he uses Gabrielle's own skill against her – her ability to twist words. I also find it fascinating that Ares is the physical manifestation of Gabrielle's inner-darkness. It is hard to imagine that such a side to Gabrielle exists.



    I think that this episode manages to balance the light/dark, and comedy/drama sides to the episode very very well. Way too often the comedic side of episodes throws the whole episode out of alignment, and the dramatic aspect loses its effectiveness. The same could have happened here with Joxer 'teaching' Gabrielle about 'herself'. Instead, those interactions are handled very sensitively, without the traditional slapstick side of Joxer that we are accustomed to taking over. Again I found myself impressed with Joxer's loyalty and morality; as a character he continued to surprise me throughout the show.



    A couple of final quick points. I thought the clips from previous episodes were very well chosen, particularly the song in the crypt (easily one of the greatest scenes of all time), and the inclusion of the previously unseen conversation between Gabrielle and Ares. To Ares, the whole play was a joke – another game, another way to manipulate Xena and Gabrielle. For both of the women, however, his act led to months of pain and torment. I think it was captured really well.



    My final point goes back to my subtext roots – what it's all about for me. When explaining her actions for betraying Xena, Gabrielle tells Ares that "I hated her for loving someone else" ie. Xena being in love with Lao Ma, and putting that love above her love for Gabrielle. Finally, we get some acknowledgement that Gabrielle is, at times, the jealous partner – and who can blame her!



    So… overall a surprisingly full and interesting episode. If only the placement had been better, this one would have gotten even higher marks from me. An important episode, despite the flaws.moreless
  • In this Xena-lite, budget saving clip show, haunted by memories of daughter Hope and her betrayal of Xena, Gabrielle visits the Temple of Mnemosyne and undertakes a harrowing inner journey to try and forget her torturous memories...moreless

    7.8
    This review contains spoilers.



    This episode has 'budget saving clip show' written all over it.

    Even so, I have a bit more time for it than lackluster recent episodes 'Forgiven' and 'King Con'.



    It serves as an overview of The Rift saga, with Gabrielle undertaking a harrowing inner journey in the Temple of Mnemosyne that will hopefully rid her of the terrible, painful memories that she is haunted by.

    Other than in flashback sequences, Xena herself does not appear until the final scene of the episode.



    A subplot involves Joxer taking the 'empty body' of Gabrielle, who has forgotten everything about herself, and trying to remind her of who she is.



    There is a nice touch as Joxer goes to read her scrolls to her, and, pulling out her first ever scroll, announces that it is titled 'Sins of the Past' – the very same title as the first episode of the series. Maybe Gabrielle is responsible for naming all the episodes of Xena's adventures?

    Another good moment comes as, with Joxer reading through various scrolls, Gabrielle commenting how her costume gets smaller in each recited story, reflecting her ever shrinking costume in the series.



    Meanwhile, Gabrielle is guided through her treacherous inner journey by Ares, and a plot-hole from 'The Debt' is explained – it was Ares that helped Gabrielle get to Chin ahead of Xena. Although this plot-hole hardly swayed the season, it was a nice little point which had been saved up for this episode.



    Renée O'Connor gives a good performance in the episode. It is hardly the best episode for either the series or her character, but she makes a decent enough job of it.



    Joxer cannot help but try and take advantage of the situation by telling the 'empty' Gabrielle that she is madly in love with him. However, eventually, he cannot go through with it and admits that he made it all up.



    When Gabrielle has her memories returned to her, her first reaction is to start beating up on Joxer again, as she did in the second season finale 'A Comedy of Eros'. I found this a bit unfair – after all, he had guarded her body while she was 'away', and didn't have the nerve to go through with letting her believe she was in love with him. Poor old Joxer. Like in 'A Comedy of Eros', I actually felt quite sorry for him.

    Either way, the Joxer / Gabrielle scenes easily make for the best moments of the episode, and would make a great basis for some fan fiction.



    Not the best of the clip shows by far, but watchable enough, and, as I say, a notch up from a couple of the lackluster episodes of the season.moreless
  • Forgetting is hard to do!!!

    8.2
    Forget Me...Not-Tortured by her memories of Hope and past misdeeds, Gabrielle visits the temple of Mnemosyne, goddess of memory, and must travel through her past in an effort to live with her memories or erase them forever. Meanwhile, Joxer must protect Gabrielle's body while her mind is away.



    Poor Gabrielle, she's been through a lot this season, from killing for the first to giving birth to evil itself, and betraying Xena!!! It's enough guilt to drive a person crazy. So Gabrielle goes on a journey through her memories and unlocking some secrets on the way. Joxer goes after Gabrielle and protects her mindless body, providing some funny scenes. But the episode itself brings some nice new setting and visuals, like when Gabrielle comes out the water bloody!!! Kevin Smith is so devious in this episode as Ares, and reveals a small plothole that was never answered in The Debt episodes. turns out Ares got Gabrielle to Chin, that's how she got there before Xena. Also, Gabrielle reveals she betrayed Xena because she was jealous of Lao Ma's relationship with Xena. This is a big step up for Gabrielle and believeable for her to feel that way. All in All, this is a great episode with a some good revelations!!!moreless
Lana Garland

Lana Garland

Young Girl with Lost Memory

Guest Star

Mark Webley

Mark Webley

Guard

Guest Star

Jan Hellriegel

Jan Hellriegel

Priestess of Mnemosyne

Guest Star

Kevin Smith (II)

Kevin Smith (II)

Ares

Recurring Role

Ted Raimi

Ted Raimi

Joxer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (6)

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Ares: (to Gabrielle) Pain is just Nature's way of saying, 'Hey! You're alive!'

    • Gabrielle: (accusingly) You said you would save me.
      Ares: No, what I said was: I would be HERE to save you. And I am.
      Gabrielle: I can't go back, I can't go forward. I don't know what to do.
      Ares: Well, seems to me the answer is obvious. Stay here for all eternity, or death. (smirking) Just trying to help.

    • Joxer: Are you OK?
      Gabrielle: (tearfully) I can't.
      Joxer: What's the matter?
      Gabrielle: I can't do this."
      Joxer: OK... uh? Then... we won't! We don't have to... never again. (confused) What are we talking about?

    • Ares: Hmm... interesting. There's an analogy here of course; the water representing our torments, the ice the thin layer of control we like to believe we have over it...
      Gabrielle: (interrupts) Shut up!
      Ares: (continuing) ..But it's a false confidence. If the ice should suddenly develop a... (the ice cracks)
      Gabrielle: Help me!
      Ares: Not my job, dear. Not yet anyway.

    • Ares: Believe it or not... I'm here to protect you. Remember when you stole my powers with that whole scroll business? All right, well, call me a softie... but I decided I like you after all.
      Gabrielle: Maybe you're here for your own selfish reasons.
      Ares: Aren't you?

    • Xena: I wondered how you made it to Chin ahead of me. I figured Ares had a hand in it, but what I couldn't understand was why. Nightmares can tell you a lot of things. Thank the Gods you talk in your sleep. I knew this was one journey you had to make without me. But, I'm just glad you made it back.
      Gabrielle: If I didn't have the painful memories, then I wouldn't know what the good ones were like, right? I just couldn't let it go, Xena, no matter what the pain. I'm sorry.
      Xena: No, no, it's over. Welcome home.

    • Gabrielle: If the bowl is ever empty, so go my memories.
      Ares: (persuasively) And the pain, all that pain.
      Gabrielle: And the memories of my youth, my parents, my loves ...
      Ares: ... the betrayal, the killing, the death of your child.
      Gabrielle: And Xena.
      Ares: Bottom line, Gabrielle, you won't miss what you never knew.

    • Gabrielle: Joxer ...
      Joxer: (accidentally repeating the name used by the amnesiac Gabrielle) Jerkster ...
      Gabrielle: (letting him know that his white lies didn't succeed) I have never, nor will I ever, dance nude in the rain with you anywhere near me.

    • Joxer: How'd you know my name?
      Priestess of Mnemosyne: (rubbing her head at the same spot Joxer hit his head) I have your memories ... ow.

    • Priestess of Mnemosyne: (referring to the amnesiac Gabrielle) She is on her journey, Joxer. That Gabrielle is just an empty shell with no realization of her past.

    • Gabrielle : It's very strange. In every story you tell me this thing I wear get smaller and smaller. Is it enchanted?

    • Joxer: I can make her forget. I'm a very forgettable person.

    • Gabrielle: (to the Priestess of Mnemosyne) No one can help. It's my memories. I can't shake them. I, I can't sleep. I can't eat. It's like I'm paying for something, but I don't know what it is. I have to find the answer.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Shooting Dates: January 19 to January 23 1998, 5 day shoot. This is the shortest episode of the season to be filmed.

    • In the original script Xena was hiding in the Temple of Mnemosyne. We were supposed to see a bit of leather and chakram from behind a pillar, but they cut that out since the producers decided that Xena would know that this was something Gabrielle had to do without her.

    • Sometimes things aren't as they seem. According to Renee, the River of Fire was freezing because of the dry ice and the River of Ice was actually a sauna.

    • DISCLAIMER: Xena and Joxer were not forgotten during production of this motion picture.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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