Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 6 Episode 9

Return of the Valkyrie (3)

2
Aired Monday 8:00 PM Nov 27, 2000 on
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
79 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

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While Gabrielle is within a ring of enchanted fire, Xena has amnesia from the power of the ring and believes herself to be Wealthea, the bride of Hrothgar, a Viking lord. However, she is rescued by Beowolf who must help her regain her memory in order to save Gabrielle from eternal sleep.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The trilogy concludes with a year having passed. Gabrielle is asleep within the ring of fire, while Xena has amnesia and is about to marry a Viking lord. Beowulf tries to help Xena recover her memory in order to save Gabrielle, in this pleasing conclusionmoreless

    9.1
    This review contains spoilers.



    This is an excellent conclusion to this three episode storyline. With part one, I wasn't quite sure about this story arc, but it really livened up with part two, and this closing instalment is the best of the three.



    The story picks up a year after the end of part two. Time really flies by for Xena and Gabrielle, what with them sleeping for 25 years in 'Looking Death in the Eye' last season and now this!



    Lucy Lawless gives a great performance as the memory-less Xena, playing her innocent and against violence. It actually reminded me of look-alike Princess Diana in the first season's 'Warrior... Princess'.



    Gabrielle, meanwhile, is asleep within the enchanted ring of fire. Her hair has grown over time, back into a more 'classic Gabrielle' style, but is amazingly well kept, and even seems to have platted itself!

    Other than that, Gabrielle doesn't really have much to do in this episode other than sleep! (In reality, this was party due to giving Renée O'Connor time to prepare for her second episode directing, which comes in a couple of episodes time.)



    I like how Xena, despite having lost her memory, still has vague recollections of Gabrielle, showing that their friendship will survive no matter what.



    The fight scene at the climax, as Xena finally regains her memory (and, miraculously, her armor!) is a good one, and it's good to see the Warrior Princess back to her old self and back in action.



    Then there is the kiss, which Xena uses to awaken Gabrielle. No cop-outs this time, such as Xena being inside Autolycus' body, this is a real Xena-Gabrielle kiss, right on the lips.



    The final scene, with Xena making amends and returning the Rheingold to the rhein maidens is a good one, and wraps up the story really well.



    As I say, although I wasn't quite sure about part one, I ended up enjoying this trilogy, especially on hindsight. I think it is one that will benefit from re-viewings.moreless
  • the end to a mediocre trilogy

    8.7
    i wasnt amazed with the rhinegold and was only just amused with the ring but the return is simply exciting through from beginning to end and it is a very good episode that beats its predessessors with some good turns in plot and great action scenes.

    its far from a perfect episode but its a fantastic way to finish the adequete trilogy.

    the trilogy i found to be a more low light of the series as it emphasised too much on Xenas dark past where other episodes tht do this have been more masterful in its execution rather than bore the brains out of its audience...while the effects are superb the story seemed to fall flat.

    this isnt the case here where there is no more dark Xena storyline and focuses mainly on the present as the plot moves forward one year and Xena returns on the island with Beowulf to take on Odin,the Valkyries and Grynhilda in a grand showdown to rescue Gaby from the ring of flames.

    it is far,far better and a major improvement over the previous two episodes and gathers the moment um tht the season lost after the stunning The Abyss.

    The Return is a grand spectacle while its not entirely a perfect episode its definately one of the best of the season although not a perfect affair like many others of season 6,but at least we're back on track for the next pile of episodes.moreless
  • The conclusion to the trilogy, with the strong overriding theme that love conquers all and transcends all limits and boundaries. Ultimately, nothing else matters.

    9.5
    This episode was excellent, probably the best of the three in the story arc.



    It was a very moving episode with a real feeling of loss and sadness throughout. I find that anytime Xena loses her sense of self the episode feels very lost, because it is her relationship with Gabrielle that gives her life momentum.



    I found that this episode was quite pivotal in Xena and Gabrielle's relationship because of the overriding theme that their love is able to overcome all obstacles. Their relationship overpowers everything else in their lives, and is, in fact, the driving force of their lives and the only thing that matters. I suspect that it is solely their love that keeps them following "The Way", without it they lose their way, and (I believe) that without their bond they simply cease to be, hence Xena losing her memory and Gabrielle basically stopping living.



    This story arc was about further developing Xena and Gabrielle's relationship. You get the strong feeling in this episode that they rest of the story was really just a convenient backdrop to this character development.



    However, the other key theme that really came out in this episode the the redemption theme. I believe that it wasn't so much about Grinhilda, the Rheinmaidens (or anyone else) forgiving Xena, it was about Xena FORGIVING HERSELF. However, I thought that this was very neatly tied into Grinhilda's story where her forgiveness of Xena restores her to her original form.



    The fight scenes were fantastic (as always) and Beowulf was a very strong character in the trilogy. Overall, this was one of the most interesting story arcs in Xena and was acted out wonderfully by all involved. Definitely a very high point in the series.moreless
  • The Spotless mind of Xena and the Napping Gabrielle!

    9.6
    Return of the Valkerie-Xena has amnesia and believes herself to be Hrothgar's bride, Wealthea but she must regain her memory in order to save Gabrielle from eternal sleep. Out of the 3 episodes of the Norse Trilogy, this is the best for me. It has all the elements of what I expect with Xena, a beautiful story, amazing battles, and of course, the everlasting relationship of Xena and Gabrielle. This is a perfect ending of the Norse trilogy with a year passing since the events of Part 2. I loved how Garbielle was now known as the Spelling Beauty of Norselands and being worshipped by the thousands were being burned to death because they were trying to get to the ring. Also Xena's story with her being the wife of Hrothgar was brilliant. Lucy's conveys Xena's confusion of who she is and what to do perfectly. The way how she was still connected to Gabrielle but didn't remember her was wonderfully played out. The conclusion with the episode is done in Xena style with Xena's memory back and off the right her wrong for good. Ginhilda is finally returned to her human form and Gabrielle is free from her prison. Leaving Xena to finally return the rheingold to the rhein maidens. All and All, the pefect ending to this bold trilogy!!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (9)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Odin: What do you want?
      Grinhilda: Return me to my position as chief of the Valkyries.
      Xena: She'll teach them a nobler use for their powers.
      Odin: I'll think about it.
      Xena: Don't think too long.

    • Waltraute: I've waited a long time for this.
      Xena: Wait longer!

    • Gabrielle: Memories are powerful, Xena I'm so thankful that yours brought you back to me.

    • Xena: That's right. Beowulf, I'll always be indebted to you for bringing me back here.
      Beowulf: Hey, I needed the best. The legends didn't lie, Xena you are the greatest warrior I've ever known.

    • Xena: It was like I was in a dream, too. I forgot everything. But even though I didn't remember you I felt your presence and knew that I would never be complete unless those shadows were brought into the light.

    • Waltraute: It makes me sick to see you've grown so soft.
      Xena: Softness and weakness are two different things.

    • Brunnhilda: Xena... the love in your heart burns stronger than any flame. You belong together.

    • Xena: Fighting gives your lives meaning? Do you have any idea how stupid that is?!

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • This episode is the last in the trilogy alluding to the epic Beowulf. In particular, this episode refers to the character of the Danish king, Hrothgar. He was the builder of the hall Heorot that Grendel has been attacking. He is extremely well-liked by the Danes, and rewards Beowulf generously when he defeats Grendel. His queen was named Wealthow, who acts as hostess in the epic, and reminds the men of their obligations to their country, family, and king.

    • When Beowulf is impaled by Grinhilda, and raised as if hanging on a meat hook, it's an homage to the movie Aliens.

    • This episode continues the reference to Wagner's opera epic, Der Ring des Nibelungen. In the final part of this story, the Valkyrie Brunnhilda is asleep in a ring of fire that only the bravest of heroes can cross, and the first to cross it will marry her. Unfortunately, her love Siegfried loses his memory from drinking a potion, and falls in love with another woman. She convinces him to win Brunnhilda for her brother, which he does by posing as the brother when he rescues her. When Brunnhilda finds out that she's been tricked, she takes her revenge on Siegfried, who remembers everything right before dying. Brunnhilda takes the ring from his body and kills herself, and in the process, allows the Rhine maidens to reclaim the ring.

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