Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 6 Episode 9

Return of the Valkyrie (3)

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Nov 27, 2000 on

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • 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 conclusion

    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.
  • the end to a mediocre trilogy

    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.
  • The conclusion to the trilogy, with the strong overriding theme that love conquers all and transcends all limits and boundaries. Ultimately, nothing else matters.

    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.
  • The Spotless mind of Xena and the Napping Gabrielle!

    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!!
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