“Done and gone” define the Goddess of Physical Love – stay up all night and indulge in chemicals (booze, drugs), then take someone to bed, leaving before they wake up. It is a nihilistic gig, but she is game.
When Gods turn up the charm, no one is immune and no one does it better than Aphrodite. Remember, even Gabrielle, who prefers women exclusively, is affected by Ares. For Xena to resist and pull away is a major score for willpower. What is that with Gabrielle and Athena then, you ask?
The married couple is safe. Xena can joke and flirt with them, this being an established routine. The boundaries are clearly defined and all three parties respect them. That is not the case with Aphrodite. The Goddess of Love is selfish and interested only in getting off. Xena wants comfort not sex and communicates that; Aphrodite could care less. Worse, she uses her power and later wine to get what she wants. Aphrodite can be a real bastard at times.
Xena is grieving Sophus and not looking for relationship; she might not even be ready for comfort sex. Overall, she is taking it well. On one hand she loses Sophus twice and it’s magnified by the Elysian Fields effect. On the other, she has Gabrielle and Athena, wonderful memories of married months in Amphipolis and two weeks in Heaven. The positives really help with the grieving process.
There is no question about it; Goddess of Love took advantage of a vulnerable woman and did wrong by her. Xena deserves some of the blame, making three big mistakes: not asking for help from her friends when feeling down, stupidly indulging in alcohol, and being alone with a woman of Aphrodite’s reputation. Gabrielle and Athena are at fault as well; they know Xena better than anybody and if they take a concerned second instead of trying to get into each other’s underwraps, they could have spared their friend some unnecessary pain.
Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies. Aphrodite spends a night with Xena in Athens and she is not good at reading the signals (or more correctly, does not want to). The Goddess thinks that a little extra persuasion will do the job, and plies Xena with alcohol and charm. Aphrodite has good intentions but no concept of a long term relationship after an endless lifetime of one night stands. She is just going to go with sex and let things develop from there.
“Done and gone” has its place. Telling is the fact that Aphrodite is there in the morning and rides the emotional storm that erupts. Yes, this is the end of her and Xena but for perhaps the first time in her life, the Goddess of Love thinks of another. No, it does not excuse what she did to Xena; nothing can. But it does offer a chance to change – just maybe.
Xena is walking around with an open heart and it presents a danger. Love is risk and whether inadvertently or intentionally, she can be hurt emotionally. She trusted Aphrodite and got burned. It happens. Like us, Xena will have to find a happy medium. Discuss in FORUMS.
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