Spartacus Blood and Sand Season 1 Episode 2 Review
"I burn for no cause but my own" ... Spartacus to Batiatus
Spartacus gets an introduction to life in the Ludus, we see more of Batatius and Lucretia, introduced to the rest of the Gladiators in the Ludus and away we go. Many thanks to Starz Entertainment for the chance to review this episode.
If I spoil this episode, lots and lots of people will be unhappy. I've been
playing 'let's see how long I can go without seeing episode 2'. I've lasted two
days. Not bad. Having just finished watching this episode I will make this
prediction. There will be a great deal of artwork produced by fans from this
show (and I'm not talking about naked people). The visuals in this show are
incredible. The last time I had this creative reaction to a tv show was Xena.
I'm going to make another prediction - this will be a MEGA MONSTER HIT show. Guaranteed monster hit show. It has ALL the elements of a great show: great writing, excellent direction, wonderful characters, superb actors and a seriously good plot. Forget the media hype about the sex, nudity and voilence; yes you have those but they are secondary to the actual story. I am NOT surprised that Starz is thrilled with this series. Not surprised at all.
Now for the review...
I'm bowled over by Andy Whitfield and Erin Cummings yet again - those two have serious chemistry going. It's not that they have been paired together as husband and wife but their chemistry is AMAZING. Sparty is one very committed man (in more ways than one). The opening scene started off as if it was just another Sparty and Sura bonding moment but the effect of what it was is OUTSTANDING! I had another WOW moment. Loved it.
We have our first real extended look at the relationship between Batiatus and Lucretia - very very much equals. I described Batatius in the first episode review as appearing to be a weak man but isn't...that is most certainly the case here; he isn't. I've come away feeling that Batatius is an extremely smart man who knows how to get the best out of Spartacus. VERY impressive.
The opening scene between Batatius and Lucretia has one of the funniest scenes I've seen between a husband and wife in a very very long time! It had me laughing; it was so well done. Batatius and Lucretia are going to be great characters to watch. This scene will get many many hearts aflutter (and other body parts). The first love/sex scene between Batatius and Lucretia.
At some point I'm going to have to start rating the love scenes because so far we've had quite a few. I give Batty & Lucretia a 7. Sparty & Sura get a 9.
I will make this statement just once...Lucy Lawless looks ABSOFRIGGILUTELY FABULOUS. There I said it. Moving on....
Alrighty I believe we've just had our first look at Kirk Douglas with the Gladiators...all I can say is it's about time because so far it's been the women that have been shown full frontal rather than the men. Equal opportunity nekkid. Enough about Kirk.
Introduction to the Gladiators:
Manu Bennett as Crixus
Crixus is the top gladiator at Batiatus' Ludus. He has a deep-seated dislike of Spartacus. Because of his status, he receives certain perks within the ludus including spending money and his own cell.
I have forgotten how much I enjoyed Manu's acting (last saw him as Antony in the Season 5 Xena episode Antony and Cleopatra). He comes across as such a strong character.
Antonio Te Maioha as Barca
A big, hulking brute of a man, he is more than just a successful gladiator, he is also Batiatus' body guard and hit man. His harsh nature is off-set by the tenderness he shows for his collection of birds and his love for Pietros, a slave boy.
What an interesting look at Barca. Even when seated and looking up at Spartacus he exudes power. wow. An interesting observation: whilst the rest of the Gladiators have very short haircuts...he's the only one with long hair. Fascinating.
Jai Courtney as Varro
A free man, he sold himself into Batiatus' Ludus to pay off his gambling debts and provide for his wife and child. A good fighter who follows orders, he is accepted easily by the other gladiators. Despite his success, he has a certain awe for Spartacus because he defeated four gladiators in the arena. He is Spartacus's only friend in the Ludus.
Varro is Spartacus' only friend in the Ludus; an interesting and very likable character.
Having been raised at the Ludus, he is Batiatus' most loyal and trusted
slave. Once a highly celebrated gladiator and the only person to survive the
Shadow of Death, Doctore now teaches others to fight. He is a hard man who
spares no excess emotion. His only concern is for the welfare of those he
trains. He dislikes Spartacus because he believes him to be a danger to those
WARNING: Fan girl Moment #1
*sigh* <g> That's all I'm going to say about Doctore. *deep deep heavy sigh*
Hehehe. I'm having a fan girl moment..just give me time..........okay I'm
back...Memo to Rob: can I have a show with just Doctore Please? Pretty Please? <g>
Nick E Tarabay as Asher
A former gladiator who now walks with a limp, he is the resident bookie. He takes odd on everything from who will survive initiation to who Batiatus should back in the pit fights. He is the man within the Ludus who can get something for everyone, but he is also the least liked or trusted
We first see Asher in the introduction to the Ludus with the newly arrived Gladiator newbies.
This episode serves to introduce the rest of the great characters this show
will have in the next 11 episodes to go. This is going to be one heck of a good
show to watch. As I mentioned in my first episode review - it has a plot, it has
great characters that you will be emotionally invested in and I stand by that
statement after seeing the second episode. I simply ADORE Spartacus (the character) and I'm interested in how he achieves his one true goal.
"I commit my flesh, my mind, my will, to the glory of this Ludus and to the commands of my master, Batatius. I swear to be burned, chained, beaten or die by the sword in the pursuit of honour in the arena." Spartacus to Batiatus
Roll on January!