AUSXIP Spartacus News


        31 March 2012

MaryD Reviews: Spartacus Season 2 Episode 10 And Beyond

Well well well isn' t the body count on Wrath of the Gods something to behold. I've never seen a show completely kill off a good portion of it's cast before (usually that's done by the studios when they kill a show).  Won't review the final episode - you can read the reviews here and here but take a different approach and review the characters.

: 7 Core cast members have died: Lucretia, Ilithyia, Glaber, Onomaous, Ashur, Seppia, Mira

Lived:  6 core cast members have lived: Spartacus, Gannicus, Crixus, Naevia, Agron, Nasir,


Lucy Lawless as Lucretia

Deceased / Not Returning for Season 3

Mini bio for Lucretia
Lucretia is the Roman widow found alive in her ruined villa, having survived the bloody gladiator revolt that took the life of her husband, the gladiator owner Batiatus. The traumatic devastation that was visited upon her has upended her world and her mind struggles to adjust to a new reality. Where once she and her husband maneuvered to ascend the social ranks of the Roman hierarchy, Lucretia is now left alone to hang on and merely survive.

For me this season has been Lucy's show; no doubt about it. She reigned supreme from the moment we saw her as the batsh*t crazy Lucretia with no marbles to the very end. Vengeance was indeed hers. I'll admit I absolutely adored this character even when she was being vindictive and manipulative. There was something about Lucretia (other than the fact that a favourite actor was in the role) that made me like her. This season was brutal on poor Lucretia.  I wasn't thrilled with the rape arc and felt it had gone over the edge (for me personally) but Lucy Lawless did some of her best work. I've watched Lucy in various roles for the last 15 years and this role took her out of her comfort zone and when that happens Lucy turns in spectacular performances. She's VERY good at being the strong character but she also excels when put in a vulnerable position (go and hire the movie The Darkroom. Lucy plays Cheryl, the abused and alcoholic wife - BRILLIANT performance). LOVED her work in Spartacus. Can't say I'm sorry to see her go because this show crossed several lines I wasn't prepared to watch and I stayed because of Lucy's brilliant work.

Lucretia kills Ilithyia AND her baby and finally gets her vengeance. She ends her life on a high (as Lucy tweeted) and she went to meet her beloved Batiatus in the afterlife. I sure hope the afterlife is ready to Lucretia.

Rating: 10/10


Image634687953213671875 Viva Bianca is Ilithyia

Deceased / Not Returning for Season 3

Mini Bio
Ilithyia is the alluring and cunning wife of Glaber. Wanting nothing more than a life of comfort and upward mobility in Rome, she is dismayed to be bound to her husband's unfortunate burden of extinguishing the rebellion in Capua. Returning to the city where she witnessed, and caused, so much bloody intrigue threatens to destroy the standing she has long thought rightfully hers.

Oh my goodness me. Viva Bianca took a character that I thought was the weakest (from her first season bio) and transformed her into one the most memorable. Ilithyia was INCREDIBLE. What an absolute gift of a character Viva was given. Not many actors are given such a fleshed out superb character and take it with glee and give a stellar performance like this. Viva's performance just had me spellbound by the sheer audacity of it. My emotions ranged from dislike to sorrow to pity and then back to dislike and that could happen in one single episode! Viva is an actor you will have to watch. Superb and a huge future. Beautifully written, beautifully acted.  Killed by Lucretia.  Ilithyia is gone to the afterlife...wonder what she will say to Lucretia there.

Rating 10/10


Image634687956155859375 Craig Parker is Glaber

Deceased / Not Returning for Season 3

Mini Bio
Gaius Claudius Glaber is the Roman commander who condemned Spartacus and his wife to slavery. Now holding the high rank of praetor within the senate, Glaber must hunt down his former prisoner to put an end to the budding rebellion, to defuse the threat to the Republic and fend off the political rivals that stand to outmaneuver him. It's an objective he'd rather not leave Rome to carry out but if he can successfully put his capacity for ruthlessness and hatred for Spartacus to work he might win the glory and fame he's always craved.

Craig, Craig, Craig. I've been watching Craig's career for a while and he plays bad guys so well which is rather amusing for a funny guy. He is supremely talented and his portrayal of Glaber was nothing short of amazing. Hated him from the moment I saw him in Season 1 and it didn't improve in Season 2. There were times I felt sorry for him. He got stuck with being married to Ilithyia and when she turned her affections to another and told him, well my heart broke for a nanosecond. I was back to hating him soon after. Superb performance by Craig. Died at the hands of Spartacus.

Rating 9/10



Liam McIntyre as Spartacus (II)

Lived / Returning for Season 3

Mini Bio
From his distant days as a Thracian warrior fighting for Rome to his time as the slave who became the champion gladiator of Capua, Spartacus is now the unlikely but fated leader of one of history's first revolts for freedom. With his nemesis Gaius Claudius Glaber dispatched from Rome to hunt him down, Spartacus fights to keep the bonds of his fractured band of former gladiators and slaves from fraying. To do this, he must strike a balance between the rigorous sacrifices required of a leader of a just cause and his personal thirst for bloody vengeance against the Romans who robbed him of his former life...

What a difficult job for Liam McIntyre to step into Andy's Whitfield's role and assume command. It would be something to make you go screaming into the night at the magnitude of responsibility. Liam did a great job. He wasn't trying to be Andy Whitfield but his own man and that is such a huge task. His Spartacus was a little more lighter than I thought he was going to be because Season 1 Spartacus was doom and gloom. A surly man who was obsessed with vengeance and yet this version wasn't as surly and had some light hearted moments. A point of irritation for me was his complete disregard for Mira. Couldn't quite figure out what he wanted and if he wanted it.  Liam deserves mega kudos for the way he has tackled this role.

Rating: 8/10


Image634687968908046875 Peter Mensah as Onomaous

Deceased / Not Returning for Season 3

Mini Bio
The man once known as Doctore and proud of the mantle, Oenomaus is no longer a trainer of gladiators but a man now searching for his place in the world. Bereft of a wife and an occupation, he finds himself caught in the middle between his former loyalties to the Roman way of things and the rebellion against that way by the men he used to command. Oenomaus is a man with nothing left to lose whose ferocious talent for fighting and teaching could potentially be a powerful gain for Spartacus' cause.

The most honorable of them all. He had been screwed over so many times in so many ways; you just had to feel sorry for him. Peter Mensah was beautiful watch on screen; his performance was outstanding but I felt he wasn't used as much as he should have. More time was given to new characters that didn't deserve the attention than on Onomaous. One of the casualties of introducing new characters at the expense of the established and much loved ones. What Peter did have was screen presence and was solid in every scene. Onomaous is free at last to meet with his beloved Melitta in the afterlife. Peter is off to work on the hit show True Blood which is fantastic news. Killed by The Egyptian.

Rating 9/10


Dustin Clare is Gannicus

Lived / Returning for Season 3

Mini Bio
Gannicus is the former champion of Capua in the time before Spartacus, whose freedom was earned not by rebellion but by victory in the arena. Though free, he has been shorn of the gladiatorial glory that was once his and is now a rogue wanderer haunted by the guilt he feels for betraying his best friend Oenomaus and the death of Melitta. Gannicus seeks to atone for his mistakes but betrayals are not easily forgiven in the midst of rebellion and vengeance.

The self destructive Gannicus; I adore him and my second favourite gladiator behind Onomaous. Gannicus is a man suffering from guilt and self loathing. He has a death wish but he lives each and every time. I love Dustin's portrayal of a character that I never thought I would enjoy watching; there's something about Dustin portrayal that makes this character likeable. In the end Onomaous forgives his friend and thus lifts the burden of the secret of his affair with Melitta.

Rating: 9/10


Nick Tarabay as Ashur

Deceased / Not Returning for Season 3

Mini Bio
With his master Batiatus dead, the ever devious Ashur seeks a powerful new patron who will appreciate his cunning gifts. He offers the experience gained from his years among the gladiators before they escaped from the House of Batiatus, which makes him an essential link between the mutinous Spartacus and the powerful Romans who seek his destruction. Beholden only to his own desire for enrichment and power, Ashur reveals a new layer of treachery that any who cross him will have to contend with.

Where the hell have you been hiding all these years, Nick! Goodness gracious me I loathed Ashur and I loved Ashur! What a character. I loved to hate him in Season 1, In GotA I found myself drawn to him because he was a funny character and sort of knew where he was going and then Season 2 hit. What an absolute vile character. I LOVED HIM! There is a loathing for this man that has reached new levels and that is the mark of a great character and a very gifted actor who can take that character and make you feel. His brutalization of Lucretia was horrible to watch and yet he loved her. Not strange behavior when you have been brutalized for as long as he was but then he turned it onto Lucretia. I always felt Ashur thought he was doing the right thing. He wasn't evil; just twisted in his own logical way. I'm going to be watching Nick Tarabay's career for a very long time to come.  He got what he deserved in the end; retribution is a beauty to behold and a woman on mission is even more dangerous. Ashur Ashur Ashur...ta ta! Killed by Naevia.

Rating 10/10



Hanna Mangan Lawrence as Seppia

Deceased / Not Returning for Season 3

Mini Bio
Seppia is the fetching younger sister of Seppius who longs to ply her flirtatious charms on the elite Roman men that have come to Capua to pursue Spartacus. Her apparent carefree attitude sets her apart from her dour, disapproving brother but she shares with him a stubborn desire to have her way. Seppia will find, however, that she may lack the experience needed in matters of power and persuasion to satisfy her desires in the midst of the bloody affairs playing out in Capua.

Well hasn't Hanna been a revelation. Again I was lulled into believing that Seppia was going to be there to pretty up the set (I know that sounds harsh doesn't it) but I walked away feeling I had just witnessed the birth of a stellar career.  Hanna played the naive Seppia to perfection. The poor girl fell into the nest of vipers and there is only one way out of that hole. Ilithyia was crossed and you don't mess with Ilithyia and have Lucretia puling the strings. Spells disaster and a nasty death. Will be watching for more of Hanna In the years to come. Killed by Ilithyia.

Rating 8/10



Manu Bennett as Crixus

Lived / Returning for Season 3

Crixus is the former champion gladiator deposed by Spartacus who at a crucial moment came to his rival's aid and facilitated the escape from Batiatus's ludus. Crixus is looked up to by his fellow Gauls and is thus a crucial figure in Spartacus' attempts to hold together the ethnically diverse group of rebels he commands. But Crixus burns for no higher cause than finding his lost love Naevia. If he can't find and save the woman that was taken from him he'll lose his reason for living and the rebellion will lose one of its fiercest fighters.

I love Manu's portrayal of Crixus; he is such a fierce three dimensional character. His love for Naevia is on par with Spartacus' love for Sura. He stopped at nothing to get her back and it was sad to watch when he met with frustration and the realization that Naevia might never be found. The mine scene where he did find Naevia was rather hurried and should have been longer and more emotional but it lacked that spark. Crixus as a fierce warrior is a sight to behold. Love Manu in this role.

Rating 9/10



Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Naevia II

Lived / Returning for Season 3

Mini Bio
Naevia is the former body slave to Lucretia who was banished from the ludus for engaging in a love affair with Crixus. She represents all that Crixus still lives for, driving him to fight alongside Spartacus in mutiny against Rome in the hopes of one day finding her. Crixus longs to see her still alive, to rescue her from exile and be reunited in love and freedom.

A disappointment. The Naevia I came to love in Season 1 was gone. Given there was a new actress in the role this had to happen but it wasn't that. Cynthia's job was made more difficult that she came into a role left vacant by Lesley-Ann Brandt who had turned Naevia into a fan favourite. The expectations were high which made Cynthia's job very difficult from the beginning. The problem was that the writing for Naevia was weak. The spark, the spunk and the oomph that was Naevia was gone. Yes she had been brutalized but the basic personality doesn't disappear, it becomes stronger; she rebels. The Season 1 Naevia would have fought back and fought back hard. In this version, the fight back never materialized. No spark. I'm sorry to have seen that happen to a very interesting character and one half of my favourite couple.  The upside is that she killed Ashur which exactly how the old Naevia would have behaved so maybe the spark isn't dead quite yet? Season 3 will reveal all.





Katrina Law as Mira

Deceased / Not Returning for Season 3

Mini Bio
Mira is a freed slave who played a vital part in helping Spartacus plot and execute the escape from Batiatus' ludus and thus helped to trigger the uprising that now grows in strength. Mira is profoundly dedicated to Spartacus and the larger cause that inflames them both, proving herself a fierce champion for freedom and justice for those they fight alongside and those yet to be liberated. She is deeply devoted to the cause, and even more so to Spartacus himself.

Mira could have been so much more than she was; so much potential that was wasted. I felt Steven didn't know what to do with the character once they left the Ludus; she drifted. What was her role? Was she Spartacus' mistress? Was she a warrior? I'm not quite sure and that was disappointing. It was as if Steven had lost interest in the character and let her drift along. Katrina did a great job with what she was given but she wasn't given enough. My favourite parts was when she was given the bow; she could do something constructive other than telling Spartacus off or trying to get his affections when the man's heart was closed off. It was frustrating to watch. A sad way to treat a character who had the ability to be more than she was. Killed by a soldier




Daniel Feuerriegel as Agron

Lived / Returning For Season 3

Mini Bio
A fierce warrior trained in the deadly arts of a gladiator. His loyalty to Spartacus and the
rebellion is driven by his own need for vengeance for the death that befell his brother in the escape from Batiatus' ludus. His volatility and quick temper stokes the antagonism that already exists between himself and Crixus.

My least favourite character from the show. Agron was stuck in one gear and that was anger. ALL. THE. TIME. it became tedious to watch and frustrating. I have to admit when Spartacus slapped him for being stupid in not revealing Naevia was alive, I cheered. He deserved that and more. Anger and Surly was all he was given for 3/4 of the season until Nasir came along and softened him A LITTLE and we were back to anger. There has to be more to this character but I've lost patience with him.



Image634688033873203125Pana Hema-Taylor as Nasir

Lived / Returning For Season 3

Pana Hema-Taylor is a revelation. A young actor that has taken a role that could have amounted to nothing and turned him into a very watchable one. I liked Pana's performances a great deal and would love to see more of him in the years to come. He is returning for Season 3.



Well that's a wrap from me. What's coming up in Season 3? The following is from an interview with Steven from TV | Line

TVLINE | Sounds like you're hitting the reset button in Season 3.
It seems like every season we make it a different show. And it's part and parcel with the history that we're following. This season was really a transition period between Blood and Sand and what's coming next. In Vengenace, we found an artfully creative and historically plausible reason why we could reuse Batiatus' Ludus as Glabor's staging ground to go after Spartacus, and that way we could also reuse the city of Capua. So we had those holdovers from Blood and Sand and Gods of the Arena. But moving forward, we move away from that area, so there is no more Ludus, there is no more Capua. It is very much Crassus along with the aid of Caesar going after Spartacus and following some of those events that happened in history. So it's much bigger than this year was. The scope of it, again, multiplies many times as Crassus battles Spartacus across the country.

TVLINE | What are some of the new characters you're planning to introduce to fill the void left by all of these departures?
Crassus [played by Luke Pegler] is the main one. And a young Julius Caesar will be joining Crassus' campaign. Crassus has a son that will also be on the campaign with them. There will be a couple of Romans who will pop up. There will be three new female characters that will be coming around. And one or two other people from history will make an appearance, but I can't really say who. And one of the reasons for the high body count at the end of this season was... we needed to make a little room to bring new characters in. We couldn't carry everybody.

TVLINE | Those actresses coming in have some big shoes to fill.
They are going to be completely different types of characters. I'm not going to try to reproduce what Viva and Lucy were. There was a lot of concern going into this season about losing John Hannah and [we debated whether to] try to recreate another John Hannah-esque character on the show, and my feeling was if we even attempt to do that the audience would know what we were doing and would probably not have a good reaction to it. Here is Battiatus-lite! And I feel the same way about Lucretia and Ilithyia. These new female characters will be completely different and won't have that same dynamic. But hopefully they will be engaging.

Read more of the interview