With Spartacus: War of the Damned being the final season of Spartacus starting at 9 PM on January 25, 2013 on Starz network, the villains, the patriarchs of Rome, will define this show much like Quintus Lentulus Batiatus and Gaius Glaber did in Blood and Sand, Gods of the Arena, and Vengeance. The conniving and contrivances will continue in the Roman senate as Marcus Lucinius Crassus and his young Julius Ceasar make their political and military moves. With the death of Oenomaus in Vengeance, it is up to Spartacus to carry the mantle in the slave rebellion without a mentor. With Gannicus, Crixus and Agron by his side, Spartacus will have to face the Roman might of Crassus and his armies in DeKnight’s retelling of the Third Servile War that lasted from 71 to 73 B.C.
Marcus Lucinius Crassus
Marcus Lucinius Crassus is the ultimate manipulator within commerce — and the Senate — during the time of the Roman Republic. He was shrewd, calculating and charismatic and amassed a gigantic fortune — that is, before entering the political arena. Crassus accumulated much of his wealth through acquisition of properties, mining silver and trafficking of slaves. The latter two have already been encountered by Spartacus before, but these won’t necessarily force Crassus and Spartacus to initially meet. On the other hand, Crassus volunteered to crush Spartacus with legions of the Roman army to further his political ambition and surpass his rival, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus or otherwise known as Pompey the Great. In the theater of war, Crassus was absolutely brutal with his own army — and with his enemies. Spartacus and his rebellion has met his match not only in terms of numbers but in terms of brutality and tactics as well.
Tiberius Lucinius Crassus
In the world of DeKnight’s Spartacus, Tiberius Lucinius Crassus, the son of Marcus Crassus, is the rival of Julius Caesar for his father’s affections, Marcus. Historically, though, Tiberius never existed so whatever presumptions may be misconstrued concerning his “history.” In light of this, I wouldn’t put it past that Tiberius is related to Spartacus in some fashion since he appears younger than he actually is. If this is the case, he may disruptive for Crassus and Caesar.
Gaius Julius Caesar
Most have heard of Julius Caesar for his military and social changes in the Roman Empire. He made his political moves under the hospices of Marcus Crassus and ultimately confront and kill Pompey the Great eventually. Prior to the formation of the First Triumvirate with Marcus Crassus, Pompey and himself, he conquered the Gaul. In the world of the television series Spartacus, one has to imagine that Crixus and Agron will confront Julius Caesar for overtaking their land with the might of his legions. Whether both will remain alive after confronting Caesar remains in doubt.
Given that this is the conclusion of the wonderful television series Spartacus, I wish that Steven DeKnight revitalize either Hercules or Xena or both in this manner, if he chooses to depart from Spartacus altogether. With realism, brutality and less campiness, either Hercules or Xena in his hands would benefit and perhaps evolve into a television series that lasts much longer than Spartacus.
- ‘Spartacus’ Final Season Trailer: War Comes To Rome (huffingtonpost.com)
- ‘Spartacus: War of the Damned’ Trailer Sets The Stage For Epic Series Finale (screenrant.com)
- ‘Spartacus’ Season 3 Promos Highlight the Rebels and the Romans (aceshowbiz.com)
It is the bitter end for the prequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
Batiatus sought consolation with Lucretia and his fellow gladiators of his ludus for the death of his father Titus. However, Vettius spoiled the scene for Batiatus demanding payment of Gannicus within a day and lied about Tullius‘, his mentor’s excursion to Antioch for business. Unfortunately, Vettius’ arrival at his father’s funeral brought on his untimely departure prior to the opening of the new arena in Capua. Connecting two and two together, or so he thought, Batiatus believed that Titus was assassinated by Tullius and Vettius, with slight deception by Lucretia. Gannicus, with this knowledge, sought his revenge for the death of Melitta.
With this onset of manipulation, Vettius and Tullius were caught in the crossfire, and Gannicus, Oenomaus, Ashur and Batiatus ambushed Vettius and Tullius. Sadly, Tullius was buried alive in the walls of the new arena. Additionally, Vettius gave his ludus and his gladiators to Solonius without Batiatus’ consent and departed Capua to join his mentor, Tullius, in Antioch supposedly. Solonius finally earned his place as a leonista and within the upcoming games in Capua and abroad. He had learned from his former mentor and friend the art of deception, and they have become rivals as a result.
After the formalities, the gladiator fights began with the gladiators of the House of Batiatus and the House of Solonius. At night, the real games began, the ultimate fight between the two Houses, a Royal Rumble between the two teams of gladiators set in a ring of fire. Those who were kicked out of the ring were eliminated from the primus in Rome, and those who died were eliminated altogether. Solonius gladiators notably outnumbered Batiatus’ gladiators 2 to 1, but numbers don’t count for raw talent.
As the Royal Rumble began, the Roman drum chorus rang through each clash of the swords, shields and spears. Ashur killed his Syrian brother, Dagan. Surprisingly, Crixus dismantled Ashur’s leg for his sole desire to confront Gannicus and kicked Ashur out of the ring. Unfortunately, Crixus soon joined Ashur as he was kicked out of the ring as well. Gannicus became the victor of the Royal Rumble and was finally granted freedom by the Roman magistrate. Thus set the events in motion for season 1 of Spartacus: Blood and Sand with Batiatus’ acquisition of Spartacus…
Overall, a great conclusion to a somewhat dramatic prequel series to Spartacus: Blood and Sand. More on the foreshadowing of season 2 later…
The walls have ears.
Continuing from the previous episode, Beneath the Mask, Titus remained contentious against the marriage of Lucretia with his son. Furthermore, after Tullius‘ murder of Gaia, Titus demanded repayment for sullying his house; instead, Tullius offered him primus in the new arena for the sale of Gannicus. As a result, Titus decided to hold a tournament at his ludus to decide the Champion of the House and entrance into the arena as primus. Two notable fights occurred during this tournament. First, Ashur won his fight against his Syrian brother as a result of deceit. However, he gained no respect, if not notoriety, from the Brotherhood. Similarly, he performed a similar trick of playing possum with Oenomaus, or Doctore, in the final episode of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Second, Crixus finally defeated Gannicus when his guard was down as a result of distraction from Melitta. The Brotherhood now held him in high regard although his victory over Gannicus was not quite as honorable as he wanted it to be. From his defeat from Crixus, Gannicus now became the gladiator of Tullius, and he was no longer part of this ludus.
Other events of note also occurred. Lucretia begun his affair with the Champion Crixus since she wanted a child for Batiatus. Additionally, Titus finally fell as a result of her slow poisoning of the honeyed wine. Not knowing Lucretia did this, Batiatus was stunned as a result and quickly sought his father. Lastly, Melitta died as a result of the poisoned wine, too. She continued her affair with Gannicus, but it was short-lived — or rather she was.
This was yet another drama-filled episode with the titular event of the death of Titus, a milestone and a tombstone for this prequel series. Gathering from what occurred in Season 1 of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Crixus will become Champion of Capua by defeating Gannicus most likely in the opening of the new arena. If Crixus doesn’t get to him, most likely Oenomaus will from Batiatus revealing the affair of Melitta to him or from some other source. And at some point in the last episode, Arthur will suffer a crippling blow which will sideline him as a gladiator. Gathering from previous episodes, it would appear the Brotherhood will perform that deed.
Now to this series bitter end…
This is an episode basically about the political maneuvering of the House of the Batiatus against others — including Tullius and other people of influence. Although there was some fighting in the ring between Ashur, his Syrian brother and others, the focus of this episode was the younger and elder Batiatus in their discussion of political strategy to gain primus in the new arena in Capua. Something of note, the arena in Capua is nearly built. It appears that the builders need to finalize the entrance.
Lucretia and Gaia held another orgy for the Roman consulates, including Tullius. However, tragedy befell the House of Batiatus while Batiatus and Titus were stationed in Neopolis discussing business matters. Titus unfortunately returned to his House shortly after the orgy, and more importantly and sadly, Lucretia no longer has her confidant, Gaia, beside her due to Tullius. Gannicus may not have the favor of Titus anymore, but he still does have the favor of Melitta, the wife of Oenomaus and the Doctore of the ludus. From the way this story has been leaning so far, it appears that Oenomaus may be the one to either kill or banish Gannicus. However, the deceit of Melitta will have to be dealt within the final two episodes.
Some things have been revealed in this episode, or what is beneath the mask. First, Ashur’s treachery has already come to fruition against his Syrian brother, and this treachery revealed itself in the first season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Next, Titus may be more conniving than his son. His intentions are harder to decipher than Batiatus, and although he says he is here to benefit his son, he may just as easily sell out his son to Tullius and his allies. Lastly, Lucretia has declared that she wants to murder Tullius for his misdeed against the House of Batiatus. This act obviously will have splash effects that may have repercussions in this season and quite possibly the second season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
Overall, a decent episode in my opinion, but it’s similar to the first season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. All this dramatic buildup is leading to perhaps another gruesome finale.
This episode’s theme to me seemed to be establishing oneself against the odds — Batiatus against his father and Ashur, his Syrian brother and Crixus against the Brotherhood of the ludus. There wasn’t much sword fighting per se, but it did establish some drama in this episode.
As Batiatus’ father, Titus, arrived from Sicilia, Italy, Titus thought to regain his status as Dominus of the House. But things that Batiatus originally maneuvered in the previous espisode, Missio, fell apart as Titus sought counsel with Tullius and Vettius in the market of Capua. Titus returned the primus (the main title card) of Varrus’ arena to Tullius as an apology on behalf of the House of Batiatus for his son’s sly maneuvering. Varrus also returned from Rome to the House of Batiatus with a friend Vesuthius. This friend partook in essentially a rape of a virgin slave alongside one of the lowly gladiators. It was political catering, more or less, on part of Lucretia and Gaia on behalf of their House since Batiatus has already given away their primus for the arena.
On the gladiator’s side of things, Oenomaus, now Doctore, attempted to establish himself under the new title with the gladiators, but Gannicus, Barca or any of the other gladiators of the Brotherhood particularly granted him any sort of respect. Only through Titus’ commands upon the gladiators would any of them follow Oenomaus.
The crucial event happened when Crixus, who was considered a product of Batiatus, was scheduled to fight Octus, the product of Titus. It was essentially a demonstration of which training method was more effective, Titus or Batiatus. Crixus ultimately won against Octus but at a cost. Barca’s homosexual partner in the ludus was Octus, and now he was slain. It could set some bad blood between the two later on. However, Crixus was soon branded into the Brotherhood. Now only Gannicus stands between him and becoming Champion of Capua.
This has to be one of the most densely packed episodes of the Spartacus series, including season 1 of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. There was lots of blood and sex in this episode, as well as many cans of worms being opened, not just upon the corpses.
Batiatus vowed revenge on Vettius upon being beaten, and he does it with the help of Gaia, Ashur and his Syrian brother. Varrus, the liason from Rome, was soon to be arriving in Capua to schedule a primus (the gladiator for the main event) in the arena. However, Varrus wished to see the gladiators of Vettius via his ally Tullius‘ political maneuvering. Tullius attempted to bring favor by buying the vase and wine for Solonius, presently Batiatus’ ally. However, as sly as this maneuver may have been, it only brought retribution to Vettius.
Batiatus, however, set in motion events of his own. He declared Oenomus to become Doctore in the privacy of his own quarters since the current Doctore was a relic of his father and his training of Crixus. The present Doctore was notified afterwards, and it precipitated a division between two friends. Ultimately, the present Doctore, Oenomaus’ friend in the ludus, fell by his own sword, and Oenomaus now claimed that title. I thought this event came a bit early for this prequel, but it did give understanding on how the this event added fuel to the fire in the finale of Spartacus: Blood and Sand against Batiatus. Also, through conniving of Batiatus, Lucretia and Gaia and by Varrus’ own suggestion, Gannicus had sex with Oenomaus’, his friend’s wife while Varrus watched. This event may have set animosity between Gannicus and Oenomaus. It may also involve Oenomaus’ wife, Melitta.
Gannicus did secure the position as primus for the games in the arena, and the House of Batiatus defeated the House of Vettius temporarily. But retribution found a way of catching up to Batiatus and Lucretia in Spartacus: Blood and Sand. I would expect no different in this prequel.
Lastly, this episode foreshadowed the rise of Crixus as the upcoming Champion of Capua. He improved quickly while training with Oenomaus. He behaved like Spartacus, as Spartacus and Crixus are two sides of the same coin. This may foreshadow events once Spartacus: Blood and Sand returns for the second season.
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena began last Friday, and this show is the prequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand. We are introduced to Gannicus, a Celtic warrior is currently the lead dog in the ludus. Gannicus has bad habits — mostly wine and women — the night before the scheduled fight for Batiatus. He is not the model gladiator besides the fighting.
The slave turned gladiator Crixus and slave turned traitor Ashur are both introduced in this episode. Crixus and Ashur are currently freshmen in the gladiator training and are treated as such by the likes of Gannicus and Barca. Barca has demonstrated his homosexuality in this episode by kissing a fellow warrior of the ring. Unfortunately, Oenomaus, played by Peter Mensah, has already fought Theocles and has suffered his injuries already. That would’ve been a great fight scene with him and his fellow gladiators battling Theocles. Perhaps a flashback episode maybe…
Aside from Gannicus, Batiatus has an ally currently in Solonius against the house of Vettius. Both are attempting to bid for their first showing in the new arena that is being built in Capua. Unfortunately, Batiatus does not want to sell Gannicus to Tullius, the minister of Capua essentially, after Batiatus bought Crixus from Vettius and himself. It did not end well for Batiatus as a result. Now Batiatus is stuck between a rock and a boulder between choosing to sell Gannicus or not. Unfortunately, the shadow of his father looms in Gannicus…
This episode has demonstrated all that is good regarding this series so far — blood and sex, which wasn’t in short supply in this particular episode. The downside so far is that most of the fighting has been in claustrophic “arenas” much like the Pit in Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Perhaps once the arena is built the fighting will get more intense. Overall, a great start for the prequel…
Although this falls into the historical fiction section more than science fiction, I am glad that the series Spartacus has returned to television on January 21, 2011. With most of the returning cast reappearing for this series, it should still have spectacular fight scenes, and sexual overtones and undertones that we’ve all come to enjoy from this series.
John Hannah will return as Batiatus, Lucy Lawless will return as Lucretia, Peter Mensah will return as Oenomaus, Manu Bennett as Crixus and lastly, Ant0nio Te Maioha as Barca. Andy Whitfield will make a cameo as Spartacus in this stand-alone series and prequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
Batiatus and Lucretia will be fighting his father for ownership of the ludus and ultimately gain control of the arena’s top gladiators. Hopefully, there will be more blood than shed previously and less drama, but given the series tone, sometimes episodes of drama is needed to temper it a bit.