I’ve officially slipped right back into Spartacus mode. Any reluctance or slight misgivings I may have had about Liam McIntyre as Spartacus are now moot. The series is really picking up again and it’s as good as it once was. I thought it was a nice touch in the episode when they tied all three of the seasons together with the inclusion of a certain flashback scene.
Though the entire episode was very good, the character that stood out to me was definitely Oenomaus. We know the history of the former gladiator trainer in the House of Batiatus, that he owed much allegiance to Titus who was the father of Quintus and that he grew up in the same house as young Quintus. In this episode, as Oenomaus searches for meaning and to punish himself, we are treated to a flash back of the youth being purchased by Titus and given a purpose in life. At this point we can begin to understand why Oenomaus is so distraught over the events that occurred with the mass slaughter in the House of Batiatus. He fought for a man who gave him self worth and had to bear witness as Titus’s son tore it all down with his treachery and scheming.
The only good thing about getting to see a character I liked so much was the method of how he did so; by entering into the gladiator fights in “The Pit” which was shown to us in Season One of Spartacus as the now rebel Thracian fought from the bottom of the barrel and into the arena to become champion. The scenes make for some of the most brutal fight scenes in Spartacus yet and we are presented with a cloaked character from past seasons that many may have forgotten about.
Major Episode Spoilers Below!
The smaller parts of the story involve Lucretia snowing over Illythia and Glaber with how crazy she is, while still showing that she is capable of playing the games of deception and treachery as her husband did. The knowing smirk that Lucretia gave in the marketplace and at the end to the now revealed cloaked man I mentioned above show us that she is a little more aware than her “guests” think. As for Glaber, he is busy trying to gain the allegiance of Seppius who is still a little sour over the death of his cousin Sextus. The two do not come to an agreement in the scene they share in the episode but something will have to come to a head soon. I’m thinking once Glaber has command of Seppius’ men he will quickly eliminate the potential threat he poses.
Crixus and Spartacus continue their search for Naevia, much to the chagrin of yet another Dominus that Crixus deals with personally. They are getting closer to finding Crixus’s wayward beauty, but also drawing more attention to themselves by attacking another villa and engaging in an unavoidable attack with Seppius’ mercenaries. I sure hope they are able to train enough newly freed slaves before they become too obvious a target for Glaber and Seppius should the two pompous asses ever ally with one another.
So I’m going to spoil you majorly with this next part to close the review, so don’t read anymore if you haven’t seen the episode. The cloaked man in the “The Pit” who slipped Lucretia a note in the marketplace and took a weakened Oenomaus captive was none other than Ashur. He is definitely one of my favorite characters from Blood and Sand, the way he was able to manipulate so many people and rise to the top so quickly. Now that Oenomaus is captured and under the heel of Glaber, Illythia and Lucretia it will be interesting to see when Gannicus gets into the fray. It looked like he will show up some time in the season according to the trailers. Will Lucretia share the secret of his wife’s death with Oenomaus and blame it solely on Gannicus? Will she somehow manipulate him into hunting down Spartacus for her? Time will tell. I give the episode 4 out of 5 grizzlies. Rock on Spartacus!