Spartacus Season 2: Vengeance – Episode 5 “Libertus”

*FULL SPOILERS FOLLOW*

This episode of Spartacus reminded me a whole lot of the finale of season one, Blood and Sand. It starts off with Oenomaus, Crixus and Rashko facing death in the arena Ad-Gladium…. at the hands of Gannicus and several other gladiators. Yes Gannicus is back and the episode begins with him and Oenomaus exchanging sword blows and then the screen cutting away to days earlier as the Blood and Sand finale started with Spartacus and Crixus fighting before it showed us events of the day previous. I always thought that was a very cool aspect of that season and I am glad to see they brought it back in this season. However let’s not see that it gets overused or anything.

One storyline that I thought wouldn’t come to a head so soon was that of the game being played by Illythia against her husband Glaber. Thanks to the crafty machinations of Lucretia and Ashur, Glaber comes to find out that Illythia’s plans to abort their child and her further plans of dissolving marriage to get with Verinius soon follows. It’s clear that Glaber isn’t going to let this pass and it would seem even with Lucretia playing both sides, for the moment she will help Glaber out to somehow get back at Illythia. I still think that Glaber is going to get with Seppia after sufficiently humiliating Illythia and Verinius. Glaber is actually becoming a proper villain thanks to his “loving” wife after what he did to her father. I couldn’t help but laugh a little at the moment when Glaber told him that he wasn’t the fool that him and his daughter believe him to be. I believe this leaves Illythia in a bit of a tight spot after revealing her plans to Glaber. TOO BAD!

The plan of Spartacus and the others to infiltrate the arena to save Crixus and the others was predictable, yet awesomely done. I love the arena scenes in the show. The music combined with the visuals of the crowd and the frantic camera work make for quite the adrenaline rush while watching. There was plenty of suspense and tension during the rescue scene too and poor Rashkos was a casualty. Sure the guy was a savage bastard but I was starting to get used to him in this season, but someone was bound to buy it in that scene. The best part besides all of the arena action was most definitely Gannicus being back in the show. Gods of the Arena was a great fill in for our wait for Season 2, and Dustin Clare was definitely a big part of how great that mini season was. Gannicus is by far not the same laughing warrior we saw in Gods of the Arena. Sure, he still loves drink and whores but he is clearly haunted to this very day by what happened to Melitta in the house of Batiatus. He certainly was a little thrown and the tension was palpable in the arena when Oenomaus confronted him about it. One would wonder how they’ll get along in the next episode. If they survived! But come on, they had to survive.

This was an excellent follow up to the awesomeness of episode 3 and I give it a 5 out of 5 bears for sure. I can’t wait to tune in next week and see where Spartacus and the boys stand in their road to war with the Romans. And not to mention the preview for next week showed Gannicus fighting Spartacus! Madness!
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