Tag Archives: Liam Mcintyre

‘Spartacus: War of the Damned’ Will be Final Season

I’m not sure it should come as a surprise to anyone that Spartacus couldn’t last forever. I mean how many Romans can really come at Spartacus and get killed in such creative fashion? And here’s a huge spoiler from the history books, Spartacus and the other slaves do eventually end up losing. Sure, the show isn’t all that historically accurate so I wouldn’t put it past them to do something uniquely different with the ending, but honestly there’s not a whole lot more to squeeze from the lauded Starz original series. Oh yes, all of that accompanies the fact that we had about half the cast bite the dust in just the second season.

After season 2 a couple things are now official. The third season of Spartacus will be known as “War of the Damned”, and this third season will be it’s final season. It seems crazy to think that Starz would cancel it’s most widely watched show at the peak of it’s glory, but one has to respect them for not just milking the ever loving shit out of their project until it dies a meek death with less than half the original viewers it started with, as most TV shows love to do. Check out the article here at THR for an extensive interview with showrunner Steven S. DeKnight to get a grip on his reasoning for the ending of the show.

It’s going to be interesting to see what the last ten episodes of Spartacus will hold for the characters we know and love including Spartacus, Crixus and Gannicus. It’s evident that anyone at this point will be up for an epic death scene, more than likely not in the arena. It was almost inevitable that Spartacus would be facing off against Crassus at some point, having heard his name over the past two seasons more than once.

Also of note is the inclusion of the man himself, Julius Caesar into the world of Spartacus. DeKnight even spoke of a possible spin-off involving Caesar. I’m not quite sure how that would work out, or if it would even be entertaining, but I’m sure if it’s the same team running the show it couldn’t be that bad. Usually I’m shocked and upset about a show ending, especially when it’s at it’s absolute best. However, something just feels right about them ending Spartacus. The show has been consistently good even with many tribulations it has faced with the untimely death of it’s main actor Andy Whitfield. Hopefully they will end it on a high note in honor of him. Time will tell.

Advertisements

Spartacus Season 2: Vengeance – Episode 6 “Chosen Path”

With many shows on the pay channels such as HBO and Starz, it’s very hard for them to follow up brilliant episodes with anything even close to the potential exhibited the week before. Spartacus this season, I have noticed, is the exception. Last weeks assault and basic massacre at the arena in Capua was nothing short of epic and Glaber’s murder of his wife’s father was a bold move for him to make. This week’s episode, though not as action packed as the last was just as good and even more so story wise.

Spartacus and his makeshift army are now based at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, holed up in a rundown temple awaiting the inevitable Roman counterstrike. As before, you at first believe the group of slaves to be united after such a morale boosting victory, but instead they are a bit divided as to what their next move should be and that morale is not helped by the nay-saying and dire warnings of Gannicus. At this point, Gannicus is somewhat of a beaten man despite being ex-champion and freed slave. He is now without his rudis, which is the wooden sword signifying his freedom, and needs it to prove that he is not a runaway slave. He also had words with Oenomaus who never really forgave him for what happened with Melitta and told him the truth of what a selfish and lost person he truly is. Even though we get to see an awesome clash between Spartacus and Gannicus, that is not the only reason he was brought back to the show. Gannicus is a great character who we will see in the coming episodes even after he has left what he sees as a futile cause against the Romans. We’ll see how he deals with the newest predicament next week when he returns to Capua to recover his rudis.

Probably one of the most interesting portions of this week’s episode would have to be that of Ashur, who proves that he is able to maneuver himself into a favored position with pretty much anyone through his deceit and double dealing. After sometime, if Ashur ever finally dies it’s going to be well deserved because he has basically crossed everyone on the show at this point. But I can’t help but love the character. The scene where Ashur proves that the escaped gladiators are worth three Roman soldiers was awesome and well choreographed. Ashur also proved the point to us, the viewers, that he is still in pretty damned good fighting condition. It had been since Gods of the Arena since we have seen him fight, (I don’t count the pitiful performance against Oenomaus in season 1) and he is clearly still quite the danger. And now he finds himself in the employ of Glaber himself, no longer needing the support of Lucretia which he points out in a most disturbing way in a certain scene. Ashur is tasked with putting together a group of killers to be utilized by Glaber as he sees fit and we are given a taste of this (albeit a disgusting one) by the end of the show.

The scene that I speak of is one that fully solidifies Glaber as the true villain of this story. Ashur and his newly formed squad of killers attack a villa and are shown brutally killing all of those inside including women and children. Then the last victim is shown to be Seppius who dies a prolonged death beneath the boot of Glaber who had offered an alliance earlier in the show. Glaber is seriously not f*cking around anymore. Anyone who crosses him at this point is expendable, dare I say even his wife Illythia. It was a fitting death for Seppius as I couldn’t see where else they might take his storyline, although his sister may still have a place as Glaber’s future wife once Illythia potentially outlives her usefulness.

This season is definitely heating up even further which I didn’t think was possible, but after two direct showdowns between Glaber and Spartacus they still have me clamoring for another tension filled showdown. And although I found Glaber as sort of an impotent villain in the previous season and episode it would seem that his wife definitely tipped the scales. Glaber is done with modesty and following the rules of honor. He is willing to kill those in his path to obtain an heir and maintain his position as praetor in the Republic. He is almost like the new Batiatus, a man whom he held nothing but disdain for but still practices his same methods of brutality and less than honorable actions. I can’t wait yet again for the next episode where we’ll see what Gannicus does with an offer from Lucretia and if Agron’s newly freed men from Neapolis complicate things in anyway for the group. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Naevia/Crixus story line even though it was a necessity. 4 out of 5 bears!

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!

Spartacus Season 2: Vengeance – Episode 3 “The Greater Good”

This was by far the best episode of the season yet, and that is pretty good for only the third episode. It would seem that Lucretia unleashing that little bit of information about Gannicus and Oenomaus’ wife Melitta happened a lot sooner than I thought, as she and Ashur worked towards gaining the location and intent of Spartacus and the other escaped slaves. I thought that Oenomaus was one of the more intriguing characters of the series, but he really doesn’t compare to the likes of Ashur.

“I call this one THE HELICOPTER!”

Ashur personifies the concept of scheming and treachery. Having said that, his loyalty is somewhat steadfast as long as the person employing him treats him well. It has already been shown that he is still loyal to Lucretia, though whether that is pure or simply a means to get revenge against Spartacus and the others remains to be seen. I don’t see him ever actually being true to the likes of Glaber. You have to wonder what Ashur’s driving force is, because it’s not likely he could rise much higher than someone’s lackey being a freed Syrian slave in Rome. Either way, he is a brilliant villain for the series and has made plenty of enemies of people who could really beat the living crap out of him. (Oenomaus and Crixus in particular.)

A statue that bleeds…

Oenomaus seems to be a broken man at this point after learning of Melitta doing the nasty with Gannicus, and bringing the poisoned wine to drink with him just before it. I would think even though he may want to see Gannicus dead, he may care a little less for long dead Quintus, and still alive Lucretia as well, especially if he finds out that Lucretia is responsible for Titus dying.

There have been some interesting developments indeed going down for the renegade slaves as well. After freeing another group of slaves being transported, Agron and Nasir interrogate one of the surviving Romans and gaining some information about Naevia, which isn’t good. After Crixus finds out that she is supposedly dead he goes into flip out mode and then mopes around quite a bit. It was actually pretty sad to see Crixus react to Naevia’s death, but as the episode wore on you could tell by the way Nasir was acting that something was amiss and when it was revealed you know things wouldn’t be good for anyone who pissed off Crixus.

Crixus LOVES Sinéad O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”

Finally the truth comes out when Nasir admits that Agron lied about Naevia’s death because he didn’t think it was right that they were risking everyone to save one person. And so Spartacus, Crixus and Nasir strike off with a small group for the mines where Naevia is being held and Agron leads the others to Mount Vesuviusto make camp. I always liked Agron, but I was kind of disappointed to see him screw up the harmony of the group with his lies. It was good to see Nasir as such a valuable member of the group, offering to assist them at the mines, and a bit weird to think of him and Agron as…*gulp*… a couple. Of anything by the end of this episode, the comradarie seen between Crixus and Spartacus was a welcome sight, though by the looks of the ending it may have been cut short.

“Swear to God, it was THIS big”

It would seem Claudius Glaber is finally being useful without having to rely on Verinius and Seppius as he heeds Ashur and Lucretia’s advice to seek out Spartacus and the others at the mines. The scene where it alternated between the fights at the Capua arena and the slaves escaping the mine with Naevia was very well done, both musically and visually. My biggest question at this point is what in the hell will become of Crixus? I really am starting to like the big oaf. And can I just add that I absolutely cannot stand Seppius’ sister Seppia? If actress Hanna Mangan Lawrence was going for ditzy and annoying noble Roman girl then she nailed that right on the head, and is a great actress for making me despise the character after only briefly seeing her in three episodes. I give the episode 5 out of 5 grizzlies, because it was perfect. It kept me on the edge of my seat with the interrogation of Oenomaus and the rescue of Naevia the entire time and left us with an excellent cliffhanger ending. Not to mention there was plenty of action to sustain us barbaric male viewers.

“Yup, hand in the air, I was totally paying attention.”

Spartacus: Vengeance – Episode 2 “A Place in This World”

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.

This can only go two ways…

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!