Some great news for the loyal Deadites out there patiently awaiting the Halloween premiere of Ash vs Evil Dead. Starz has already greenlit a second season, presumably based on the buzz leading up to the premiere, as well as some great reviews over the last few weeks.
Of course, a lot of that buzz can be attributed to the loyal fan base that Bruce Campbell has built over the years, and with his return to the role that made him famous there is no doubt that Starz saw potential in the series and one of the most well-known chins in cult movie history.
Come Halloween night, Ashley J. Williams is making his return. With him, come the dead. Or deadites to be more specific. Starz is bringing the cult hero to the small screen, once again portrayed by the one and only Bruce Campbell. For those of you who can’t wait till then for your fix (like us), Starz has released a new trailer as well as some behind the scenes stuff.
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!
Two years have passed and the Starz original series Spartacus has not missed a beat. (Good thing they stayed ready with Gods of the Arena) The story picks up not too far from where Blood and Sand left off; Spartacus, Crixus and the other freed slaves are on the run and committing attacks against Romans throughout Capua. Expect to see the same gratuitous amounts of blood and slow motion as we’ve seen in the other two seasons of Spartacus. The same goes for the naked debauchery found in previous seasons. Just picture sword fighting in the middle of a Roman whorehouse! It was like vinegar strokes v.s. sword strokes for heaven’s sake!
Of course let’s get the biggest concern out-of-the-way in the form of Liam McIntyre. In case you’re a Spartacus fan who’s been living under a rock, then you’ll need to know that Mr. McIntyre has replaced the dearly departed Andy Whitfield as ‘Spartacus’ this season. I had a tough time at first watching McIntyre as our favorite gladiator, but as the episode went on he definitely looked comfortable enough in the role. If Spartacus wasn’t just focused on killing Romans and that stupid asshole Claudius Glaber, I think it may have been a tougher job for McIntyre. Seriously though, how hard is it to play a vengeful slave hell-bent on murder? I feel confident that McIntyre will definitely look more and more comfortable in the role as the episodes go on.
I kind of thought that Spartacus and the slaves would be a roaring force to be dealt with at this point, but truth be told they are simply renegades living in the sewers of Capua, killing and stealing for food and weapons. Spartacus, though still a great leader, does not have the undying loyalty of all. The Gauls of the group still only answer to Crixus, and the relationship between him and Spartacus is a bit strained as their goals remain totally different. By the end of the episode, their motives become a little more concerted and I think the season will really be roaring along.
It was very interesting to see Lucretia back, especially considering everything she knows. Of course most of the things that are implied by her return are very predictable. Her memory will clearly come back about Ilithyia at some point during the season, and I assume she will play dumb until she can exact revenge upon her. Not before humiliating her and her husband with the knowledge of Licinia’s murder. Hopefully before all of that she let’s good ole’ Claudius know about Ilithyia banging Spartacus back in Season One.
The high point for me in this episode was by far the scene where Claudius Glaber gave his speech and presented the surviving Lucretia to the people of Capua. The whole time Spartacus was looking on from the crowd and moving closer and closer, I was on the edge of my seat hoping he would take that scumbag out. Of course he didn’t, but that was to be expected.
Now to my low point. And I don’t mean quality wise because there was not much I didn’t like about this episode. The capture and death of Aurelia was definitely a downer. After all she had been through with losing Varo in season one I had hoped that she would be reunited with her son.
But alas, this is Spartacus and not a very good place for happy endings as was evidenced in the last two seasons. I almost expected something to go wrong when Spartacus sent her along her way but I was still shocked when Claudius Glaber brought her out before the crowd. Total bummer.
Overall, I give the episode a 4 out of 5 grizzlies.
The series is back and is as good as it previously was and hopefully the premature critics of Liam McIntyre can stopping their inane babble for awhile. At least until the season gets into full swing, which it certainly has a good start on. Tune in for the next episode and definitely check this one out online from Starz before it’s Friday premiere date!
As much as I liked the little teaser trailer from Comic-Con of Spartacus: Vengeance, the extended one that ran on Starz a few days after is far superior. Not only did it have the most face slashes and stabs I’ve ever seen in my life, but it gave us a few glimpses of some of our favorite characters. Namely the ones we love to hate.
There was a little more dialogue from Liam McIntyre as Spartacus and a whole lot more ass kicking. Like I’ve repeated, he can’t replace Andy Whitfield but it would appear he can hold his own and still honor the role in his absence. There will forever be comparisons of McIntyre to Whitfield’s portrayal of the Thracian gladiator. That is unless he does so well in the role that we can’t help but separate the two. Check out the trailer below and put on a face shield so the blood doesn’t get in your eyes:
Yeah I know it was awesome. I’m glad to finally get to see the scum coming out the woodwork. Lucretia looked absolutely demented and a little bit like Medusa. I’m curious what will come of her now that she doesn’t have a husband and her home is pretty much a morgue at this point. Will she be Ilithyia and Glaber’s simple servant until she can take her vengeance on Ilithyia for abandoning her and her husband last season?
I wondered who Gannicus was fighting as well. It wasn’t Oenemaus I hope, but maybe the truth finally comes out about Gannicus and his wife’s affair in ‘Gods of the Arena’.
I’m glad the whole season is titled Vengeance because there is plenty to be had. Ashur wants some against Crixus and the rest of the gladiators who shunned him and there is none more enticing than the vengeance Spartacus wants to deal out upon the face of Glaber and his wife.
So did this trailer get everyone’s blood pumping for the premiere in January? I can’t wait!