So with the huge principal cast of Star Trek Into Darkness, it’s easy to overlook some of the smaller roles, but there is some interesting casting here. We thought it was worth noting some of them, see how many you picked out.
Oh “Betrayal” how you kill me! So much happened in this episode, but first things first, let’s all take a moment and revel in how awesome this picture is.
AAAGGGHHHH!!! Excuse me, there was no keeping the fangirl battle cry out of this one. Seriously though, how exciting is it that Captain Jack and River Song will be on-screen together? Well maybe not together, but they are in the same show, finally! There are plenty of Doctor Who/Torchwood fans who have longed for those two to meet up. This isn’t quite the same, but cool nonetheless. If you don’t follow John Barrowman’s twitter, you should because he is often posting fun pictures from the set. Of course while you are over there, might as well follow Grizzly Bomb as well.
Back to this week’s episode. Oh man, so much going on. It seems like David Anders is everywhere these days. Granted I did just happen to inadvertently watch his episodes of Charmed and Warehouse 13 this week which plays a part in it but still, he’s on Once Upon a Time as Dr. Whale and then Arrow this week as the bad guy du jour, Cyrus Vanch. Of course he’s also been on Heroes and Alias which I watched quite religiously so maybe he’s just everywhere in my TV universe.
It was nice of Vanch to remind us that there was a huge mafia presence in Starling City known as the Triad and that Huntress’ father, Frank Bertinelli was involved with, and his leaving prison provided a nice storyline involving Laurel, her father, and Arrow, but I think we can all agree his greatest contribution to the this week was the line, “Lose the bow, Merida.” If you aren’t one to keep up with Disney characters, Merida is the main character in this summer’s Brave. A very cute movie that leads to a very funny line.
I’ll admit I really enjoyed Vance as the bad guy because he’s not a DC villain that will have his one episode and then be done. Also, he did a really good job advancing the story between Laurel, Detective Lance, and Arrow. One does have to wonder, did Lance really think Laurel would be okay with the bugging of the phone? Seriously? I mean come on, yea he’s a cop and he’s made Arrow his white whale, but there is no reason on Earth for Laurel to be okay with all his hijinks.
Speaking of Laurel, how long are they going to continue to allude to her being the Black Canary? They’ve mentioned her love of sushi numerous times, she’s mentioned the fishnets, her firm is called CNRI, and the martial arts badassery! I imagine to people who don’t know about Black Canary it’s just a little quirk (Oh she really likes sushi), but for those of us who do it’s like dangling a donut right in front of our face. Just give us the Black Canary already! I can only hope that with her mom (Alex Kingston) arriving soon they’ll wrap that into her storyline.
The island also provided quite a bit of advancement. So Yao Fei slips Ollie the map with someplace circled on it. He goes to the circled spot and finds a (extremely attractive Manu Bennett) man who promptly tries to kill him. In a move that I was not expecting, it appears as if Slade Wilson is on the island with a partner to rescue Yao Fei? Not only that but his partner is the guy we previously thought was Deathstroke, who beat the crap out of Oliver back in episode five. Yao sends Oliver to help Slade take the airstrip that’s going to get them off the island, but why is Slade not mentioned at all in the rescue? Not to mention that shot from the pilot with the “Deathstroke” mask that had an arrow through the eyehole. Okay, the island provided advancement, but really it just offered up more questions and no answers.
I think we can all agree though, the Diggle/Oliver/book storyline was the best. Oliver decides to tell Diggle about the book his mom had, given to him by Felicity. Of course Diggle isn’t on board with just letting Moira be cagey about the book’s origins so he decides to go a super secret spy mission, as Moira’s driver. Of course “Lose the bow, Merida” wins as funniest line of the night, but Diggle walking in to the birthday party surely wins funniest moment. Just the look on his face! It was a winner. Of course things were a little bit more on the suspicious side when she met up with Malcolm again which led to the “That did not just happen” moment.
Before the episode aired, Andrew Kreisberg tweeted this.
I’ll admit I sort of rolled my eyes. Seriously best cliffhanger ever? That’s stretching it a bit. While I still don’t think it was the best ever, it was pretty damn surprising. After Oliver had talked to his mom the first time about the book and SHE THREW IT IN THE FIRE!!!!, when he had no reaction I didn’t really expect him to do anything. Yea he told Diggle he needed to talk to her, but I figured it’d be another dinner at Big Belly’s Burger and nothing would come of it.
So imagine my (and apparently everyone else watching) surprise when this happened…
Seriously?!?! I was stunned. Of course, as a cliffhanger, that’s where the episode ended. I’m not one who usually seeks out the next week’s preview, but I couldn’t help myself this time and now I can’t wait.
This episode was great and I think it is just going to build up from here. Going to have to go with a four out of five. About half of a star was for the ending alone!
Until next time Arrow fans!
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.
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!
*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!
Out of all the names being tossed around to play the Holy role of the son of John McLane in the latest Die Hard movie, I was hardly expecting that it would be…. Jai Courtney. Puzzled by the name? Me too. The face however is certainly familiar as Jai Courtney played the role of Varro on Starz Movie Channel’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Varro as you may or may not know was the best friend of Spartacus on the show and the two were indeed an enjoyable duo to watch. It will be hard to see Courtney without his trademark blonde curls that he had in the show, (not to mention the accent.) but I’m sure he’ll be better off without them as he is firing multiple rounds into bad guys side by side with Bruce Willis.
Here’s an official confirmation of the story from the forthcoming A Good Day to Die Hard from Fox:
[box_light]”A Good Day to Die Hard puts McClane on an international stage — truly a NYC fish out of water in Moscow — and introduces his estranged son Jack. An apple that has not fallen far from the tree, Jack may even be more of a hardass than his father. Despite their differences, they must work together to keep each other alive — and the world safe for democracy.” [/box_light]
This sounds good to me as long as Justin Long stays out of the picture this round. I wouldn’t mind another cameo from Kevin Smith and even one from Mary Elizabeth Winestead though. The plot I’m sure will turn out to be a little more in depth as production gets rolling, but at this point there is excitement enough that movie is now going to be on the fast track into theaters. And it’s needless to say that Jai Courtney has an opportunity to send his career into the stratosphere with this gig. After all he is starring next to one of the most recognizable stars in Hollywood for the past twenty years and one of the best, if not THE best action movie franchise. Now all that is needed is a villain…
Let’s hear some comments below! Not what anyone was expecting or better that a relatively unknown actor will be playing the role of Jack McClane? (Or will it be Gennaro?)
It seemed like the rescue of Naevia was going very well in the last episode. They infiltrated the mines after killing the guards and disguising themselves as Romans. They even seemed to have Glaber’s troops fooled when they came searching for the rebel slaves, until Ashur had to go and ruin things for them. Now they are on the run with Naevia in hand, but absent most of the men they went in with, including Crixus who is now captive of the Romans! Along the way of escaping Spartacus will lose even more of his followers and one begs the question of whether or not Naevia was really worth the cost of so many lives. The fight scenes mingled in between all of the political machinations this episode were awesome and entertaining even though they didn’t progress the story so much. I would imagine those not interested in political maneuvering at all were probably pretty bored with the episode as a whole. I definitely enjoyed it even though it didn’t live up to the other episodes of the season.
It was pretty obvious that Agron and reinforcements were going to show up at the end when Spartacus and Mira were making their last stand, but it was a nice touch when it turned out that the approaching “Roman” soldiers were really Agron and his men. I’m hoping Nasir survives the wound he took protecting Mira in the episode because I’m really enjoying his character and how far he has come in regards to his loyalty. I have a little notion in the back of my head that he is only doing many of these things to gain Spartacus’ trust so he can get close and ultimately kill him, but his loyalty to their cause seems genuine. Especially with him wanting to be called by his Syrian name and taking a sword in the stomach for Mira, but only time will tell.
Ashur was in rare form once again in helping the Romans track the rebels. He even actually showed a little fighting prowess…. By stabbing an ex-gladiator in the back, but at least he is still willing to get his hands dirty. His decision to kill the Roman commander and retreat from Spartacus instead is probably going to be deemed as cowardly by a lot of us viewers but I think it was smarter. If Ashur was a viewer of the show he’d know like us that Spartacus was pretty much unstoppable against a squad of Roman soldiers, but as a character Ashur was able to see every victory Spartacus had in the arena up close and in person. I applaud him for knowing it was futile to fight the ex-champion of Capua. I wonder what Glaber will do to Ashur when he returns still alive but with many troops lost. He sure as hell won’t be happy.
Lucretia is back to her scheming and plotting self fully now and one wonders what she convinced Illythia’s father of while doing the nasty. It would seem after Seppia’s failed seduction of Verinius that her and Seppius’ part in the show would be over, but I think it might still linger. Glaber already planted a seed of discontent in the mind of Seppius with that comment about Verinius banging his sister and he probably won’t see past her being cast aside for Illythia. It could be that an alliance is brewing between Glaber and Seppius that will culminate against Verinius and Illythia. One must wonder where Lucretia intends to land during all of this. Honestly, I don’t think we’ve seen Glaber’s dark side at this point, even though he has done much. I would fully expect there to some major retribution coming Illythia’s way once he finds out that she plans to betray him. Who knows, once she is out of the picture (potentially.) Glaber may gain the allegiance of Seppius by taking his sister as a wife.
Overall I can’t wait to see Crixus, Oenomaus and Rashko fight in the arena once more. The scene that Lucretia had alone with Crixus for a moment was about as tension filled as it gets and I can’t help but think that he shouldn’t have told her about Naevia being alive. It would be revenge enough seeing Crixus in the arena as a hated enemy of the state but if Naevia were to be recaptured and a slave again that would be the ultimate torment to the Gaul. I give the episode 3 out of 5 grizzlies. Good but not the greatest, but it definitely had stiff competition to go up against with the brilliance of the last episode.
I’m more than ready for the coming episode as we were treated to a preview at the end of this one featuring none other than ex-champion Gannicus! There will be arena fighting and more to come so stay tuned!