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SPARTACUS: episode 12

April 13th, 2010 (12:01 am)
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Twelve episodes down, one to go. SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND is almost done for the year, and it's *amazing* to think that I am seriously looking forward to the season finale of this bizarre TV show. I started watching it because Maurissa Tancharoen was plugging it on Twitter, which *she* was doing because she and the hubby had just gotten hired to write for it. Then I kept watching it because it was terrible, and I enjoy terrible TV. Then I realized that fandom would probably enjoy this hunk of crap. Then I realized that *I* enjoy this hunk of crap.

And y'know what? It's not just a hunk of crap. It is an interesting, weird, ridiculous, thoroughly entertaining show, with occasional bits strong, compelling melodrama packaged in Grand Guignol. It's like nothing else on TV, and goddammit, it's official: I'm a fan of SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND.

Episode 12 is called "Revelations," and if you feel that the show's plotlines have been treading water with all the secrets that have been kept over the course of the past twelve weeks, boy-howdy, watch this one, because this is the episode where they just clear the freakin' decks. It comes out that 1) Crixus is sleeping with Naevia, 2) Naevia stole the gate key, 3) Lucretia is sleeping with Crixus, 4) Batiatus *knows* Lucretia is sleeping with Crixus, 5) Ilythia murdered her friend, 6) Batiatus murdered Barca, 7) oh by the way Lucretia is pregnant, 8) did I mention that Varro's wife is paying his debts by working for Batiatus now and 9) Spartacus lets slip to Mira that he's planning to kill Batiatus? These things all spill in relatively quick succession, and it makes you feel a little giddy before you reflect on the fact that Brent Fletcher's solid script is benefiting from the fact that everybody else has been treading water on these angles for weeks so that this episode could drop all those bombs.

Quick recap: Solonius is executed by gladiator, meaning Spartacus. Before our hero decapitates him, they have a nice little scene where Solonius gets to hear that Batiatus will be joining him shortly. When his severed head is raised, it's smiling, which Batiatus finds a bit disconcerting.

But Batiatus has other concerns: Legatus Glaber (remember him? Ilythia's husband, responsible for Spartacus being in his current situation), and now that the Magistrate is dead Glaber is Batiatus's only hope of reaching political office. Glaber and Ilythia don't give a shit about Batiatus, and plan to go back to Rome, screwing all the way. Batiatus rallies them to his cause by showing off his dominance of Spartacus, causing Glaber to waver, because he *likes* seeing Our Hero broken. (Slash fans, the line begins to the right.) But when the other plotline comes to a sudden boil in front of Glaber, he and Ilythia take the chance to drop all pretense of friendliness.

The secret of Naevia and Crixus is out. In something that hadn't been mentioned yet, but could have been and should have, Lucretia has been deliberately keeping Naevia chaste so she can present somebody important with a virgin slavegirl, should she need to. Naevia, of course, has been fucking Crixus. But when Ashur is offered a slavegirl as a reward for his work, he requests… Naevia. Whom he knows to have been fucking Crixus.

Turns out Ashur and Crixus have backstory that, annoyingly, the show never got around to mentioning before now. Ashur was sidelined when he was injured by Crixus, apparently during training. This is why Ashur lives to needle Crixus -- for example, by giving him a souvenir plaque commemmorating Spartacus's victory over Theocles. Now, Ashur, newly installed in posh slave digs in the ludus, requests and is granted the sexual use of Naevia, who hates him but is forced to comply. (In a noteworthy twist on the "strip off" scenes we've seen with the powerful women ordering the gladiators around, we see Naevia strip off for Ashur from behind, through a window, and then the camera cuts away. We do not see the rape, and the moment is not eroticized as are, say, the ordered strippings-off of Manu Bennett.) When Ashur takes a moment to casually display his sexual ownership of Naevia, Crixus attacks Ashur in front of Glaber, thus earning Naevia and Crixus the punishment Ashur wants them to suffer -- and, incidentally, nearly screwing up the deal with Glaber. Batiatus is forced to pull his trump card: the severed hand of Ilythia's late friend, whose murder he threatens to reveal. Glaber grants the patronage, bitterly -- and exits, leaving Ilythia marooned in Capua.

While Lucretia is beating the tar out of Naevia, she finds that Naevia stole the gate key. She cuts off Naevia's hair and sends her away, presumably to be sold. Crixus gets lashes. The guard who lost the key gets his head cut off. Spartacus, who passed up an earlier opportunity to kill Batiatus because Varro's widow was present, has decided to do what he'd only admitted to Mira he was considering: straight-up revolt. But in the aftermath of Crixus's being flogged, he's got something he didn't plan on -- accomplices.

It's just as well: if one slave revolts, all lives are forfeit. It's no time to leave witnesses. As Spartacus says, they will have to kill them all.

The live-Tweets:

Quick rules reminder for the #spartacusdrinkinggame! Drink as specified per #SPARTACUS scene. (One rule per scene, or you'll die.)

One Drink: Slow-motion, Bare Ass, "Jupiter's Cock!" 2 Drinks: Somebody Dies, Boobies, Baby Oil Wrestling #spartacusdrinkinggame #Spartacus 9:58 PM Apr 9th via web

3 Drinks: Somebody's Fuckin', Oh Look a Penis Chug: Gladiator Training Sequence, Actual #Spartacus Dialogue, OMGWTF #spartacusdrinkinggame 9:58 PM Apr 9th via web

Want to type the line into Twitter because you can't believe somebody said that? It's Actual #Spartacus Dialogue. #spartacusdrinkinggame 9:58 PM Apr 9th via web

EPISODE 12! #Spartacus 10:00 PM Apr 9th via web

Disclaimer: "This show contains graphic violence and sex because we feel that these things are fucking awesome." #Spartacus 10:00 PM Apr 9th via web

"Your dog Ashur -- was he always on your leash, even when licking my ass?" #actualspartacusdialogue #Spartacus 10:02 PM Apr 9th via web

...last week on #Spartacus, Batiatus made an side to camera. This week, he calls out the title of the show. He's gonna go full Deadpool! 10:04 PM Apr 9th via web

DOCTORE! This show cannot get enough Peter Mensah as far as I am concerned. #Spartacus 10:05 PM Apr 9th via web

#Spartacus I just had to make another drink because these first couple of scenes have *kicked my ass.* #spartacusdrinkinggame 10:06 PM Apr 9th via web

Hey, remember that fancy armor they made a big deal out of #Spartacus getting several eps ago? Has he ever worn it? Even once? 10:08 PM Apr 9th via web

Cheek-cutting is reminding me of Montoya vs. Rugen. #Spartacus 10:09 PM Apr 9th via web

OH YAY ILYTHIA. #Spartacus 10:09 PM Apr 9th via web

Oh, I have to say it again: I like Solonius's style. #Spartacus 10:10 PM Apr 9th via web
#Spartacus BOOM. HEADSHOT. 10:11 PM Apr 9th via web

Please drop a "the traitor's cursed head" anachronistic quote in there. 'cause that'd be awesome -- aww, they didn't. #Spartacus 10:11 PM Apr 9th via web

"Name any slave and the wet joys of her body are yours." #Spartacus #actualspartacusdialogue 10:13 PM Apr 9th via web

Ashur is out of the ludus, to his disappointment. Mira is becoming #Spartacus's confidante. Plot development continues. 10:15 PM Apr 9th via web

Hey, that's right, we haven't been reminded that Crixus and Naevia are doing it again. Although -- WAS THAT CRIXUS DEVELOPING? #Spartacus 10:17 PM Apr 9th via web

Oh, man, Ashur, you *dick.* This is going to go so badly. So so so badly. #Spartacus 10:17 PM Apr 9th via web

EXPOSITION: Lucretia deliberately kept Naevia from getting any. Another reason to be pissed at Crixus when she finds out. #Spartacus 10:21 PM Apr 9th via web

What is *with* people calling out the title? "Blood upon the sands," Crixus, this time. #Spartacus 10:22 PM Apr 9th via web

Scene-chewing time! RELEASE THE HANNAH #Spartacus 10:23 PM Apr 9th via web

I swear, John Hannah is swaggering more and more every scene he's in. #Spartacus 10:24 PM Apr 9th via web

#Spartacus wouldn't see Varro's wife put at risk. Um, aside from revolting and removing the money she would live on, I mean. 10:26 PM Apr 9th via web

MAN. Ashur, you *dick.* ...I say that almost as often as I say, "Mmmm, *Ilythia.*" #Spartacus 10:27 PM Apr 9th via web

...god, I always forget how great Lawless is with her facial expressions until we have a Lucretia/Ilythia scene. #Spartacus 10:29 PM Apr 9th via web

Plotline for the German brothers! Whose names are too rarely uttered, so I don't know who the hell they are. #Spartacus 10:30 PM Apr 9th via web

Ahahahah. And Glaber arrives. Nice set-up: he outdicks and ignores Batiatus, making himself look badass by comparison. #Spartacus 10:31 PM Apr 9th via web

Batiatus gets good news: Lucretia is pregnant! Yeah, you folks don't know what's coming next week. #Spartacus 10:33 PM Apr 9th via web

Mira has a higher-profile role, but Varinia (Varro's wife) gives better impact. Hell of an actress. #Spartacus 10:37 PM Apr 9th via web

ILYTHIA MIMICKS SOLONIUS. I love her. #Spartacus 10:38 PM Apr 9th via web

I think we have more summonings than Gladiator Training Sequences in this episode! That would be a first. #Spartacus 10:39 PM Apr 9th via web

Glaber is a much more interesting villain as a politician somewhat removed than he was in episode 1. #Spartacus 10:41 PM Apr 9th via web

The first Roman #Spartacus fought was named Iolaus. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE, SHOW. Did Michael Hurst direct this one? 10:41 PM Apr 9th via web

THE SECRET IS OUT! And for Ilythia, it is LIKE CHRISTMAS. #Spartacus 10:46 PM Apr 9th via web

"You cannot believe me capable of such a thing!" OH YES HE FUCKING CAN. #Spartacus 10:49 PM Apr 9th via web

Whip damage is *nasty.* Quoth Marc MacYoung: "I was in a bullwhip fight once.
That was about three times too many." #Spartacus 10:51 PM Apr 9th via web

And now Doctore knows what he had only suspected: Barca was murdered. All the ducks in a row! #Spartacus 10:54 PM Apr 9th via web

"There is but one path: we kill them all." #Spartacus 10:54 PM Apr 9th via web

#Spartacus had strong direction (as always) from Michael Hurst, good script from Brent Fletcher (benefiting from getting to resolve plots). 10:59 PM Apr 9th via web

# Thank you, #Spartacus, for not forgetting Barca. Sucks that he died; I'm wanting someone to pay. 'course, they'll be paying for *so much.* 11:00 PM Apr 9th via web


All in all, a good installment -- it coasts on getting to be the episode that has all this stuff happen, and it drops in some Crixus-Ashur backstory that would've been interesting to know ages ago (I wonder if it was in an episode earlier but was cut for time or something), but most of it is fun, and it makes Glaber a bit more interesting than the pilot episode did. If he's the next Big Bad, he'll need it.

Next week: Episode 13, "Kill Them All." I'll be watching.

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Comments

Posted by: sireric08 (sireric08 )
Posted at: April 13th, 2010 05:05 am (UTC)

One thing I was puzzled about was the Spartacus vs. Legionaires fight. When it went to 2-1 and then 4-1, both Glaber and Ilythia looked pleased at the idea of Spartacus losing to them. While I get why Ilythia would be happy (she knows nothing about combat and would only see Spartacus about to get beat), Glaber should have been pissed off. Here is one guy, wielding two pratice swords and wearing a loincloth, and he is straight up outclassing Glaber's personal guards, who are (supposedly) trained to fight as a unit, wielding live blades, and ARMORED too boot! Any satisfaction he would feel at Spartacus getting humbled should have been offset by the fact that his bodyguards, frankly, suck.

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