Episode thirteen of SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND is called "Kill Them All," and what you see is absolutely what you get. The twelve hours of mayhem that went before culminate in a whale of a bloodbath, with lots of strong moments and gore aplenty. It's not quite as strong in conceptual WTFery than some of the other episodes this season (I think "Whore" and "Thing in the Pit" still reign as the champions of "OH GOD DID THEY REALLY JUST DO THAT?!"), but "Kill Them All" has some good WTF moments and catharsis aplenty, with a number of intriguing character hooks for next year.
Quick recap: As Batiatus relishes his acquisition of Glaber's patronage for the rank of Aedile, Spartacus plots rebellion and struggles in vain to forge an alliance of his own with Crixus, who hopes to regain the good graces of his master, attain freedom, and find Naevia. To complicate matters, Batiatus plans to celebrate his good fortune with a private battle between Crixus and Spartacus. To the death.
The episode opens with the Spartacus/Crixus fight and flashes back to the events of the previous few days: Batiatus preparing to free Doctore and put him in charge of the ludus, restoring Doctore's own name of Oenemaus; Spartacus trying to make preparations for his rebellion, including getting Mira to open the gate at the appropriate time; Lucretia using her power over Ilythia to force her frenemy into making a big speech at Batiatus's celebration, for which Ilythia is expected to wrangle powerful guests. Meanwhile, Varro's widow Aurelia, who's rooting for Spartacus's demise, is tipped by Ashur (who, with Naevia gone to parts unknown, will be looking for a new lady) that Crixus will be poisoned so Spartacus can't help but win -- Batiatus is that sick of the big Gaul. Lucretia has a chance to warn Crixus, but when he spurns her affections, she keeps her mouth shut. Aurelia is put out by this, because she pure poison hates Spartacus; when he tells her he was forced to kill Varro on the orders of fifteen-year-old Numerius, she refuses to believe him until she overhears Numerius joking about doing just that. And the soon-to-be-liberated Oenemaus learns definitively what he'd only suspected: that Barca was murdered.
In short order, the following things happen:
-- Mira finds her way to the gate, but it is guarded, so she smashes a jug and cuts the guard's throat with a shard;
-- Crixus and Spartacus use their patented shield-vault to get Spartacus up to the balcony, where he barely misses killing Batiatus;
-- the other slaves revolt and burst through the gate;
-- Ilythia, in a *colossal* dick move, gets her revenge by escaping and *locking the other high-profile folks in with the escaping slaves;*
-- y'know how the episode is called "Kill Them All?" There you go.
The bloodbath that follows is pretty impressive, with pretty much everybody getting slaughtered. One of the German brothers (the less effective fighter) dies, but I didn't care because I could never tell them apart, anyway. A bunch of faceless gladiators die, but the other casualties are all on the side of the Romans.
Oenemaus gets Ashur into a facedown, and specifically calls him out for Barca (yay!) before going for the kill, but Ashur dastardly stabs him in the leg and flees, escaping by playing dead in a pile of bodies. (Alas; he's the one I really wanted to die.)
Crixus tries to get Lucretia to reveal what happened to Naevia. Lucretia tries to trade her information for freedom, but goes too far when she reminds Crixus of her pregnancy with what she believes to be their child, and he loses patience and stabs her in the belly.
Aurelia *carves up Numerius like he's a fucking Thanksgiving turkey.*
Spartacus kills Batiatus, who falls beside Lucretia, whose status is ambiguous: she's either dead or gravely wounded.
And then, after a rousing speech, Spartacus leads the slaves into the night.
Five minutes to #Spartacus! I don't know if I'm going to play the #spartacusdrinkinggame. Something tells me this ep will be high on WTF. 9:56 PM Apr 16th via web
Oh, who the hell am I kidding? GAME ON! #spartacusdrinkinggame #Spartacus 9:59 PM Apr 16th via web
DISCLAIMER: "Look, folks, if you don't know what you've signed on for for the next hour, we can't help you." #Spartacus 10:00 PM Apr 16th via web
Episode 13: "Kill Them All." Man, this is gonna be some wacky stuff. #Spartacus 10:02 PM Apr 16th via web
Gladiator lineup! It's Mouseketeer rolecall! #Spartacus! Crixus! The Germans whose names I can't remember! 10:02 PM Apr 16th via web
#Spartacus rule of thumb: whenever Batiatus is happy, shit is about to go south. Right now, Batiatus is very happy. OH SHIT. 10:04 PM Apr 16th via web
"#Spartacus, slayer of the shadow of death!" ...man, the dude has a lot of bad-ass names. 10:05 PM Apr 16th via web
#Spartacus flashback to GLADIATOR TRAINING SEQUENCE (chug) #spartacusdrinkinggame #imgonnadie 10:06 PM Apr 16th via web
BATIATUS SAID "BLOOD AND SAND" AGAIN. What the hell?! #Spartacus 10:08 PM Apr 16th via web
OH SNAP. Another revelation. #Spartacus 10:09 PM Apr 16th via web
Man, it is so nice to see a scene with John Hannah and Peter Mensah. #Spartacus 10:10 PM Apr 16th via web
OH CRAP #SPARTACUS GLADIATOR TRAINING SEQUENCE (chug). Also that last scene had an OMGWTF if you know the history. #spartacusdrinkinggame 10:12 PM Apr 16th via web
Crixus shall be freed for GLADIATOR TRAINING SEQUENCES. 'cause I'm not drunk enough. #Spartacus 10:14 PM Apr 16th via web
@MissKatrinaLaw's best performance on the show is this scene with Whitfield. #Spartacus 10:16 PM Apr 16th via web
"How long must I suffer your indignity?" "While breath gives life to my command." CAREFUL, Lucretia. #Spartacus 10:21 PM Apr 16th via web
GLADIATOR TRAINING SEQUENCE. (chug) Plus I forgot an earlier GLADIATOR TRAINING SEQUENCE (chug) #Spartacus #spartacusdrinkinggame 10:22 PM Apr 16th via web
"I know your heart, Crixus. I felt the beating of it within my chest once." #actualspartacusdialogue #forheartreadpenis 10:23 PM Apr 16th via web
Awww, Crixus has SUCH WOOBIE FACE right now! #Spartacus #crixuswoobie 10:24 PM Apr 16th via web
OMGWTF #Spartacus #spartacusdrinkinggame 10:27 PM Apr 16th via web
So far this episode: a lot of scenes, pairing up lots of characters. I really like two-person scenes; SCC did it to good effect. #Spartacus 10:31 PM Apr 16th via web
NICE. Aurelia's scene with #Spartacus in flashback gives a new meaning to her (earlier) scene in episode's present. Well-done. 10:33 PM Apr 16th via web
Uh-oh. HERE WE GO. #Spartacus 10:36 PM Apr 16th via web
OH SHIT #SPARTACUS 10:36 PM Apr 16th via web
#Spartacus For those playing the #spartacusdrinkinggame, remember it's two drinks per death. #seeyouinthehospital 10:39 PM Apr 16th via web
Oh, TELL ME they did not just do the lame "NOOOOOO!" But now making up for it with OMGWTF carnage #spartacus 10:41 PM Apr 16th via web
FUCK YEAH DOCTORE #Spartacus 10:42 PM Apr 16th via web
Peter? Aurelia has gone bye-bye -- OMGWTFBBQ! #Spartacus 10:50 PM Apr 16th via web
#Spartacus BOOYAH. And now -- the campaign speech! 10:53 PM Apr 16th via web
#Spartacus AND SHOW. Nice direction by Jesse Warn, and @stevendeknight juggles lots of balls with the Grand Guignol. Suitable carnage! 10:55 PM Apr 16th via web
RT @asturdivant And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you end a season, by Jupiter's Cock! #spartacus 10:57 PM Apr 16th via web
Congrats to all the #Spartacus writers, cast, and crew for a helluva first season. Get well soon, Andy Whitfield - you've got a fanbase now! 11:10 PM Apr 16th via web
He definitely has a fanbase. SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND is setting ratings records for Starz; it set one with its premiere, and it's just held or kept steadily going up over the course of the season, with a couple of big jumps along the way. (Ratings went up from a .4 to a .6 after "Whore," when folks were going "HOLY SHIT YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT THEY DID ON SPARTACUS THIS WEEK.") More than a million people watched the show last week, which is amazing when you consider that Starz is only available in 17 million homes. If you were to clumsily adjust the ratings to just consist of households with that particular channel, that'd be basically a 5.8 rating. That's *amazing* for pay cable. For Starz, it's stratospheric. Before SPARTACUS, they were most famous for buying the airing rights to the "Movies in 30 Seconds and Re-enacted by Bunnies." (And having said that, I really want to see the Bunnies take on SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND. Hey, Starz, make that happen!)
They've got to be tearing their hair out about Whitfield's illness, but hey, you gotta stand by your leading man, especially when he is, as by all reports, a solid, decent guy who sets a good tone for the show's company of actors. Actors are batshit crazy egomaniacs, man; a decent, balanced star is farking gold. Starz is reportedly considering a six-hour prequel miniseries to fill the hole in their January schedule, and I hope they do it; the intertwined backstories of Crixus and Barca would be awesome miniseries material, if they can book the actors and if the sets haven't been torn down and if Steven DeKnight and his writing staff can drop work on season two and pull a flashback miniseries out of their asses.
And man, there's a ton of stuff to wonder about Season Two. Some of them:
-- Is Lucretia dead? If she's not, she's in a very rough situation, because she's widowed and without allies. Something tells me Ilythia will give her shelter. And Lucretia will wish she hadn't.
-- How will Oenemaus and Crixus balance vs. Spartacus? Oenemaus, for those who don't recall the history, is the third of the leaders of Spartacus's rebellion -- but we've seen that he doesn't much like or trust Spartacus. That'll be fun to deal with.
-- Where is Naevia? She's been sent off to some dire fate, but we don't yet know where. She may be dead. She may not.
-- What is Ashur going to get up to? My money is on him landing on his feet, probably hooking up with Glaber and company at some point. I'd enjoy seeing him and Ilythia match wits at some point, too. Of course, more than that, I want Ashur dead.
-- Keep your eye on Aurelia, Varro's widow, who killed Numerius in easily the episode's most brutal death. Steven DeKnight has said he's going to keep a good bit of attention on the women in Spartacus's revolt, and if this episode is any indication Aurelia is likely to become a *batshit crazy hit-and-run killer.* (Oh, man, I want to see her fight Ilythia. Can that be arranged?)
SPARTACUS still isn't Quality Drama, but it's not trying to be; it's increasingly solid blood-and-thunder pulp, the kind of thing you'd have gotten if they'd had a pulp magazine called SPICY GLADIATOR STORIES. And it's increasingly Quality Entertainment: it isn't good for you, but by God it'll keep you nailed to your seat.
Originally posted on my DW. | people have commented there. | Do so yourself, if you like.