Spartacus Rewatch Thoughts & Feels: Vengeance (episodes 1-5)

First off, I am so happy the prequel exists, because it really helps with the Andy-Liam transition to have a buffer between s1 and s2.

Secondly, I still kind of almost wish that they'd had the time and option to tell the story in a way that involved the original Spartacus actually dying and another guy taking over, in an "it's the idea of the man that matters, not the man himself" kind of way. I know that for various reasons it would never have worked; I just love that kind of story (hello, Robin of Sherwood!).

I'm going to ramble by episode this time:

Overall, still a little weak and weird, but it has a lot of good stuff too.
Crixus and Spartacus: Man, I love how fiercely invested Sparty is in getting Crixus and Naevia back together - such vicarious wish-fulfillment! :( Also all their arm-clasping and staring at each other's lips, lol. Snog already! (Manu and Liam had such great chemistry from the start, it's awesome.)

"I believe the man is dead." Hi Donar! Please stay and dead-pan forever!

Argh, Agron, though. He's so lost and so angry and it breaks my heart. (I think this is where I said he really needed to get laid the first time I watched this, and [info]notoriouslyuniq laughed and laughed and laughed at me :D). Also, whew, so glad he cut the hair. Those things were distracting!

Aurelia has the shittiest, shittiest luck. I know it's totally not fair of her to blame Spartacus, and I was really vexed with her in s1 for blaming him for Varro's death, but it's hard not to sympathise a little bit, since pretty much all the crap things that happen to her are in some way connected to him, even if it's not his fault.


Ah, Seppius and Seppia. I'll be forever bitter that we were deprived of our well-earned incest plot.

Ashur! Ashur ruins things! *drinks*

A Place In This World:
One of my fav episodes ever. Backstory for one of my favourite characters and a fantastic intro story for another? YES PLS GIEF.

Epic Oenomaus flashbacks, HELL YES. That kid they found to play young Oenomaus is unbelievably perfect. He's so tiny and angry and woobie. Argh. And his scenes with Titus are amazing - such good background for how Oenomaus became the man he is and why he's in such a dark place now. I mean, in his mind he's not just betrayed his master and his position, but the only home he's ever had, and Titus' son - kind of a brother, in a weird way, since Titus was such a father figure to Oenomaus. His self-hatred and death wish is just devastating to see.

Lucretia working the Oracle of the Gods angle cracks my shit up. Her pious face while blessing people in the marketplace! I love how different her and Ilithyia's relationship is this season and how Ilithyia tries so hard to catch her out in a lie and figure out what the hell kind of game she's playing. They go such dark places, it makes season 1 look positively wholesome.

Nasiiiiiiiiiir! Hi Nasir! Best character introduction ever - I fucking LOVE how pissed off he is at this whole being freed against his will crap, but then how quick he is to adapt and give this new thing a chance, and how fiercely he throws himself into training. And I will never grow tired of him sneering snottily through the blood when Crixus punches him, and insolently staring down the Bringer of Rain. Bwahahaah.

"And how do you propose we train this wild little dog?"
"As Batiatus had Doctore train me."
"And that worked out so well."

It took me a couple rewatches to realise he didn't just hand over his own drink in that scene when Nasir's snappy comeback amused him. NOPE HE BROUGHT TWO DRINKS (and I believe he may have combed his hair, it's suspiciously tidy in that scene). That means he came over with the express and specific intent to flirt and still completely sucked at it. "You're short. You're gonna die. People from your country fucking suck." Smooth, Agron. So smooth. (All the giggles aside though, it's such a lovely scene in terms of Agron opening up and being all mellow - I mean, anyone else would've got punched into next week for talking smack about Duro. You liiiike him!)

Chadara breaks my heart, though. It's another one of those really interesting juxtaposition things - Spartacus decided to make Nasir his personal de-brainwashing project, giving him a chance and personal training lessons and important missions to prove himself, and Agron is interested in him too, so he gets all this attention and encouragement to become who he is capable of becoming. Meanwhile, Chadara gets no help at all. No one truly tries to disabuse her of the notion that her body is all she has to offer. No one helps her find her place in this new world. The guys she shags just take advantage, Mira says something a couple of times but is too wrapped up in her own shit and basically just expects Chadara to snap out of her old life, and Nasir (the only one who has shared said old life with her and presumably they were something like friends) is too busy with his own adjustment and with sorting out the Crixus situation and his feelings for Agron. Chadara died from lack of caring, basically.

Spartacus and Mira are so fucking adorable right now, I can't even. I've mentioned before that I ship her more with Liam's Sparty - they have such a lovely playful quality and (at this point) still so much potential for becoming something real. I was so happy when he managed for once not to bring up Sura when he told Mira that she makes him happy. And I love how she always calls him on any noble self-sacrificing bullshit and reminds him that the slaves are all there because they want to be. She rocks.

The Greater Good:
Heeeh, Chadara, you're such a slasher. Please stay and never die. You're one of us!

Agron you dickhead, get thee to the doghouse. I know Spartacus already said it but STOP FOR ONE SECOND AND THINK IF THAT WAS DURO IN THE MINES. Gaaaah. I cannot even deal with Crixus' face when he thinks Naevia's gone. It's too devastating. And how he then turns himself around to join Spartacus anyway. And gives that speech. And tries to reconcile with Nasir. He's come so far. MY HEART.

I love Nasir's integrity so much. I love that he not only tells Crixus the truth regardless of how that might negatively impact how Agron feels towards him (it doesn't seem to - again, Agron must really fucking like him a LOT by this point because anyone else would've got beaten into a pulp), but that he then commits to going with them and helping Crixus out, never mind that it's the opposite of what Agron wants and that it takes them on different paths. I love that he's able to put other people's needs and his own sense of what's right above his fledgling crush. I also just love him in general <333 (also lol, Pana's accent in these early eps could not be more Kiwi!)

UGH ASHUR YOU RUIN THINGS *drinks* Poor Oenomaus :(((

Ewwww, the mines. What a vile fucking horrible place. I'm always devastated for all the slaves they have to leave behind, so I was super-stoked when they mentioned in one of the season 3 montages that they did go back and freed them all. Yay!
Mira and Nasir being awesome at everything ever! I approve. Oh god, Naevia though :CCCCCCC Her face when she sees Crixus! Her face when the moron immediately goes and gets himself captured and/or apparently killed! ARGH.

Empty Hands:
Oh god. In terms of how utterly horrible the Romans are in not considering the slaves real people at all, this episode is way up there. Poor Acer. That "torture as casual party entertainment" scene is still just unbelievably horrible. Body parts on silver platters! UGH ROMANS.

Also Crixus and Lucretia. Holy crap, she seriously still thinks SHE is the wronged party in all this. I do love how he deals with her, though. He seriously could not care any less.

Poor Ilithyia. Did Varinius even finish her off? It didn't look like it. That girl just never gets any orgasms. Someone get her a sex toy! Man, she and Glaber are both horrible, but it does break my heart to see their relationship slowly fall apart this season. LOOK AT YOUR WIFE, GLABER! I KNOW YOU'RE MOSTLY GAY, BUT COME ON.

Meanwhile in the woods, Mira turns into a fucking Ninja Murder Squirrel! Wheeeeeeeeee! I adore her badass ways. Man though, that mission. Agron was very nearly not wrong in saying everyone who goes to the mines will get killed off. Poor Naevia!

OMG NASIR. ARE YOU INSANE, ROMANS, WHY WOULD YOU STAB SOMETHING THAT PRETTY. YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE A CULTURE OF AESTHETIC APPRECIATION. Hmph. Oh god, and he's so brave and tries to joke around when they cauterise the wound. Gaaaah my feels!

Hell no, Sparty, Mira is NOT leaving your stupid noble arse! I LOVE HER SO.

AGRON, HI AGRON. Don't mind me, I'll just replay your slo-mo to the rescue lope and your epic grin a dozen times. You may leave the doghouse now :D

SO. FUCKING. EPIC. Total finale material just casually thrown in mid-season! SO MUCH LOVE.

Non-chronological storytelling! GANNICUS! Lucius Caelius! <333 Everyone planning an elaborate heist! Nasir wants to come because he is just that awesome! Agron's face when he sees him on his feet! THE KISS! The arena! Gannicus and Oenomaus! BURNING DOWN THE ARENA! Aaaaaaaaah, it is one of the best things ever :DDDDDD

Gross Cossutius finally got killed! Ugh, it was way too fast for him, but good fucking riddance.

Also, Glaber and Ilithyia. God, that scene where he confronts her with the abortion plan and she just stands right up to him. It's so exquisite and painful. "Tis a speck upon distant shore, too small to draw notice." The dialogue is so lyrical and heartbreaking. And then of course all her plans fall down with the arena. Aiiiieeeeeeee.


Random trivia tidbits:
1. We didn't get proper incest plot because Game of Thrones were doing theirs at the time and SDK didn't want it to look like he was ripping them off. Thanks for nothing, GoT!

2. Glaber was supposed to be bi and have an affair with his eternally hovering pretty tribune Marcus. They had to shorten the season and that plot fell by the wayside, but... IDK, it still seems pretty canon to me, lol. I love Craig Parker but he does NOT do straight well.

3. Liam is such a shipper, it is completely adorable. Often during the commentaries, people will talk about something other than what's happening on screen, which sometimes annoys me (the Empty Hands commentary is the worst, they ramble on about what the trees are made of while Nasir gets stabbed!). In the Libertus commentary, Liam interrupted whoever was talking when Agron and Nasir were about to kiss and was basically like "Everyone shut up and watch! It's the kiss that changed the nation! All the fanfic!" I LOVE HIM.

4. When they were supposed to pull Oenomaus out from under the burning wood, Dan was being a wimp because it was real fire and he didn't want to get burned. Poor Dan.

5. I can't watch the scene on the balcony between Lucretia and Albinius now without thinking of the blooper reel.

6. Viva Bianca: "Gannicus had the best hair. I had such Gannicus hair envy." <3333333333333333

7. Pana keeps standing on steps or slightly elevated surfaces whenever he can. Who does he think he's kidding? <3

8. According to Liam and Steven, the new official drinking game for season 2 (it was "every time someone says Jupiter's Cock" in season 1) changes to "every time Sparty tells Agron off." We've certainly been doing that, but then we also drink for GOATS, Ashur Ruins Things, Orgy!, Crixus' Cock, The Mines, My Cock Rages On, Sparty Speech, and other things. I had to order more wine yesterday.


::throws glitter all over this post::

Awes, Dimples McGee afraid of the fire (did he think his pacemaker would get all melted, or did he just not want to become part of a human sausage sizzle? bless)

Also, has Lil seen Pana's tweet about standing on the box?

Also also, this deserves bringing back, LOL-

Re: ::throws glitter all over this post::

Ahahahaha, that clip is made of so much win - I don't think I'd seen the whole thing, just the bit about Lugo in the snow and Dustin's drunk staggering. So much love!

*I've* not even seen Pana's tweet about standing on the box, I've just noticed that he's forever standing on things if he can get away with it. I'm surprised he didn't get himself a horse and did the "I'm on a horse" thing throughout the entire show.

lol, I think it was just standard human sausage sizzle fear. In his defence, it *was* a pretty scary-looking real fire. (Speaking of the pace maker though, I did notice when the Germans do the chest-punching tribute to Spartacus in 307, Dan punches the side that doesn't have the pacemaker. Good call.)

Re: ::throws glitter all over this post::

Re: ::throws glitter all over this post::

LOL. Oh perfect.
(I think this is where I said he really needed to get laid the first time I watched this, and [info]notoriouslyuniq laughed and laughed and laughed at me :D)
AHAHAHAHAHA I was BURSTING but you didn't want spoilers!

-All the religion stuff in this season were AMAZING! This is what this show missed the most. They had sacrifices and stuff every once in a while but they were mostly secular. It lacked the pervasiveness of the gods and superstition that was shown in Rome for example. Like Sparty was always doing weird inexplicable shit but not a single Roman accused him of witchcraft?

-And Agron with his smooth smooth flirting cracks my shit up :D <33333

-Nasir's SL is one of my favorites in this show because it's basically Sparty's success story. Freeing the mind is so much harder than freeing the body, and people rarely notice that. I read 12 Years a Slave earlier this year, and in a book that describes torture, lynchings, slave rape and implied pedophilia, and horrible horrible living/work conditions, by far the worst parts were the stuff that he didn't actually mention but that you notice as you read about how the slave mentality was seeping into his brain. You'd read sentences where he talks about how well he did his job and how he got praised by the mistress or was called a good N-word by the overseer and you can sense PRIDE within those words and that was the worst thing in that book for me.

-Odd transition from the last paragraph, but that scene where Crixus is like apologizing and Nasir starts to hyperventilate and then second later we get Crixus diving through the air towards Agron's face is one of my favorites and it CRACKS MY SHIT UP! I love Crixus in this season, but for some reason I love seeing my fav characters fighting!

-Fucking hell the Acer scene *heaves*

Ahahahaha Crixus' flying tackle is amazing. I adore him and Agron grouching at each other all the time.

Yes to the freeing of the mind, which is why I still wish someone had tried harder with Chadara. Gah. I do love that there's continuity with Sparty and Nasir, too - that it's not just that one ep and we're done with the coaching. They don't have heaps of direct interaction but there's often little things like a shoulder clasp or a nod or smile, or Sparty entrusts him with things specifically. (ok, maybe I ship them a wee bit. platonically. heh.)

Religion = goats, right? GOATS. *drinks*

February 2018



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