Over the past week or so, I've been re-watching 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand,' preparing myself for the premiere of the prequel 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' (Friday 1/21 10pm PST on Starz). For those of you who don't know, I am a huge fan of violent period pieces. Movies such as '300' and 'Gladiator' really float my boat, and when the series made its debut back in January of 2010, I was pumped. Sadly, Andy Whitfield's non-Hodgkins lymphoma has prevented him from returning to the show. I have high hopes that despite his absence, the prequel will prove to be another great installment.
In honor of Andy Whitfield and the brilliant creators of the show, I've created a list of my favorite moments from 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand.' (IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE SHOW, PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THIS LIST CONTANS **SPOILERS**)
After surrendering to Crixus in the arena, Batiatus decides to throw Spartacus into the pits to punish him for embarassing the lutus. In the pits, one fighter must die. Weapons are chosen through a random draw. Here's what happens: Spartacus kicks ass! One after another, Spartacus makes a bloody mess of the sands of the pits. It's f***ing awesome.
Spartacus and Crixus vs. Theokoles
In order to win the favor of the magistrate, Batiatus pairs Spartacus and Crixus together to fight against Theokoles, the Shadow of Death. The only person to face him in the arena and live to tell the tale is Doctore, whose gnarly scars are a result of Thekoles' sword. Crixus refuses to work as a team in the arena, and he pays a high price for it. Theokoles beat the crap out of Crixus, to the point of near-death. As he's lying on the sand, Crixus uses his shield to blind Theokoles as Spartacus goes in for the kill. Theokoles will not die easily, and it's not until Spartacus has sliced off his head that the crowd realizes what they have seen. As Spartacus is cheered by the crowd, it begins to rain. Capua's drought has seemed endless, and right at the moment of Spartacus' victory, the sky opens and the drought is over. Batiatus coins Spartacus as 'The Bringer of Rain, The Slayer Of Theokoles.' Badly beaten, Crixus is carried off the sand as Spartacus becomes the new Champion of Capua.
Crixus and Naevia finally seal the deal
Lucretia has been banging Crixus regularly throughout the show. She and Batiatus are without children, and Lucretia seeks a stronger seed to see the job done. But Crixus' affections are not for Lucretia, he is in love with Naevia, Lucretia's most trusted slave. Crixus notices one day during training that Naevia is flirting with one of the guards. When she goes down to the cellar where they usually meet, Crixus accuses her of betraying him. But Naevia reveals that she was only flirting with the guard to get his key, which she has stolen. As she opens the door that has divided them, Crixus finally gets to make love to her. It was a really romantic moment, and it makes you realize that Crixus is much more vulnerable and soft than he lets on.
Segovax vs. Spartacus
With Ashur in tow, Batiatus goes to the market to purchase new slaves for training. One of these slaves is Segovax, a man who *ahem* possess huge potential. Ilithyia, the wife of Gaius Claudius Glaber (the Roman legatus who captured Spartacus and enslaved his wife, Sura) decides that she wants to own one of the new gladiators and become his domina. She chooses Segovax, and entrusts him to murder Spartacus in exchange for his freedom. While in the bathing quarters, Segovax sneaks up on Spartacus and tries to strangle. Surprisingly, Crixus is passing by and intervenes to save Spartacus' life. Batiatus punishes Segovax by crucifying him and cutting off his 'huge potential.' Both Lucretia and Batiatus become more aware of Ilithyia's intentions, and Lucretia plots to seek revenge against her for attempting to ruin the glory of the lutus.
Lucretia pulls a switcheroo on Ilithyia/Ilithyia vs. Licinia
After overhearing that Lucretia is going to set up Licinia with a gladiator, Ilithyia requests to have an intimate encounter with Crixus. Overcome with jealousy and wrath at the thought of Ilithyia lying with her lover, Lucretia plots to send her Spartacus instead. Painted in gold and covered with porcelain masks, Spartacus and Ilithyia unknowingly make love to each other. Lucretia and Licinia pull away the curtains in amusement, as Spartacus freaks out and begins to choke Ilithyia. Once the guards subdue him, Licinia laughs at Ilithyia for being such a whore. In a really surprising twist, Ilithyia attacks Licinia, bashing her face into the marble floor and killing her. With Lucretia as the only witness to the crime, Ilithyia has no choice but to submit herself to Lucretia in exchange for her silence. Lucretia is one smart bitch!
Setting up Solonius
After Numerius, the teenage son of Magistrate Clavius, orders Spartacus to kill Varro at his birthday party, Batiatus seeks revenge against Clavius. The birthday party was an attempt by Batiatus to speek to Clavius about gaining politcal office. When Clavius tells Batiatus that he doesn't stand a chance, Batiatus has Ashur and Aulus kidnap Clavius. Once word gets out the Clavius has gone missing, Ashur reveals to Solonius where Clavius is. Upon hearing this, Solonius finds Clavius in the underbelly of the city, with his throat cut. Batiatus arrives with an entourage of Roman soliders, to find Solonius with a dagger in his hand (used to cut Clavius' ropes). Batiatus orders for the arrest of Solonius, after long years of rivalry. Solonius is offered up to Spartacus in the arena, and for an old man, he lasts pretty long. Spartacus finishes the job by cutting of his head, much to the amusement of Batiatus and Lucretia. Solonius was their biggest competitor, and with him out of the way, they will dominate Capua.
Spartacus becomes himself again
Batiatus fulfills his promise to Spartacus when Sura arrives at the lutus. Unfortunately, she's dead. Batiatus tells Spartacus that a group of hijackers on the road to Capua have murdered Sura. Which isn't true at all, as we discover that Batiatus has his man Aulus kill her and make it seem as if he has been injured by the hijackers upon arrival. When Aulus is in the medical quarters, Spartacus examines his stomach to find that there is no wound. Aulus tells Spartacus that Batiatus was behind Sura's murder. Upon this discovery, Spartacus plots to 'kill them all' at a party Batiatus is hosting for the legatus Glaber. Needless to say, the finale of 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' is nothing short of a bloodbath. The series ends with Spartacus getting his revenge and leading the other gladiators in a parade of retribution.
Although there's so much more to discuss, these are my favorite moments from the series. 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' is one of my Top 5 favorite shows of all time, and it's not only because of the beauty in its brutality. The writing is incredible, and each story unfolds in a brilliant and complicated way. I'm very much looking forward to Janury 21st!!!