Spartacus: Vengeance: Ashur to Ashur

Spartacus: Vengeance S01E03: "The Greater Good"

“The Greater Good” had elements of some of my favorite childhood adventure tales. It started out like Robin Hood, with Spartacus and his not-so-merry men lurking in the woods, waiting to pounce on slave wagons and set its human cargo free. And it ended a lot like The Goonies, with the gladiators being led through a subterranean network of caves, chased by a lot of big, ugly Sloths. Of course, this being Spartacus: Vengeance, both scenarios involved far more full-frontal male nudity and swords entering and exiting people’s heads—but the essence of both stories were there. Is it any wonder Spartacus: Vengeance so holds us in its thrall? It’s wisely looting from the classics!

Here’s what’s happened this week: Oenamaus and Ashur were being held in a cell, where Oenamaus was scorched with a branding iron, but impressively made no sound. Ashur explained to Glaber that pain alone would not get the O-dawg to betray his gladiator buddies; Ashur, meanwhile, was happy to play Muttley to Glaber’s Dick Dastardly. As a show of devotion, Glaber forced Ashur to slice off a “B” scar on his forearm that represented his allegiance to Batiatus. Ashur did so, and it was pretty gross. Later, Oenamous stood chained as Ashur whipped him nearly to death in an attempt to get him to speak. Lucretia stopped him just in time, but when she approached him, had a flashback to Ashur sewing her wound back up after her unborn child was cut out of her. “There’s a secret buried in these walls,” she told him. “And you will see it exhumed.” Eventually the evil Ashur broke Oenamaus, by revealing that Gannicus was nailing Oenamaus’s wife behind his back. Ashur is a jerk!

Meanwhile, Illythia’s dad had come from Rome to pay his daughter a visit, along with a handsome senator who was a little overly handsy with Illythia’s baby bump. He was in town to host a games. What with the whole slave uprising and subsequent gladiator shortage currently giving him an ulcer, Glaber found himself suddenly in need of some suitable scabs.

Poor Crixus spent much of the episode assuming Naevia was dead, probably because Agron told her she was. But Agron was lying, because he felt the search for her was putting the lives of the slave rebellion at risk. And you know what? He was right! Then again, that was a pretty dirty thing of Agron to do. Feeling incredibly guilty, Nasir was the one who eventually told Crixus. Crixus attacked Agron and Spartacus stepped in to mediate, and was subsequently outraged to learn that Agron would lie so cruelly for the “greater good.” But Agron stood by his choice, and asked the men to follow him if they wanted to live. And most of them did—including Nasir.

The remaining gladiators then took off their clothes and showed us their penises, for some reason. Probably because they could? But I think it’s because they were masquerading as a slave shipment being delivered to the mines on a rescue mission to save Naevia! Which brings us finally to that Goonies sequence. Mira put herself in harm’s way, nearly raped by the mine foreman before she got a dagger up against his balls, and demanded to know where Naevia was being held. He gave her an actual treasure map (which made me laugh), and the good guys set out through the mines to find her. And find her they did! It was a happy reunion for Crixus and Naevia, but one that did not last long, as the Romans were hot on their tail, followed close behind by Ashur, that snake. Who will live? Who will die? Who will find One-Eyed Willie’s treasure? Hopefully not Crixus, though things were not looking particularly good for him at episode’s end: Naevia was trapped behind a locked door, and Ashur came down hard on his head with the butt of his sword. I didn’t see the head come off, however, so he’s probably fine.


QUESTIONS:

– What now for Oenamaus? Will he crumble before Glaber or rise up against him?

– Who's ready for Lucretia to snap out of her spell already? I know I am. I miss conniving, lucid Lucretia.

– Where would you like to see the series go now that Naevia is (almost) rescued? Which villains will you like to see remain for future seasons? Which are you looking forward to seeing graphically dismembered?

Comments (30)
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Mar 15, 2012
No one can replace the old Spartacus!
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Feb 17, 2012
is that Lucy Lawless? I got to Netflix this series. lol This ain't Sparta. sorry could not help it. 300 itis.

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Feb 15, 2012
"Who's ready for Lucretia to snap out of her spell already? I know I am. I miss conniving, lucid Lucretia."



Euh... Sorry to bring you obvious bad news, but the old Lucretia... that girl's hella-gone, dude. You don't go through what she went through and just simply go back to your old self, as if it was no big deal. You probably should re-watch "Kill Them All" and remind yourself how BAT-SH*T CRAZY the uprising was - if you weren't a gladiator or a slave during that episode, this is NOT something you can just brush off. Hell, that massacre just happened a couple of months ago for her, and I seriously doubt she' ll be any saner in 20 years from now... if she lives that long. Mind you, Lucretia is still plenty conniving,... she's just religiously more zealot about it.
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Feb 13, 2012
No offense to Revenge but this is the best soap opera on television right now. The only thing missing from this episode was Dustin Clare's Gannicus but damn was he felt. Ashur bringing up the most tragic case of being forced to have sex with your best friend's wife for the entertainment of house guests ever in a television show. Poor poor Mellita. Can't wait to see where this is all going. Damn Viva looked simply gorgeous again this week. I think this reviewer is missing the fact that Lucretia is playing everyone taking up residence in her house. Lucy is really really good. Katrina Law's Mira is also rising on the awesome scale. From that I've caught in articles it seems like the new blond girl in the crew is going to become her partner in crime. Law's biggest problem is recreating the spark she had with Andy. Those two had chemistry to spare in their scenes together. It just isn't there with Liam for whatever reason.



Bring on Gannicus.
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Feb 13, 2012
So we all think that that was Gannacus in the arena right?
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Feb 15, 2012
He's a free man now... why would he be back in the arena?
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Feb 13, 2012
I'm gonna spell ALL of these names wrong.



"If a single life holds no value...than NONE ARE OF WORTH!" Holy shit man, Liam McIntyre REALLY stepped up into the role of Spartacus this week and in doing so made the character his own. This kids a REALLY good actor.



The exchange between Ashur and Anamaius was masterful. When he kills Ashur? that's gonna be the biggest jump outta your seat "HELL YEAH!" moment since Superman appeared in the window at the Daily Planet and said "Care to step outside Zod?". I was pissed that Ashur got away at the end of the first season, but now I'm glad he did. THOSE two guys can act too. Just put the rest of the season in theatres and give them all Oscars.



Not only did this week's episode go into some AWESOME Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom territory, but that was THE most intense nail biting cliff hanger I've seen since...well ANY episode of Lost. lol.
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Feb 13, 2012
Liam is a good actor?=)) no he isn't!!! he isn't a decent actor!! when i see his stupid face i think of how the f...k is this skinny mofo got this role and how where the brilliant guys at STARZ so stupid to cast a boy to play the role of one of the men ? he is ruining the show for me i am glad that the old cast is still there spartacus the actor sucks spartacus the series still has a chance due to all the other great actors in it
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Feb 13, 2012
You only missed one name and it is the tough one...Oenamaus.

Totally agree with you that Liam has totally taken control of the role. He's doing a great job. I'm just glad Spartacus isn't the main focus, otherwise the show would be horrible, and that the other characters are getting their fair share of screen time.
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Feb 13, 2012
Lol how can you say lucretia isn't lucid?! She is don't you see the bigger picture? She is playing them, she is as lucid as she can be!
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Feb 12, 2012
saying to tone down the gore and sex on this channel is the same as doing the same to a HBO show, it will never happen
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Feb 12, 2012
Am I the only one who thought the ending of this episode rather hard to believe? I just couldn't believe that *SPOILER* Crixus would be left behind like that by Spartacus and the others. It didn't seem that the situation really required Crixus to stay behind and for them all to escape. It did however serve a purpose to the overall episode message, which was doing what was necessary for the greater good. But if the slave rebels spent all this time searching for one person, why get yourself captured for them to chase you?
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Feb 12, 2012
Spartacus' team really need to learn stealth!
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Feb 12, 2012
Seppius is the only bad guy I can see being dismembered this season. Glaber is the direct link to the Senate and Ashur is terrible enough that I'm sure he'll survive to screw them over several more times.
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Feb 12, 2012
I didn't like how the episode ended..



also, the whole Naevia isn't really dead twist was ruined by the recasting.. when Crixus had a flashback and there was a new girl I immediately though "oh, well she's not dead then" or there would be no reason to recast. bad episode planning on that part
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Feb 12, 2012
that wasn't really a twist, they recast that role almost a year ago. it was inevitable she was alive.
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Feb 12, 2012
aw, man! I love the recaps you guys do, but I hate it when you do recaps and you haven't actually watched the show.... Got me talking back to my computer and people think I'm nuts!!!

Lucretia HAS "snapped out of her spell," evidenced when she spoke with Ashur this week (ya know, the scene that your screenshot is from?) and at the end of the episode last week when Ashur delivered Oenamaus to Glaber. She's been conniving and lucid this whole time... And, the producers already said that Gannicus will be back, but I bet he won't be a "villain"!
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Feb 12, 2012
The synopsis for ep. 5 says that "In an ironic twist of fate, a gladiator from the house of Batiatus will stand in the way of Spartacus trying to free Crixus from Roman captivity." I assume that the gladitor they are talking about is Gannicus.



So I don't think he will be a "hero" or a "villian" at the beginning of the episode but probably will be a "hero" by the end of the end of the episode or at the latest, episode 6 since he was one of Oenamaus' best friends and would probably want to help him out if he is still held captive.



Whether Oenamaus would want his help considering what he has learned about Gannicus and Melitta would be a different story.



But overall, if the writers want to follow history, at least a little bit, he will be a full fledged "hero" I think at the lastest by episodes 7 or 8, since he is one of the four main commanders/leaders of Spartacus' "army" along with Spartacus, Crixius and Oenamaus. (Also there is mention of a man Castus being a commender/leader of Spartacus' forces by wiki pedia but very little is known about him.)
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Feb 12, 2012
Best episode so far. The return of Ashur is great, we need some good villains in the show. I suspect Gannicus will return too. Wonder if girls are liking all the male nudity, there was a lot this ep. Hopefully we will see 'more' of Mira too.
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Feb 12, 2012
excellent entertainment especially the sex.and bloody gore well worth staying in to watch or record and not too late a time.
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Feb 12, 2012
Lucretia has already snapped out of her spell. I'm pretty sure her and Ashur have been planning something like this ever since he stitched her up.
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Feb 11, 2012
I don't know why people continue to go on about the gore, violence and sex. If you don't like it then you're watching the wrong show!



As of now I don't believe there is a better plotted or more entertaining show on TV than Spartacus.
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Feb 11, 2012
I hope the writers have a fitting death planned for Ashur. And it's time to scale back on gore and show some substance.
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Feb 12, 2012
The whole reason people watch this, and a lot of the series on HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, etc. is because of the more adult nature of them. Personally I'm tired of shows where people get shot but there's no blood, they have sex with their clothes on and swear like they're a bunch of 9 year old kids. If you like that kind of thing then just stick to the networks. Shows like this are the reason that the networks have steadily lost viewers over the years. Why would anyone want to tone down cable when this is the reason we all came here to begin with?
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Feb 12, 2012
That is their niche. Why would they get rid of it?
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Feb 12, 2012
Yes, Spartacus has sex, gore, explicit language but is has SUBSTANCE repeat it has SUBSTANCE great great great show
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Feb 12, 2012
yes theyve done what? 21 episodes so far?...NOWS the time to tone it down....



seriously bro? the gore is probably 1 of if not thee biggest draw for the show, I am personally indifferent to the matter if they tune it up or down I wouldn't care as long as the story kicks as much ass as it does...but I guarantee they would have more outcry and disappointment from current fans who watch it week in and week out from them toning it down... then they would "praise" from people who dont give 2 sh!ts about the show and are just complaining for the hell of it...if you cant handle it go watch dora
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Feb 11, 2012
So do I. But there is no need to scale back the gore as that is part of the allure of the show. They ALWAYS have character development to balance out the sex/violence, not to mention the fantastic editing.
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Feb 11, 2012
Agreed speedroc! plus if anything i want the gore on overdrive when Ashur meets his well deserved end!! I was beyond pleased that Crixus and naevia had their moment... however fleeting. Up until this episode I was still missing Andy (and i guess i always will) but the story is picking up and more and more im getting used to the new spartacus! Great show!!!
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Feb 11, 2012
I don't know what you mean about Lucretia. She is using her survival and the gods to connive and position herself. She's been working with Ashur this whole time. She got the note from him so she knew to sacrifice the goat to further curry favor in her position. I would say that she is even more conniving than ever. What you want is for her to be more out in the open with it and to be as brazen and boisterous as she was in past seasons.
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