Spartacus: War of the Damned "Men of Honor" Review: Matters of Trust

Spartacus: War of the Damned Episode 3: "Men of Honor"

In some ways, Spartacus is one of the lucky ones. He has avenged his capture and the murder of his wife, slain his largest personal demon. He has attained at least some measure of closure, and that allows him the luxury of seeing beyond a mere thirst for revenge. Vengeance still fuels him, but at this point so too does a sense of justice (arguably, an anachronistic one). If he can free the slaves by killing every Roman, he’ll do that. But if he can free the slaves by killing some Romans and leaving others alive, he’ll do that, too.

Not everyone in his coterie has that same perspective, Naevia chief among them. She’s known nothing but a life of servitude; the initial overthrow of the House of Batiatus cast her not into a hardscrabble freedom but into even more savage oppression. Her experiences have wounded her too deeply for her to ever look upon a Roman with anything but disgust, forget about empathy. And her experiences are probably more representative of most of the rebels’ than Spartacus’s are.

Naevia won’t extend the benefit of the doubt to anyone—not patently harmless Ulpianus, if there’s a chance he might be reaching for a sword rather than a loaf; and not nominal ally Attius, if there’s a chance he’s harboring some escaped POWs. As she explained, she’s seen outward decency warp into shadowed monstrosity. To her, kindness is a facade, and trust is just another weakness that can get you killed.

When and where to lay trust was a quandary on many minds in “Men of Honor.” Spartacus had a chance to strike a deal with Mediterranean pirates that may be lucrative or lethal. Laeta haltingly realized that neither her late husband nor her new captor is who she’d thought. Even Tiberius, a legion commander de jure if not de facto, was dubious about the reliability of those serving under him, given the vastness of Caesar’s shadow.

The extent to which trust—and people’s capacity to trust—can be salvaged will have a tremendous impact on the outcome of these dire circumstances. That’s why Spartacus recognized that he’ll need Laeta’s help to ensure Sinuessa’s prisoners are treated with a modicum of humanity. It’s why she reluctantly agreed (though, as he pointed out, she was “absent choice”). Even if neither can trust the other’s honor, each knows that their goals are, for the time being, partially aligned. Mutual self-interest isn’t the sturdiest foundation for trust, but in most human interaction, it is a necessary if not sufficient one.

The exchanges in which they hammered out this thorny detente were, like all of Spartacus and Laeta’s scenes together so far, fantastic—slyly paced and charged with the right mix of attraction and trepidation. The show is clearly building toward some sort of star-crossed romance between the two, which has the potential to be a fascinating expression of the season’s thematic exploration of the gray areas between warring sides. Considering that, on the day they met, Spartacus skewered her husband’s head like a chunk of broiled pineapple, keeping that relationship plausible is going to require a lot groundwork. The chemistry between Liam McIntyre and Anna Hutchison is going a long way toward that goal.

Also helping out this week was the arrival of Heracleo and his merry band of brigands. Their parlay with Spartacus rather neatly addressed problems both textual (keeping Sinuessa adequately fed) and metatextual (driving the first wedge between Laeta and her memory of Ennius, allowing the aforementioned inevitable romance some room to take root). Perhaps that stone killed those two birds a tad too neatly, but that sort of expediency is bound to happen sometimes in a show which cranks out plot as quickly as Spartacus does. I can forgive the bluntness of the plot stroke when the character dynamic it advances is so compelling—and when it triggers so many rousing B-story shenanigans.

Everything around Heracleo and his gang was a hoot, from the boggled look on Spartacus’s face when the pirate leader embraced him (a splendid bit of physical comedy by McIntyre), to the bacchanalia celebrating the new alliance, to the rip-roaring intervention of their flaming, legionnaire-squashing offshore artillery. After all, nothing forges newfound trust like a common enemy... and a few well-timed fireballs.

Amid all the acrimony, “Men of Honor” squeezed plenty of such fun into the margins. A good half-dozen lines made me laugh out loud (turn eyes towards notae aliae for choice sample). And the festivities inspired sensuality to spare for viewers of any orientation (why hello, Saxa and Sybil! And good day to you, Agron and Nasir!). I hope these scurvy dogs stick around. They can be Spartacus’s wacky, troublemaking neighbors, popping in from time to time to lighten the mood with their ribaldry. Heracleo can be the Larry Dallas of the Tyrrhenian coast.

One last digression, spinning off this episode’s dose of rough-and-tumble sex and violence. Spartacus has seldom gotten credit for regularly portraying male homosexual romances as progressively as any show around. Two guys getting into a knock-down drag-out after one hits on the other’s significant other is one of the most well-worn tropes of masculinity in pop culture, but it's much rarer for that trope to be applied to a gay couple, as it was here, showing that masculinity and homosexuality are far from incompatible. Agron and Nasir’s relationship, though a minor aspect of the series, is depicted with as much passion and nuance as any heterosexual love. The distance of Spartacus’s historical setting provides a little cover, since the show isn’t challenging contemporary mores quite so directly, but it’s still commendable.



Notae Aliae


– Brief screen time for Caesar this week, but true to form he made the most of it—cleaving a guy’s skull in twain and big-timing Tiberius without breaking a sweat.

– Speaking of ol’ Gaius, commenters last week described his scruffy look as resembling a surfer or a Thor stand-in. Mummius’s comparison? “Wooly fucking goat.”

– Naevia: “Men such as him hold the greatest [threat]. True intent shrouded behind mask of kind and gentle face.” How much of this sentiment might be foreshadowing the arc for the so-far honorable Crassus?

– Why do we think Gannicus came down with the yips when Saxa invited Sibyl to display her... um... gratitude? There was clearly a note of self-loathing when he warned her to stay away from him and from men like him, but what incited it? Guilt over Melitta resurfacing, weariness at years of hedonism taking its toll, or something else?

– Sabinus lunging to Tiberius’s rescue was depicted as downright heroic—an unusual tone for a Roman character. It’s telling that, in the midst of a large combat sequence, the show took a moment to present an act of valor by one of the “bad guys.”

– “Spartacus is of the underworld, able to spurt himself through wood and stone.” PHRASING, random injured functionary dude!

– “What threat does he hold, pissing on us from the fucking sea?” “You would be surprised by the reach of my stream, boy.”

– “You would entreat Poseidon to shun robes and present ass.”

– “I once drained six cups and found myself in heated argument with imaginary cat.”

– “My cock is magic!” “Then see it vanish from sight.”

Body Count: 42, though again, keeping an accurate tally got pretty dicey once the great balls of fire started shaking nerves and rattling brains. That brings the season count to 166.


What did you think of the episode? Straighten tone and comment or fall from internet presence!

Comments (116)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Tiberius should have some of his remaining men flogged for not having a proper formation. This was a heavy episode, as we see some fan faves really giving in to there dark side. Crixus is starting to act more like the historical depiction I read of him, and Navea has given up on Romans altogether. With so much posturing by the alpha males (Tiberius/Caesar, Pirate Captain/Spartacus) i'm suprised they all came out of this episode alive.
Reply
Flag
This season is proving to, potentially, be the best season so far. Another awesome episode.
Reply
Flag
Who is the male actor in the bar scene with full frontal exposure who said "My cock is magic!" "Then see it vanish from sight" ?
4
Reply
Flag
Seems Naevia is becoming the Mira of the final season and I don't see it ending well for her. Also, I'm all for her learning how to fight and growing stronger because of her gruesome experiences, but with her mental state being like this, it could cause quite a compromise for Spartacus and his army. The scene with the pregnant woman's husband and the blacksmith mirrors a lot of the rashness Mira displayed. I don't blame Naevia, but at the same time, she's only a part of a much bigger picture and it could grow to be a danger to the group.

I used to be quite a big Naevia fan and shipped Craevia, but everything I loved about those two just isn't there anymore. I find myself bored with them because there is really no place for them to go. They don't have really any dynamics that would keep me interested in them, same goes for Agron and Nassir.

As always, Gannicus was pure perfection and remains perhaps one of the most interesting characters in the series. Still not thrilled that Saxa is hanging all over him and that he is with her, mostly because her character just makes me go ugh ever since she got introduced in Vengeance, but I do digress. I hope to see more interaction with Gannicus and Sibyl, mostly because I'm a sucker for these things and anything is better than Saxa. Granted, I did like the dress Ellen had on and it was amazing on her.

The writers have a lot of their shining moments with female characters on the show, mostly when they are villains, but when it comes to others, they just don't give them equal dynamics and they end up stagnant. There's so much they could have done with them, but they don't take the opportunity and it makes them boring. The women of this season make me miss Lucretia and Illithyia so much =/

More+
3
Reply
Flag
IMHO, Navia's character doesn't deserve all the shit talkin'
Seems alot of people have problems separating their modern day ethics with the roman era ethics in the show. I personally see no problem with her actions within in that context.
4
Reply
Flag
For my part, "modern day ethics" doesn't factor into the way I see Naevia as a character, nor any other on the show for that matter. It's about the writing choices - or lack of them where she is concerned.

What I don't appreciate about her story at this point (and maybe this is what others objecting to her are reacting to as well), is that it appears the writers were initially focused on trying to make her a unique more complex character but have ended up just dropping the ball and making her essentially a parody of herself.

It is a departure from the style set with her initially as well as with the other characters in the series, and indicative (as often happens in the final season of a show) of the writers cutting lose ends from the plot to accommodate other story lines which will better feed the culmination of the series trajectory they have in mind. In a way, you could even say they are treating her character almost as harshly as the very people she rages against - she was merely there to be used as a device to drive the plot and nothing more.
3
Reply
Flag
Well, the wording was poor judgement on the fly for my part, but since I couldn't edit after posting, I just left it...Navia's thing is separate from the modern/roman ethic thing & reading again, I'm not really sure why I linked 'em in the post like I did ::shrug:: Anyhoo, The reason I don't have a problem with Navia snapping like she has is because it makes sense to me. She was routinely abused & debased & clearly has rage issues that have to be vented. She's a fighter now, but so far lacks personal discipline, so that rage is gonna be on a sideways hair trigger until she learns control. It just seems to me alot of people prefer to assume she's simply acting like some stereotype of the "hysterical chick" Personally, I don't see the changes in her character brought about in a time of war as having become a parody of herself. Her behavior seems perfectly human to me
3
Reply
Flag
I would agree with most of the others mentioning the females characters are boring - still I would offer that even Lucretia and Illithyia were often pretty predictable and not as interesting as the male leads anyway, so I don't think it's anything new. Nor do I see it being important the show spend time on them, given the brief time they have to focus on everything else happening.

Regarding Naevia: no. no. no. Just no. She lost my sympathies some time ago. Her plight from the past does not distinguish her from any other slave, though her lust for killing everything in sight now does. I hope they either bring her character to some sort of epiphany of redemption to halt the spree or else just kill her off since she has gone way too far to reach middle ground. She also seems counter to both Crixus' and Spartacus' spirit.

Hoping to see more of Ceasar and Crassus, since their moves yet to come may prove the only characters to offer some surprises.
4
Reply
Flag
I think Gannicus is seeing Mellita in the eyes of the slave girl he saved - plus, for all his bravado, Gannicus is, next to Spartacus, the most honorable man among the slaves. Its why his deception to Oenomaus and the death of Mellita weigh on him so long. That's why him standing with Oenomaus at his death as his Brother once again was satisfying. He's in the same boat as Spatacus, his reason for remaining with this group is gone but he's still there because he now believes in the cause. He doesn't want to have this young free girl to believing she will have to always be a whore at the whims of others deemed their betters - like he did. Maybe I'm giving him too much credit but IMO Dustin Clare is the unsung hero of this cast. I'm anxious to see where this story heads. As for the Spartacus and Laeta - I'm thinking less star crossed romance more he's gonna miss what she has in store for him because he can't see past the lovely girl - This episode made it clear he has no idea what she is up to and there is no rational reason to trust her. Spartacus is her Glaber, her Batiatus - even worse, he did the deed himself. They do have great chemistry though. Everyone gets their revenge on this show, except Varro:(
More+
5
Reply
Flag
The women characters are a bit boring this season, from Lucretia and Ilithyia that were always up to something to this... Maybe Ilithyia didn't die and will make an appearance sometime this season?
On another note, if you get offended by sex scenes (gay or straight), don't watch Spartacus.....
5
Reply
Flag
With only 7 episodes left to go, the subtle plotting of Roman women isn't going to cut it. Things have to be overt now. The rebels strike as a fist, united, and real friends stab you in the front.
2
Reply
Flag
Naevia must Die!! She is annoying as hell and i really never liked her - She is not even has the innocent look as the old actress has before !
We want more story from the Roman side , plus , ya the women characters are so boring and dumb this season - Only Boobs - I miss Xena!!!
8
Reply
Flag
Many guys are "skipping" the gay scenes because they're terrified by the possibility of getting aroused to them. Which would likely happen.
11
Reply
Flag
Naevia is losing it, she is becoming what she hates. Caesar went badass on that poor messenger guy.
6
Reply
Flag
I think they are pushing the Naevia breakdown a little hard, and a little too fast. It's clear they are setting up for an internal conflict, and they did a much subtler and better job of forwarding it with Gannicus kneeling over the broken blacksmith and remembering how he seemed to be honorable, but I trust they'll play it out well in the end. I have a feeling she'll prompt some break in the ranks and get killed to re-solidify them, but again we'll see.

The dialogue is so great in this show, including the intentional exclusion of pronouns all over the place, etc. Fighting was great as usual, and you just knew that the Roman attack would bind the pirates with Spartacus' band.

Anyway, why did Gannicus get the heebie-geebies? Well, the girl's innocence probably reminded him of a time when the acts of love were 'pure' by comparison to what the German-speaking, rather gruff female companion was offering. We'll see more -- from both -- on that front.
2
Reply
Flag
I'm getting tired of Naevia's shit. And Crixus was much better when she wasn't around. Now he's just a pussywhipped hothead. Attius was amazing, and I hated what Naevia did to him. He was just trying to create a better life for himself, and she just wants to show off her gladiator skills. As for her little emo rages, guess what? All of those slaves have had terrible things happen in their lives. Get the fuck over it. And the Baker? Crixus needs to open his eyes and dump the bitch. I dread any scene with her in it anymore. I just hope she gets whats coming to her.

I want to see Spartacus put her in her place.
13
Reply
Flag
Naevia could probably pass for Maria LaGuerta's ancestor.
11
Reply
Flag
I love, how each episode has some form of tension in it and just love, whole build up of episode. Line about heated argument with imaginary cat, is the best :D
I think is clear as warm sunny day,that without Spartacus,there would be no grand army and for that matter,that many free slaves:D They would turn on each other and kill themselves,before Romans got the chance:D
Reply
Flag
Great review Andy, and sorry to see the comments section get hijacked by sexual politics. It's really interesting watching how the benighted Sinuessa en Valle is becoming a microcosm for the ills of Roman Republican society, I wonder how many more episodes they'll keep the setting before Spartacus' army goes mobile again.

It was good to see Crixus do something unexpected, i.e. making the prisoners fight. I think that his love for Naevia, and her obviously fragile mental state, will be the catalyst for his final break with Spartacus. The historical sources do imply that after the initial military successes Spartacus favoured escaping Italy and Rome for freedom abroad whereas Crixus wanted more plunder and revenge. As the ex-gladiators don't seem to care much for plunder (hell, they haven't scraped together a full set of clothes between them!) I'm guessing the writers will amp up the revenge angle instead.

Lastly, I just want to give a quick shout out to the shade of Ashur. The show continues to be excellent, but I for one miss his Iago-esque scheming.
2
Reply
Flag
PS For all those touting Crassus as honourable, or even a "good guy", let's not too far ahead of ourselves. This is the guy, remember, who sent his own men on a suicide mission of misdirection in the first episode with the sole aim of provoking the assassination of his own fellow senators. As for what comes next, the Kubrick film should give you a pretty good indication, even though it pales compared to the documented historical reality.

That being said, I really dig Simon Merrells depiction of M. Licinius Crassus and I don't for a second deny that the writers have given life to Spartacus' ultimate rival, a very worthy adversary indeed that combines the most effective traits of both Batiatus (cunning, ambition) and Glaber (determination, self-confidence) and few if any of their many flaws.
1
Reply
Flag
Historically, Gannicus will separate from Spartacus with the other Gaul slaves and some historians believe that this was the turning point that led to the defeat of the Slave Uprising. What is meaningful , though, is that Spartacus while he was the Maximus Rex of the Slaves, had almost no Thracians like himself to be the unconditional followers as the other generals of his Armies had. We have already seen that seed of discontent several times so far; the separation by ethnicity.
The fact of the matter is that we see clearly how nationalism destroys democracy, both are antithesis of each other. While ethnicity divides slowly but surely the ranks of Spartacus, the Romans have at that point in their history the opposite direction- that is, that whatever the ethnicity, the prime identity lies in the citizenship to Rome.Rome, at this juncture, is not a city, it is an ideal, in the same way as later on Jerusalem will become to the monotheist religions. This was it's genuine strength, and this ideal was true on all levels of society.When the uprising of the slaves occurred, the shift that would ultimately destroy Rome began, at its apogee, when it fell under the hegemonic ambitions of Finance Personified, Crassus. It took centuries to fall, but it became inevitable; so in the end we can say that Spartacus did win through the Christian conversion of the Empire.
As far Ceasar is concerned, he was very much as the actor portrays him, a very handsome man in his youth. However, he lost his hair quite young in age and became the portrait of him that we know. While Crassus personified the plebeian poor made patriarch, Caesar was from a noble family and became the favorite aide to Marius, the plebeian general. It is the war against Spartacus which turned him into the power hungry elitist we know from Shakespeare.
More+
4
Reply
Flag
Celtic I mean... Sorry, its late.
1
Reply
Flag
Yes, obviously, my memory did not serve me right on this post, sorry. but I hope you agree that my point is still valid.
Reply
Flag
Gannicus is not a gaul, he is gaelic.
Reply
Flag
It was Crixus, not Gannicus that separated from Spartacus historically. Sparty wanted to escape through the alps. Crixus was overly confident and thought they should keep plundering. When Crixus is killed Spartacus makes 300 roman soldiers fight to the death in gladiator games.
1
Reply
Flag
You are right, it's Crixus, sorry.
Reply
Flag
Personally, I'm very happy with Caesar's casting, look (even if he is a Thor clone), and the way he's being written. I only wish we got more of him, which I assume we will down the road. While it may be too soon to love him, I think it's also too soon to cast him off. I see a lot of potential with his arc, especially considering that they've started him from the absolute bottom - with little money, power, or repute - and we know historically where he's headed. There's a lot of built-in conflict with the dichotomy between his name and powerlessness. I think we'll get to watch him steadily transform into something tactical, respected -- and groomed. But there's also that very interesting undercurrent of savagery, as well as that softer note of loneliness and grief for his dead wife -- something that parallels Spartacus. All the ingredients are there. We just need the opportunity to become attached to him.

As a bonus, if we do, we might just get a spin-off and more Spartacus-like stories to come after this season comes to and end.
6
Reply
Flag
I like the way you think...especially the idea of a spin-off. Caesar's character is interesting and there is a lot of potential to be tapped there
1
Reply
Flag
It makes for uncomfortable viewing to see the slaves exacting their revenge on the Romans. they are supposed to be the 'good guys' the ones that we root for. Human morality dictates that they 'turn the other cheek' and 'be the better man' BUT at the same time it is totally understandable. They are only doing unto the Romans what was done to them. It something that we have seen played out several times over in real life history, when the oppressed become the oppressors. I hate to say it but I think it is human nature. That's not to say some of us don't have the capacity for forgiveness, but honestly, if anyone of us were in their situation - would we, COULD we behave any differently?
And this is one of the main reasons that I LOVE this show. It treats the audience like an adult and doesn't paint either the Romans OR the slaves as polar representations of good and evil. Still I wonder if they are also doing this is to make it a little easier when the everyone we love dies at the end.....

I think Sabinus act of valour was more an act of love. whether it is a Bromance or a Romance remains to be seen....

If I was Saxa I'd be worried. It's clear that Gannicus turned down Sybil because he LIKES her NOT because he isn't interested. If he does end up sleeping with he'll want it be pure not a sleasy threesome...

As Andy has pointed out in his review, I love how the gay relationship is portrayed as seriously as the heterosexual relationships. It so refreshing not to see two men in a loving relationship on telly and not have them be camp comic relief.
More+
6
Reply
Flag
Is the vengeful mindset of the former slaves not human nature? One of the things I like about this show is the depth of the characters, the former slaves are not typical good guys, they are human beings who have been harshly wronged for years by the ruling class. Naturally many of them want revenge against any Roman.
2
Reply
Flag
I smell a coming betrayal by Gannicus. I think he has quickly become very disillusioned with the cause and the way they're going about it. The camera lingered on his pained and conflicted expression more than once. And now, a close Roman friend of his was murdered by one of their own. I don't think his allegiance will fail anytime too soon, but I do think it will happen by season's end. Not that the Romans would likely take him back, but he may very well just lay down his arms and refuse to fight. He just seems like he's on the path to being sick of it all.
10
Reply
Flag
Gannicus has never had a deep or passionate believe in the cause.
Reply
Flag
I think Gannicus is more and more seeing eye to eye with Spartacus. It's Crixus and Naevia that he is questioning. Gannicus dies historically during the last battle. Gannicus is growing a heart. In one of the previews, he is standing next to the slave he saved like they are together. I think he finally finds real love.
2
Reply
Flag
Weird, but this "new" Spartacus is starting to grow on me. It's like these last three episodes, knowing that it's all leading up to the end, I'm kinda glad that it's not actually Whitfield. I'd be sadder. And "New" Guy is really stepping up.

Episode turned the gayness up to 11 with Agron as if they were trying to say "And we have a loving gay couple in this too. See how well and tasteful we are depicting their healthy relationship?" It just felt really OOC and out of place in the episode.

Yay for Caesar, the Achilles-Thor love child! Why so many haters? I don't think there's ever been a hot viking-y version of Caesar before. Round of applause for them trying something inflammatory. Crassus is stiff and noble enough for the two of them, (love him and his hypocritical, slave-loving ass, btw). From day one, I think it was clear that the intention of the series was to be fresh, violent and sexy. Why complain about a fresh, violent, sexy Caesar? The man just oozes feline hedon sensuality in a way that Brad Pitt nor Hemsworth ever really did in their movies. The man is cray-cray and utterly exciting, can't wait to see more of him.

And mention of Anthony! Looking forward to seeing the casting on that one if they actually introduce him, but most like it was just a tease. Can't see them trying to re-imagine Anthony after the glorious portrayal in Rome by Purefoy.
More+
4
Reply
Flag
About the loving gay couple thing, I'd like to point out that this show has had a gay male couple in every single season, including the prequel. And all of these have been pretty caring, though all but Agron and Nasir's have ended with one or both of the people getting killed (which had nothing to do with them being gay or being in that relationship). But there's a very good chance that either Nasir or Agron will die at some point as well. So I wouldn't say that the show has suddenly tried to tastefully depict a healthy relationship between two gay men, I'd say they've been doing a pretty good job of this from the beginning, especially considering other shows.
8
Reply
Flag
I am curious - when you say that the gay relationship felt really OOC and out of place. Do you mean that you don't like the way the relationship was portrayed but it would've been ok if it were portrayed differently? Or do you mean that it shouldn't be in Spartacus at all because it feels too forced? kinda like what happens when shows have a stereotype of the token black guy.
3
Reply
Flag
Wow, you're really making me analyze this. I guess I'd say that the guy depicting Agron just doesn't really convince me. Barca convinced me that he really had feelings for Peter(?) the pigeon boy, but to me it seems that Agron goes, "Gay time now?" and flips a switch. He just seems uncomfortable and I find myself thinking about all sorts of technical details instead of really getting submerged in the scene. I wind up thinking about about the screenplay, the direction, the sound, the camera angles... It's just jarring to me, and in this episode it felt even more off than it usually does.

I don't know, maybe it's just because they didn't introduce him as a gay character. He was just a guy with a brother that he had to look out for. Then suddenly, he's gay, though I guess they never said that he wasn't, I just sort of assumed that he wasn't which I think is normal, right? And in my head, Nasir was just a sort of replacement for his brother. I really thought they'd go with that angle, but now they're making him into some sort of gay manly Cassanova, and it just doesn't mesh with everything else that's going on. When I see their scenes, I just feel too many external influences. It doesn't feel natural, it feels like a couple directors, some actors and some writers trying a little to hard to make a point.
More +
4
Reply
Flag
I really like the Spartacus series, besides the bloody action sequences there are many excellent characters and great plot development. However, this season the women characters are all boring and very uninteresting. Unlike the previous seasons that had awesome characters like Lucretia, Ilithyia, and even Sepia. Naevia especially has really unwelcomed her stay. He character has become very stale. How many times do I have to hear her rant about Roman cruelty and watch her cut down Romans twice her size. It is at the point of absurdity. Hopefully her head is lopped off next!
16
Reply
Flag
I have a feeling Naevia will be taken care of soon. They're really starting to show just how far gone she is. It's sad, but she is well and truly insane and likely to become more of a liability to their cause than an ally - especially if she continues to murder valuable allies because of her raging paranoia and trauma. She had a great character arc IMO, but I agree that it's stagnated now and has been for a while. She has nowhere else to go. She really has no chance of getting better and, if anything, is getting worse. The only thing left is for those who care for her to realize it. When that time comes I think she'll serve to provide one final, moving scene and then we can move on.
11
Reply
Flag
in fairness to Naevia let's bear in mind that she passed around the Romans like a party favour for MONTHS, not to mention REPEATEDLY raped. I would've been pissed off with her character if she HAD gotten over that experience quickly. It is something that will stay with her for life and take years to deal with. So whilst I am annoyed that she killed off Gannicus' friend I find it totally understandable that she would still be harping on about the Romans.
7
Reply
Flag
So did alot of other slaves. Many female slaves were raped constantly. She needs to get the fuck over it already.
2
Reply
Flag
I don't think anyone disagrees with it being understandable, it's just that story-wise her arc seems to have come to an end. She gained incredible strength and her freedom but her mind seems to be beyond repair. She's actually hurting their cause at this point. The captive Romans are spreading around the story of the man who got his hand cut off after "earning" a bit of bread, and that makes them all the more dangerous, and then she goes and kills of their weapons maker, only Roman ally, and friend to one of their strongest warriors. So while we're all meant to be sad for what she's come to, and we are, this isn't a show or world where she can have those years to recuperate and get healthy again. Something's got to be done with her and we know it won't be a happy resolution.
7
Reply
Flag
I am going to miss the show so much when it's all over. I don't know of another show I enjoy so much while I watch it. Not that I think it's perfect, but damn it is fun. Normally I don't enjoy shows with that much gore, but I guess the splashy blood makes it less gross. Not to mention all the gorgeous half naked men, lol.
4
Reply
Flag
I fucking love this show. Now that we're in the final season and we all know that all of Spartacus' army is going to be crushed the writers do an exellent job portraying Spartacus followers for the scum they are - they are exactly the same as the Romans. On the other hand we have a likeable and honourable antagonist (Crassus, obviosuly) for whom we can cheer. Oh, and I will rejoice when they finally split the skull of Naevia, she's propably the most annoying character on the show. As for they gayness, I didn't know that was an issue with some people, but then again I'm european so I might have a different perspective.
6
Reply
Flag
@ Komboloi:

Yes, they are like the Romans. They suffered extreme injustices, they were enslaved, mistreated and raped - that gives them every right to be angry, that gives them every right to fight the Romans and it's completely understandable that they kill slave owners and the like, it does not however justify in any way killing innocents and children (!), to let them fight for their pleasure (imagine: Forcing a man to kill a fellow citizen just so he can provide his pregnant wife with a loaf of bread!). Spartacus followers are both, victims and perpetrators, we can all root for the fight against slavery and, simple-minded as we are, enjoy a little good old street justice (strictly on screen of course ;-) ) but Spartacus army consists of child killers and, I presume this although it wasn't shown so far, rapists - which brings me to...

@ Vicky:

I absolutely agree, there are good guys and bad guys on both sides (I mentioned Crassus as a good guy already), when I made the statement "for the scum they are" I ment "most of them". In Spartacus camp the most honourable guy left is propably Gannicus. He never was much into the "Causes and Messiases" thing and was mostly concerned with every man making his own luck, he only is party of the rebels out of loyality to Spartacus. Yes, he didn't interfere with the cruel crimes but thats mostly because he tends to take a "Not my proplem" stand, but when his friend, the swordsmith, was killed this episode we saw cracks in that attitude. Which brings me to another point: I'm not rooting for either side here, the Romans are mostly evil and the slave army is aswell. I'm rooting for individual characters, I'm rooting for Crassus, for Gannicus and a few others (even for Crassus' son who gets a lot of undeserved hate in my opinion).

Regarding the gay thing: I did not want to imply in any way that all americans were homophobic, in Europe it's not uncommon to associate all americans with views held by the tea party and the like but I don't think like that. It was simply that, when skimming through the comments I noticed a number of posts addressing that topic critically and was a bit stunned by that because (as a heterosexual male living in Europe) I'm not used to that so I assumed that this might be more common among americans (this being a site mostly frequented by americans) but that might have been unfair - me culpa.
More +
4
Reply
Flag
I completely agree with you except on Crassus' son--there's something about him that rubs me wrong. I understand him wanting his father to respect him and see him as a worthy man and understand his frustration with Caesar. I can't put my finger on it but there is something about him that I don't like (my own bias).

Apparently I hold more stereotypes then I would like but I do think in general American's are more puritan about sex. The BBC often has some nudity and cussing on tv at night but we censor our non-cable networks. American's are more uptight imo then Europeans when it comes to sex and I'm an American. We aren't perfect but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else--lol, typical American:) I've lived outside this country during my childhood but it was The Republic of Panama which at the time had a huge US presence. Many of my friends had parents who worked for various embassies and had different nationalities then me so maybe that is why I'm a social liberal--but financial conservative--over-sharing (yea Libertarians)--I'm sure my posts/views sometimes are unintentionally offensive to some but I'm not forcing anyone to read them and don't want to get flaming responses. Sometimes I may get emotional about a topic/post but I hope it doesn't come across as flaming or trolling.

I have a feeling I may have to "remove" some of my posts due to over-sharing...LOL;-)
More +
5
Reply
Flag
both sides have "good" and "bad" and I think the show is doing a great job portraying this fact. You kind of implied this in your post when saying they are "exactly the same as the romans" but then said "portraying Spartacus followers for the scum they are". So if Spartacus followers = Romans = scum then how can you root for either side? I think I understand what you are saying and part of me agrees but I don't think all romans are scum and don't think all of Spartacus' people are scum--there are "scum" on both sides but I'm still on Spartacus' side but do agree he has some bad apples on his side. Crassus also has bad apples--Caesar split a guy's head open for reporting vital information (however Caesar just saw it as desertion) and Crassus's son is a self- righteous/entitled jerk. Also the Roman's, in general, are pro-slavery and enjoy having slaves to watch fight to the death, rape, do all the work, etc...

yes, Naevia is becoming annoying but I am enjoying this arc and can see how it may cause splinters/fractions in Spartacus' people...

I'm an American and I don't have an issue with the "gay" scenes and am thrilled they are included in this show~~previously I said "the fact they show a homosexual couple who are in love and extremely masculine--kudos to the show and network--didn't pander to the expected demographics of men who want boobs and violence--as a woman I appreciated the m/m scene and thought the violence was very artistic"
More +
10
Reply
Flag
"as a woman I appreciated the m/m scene " Eh? What do you mean by that?

A - as a woman you appreciated it because women (in general) appreciate M/M sex scenes?
or
B - despite being a woman, you appreciated the M/M sex scenes.

I'm not trolling or being homophobic, but I honestly just assumed that the M/M scenes were just catering for the male gay viewers.

... Although on consideration, Spartacus probably isn't the sort of show that caters to the wants of the male gay community... Do women really appreciate M/M scenes?
Reply
Flag
Deal with it youngnun, you're the exception among women, in this regard.
And you're utterly ridiculous if you think that women you know are going to share their erotic fantasies with you, on a whim.
2
Reply
Flag
I think you are generalizing and I can only speak for myself. Regarding the scene in this episode then the best answer is B. I can't say "A" because that implies I represent all women which is impossible just as if you were a guy to say your represent all guys. However "B" isn't totally accurate because of the word "despite"....not sure

I did some looking** and there are a subset of women who do like M/M sex scenes if tastefully done. Tasteful is so subjective that I hesitate to use that word. In general (yes, I'm stereotyping which is wrong) women imo prefer less graphic sex scenes then men (in general and just imo). Spartacus was tasteful in my opinion and I don't think most women in general want to watch hardcore porn (gay or not). I think non-porn sex scenes like the ones in Spartacus can be appreciated. Just like some guys like to watch F/F scenes, some women like to watch M/M scenes. Personally, I don't watch porn but do like the scenes in Spartacus or other R-rated movies. I am female and straight but I appreciated the romantic M/M scene with two good looking guys who love each other

I'm sure some women watch porn but I think more men watch it then women. I'm sure some women don't like M/M scenes. My post just reflects my opinions and my generalizations/stereotypes (even though just saying I have stereotypes makes me grimace). Also Spartacus is not porn but has some romantic sex scenes of which I found the M/M one to be romantic and well filmed (graphic but not to graphic)

**elloras cave is a site that has "romantica" stories which is a blend of romance and erotica. The sight is geared for women and there is a subset (under "genre") that has M/M (male/male romantic erotica written for women)...so yes to your question but I have to emphasize it is SOME, not all, women who like M/M romance/erotica

I think I am over-sharing and now understand why some people have sock puppets to post under--lol
More +
7
Reply
Flag
it is seriously the strangest thing ever for me to read this explanation. growing up in japan i've always been familiar with the gigantic yaoi scene there (basically fictional m/m like mangas and stuff but also a lot of movies especially made for women, ranging from the usual vanilla to very graphic hardcore things ) and i can say for sure that there are millions of females all over the world who are into this kind of thing. i know it's stupid but since this is such a huge community it never once occured to me that there may be women who are unfamiliar with this genre.
Flag
Do it Vicky8675309!!!!

You got it!!!!
2
Flag
Seriously? Think about why most men (I know I do) find lesbian sex appealing. It's because two persons who are sexually attractive to you are engaging in sexual acts, 1 +1 = 2, pretty simple actually. So why would it be different for women? Of course they enjoy m/m sex scenes...
6
Reply
Flag
I agree. I'm a straight female who loves to see two hot guys get it on. The Agron/Nasir scenes were sexy.
Flag
I am hetero and I can say this is exactly why I like these scenes especially if I am attracted to both men. Women are in constant competition with other women and will probably be just assessing whether an actress is more attractive than they are when they watch a hetero sex scene. I have come across many, many women online who feel the same. Everyone is different but if you are a person who does not view gay and hetero sex as exactly the same then you will not feel the same way.
5
Flag
Well, I'm a hetero-woman, and I've never once in my life thought that male on male sex was sexy. Agron was hot, and Nasir was not bad, but that was before they started doing each other. I've not come across a single woman who was into male on male action. Ambiguously homoerotic ideations like Stefan and Klaus from TVD or Lestat and Louis, yes I get that appeal, but actually watching two men ass-attack each other? I wish we could do some kind of international women survey...

"It's because two persons who are sexually attractive to you are engaging in sexual acts, 1 +1 = 2, pretty simple actually." --- That's not how it works. Not anywhere close.
Flag
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
"My cock is magic!" - but obviously it doesnt make you immortal
1
Reply
Flag
As much as i love this show, this season they are really going to town with the gayness, i even joked to my friend during the celebrations of this episode 'i wonder when the gays will come out to play' and sure enough, 30 seconds later they did.

I can deal with half naked muscly men walking about and fighting, i can even deal with a guy walking around butt naked with his massive cock swinging about (invokes laughter) but full on gay sex scenes make me want to put my head through the tv.

I think they did the gay scenes in the previous seasons more tastefully, i wonder what has changed.

No offense is intended by this comment, i just find them very uncomfortable to sit through.

Overall excellent episode though, loved the pirate alliance and the fact Spartacus now appears to have ships armed with flaming oil bombs at his disposal :)

P.S. I hope the little shit of a son dies from his wounds, painfully and with his (what appears to be) apparent gay lover by his side (Braveheart anyone?)
10
Reply
Flag
There is a immense amount of straight sex in the show. I don't understand why you feel that you are so entitled not to see gay sex in a TV show. I mean come on gay people don't complain when heterosexuality is shoved in their faces everyday in the media and all over place. Please get over it.
3
Reply
Flag
You're entitled to not like the display of gay sex, just as you're entitled to not like anything, but that doesn't stop it from being prejudiced - and prejudiced toward an already discriminated against and vulnerable group at that. So thanks for sharing, I guess. Also, throwing in "no offense" doesn't take offense away.
10
Reply
Flag
Then I believe you are way too sensitive about the subject as he just shared how he felt about the scene and what is his opinion.

About 10 - 20 years ago that was something you couldn't talk in public much about it. It's a good thing that people could freely express themselves however one should never forget that one's freedom ends where it touches border of other people's freedom.
3
Reply
Flag
No, fighting for equality and against prejudice does not constitute being "too sensitive". Additionally, said equality does not translate to freedom being taken away from anyone else. Yes, they're just opinions - but they're outdated, hurtful, and harmful opinions. Racism, sexism, homophobia - none of them should be expressed without blowback. That's how you create a better world. Lastly, the fact that so many think it's okay to be disgusted to the point of threatened self-harm by shows of equality between hetero and homo relationships shows just how far we still have to go. It may be better than it was 10-years ago, but we have clearly not come all the way. That's why I'll stick to speaking up, thanks.
9
Reply
Flag
The last time I let myself get suckered into a strawman debate was 2010. I don't know what your issues is, maybe you honestly don't understand what I'm saying. Maybe it's just a good old fashion clash of cultures and ideologies. Maybe you're just insanely young. Obviously, I don't know you. Maybe you've been a victim of gay bullying, maybe you just like stylizing yourself as some civil rights advocate... You could have a thousand ways to justify your mentality, I don't know. In the same way, you don't know me and ignorance is forgivable.

I'm going to take the high road and just apologize. You keep believing, and fighting, and speaking up, and being the voice and all that good stuff.

Hell, maybe I really am a homophobic cynic with out-dated views and opinions. The children are the future and all that, so good on you for even caring about anything in the first place, and I mean that sincerely. Go ahead and shine the light. Lead us out of this darkness.

The truth is that the ardour with which people campaign for the LGBT community annoys me. But hell, that's just me. I'm not denying that they have some social hurdles to tango with, but who doesn't, really? I've witnessed so many levels of injustice and crime and all round suffering, that I really do consider the fight of the LGBT as being trivial. You're dead right about that. From a clinical standpoint, their "trials" and "hardships" are a single footnote on a single page in a single tome of a multi-volume encyclopedia.

People throw around words like equality and prejudice, and the big one, "oppression", without actually knowing the meaning of it, and I think that that's the problem with the world today. It's become fashionable to fight for causes and to have beliefs, and people get swept up in this battle for equality just for the sake of being in the trend without actually understanding the impact of what they're doing and who they're actually "fighting" against. And btw, what does this fight even entail? What do you specifically do for the gays other that call out people who don't appreciate the Spartacus gay sex scenes as much as you do?

Freedom for one people that impinges on the freedom of another? That's what this "fight" is for? Love the gays, or shut up? Enjoy the gay sex scene or shut up? That's not how life is supposed to work. Even the racists are allowed to have their racist clubs and their racist propaganda. You can fight slavery, you can win against slavery, but you can't force racists to like black people. You can't force atheists to believe in God, or Christians to not believe in God...

Or maybe you can, right? Because it's unconstitutional to pray in American public schools, right? Hell, I don't know. Maybe it's unconstitutional to have an opinion about gays. Maybe you're in the right. Maybe we should all either love the gay sex on tv or shut up.
More +
1
Flag
@youngnan, since you don't have a reply button: Nothing in that response was an adequate argument against the fight for homosexual equality.

"There are bigger issues"? Sure. There will always be bigger issues, but that's not an excuse to brush aside any victim. You don't quantify their grievance and say other things need your attention more. Their isn't a quota on how many things you can speak out against.

"To each his own. Live and let live"? No, we don't let discrimination and oppression live. We shouldn't just keep our heads down and let everyone else get away with whatever they want.

"Anti-homosexuality isn't equivalent to other prejudices. Blacks were slaves"? And homosexuals have been burned at the stake, outlawed, lobotomized, victims of Hitler's genocide, bullied into suicide, treated as a mental illness or demonic possession, and denied equal rights. DON'T trivialize what the LGBTQ community has faced and is still going through.

"White people problems. First world problems"? The fact that you're equating the LGBTQs' fight with some minor, laughable complaint shows YOUR privilege, not their's.

Finally, Spartacus is no doubt a piece of mere fiction and a television show. But art imitates life and has ALWAYS been used to provide commentary on real-world society. Books, paintings, movies, plays, TV - they all open the door for these types of discussions. They're a mirror being held up.
More +
8
Flag
I don't know, and I don't want to assume, but it seems to me that recently there's been this wave of "pro-homosexuality" in America. Being gay, or a gay-supporter is the latest cool thing, and if you're not on board you're in for a stern finger-wagging session.

I'm not sure what really motivated it, but maybe there's something being lost in translation, because everybody's either a gaylord or a homophobe. Either prejudiced or overly sensitive. When did it become such a bad thing to have an opinion on homosexuality? Just because somebody doesn't have a positive opinion on the taboo topic du jour doesn't make them Hitler reborn.

So many more important things to take a stance on in the world today than media and the tastelessness/wondrous splendour of their portrayal of MSM in the days of ancient Rome.

Want to make the place a better world? Become a foster parent. Go vaccinate some kids in the local health centre. Volunteer for some community service, help the underpriviledged in your community. Give some blood, donate an organ, sponsor a tank of potable water in a village in Africa. You know, to help out the children who live on their own because both their parents died of AIDS (and guess what they're HIV infected too and their only access to medication equates to participating in drug trials)? Freedom? You want to style yourself as a freedom fighter? You want to speak up for unheard voices? Speak up for the illiterates in the world who end up as drug mules and sex workers, hmm? There are millions of physically, socially, mentally handicapped people who'd be grateful for a voice.

Live and let live, right? To each his own, right?

I am so sick and tired of people equating serious issues with this triviality. People daring to equate racism and homosexuality. Would you believe that people actually compare being gay in America to being black? Black as in descended from a people who were ENSLAVED?!? For the good love of God, people.

How can we be comparing Slavery and Homosexuality while discussing a Starz production of Spartacus? Spartacus, of all things!!!! The irony! The man attempts to kill a nation because of the utter horror and despicability of slavery, and then the "equalist pro gays" have to be all, "Oh, we have it hard too, you know. Not easy being gay."

You know how they say "White people problems" or "Rich people problems", or "American rich idle white people problems"? ... Yeah. When did the internet become so politically correct? Grammer nazis, gay-love nazis, token black haters/lovers... Good gods, can we have something fresh? Like a latino/asian biracial person taking issue with their lack of representation in the media? How come nobody's arguing for the latinos? Or the persistently negative stereotyping of Indians?
More +
2
Flag
I'm not offended by your post but respectfully disagree with it except for the last 2 sentences;-)
5
Reply
Flag
Sabinus is totally gay for Tiberius. Heroism my arse.
10
Reply
Flag
Spartacus is one of the few shows that doesn't discriminate between sexual orientation. And because of your poor little weak homophobic stomach, they should not have man on man sex scenes? I bet you don't mind the girl on girl sex scenes... What if that bugs some people? Should they not have them? And what if someone doesn't like the intense violence? Does that give them the right to complain? No one cares about what makes you uncomfortable. You don't need to have gay sex yourself. Grow up a little bit and open your mind. You still live in the 70's.
15
Reply
Flag
Just because i am uncomfortable watching gay sex scenes i'm automatically a homophobe?

You sir are a genius!
2
Reply
Flag
Dude, The guy's stating his opinion. Why is everyone classified as a homophobe once they're not on the "Gayness is awesome" train? I mean, a gay sex scene doesn't make me want to put my head through a tv screen, and in fact, I actually think that this was the best gay sex scene so far (my weak homophobic stomach never really appreciated Barca and the pigeon boy - a little too paedophilic for me), but dude's just leaving a comment. I HATE the gayness of Agron. It totally ruined the character for me. Just feels contrived, as if they have some contractual statement forcing them to have at least one token gay couple in the series at any one point in time. My opinion - me homophobe too?

Jumping down the guy's throat? How 70's and heterophobic are you? Open your mind a little bit too, eh?
10
Reply
Flag
I couldn't reply to your post to Knoxera so here is my reply (fyi I don't think this review is being highjacked by this topic since it is relevant to the episode and mentioned in the review).

You say "wave of pro-homosexuality" as if that were bad. Then conversely, a "wave of anti-homosexuality" is good? WTF, when did views that support hate crimes become acceptable? It would come off better if you said "neutral" or "irrelevant to your life". Homosexuality is no longer in the DSM and hence not a psychiatric illness. Sure the bible bashes homosexuals but it bashes women and so much more--written by a committee of men in power who want to control the masses (not saying religion is bad but it doesn't have an affect on my views/opinions).

If it bothers you then fast forward though those scenes.

Sure there are more life threatening issues in the world today but this is a forum about the show Spartacus and not about treating illness, organ donation, volunteering and the other stuff mentioned. All good things to do but not relevant to Spartacus.

Latinos---huge voting block and politicians pander to that subset--makes sense to me from a business/political standpoint. Also I love Latinos in general and have much in common with them in general. Si señora, yo hablo espanol. The Latinos don't need anyone else to fight their battles for them and are one of the largest growing demographics in the USA and have a decent (not enough but still decent) media presence. I live in a predominately hispanic city and haven't seen any problems affecting them that don't affect all other ethnic groups. The only thing remotely related is boarder control and that is a different topic that involves coyotes (horrible people) and illegal entry and human trafficking/drugs/extortion...etc. That's a whole other topic not relevant to this show.

Why have a negative opinion on homosexuals? Two consenting adults can and should be able to enjoy each other. Who are you to judge them? Just because you may find some of the sex distasteful, those same acts can be done by heterosexuals (those acts aren't my thing in real life--oral ok but the other main act not a thing for me...but as a social liberal I have don't care what consenting adult do to each other sexually).

I'm not sure if you are ridiculing or downplaying the issues facing the LGBT community but I encourage you to check out the wikipedia page on "history of violence against LGBT people in the United States" they also have page on this topic worldwide. I still remember: October 7, 1998 - Matthew Shepard, a gay student, in Laramie, Wyoming was tortured, beaten severely, tied to a fence, and abandoned; he was found 18 hours after the attack and succumbed to his injuries less than a week later, on October 12.

I could keep going but it's long enough. In summary, Spartacus the show portrays homosexual relationships in a loving and masculine manner that is artistic, not porn, and I suspect realistic for the time (before christianity took over).

I'm just one heterosexual woman who is pro-gay rights and anti-homophobic views. Who cares what others consenting adults do sexually? It's none of our business to judge. Some of the acts (I have to say some because there is one act done by almost all couples-gay or not--and I'm not talking about lip kissing--lol) may not be something you or I want to do but it doesn't make it "wrong".
More +
6
Reply
Flag
First off, to clarify, I'm not saying that we should all go out with pitchforks and eliminate all gays from the world. My problem first and foremost is with Knoxera jumping down DarkFlame2006' throat because he found the gay sex scene distasteful.

As I've said, I actually disagree with that. I thought it was their best one yet. It was ambitious and a real step up as they tried to depict masculinity and love as well. The love really comes across. What I think darkflame meant to say was that it wasn't in sync with the entire rest of the episode or the series. I thought that the direction was off and that the acting was off and that it spoiled the episode. It was the pinnacle of authorial intent for the entire series, I found, and some people just don't like that. It can be frustrating esp. in Spartacus, and I get what he meant.

What gets to me is that you can say that the latinos don't have problems. That they don't need a voice. That they have a decent media presence. How can you say something like that when the negativity of their portrayal in American media is internationally notorious? In your attempt to be pro-gay, you've become anti- everything that's not pro-gay with you, and you don't even realise it.

Yes, gay people get killed unjustly sometimes, but you know who also get killed unjustly- straight people. Of all ethnicities, and genders and ages.

Consider this (hypothetical) scenario where a wealthy, infamously homosexual man, rapes and drowns a five year old boy, and nothing comes out of it because the boy's just some kid of two nobody black poor parents who depend on the free lawyer fresh out of law school and the gay rapist is an upstanding governmental person who lives right down the street from the hot-shot lawyer and went to school with the judge. Worse yet, they fly in another pathologist to do a repeat autopsy who says, guess what, the child wasn't raped at all, that the first pathologist got it wrong because he wasn't qualified (yes, the dude got fired), and that the poor black nobody parents were just looking for a payday - that they sent the boy there knowing that the man was gay, actually hoping that he'd rape and kill their son so that they'd be financially compensated - dirty nasty homophobes, right?

How is it that a guy who found a gay sex scene in Spartacus distasteful synonymous with a hate crime? I want to put that in italics and underline it, because it's mind-boggling to me how people can agree with that!

Honest to God, I don't understand how this is an issue on a Spartacus site.

Every single thing under the sun is either a pro-gay warrior or a nasty homophobe. It makes me doubt that you pro-gays understand what homophobia even is? It make me wonder if you understand criminality and injustice. It makes me wonder if you even understand what homosexuality is.

"It's not in the DSM anymore". Do you know how the DSM works? How it gets written and who does the writing and why they revise it, and who does the revising, and what its purpose is?

"Just change the channel", "just fast forward it", it's so beyond the point that darkflame is trying to make and I don't see how you can't get that!?! You guys are just so wrapped up in being pro-gay that you're refusing to see that the dude is making an absolutely valid point about a TV show that has absolutely nothing to do with being pro or anti gay! The FACT is that Agron and Nasir are the shows two gay characters, and that darkflame does not like the depiction of their relationship. Maybe he also doesn't like the depiction of Crixus and Naevia's relationship as well, maybe he won't like Spartacus and Laeta or whatever her name is, but the point is that he particularly did not like the homosexual content this season, and this episode.

People don't like the blonde, blue-eyed Caesar - are they racists? Anti Scandavian looking people? People don't like that he's poor. Poor people phobia? People don't like Naevia this season, especially with her killing of innocent characters but they're all racists, right? And all the people who are supporting the Romans and like Crassus, they're pro-slavery, right? Or do you not care about any of that? You're main issue is just with people not liking the gay sex scenes because not liking a gay sex scenes makes you a homophobe and homophobia is the worst kind of evil under the sun, right? A special place in hell reserved for homophobes, right? Used to be they said that about peadophiles but I guess homophobia is worse than peadophilia.

A thousand curses upon darkflame for not liking the gay sex scene and being such a homophobe and committing such depraved cyber and possibly real hate crimes. The dude probably has gays tied up in his basement, peeling their skin off and making lampshades with it. Eternal shame and ignominy upon him. Let's all be pro-active huh, and stem evil. Let's go buy some pitchforks and go after all the people who don't like watching Agron's gay sex scenes in Spartacus. Dirty, nasty homphobes... hate them so much.

You've convinced me, let's save the gays from the cruelty that darkflame has in store for them, him being a despicable hate-crime committing homophobe. Forget the starving people all around the world, forget racism and capitalism, and exploitation duh, eff away with those happy-go-lucky, milk and honey chugging latinos - the real issue here is these nasty homophobes who don't like Agron's gay sex.



More +
Flag
He just shared his opinion dude. He also mentioned about 'no offense' why people do such things I just can't understand.

O.K. I do understand your sexual preference but please first you should understand people might not like to see and as you are free to speak your mind so does he.
2
Reply
Flag
He stated his opinion, which is fine. Saying he's uncomfortable watching the gay scenes is very much ok to say. However, I'm calling him homophobe based on his comment that there are too many gay scenes. Why can there be so much sex between a man and a woman, but when the gay sex becomes a little more present, you don't like it? This show is full of violence and rape and deception and slavery, but the "gayness" is too much? I'm just saying it's time that being gay becomes as normal as being heterosexual. That having more homosexuals on a show doesn't require a "no offence comment" on a forum.
2
Reply
Flag
No homo.
6
Reply
Flag
I couldn't agree more.
1
Reply
Flag
lol at all the controversy.

I do skip past the latest scenes, i was just throwing my 2 cents in as i felt i didn't have to skip past them in the previous seasons.

I think the previous storylines / characters were better written.

With this season, it feels like the gay characters / scenes are just being thrown in / forced into every episode for the hell of it, a bit like Walking Dead with its instant same episode black character replacements.

It's a shame as otherwise the series has been pretty much flawless with every other aspect of the show.
Reply
Flag
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
So who is Caesar going to kill, Gannicus or Crixus? It's going to be one of them before the season is through. I'm leaning towards Crixus.
1
Reply
Flag
I hope it's Crixus just for the fact that I don't care about him much. He doesn't contribute much to the story and hasn't since serving as Spartacus' foil IMO. It was interesting when he first switched sides and fell in love with Naevia, but since then I've personally lost all interest in him. I do give him points though for his determination to find and train Naevia. I think he's a good guy, but again, not very thrilling to watch anymore.

Meanwhile, Gannicus' moral and allegiance struggle has been pretty interesting from the beginning and still is, I think. He has this identity conflict, between hedonism and heroism, and rebel and Roman. I don't think he's done choosing or figuring out where he stands, and thus the story's not done with his character arc.

Crixus, even if loved by others (I honestly don't know where he stands in the fandom), can go anytime so far as plot and arc goes. If anything, he's overdue for being killed off and perfect in that he'd be a major character death whilst simultaneously not a big loss.
3
Reply
Flag
I say Gannicus. Battle of the Sexy Hedons. Crixus probably gets taken out by Crassus. Battle of the stoic sticks in the mud.
1
Reply
Flag
Come on.. .all the psycho-babble...
Just speak in plain Roman
"That bitch doth have'th issues"
3
Reply
Flag
Am I the only one that thinks the actor playing Caesar is trying really hard to look like Brad Pitt?
Reply
Flag
I don't think it is the actor who is trying but the stylist or hair/make up person or the casting agent (whoever picks the cast). Unless the actor had plastic surgery I don't think he is trying to look like anyone else.

I think yamachamama has it right about "marty deeks" from ncis-la (that's who he reminds me of in terms of looks) and I think it is the hair. The actor is doing a great job with the character and I don't think he has much control of his "looks".
4
Reply
Flag
More like Thor in Thor
Reply
Flag
More like Marty Deeks from NCIS LA!
4
Reply
Flag
Also I want Argo to bring back his dread locks!
1
Reply
Flag
I don't like Agron and Nasir relationship! I find it too forced. Also I think Argo was standing on a Box when talking to Nasier in the bedroom. Argo is short, and no way he's a foot taller than Nasir.

I liked Barca and Pietros b/c I believed it. I feel like Agron and Nasir R just in a relationship so the show can have a gay couple.
6
Reply
Flag
You do realize that the guy playing Agron is 6 ft 2. That's not short honey. And the guy who plays Nasir is around 5 ft 6 and a half. So yes, there is a height difference. About 8 inches.
1
Reply
Flag
I'm pretty sure the line is "spirit himself through wood and stone," not spurt. But I like that version more, since the image of oozing quickly through city walls is a lot cooler than just walking through them like a ghost.
6
Reply
Flag
Staff
That does make more sense. Clearly my mind prefers to mishear things the dirty way whenever remotely possible.
4
Reply
Flag
Well I definitely enjoyed this episode, and I also enjoyed reading this review. You make some great points, Andy, about the issues of trust in this episode, and what this means for the rest of the season/series. Back when this show started, things were pretty black and white. Spartacus was our hero, the guy we rooted for, and kind of everyone else at first were some degree of bad guys, if only because no one was on our hero's side, except for Varro of course. But even though Crixus and most of the other gladiators gave Spartacus a hard time, the Romans were the real villains. By putting all these slaves into the twisted position of being gladiators, where if they killed enough of their own they would be loved by the people, and respected by the ruling class. And if they did a really good job killing their own countrymen and fellow slaves, and at least appeared to stay loyal to their respective houses, then they just might be freed, but probably not. And sure, Batiatus seemed like an okay bloke at first (it didn't hurt that he was played by John Hannah, who comes off as a lovable guy), he did have Spartacus's wife killed, so yeah.

When Spartacus and his merry band freed themselves, they were united in a very noble goal: free all the slaves. "No man should live in chains" was their rallying cry, and thankfully they weren't as sexist as they sounded, because they did free everyone they reasonably could. And the Romans still remained strong villains because their main goal was to keep all their slaves, kill all the escaped slaves, and act like the biggest douchebags they possibly could.

But as I've said before. Now things aren't so black and white. Part of it is because of the introduction of Crassus, a surprisingly noble and upstanding Roman noble who happens to be the most cunning and deadly ally that Spartacus will ever go up against, because, you know, he's going to die soon. But another part of this is that Spartacus's merry band of freed slaves aren't so merry anymore. In the last episode they killed a lot of people who weren't soldiers in order to take a city for purely practical reasons. Last week, someone commented that at this point no Roman soldier is really innocent, because they are part of a society that uses and benefits from slavery. This is a very good point to make, and it is one shared by many in Spartacus's army. When Spartacus said that the remaining Romans should be spared he was told that if positions were reversed, they wouldn't be shown the same kindness. Because, after all, they all used to be slaves under Roman rule.

I do have a problem with this line of reasoning though, for a couple of reasons. The first is that we currently live in a world where slavery still exists. Sure, in most places it isn't as obvious and prevalent as it was in the Roman Empire, or even a few hundred years ago in the U.S. and Europe, when slaves were still sold on the steps of government buildings. But certain companies, Hershey's being one of them, still uses slaves to make their products. So if all Romans, and in particular the ones that lived in the city Spartacus now occupies, are guilty because they lived in a society that benefits from slavery, even if they don't actually own slaves themselves, can't the same be true of anyone nowadays that buys a Hershey's kiss? I realize that these aren't exactly the same things, because the Roman Empire used slaves a lot more visibly, in more ways, and in more volume than we use them today. And your average person on the street in the modern world will vehemently condemn slavery, to the extent that if anyone admitted to being a slave owner they would be run out of town. And we most certainly don't build large arenas where we have slaves fight to the death (Though there are shockingly enough programs in the U.S. where prisoners can volunteer to leave the prison in order to participate in Bull fights. During these events more violence toward the participants is permitted because they are prisoners. And if you're wondering why people actually volunteer to do this, since there's surprisingly okay chance that they'll be severely wounded or die, it's because otherwise they don't get to leave the prison ever.). But still, the Romans who don't go watch slaves kill each other for fun, who don't own slaves, and who only benefit from slavery because the price of grain may be cheaper, those Romans don't deserve to die just because they were born into an immoral society. And if even that argument doesn't float your boat, I think we can all agree that six-year-olds just don't deserve to die.

Another problem with this line of reasoning is that you end up forcing yourself down onto you're opponents level. Sure, the Roman Empire is the enemy. And sure, there will be some unfortunate casualties of war. And sure, it's a difficult thing to feed the same people who would have happily watched you kill each other in the arena, especially when you're still hungry and could use that food yourself. But in this episode, some of Spartacus's men did a lot to place themselves as low, if not lower, than their enemies. One guy cruelly waved a loaf of bread in front of a pregnant woman so that her husband would tell him where to find valuables hidden in the city, after which he tossed the bread on the ground away from their reach. This resulted in a scuffle between the husband and another man, and after seeing this for a bit, Crixus told them to fight each other to see who would get that small bit of bread. Fight each other to the death, I wonder where I've seen that one before. And finally Naevia, who at this point is straight up racist (for understandable reasons, considering) wounded a guy and killed a guy in two different instances, both times wrongly thinking the worst about them. Basically, the problem with looking at all Romans as corrupt and immoral and worthy of punishment, is that by punishing them the way they punished slaves, you do the same immoral things that they did.

This episode continued the trend of morally evening out both sides in this war, in this case by making Spartacus's army more immoral, by having them do the same bad things that Romans did. To Spartacus's credit, he's really having a hard time of balancing a lot of things at once, and if he had been present for any one of these immoral things that I mentioned he probably would have stopped them. But he can't be everywhere at once, making sure that every single one of his men is doing the right thing. So part of the reason for why the show has become less black and white is that Spartacus and company have gotten larger and more powerful. In the past, the goal was just to survive the ludus and escape at some point (once his wife got killed). In the second season the goal was to keep all the slaves together and strike back at the Romans, which they did by killing Glaber and his men. But now Spartacus has reached the point where it isn't just him and some hardened gladiators anymore. There are children living with his army, a very large army that needs to be fed and maintained. Which is why they had to take a city, a city which now needs to be run. If only that one guy in change of rationing didn't die.

At this point in the game, Spartacus's army of rebellion is looking more and more like its own country. In this episode, the pirate called him King Spartacus, which he pretty much is at this point. He is definitely the leader of a city, which is now technically an unrecognized city/state, and quite a few people look at him as some kind of god. But with this huge amount of power comes responsibility, and with this responsibility comes hard choices that have to be made so that people stay alive. Innocent people were killed to take a city so that people didn't starve. And now Spartacus has made an alliance of sorts with pirates, these being the kind that kill people solely for money, in order that people still don't starve and die.

So right now at this point in the show, if you didn't know anything about the characters or the backstory or anything, and just took a look at that city, what would you see? You would see a bunch of people keeping other people in chains because of their ethnicity, and not necessarily because of any crimes that they themselves had committed. You would see that these same people who rule the city making an alliance with actual pirates. And finally, you would see a number of these prisoners who have recently escaped, and who are hiding out underneath some stables, being helped by a woman who is the only member of her kind that is allowed to walk the streets freely. So of the people ruling the city and the people hiding under the stables, who would you root for?

Of course, I'm still rooting for Spartacus, don't worry. But I am worried about his army, which seems to be splitting apart a little. And while this has happened in the past, mostly because of racial tensions, this time the problems are more ideological in nature. Crixus and Naevia hate the Romans quite a bit, understandably yes, but they are quite excessive about it. Crixus made two Romans fight to the death. Only once before, as far as I can remember, we have seen a Roman forced to fight a friend of his to the death, though at the time he didn't realize whoever won would have to kill the other. And if your'e wondering who I'm talking about, it's Varro. If you recall, Varro was a free Roman who offered himself up as a slave in order to provide money for his wife. And he was told to fight Spartacus in a duel, Spartacus won, and then he was commanded to kill his friend, which he only did when Varro plunged the sword into himself. Varro was a Roman, that archer from last season was a Roman, and the blacksmith who just died was a Roman. Even though these people sided with the slaves, Crixus and Naevia still hate them because they are Roman. Gannicus, on the other hand, just had a close friend of his murdered, and was pretty sickened by the hostility towards the Romans in this episode. And Argon has a way of feeling like he's neglected almost all of the time, though thankfully not so much in this episode.

It will be interesting to see to what extent the army of former slaves will fracture. At the moment, the largest potential for friendly blades clashing is between Naevia and Gannicus, especially since they'll find out sooner than later that the blacksmith actually had nothing to do with hiding the Romans. And while Spartacus ideologically sides with Gannicus on this issue, he can't afford alienating any of his commands too much, especially now with the Romans on their doorstep. But I'm going to be honest here, I don't like where Naevia is heading as a character. While the abuse and torture she has sustained at the hands of Romans is severe, her hatred towards Romans is basically racism at this point, to the extent that if Varro had never become a gladiator and she saw him walking in the street in some Roman city, she wouldn't think twice about cutting off his head without even bothering to know his name. And I'm also not entirely sure how sure she was when she said that the blacksmith was guilty. She may end up becoming a straight up villain, someone that Spartacus or one of his men may be forced to kill. I hope not, but it seriously could happen.
More+
9
Reply
Flag
Staff
Gannicus is still a reluctant warrior, fighting as much out of loyalty to Spartacus and in honor of Oenomaus's memory as anything else. It could be an interesting twist if the thing that finally galvanizes him into some deeper principle of his own is the sins committed by his own side.
2
Reply
Flag
I think the new slave girl that he saved is going to be his new love interest, and he'll be fighting just as much for her. You could tell that he cares for her when he sent her away, and told her to stay away from him and "his kind". He doesn't want to see her be mistreated.
1
Reply
Flag
A part of me last night delayed posting because I was tired and partly because I knew you would have an eloquent post that summarized what I thought.
Well said or should I say well posted!

Some thoughts that came to my mind when reading your post was that someone said last week "the oppressed become the oppressors". Also I thought of WWII (no slaves but even worse it involved genocide) and if using Naevia's and others way of thinking, then all Germans (and all people in the Axis countries) should die. Wrong! The innocents (like the 6 year old kid) shouldn't of died. I can understand "casualties of war" but in this case many could of been avoided. I do think this is a natural evolution of Spartacus' people---power corrupts and oppressors become oppressed...however Spartacus himself still is more good then bad imo. He has ideals/morales and struggles to maintain those beliefs in his and his people's actions while still being pragmatic/realistic. You could phrase that better then me but I hope what I'm saying makes sense.

Good point about slavery still existing...lot of human trafficking that is more underground then Hersey's actions and what we see in other countries (who don't have strict labor laws....)

The whole bread scene was disturbing and powerful. It really makes one think about many issues (right vs wrong, good vs bad vs "grey", revenge, corruption, innocents, family, love man for his pregnant wife and Crixus for Naevia, etc...).

Fantastic review Andy and excellent post theopratt (autocorrect keeps wanting to say theocrat).

Thank you Andy for being so fast with your reviews yet still having well thought out and excellently written reviews:-)
More +
9
Reply
Flag
Staff
Thank you! But full disclosure: I receive screeners from Starz, so I write the review in advance of the episode's first airing.
3
Reply
Flag
Honest also!
But you are still faster (and better imo) then the other reviewers who I am guessing also get "screeners". I love Tim's review on POI but he isn't as fast as you:-) Maybe the regular networks don't give screeners...regardless, thanks for the fast and insightful reviews.
1
Reply
Flag
Staff
It varies depending on the network and the show - sometimes they send all the episodes, sometimes only a handful, sometimes none. For instance, TBS sent a few early episodes of Cougar Town, but that's all. The Vampire Diaries doesn't send out any. I'm not sure what CBS / POI's routine is. Still, I appreciate the sentiment. :) Hopefully Starz will continue to have pity on us Friday night reviewers and keep sending the screeners all season.
1
Flag
Navea's cracks are starting to show from her time away from Crixus. On one hand it makes sense and I get it, if someone's kind of loopy they still aren't all that dangerous, but if you put sword in their hand, teach them how to use it and how to get angry don't be surprised by the end result. On the other hand it didn't really interest me, I hope they don't spend too much time developing that sub-plot.
Reply
Flag
Motherf#$%ing pirates! love it.
man burning alive-check.
I am going to miss this show.
2 days till the Walking Dead returns!!!
3
Reply
Flag
Walking Dead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook