Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Season 1 Episode 6

Delicate Things

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Feb 26, 2010 on Starz

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

out of 10
433 votes
  • Halfway through Season 1, and we get a big game-changer. (Spoilers)

    The main point of Spartacus thus far has been us waiting to see the hero, Spartacus, reunited with Sura, his wife. Andy Whitfield does great things with the character and finally, after five episodes of build-up, we reach the episode where Sura is to arrive. And instead of getting a bloody violent episode, we get less violence, more conversation, more complications and a stunning ending that could change the rest of the season.

    There was a lot going on in this episode, but to keep it simple, it could be summed up in two different events: Ashur, in order to drop his debt owed to Barca, forms an elaborate scheme where Barca is seen as untrustworthy, resulting in his ultimate death by Batiatus' hand. Once again, we see that Batiatus isn't nearly as honorable as Spartacus claims throughout the episode. This point is only reinforced after the end of the episode.

    The other event in this episode was the arrival of Sura. Throughout the episode, Spartacus discusses his plan with Varro to take Sura and escape Rome, but he has to construct a complicated plan that will allow him to escape without dying. This all changes when Sura arrives nearly dead until she finally dies in his arms. It becomes clear that Batiatus doesn't care about honor and that he only cares about his ludus and his purse.

    This was definitely the turning point of the season and the best episode of the season. Everybody did a good job here, and I'm excited to see where this takes the season.
  • *** Spoiler-free *** Exquisite writing and direction, captivating and distorted story, burlesque and brutal daydreams, theatrical sex and fascinating mind game

    In my The Thing in the Pit episode review I wrote about how talented the Dream Team behind the show is. Now that I've seen Delicate Things I consider its members are superheroes. Stephen S. DeKnight can be proud of his bloody creature. Tracy Bellomo and Andrew Chambliss wrote the episode story following his head and they did a tremendous job. After The Thing in the Pit and Shadow Games I was hoping for something more mentally challenging. The least I can say is that they really delivered and even surpassed my highest expectations. The twisted events kept surprising me and the tension gradually increased until the finale climax. In fact the story was so unpredictable and excessive that it even made me chill. One minute my heart was beating fast like if it was about to enter the arena, the next it was cooling off in a fresh pool of water. But in your mind it should rain the whole time. But are the almighty drops red or blue ?

    Indeed Spartacus monumental victory in the arena was both a blessing and curse. What else could you expect in a tainted world ? He dreams of reuniting with his enslaved wife when others worship the Seven Deadly Sins. So when Batiatus, Lucretia and the usual suspects celebrated their fresh wealth in lusty and exuberant ways, the new Legend of Capua had high hopes to finally hold Sura in his strong arms. But does succeeding in the arena can grant you such a wish ? How can you please the Gods when you don't even believe in them ? And can you avoid a dream to turn into a nightmare ? These are complex questions our hero had to answer but it's definitely harder when you're not as literate and smart as a boy born under a lucky star. Such an issue leaded to the most unanticipated emotion, fun. The gladiator's daydreams used to picture his dialogs with Varro, whom calm profile perfectly balances his best friend one, were just so naive that you could only laugh at them. They were of the same calibre as the others but between two bloody squirts I understood that the writers were mocking the valiant within, madly in love and probably just too exhausted and damaged to think clearly. They just lack discipline, it's probably what the wise Doctore would say.

    But around these irresistible moments revolved numerous elements that made Delicate Things a home run. First sexual intercourses were mixed with the story. They even brought some depth to the scenes and some of them even reminded me of plays. Sure the very first one mostly served to nourish the audience fantasy but at least it succeeded in distracting me enough to not pay attention to what the characters involved were saying. And it's exactly the excuse I needed to watch it all over again to make sure I didn't miss a major line. It didn't happen but at least it allowed me to catch a sneaking tit who was apparently trying to escape his mistress and gain its freedom. Was it a tiny gladiator or was I just hallucinating ? It leads us to Barca, "the Beast of Carthage", who also benefited from Spartacus victory as he bet on the right horse, contrary to the crippled and manipulative Ashur. As a fanatic of puzzles and brain teasers I found their arc mind blowing. It was brilliantly written and full of hammering rebounds. They sort of played with the metaphoric boomerangs I mentionned in my Shadow Games review but now I realize that I forgot to warn them that they were actually sharp-edged steel weapons. Only Sura's underwear ribbon could have protected them so don't think for a second that the writers spared their miserable existence. They're just slaves after all and it only made their story even more captivating and emotional.

    Last but not least the episode wouldn't have been so excellent without a man, Rick Jacobson. His direction was very skillful, as much as in The Red Serpent and Sacramentum Gladiatorum. Of course we could still complain about the lack of creativity in the editing, specially compared to the pilot and Legends, but such a minor issue can't overshadow the fact that Delicate Things was just overwhelming.
  • Best episode yet. They've come a long way.

    The cast and crew of Spartacus should be proud. Tonight's episode was the most emotionally pleasing yet damaging of the season to-date. Early episodes of this show simply did not spur me to write a review. I WAS tempted, though, after seeing the last two; but it was THIS one that made me rush to immediately after watching so I could review it.

    "Delicate Things," aptly titled, had me in tears at two points: (1) The montage in which Barca is murdered-only to be cleared of charges moments later, in an ironic twist-while his lover, Pietros, enjoys the celebration and Doctore is drugged and (2) the one in which Sura comes spilling out of the cart and Spartacus holds her while Batiatus hints to his wife that he had the cart attacked, Sura killed.

    Gutsy! This episode was shocking, at least to an extent that the show hasn't reached in the past. The relationships that have been building up for the past few episodes have come to a breaking/turning point. Batiatus is a far more evil man than we knew even LAST WEEK, and he is not to be trusted by anyone, especially the viewer him/herself.

    My heart certainly goes out to both Spartacus, for his lost wife, and Pietros, for his lost boyfriend. I was rooting for the gay couple to survive, but that was a pipe dream. Oh well. At least they were compelling, strong, and 3-dimensional characters, and I'm sure Pietros will continue to be, until his (inevitable?) exit.

    Lastly, the technical elements: BEAUTIFUL, very fitting music to go with these scenes. The pacing of this episode was perfect for me. It was nice to get a character episode that focused more on development than potentially shock-value gladiator fighting.

    Extremely well done. Keep it up! :-)
  • episode 6

    Does anyone get a chuckle out of how often they say, "Jupiter's ****!" on this show? Maybe it's just me, but I find it funny every time they do.

    This was another solid episode for a show that has gone from another Starz snorefest of a drama to one of the most delightful things about Friday night TV.

    This episode featured a heartbreaker of an ending, but at least we know that the show is definitely heading in the direction of the good vs. bad, Spartacus vs. boss direction, without having to worry about Spartacus' love. This should lead to much more heated conversations, and definitely much more masculine television.
  • **A Brief & Spoiler Free Review** Spartacus' recent success gives him greater and more perilous opportunities.

    "Delicate Things" (episode 1x06) is a fantastic height to a promising new series. This episode reaffirmed my faith in this show and its potential. It was good to see that 'Spartacus' can break from the gladiatorial-fight-per-episode formula. The show steadily improved from the pilot, but this episode blew me away with all the scheming and maneuvering, and the twists and turns that came with them. The pacing was relentless, and the direction pleasingly understated without some of the overused visual gimmicks that have plagued the show. For those who are skeptical about watching this series due a perceived lack of substance, I heartily encourage you to try this episode (and the ones leading up to it, obviously), and see if it doesn't convince you to stick around.
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