This was certainly the best episode of the show so far, but remember: there's only been three episodes of the show so far, and the first one was extremely disappointing. However, nitpicking aside, the show did remarkably well at building up characters that we wouldn't expect them to build up. I expected Crixus to simply be a straight-forward villain, but his involvement with Lucretia definitely makes things a little more interesting.
I really enjoy the relationship being built between Spartacus and Varro. The show nearly rips off Gladiator scene for scene at times, but it's entertaining enough to make me overlook this. And it was admittingly frustrating to watch Spartacus get his butt handed to him by Crixus, especially when we're lead to believe again and again that he's the hero of the show and will win against everyone. However, it shows how honorable Spartacus is and how fighting isn't life to him; love is.
That being said, the show still has some extremely frustrating tendencies. One is that they love to curse, much more than I would expect Romans to back hundreds upon hundreds of years ago. It leads to some laughs but sometimes, it's just ridiculous.
For the most part, the show has improved from episode to episode.. let's see if they can keep it up.
After writing this show off for the most part, there is definitely potential here and now I am seeing what Starz was thinking when they already renewed the program for a second season.
Outside of The Tudors, which this show is not near in quality, there really are not any time period dramas anymore. Not like Mad Men, where's it just a few decades back, but centuries back and that it was Spartacus: Blood and Sand gives us. A nice look into the world the way it once was where people cheered beheadings as sport.
But the show is more than a historical drama, it's a raw, gritty series that knows no boundaries in the way of blood and gore and really is special that way.
It's still far from great, but definitely worth watching.
If the third episode is well done, the whole season is. An adage that applies to the show now that I've seen Legends. It blended all the elements that made the first two episodes, The Red Serpent and Sacramentum Gladiatorum, a success. From the sweaty training to the unpredictable and cunning Spartacus there were many scenes to enjoy. I specially liked that the creative editing from the pilot was back, with its surreal transition and splattering digital effects. Of course there're still some minor chroma key issues but overall the production is great and in a way they even make the universe more mystical. Yes because it's what this episode was a lot about, tales. They should remind you of the Greek mythology, its heroes and extraordinary creatures. We learned through the eyes of Spartacus that becoming a legend wasn't only about will or fate. It's what Doctore tries to teach his gladiators and it seems some of them are still reluctant to apply his lessons. In fact the last part was all about comprehending what it takes to become a legend.
Legends was also more about Crixus, played by Manu Bennett, and his relationship with characters like Lucretia and one of her female slave. It was interesting to see an other side of him considering he's Spartacus nemesis in a way. So things are not all black and white as they first appeared to be. It's a pleasant approach because it blurs the lines between good and evil. The other arc I liked was the one involving Spartacus buddy. A scene was specially dirty but really funny and it even strengthened their friendship. An other one was more controversial and in the same vein as the orgy between Batiatus, Lucretia and their slaves.
It leads us to Ilithyia, Gaber's wife played by Viva Bianca. She was back at the ludus without her husband and its owners continued their seductive hunt. However their target is not an easy one considering her high expectations and excessive behavior. And it's exactly what is intriguing about her. She's like a puzzle they have to solve in order to get what they need, money. Lucretia did her best but it seems Ilithyia is never satisfied. She's like an empty shell that is impossible to fulfill. One minute the fish is in the net, the next it escapes. Their back and forth vicious game was actually the thing I appreciated the most because it could lead to some dramatic events if they decided to take their it to some extreme limits. In fact we even had a first glimpse at it considering how Lucretia looked at her at times, wearing a blonde wig with fireballs in her eyes. So it seems the puppet apprentices haven't mastered their art yet.
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