Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Season 1 Episode 12


Aired Friday 10:00 PM Apr 09, 2010 on Starz

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

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out of 10
534 votes
  • Excellent foundation for the season finale.

    I was becoming mildly concerned with a lack of plot direction on previous episodes. They were all incredibly enjoyable, it just felt like maybe a few too many lead characters were being slaughtered, ha ha.

    However, This episode draws back to the original plot lines of deception and betrayal. The ending of the last episode (the death of Varro) leaves Spartacus once again questioning his identity as slave and Gladiator. We are also hinted at a future love interest (although Spartacus is currently having none of it) and the stunning Mira brings a nice dynamic his character.

    Without spoiling anything, I will say that the last lines of the episode gave me chills and left me yearning for the season finale. Try hearing those words being uttered by Spartacus and not have a smile on your face... I dare you.
  • Absolutely brilliant, Spartacus: Blood and Sand gets better and better every episode.

    Spartacus: Blood and Sand has done it again. This show ceases to amaze me. It's so good that me, a very lazy person, finds the need to actually write a review for the first time in my life.

    The professional relationship between Batiatus and Asher is very interesting. There's a strong sense of loyalty between them. This is surprising because we can see Batiatus eliminating anyone that gets in his way.

    Asher is like the bully's friend, and both of them are very smart and deceiving.They will definitely accomplish even greater deeds in the future.

    Spartacus is set on killing Batiatus, despite Mira's attempts to convince him that more than one slave's life is at stake.
    He, however, changes his mind when he sees Aurelia working as a paid servant in the Batiatus Household.

    It keeps on getting better and better, and this show never ceases to amaze me. It's like a constant flow of euphoric greatness, and a fresh apple amongst the very sour apples we call shows these days..

    I'm not going to go into details, if you're reading this review, you know that this show is splendid.

    Maybe next time, I'll write a review immediately after the show airs..
    till next time..
  • *** Spoiler-free *** Edgy and captivating story, excessive puppet master Ashur, intriguing character development but conventional presentation, incongruous Thracian behavior and poorly executed challenging fight

    Reveal what's behind the curtain. Unravel the ball of scum the characters have been throwing at each other. Collapse the ludus of cards and make its residents clash like titans, or not. With Ovidius arrest and the anticipated return of Gaius Claudius Glaber this episode story could only be edgy.

    Batiatus plan to bury his rival continued his vicious circle around him like a scavenger. Its development was entertaining even if I was expecting something more surprising. As often fights were also featured at the beginning and even if they shouldn't blow you away they at least warmed up the gladiators for the rest of the episode. Indeed the Thracian was tortured by vengeance so in some way Revelations was similar to Delicate Things even if it wasn't as theatrical and fascinating. Even if the story was captivating many of the recurring elements were missing, the surreal daydreams and creative editing for example. So let's hope they'll redeem themselves in the finale. But it's not necessarily a bad thing as it allowed them to focus more on the secret relationships and social ascension arcs. Old Wounds proved that when it comes to manipulation Ashur and Batiatus are the perfect match. They're interesting characters because their mental profiles balance the more physical ones. Their mind games definitely make the story more exciting and following its numerous boomerang arcs is quite challenging because you never know who they aim.

    With Ashur knowing about Crixus and Naevia I was wondering what he would do. As expected his intentions were pure evil but it's not the what that matters with him but the how. His Machiavellian plan was bitter sweet to taste and like a praying mantis he waited for the climactic scramble to prey the pawns he had been toying with. Do I hate him ? Definitely. But he's so unscrupulous and cunning that without him the show liquor wouldn't be so excessive. It leads us to the apparently More Roman Than Thracian. To the greedy eyes of Batiatus he's only the new Champion of Capua but we only know that he's more, much much more. But before the Superbeast unleashes his fever in Kill Them All the writers decided to dominate him a little longer. Imagine his Delicate Things valiant and naive story without Varro, six episodes and probably hundreds of dead meat gladiators later. But when Tracy Bellomo and Andrew Chambliss writing was exquisite I found Brent Fletcher's approach far less subtle and even incongruous at times. The Thracian is not the smartest character but he's definitely not dumb. That's why I found some of his dialogs with other ludus residents slightly awkward and lacking the delicate words of Bellomo, because I suspect her happy neurons to be behind such a brilliant and antiheroic portrayal.

    But among the what went wrong elements there was one that could have wiped them all. No the Thracian didn't thunder kissed Mira's tender lips. A fierce and surprising fight happened. It could have been as jaw dropping as seeing a living dead blonde woman walking naked in a graveyard but a very poor execution ruined it all. Indeed for once it took place at the ludus and not the usual virtual arena. I don't mind the digital seams of it as it allows the CG artists to express their talent, from the blood waves to the slow motion scenes. But it seems their production pipeline wasn't ready to migrate its assets from the sand to the stone. It's even more disappointing considering how excellent the fights were in The Thing in the Pit. From the brutality to the choreography it was pure audiovisual madness. Here it reminded me of a randori practice, when you have to take multiple opponents at the same time in aikido. The editing wasn't dynamic and it was obvious the performers were faking it. And when you add no blood and no visual effects you get one of the worst collision of the show to date yet. Smallville's Checkmate was aired the same night and even if its director lacked experience he at least found creative ways to get things done in time and on budget. They mixed stroboscope and bullet time effects to film a scene where Clark Kent, the Blur, has to interact with many characters. One second the screen is all black and you picture him as fast moving, the next it's white and you see him punching or grabbing someone. Now once you have watched the fight from Spartacus imagine it occuring at night during an apocalyptic storm, like in Jurassic Park for example. The rain would be pouring from the ludus roof and the characters would react as lighting strikes. Like in video games, God of War and Painkiller for example, they could also have used a physics engine to destroy walls and render water particles. It would have made the scenes far much more intense, dramatic and even horrific.

    But in the end I still enjoyed this installment. It wasn't as good as gems like Party Favors but at least it succeeded in reinventing itself, again, and should definitely entertain you. It's easy to criticize and point out the mistakes but it doesn't make the show less impressive. Moreover there was some major character development, from Doctore to Aurelia, so the finale season episode should be mind blowing. So be gentle Thracian because we're all TV virgins !
  • Incredible.

    This is what the show needs. The return of Glaber to Capua brings much drama and gives us a chance to see Spartacus once again take down several soldiers single-handedly. ALso, if anything, this episode helped me look back Crixus' shortcomings and the way the writers made him Spartacus' enemy and see him for who he really is: a man in love. If we can respect Spartacus despite the things he's been forced to do, it's easier to respect Crixus for the things he does in the name of love.

    There was a lot of violence and a lot of sex here, as usual, but violence prevailed in the end, as usual, and we see Crixus pay for his love by being lashed over and over. I'm surprised that Batiatus and Lucretia didn't have anybody killed, just as I'm surprised that Ilithyia wasn't killed by Glaber upon learning how she killed the cousin of Crassus.. wow, just saying all those names gets me dizzy.

    This episode sets up the finale perfectly, with the idea of a slave rebellion being set up more and more. The brothers have already announced their allegiance to Spartacus, and it should be interesting to see how it all pans out. It seems as if there should also be a final battle between Crixus and Spartacus.. it ought to be fun, regardless of what happens.
  • Wow!!! Just Wow!!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!! This episode sets in motion the events, that will lead to the historical slave rebelion by Spartacus and his second in command Crixus.

    Spartacus realises he can't have his revenge against Batiatus without risking the lives of the other slaves, especially the wife of his close friend. This conundrum makes Spartacus think twice on how to achieve his goal. Further character development occures here, since Spartacus has to think strategy, rather than the tired old "heads on confrotation". Because that's the only way he'll beat a man as canaving as Batiatus at his own game, and he will need help.

    Crixus is betrayed, in his mind, by Batiatus, who hands his love to another man, wich finally reveals Crixus true emotions and what he is really fighting for. Lucretia is devastated to find out the truth about Crixus, and she takes her own steps for revenge. Alot of character development happens here, Crixus is now a man who knows that love matters more than being Champion of Capua, and Lucretia's heartbroken spirit really shines through. The deviousness of Batiatus just keep on reaching new hights(he knew all along about Crixus & Lucretia's affair), apparently he wanted Crixus to father him a child. Now he is ready to take on the world even if he has to threaten a legatus to get there.

    This episode really builds up to the season finale, and it's a culmination of how far, Spartacus Blood and Sand, has come as a series. There is truly alot a revelations, and Iam glad I kept on watching, because right now Iam getting every penny worth of time spent watching this series grow.
  • Batiatus is one smart SOB. The guy is a devil and it would seem that he always gets what he wants… so far.

    Batiatus's plan to get the magistrate's support for political office failed and that did not sit well with him, and the magistrate finds that out the hard way. Solonius too underestimated Batiatus and pays for that mistake with his life. Batiatus is not one to give up easily and hatches a new plan – to gain the patronage of Glaber. Glaber realizing this drags Batiatus around, and then demands Spartacus fight a bunch of his men, all at the same time with a practice sword. Spartacus beats the crap out of them all, which I was really happy to see, and really shows what an awesome gladiator he has become.

    Next he demands that if patronage was to be granted, Spartacus must kneel and acknowledge him as his new master, which Spartacus as hard as it was for him, does. It would seem that all is going well for Batiatus when out of nowhere Crixus rushes Ashur, and proceeds to beat the crap out of him. Turns out, for his services Ashur has been granted a few privileges. One being that he will now stay in the villa and two; he wants the 'services' of Naevia who is supposed to be a virgin (before Crixus got to her). Of course he does that knowingly that Crixus likes her too and it would only anger him. Glaber witnesses the spectacle and withdraws his patronage only to be confronted by Batiatus who tells him that it was indeed his wife who murdered Licinia and that if patronage isn't given to him, Licinia's body just might turn up at his villa. I guess back in those days if a missing person's body is found near you, you automatically become the murderer. I am pretty sure it wasn't the case as Roman society was pretty civilized in those days but I guess it's convenient to forward the plot here. A smart man is always aware of what is happening around him, and Batiatus is definitely the smartest in this episode. While Crixus is being punished for his actions, Batiatus informs he is aware of Crixus' visits and that she would see no more of him if she wishes to live and start caring for the child she's going to have. I am not if Batiatus or Crixus is the father but yes the poor lady is finally pregnant. Two episodes ago Spartacus found out that it was Batiatus who had his wife killed, and of course wants wants revenge but finds out from Mira that under Roman law if a slave is to spill his master's blood, all slaves are put to death. Varro's wife Orelia has also taken up a job under Batiatus to pay of Varro's debts, which stops Spartacus from killing Batiatus. I am not sure if Batiatus is aware that Spartacus knows he had a hand in killing is wife although I wouldn't be surprised if he knew but it is definitely interesting to watch the two, always wondering whether each knows the others intent.
  • Revelation

    Did women just let their breasts freely hang out in the air while celebrating at the coliseum? I don't remember reading that in the history books.

    Anyway, getting back to the rest of the show, this was such a great episode tonight. Coming off that travesty last week I was a little worried about this show, but those doubts were quickly erased here. There was drama, there was some foreshadowing and of course there was more than enough blood and guts to kill your grandmother via heart attack.

    Definitely looking forward to the season finale next week after this awesome installment.
  • Setting the tone..

    I'm liking this new direction the show is taking. It's been what, a couple of episodes without a few pornographic scenes for the masses.. just plot twists and drama.

    I just fear the show is restraining itself to just a small circle of stories. I mean, they have killed pretty much all of the gladiators (the ones who had lines..) and most villains. The episode started with Salonius bitting the dust and the senator dude was killed one episode ago.

    What I mean is that although the rebellion thing is pretty much what we all have been expecting, it would simply end the show. Getting out is the endgame.. get Prison Break for example. After they got out, the show pretty much died..

    Batiatus has more screen time than Spartacus. And his stories are more interesting than the thracian. I think everything was rushed. Finding his wife, killing everyone and now his revenging thing..maybe one main plot per season.. it's just what we are used to.. but this way, well, it's not bad.. if the writers can keep up the good stories, I'll be watching. For sure..

  • wow, unbelievable! what an adrenaline rush!!

    I've been using for more than 3 years but never created an account. this series finally made me sign-up just so that I could vote here 10 - how great this series really is! this has been an incredibly exciting and perfect TV-show since the 5th Episode.

    this series finally made me sign-up just so that I could vote here 10 - how great this series really is! this has been an incredibly exciting and perfect TV-show since the 5th Episode.

    this is the best series airing on the TV right now, you have to see it to believe it! enjoi!!
  • The best episode so far!

    Excellent episodes. The series has grown a lot since it started. This is a must see show. The acting is excellent. Too bad the main actor "Spartacus" has been diagnosed with cancer. I hope, he will recover soon. Can't wait to see what will happen in season 2 once he comes back to the show. In case where he does not, it will be hard for Starz to get as good actor as Andy Whitfield to play the part. It fits his personality perfectly. What I have read from the news is that they caught the disease at an early stage and chances for recovery are high.

    In conclusion, only God knows what will happen next.