Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Season 1 Episode 5

Shadow Games

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Feb 19, 2010 on Starz
out of 10
User Rating
460 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Spartacus returns to training as a gladiator, while drought worsens in Capua. Spartacus meets Ilithyia, the wife of Glaber, while Batiatus learns of his attackers. Spartacus and Crixus face certain death in the arena if they can't learn to fight as one when they face the unbeaten Theokoles, the shadow of death.moreless

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  • Spartacus and Crixus face off against the undefeated shadow of death.

    Another solid episode of Spartacus tonight with only a few minor issues. I'm finding myself drawn more and more into the show and the writers have finally begun to do a good job of complicating matters and making the supporting cast a bit more interesting.. of course, "a bit" are the operative words. Besides Batiatus and Doctore, I find the supporting cast under-written and given uninteresting things to do. Not that they don't have the potential for interesting things, but the show still has some work to do in this arena.

    However, the idea of Spartacus and Crixus having to team up to slay the undefeated "Shadow of Death" was intriguing and lead to an incredible fight, once more showing why this show has the best fight scenes. Even the movie "Gladiator" would be put to shame. And while I didn't think that Crixus and Spartacus would actually bond here, they at least shared a common belief: that there is something beyond glory in the arena, something worth fighting for in the form of love or a loved one.

    The show is certainly getting better with each and every episode. The plot between Batiatus and Ovidius was originally background noise, but it's definitely coming to the forefront now. I like John Hannah as Batiatus in this show, but man, the writers certainly make it difficult to like him in this show. For every honorable thing he does, he does something slimy and corrupt the next second. Here, the big shocker was him murdering the entire family of Ovidius, including his family.

    If the show can focus less on Crixus' love for multiple women and more on the drama between the main characters, the show might be even better than it has become.moreless
  • Compelling!

    The series goes from strength to strength. The characters are believable, the storylines compelling.

    This combined with in your face action and drama I think reflects accurately on the era it is set in. While there are some embellishments, such as the language, I think it helps us connect with the actors and as long as you are not too cynical, reels you in as if you were actually there.

    After watching the 9 episodes released so far this is in my opinion the best yet and I find myself glued to the screen. The build up to the final fight is very well done and the final show down did not dissapoint. Character development is also being done well and the plot seems consistantly differant, unlike many other series.

    All in all I think this series and episode is a breath of fresh air. Excellently delivered it is well worth watching and although the nudity and language may be shocking at first, you soon forget and are drawn into the story as it unwinds. Keep it up!moreless
  • waw waw waw

    This tv show is really surprising me each episode I really loved this episode every thing in it is perfect the story starting getting more interested, although i still think that the nudity part still much but that is OK its a show that is talking about Rome :) i like the part where Spartacus jumped of and fight, iam still not sure if the little kid was killed by the gay guy. lool i don't know the names yet, kinda hard to remember all of them. and I like XENA'S ROLE. SHE still great. I will be toned in next week and cant wait.moreless
  • Shadow Games

    I was just watching The Hills Have Eyes the other night and I thought the mutants in that movie were pretty scary; but they had nothing on that monster at the end of tonight's episode. That thing was just scary. It was a little ridiculous how much punishment it survived, but as far as creating a suspenseful, dramatic action scene, it did succeed in that regard.

    The fight scenes are really becoming great on Spartacus, and among the best on television. They alone make this show worth watching, but the writing overall is improving each week. They just have to figure out a way to get us to care about the supporting cast and right now that is not happening. It is the same problem The Tudors and other historical shows often face.moreless
  • Reality from the past.

    What an episode! My heart was in my mouth at the last fight scene. Great acting, great direction, and great choreography for the fight scenes. I cant fault this episode. I've done some history on this time, and I have to say the show stays true to the really history of the time, names are unchanged and all the blood, sex and violence are true to the times. This is how it was. I hope they keep this show going. I cant wait to see the next installment. Nice show guys. Keep it up. I wish more shows were like this, true to how life is and was.moreless
Reuben de Jong

Reuben de Jong


Guest Star

Matt Gillanders

Matt Gillanders


Guest Star

Catherine Boniface

Catherine Boniface


Guest Star

Jai Courtney

Jai Courtney


Recurring Role

Antonio Te Maioha

Antonio Te Maioha


Recurring Role

Lesley-Ann Brandt

Lesley-Ann Brandt


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: Naevia can be seen filling Solonius' cup of wine twice in a matter of hardly two seconds as Batiatus, Calavius and Solonius observe the training in the ludus balcony.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Batiatus: Set your purpose to the task of training Crixus and Spartacus for the match.
      Doctore: I fear no amount will save them from The Shadow's grasp.
      Batiatus: Then prepare them for a glorious death.

    • Crixus: Just because you stand beside me with a sword and shield, do not mistake yourself as a gladiator. I fight to honor these walls! You fight to leave them!
      Spartacus: You fight… because you are a slave… like me.

    • Spartacus: Glory?
      Crixus: There is no greater thing than standing victorious in the arena.
      Spartacus: Is there no purpose... beyond the blood? No dream beyond the cheering crowd? Is there nothing else you fight for?

  • NOTES (1)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      United Kingdom: June 22, 2010 on Bravo.
      Czech Republic: June 29, 2010 on HBO.
      Slovakia: July 31, 2011 on Markiza.