Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Season 1 Episode 4

The Thing in the Pit

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Feb 12, 2010 on Starz

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
422 votes
  • FaceOff in the Pits

    For a show called Spartacus he sure does get the shit kicked out of him a lot
  • Another solid episode

    This episode seemed to work best when we focused on Spartacus and Batiatus as they dealt with the "pit," a horrific place where only the lowest form of scum go to fight and watch others fight. Batiatus suffers from monetary issues and uses Spartacus in order to fight him in the pit and make a bunch of money. The pit was easily one of the eeriest and dark places I've seen in a movie or TV show like this, and it lead to a fantastic conclusion, which found Spartacus saving Batiatus' life.

    Meanwhile, I'm finding I really don't care about Crixus and his little love triangle. Sure, it's nice to give some actual plot to his character, but giving it to us this way? It just complicates things. But I'm glad we're being given background on characters. I'm not sure I believe that Crixus would hook up with a slave though. Maybe because it doesn't explain how they got together.

    A very good episode though. Those fight scenes? They were blowing my mind at every turn.
  • Now, THAT is an episode.

    After being watchable for the first few weeks, Spartacus: Blood and Sand finally gave us an episode that we could actually get excited about. The violence, oh the violence was nothing short of awesome here, but unlike in the pilot, there was a method to the madness tonight. The fights were well choreographed and actually had a purpose and were not just there for the sheer fact of having blood and gore (although there was plenty of that.)

    If every episode was like this the show could become a real hit. Spartacus is developing a true hero in the title character and this series is starting to catch my interest. Let's hope next week doesn't change things.
  • *** Spoiler-free *** Immersive and disturbing story ; brutal, realistic and creative fights ; impressive make-up and intriguing parallel arcs

    Welcome to the Hellmouth ! It could have been this episode title considering what happened to Spartacus after he failed to honor his master Batiatus in the arena. He lost the crowd, his pride and more important the only chance he had to get Sura back. It sounded like an other bloody installment but even the past episodes hadn't prepared us for the events I have just seen. It was just pure insanity. Did I lose my mind in the process ? Am I writing or still enduring the scenes from the cave ? The show is so immersive that it's really hard to focus on something else once you have seen one of its episodes.

    The best part is not that all the great elements we have already enjoyed were back but that it was very different. He trained in Sacramentum Gladiatorum and learned his lesson in Legends. Humiliated by Crixus his only choice was to redeem himself and Batiatus decided to throw him into the pit. But what's The Thing ? Is it a Roman version of Hannibal Lecter ? What about the three-headed guardian Cerberus ? Snakes trapped inside the throat of a dragon ? It should remind you of films like Mad Max : Beyond Thunderdome where a character has to fight opponents one after the other. It was a neverending nightmare and like Spartacus you should just lose track of time.

    A daydream came back on his black horse to haunt our hero and this time it was even more disturbing. Will the rain ever stop ? It's not what they wished for. Will it ever end ? Sura asked him in a vision while his friend Varro, well played by Jai Courtney, was talking to him. It was a dramatic and pivotal scene because like at the end of The Red Serpent he had to find a way to survive. But he wasn't fighting, not yet. The warrior within, it's who he really had to beat this time.

    The fights were bloody and jaws opened to scream when they weren't already broken. The slow motion visual effects was again heavily used to show flying teeth and other dancing body parts. The close ups were astonishing and even reminded me of boxing matches with heavy fighters. It was so brutal and looked very realistic. Moreover the choregraphy was surprising because between two vibrant punches they even managed to show some jujitsu moves ! The random weapons were also quite original and used in very creative and twisted ways. An other impressive element was the make-up because we slowly witnessed the playboy turning into a pile of red meat with hundreds of wounds on his body. Half of the female audience should faint in despair and wonder how Brad Pitt would have taken it.

    No pity, the only suffering he felt was for himself. The violence was overwhelming the place where dusty stones found a second life. A scream in the dark. Some people doing the dance of the dead while others are trying to escape the dungeon. It just didn't make sense. Hopefully the Crixus arc, Lucretia's little road trip and Batiatus financial issues linked us to the harsh reality. But what worries me the most is that I think the creative minds behind the show haven't brought their A game yet. Most of the scenes were crafted by the sweat of passion and I have finally realized that their imagination is probably endless. I know they won't disappoint us and that the upcoming episodes are going to be as awesome, and probably better. It's what happens when you gather so much talent in one place and decide to unleash your inner and beastly ideas.
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