Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

Season 1 Episode 4

Beneath The Mask

5
Aired Friday 10:00 PM Feb 11, 2011 on Starz
AIRED:
8.0
out of 10
User Rating
161 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

The power struggle between the younger and the elder Batiatus shakes the roots of their house and sees alliances formed and loyalties divided. Lucretia sides with her husband albeit reluctantly in performing a risky plan while Gannicus finds himself on unstable ground.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Tensions arise in the Batiatus House.

    8.1
    There wasn't as much focus on the life of the Gladiator's in this episode; instead, we got quite a lot of tension within the house of Batiatus and Quintus' attempts to gain favor in the games. It's becoming more and more clear how this prequel connects with the rest of the first season. I still think that all of the plots involving Spartacus are way more interesting than anything the prequel has done to date, but that doesn't mean that this isn't entertaining. The prequel seems to be building towards a crazy ending, and somewhere hidden behind all the sex and violence of this episode was some interesting developments.



    I'm not sure how I feel about Gannicus actually being interested in Doctore's wife, but I suppose I shouldn't think about it too much. It gives the character of Gannicus something to do.. I thought he was supposed to be the lead actor of the show, but he's been in the background of everything else so far.



    I do enjoy the way they're showing Quintus' rise, as well as Crixus. I think this is the first time we actually got a semi-explanation from Crixus as to why he's so obsessed with winning. I remember being confused as to why in the world Crixus was so gung-ho about winning when we didn't even know anything about his past. However, things are beginning to make a little more sense.



    With Gaia dead and tensions even higher between Quintus and his father, I look forward to seeing how in the world Quintus deals with his father. One downside to a prequel arriving after the sequel is that we already know who's alive and who's dead in the original series.. now, there's no surprise in the death of certain characters. The only surprise is how it happens, which isn't necessarily as exciting.moreless
  • The body count mounts

    8.0
    Every time I think this series can't get more devastating for its characters, I'm proven wrong. This mini-series has been building towards a number of showdowns, but few will be more deserved than the fate of Tulius.



    As much as the damage done to the House of Batiatus was largely self-inflicted, what we discover in this episode is that Quintus has been more right than he has been wrong. Sure, his impulsive nature factored into this debacle, but Tulius' actions demonstrate all too well why Titus Batiatus is wrong in seeking diplomacy. It's not about station or respect anymore. If it had been, Titus' capitulation in the previous episode would have settled the matter.



    I've been waiting for the turning point for Lucretia, away from the dutiful wife to the creature she is in "Blood and Sand", and Gaia's death fits the bill. She doesn't look completely broken by the end of this episode, but the process has well and truly begun. I imagine the coming showdown with both Titus and Tulius will complete the process, concurrent with the fall of Gannicus and the rise of Crixus. Quintus may be required to make choices that drive the wedge between husband and wife made familiar in "Blood and Sand".



    This is the brilliance of the writing for this show. Amid the spectacle is this utterly tragic turn of events. The orgy could have been simple "eye candy", but instead, it is all about the dread of what must inevitably take place once Tulius enters the house. I was reminded, over the course of the episode, of the classic "Babylon 5" episode "The Coming of Shadows", when Titus came to the conclusion that Quintus drew him away from Capua to find common ground. While son allows father to assume intent, death hangs over the House of Batiatus.



    With Gannicus' death waiting in the wings, given his hubris and his absence in "Blood and Sand", his relationship with Melitta made his potential demise in this episode a tragic missed opportunity. We know Melitta meets an untimely end, but this is going to be even more of a mess than anticipated.



    I've been waiting for some kind of movement on the eventual rift between Quintus and Polonius, given their feud in "Blood and Sand", and I suppose this fits the bill. Quintus could choose to interpret Polonius' departure as a contributor to Gaia's death and his own bad fortune, but it seems inevitable that it will come down to Polonius' decision to tell Tulius about the orgy in the first place. Quintus, being the man he is, will happily transfer all blame and responsibility onto Polonius' shoulders.



    Ashur has been lurking in the background, having received his mark in the least honorable manner imaginable, and sure enough, we see the seeds of his future fate being sown in this episode. His lack of skill in the arena is hardly surprising, and it seems likely that we will see the moment he is brutally injured before "Gods of the Arena" comes to a close. How many brothers are betrayed along the way is the real question yet to be answered.moreless
  • Beneath The Mask

    10
    Beneath The Mask was a perfect episode of Spartacus: Gods Of The Sand. This episode delivered amzing action, dream like scenes of de'bauchery, and tragedy for a beloved character. Titus continues to exert himself over young Batiatus and Lucretia as they continue to plot the rise of their house. There was a lot of character development in this episode for many of the characters. This episode had every thing that makes the show a pleasure to watch. There was much intrigue and manuevering amongst the elite, and forbidden touches, secrets, and revelations amongst the slaves and gladiators. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (37)

    • Titus: A net and trident? The man appears more common fisherman than gladiator.
      Batiatus: The style is called Retiarius carried from the outer regions.
      Titus: They should carry it back. I favor the Murmillo.
      Batiatus: The crowd is of the opposite opinion. Soon there will be a Retiarius in the sands in every game. And the ludus absent them tragically lacking.
      Titus: Very well. Yet place net and trident in hands of one of our lesser man.

    • Doctore: (To Dagan and Ashur) Re-form my words, in manner Dagan understands. You bear the mark of the brotherhood. An honour you have not earned. Your true test awaits you. Live, and count yourself among us. Die... and prove yourselves as unworthy as I suspect.

    • Titus: The crowd favors Vettius' offering.
      Batiatus: They greet Gannicus with louder voice, yet he stands removed from the games. Crixus shows promise, yet again the same fate. Our men see victory, only to be awarded exclusion.
      Titus: The fruits reaped when you offend a man beyond our station.
      Batiatus: I but stood ground to protect our house. As any lanista would.
      Titus: Yet ambition beyond the title clouds your judgment. We must be humble if I am to repair relations with Tullius, and see all our men returned to the sands.

    • Lucretia: Fleeting opportunity to enjoy the old arena, and yet we're swept aside. Absent even casual regard.
      Gaia: I consider it a blessing, to be so reprieved from condemning presence. The manner Titus glares, it is a shock we do not burst into flame.

    • Gaia: You are with husband. A man who would never see you harmed by whim or circumstance. I stand alone, severed from such protection. A perilous condition that must be attended.
      Lucretia: You are never alone, while I draw breath.
      Gaia: Words of much comfort. Though a husband with heavy purse would be more so.

    • Gaia: In desperate times fortune must give way to more assertive hands.

    • Petronius: You're Lucretia? Wife to the lanista, Batiatus?
      Lucretia: I do call him husband, yes.
      Petronius: I have heard your house spoken of and the, erm... pleasures contained within...

    • Doctore: Gannicus. Pair with Rhaskos.
      Gannicus: To what end? If I am not to fight in the arena, I will remain here in the shade.

    • Gannicus: In the arena, I am every man's equal.
      Titus: A champion is more than his victories upon the sands. He is the sum of his actions. Every decision, no matter how small, speaks to the man. And the balance of his heart.
      Batiatus: And in his breast beats the heart of a lion.
      Titus: And what does it beat for?
      Gannicus: The House of Batiatus.

    • Batiatus: Man fights for the honor of this house. As all your champions have in the past.
      Titus: Gannicus speaks but words he knows I seek to hear. He is no champion of my house.

    • Gaia: I stand before Petronius with obvious charms, and all he can do is prattle about the House of Batiatus. I fear I've lost delicate touch.
      Lucretia: Your touch is many things, delicate not among them.
      Gaia: You are of a mood.
      Lucretia: If word of what we have offered has spread to Petronius, how long before it lights on Titus' ear?
      Gaia: Perhaps it should. The shock would no doubt end the old goat.

    • Gaia: We came across Petronius in the market. You are familiar with the name...?
      Batiatus: As any man with an eye towards business and the procuring of it.
      Gaia: He is familiar with yours as well and spoke with great interest of sampling of your more exotic offerings with acquaintances of equal position.

    • Batiatus: With the support of Petronius we may yet find position in the opening games of the new arena.
      Lucretia: Quintus, your father..
      Batiatus: Make the arrangements. I'll attend to my father.

    • Gannicus: You avoid my gaze.
      Melitta: As you should mine. Lest suspicions be aroused.
      Gannicus: Should they not also be aroused if two friends are no longer seen to speak? What happened between us...
      Melitta: ... was not of our choosing. We must turn it from thought and never give it voice.
      Gannicus: My tongue it bends to such warning. Yet the thought of you... it proves troublesome.
      Melitta: The memory will fade with time. As do all things born of misfortune.

    • Doctore: We were as brothers once... but no more. The men no longer accept me as a gladiator. And do not yet give respect as Doctore. Even Gannicus refuses to heed my instruction.
      Melitta: Gannicus heeds nothing but his own desires, beyond all reason. You must teach him that you alone are in command. And by firm hand, erase all doubts. Show them all the man I have given my heart to.

    • (Ashur and Dagan are rewarded for their victory in the arena)
      Doctore: He receives twice the coin... because you are half the man.
      Ashur: I am a gladiator, as he is.
      Doctore: If we did not need you to exchange our words for his, you would never have been given chance to take up sword.

    • Crixus: Doiros was the brother I held closest to me. He was a fierce warrior, as was my father and all before us. I watched as they all fell beneath the spears of the Arverni, my hand yet too small to pick up sword. I was forced to serve. To bow and scrape. First of all to the shits that took my family. And then to the Romans they sold me to. Not a day passes where I do not dream of honoring the dead in blood and victory. Auctus is the first life I've ever taken in battle. He will not be forgotten.

    • Naevia: We haven't spoken or laughed as we usually do...
      Diona: I have no time for childish things. Domina wishes me bathed for tonight.

    • Lucretia: I would have you by my side, not be dislodged by any request.
      Melitta: Gratitude.
      Lucretia: There is one thing that I would ask you in return. It's well known your husband's allegiance lies with Titus. Sway him to keep what we do here confined to shadow. Or I fear that other secrets will find their way into the light.

    • Gaia: These hands are not meant for common earth. They have held me close as dearest friend. As sister. Tonight mine shall return favour and aid yours in seizing position so richly deserved.

    • Doctore: We dishonour this house.
      Melitta: We but do as commanded.
      Doctore: The cause does not alter result.
      Melitta: No. Yet we must move beyond it or be driven to madness.

    • Batiatus: Your disappointment has often been given a voice. A loud and clear one.
      Titus: Disappointment can only exist upon expectation. You proved from tender age that you would listen to no one's counsel save your own.

    • Batiatus: When has son ever denied the father?
      Titus: When he married a woman beneath him.

    • Solonius: Good Tullius. Seeing you here comes a surprise.
      Tullius: Surely not to you.
      Solonius: I warned you of Batiatus' maneuverings not as invitation but in hopes you would prevent such foolishness and the retribution to valued friend that it would bring.
      Tullius: You warned me to grow favour. Continue speaking and see it wither.

    • (Gannicus is to fight Tullius in an exhibition)
      Doctore: You are to indulge him, allow a show of blood but level no insult nor injury in return. Such action would bear unfortunate consequence.
      Gannicus: I am to lose?
      Doctore: And win your life.

    • (Gannicus lets Tullius win their exhibition fight)
      Lucretia: Tullius! The man gives the missio. The match is yours.
      Tullius: A god of the arena. Saved by a woman.

    • Gannicus: I could have ended the man in half a breath.
      Melitta: Yet you allowed him to nearly kill you?
      Gannicus: I was ordered not to raise hand. Other commands have been more pleasurable.

    • Melitta: Why are you doing this?
      Gannicus: Because to not would be a lie, much deeper than the one we tell Oenomaus. I did not want this. I love that man like a brother. Yet what I feel for you... tell me it does not stir in your breast as well.
      Melitta: What I feel means nothing.
      Gannicus: It holds the world.
      Melitta: What would you do, if you were my husband? And you learned of such a thing?
      Gannicus: I would kill us both.
      (They kiss)

    • Gaia: Keep thoughts towards elevating this house. I will see to Tullius... and in the act secure elevation of my own. To the benefit of all.
      Solonius: The woman thinks highly of herself.
      Lucretia: An estimation deeply shared.

    • Tullius: You petition this for yourself? Or for the House of Batiatus?
      Gaia: Lucretia is as a sister to me. I would not see her injured by wagging tongue.
      Tullius: You ask much.
      Gaia: I offer more...
      Tullius: I swear never to speak of what has happened this night if you will deliver message to your friend... and her husband. One they will take to heart, coming from you...

    • Petronius: The offerings of the House of Batiatus are truly to be admired.
      Lucretia: Well, even more so upon the sands. Imagine the excitement our wares would cause if included in opening celebration of the new arena.
      Petronius: Capua would be blessed by such appearance. I will send word to your husband to discuss the matter.

    • Lucretia: (To Melitta) There are times when the truth is more hurtful.

    • Lucretia: Gaia's affections for this house are genuine. As are her feelings for you.
      Tullius: Returned in kind. She holds my reply. Go to her, and see it delivered.

    • Titus: Have you lost mind? Again attempting to maneuver around Tullius?
      Batiatus: I only sought to elevate our position...
      Titus: By plunging the good name of this house into muck and shit!

    • Titus: A Roman citizen. Dead in my house.
      Lucretia: By the hands of the very man you defend.
      Titus: You help set this in motion and now claim innocence in the outcome?
      Lucretia: I claim vengeance. His life for hers.

    • Titus: That ill bred woman has brought this family nothing but shame.
      Batiatus: She is my wife!
      Titus: Because I foolishly allowed it! I wanted you to have something of your own. Something that held meaning to you, even if no one else saw it. Yet what has she given you? No dowry to speak of. No name to elevate status and no heir to carry the name Batiatus.

    • Titus: I cannot change missteps of the past. But I will see you on proper path and Lucretia must be swept from it.
      Batiatus: You would dissolve my marriage?
      Titus: No. You will make that choice for yourself. Or be gone from this house with her.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Broadcasts:
      Friday, February 11th at 10:00pm on Starz.
      Friday, February 11th at 11:00pm on Starz In Black.
      Saturday, February 12th at 02:10am on Starz.
      Sunday, February 13th at 12:50am on Starz Edge.
      Sunday, February 13th at 10:00pm on Starz.
      Sunday, February 13th at 11:00pm on Starz In Black.
      Monday, February 14th at 12:50am on Starz.
      Monday, February 14th at 10:00pm on Starz Edge.
      Tuesday, February 15th at 01:00am on Starz Edge.
      Tuesday, February 15th at 11:00pm on Starz In Black.
      Wednesday, February 16th at 01:50am on Starz In Black.
      Wednesday, February 16th at 10:00pm on Starz.
      Thursday, February 17th at 12:50am on Starz.
      Thursday, February 17th at 10:00pm on Starz Edge.
      Friday, February 18th at 12:40am on Starz.
      Friday, February 18th at 01:05am on Starz Edge.
      Saturday, February 19th at 11:00pm on Starz Edge.
      Tuesday, February 22nd at 10:00pm on Starz In Black.

    • International Release Dates:
      USA: February 11, 2011 on Starz.
      Canada: February 13, 2011 on Movie Central.
      United Kingdom: April 11, 2011 on Sky1/Sky1 HD.
      Czech Republic: April 12, 2011 on HBO.

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