Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

Season 1 Episode 2


Aired Friday 10:00 PM Jan 28, 2011 on Starz

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

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  • Good

  • Batiatus strikes back!

    It's certainly clear that the writers of "Gods of the Arena" are quite focused on the intention of delivering a prequel worthy of the name. Not only does this mini-series match the intensity of the flagship "Blood and Sand" series, but it has been exploring the existing backstory with more than a few additional surprises.

    While there's certainly more than a fair share of sex and violence, it's not simply a matter of appealing to the base desires of a cable audience. The vast majority of it is in service to the character exploration (though perhaps more enthusiastically than truly necessary). Call it taking the principle of "show, don't tell" to its most basic level.

    But as always, it comes down to the characters. Batiatus is human in his constant stream of successes and failures, and his scheming never comes to an end. All overtly political societies are rife with such activity, and this definitely has that classic Roman flavor. I've always been a huge fan of all things Roman, going back to my earliest days, so this is easily one of my favorite aspects of the series.

    That said, this is also the backstory for the gladiators, so it was interesting to see the details of how Ashur become one of the Brotherhood (more or less) and how Oenumaus became the doctore. The slow but steady rise of Crixus is fun to see, given how his character arc in "Blood and Sand" progressed, and Gaia's influence on later events is shaping up nicely.

    The true emotional hook for the episode, however, was the tension between Gannicus, Oenumaus, and Melitta. The writers set up the situation perfectly, with both Oenumaus and Melitta questioning Gannicus on his arrogance in all situations. The circumstances of Batiatus' plot to gain position served to deliver a karmic hammer that will undoubtedly lead to serious pain and suffering in the episodes to come.
  • Uncomfortably decadent

    This episode reviews the Batiatus that we are familiar with, the ruthless, vindictive, non-forgiving Dominus that create great misfortune for people who ever underestimated him.

    In the last episode Titus tried to buy Gannicus from Batiatus and this episode reviewed how ruthless he could be inorder to get what he wanted. So instead of selling Gannicus, he decided to go straight to the money as always. I find this episode very uncomfortable to watch especially towards the end. Batiatus forces his slaves to do things that are often against their wishes and that seems to slowly bringing to his demise (as we seen in Spartacus : Blood & Sand). Well at least Gannicus and Crixus are easier to handle than Spartacus. This episode is grippling and introduced the 'new' members that we had never seen in Spartacus : Blood & Sand. I enjoyed it tremendously and can't wait for the next episode :).
  • The house of Batiatus does it again.

    God's of the arena is very satisfying. The writers have succeeded in keeping eyes on the series as we all wait for Season 2. While we do not have Andy Whitefield, this season shows great promise. The only downside is that we only have 4 more episodes to go until the long wait for Sand and Blood 2. The writers seems to deliver in every episode and it gives us all great faith that perhaps Liam Mcintyre can pull this off with the help of the writers skill in delivering an enthralling story line. Still wish we had Andy for the next season, but the writers have proven that the show can and will go on.
  • Missio

    Missio was a perfect episode of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena because it blended vivid action which intrigue, and it captured the true essence of Classical Roman Life. This episode continued the story lines established in the first episode as Batiatus got his revenge, the Syrians received the mark of the Brotherhood for helping agitating the other Gladiators, and Gannicus is forced into an uncomfortable situation with Oenomaues's wife in order to help elevate the house of Batiatus. There was a lot of great scenes showing the sexual nature of the people of this time. This episodes shows how edgy this series is, and I look forward to watching more episodes!!!!!!!
  • Spartacus is back!

    This episode was a refresher of everything we loved about Blood and Sand. After the shaky beginning, this second episode brings back the elements that made Blood and Sand something people loved. A balance of blood, sex, drama, violence, great acting, and awesome story telling! This episode involves a lot of clashing drama, so much sex and so much violence blended into one great piece of art. Orgasmic second episode of an all too short 6 episode season! Hope the Whitfield gets better so we can continue where the last season left off. Let's hope that the story can continue to get better and better as it did last year. Spartacus rocks!!
  • Batiatus slowly gets his revenge on Tallius and others, while Doctore struggles with the news that he won't be returning to the arena

    Perhaps I under-rated last week's episode. I claimed that the story of how Batiatus came to reign over Capua wasn't necessarily interesting, especially when the story of Spartacus is still in limbo. However, looking back at last week's when placed side by side with this episode, I must say that it's much more impressive. There's a clear-cut difference between the first half of the first season of Spartacus and everything that's followed since. There's a sense of purpose in every episode, as if everbody's life hangs in the balance during every second.

    John Hannah continues to impress as Batiatus, and Peter Mensah is showing that Doctore is more than just a strict slave-teacher. Before he was Doctore, he was simply a husband and a gladiator, somebody who was as desperate as Crixus or Spartacus to become champion. The fight between him and the old Doctore was awesome, especially since it ran parallel to an equally powerful but much sadder plot where Doctore's wife and Gannicus are forced by Batiatus to make love in front of a man who is necessary in him being entered in the fights.

    The show, despite being obsessed with showing blood, violence and sex at just about every turn, has the good fortune of having actors who are great at what they do and a story that is endlessly entertaining. The fight between Crixus and Gannicus, the path that lead to Ashur, Crixus and the rest of the Syrians being branded without fighting and even Gaia, who wasn't my favorite character at first, but is proving to be useful... The show is just fun to watch, even if it's not widely considered one of the best on TV, and the ratings prove that.

    If anything, just knowing that Season 2 of Spartacus is arriving soon is enough to make me excited for the rest of this prequel. At least we'll get a fix of some good ol' gladiator fighting to keep us prepared for the next chapter in Spartacus' life.