Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

Season 1 Episode 5


Aired Friday 10:00 PM Feb 18, 2011 on Starz
out of 10
User Rating
177 votes

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Episode Summary

Batiatus's father arranges a tournament between his gladiators to put his ludus into a test and determine the worth of his men. Fully committed to succeed, Crixus finds himself drawn into the power play within the house.

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  • Reckoning

    Reckoning was a perfect episode of Spartacus: Gods of The Arena because it had a lot of action, drama, intrigue, and a shocking ending. Just when I was gauging the pace of the season this episode threw me a curve ball. I really enjoyed Titus's competition to see who is worthy to be a Gladiator under his House, though the mines for the losers is a bit harsh. I thought the choice Titus gave Batiatus was stupid and he was just asking for trouble. The story was well written and I enjoyed seeing all the plot and character development. There were a lot of awesome, touching, and sad scenes. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • The penultimate chapter

    It was just a matter of time before everything came to a head. Titus was going to have to be dealt with, Lucretia and Quintus were going to have to have their falling out, and Crixus was going to have to rise to prominence (in all respects). This is one seriously dense episode, and it serves as a fitting penultimate chapter for the mini-series.

    There were hints along the way that Titus was being poisoned from the moment he returned, but my suspicions had been centered on Gaia. In retrospect, it makes sense for it to be Lucretia, given the threat to her marriage and standing (however limited it may be). This is in keeping with the harder, more devious Lucretia of "Blood and Sand", and also explains some of the division between husband and wife. Quintus' inability to stand up and defend his wife directly and without pause is also a clear factor. To say that Lucy Lawless pulls off this character arc with remarkable skill is an understatement.

    I was expecting Melitta to die before the end of the mini-series, because we've heard about her death already in "Blood and Sand". This is a particularly nasty way to go, however, and it resolves the problem of having Oenumaus know about her tryst with Gannicus. It would have been too damaging to the character of Oenumaus to have him implicated in her death, and wouldn't align with his words on the matter when describing his loss to Spartacus.

    It's hard to believe that Quintus Batiatus could ever be seen in a sympathetic light, but the writers manage to make it happen in this mini-series. Without holding back on his negative personality flaws, they display the lingering sense of decency that eventually erodes away. He is willing, in the end, to give up his life in the House of Batiatus to remain with Lucretia. Instead, we know that this marriage is about to be mortally wounded.

    This episode marks the beginning of the relationship between Lucretia and Crixus, and it is remarkably cold and calculated when compared to the heat and passion seen in "Blood and Sand". I would expect that element to be added in some respect in the finale. Of course, the calculation here is reflective of her equally calculated actions with Titus, but somewhere along the line, reason gives way.

    I've been waiting for the moment when Ashur gets his just reward, but they haven't quite finished with the process of displaying just how pathetic and scheming he really is. Despite all the back-stabbing seen in "Blood and Sand", I wasn't expecting them to make him even less sympathetic here. I suspect Ashur will get his infamous wounds in the finale, and it will be well-deserved.

    Gannicus' trade to Tulius would appear to explain his absence from "Blood and Sand", though I still maintain that his character arc feels more designed for a death in the arena (possibly opposite Crixus) than survival for future use. However, if this mini-series was originally designed as a single flashback episode for the second season, it might have been intended to introduce Gannicus at that stage. So it's possible he'll return for the second season of "Blood and Sand", in keeping with the history of the Third Servile War. (And thanks to readers who reminded me of that detail!)moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (35)

    • (Melitta is dreaming)
      Melitta: How did you get beyond the gates?
      Gannicus: They are a weak thing, against such strong purpose...
      Melitta: You risk discovery.
      Gannicus: I would risk everything for you.
      Melitta: We cannot do this.
      Gannicus: No. We cannot...
      (They start making love, when Oenomaus surprises them and kills Gannicus. Then he threatens Melitta)
      Oenomaus: You fucking whore!
      (Melitta wakes up)

    • Lucretia: A wife's desires do not always mirror those of her husband.
      Melitta: Then she must keep them hidden.

    • Batiatus: Listen to them. Cheering the final games of the old arena. Yet here we stand. As removed from them as Gaia from this world. Courtesy again of fucking Tullius.
      Solonius: It appears I will be making appearance after all.
      Batiatus: You gain invitation to the games?
      Solonius: At request of the magistrate. A minor position, the effort far exceeding the reward.
      Batiatus: It stirs heart, to know you unscathed from association with me.

    • Batiatus: Fuck the new arena. Fuck Tullius, fuck the fucking gods! None of it matters now. My father gives ultimatum. Lucretia must no longer hold title of wife.
      Solonius: Titus dissolves your marriage?
      Batiatus: That would be a kindness. He demands that I dissolve it. Or find myself put to street with her.
      Solonius: Perhaps it best... if she were to find another husband.
      Batiatus: I would sever cock from fucking body than see her from my arms.

    • (About Dagan and Ashur, fighting together, the former not giving a chance to the later)
      Gladiator: Your friend, he seems of a mood.
      Gladiator: As would you, if trusted brother presented your ass to a Roman for rough pleasure.

    • Titus: What do you make of Dagan?
      Doctore: Size and skill an advantage. If dull wit can be honed, he will prove asset.

    • Titus: A good count of these men were acquired in my absence. Arrange competition, so that I may determine true worth of all beneath my roof.
      Doctore: Our champion should be absent such contest, until recovery.
      Titus: I hold no man champion until proven so to my eyes. Those who stand victorious at ranking's end will find honoured position within these walls. Those who do not will be sold to the mines.
      Doctore: Harsh reward, for men already bearing own mark.
      Titus: I remain unconvinced all here are deserving of it.

    • Diona: (About Lucretia) Should have let the bitch tell her own lies.
      Naevia: Diona! Lower voice.
      Diona: So now you command me? Will you decide who fucks me as well?
      Naevia: I did not mean...
      Diona: Do not think you stand above me. Cossutius could easily have chosen you had your cunt not been so loose.
      Naevia: Why would you say such things? We have been as one since we were children. I count you dearest friend.
      Diona: Friendship is a privilege. One not deserving of a whore.

    • Batiatus: My decision yet to be given voice and you proceed as if I am already absent.
      Titus: This house must be turned to order, regardless of whether you happen upon your senses.
      Batiatus: Lucretia is my wife.
      Titus: A word that should lift a man, filling his life with ease and children. She gives you neither.
      Batiatus: You seek to tear heart from chest and expect gratitude it no longer beats.
      Titus: I seek only to call you son, absent shame in the title.

    • Titus: (To Batiatus) Dissolve your marriage... or call me father no more.

    • Lucretia: What response have you given?
      Batiatus: I have managed to delay the presenting of it until the men have been ranked in contest.
      Lucretia: I would have thought your answer immediate.
      Batiatus: Well, we need time to convince him of your worth.
      Lucretia: Is he the one that needs convincing, Quintus?
      Batiatus: I will not have that fucking tone.
      Lucretia: I defend you at every turn. And I have made every sacrifice, I have borne every duty asked and yet here I stand on the brink. What more can I do? I've given you everything.
      Batiatus: Except a child. (He makes a pause, instantly regretting his words) I speak without thinking.
      Lucretia: No, you speak your heart.

    • Melitta: The walls alive with secrets, condemning those privy to them.
      Doctore: We have borne witness to unfortunate events, removed from our hands. Yet this is an honourable house.
      Melitta: You truly love this place.
      Doctore: My life held no meaning before I was brought here. This house is the foundation upon which I was built.
      Melitta: I feel nothing but the weight of its beams.
      Doctore: The burdens placed upon us often overwhelm. But it remains our duty to bear them.

    • Lucretia: Apologies for the hour of my rising. Sleep came with difficulty last night.
      Titus: Your absence was not noticed.
      Lucretia: Yet the apology stands.
      Batiatus: A noble gesture, well appreciated.
      Titus: The mulsum more so.

    • Batiatus: Tullius should be hurled from fucking cliffs. Instead my father takes knee to swallow cock.
      Lucretia: And you do nothing to stop him. Save lay blame where none should rest.
      Batiatus: I am a fool in such regard allowing frustration to strip sense from tongue.
      Lucretia: And spilling truth as consequence.

    • Lucretia: You desire a son of your own to carry your name and make you proud. I would do anything to give you such a treasure.

    • Lucretia: It is never too late when will is set to purpose.

    • Tullius: The past cannot be changed. Let us turn eye towards horizon of glories untold. Ones to be shared in together.
      Titus: And what is it you seek in return for such... generosity?
      Tullius: The only thing I have ever sought. Gannicus.

    • Diona: I pray to the gods every night that the next man I am forced to lie with takes my life...

    • Gannicus: I have felt your eyes lingering. Yet they always turn away when I meet them.
      Melitta: As should yours.
      Gannicus: Then I must tear them out if they are to obey such a command.
      Melitta: You must stop this.
      Gannicus: I have vowed to, a thousand times a day. To return to drink and whores, forcing you from my mind (Places his hand on hers) Then I catch glimpse of you. And my world ends.
      Melitta: I have never felt greater love... than when I hold my husband in my arms (Removes her hand from his)

    • Doctore: Gannicus. What seizes you? You drop guard, allowing Barca advantage. The man almost had you.
      Gannicus: I was lost in a moment, caught by a dream.
      Doctore: Then wake from it.

    • Lucretia: You are never to speak of this. Do you understand, slave?
      Crixus: Yes, Domina.
      Lucretia: Well, I would not look upon you. The sight turns stomach. Enter me. And do not cease until you have spilled seed.

    • Titus: You are my son, Quintus. And I will always love you. No matter the path you take.
      Batiatus: What moves such downpour after eternal drought?
      Titus: Tullius makes offer. Position in the opening games.
      Batiatus: At what price?
      Titus: Gannicus.
      Batiatus: And your response?
      Titus: Without meaning, if you are not by my side upon the day's arrival.
      Batiatus: You give me until tomorrow, and yet now press for answer?
      Titus: A day, a year... a man either knows his heart or he does not.

    • Titus: Stand with me. And we shall rise together, huh?
      Batiatus: I will not turn from my wife.
      Titus: You really did not want this life, did you? Well, whatever one you find in this world, I pray it brings you peace.

    • Batiatus: I could not do it.
      Lucretia: Sit beside me.
      Batiatus: I had instrument in hand. His back was turned. One simple motion, and our troubles forever removed. But when the moment came... he spoke to me with affection giving voice to sentiment...
      Lucretia: I was wrong to push you to such thoughts against him. Some actions carry too steep a price.
      Batiatus: Even in refraining, the ground beneath us pitches. Tomorrow we must prepare to leave this house.
      Lucretia: You've given your answer?
      Batiatus: The only one my tongue could ever speak.
      Lucretia: You honour me.

    • Batiatus: We must leave this house with nothing but our clothes, a few possessions. Not even a slave to attend us. We have lost everything.
      Lucretia: Not everything.

    • Titus: Gannicus is removed from contention. I have sent word to Tullius agreeing to terms of sale.
      Doctore: Sale to Tullius?
      Titus: Well, he makes offer. I had thoughts towards refusal but they have dimmed.
      Doctore: I would speak towards reigniting them.
      Titus: Oh, strong words Oenomaus. Quintus has plied me with many upon the subject. He inflates Gannicus' worth, at great cost to this house.
      Doctore: Apologies, but in this your son and I are in agreement. None stand more worthy to hold the title of champion.
      Titus: You allow personal relation to cloud judgment.
      Doctore: True, Gannicus is trusted friend. Yet I speak from position of Doctore.
      Titus: If I pull acceptance to Tullius, we will be excluded from future games. We would be forced to beg for matches in the lesser venues of Nola or Neapolis.
      Doctore: A heavy price. As is often that of the honourable choice.
      Titus: Let the gods show us the way then. If Gannicus proves himself against Crixus, he shall remain. Yet if he falls, he shall leave this house following the others that have failed to honour it.

    • Gannicus: I am to be sold to fucking Tullius?
      Doctore: Only if you fall. Clear mind. Prove yourself the man I know you to be.

    • Crixus: A second chance to prove myself against you.
      Gannicus: The gods have heard my prayers.
      Crixus: And they curse you in the answering.

    • Naevia: Buy passage far from Capua. And the things that have been done to you (Hands her money)
      Diona: Where did you get this?
      Naevia: Spirited from Gaia's things. They will not be missed. You fade with each day. Do not make me bear witness to your passing.
      Diona: Come with me.
      Naevia: I attend Domina. My absence would be noticed. Go before contest is ended.
      Diona: I will see you again, one day. I swear to you.

    • Crixus: Why did you drop guard?
      Gannicus: You are champion now. That is all that matters.

    • Melitta: I would share drink with an old friend.
      Gannicus: Is that all that I am? A friend?
      Melitta: Gannicus...
      Gannicus: I do not care for honey in my wine. It serves only to mask bitter taste.
      Melitta: A blessing, in such moments. You are to be sold to Tullius.
      Gannicus: Oenomaus warned of it, should I fall to Crixus.
      Melitta: You let Crixus win. Why would you do such a thing?
      Gannicus: Because I cannot stay within these walls. To gaze upon you every day... and be denied your touch... I have never turned from challenge. Yet I am without strength to face this one.
      Melitta: Then it is for the best. Because despite my words... I stand as weak...

    • Titus: My son... gives up everything for you.
      Lucretia: As I for him.
      Titus: You truly love him?
      Lucretia: With all my heart.
      Titus: He is never happier than when he is by your side. Tell me I have been mistaken about you. Tell me you are not the serpent I have thought you to be.
      Lucretia: I am not. I'm far worse.

    • Lucretia: (To Titus) I never cared what you thought of me. My lack of breeding. The absence of family or a name of worth. These things I cannot deny. But how low you considered your son... a man I love more than life itself... that could not be tolerated.

    • Lucretia: (After poisoning Tullius' wine and having Titus drink it, causing his death) Quintus will not forgive Tullius this. He will strike in your name. And Gaia's death will be avenged.

    • Titus: You curse this house.
      Lucretia: No, father. I elevate it.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Broadcast:
      Friday, February 18th at 10:00pm on Starz.
      Friday, February 18th at 11:00pm on Starz In Black.
      Saturday, February 19th at 12:40am on Starz.
      Sunday, February 20th at 12:00am on Starz Edge.
      Sunday, February 20th at 10:00pm on Starz.
      Sunday, February 20th at 11:00pm on Starz In Black.
      Monday, February 21st at 12:45am on Starz.
      Monday, February 21st at 10:00pm on Starz Edge.
      Tuesday, February 22nd at 12:45am on Starz Edge.
      Tuesday, February 22nd at 11:00pm on Starz In Black.
      Wednesday, February 23rd at 01:40am on Starz In Black.
      Wednesday, February 23rd at 10:00pm on Starz.
      Thursday, February 24th at 12:40am on Starz.
      Thursday, February 24th at 10:00pm on Starz Edge.
      Friday, February 25th at 12:05am on Starz.
      Friday, February 25th at 12:45am on Starz Edge.
      Saturday, February 26th at 11:00pm on Starz Edge.
      Tuesday, March 1st at 10:00pm on Starz In Black.

    • International Release Dates:
      Canada: February 13, 2011 on Movie Central.
      USA: February 18, 2011 on Starz.
      United Kingdom: April 18, 2011 on Sky1/Sky1 HD.
      Czech Republic: April 19, 2011 on HBO.