Episode 2 'Wolves at the Gate' discussion thread

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    boom-moo

    [1]Jan 30, 2013
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    Please post your opinions/comments/discussion topics on episode 2 "Wolves at the Gate" here.

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    Thank you

    (As per usual, I'll open a discussion thread for every new episode every Thursday and keep it locked until Friday. Past experience shows that comments posted before the episode airs tend to spoil the episode for spoiler free people and also, episode discussion threads that are opened days before their airing date tend to end up buried and reopened by different users which leads to confusion and clutter. Any comments regarding this episode should be done in the Spoilers thread until the episode has aired. Thank you.)
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    invisiblish

    [2]Feb 2, 2013
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    So last episode seemed to do well introducing Crassus while this episode hinted as to how Caesar and Crassus' son are. I don't see Caesar taking long to get rid of the kid. It will be interesting to see how truly ferocious Caesar is.


    I guess it should have been expected, Spartacus not seeing how much damage his army would do taking the city. Maybe it was just me, but seeing the boy was as troubling like the horse in the last episode.

    Edited on 02/02/2013 10:55am
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    boom-moo

    [3]Feb 2, 2013
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    Caesar and Tiberius seeking to rise while fighting the same war is indeed interesting. I guess that's something that's gonna work, even if indirectly, in Spartacus' favour.

    invisiblish wrote:

    I guess it should have been expected, Spartacus not seeing how much damage his army would do taking the city. Maybe it was just me, but seeing the boy was as troubling like the horse in the last episode.

    I think that Spartacus should have known better. A fair amount of collateral damage was to be expected as was the bloodthirst of those, his own people, seeking revenge and showing the same mercy that they and their loved ones received from Rome. I totally expected such outcome and I wouldn't have found it realistic otherwise.

    On the cliche side, I knew that the little girl was a goner from the minute that Spartacus retrieved her ball and talked kindly to her and that Laeta would make it alive since she didn't approve of gratuite cruelty towards slaves. The former provided for touching drama and I bet that the later is yet to have a role in upcoming storylines.

    I would have loved for Diotimus to have lived but hey, it was nice of Spartacus to seek his counsel. Quite convenient of Gannicus to know Attius but I liked that he didn't fully trust him and that Attius didn't join the rebel cause from the get go and without reserve.

    Quite upsetting to witness Laurus' cruelty and the poor slave getting punished to such a horrible death. Very awesome that he yelled Spartacus' name as was Spartacus' troubled face upon hearing him. Hard as it was, he did the right thing for the greater good and finished him fast. I really felt for Spartacus there. Great writing in the first scene with Spartacus, Ennius and Laeta in the grain warehouse where Spartacus is forced to hide his feelings and refrain from speaking his truth. The writers found a way for him to speak his mind without showing his real colours which I found really enjoyable.
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    invisiblish

    [4]Feb 3, 2013
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    I agree, most of this episode was very predictable. That's not to knock it, it was still a great episode to watch.

    Spartacus probably overlooked their blood thirst because of how quickly he came to the decision to take a city. For us it was a week or so, for him it may have been a matter of hours. It's hard to imagine how in the moment he is, most of us have never had to lead such a group of persecuted people, let alone take responsibility for their lives (and in this case their actions).

    This episode did confirm Crassus' relationship with his slave. I'm still convinced of Tiberius and his friend's relationship, to which I feel Caesar will disapprove and take advantage of.

    It hasn't been mentioned but I feel like Gannicus gained a lot of followers after killing Laurus. The way the slaves looked at him after Diotimus was slain and Laurus was stalking, it was very awing. I think Spartacus' talk of him stepping up as a leader and now this will begin to change Gannicus.

    Other notes:

    I'm really excited by the preview of next weeks episode.

    I might be a bit premature on this, but does anyone else wish that they would do a 'spinoff' with Caesar and his rise to power? His ferocity and what not could lead to a great series, especially if this actor develops as I believe he will.
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    boom-moo

    [5]Feb 3, 2013
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    invisiblish wrote:
    I agree, most of this episode was very predictable. That's not to knock it, it was still a great episode to watch.
    Absolutely! I just rewatched it and I find it truly awesome.

    invisiblish wrote:
    It's hard to imagine how in the moment he is, most of us have never had to lead such a group of persecuted people, let alone take responsibility for their lives (and in this case their actions).
    Indeed. And for some of Spartacus' men it might have been their first battle against their oppresors (there were some fresh recruits as we saw last week), so I think it's natural for them to get lost and blind with rage. As for Saxa and Nemetes who pressed for killing every Roman at least they are under control, follow Spartacus' orders and go with his judgement, regardless if they agree or not. That says a lot about Spartacus' abilities to lead.

    It was qute human of Spartacus to tell Laeta that nothing will lift from her soul the loss of her husband, as Spartacus has known the hard way, but that he and he alone took full responsiblity for it.

    invisiblish wrote:
    This episode did confirm Crassus' relationship with his slave. I'm still convinced of Tiberius and his friend's relationship, to which I feel Caesar will disapprove and take advantage of.
    Yes, I had the same thought.
    invisiblish wrote:
    It hasn't been mentioned but I feel like Gannicus gained a lot of followers after killing Laurus. The way the slaves looked at him after Diotimus was slain and Laurus was stalking, it was very awing.
    The young slave girl surely was in awe. The camera focused on her several times before during the episode so I think that we will hear more about her.

    invisiblish wrote:
    I might be a bit premature on this, but does anyone else wish that they would do a 'spinoff' with Caesar and his rise to power? His ferocity and what not could lead to a great series, especially if this actor develops as I believe he will.
    Could be nice yeah but I doubt they will. If anything, it'd be interesting to compare it with HBO's Rome.
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    PenguinSuzie

    [6]Feb 5, 2013
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    Good episode.

    I'm trying not to take Crassus' words at the end about cutting down every man woman and child literally. I hope as a soldier and someone who seems to have a good control of himself that he wouldn't fall to unnecessary cruelty and the rage that took the rebels.

    It's very foolish of Spartacus not to realize the collateral damage, I think he knew it would happen to an extent but still wasn't quite expecting the reality of it.

    invisiblish wrote:
    I'm still convinced of Tiberius and his friend's relationship, to which I feel Caesar will disapprove and take advantage of.
    Me too.

    I only just noticed this episode that the actors playing Crassus and Tiberius do have some physical similarities. Something in the cheeks. A slight resemblance which is good.

    I wish Laeta had reacted more to her husband death, she didn't seem to be in shock either as she quickly yelled at him. I did seem a bit like Spartacus acted too fast, as if he just changed his mind. I assume he planned it from the start as he wouldn't trust the man to actually comply, but it seemed like a sudden decision and rather cruel to time it like that so just when she's getting through to him 'bam'. Likening it to what happened with his own wife didn't really work for me as that destroyed him and even now it truly drives him and I can't seem him doing the same to someone else when there was a chance that it could be avoided. Especially without looking all that damaged about it. I think it might be because of the way it was shot, the way Laeta did seem to be making an impression on her husband but he was never given the chance to choose before the rebels barge in slaughtering everyone spraying her with his blood. It was probably necessary, but something about the timing made it seem very cruel to me.


    When the rebel said that the Romans wouldn't have treated them any better I felt like someone should have said about how they are supposed to be fighting against that kind of merciless cruelty, they aren't supposed to be just as bad as them. Though I suppose that would have been a bit cliche.


    That scene with Caesar and the knife, I thought she was trimming/shaving him at first since the Romans were stickler for getting rid of body hair. Though the blood and the way Tiberius spoke about it implied it was a sexual thing instead so I suppose it was supposed to be that. Was that slave girl just given to him then, I wonder if the other girl knows about that or has a problem with it (because of the abusive nature of it and the fact that the only reason it's not her is because the family likes her). Despite the fact that we all saw it coming I don't really like Crassus' relationship with her.


    That scene with the girl and Caesar was confusing as the power/control problems of trying to sleep with anyone you have that level of power over made full consent dubious, could she say no or imply it not. It seemed to me that he was trying to seduce her instead of force her and she seemed quite in the moment but because of her position it made it hard to tell. Her reaction afterwords speaks volumes though, that she wasn't OK with it at all. The later scene with Crassus is dubious as well though because despite what she said he's still her master, he has complete power over her and I get the feeling that that relationship won't end well. I felt pretty bad for his wife there too, especially because he had his family stay behind to keep them safe, yet he'll eagerly bring his slave into the fray and doesn't worry about her being put amongst all the others. If safety isn't the issue then it kind of bothers me that he's be fine about being away from his family (his kids more than his wife), in order to start a relationship up with someone else. It's just if there was no safety problem then he chose not to see his kids for possibly years simply because he won't find comfort with his wife.


    On another note I really like the blacksmith and I'm glad he's not dead. I agree that it's convenient that Gannicus is good friends with him but I think it works. When Gannicus said he'd stay and Crixus and Spartacus were talking at the door I thought Spartacus said something like 'perhaps it is not coin that moves him to purpose' before sort of glancing back at them. LOL I was like 'Wait, what?' (because I'm filthy minded. ) That's totally not what he said.


    Also when's someone going to bring up the fact that Caesar is a title and not a name. Or did I miss something there. Oh right. I looked it up, the title came from Julius Caesar. I wish my memory was better, I'd probably already read that somewhere before. I'm an idiot.

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    boom-moo

    [7]Feb 6, 2013
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    PenguinSuzie wrote:
    That scene with Caesar and the knife, I thought she was trimming/shaving him at first since the Romans were stickler for getting rid of body hair. Though the blood and the way Tiberius spoke about it implied it was a sexual thing instead so I suppose it was supposed to be that.
    I'm absolutely confused by that scene. I also thought at first that she was trimming him but obviously that's not what is going on. Someone asked Dan Feuerriegel (Agron) on Twitter and he replied that we'll know in time. Seeing as he seems to be quite sex-driven my best guess is that he's got some ETS or something, unless he is being circumcised *shrugs* Lol I think I'm gonna be wrong on both accounts though

    PenguinSuzie wrote:
    Was that slave girl just given to him then, I wonder if the other girl knows about that or has a problem with it (because of the abusive nature of it and the fact that the only reason it's not her is because the family likes her).
    I don't think that she was sent for his pleasure but she wouldn't have a say in it if he would wanted it so, regardless if she knows that he first attempted to have sex with Kore. Obviously not every slave in the house is as well cared about as Kore is so I don't think that Crassus would have taken it as an insult if Caesar would have decided to use the slave girl in that way (maybe Crassus would have resented the fact that Caesar didn't ask permission but not the act of having sex with the girl). Slaves were dehumanized like that for the most part, not being "lucky" ones like Kore who were held in a good esteem by their masters for one reason or the other. That said, Crassus doesn't seem to be a Batiatus though who would have his slaves pleasure him and his guests. He seems to somehow "respect" them.

    PenguinSuzie wrote:
    That scene with the girl and Caesar was confusing as the power/control problems of trying to sleep with anyone you have that level of power over made full consent dubious, could she say no or imply it not. It seemed to me that he was trying to seduce her instead of force her and she seemed quite in the moment but because of her position it made it hard to tell. Her reaction afterwords speaks volumes though, that she wasn't OK with it at all.
    She wasn't ok but slaves weren't asked for their consent in any matter, they were to be used as their masters pleased and weren't allowed to as much as gaze upon free folks, regardless if they were their masters or not. Caesar was abusing his position of power over her and indulging himself in some foreplay knowing that she would do as commanded. When Crassus arrives and puts an end to it Caesar's reply is very telling: "I didn't know that the girl held meaning" (or something like that). He implies that it is about the only reason why Crassus would mind about him having his way with her. And also when Crassus when apologizes to Kore, his words are very revealing: "I shouldn't have put you in his grasp" (or something like that) instead of saying that it was wrong of Caesar. It really wasn't wrong by Roman standards. Crassus' wife (even if mostly out of jealousy) tells Kore off for presenting herself in front of Caesar all good looking and all so she puts the blame in Kore instead of in Caesar.

    Sadly, that was they way things worked.

    PenguinSuzie wrote:
    The later scene with Crassus is dubious as well though because despite what she said he's still her master, he has complete power over her and I get the feeling that that relationship won't end well.
    I think she has feelings for him and I think they are real, but it might as well be some sort of Stockholm syndrome. In any case, as long as he keeps showing favour, she is safe from becoming a common slave so she'd be wise to nurture that affection.

    PenguinSuzie wrote:
    I felt pretty bad for his wife there too, especially because he had his family stay behind to keep them safe, yet he'll eagerly bring his slave into the fray and doesn't worry about her being put amongst all the others. If safety isn't the issue then it kind of bothers me that he's be fine about being away from his family (his kids more than his wife), in order to start a relationship up with someone else. It's just if there was no safety problem then he chose not to see his kids for possibly years simply because he won't find comfort with his wife.
    I bet that Kore isn't gonna be put amongst the other whores and that Crassus will make sure that she is gonna be safe and not bothered by any other men, Roman soldier or otherwise. And as forsaking his youngest son to lose his wife out of sight well, he seems to want the laurels, the name and the power that the Roman deny him despite his huge fortune so he probably thinks it a fair price to pay.

    PenguinSuzie wrote:
    When Gannicus said he'd stay and Crixus and Spartacus were talking at the door I thought Spartacus said something like 'perhaps it is not coin that moves him to purpose' before sort of glancing back at them. LOL I was like 'Wait, what?' (because I'm filthy minded. ) That's totally not what he said.
    Lol, I'm quite filthy minded too but I never thought of it that way (am I losing faculties? ). I loved it that Gannicus wouldn't trust the friendship bond to be strong enough to keep Attius to purpose and that he wasn't too subtle to make him know that much.
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    marknmo

    [8]Feb 6, 2013
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    My take on the Caesar and the slave girl with the knife was that she was cutting his inner, upper thighs. I know some people really enjoy cutting, and it seemed to me that that's what was going on. I'm glad though that they're going to revisit this so we'll getter a better understanding, cause it's not clear either way what that was all about.

    I'm not sure I liked this episode. I was excited at the end of the premiere when Spartacus said they were gonna take a city, cause I thought it was going to make for an epic assault. However, I also believed that Spartacus would hold true to his character and spare the civilians in the town. However, that really wasn't the case in this episode, since so many women and children were murdered. There were even several men who didn't deserve to die, as they posed no threat to Spartacus and his men. Given Spartacus's background with the pain of losing his wife, I'm very surprised and disappointed that he would inflict that cruelty upon so many.

    It made me feel really uneasy, and now I'm wondering if we're going to be watching Spartacus turn into the bad guy this season, and maybe Crassus step up as the hero. The two men are similar enough, and we have yet to see Crassus doing anything so brutal as what Spartacus and his men did in this episode. I can see Spartacus losing his way, becoming blood thirsty, and having to be put down by Crassus in a match of good and evil - it just won't be the sides playing good and evil that we were originally expecting. While I don't think it's entirely plausible this is the route the writers are going to be taking this season, I just see it as a possible journey for Spartacus right now given what we've seen so far.
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    boom-moo

    [9]Feb 6, 2013
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    marknmo wrote:
    However, I also believed that Spartacus would hold true to his character and spare the civilians in the town. However, that really wasn't the case in this episode, since so many women and children were murdered. There were even several men who didn't deserve to die, as they posed no threat to Spartacus and his men. Given Spartacus's background with the pain of losing his wife, I'm very surprised and disappointed that he would inflict that cruelty upon so many.
    Spartacus himself didn't kill anyone who didn't pose a threat and to be fair, he couldn't be in two places at a time so he can't be held reponsible for what his men did. Granted that he could have instructed them not to kill those civilians who didn't resist the attack but would they have fought as bravely and committedly then? They are willing to have revenge and take a hand for a hand and who can blame them?

    In any case, I quite like the fact that he strays from his path here and there and that, as Gannicus hinted in ep 1, he keeps finding new reasons to carry on with the fight. His life doesn't seem to hold any meaning without fighting (I really can't see him settling down outside of the reach of the Roman empire and starting a new peaceful life, he'd be too consumed by the horror he's lived and the pain he's been inflicted) so the fact that he loses himself in the frenzy of battle is pretty understandable to me because at the end of the day he is but a broken man and a broken man doesn't always hold tight to the reins of reason.

    However, he has never gone as far as to making random killings himself (actually he has talked his men out ofd becoming as good as Romans many times before) so I don't think that he will go that route.

    marknmo wrote:
    It made me feel really uneasy, and now I'm wondering if we're going to be watching Spartacus turn into the bad guy this season, and maybe Crassus step up as the hero. The two men are similar enough, and we have yet to see Crassus doing anything so brutal as what Spartacus and his men did in this episode. I can see Spartacus losing his way, becoming blood thirsty, and having to be put down by Crassus in a match of good and evil - it just won't be the sides playing good and evil that we were originally expecting. While I don't think it's entirely plausible this is the route the writers are going to be taking this season, I just see it as a possible journey for Spartacus right now given what we've seen so far.
    That's a very interesting thought and much as I like that Spartacus isn't a one-dimensional goodie character, I'm not comfortable with the idea of him turning the baddie. I don't think that's gonna be the case though. And I have a feeling that Crassus, measured and quite morally balanced as he seems, will have his share of brutality as well.

    As you point out I like that both are pretty similar and have, so to speak, both a good side and an evil one. I think that's very clever writing that makes for very good drama.
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    invisiblish

    [10]Feb 6, 2013
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    If Spartacus took the city all peaceful and easy like it wouldn't be very realistic or believable. Be real that city was similar to the taking of the House of Batiatus, everyone was going to die in some way. Spartacus did his best staving off the deaths he could. Lets not forget about Crassus, he has respect for his opponents, much like Spartacus, but he did send his own soldiers to die at Spartacus' hands just to rid himself of the 2 Generals.

    I think of Tiberius and Crassus' remarks about Caesar when thinking of the Caesar and blood scene. Caesar was said to be 'away' for a good time, partaking in 'savage' rituals. Hence his animalistic nature. I would assume that this particular ritual has something to do with Agron's Germanic heritage (from the comments above). Personally I think she was cutting back the skin around his uncircumcised self.

    I don't think of Spartacus so much fighting for his lost wife anymore. As with the death of Mira, Varro, and Aurelia I think of Spartacus as more fighting against Rome and it's slavery. Sure he still thinks and fights for his wife, but what carries him on is the fight against the empire who employed his wife's killer, the system if you will.
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    boom-moo

    [11]Feb 7, 2013
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    invisiblish wrote:
    Lets not forget about Crassus, he has respect for his opponents, much like Spartacus, but he did send his own soldiers to die at Spartacus' hands just to rid himself of the 2 Generals.
    Good point, he was really cunning there and pretty cold there.

    invisiblish wrote:
    I think of Tiberius and Crassus' remarks about Caesar when thinking of the Caesar and blood scene. Caesar was said to be 'away' for a good time, partaking in 'savage' rituals. Hence his animalistic nature. I would assume that this particular ritual has something to do with Agron's Germanic heritage (from the comments above). Personally I think she was cutting back the skin around his uncircumcised self.
    I don't think it has to do with Agron's Germanic heritage. As it happens Daniel Feuerrigel is very active on Twitter and engages a lot with fans, replying to questions and stuff so I think that was why he was asked.

    I also thought of circumcision but I can't tell if that was considered a barbaric/savage ritual among the Romans.

    invisiblish wrote:
    I think of Spartacus as more fighting against Rome and it's slavery. Sure he still thinks and fights for his wife, but what carries him on is the fight against the empire who employed his wife's killer, the system if you will.
    I agree.
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