Episode 9 'The Dead and the Dying' discussion thread

  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [1]Mar 28, 2013
    • member since: 02/05/07
    • level: 75
    • rank: Rowdy Roddy Piper
    • posts: 135,684
    Please post your opinions/comments/discussion topics on episode 9 "The Dead and the Dying" to air on April 5th here.

    -Spoilers are not allowed.
    -Bashing ships/characters is not allowed.
    -Discussion is welcome, arguing is not.
    -Trolls won't be fed, ignore and report it is.
    -Be respecful, keep it cool.



    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.)
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of invisiblish

    invisiblish

    [2]Apr 5, 2013
    • member since: 01/17/07
    • level: 9
    • rank: Door Number 2
    • posts: 682
    Where to begin with this episode...

    Well played Gannicus, well played. While your battle wasn't exclusively portrayed as Spartacus' was the bits seen were quite impressive. Especially considering you practically walked to the cliff's edge and fought there until you became bored. And bonus points for tossing the head into the crowd.

    Am I the only one upset to not see Caesar exact revenge on Tiberius? Granted Tiberius got his just rewards but Kore's revenge paled compared to Caesar's intended revenge. I thought that one of them (Kore, Naevia, or Caesar) would strip Tiberius of his penis and leave him with his humiliation.

    Little disappointed with Crassus, expected him to use his son's capture to his advantage. Really expected him to use the trade of 500 men to strike down Spartacus and regain his son all at once. I understand why not, but I truly expected some of his opportunist juices to be flowing there.

    I'm pleased with the homage to Spartacus Blood and Sand (the characters and actors both). Spartacus (Liam) grasping the sand beneath his feet as Spartacus (Andy) had done so many times, Varro, Duro, and Barca's names being mentioned during the final chants of fallen Gladiators/Slaves, even Oenomaus and Batiatus being praised/ridiculed for their teachings.

    Nice jobs to Caesar, Kore, and Naevia for their individual choices: Caesar for obviously displaying content with Spartacus' imposters. Much more so for Naevia and accepting the whole more so than the individual. To Kore for accepting that her crime is befitting a masterful punishment, even if the results have blown up in her face. She owed the rebels those 500 lives and choosing to go (although foolishly hoping to rekindle her 'love) was the correct choice.

    And finally... great applause to Spartacus himself. Not only did he make good use of Pompey's men, he created an illusion that even Crassus did not consider. If not for Caesar's own manipulation of events he may of actually caught Crassus unaware.

    Thought we might see Pompey this episode, or perhaps Caesar attempting to breach agreement between the 3 (Crassus included). I would be extremely amused with Stephen DeKnight portraying Pompey himself.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [3]Apr 6, 2013
    • member since: 02/05/07
    • level: 75
    • rank: Rowdy Roddy Piper
    • posts: 135,684
    invisiblish wrote:
    Am I the only one upset to not see Caesar exact revenge on Tiberius?
    Yeah, I expected a bumpy ride back to the Roman camp. However, at least all Caesar, Naevia and Kore got their chance to share a measure of revenge. Very tough individual choices in all three cases; all three of them are gonna suffer dearly for it while at the same moving the story nicely on.

    Really exciting chess moves once again. Spartacus was brilliant using Pompey's men to his advantage as was Caesar manipulating Crassus into sending Tiberius in and then later on Crassus himself repaying Caesar with the same coin. All sort of got in each other's way going with their particular agendas making the whole maneouvering very exciting.

    invisiblish wrote:
    I'm pleased with the homage to Spartacus Blood and Sand (the characters and actors both).
    Me too, I loved it. I got misty eyed when all those names were shouted during Crixus' funeral. Spartacus and his men really have come a long way from Blood and Sand (well, and Gods of the Arena) Very moving

    invisiblish wrote:
    I would be extremely amused with Stephen DeKnight portraying Pompey himself.
    Lol!
    Edited on 04/06/2013 6:19am
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of PenguinSuzie

    PenguinSuzie

    [4]Apr 6, 2013
    • member since: 08/19/11
    • level: 10
    • rank: Holy Level 10!
    • posts: 1,012

    The games were exciting and impressive but ultimately sick and distressing. The rebels are just as bad as the Romans and I've lost any remaining respect for them. It wasn't proper contest and 'games' it was slaughter for fun and entertainment. Sick and pathetic posturing. The Roman's games were horrifying too but at least most of them were gladiators against gladiators. At least this time it was against soldiers instead of civilians but it was just as horrible. Just because they were soldiers didn't mean they stood any kind of chance against the gladiators. Maybe several against Naevia or Nasir, but Spartacus and Gannicus really? Even Ashur could easily best a bunch of soldiers. Nasir seemed to fight one at a time and I don't think the more experienced fighters were up against more than three at a time. You know I don't think I even care who wins any more. I found it really disgusting and even upsetting.
    ***SPOILER***


    Laeta and Sibyl are annoying. Agron being crucified nearly reduced me to tears. I liked that Crassus was so worried about his son. My sympathy for Caesar is already gone. I don't find myself to bothered that Crixus is dead, I knew it was coming and I haven't like him for ages, it's sad what happened but it doesn't makes me angry or emotional at all. Naevia is still annoying even if she's just lost Crixus and while I feel like I should sympathize with her more she's still annoying. I liked the way they honored the dead at the funeral though I don't understand why they all started randomly chanting Crixus while naming their dead loved ones, I suppose since it was his funeral but even then they were all saying others names too at first and many were killed not just him.


    It's sad that Agron won't be able to fight, I assume that close up on him when Spartacus said 'all those that are able' to fight for them would; that it was confirming he wouldn't be one of them. It would be rather hard to believe if he is among them later.


    This is just my immediate emotional reaction to it though, maybe I'm being to harsh on the rebels. The 'games' scenes were distressing to watch for me.

    Edited on 04/06/2013 2:01pm
    Edited 2 total times.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [5]Apr 6, 2013
    • member since: 02/05/07
    • level: 75
    • rank: Rowdy Roddy Piper
    • posts: 135,684
    I don't think that the point of the games was to make it a fair fight, PenguinSuzie. As Spartacus tells to the first Roman that he fights, he surely must be feeling what Crixus and Agron did when massacred by a bigger horde. Spartacus just provided his people (and himself) with a means of getting immediate revenge, most likely for the last time. And since he has changed his mind (he is not going to cross the Alps any longer, he intends to fight back) he boosted up the confidence of those yet able to fight.

    By this point in the story both sides have crossed the line more than once, even within this very same episode (we get to see the bloodshed of the "rebel games" but also Agron's crucifixion (plus Tiberius tells Crassus that he's been thoroughly torturing the rebel prisoners) and at times the audience can find themselves rooting for either side. This is very subjective but from what I gather from reading stuff around that's precisely what TPTB intended.

    I don't see Agron kicking back and watching or moving across the Alps with the women and children so I'm very puzzled about the position that the whole crucifixion leaves him in. Going with the preview for ep 10 he might yet have a chance to do something heroic.

    I forgot to mention that karma is a witch. Tiberius was backstabbed, just like he did to kill Crixus.
    Edited on 04/06/2013 3:04pm
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of PenguinSuzie

    PenguinSuzie

    [6]Apr 6, 2013
    • member since: 08/19/11
    • level: 10
    • rank: Holy Level 10!
    • posts: 1,012

    You're right there's been a lot of moral ambiguity on both sides and it really flips back and forth. It's sad to see the rebels drop so low again and even more so for Gannicus to laugh and join in, and for Spartacus to condone and even organize it.

    boom-moo wrote:
    I forgot to mention that karma is a witch. Tiberius was backstabbed, just like he did to kill Crixus.
    Aye good point! XD


    I find it difficult to know whether or not Crixus/Naevia etc actually thought they were going to win, even if I hadn't know about the history and likelihood of his death it still seemed like a complete suicide mission, yet Naevia seems quite shocked obviously she'd be shocked to lose Crixus but she really seems shocked that they lost. Agron also seemed to think he wouldn't be coming back from it, and that even if they won they'd be killed before they could really celebrate taking over Rome. I find it a little difficult to see that mission as a wonderful goal (the way she sort of presented it as through the flashbacks) despite the fact that it could mean the end of the war, their motives seemed less noble than that and more bloodthirsty and hotheaded and I couldn't help but think that it would just be like Sinuesa again; a slaughter of hundreds of innocent civilians and only a small amount of soldiers. Even if they'd won they'd probably have been crushed quickly.


    There must have been thousands that went with Crixus considering the number of large armies he went up against, the size of the city he wanted to conquer and how few of them would have been even competent fighters. I'm surprised there was so many left with Spartacus. It makes me wonder how many there will be during the final battle and if the lack of people contributes to the outcome

    Edited on 04/06/2013 8:40pm
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of invisiblish

    invisiblish

    [7]Apr 6, 2013
    • member since: 01/17/07
    • level: 9
    • rank: Door Number 2
    • posts: 682
    While I agree with many points I have to disagree on many counts as well.

    Firstly I agree that the moral ambiguity has been great for this season. While seeing the majority of the Rebels fall to the Roman levels it is more than probable. More so it was good to find a couple Romans that weren't so morally corrupt. Best of all it was great to find that even those corrupt could make decisions for the greater good, ie. the most evil were capable of good and vice versa.

    I disagree on the count of Naevia's account of happenings. While Naevia may have presented her account as a victory, I believe her tears at the sight of the child, and the course of her discussion with Crixus, made it quite clear that she and Crixus intended for death upon a battlefield. I think that Naevia's account was more relative to disbelief: Crixus had managed to clear the way to Rome, a defenseless and corrupt city responsible for all of the death in their lives.

    More so, I think the 'arena' fights were more than appropriate. The Romans (and now Crassus and Pompey) have continually told these Rebels that they are not equals. They have continually underestimated Spartacus and have paid the price with many Roman lives from generals to Roman children. The fights were to set to clearly demonstrate the power of the individual Rebel. Each fight was a Rebel vs a Roman soldier (in the few cases multiple Romans). These fights were to demonstrate to the remaining Rebels that the fight was not fruitless, that the Romans could be defeated, and most of all that even having fights the way the Romans would have them the Romans could lose. These fights served as motivation towards the crowd as well to honor the fallen with the blood of their tormentors.

    On top of all of that, lets recall Donar's fight with Caesar as Donar had been previously injured. Donar was presented with opportunity to prove his worth and equality to a Roman general. Whether he did or not is up for debate, but Spartacus presented Tiberius and his soldiers with the same opportunity. Tiberius was unable to defeat a single woman, whom he so boldy taunted about slaying her beloved Crixus. While the brutality of each kill is undeniable, the intent and true sickness of the fights were lacking. It's not like they were facing the Rebels with wooden swords or worse: unarmed.

    And since we are talking about it: the only Gladiators that were witnessed to be part of the slayings were Gannicus and Spartacus.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of PenguinSuzie

    PenguinSuzie

    [8]Apr 7, 2013
    • member since: 08/19/11
    • level: 10
    • rank: Holy Level 10!
    • posts: 1,012
    Spartacus wasn't giving them the opportunity to prove themselves worthy opponents though, he just wanted to humiliate and slaughter them for the rebels entertainment and true their motivation and hope. I don't remember even seeing them feed the Romans and they looked pretty worn down. Tiberius was injured and I bet others were too. More than anything it reminds me more of the execution games (like they put Spartacus through initially) with their captured men (who were soldiers too) and sent them to their deaths using the games as an entertaining form of execution. It doesn't resemble gladiator vs gladiator or even experienced fighter vs experienced fighter. The soldiers stood no chance whatsoever, even if they were armed. During it I just wanted to skip through it. The whole thing was sick, even if Spartacus had an incentive for it. The just enjoyed it SO much, wailing for the blood it temporarily (hopefully) made me just hate them all. At least you expect this sort of brutal cruelty from the Romans. Maybe it wouldn't be so painful to watch if just one person was bothered by it there, anyone. Even Laeta only winced because of gore and was ultimately happy about it. Last time Gannicus clearly disapproved but this time he was grinning eagerly and happy about the 'glory' of it, even though there's nothing glorious about them slaughtering their captives. They set it up so there wasn't even the slightest chance that a single Roman would survive, 3 against Spartacus for instance.

    I know I could be being irrational about this, but I found it upsetting and sort of twisted.

    I think the reason I'm so negative about it is because I don't think the Romans had even the slightest chance, there was no competition and I think that Spartacus knew that. It's not like I'd want the Romans to win, but putting them in games like this when there's no question who'll win the fights is so utterly one sided that it's just murder. It seemed like a way to execute them for sport.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [9]Apr 7, 2013
    • member since: 02/05/07
    • level: 75
    • rank: Rowdy Roddy Piper
    • posts: 135,684
    I don't think you are being irrational, PS but I don't think that the Romans didn't stand any chance. Talking out of memory here but I think that Tiberius was the only one who seemed wounded although I think that it was more a mess of blood (after having been punched in the face) than any wound of consideration (save his pride). And as for nurture, those soldiers might have spent a few hours withouth food (it seemed to me that it didn't pass but a few hours since they were captured to the moment they were forced to fight) but they had surely been eating way better for the whole time that the rebels were trapped in the Melia ridge, and even before that.

    Naevia, Nasir, Lugo, Saxa, etc stood (skills wise) like a Roman soldier to me. They have been trained in battle and they sparred to the best of their abilities. The rebels have been trained by gladiators, but a Roman soldier back then was a professional killing machine. At that moment in time though, the rebels had the motivation/hatred factor on their side, the loss of their loved ones too tender yet, the sight of Crixus' head a vivid reminder.

    Anyway, motivations aside the Roman soldiers were bested because in a one to one (heck, even 2 and 3 to one) combat a gladiator's skills are superior. Yes, I agree that Spartacus knew that but as he mentions at the beginning of the games they never wanted to become gladiators, they were forced to under the Roman lash so they could provide with entertainment and now it was their chance to prove them what a great work they had done at it and to repay in kind.

    The sight of Crixus' head was the trigger to release all that anger that Spartacus has been trying so hard to bottle up thinking of the greater good but as much as they suffer the lost of any rebel, Crixus (and Agron for that matter) weren't just one in many for either Spartacus or Gannicus (who yes, so far had always taken a step back from enjoying cruelty for sport). Those two men were friends, brothers even and that's a wound that pierces too deep and surely a turning point for both.

    This all said, I don't think that if any Roman soldier would have bested a rebel they would have gotten away with their lives. They would have probably had to face a better opponent until they were killed.

    I get your point though since I'm very aware that the Roman soldiers merely follow orders and they kill to support those they leave back at home, regardless of much I might dislike some of their actions. There's a unique and very human story behind every single person and we would surely relate to them in a different way if it was their story the one being told (we can see that side of events in "Rome", another great show) I stood on the rebel side during the games only because I wanted Tiberius to pay dearly for all his coward deeds towards Caesar, Kore, Crixus, Canthara, etc but I felt sorry for Tiberius' men.

    However and regardless I would always stand a Laeta since I would never enjoy a gorey espectacle and in that way I loved her reply to Spartacus (factions aside): " I may flinch from gory sight... yet know that I revel in its meaning."

    ______________

    I don't know if you watch the videos where Steven DeKnight comments on the episodes but in the one about episode 9 he says that the inspiration for the funeral games is based on the historical fact that after Crixus was killed Spartacus threw these games in his honour: he captured about 200 Romans and forced them to fight each other. The original plotline for the episode had Tiberius and Caesar captured and fighting each other at the end of the games. However, the rebels didn’t have much to do that way so the writers turned the plot around into gladiator games where the rebels fight the Romans in a big display to honour Crixus.

    Edited on 04/07/2013 6:47am
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of PenguinSuzie

    PenguinSuzie

    [10]Apr 7, 2013
    • member since: 08/19/11
    • level: 10
    • rank: Holy Level 10!
    • posts: 1,012

    That put's it into perspective.


    Maybe if it hadn't been Crixus dead then maybe Spartacus might not have gotten angry and emotional enough to do it. I don't think Spartacus has been as calm or in control lately and losing a brother could certainly give him that push to release all his pent up anger.

    boom-moo wrote:
    There's a unique and very human story behind every single person and we would surely relate to them in a different way if it was their story the one being told
    I was actually just thinking that earlier. If we'd been watching this from a different POV (the soldiers or even the non main character rebels) it would give us a very dfferent view and probably very different opinions on the stories.

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [11]Apr 7, 2013
    • member since: 02/05/07
    • level: 75
    • rank: Rowdy Roddy Piper
    • posts: 135,684
    Agreed on both accounts.

    On a random thought I would have loved for Melitta, Diona, Aurelia, Chadara or Lucius to have been included in the little homage to characters lost.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of invisiblish

    invisiblish

    [12]Apr 7, 2013
    • member since: 01/17/07
    • level: 9
    • rank: Door Number 2
    • posts: 682
    Ironically what was said about the initial 'games' seems more cruel to me than what Spartacus did. I don't know if it makes sense but go to The Walking Dead and watch how 2 brothers were forced to fight each other until joining sides against the crowd. The idea that Caesar and Tiberius being forced to face each other, while ideal to watch Caesar instruct Tiberius on a proper warrior, would be rather horrid to watch. Not only would they not do so of their own free will but being forced to kill for their life is rather cruel. As the games stand I find them rather tame. We have seen executions happen before the games; Tiberius and his men were lucky that they were not purely executed before a celebratory burning of Crixus' remains.

    I guess I just disagree with the 'disgust' one finds with the 'games'. Spartacus himself was put into this situation with much worse odds and circumstances but stood victorious. Tiberius & his men were at much better odds in a much better situation with much better circumstances and found only loss. Part of their loss was due to their own actions: the slaying of Crixus had motivated the Rebels to stand tall. Tiberius and co. ran into a very motivated wall and were simply beat down because of it.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of PenguinSuzie

    PenguinSuzie

    [13]Apr 15, 2013
    • member since: 08/19/11
    • level: 10
    • rank: Holy Level 10!
    • posts: 1,012
    invisiblish wrote:
    Ironically what was said about the initial 'games' seems more cruel to me than what Spartacus did.
    What do you mean?
    invisiblish wrote:
    I don't know if it makes sense but go to The Walking Dead and watch how 2 brothers were forced to fight each other until joining sides against the crowd. The idea that Caesar and Tiberius being forced to face each other, while ideal to watch Caesar instruct Tiberius on a proper warrior, would be rather horrid to watch. Not only would they not do so of their own free will but being forced to kill for their life is rather cruel. As the games stand I find them rather tame. We have seen executions happen before the games; Tiberius and his men were lucky that they were not purely executed before a celebratory burning of Crixus' remains.
    That is disturbing. It was uncomfortable to see that on The Walking Dead especially as it was otherwise normal civilians calling for blood. It is something about riots and group mindset where people who wouldn't normally engage or want to in such things get pulled into it because of the amped up emotions of the group.
    invisiblish wrote:
    Spartacus himself was put into this situation with much worse odds and circumstances but stood victorious. Tiberius & his men were at much better odds in a much better situation with much better circumstances and found only loss.
    That actually just reminded me of Spartacus seeing himself (from when he was first forced to fight) in the face of one of the men he was executing in the games. Spartacus from the beginning did beat the odds but against gladiator Spartacus he would have lost.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [14]Apr 15, 2013
    • member since: 02/05/07
    • level: 75
    • rank: Rowdy Roddy Piper
    • posts: 135,684
    PenguinSuzie wrote:
    invisiblish wrote:
    Ironically what was said about the initial 'games' seems more cruel to me than what Spartacus did.
    What do you mean?


    Sorry I did an edit and you might not have seen it. It was me talking about the initial idea for the games here:

    boom-moo wrote:
    I don't know if you watch the videos where Steven DeKnight comments on the episodes but in the one about episode 9 he says that the inspiration for the funeral games is based on the historical fact that after Crixus was killed Spartacus threw these games in his honour: he captured about 200 Romans and forced them to fight each other. The original plotline for the episode had Tiberius and Caesar captured and fighting each other at the end of the games. However, the rebels didn’t have much to do that way so the writers turned the plot around into gladiator games where the rebels fight the Romans in a big display to honour Crixus.


    PenguinSuzie wrote:
    invisiblish wrote:
    Spartacus himself was put into this situation with much worse odds and circumstances but stood victorious. Tiberius & his men were at much better odds in a much better situation with much better circumstances and found only loss.
    That actually just reminded me of Spartacus seeing himself (from when he was first forced to fight) in the face of one of the men he was executing in the games. Spartacus from the beginning did beat the odds but against gladiator Spartacus he would have lost.
    He was forced to fight against other gladiators though (and more seasoned ones at that) when he was but a fresh recruit and yet he prevailed. He was a great warrior and a skilled fighter with a very strong mindset and motivation.
    Edited on 04/15/2013 10:17am
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of PenguinSuzie

    PenguinSuzie

    [15]Apr 15, 2013
    • member since: 08/19/11
    • level: 10
    • rank: Holy Level 10!
    • posts: 1,012
    boom-moo wrote:
    He was forced to fight against other gladiators though (and more seasoned ones at that) when he was but a fresh recruit and yet he prevailed. He was a great warrior and a skilled fighter with a very strong mindset and motivation.
    He was always very determined and motivated. In his prime he's become probably the best of them all.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of boom-moo

    boom-moo

    [16]Apr 15, 2013
    • member since: 02/05/07
    • level: 75
    • rank: Rowdy Roddy Piper
    • posts: 135,684
    No doubt! Look how he reached Crassus all by his own in the finale, truly impressive!
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of invisiblish

    invisiblish

    [17]Apr 17, 2013
    • member since: 01/17/07
    • level: 9
    • rank: Door Number 2
    • posts: 682
    I was meaning to say that the games DeKnight originally planned sounded much worse than the games Spartacus forced them into. What's more, the actual games were much much worse than pictured during the series.

    Capturing 200 men and forcing them to fight each other is pretty horrid, especially considering in the series Tiberius had already been forced to kill his childhood friend.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.