Spartacus: Gods of the Arena: Missio Review

This has to be one of the most densely packed episodes of the Spartacus series, including season 1 of Spartacus: Blood and Sand.  There was lots of blood and sex in this episode, as well as many cans of worms being opened, not just upon the corpses.

Batiatus vowed revenge on Vettius upon being beaten, and he does it with the help of Gaia, Ashur and his Syrian brother.  Varrus, the liason from Rome, was soon to be arriving in Capua to schedule a primus (the gladiator for the main event) in the arena.  However, Varrus wished to see the gladiators of Vettius via his ally Tullius‘ political maneuvering.  Tullius attempted to bring favor by buying the vase and wine for Solonius, presently Batiatus’ ally.  However, as sly as this maneuver may have been, it only brought retribution to Vettius.

Batiatus, however, set in motion events of his own.  He declared Oenomus to become Doctore in the privacy of his own quarters since the current Doctore was a relic of his father and his training of Crixus.  The present Doctore was notified afterwards, and it precipitated a division between two friends.  Ultimately, the present Doctore, Oenomaus’ friend in the ludus, fell by his own sword, and Oenomaus now claimed that title.  I thought this event came a bit early for this prequel, but it did give understanding on how the this event added fuel to the fire in the finale of Spartacus: Blood and Sand against Batiatus.  Also, through conniving of Batiatus, Lucretia and Gaia and by Varrus’ own suggestion, Gannicus had sex with Oenomaus’, his friend’s wife while Varrus watched.  This event may have set animosity between Gannicus and Oenomaus.  It may also involve Oenomaus’ wife, Melitta.

Gannicus did secure the position as primus for the games in the arena, and the House of Batiatus defeated the House of Vettius temporarily.  But retribution found a way of catching up to Batiatus and Lucretia in Spartacus: Blood and Sand.  I would expect no different in this prequel.

Lastly, this episode foreshadowed the rise of Crixus as the upcoming Champion of Capua.  He improved quickly while training with Oenomaus.  He behaved like Spartacus, as Spartacus and Crixus are two sides of the same coin. This may foreshadow events once Spartacus: Blood and Sand returns for the second season.

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