Last week on Spartacus: Gods of the Arena we were introduced to new characters and revisited old ones. There was fighting. There was fucking. There was a blindfold that involved neither a firing squad nor erotic food feeding. Batiatus discovered that he was not into golden showers and Lucretia rediscovered a taste for sushi. Jvpiter’s Cock! It wasFVCKING AWESOME!
We begin this next chapter where we left off, with Batiatus bloodied, smelling of pee, and stumbling through the streets of Capua.
Can someone spare a bandage? Cologne? Gvm?
As he stumbles through the streets reaching out to those around him, he is met with looks of disgust. No one bothers to help as he falls to the ground……..but wait! It’s only a dream. Batiatus is home in his bed, bandaged, though still bruised inside and out.
He hobbles out of bed to get dressed and Lucretia and Gaia arrive just in time for the full moon.
Lucretia scolds B for going against medicus’ orders, but he’s sick of lying about. Lucretia is all teary eyed and it’s plain to see how worried she’s been about him. She wants to complain to the magistrate about what happened but Batiatus says it’s futile to complain to the puppet when the puppetmaster is the one who did the beatdown.
Over in the streets, Tullius and Booius Sissifus are discussing their plans to meet with Varrus (a man that pisses wine and shits gold). Tullius will be busy with the magistrate so he’s leaving it to Booius Sissifus to see Varrus well met.
You see, Varrus is coming to town to choose men for the games of the Venalia. Tullius plans on their men being the ones chosen and he still has not given up hope that Batiatus will be persuaded to sell Gannicus to them. In fact, he sees just the opportunity to make that a reality.
I’m gonna make you an offer you (and your friend) can’t refuse.
Uh oh. Will Solonius be sucked in by Tullius and tempted to betray his good friend?
Back at the ludus the gladiators (and gladiators in training) are going through their morning workout as Gaia drools from the balcony above. She is especially taken with Crixus, as is a slave girl who blushes when Gaia notices her interest.
I could just eat you up.
Crixus is still training with Onomatopoeia who knocks him on his ass, probably for the hundredth time. He cautions Crixus against charging after his enemy, saying he should instead draw him in and then take his shot. And whadda ya know? Just like that, Crixus clocks Ono who is happy to see that you can indeed teach a hot Gaul new tricks.
I don’t think that’s covered in the dental plan.
Having bested Ono, Crixus gets to join the other recruits and is welcomed back to the fold with words of welcome and joy.
As Ono and Doctore look on and reminisce about his training of Ono, Doctore says he will talk to Batiatus and try to convince him that Ono is ready to rejoin his brothers in the arena. When Ono thanks Doctore he tells him to shut it: he only seeks to not have wasted long years of pulling Ono’s head from his ass.
See? I can be funny sometimes.
Solonius arrives to visit with Batiatus, interrupting his trip down gladiator memory lane (a lane that sloshes with blood and glory). He’s brought his friend a jug of wine to help lift his spirits. B is quite happy with the gift until Solonius breaks it to him that the wine is actually from Tullius who now wants to double the offer he previously made on Gannicus.
As you can imagine, B is none too happy to hear his friend taking up the cause of Tullius. He points out the unhealed bruises on his face and tells Solonius how this gesture makes him feel.
“You counsel to suck the cock that pisses on me!”
LMAO! So true. Solonius doesn’t really want to suck Tullius’ pissy cock, but if he doesn’t Tullius has said he will also be barred from the games. B doesn’t want to see his friend dragged down because of him, so he says he’ll think on it. But Solonius needs an answer now because Tullius has plans to present Gannicus to Varrus tomorrow.
The sound of Varrus’ name peaks Gaia’s interest; she knew him in Rome and tells them of his great influence and coin. Solonius urges Batiatus to consider the offer and then skeedaddles outta there leaving Batiatus pensive and in a craptastic mood.
This mood isn’t helped as he sees one of his gladiators in training give the sign of surrender during a training bout with Gannicus. He bellows that no one in his house is a quitter and order the recruit sent to the mines.
Are you quitting on me?! Well, are you?! Then , you slimy fucking walrus-looking piece of shit!
One thing this rage is good for is pushing Batiatus toward a decision: one day Gannicus will stand as the champion of Capua and it will be from within the house of Batiatus. Lucretia wonders how this can be accomplished if they are excluded from the games. Well, if a man as powerful as Varrus personally requests one of Batiatus’ men, then Tullius will be unable to refuse.
But Booius Sissifus hates us. You don’t expect him to introduce us to Varrus, do you?
Nope. Batiatus expects him to bleed as he pulls Varrus from his grasp. Oooooooo!
Later that evening Ono and Gannicus share a drink together and Melitta (Ono’s wife) comes in to join them. She didn’t realize that Ono wouldn’t be alone, but he tells her Gannicus was just leaving. Well, he will after the wine is finished; he wants to share it with his dearest friends. Only friends, Melitta counters.
Gannicus wants to know who she thought was better when he and Ono sparred earlier. Ono, of course. Gannicus thinks of course she would say that, after all she IS his wife. He says one day they will face each other upon the sands and there they will have true decision. She wants to know what would really happen if they had to face each other to the death, no mercy shown.
I will kick your husband’s assius
Melitta is unamused, saying that he jokes about killing a man he loves when someday he might be asked to. He thinks they are a perfect pair since they are always worrying what tomorrow might bring. His viewpoint is that they are slaves; the burden of choice and conscience are not theirs. He just wants to fight and fuck, though not both at the same time.
She sees through Gannicus telling him she knows he jokes in order to keep everyone at a distance. He doesn’t hold them at a distance. After all, he tells them, they are his two favorite women in this world. Keep on with the jokes, Melitta retorts. Someday they’ll be a situation he won’t be able to joke or fight his way out of.
Well then, I’ll fuck my way out of it!
Melitta doesn’t seem amused by this.
Gannicus finally leaves them to their conjugal visit and runs into Crixus in the hallway. Crixus wants to know what it takes to become the champion. He’s hoping for words of wisdom from Gannicus and is rewarded with “Never fucking lose.”
And the wheels in his brain go round and round, round and round.
Let’s jump forward to the next day. Batiatus is getting ready to go out and tells Doctore to make sure Barca is ready to accompany him. Doctore is not thrilled to have one of his gladiators being used as a bodyguard. Batiatus could give a rat’s ass what Doctore thinks and tells him so.
Oh, and while they’re getting gladiators ready to go out on the town, he’s to get the Syrian recruits ready as well and make sure they properly clothed and unshackled for this little field trip. Doctore makes the mistake of questioning B again and also pointing out how shitty it was to send the other dude to the mines just because Batiatus was PMSing.
Batiatus doesn’t care what Doctore thinks given that he’s just a slave as well. Oh, and since he’s so keen on giving mine boy another chance get him ready to go with Syrians as well. Buh bye.
Out in the city streets Batiatus tells the Syrians (and mine) if they are successful they will earn the mark of brotherhood (the gladiator mark) without having to go through the test. BUT. If they fail or try to escape, he will cut their dicks off and crucify them.
I sort of wish I was in the mines singing “Heigh Ho” right now.
And off they go.
In another section of the city Gaia and Lucretia are out for a dusty stroll, plotting a chance meeting with Varrus, but Gaia’s got a little double play planned; she’s supposed to be helping out Batiatus, but she’s also working to land Varrus for herself. After all, she’s single, he’s rich and single………..ah, the history of golddiggers.
Meanwhile, the Syrians (and mine guy) find Booius Sissifus and pretend to be Varrus’ men, saying that the plan has changed and now he wants to meet over by the new arena. At first Booius Sissifus refuses, but the thought of missing the meeting and having to explain that to Tullius tightens his sphincter enough to be persuaded to follow them down a dark alley.
Wait……something seems fishy here……
Not only does Booius Sissifus get the shit kicked out him, one of the Syrians also pisses on HIS face. Pission Accompissed!
Mine guy is so happy to not be going to the mines after all, but Ashur thinks that it would have been a blessing for him to go there. You see, mine guy let his face be seen, and since Batiatus doesn’t want this traced back to him……
Batiatus’ severance plan.
As coinky-dink would have it, Gaia and Lucretia are just running into Varrus. How unexpected!
What’s a rich guy like you doing on a dusty street like this?
She makes introductions between Varrus and Lucretia and he expresses his annoyance at having to wait for Booius Sissifus who is running late. Well then, he should totally come on over to Batiatus’ house to wait out of the heat of the day. Okay. And off they go. Success!
Batiatus joins them at the ludus where Gaia and Lucretia have already begun to ply Varrus with flirting and wine. Varrus looks to be a little disturbed by Batiatus’ beaten face, but B is quick to cover with a believable explanation.
Ummmmm……I walked into a door.
He asks what brings Varrus to their fair city pretending he doesn’t already know. Gaia answers for the games and Batiatus tells Varrus that he has many fine men; would he like to see them? Lucretia tells B that Varrus has already decided to go with Booius Sissifus’ men. Oh, okay, B tells him; Sissifus will take good care of you.
And at great discount!
Hee! How clever of them to make it seem that Sissifus is selling off the clearance rack. Gaia does a good job of talking up Batiatus all the while letting him appear to be modest and unwilling to talk ill of another ludus. Not wanting to be thought cheap, Varrus decides to take a look at Batiatus’ men.
They head out to the balcony where Batiatus calls Gannicus forward to fight. But who will fight against him?
Pick me! Pick me!
Poor Ono, Gaia got the hots to see Crixus fight, and even though he has not yet passed the test of brotherhood, Varrus pressures Batiatus into agreeing to the fight. As they prepare for their bout, Varrus notices that they intend to fight with wooden swords. What? Toys?!? And so Batiatus agrees to have them fight with steel instead.
It’s a surprisingly tense battle given that it pits an experienced gladiator against a recruit still in training. But I guess Ono’s help has paid off because it seems like the Gaul is poised to win this one.
Not that Varrus is paying attention to that.
In the end, Gannicus recovers and Crixus lays at his feet, waiting to see if he is to live or die. It is Varrus’ whim that is to decide, but he lets Gaia choose. And because she has the hots for him, she decrees that Crixus should live. That would have been much tenser had season one not featured Crixus prominently.
B hopes to get a decision right then and there, but Gaia says he’s too weary from his travels; they should go inside and relax for a while. Varrus likes that idea and heads inside. Batiatus is not so happy with her machinations, but she points out that she knows the man well and this is the way to get him over to their side.
Oh, and one more thing. Once Varrus is in his cups he gets the urge for other pleasures. She counsels Batiatus to have Gannicus oiled, scented and presented in an hour. And off she goes to ply Varrus with drink and opium.
Down in the bowels of the ludus, Batiatus tells Doctore to have Gannicus prepared and brought to the villa. For what, Doctore wants to know. None of your fucking beeswax! Okay. Um, by the way, the Syrians came back without mine guy, what’s the deal with that? Oh, he got his just reward, and while we’re at it; give the Syrians the mark of brotherhood.
But what of the test?
Fuck the test!
But Batiatus isn’t done yet. He now tells Doctore that he’s to inform Ono that HE will be the new Doctore. Oh, poor Doctore.
The hour passes quickly and Gannicus is upstairs ready to be presented to Varrus. He asks Batiatus what is expected of him. Why to please Varrus of course. In what manner? In any manner of the man’s choosing. In fact, Batiatus is sick of being questioned by slaves and tells him, “If Varrus wishes you to suck his cock dry, you will savor every drop.”
Varrus is happy to see Gannicus presented to him.
Gannicus does not return the feeling.
Lucky for him, Varrus is too wasted to want to sample him for himself; instead he’d like to see a demonstration of Gannicus’ manliness in action. And so he chooses……..Melitta for Gannicus to fuck.
Lucretia starts to speak against it, but a touch on the shoulder from Batiatus silences her protest. It is interesting to see the moment where his ambition truly begins to corrupt her, and Lucy Lawless is flawless here.
Outside, Doctore gives the Syrians their unearned mark of brotherhood, the look of disgust on his face plainly evident for all to see. Ashur questions getting the mark without the oath and Doctore is ready to bash his brains in. When Ono speaks to stop him, Doctore orders that swords be brought. Now they will see if Ono has learned all that Doctore has to teach.
Given no choice, Gannicus must now fuck his best friend’s wife. The pain and humiliation rolls off them in waves; you can feel the anguish they both are going through because of this forced betrayal.
We cut back and forth, between the fight outside and the sex inside. Ono fights for his life without knowing why, and Gannicus has at last found a situation he can’t joke his way out of. Melitta lies there letting him do what he has to do until…..
Is it because of suppressed desire she has for Gannicus? Or maybe she wants to feel as if she has a choice within no choice. But either way, she gives herself over to this and I can only think that this is going to end badly. Very badly.
Outside, Ono continues to fight on and in the end he wins, killing his teacher.
Upstairs, just outside the curtained room of betrayal, he tells Batiatus what happened, how Doctore forced him to fight and how he killed the man even though he didn’t want to. Hell, he doesn’t even know why Doctore was so mad at him! Batiatus does, and tells him of how he told Doctore that Ono was to replace him. But what about the arena? Nope, he is needed elsewhere.
Sad horns for Ono (again)
Ono asks if he can see his wife, even though it’s not their normal time. Yup, just as soon as she’s done up here. (and maybe washes up just a bit).
The plan has worked because Varrus says he wants Gannicus for the primus in the games he is planning. Batiatus is happy to hear this, but cautions Melitta and Gannicus to keep quiet here because he know Ono will be hella pissed if he finds out.
And so, up in the villa Batiatus, Lucretia and Gaia celebrate.
While downstairs Ono assumes the mantle of Doctore with a heavy heart. Melitta joins him and he tells her that he has done a terrible thing. She tells him that they do what they must in this house as tears fall from her eyes.
Wow. What an incredible episode, Gasmi. Don’t you think? So much happened over the course of this chapter and yet it didn’t feel rushed at all. I love how they showed us how much Melitta, Ono and Gannicus care about each other, only to see them have to do things that will haunt them and probably come back to bite them in the ass later.
I love that Ono was able to give his teacher the end that he probably wanted (however unwillingly). You know Doctore would not want to live to see himself lowered in the eyes of his men. And I also really love that we see just how much Lucretia and Batiatus love each other, but how his ambition begins to eat away at them both, making them into what they’ve become by the time Spartacus arrives.
What did you think? Did you enjoy this chapter as much as the last? I hope I didn’t bore you too much with my long winded recap; there’s just SO MUCH going on here! Anyway, I hope you were able to hang in there with me, and that you’ll join me again next week. See you there!
When she isn't screaming curses at various dance show judges or washing her OWN mouth out with soap, PottyMouth is a proud mama to a gorgeous little boy. And yes, she knows everyone says that about their kids, but it's true when she says it. YES IT IS. Fuck you. She also laments throwing away the chance to be a trophy wife, and would like to find a rich husband so she can sit on her ass all day long and watch TV. If you are fabulously wealthy, look like Hugh Jackman (or ARE in fact Hugh Jackman), and are turned on by foul-mouthed, mature, slightly smooshy women, then she just may be the gal for you. Please send picture, references and your latest bank statement for review.