I started watching this show because I pay attention to all things Romans these days. That’s because my book coming out next month, Dinah of Seneca, deals with alternate history Romans and I’m working on its sequel. My world is not that close to the world of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, as Dinah is set in a world where Romans and Vikings have settled North America, but it does deal with similar elements of slavery, destiny and free will.
So to watch the first season of Spartacus was a real treat. And, yes, I’ve watched the finale twice now.
The first time because I was on the edge of my seat to see what happened.
The second time to appreciate the smaller moments and the cleverness of the writers.
Overall, this was an *excellent* way to complete the plot and character arcs that have built over the season. It’s so good, it’s almost textbook and I’m going to have to remember it when I write the climax of Dinah’s sequel.
The parallels between Spartacus and Crixus were made crystal clear in the conversation between the two men. Both men were sold into slavery against their will. Both men drank the kool-aid about the glory of being a gladiator, both men lost the women they loved tragically. Both want to right this wrong.
Their conversation is just a wonderful end to the story arc about their rivalry. And I just loved the moment where Crixus helps Spartacus leap to his target. Beautiful choreography.
I also loved that Mira was allowed the choice of whether to take destiny into her own hands or not. Why does she love Spartacus? He’s someone honorable who actually sees her as a person. He saved her from rape. He didn’t want to use her as a prize for good behavior or to practice his sexual technique. When Spartacus finally made love to her, he did it because he liked her and wanted to please her.
He may not love her but it’s easy to see why Mira thought Spartacus worthy of her concern. And she’s had enough of being used like a toy by the Romans.
Spartacus himself seems to have regained his dignity and feeling of self-worth. He no longer believes because his wife is dead, he should be dead. He’s found purpose. Of course, his purpose is in killing them all…but still. 🙂
The brother gladiators had such a nice, tragic moment.
Asher and Doctore were a long-time coming. The writers let two of our villains live. I completely agree with one but I really wanted to see Asher dead, dead, dead. Doctore deserved some satisfaction.
And other nice bit of writing: Batiatus suffers exactly the same loss as Spartacus did at the beginning of the series. Batiatus has lost his community, he’s lost his home, he’s lost his wife, and all his efforts to save them are to no avail against a superior foe. And I LOVE that the writers took Batiatus’ own words to Spartacus about fighting in the arena and had Spartacus say them to Batiatus before he killed him.
However, I heard through the grapevine that Lucy Lawless will be back next season–if there is a next season. Now, that’s a surprise. I thought her ending nicely done, especially with how Crixus finally stood up for himself against her. He has been repeatedly raped by this women. She’s taken away the person he loves most in the world. And she expected Crixus to love her?
I love the gender reversal in this.
Still, if Lucretia lives, she’ll get to take revenge on her former BFF. 🙂
I want more of this story. I don’t know when I’ll get it as Andy Whitfield, who plays Spartacus, is still being treated for non-Hodgkins lymphoma. I am guessing it is very serious. Get well, sir. You deserve to enjoy your success.