PREVIOUSLY ON SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA – we had long awaited beatdowns! long awaited threesomes! death! betrayal! hot sex! tragic sex! And Barca pissed in the porridge. Bad Barca, no biscuit.
Our army of hot mens is assembling in the ludus for a triumphant announcement from Batty – Gannicus will fight in the primus of the opening games at the new arena! Gannicus looks uber emo at the mention of the awesome performance that won him this honor, namely, the boning of his beffie’s wife. Melitta similarly tries not to look nauseated and fails. SIGH. Oenomaus’ ascension to Doctore is also announced, to wild cheering, because let’s face it, everyone fucking loves his fine ass.
On their way back inside, Doctore compliments Gannicus on his manly prowess, which was surely what impressed Varis, right? Right guys? I mean, surely. The look on Gannicus’ face is guilt times 9000. Luckily, Doctore thinks the reason Gann can’t meet his eyes is because of jealousy at his new position. You go right on thinking that, babe. Trust me.
Upstairs in the villa, what time is it? THAT’S RIGHT Y’ALL. IT’S ORGY TIME. Everyone is crunked and naked, of which 2 out of 3 are pleasant to behold. Gaia appears to be wearing a La Perla nightie, the hotness of which does not make up for having to watch her make out with Batiatus, demonstrably the least sexy person on this show.
Slo mo boning and wanking and nipple be-wining begins, to our old friends the waily guitars, when suddenly A CHALLENGER APPEARS. It’s a grey-haired man in a traveling cloak who inexplicably does not like what he sees. Sorry Bats, but it looks like Daddy’s home and you’re gonna be grounded for life. Hats (and pants) off to Gaia, who just stands there bareassed, drunk, and giggling.
What follows is the lecture we’ve all certainly heard our share of. Who among us hasn’t whiled the day away at our dad’s gladiator training school having drunken orgies, after all? Don’t even front.
Titus is not happy with what he’s seen and heard, dear me no. It looks like good Solonius is a blabbermouth, and wrote to Titus to tell tales about the ruckus with Tullius and Vettius. Oh no he dint.
OH YES HE DID. Titus rightfully points out that no disagreement with someone like Tullius can possibly be a minor one, something which should be obvious. Titus isn’t mad, though. No, he’s just disappointed. I like him already, ngl.
Titus is sad that baby Batty is just not living up to his potential. He knows Bats never wanted to be a simple lanista, he was always too ambitious. Batty tries to defend himself by snottily announcing his recent awesomeosity – winning the favour of Quintilius Varis and having Gannicus fight in the primus.
But no, nothing is ever good enough for Daddy. Titus is disbelieving, suspicious, and finally derisive of the very thought that Gannicus could ever be good enough. Batty literally gnashes his teeth with rage as Titus swans off to “see to his men”, and I snicker obnoxiously at his surly little faaaace.
WHOSE HOUSE? SAY WHAT? TITUS’ HOUSE! AW YEAH.
Lucretia is running around like a maniac, trying to get everything just so. Come on, Luce baby, do you really think a nice cup of honeyed wine is going to make your father in law forget that he walked in on a drunken orgy? Gaia is also amused by this suggestion, cackling at the very thought of even attempting to appear chaste and ladylike. That’s my girl.
Titus is unimpressed by both the girls, giving Gaia the epic stinkeye when she tries to remind him that they’ve met before. No, sweetie, he totally remembers seeing his son lick wine off your tits just a few short hours ago. As do we all.
Down in the ludus, Ashur and Dagan still haven’t fucking learned, and I despair of them ever doing so. Why are you fucking morons taking food from Barca? Don’t you see the jackass grin on his face? Seriously, I’d piss in your porridge too if you were that idiotically trusting with me. But no. Ashur really thinks they’re one of the guys now. Ash, dude. Recognize. No one thinks you’re a real gladiator, including me, and no matter how many people you betray and scheme against and shank in the dark of night, you will never ever be one. SO THERE.
Oenomaus, unused to his new Doctore status, goes to sit down amongst the men to eat, and emoface Gannicus reminds him that this is just not on. Oenomaus earnestly insists that they will always be beffies no matter what, and I weep a single perfect tear. OH BOYS.
Before their emofest can continue, Titus comes down to greet his men after his long absence, and this is where his true character becomes apparent. He’s genuinely pleased to see them, and it’s obvious that he cares for them as individuals and not just as money-making slaves – unlike Batty, who is all too eager to whore them out and send them to their deaths for his own personal gain. (This is because Titus is a Good Person and Batty is a Dickhead, in case you were wondering.) Titus is truly delighted to see his old friend Oenomaus, and the two scamper off together happily, leaving a prune-faced Batiatus alone and unloved. Hee.
Later that evening, a nightie-clad Batty and Lucretia whine together in a clearly suboptimal bedroom about how tragic their lives have suddenly become. Titus is clearly planning to ruin all their funtimes, sobbity and woe. Lucretia is sure that Titus will see reason, but Batty is determined to sulk, as per usual. How she puts up with his diaper baby bullshit is beyond me. Apparently she’s really and truly in love with him, which is just sad. DTMFA, BABE. Anyway, she reminds Batty that even if Titus doesn’t come around, his health will eventually force him to head back to Sicilia and more comfortable climes.
So basically odds are in favour of a timely accident. Sigh.
The next morning, Titus is out on the balcony bright and early to watch the men practice. He and Melitta are happy to see one another, and she gives her first genuine smile of the entire episode.
Meanwhile, Oenomaus is starting out his first day as Doctore, and things are not going as swimmingly as he’d hoped. The men are just not used to taking orders from him, and are mouthing off like whoa. Titus jumps in to save the day, at the expense of Oenomaus’ leadership, and I think I see O’s lower lip tremble ever so slightly. *weeps*
Barca is so not interested in being paired with Crixus, and delivers a humiliating smackdown, over and over again. Crixus, Gladiator of My Heart, earnestly decides it will be a good learning experience, and tosses his hair gamely. He’s not much of a match for Barca’s giant spear (lulz), alas.
Titus is totally unimpressed at the sight of a hungover Gannicus, stumbling off into the shade. Nor is he particularly overwhelmed with glee at the sight of his son, similarly hungover, staggering out onto the balcony with a lame excuse for his tardiness. And he is definitely not happy about the price paid for Crixus, or about the prospect of Barca accompanying them to market as a bodyguard. There’s just no pleasing Daddy today, Bats. Why not just go back to bed?
But no, they must away to the market! Where, embarrassingly enough, Titus is meeting with Tullius, to apologize for his son’s rash behavior. Ouch.
This bit is pretty painful to watch. I quite like Titus as a character, because he’s very obviously meant to be a decent human being – a polar opposite of his son in every possible way. And while this means he has little ambition, it also means he’s sadly fawning towards those of higher station, such as Tullius. He seriously seems just moments away from tugging his forelock and calling Tullius guv’nor.
Tullius does seem happy to see Titus, but we all know how much of a dick he is underneath. Who even knows if he’s being sincere? Vettius, however, is having none of this. No, he’s too busy being a little bitchass, as per usual. I guess having a bunch of slaves piss on his face made him short-tempered. Tee hee.
In fact, crybaby Vettius decides to tattle to Titus, insisting that Batty was responsible for his epic beatdown and for the subsequent poaching of Varis. Which, let’s face it, is totally true. Batty denies it, of course, and the two brats bitch at each other until Titus tells him to fuck off to the market.
It’s kind of sad that Titus doesn’t even consider asking for Batty’s side of the story, nor does he see any point in trying to defend him. He’s much more interested in mending fences with a wealthy man about town. Regardless, he’s still the better man.
Back at the ludus, man, is Crixus getting his ass kicked. Blood and spittle are flying everywhere and Barca nearly kebabs him at the cliffside. Oh Crixus. You’ll be the prettiest girl at the ball someday, don’t fret!
Oenomaus and Gannicus, watching his defeat, hatch a plot to help him be less sucky. Gannicus will give him championtastic advice and everything will be hugs and puppies, right? No, because Crixus is a stubborn fuck. He’d rather take beatings from Barca over helpful words from Gannicus. Sigh. To demonstrate his advice, Gannicus challenges Barca to a fight and proceeds to school his ass like nobody’s business.
Upstairs in the villa, Varis arrives unexpectedly, with a guest – Cossutius the notorious eyeliner addict. Old Cossy has heard intriguing tales of the garden of earthly delights within the House of Batiatus, and has come to sample them himself. And OH MY GOD if he fucks Melitta too I am going to go on a tri-state killing spree. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Lucretia tries to ward off the inevitable by saying that the last porntastic evening was a special occasion, not to be repeated, but when Varis the Douchebag threatens to back out of the primus and go with Vettius instead, she’s forced to agree. Yeah, this can’t end well.
Luce manages to keep Melitta from another miserable rape-filled evening, but instead offers a choice of Naevia or Diona, the virgins. (As I predicted, tyvm.) The lucky girl will be fucked by the gladiator of Cossutius’ choice, and, wtf, the girls actually look excited.
Baby Batty Babypants is sitting in the marketplace, lying in wait for Solonius. Before Bats can get his rant on, Solonius butts in to bitch about the beatdown of Vettius. Since Solonius was the one who brought Batty that news, he’s afraid Tullius will suspect he had a part in the incident, but Batty’s too busy carping about how Solonius betrayed him to his own father to even notice. These two idiots deserve each other, my god.
Tullius, Titus, and Vettius end their meeting, and Vet walks off with Solonius to ominously “discuss recent events”. Is another beatdown imminent? OHOHO. Batty trails off after his dad whining about how Tullius and Vettius are big meanyfaces who were meeen to him, so meeen! BUT WAIT, it’s about to get worse, dude.
Titus explains that he’s agreed that Gannicus will not appear in the primus after all. Batiatus is expected to lie to Varis, claiming Gann was injured during practice, and Varis will use Vettius’ men instead. OH CRUEL CURSED FATE, IN SIGHT OF HEAVEN! Batty has a full-on tantrum, and bitch gets told. Instead of pwning the primus of the opening games, Batty now has his men fighting one another in the middle of the afternoon the very next day in the old arena – Barca vs Gnaeus and Auctus vs Crixus. He also receives yet another lecture on attempting to reach above his station, which, wtf Titus. Why you so whipped?
Back at the villa, some bad shit is about to go down. Cossutius has chosen a filthy, scarred gladiator to fuck the unlucky slave girl, and specifically requests that he not be bathed. He also wants to check out the ladies beforehand, so Diona and Naevia are told to strip. They’re somewhat less excited now. As they hold hands in fear, Cossutius casually jams his hand in each of their twats, eventually choosing Diona, for “she’s considerably tighter”. Um, did not want.
Filthy gladiator dude fucks her while she whimpers is what is clearly not pleasure, and Cossutius the creeper smilingly informs Diona that he chose a filthy gladiator dude specifically to show her how much life sucks. Yep, this show is full of creeper douchebags. When licking up her tears is no longer enough of a turn on for him, he decides to rape her ass while she rides filthy gladiator dude. ARGH SHOW STOPPIT.
An oblivious Gaia and Varis are flirting outside in the triclinium as Cossutius returns with a dickish smile of satisfaction on his jerkface. He and Varis run off to some pressing business, but not before renewing their promise for Gannicus’ presence in the primus. These fuckers are like junior high school girls with their petty little games, and I want to put gum in their hair and sardines in their lockers. Diona, meanwhile, staggers out of the room all bruised and filthy and clearly hating life, and can barely meet Naevia’s concerned eyes.
Barca and Auctus are strolling through the ludus, discussing their parts in the opening games and play fighting in the hallway. Before their roughhousing can lead to wild sexytimes, they notice that the cages which held their pet pigeons have been smashed, and most of the pigeons are missing. Whatever has happened?
O SNAP. Ashur and Dagan are outside, eating the goddamn pigeons. Naturally a wild brawl must follow. IT IS SPARTYLAW. Ashur, getting his ass handed to him by Auctus, shouts to Crixus for help, but Crix ain’t having none of that shit. Good choice, baby. You’re so much better than that.
The fight quickly devolves into a free-for-all of sweaty gladiator madness. Oenomaus throws himself into the brawl, trying to pull the men apart, but it’s too far gone for him to do anything but get an elbow to the face. OHNOES HIS BEAUTIFUL FAAACE.
Of fucking COURSE this is the exact moment when Titus rolls up, already irritated from spending the afternoon with his douchebag son. Oh man, Daddy’s not happy. These kinds of shenanigans are why they’re not fighting in the primus! Gannicus, realizing that he fucked his beffie’s wife for nothing, is understandably crushed.
Down in the baths, the men laugh about the pairings for the fights the next day, and we get our millionth glance at Crixus’ cock a-swing. I don’t even notice it anymore, ffs. Manu Bennett, you are my forever girl. You and your constantly swinging cock. ILUSM. Gannicus, however, is awash with existential darkness over his loss of the primus, yet he still manages to genuinely congratulate Crixus. I am reluctantly liking him more and more each episode. WTF self, how embarrassing.
The next morning, the four chosen fighters get ready for the afternoon’s matches. The three gladiators are in a great mood, ready to brawl, but Crixus has a wooby little look on his face. Sigh. Gannicus gives him a matey little nod to make him feel better, but it doesn’t do much good.
Up on the balcony, Titus is in a much better mood, and ready to go, with a few words of derision for Crixus. Titus sees the day’s fights as an excellent opportunity to discover who trained the better man, he or his son. Batty sulks, because he can’t do much else.
Barca and Gnaeus put on an impressive show, sword vs spear. There’s plenty of slo-mo leaping and slashing to go about. Back in the cells, Crixus is hyperventilating quietly, despite Oenomaus’ attempt at encouraging words. I think maybe dying well is not his greatest concern right now, dude.
Batty’s little rallying speech goes over much better. Crixus looks well determined (although still terribly wooby) to kick some major ass, but idk if I see it happening. Oh well. At least we know he doesn’t die, right?
Barca flings a defeated Gnaeus into the crowd with a delighted flourish, and prepares to cut his throat should the crowd command it. Varis, still perved out from the previous day’s slave rape, decides to grant life, and Gnaeus lays shamefaced in the dirt. Whatevs, dude, you’re a gay rapist dickhead anyway, and even though you’d be better off dead now, I still totes enjoyed the scene where Spartacus threw you off that cliff. SO THERE.
Over on the dais, Tullius tells Titus he’s to announce the final fight, something Batty would’ve killed for, but Titus is unwilling to overstep his station. GOOD GOD MAN, SHOW SOME BACKBONE! As an unashamedly narcissistic person, I am getting hella impatient with his epic humility.
The crowd boos poor bitty Crixus, because even back then, no one liked the French, and cheers Auctus, because it’s really just not Crixus’ day today. And it’s ON.
Crixus is still having trouble fighting against a spear-wielder, and Auctus presses him to full advantage, taking first and second blood. Things are not looking good for Our Man From Gaul. Auctus makes a slo-mo leap of death onto a downed Crixus, ready to impale him like whoa, but OHOHO! Auctus’ spear is caught in Crixus’ shield, and that’s when Crixy makes his move.
With one wild lunge-and-roll, Crixus breaks the spear and disarms Auctus of his teeny spare sword. He nabs Auctus’ helmet to use as a shield, and in one quick movement, Auctus is run through. I DID NOT SEE THIS COMING, Y’ALL. Not one bit. The crowd is as stunned as I am, and Crixus experiences his first taste of fame, he’s gonna live forever, he’s gonna learn how to fly HIGH. Barca wibbles manfully in the cell window, and Titus is forced to admit that Crixus was more skilled that he imagined.
Back at the ludus, Crixus receives the Mark of the Brotherhood amidst matey backslappings and brohugs. Even Barca tells him he was boss, and then presumably goes off to weep stoic mantears.
Batty prances into Titus’ office to congratulate himself, and Titus, being the better man, agrees that he underestimated both Crixus and Batty. Batty, the eternal dumbass, thinks this speech of renewed confidence means that Titus will return to Sicilia and leave Batty in charge. BUT NO. Oh, irony.
Titus sees this as a way to do some srs bznss father-son bonding, now that Batty finally knows his place as a humble lanista. Together they will have the bestest best ludus ever, until Titus’ dying day!
Yeah. Famous last words, I assume. GODDAMMIT.
NEXT WEEK: Gannicus pouts! Crixus kicks ass! Batty schemes! Oenomaus whips! And what’s this? I do believe sexy orgy times have gotten a bit out of hand, don’t you? Hmm, yes.