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Spartacus: Gods of the Arena - Episode Two: Missio Review

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Written by : published Tuesday 29th March 2011

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An exciting, excellently-plotted second episode of Gods of the Arena ended with possibly the most gut-wrenching moment in the Spartacus saga so far. Shocked and repulsed, we watched as, for the entertainment of a high-powered magistrate, Gannicus was forced to have sex with Melitta, the wife of his best friend, Oenomaus.

 

Earlier in the episode Melitta had warned carefree Gannicus that eventually he will be forced to do something he won't be able to joke off, and this was it - in the extreme. The scene was intense and difficult-to-watch and was made all the more infuriating by the lack of freewill Melitta and Gannicus had over the situation. As slaves in the house of Batiatus, the pair were void of choice, as Melitta told her unknowing husband later: “We do what we must in this house.”

 

For a moment it looked as though Lucretia might step in and save the pair from committing the horrible act, but she was hushed by her husband Batiatus, who began to prove himself a real villain in this episode. It's hard to say what the repercussions will be. Batiatus warned Gannicus and Melitta that speaking about what happened would “see brotherhood shattered and a husband lost”, so whether Oenomaus will discover the truth is uncertain. The only thing that looks certain is that after such a traumatic experience, it's doubtful that Gannicus or Melitta will ever be the same again.

 

Let's not forget that while this was going on, Melitta's quiet, thoughtful husband Oenomaus was fighting for his life against the very man who trained him to be a gladiator. Following a series of disagreements throughout Missio, Doctore had just been told he was relieved of his duties and that Oenomaus was to take his place as gladiator trainer. Angry and in need of a damn good fight, Doctore forced Oenomaus to fight him to the death, a battle which didn't end well for either party.

 

With Doctore dead, Oenomaus riddled with guilt, and Gannicus and Melitta emotionally destroyed, did anyone come out on top in Missio, I hear you ask?

 

Ashur and Dagan were both 'awarded' the mark of the Brotherhood for their part in Batiatus' scheme to ensure the position of primus at the upcoming games. We'll have to wait until next week to see how the other gladiators react to the pair, as they didn't face the Final Test or take the Oath of the Brotherhood. Their elevations to the status of gladiator feels hollow and meaningless.

 

Following last week's gruesome beating at the hands of Tillius and Vettius, Batiatus shook off his injuries to concoct a devious plan which saw a gruesome back-alley brawl lead to death and betrayal. By Missio's conclusion, it was clear that Batiatus wasn't going to back down in his quest to succeed, and with a brain as devious and quick as his, it is only a matter of time before Tillius feels his wrath, as young Vettius did this episode.

 

Despite ruining a few lives in the course of a single day, Batiatus celebrated his accomplishments with a good old threesome with Lucy Lawless and Jaime Murray – not bad for a day's work.

 

Crixus' story also continues to develop. Surprised with an opportunity to show off his newly-learned fighting skills in a match against Gannicus, Crixus shocks the entire ludus with his aggressive, hungry approach, particularly the House champion who almost falls at the Gaul's hand.

 

This really was a fantastic episode of Gods of the Arena. Emotional, visceral entertainment with a shocking ending that will leave you feeling a little bit empty inside, but also excited for what's to come.

 

 

9/10

 

About the author JakeCunliffe125

JakeCunliffe125

I am a first year Journalism student studying at Huddersfield University. So far so good.

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