Spartacus: Vengeance Wrath of the Gods Review - Mania.com



Spartacus: Vengeance Wrath of the Gods Review

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  • Starring:: Liam McIntyre, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Barry Duffield, Ellen Hollman
  • Written By:: Steven S. DeKnight (creator)
  • Directed By:: Steven S. DeKnight
  • Studio:: Starz Media
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Spartacus: Vengeance Wrath of the Gods Review

The season finale goes out with a huge bang

By Tim Janson     April 01, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Warning: Minor Spoilers included!

The final episode of the first season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand was titled, “Kill Them All”.  That might as well have been the title of the season finale of Spartacus: Vengeance as we have the deaths of not one, not two, not three, not four, but five…and possibly even six…of the show’s main characters, not to mention a couple of recurring supporting characters.  These are characters that have been around from the beginning, several  in fact since the very first episode. I cannot recall a TV series with this extensive of a character purge in a single episode.  

Spartacus and his gladiators have been forced to retreat to Mt. Vesuvius.  Gaius Claudius Glaber (Craig Parker) is content to wait the rebellious slaves out and let them starve on the mountain rather than risk and attack where Spartacus holds the advantage of the higher ground.  Glaber’s tactic is changed when his wife Ilithyia (Viva Bianca) pleads with him to end the rebellion so her baby can be born back in Rome.  Spartacus knows he cannot wait any longer and must devise a dangerous strategy to attempt to defeat the Romans.

The machinations and treacheries of several characters are finally played out, and for some the results are disastrous.  To say that some of the more despised characters finally get what’s been coming to them would be a vast understatement.  As a fan I have to admit to having a mark out moment and giving a huge “HELL YEAH!” to Gannicus for what he did during the finale.  

“Wrath of the Gods” resolved the strained relationships between several of the characters before its conclusion including Gannicus and Oenomaus, Spartacus and Mira, and Crixus and Naevia.  Glaber, for all his bravado and arrogance, proves that ancient men, even those in authority such as the Roman Praetor, can be just as whipped as modern men by their wives.  Ultimately it is Ilithyia, whom Glaber was content to let die just a couple of episodes earlier, who pushes him to ultimate ruin.  And then there is Lucretia (Lucy Lawless)…Oh that conniving, crazy Lucretia.  The finale shows that despite the fact she was in show throughout the second season, she really did in fact die, for all intents and purposes, as the end of the first season.

The finale accomplishes a couple of main goals.  First, it effectively wraps up the main plotlines that were started back in the first season.  Secondly, with these plotlines wrapped up, and all of the non-essential characters killed off, it sets the table for season three to infuse the show with several new characters and take the show in a new direction.  Historically, this is the point where Spartacus eventually raises an army that included tens of thousands of former slaves forcing Rome to send some 50,000 thousand soldiers in response.  Whether or not season three will reflect that vast scope remains to be scene, but for the most part, Spartacus’ battle with Glaber at Mt. Vesuvius was historically accurate.   If the show follows history, Marcus Licinius Crassus should become the main antagonist next season.

“Wrath of the Gods” was also noteworthy for a couple of other reasons.  Liam McIntyre was put into the unenviable position of replacing Andy Whitfield as Spartacus.  A difficult prospect not only because Whitfield was so good, but also due to his tragic death due to cancer.  For most of the season, the writers have protected McIntyre by making the show much more action focused as well as having other characters such as Glaber, Illithyia, Ashur and Seppia get significant screen time.  McIntyre doesn’t have Whitfield’s presence or charisma, but the finale was his finest hour.  He displays a level of emotion that he hasn’t shown all season and his speech at the end of the episode was every bit as rousing as Whitfield’s at the end of season one.  The other thing noteworthy from the finale is that there wasn’t a single exposed boob in the entire episode.  For a show that has become as well known for its sex as much as its violence, the complete absence of the usual T&A was surprising.  And one other thing I want to make not of… Stephen Dunlevy who played the silent, Egyptian mercenary set a new standard for badass characters.  

“Wrath of the Gods” was everything a season finale should be…it was exciting, emotional, loaded with surprises, and whet our appetites for the next season.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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domino2008 4/1/2012 5:36:38 AM

Great show , even though i still miss Andy Whitfield , the recasting of Liam McIntyre in the role of Spartacus at first didnt set with Me well , but after the 7th show , He seem to be accepted by Me in the role. This season was mostly run / fight / run again  and finally regroup as an army . I was happy to see Gannicus back , and his confronting Oenomaus who's was captured by the Romans an broke down by Asher who informed him that Gannicus was banging his wife before she died. This seasons finale was awesome ! yeah I can say i was clapping an hooting at final half of the show . Yes, this show has bravado watching the final payback on certain characters was worth seeing and  watching Asher finally get screwed over by  the Romans. I thought everyone was going to stand in line to take a wack at Ashers head , but Navevia got the chance . Also alot  of the Heroes  got wasted  in tonites show , as well Mira who caught a ax in her cheast , an Oenomaus who in the last show lost an eye , tonight lost his life to the Egyptian mercenary , who Gannicus layed  open the Egyptians head with his  sword . In a strange scene with Lucretia and Ilithyia's baby was a bit freaky . Yes , history said Oenomaus died first in battle , then Crixis , but hope not for a another season . Cant wait till January for the new season 3 . Yeah ", Game of Thones" is a good show . It also made by HBO an has a big budget compared to this show  you cant compare the 2 shows and  each has its own following ,but  its like comparing apples an oranges. Spatacus , Spartacus , Spartacus........

ysidoro1701 4/1/2012 8:49:05 AM

Dude you should have given a huge warning before your post because you pretty much gave up everything about the episode

Ysidoro

doublec 4/1/2012 6:04:43 PM

Wouldn't the spoiler warning at the top of the article also apply to posts disussing the article?

ForgottenWarrior 4/2/2012 6:28:44 AM

I believe that was the best Season Finale I have ever seen of any show. It is going to be an interesting 3rd Season for Spartacus. 

 

FW2012

krakken 4/2/2012 6:32:23 AM

 This is a great show!  I wish more folks would give it a chance.  It doesn't get the buzz of GoT but is grand in its own right.  I wish they'd go back a little more to the S1 and S1.5 schemeing and manipulating though.  It provides for taught tension filled drama.  Loved it.  S2 had its share but not the same.  I will greatly miss all the characters they killed off.

Dedpool3678 4/2/2012 9:11:41 AM

THAT WAS EPIC!!! After this they have no choice but to go full on 300 in scope. Also, a friend of mine doesn't think we've seen the end of Lucretia, for as she put it "She's a cockroach, She could survive a nuclear winter".

violator14 4/2/2012 11:16:56 AM

All i hope is Gannicus never dies.

tjanson 4/2/2012 12:00:07 PM

Gannicus Rocks.  My favorite character on the show.  Dedpool...well maybe Lucretia will return as a ghost and haunt Ilithyia...If Ilythia survives that is!

ddiaz28 4/4/2012 5:29:54 PM

I read that a producer confirmed that Ilythia does indeed die at the end tjanson.  I figured she did seeing as Lucretia gave here an insane Roman C-section.  Looks like they are wiping the slate clean of villains in order to introduce Ceasar and Crassu as the main baddies.  I was bummed that Mira died.  She really became a great character on top of being amazing to look at.  Don't think Spartacus will be having any more love interests anytime soon.  Amazing finale all in all.

FlannelAnimal 4/4/2012 8:41:30 PM

OH MAN!!!!!  what a show!!  Best episode of the season....and that is saying something because every single episode this season was AMAZING!  I am continuously shocked and thrilled everyweek!  I will have some withdrawls this friday :(
 

I agree Violator, Ganicus should never die!  love that guy.

 

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