Okay, I'm hooked. I've never seen an episode of the Starz series Spartacus before, but upon watching the first episode of season two, I can honestly tell you that I am 100 percent hooked on this show. Spartacus: Vengeance will seduce you with its style, violence, and sex.
With the new episode “Fugitivus,” the story picks up where the first season, Blood and Sand, left off. After escaping the bloody mess at the House of Batiatus, Spartacus and the gladiator rebellion are killing Roman soldiers and striking fear into the heart of the Roman Republic. Praetor Claudius Glaber and his troops are sent to Capua to finish Spartacus and his small army of freed slaves off once and for all. Spartacus is having to decide whether to satisfy his need for vengeance against the man who put his wife into slavery, or make the necessary sacrifices to keep the small and fragile army together.
I won't give away any plot spoilers, but I can tell you what to expect from this episode – whether you've seen the show before or not. Spartacus: Vengeance has a bit of a 300 feel to its combat. The way it is filmed makes it look gritty and dark, and there's excessive amounts of blood. It's not uncommon to watch blood slowly spray away from a slashing sword in slow motion. Also, while the amount of blood that is spilled can be seen as excess, it works perfectly for the style of combat and violence that the show uses. Yea, it doesn't look real, but it's not supposed to.
What threw me off a little was the amount of nudity and sex in the show. I knew it would be present, but not as much as it was. In no way am I complaining about having to watch beautiful women (seriously, all of the women in the show are gorgeous) strut around in open, draping dresses, or just completely nude. In one episode, I witnessed men and women kissing or having sex; oral sex; women bathing each other; women kissing each other; penises; men performing fellatio on one another; sex with masks on; a woman walking by with a strap-on (I like where this is going), and then using it on a man (never mind…I don't); and a guy climaxing – OH MY GOD HE GOD STABBED IN THE THROAT MID-CLIMAX!
That's right, there's a fight scene during an orgy – and it's glorious. The amount of throat-slitting action is just pure bliss. Oh, and there's a part where someone is having their intestines pulled out.
Liam McIntyre, replacing the late Andy Whitfield, does an excellent job in the role of Spartacus and makes the character his own. He goes between anger and compassion seamlessly, and when he gets emotional, he flexes the most manly tears ever. He also pulls off the combat sequences like a champ. Liam has great chemistry with Manu Bennett, Crixus, and it's great that he can pick up where Andy left off and not miss a beat.
The dialogue is an odd mix between language one would expect from that Roman period and modern curse words. It adds a contemporary element to the show that makes it edgy. The first time I heard them drop an F-bomb, I thought, “I don't think that fits in.” By the end of the episode, it felt natural.
“Fugitivus” has some awesome action, sex, and some surprises in store for you. I'll definitely be watching from now on. If you're looking to get into Spartacus: Vengeance, and not in the Roman orgy way, then don't forget to watch Season 2 of Spartacus, Fridays at 10 PM, only on Starz.