Stars: Lucy Lawless, John Hannah, Peter Mensah, Dustin Clare, Jaime Murray
Writer: Steven S. DeKnight
Director: Rick Jacobson
Network: Starz, airs Friday nights
Original Telecast: February 25th, 2010

This is the last episode of SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA, entitled “The Bitter End”, and boy oh boy do some of the things in this episode leave characters bitter.

Titus (Jeffrey Thomas) has now gone to walk with the Gods, leaving the House of Batiatus to his son Batiatus (John Hannah) and Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) to continue to move themselves into the positions of status and power they end up with in the original series. A side note here that the body of Titus, laid out for the mourning was an amazing construct! It looked incredibly real and the FX team should be congratulated on their work.

Titus of course was killed off by Lucretia, and it seems that Batiatus himself will never know of that treachery. He mourns his father as any good son would do, and longs for the day (which is soon in the coming) when he can avenge himself on the killer, Tilius (Steven Lovatt). Please keep in mind that while Tilius didn’t poison the wine that killed Titus and Melitta (Marisa Ramirez),  he did kill Gaia (Jamie Murray) so he’s not exactly innocent. In fact I would be willing to wager that most of the audience is like me in the fact that we’ve spent since the first episode waiting for Tilius’ death with baited breath.

Solonius (Craig Walsh Wrightson) goes from trusted friend and co-conspirator to Batiatus’ schemes, to being his rival that we knew him as from the first series. It seems that Batiatus’ goading and belittling of the man forced him to make his own power play and to become the snake of a man we knew in BLOOD AND SAND. It was interesting that once again Batiatus was responsible for this roadblock that showed up later on in his life.

Gannicus (Dustin Clare) fights for the House of Batiatus in the opening games of the new arena, and comes out champion. He gets his freedom as a reward, and goes on his way, which I can’t help but think he will return for the second season of SPARTACUS. He was a great character and I hope we get to see him again.

Crixus (Manu Bennett) finally became the gladiator that we all knew he would in this last episode. He also betrayed Ashur (Nick Tarabay) in this episode and set the stage for all of the problems and tensions of BLOOD AND SAND.

Ultimately, this prequel mini-series (or is series event) was a very satisfying a well-produced addition to the SPARTACUS franchise. It is equal to the original series, and it even had a bookend with Batiatus and Lucretia laying in pools of blood at the end – once again reminding the audience that they are not heroes to be held aloft, but rather villains who ended up with their just desserts.

AGREE? DISAGREE? Leave a comment below and let us know what YOU thought about this episode.

CLICK HERE for AX’s exclusive interview with SPARTACUS star PETER MENSAH

CLICK HERE for AX’s exclusive interview with SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA Dustin Clare

CLICK HERE for Part 1 of ASSIGNMENT X’s exclusive interview with GODS OF THE ARENA creator Steven S. DeKnight

CLICK HERE for Part 2 of ASSIGNMENT X’s exclusive interview with SPARTACUS creator Steven S. DeKnight

CLICK HERE for Part 3 of ASSIGNMENT X’s exclusive interview with SPARTACUS creator Steven S. DeKnight as he talks about what Season Two of the series will be

CLICK HERE for ASSIGNMENT X’s exclusive interview with GODS OF THE ARENA star LUCY LAWLESS


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  1. I too thought this was very well done. As an avid fan, I wondered if this prequel would be any good without Andy Whitfield, but it definitely exceeded my expectations. All the back story on the characters was fascinating. And surely, I’m not the only one who fell hard for Gannicus!!

    Jennifer S

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