Stars: Lucy Lawless, Liam McIntyre, Manu Bennett, Peter Mensah, Viva Bianca, Craig Parker
Writer:
Seamus Kevin Fahey, Created by Steven S. DeKnight
Director: Jesse Warn
Network: STARZ, airs Friday nights
Original Telecast: March 16, 2012

I was not a person who initially liked the original SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND. I admit to only having watched the first three-fourths of the pilot (before Lucy Lawless and John Hannah even appeared on screen) and I was so unimpressed that I shut it off and didn’t return to the show until DVD. Once I got into it, I was hooked. I had marathons of whole chunks of the first season until late into the night more than once. Then when GODS OF THE ARENA came out I was even more entertained.

VENGEANCE however, is so inconsistent with its ability to hold my attention span that I really vacillate back and forth on whether I like this new season or am just sort of indifferent to it, and “Balance” isn’t really an exception.

I honestly think one of the things that made the first two series of SPARTACUS great were the chemistry between the cast. John Hannah not being a part of this second season of the story moving forward is a huge detriment and the show’s ability to keep me in front of the screen. I understand that he was killed off in the end of season one, and the prequel was pretty much the only way to have more of a storyline with Batiatus (Hannah’s character) but he was such a likeable bastard that no in this new season even comes close.

Turning the reins of the bad guy role over to Glaber (Craig Parker) in this season has elevated him from his thuggish role in the original to being the main bad guy in Spartacus’ (Liam McIntyre) life. Let’s face it folks, the way that Glaber is written, he’s just a two dimensional villain. He doesn’t have all of the amazing and unexpected levels that Batiatus had, and really he’s just on screen to give audiences someone to root for to die. This is not a slight on the actor himself, but more on the material he has been given to work from.

A couple of episodes ago we were treated to the rape of Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) at the hands of Ashur (Nick Tarabay), and just in case you forgot that she really wasn’t having sex with him voluntarily, the writers threw in another rape in this episode. Do we really need to see it again?! Everyone already hates Ashur, I don’t think showing him continually raping Lucretia is going to add that many levels of hate and death wishing for his character.

Illithyia (Viva Bianca) gets offered to Spartacus by Gannicus (Dustin Clare) as a way to take vengeance on Glaber and have peace, but in the course of the episode, Spartacus learns that Glaber really could give two figs about his beach ball devouring wife, and sets her free in the forest.

The only interesting thing to see for the last couple of episodes is whether Spartacus gets to Glaber before Seppia (Hanna Mangan Lawrence) figures out a way to do him in. Now that Lucretia has presented her with evidence of Seppia’s brother’s misfortune at the hands of Glaber’s men…all bets are off as to who is getting out alive.

I want to love this series as much as I loved the original two, but this just doesn’t have the fire and drive that the first couple did. And…why does Spartacus smile so much? For a man consumed by vengeance and a need to punish the Roman Empire, he seems so perky. I don’t remember him being the least bit happy in the first series and now he’s supposed to be even more hardened…so what gives with the smiles from time to time?

Related Link: Exclusive Interview with SPARTACUS: VENGEANCE star Manu Bennett

Related Link: Exclusive Interview with SPARTACUS VENGEANCE producer Robert Tapert on the latest season

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Article Source:Assignment X 
Article: TV Review – Spartacus: Vengeance – “Balance”

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Comments:

  1. I totally agree with your comment, what I would like to see is the writter bring “Batiatus back! we love this charater.Healing from a neck injury.I would also like to see A love hate relationship between Illithia and Spartacus.Then watch the rateing soar!

    Patricia
  2. Pingback: American Horror Story: Our Wish List For The DVD/Blu-Ray Sets – News Maniac

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