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'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' nostalgia recap: Only doing as commanded

Season 1 | Episode 12 | “Revelations” | Aired Apr 16, 2010

The last episodes of Spartacus have done a great job of setting up aspects of the climactic endgame, and episode 12 is no exception. It feels like the appetizer prior to the main course. Relationships are tested; old enemies resurface as Spartacus starts plotting his assault on the House of Batiatus.

Crixus desires to be Champion again

Much of this episode is about Crixus, so it’s rather fitting that the episode begins with him, at the top of his game returning victorious to the arena. We also see that Solonius, facing “justice” for his crime, is set to fight Spartacus in the arena. While he’s no match for Spartacus, there is a great moment between the two where Solonius tells him Batiatus is the real villain and Spartacus tells him he will join him—right before decapitating him. After last week’s episode, Spartacus is determined to seek complete vengeance on Batiatus and his actions against Sura. He, rightfully, feels betrayed and wants revenge.

This episode also marks the return of Illythia and Glaber, who returns to discuss the notion of patronage with Batiatus. Ambition is one thing that Batiatus has always been after and if Glaber grants him patronage, then he will become far more powerful than ever. Political power is something he craves more than anything. It’s also shocking that this episode, portraying a really greedy side of Batiatus, can still show a legitimately heartwarming moment—when he discovers that Lucretia is pregnant. Director Michael Hurst and Hannah and Lawless somehow make this moment genuinely moving; they’ve talked about forging a family so much that the news and the response feel earned.

Since this episode deals with ambition, Ashur definitely ascends to higher rankings within the House of Batiatus as he is now his right hand man. With Ashur being given new authoritative power, Batiatus asks him about possible requests, and because he hates Crixus and is always scheming, he asks for Naevia. While Ashur has always been attracted to Naevia and always hated Crixus, writer Brent Fletcher pays off this dynamic with devastating consequences at the end of the episode.

Mira hears ideas of rebellion from Spartacus

One thing that this episode also does well is that it skillfully plants the seeds of rebellion Spartacus has. During a scene with Mira, he tells her his plan, and she responds that if one slave kills their master then every slave will die. Consequences have always been a part of Spartacus’s life but upon witnessing Aurelia’s fate he decides to reason what would be best instead of thinking on instinct. That Aurelia has to basically subject herself to slavery to pay off Varro’s debts is absolutely tragic, even more so because she had to remove her baby.

This also creates more of a personal stake for Spartacus; now he would be responsible for the death of his best friend’s wife. He would be breaking the promise he made to Varro and that is something he can’t deal with. This does a great job of bringing back the military tactician Spartacus and hiding the more impulsive version of him. Instead of rushing in to kill Batiatus, like he was going to were it not for the fact that he saw Aurelia, he will take his time and plan it out, talking his fellow brothers into joining his cause. It’s a great strategy and does a great job of showcasing his military strategic moves.

Glaber forces Spartacus to fight his troops

One of the most significant events in this episode is the arrival of Legatus Glaber, showing his complete disappointment with the violence in the city. Upon arriving, obviously the big thing that Batiatus is looking for is patronage, and because Glaber is just as ambitious as Batiatus, he asks for a favor: have Spartacus, because he still holds a grudge against him, defeat his troops (in one of the most exciting fights of the season). It escalates so quickly but it pays off so well with Spartacus more than proving himself. Since Batiatus is offering the might of the slaves, the idea of control excites Glaber. He’s someone who demands control and thirsts for it, so to be able to control Spartacus is a proposition that he finds too enticing.

Crixus is tortured

But it takes a dark turn when, in an effort to provoke Crixus, Ashur touches Naevia. Crixus gets furious and attacks him. This all leads to Lucretia discovering that Naevia has been sleeping with Crixus. Consequences are a lot of what this episode covers. The consequence of a secret romance and what happens when people find out about it. The consequence of secrets that are kept hidden: in this case with Illythia and the murder of Licinia. When Glaber sees the behavior of the gladiators and denies the patronage, Batiatus defies him and basically blackmails Illythia and Glaber. He shows them the rotting hand of Licinia; if he doesn’t get patronage then he’ll expose the hand in Glaber’s villa (which would be devastating for him since he’s campaigning for praetor). Its classic scheming Batiatus that ultimately wins the fight here; his hunger for power is too overwhelming.

Batiatus commands the crowd

With patronage secured by the end of the episode, Batiatus goes into the finale as a really powerful man. While the end of the episode certainly takes a tragic turn with Crixus being brutally punished for his behavior and Naevia being taken out of the House of Batiatus, there is certainly some hint of the spark of rebellion. Spartacus informs Agron and Duro of his plan and Naevia tells Doctore the truth behind Barca’s fate. It certainly closes the episode with an appropriate sense of anticipation leading up to the season finale.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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