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'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' nostalgia recap: Kill them all

Season 1 | Episode 13 | “Kill Them All” | Aired Apr 23, 2010

Well, that was eventful. If there’s one thing to take away from the season finale, it’s that Spartacus goes for broke in its conclusions. Directed with a sharp eye by Jesse Warn and written by Steven S. DeKnight, the finale concludes myriad storylines and, by the end, sends the series, and its characters, in a completely new direction.

This episode starts with an effective flash-forward: Capua’s elite are gathered at the House of Batiatus to celebrate the newly appointed patronage and a fight to the death between Crixus and Spartacus. Just when you think Spartacus is being dominated by Crixus, a cut presents a flashback to “Two Days Ago,” and continues cutting back and forth in time throughout the episode. The time-jumping gives the episode a lot of momentum and provides the flashbacks with a lot more dramatic weight.

Doctore learns the truth about Barca

One of the major arcs of this episode is Doctore (his real name is Oenomaus) and his questioning of the House of Batiatus. With the treatment of the slaves by the Roman soldiers and the confession that Barca was murdered, this episode smartly makes this authority figure see the reality of the ludus. Another important moment for him comes when Batiatus offers him the title of lanista—he uses this news to lift Crixus’ spirits and promise him that together they’ll go looking for Naevia.

Crixus and Spartacus respect each other

During the flashbacks, we also learn Spartacus is trying to recruit the slaves for an uprising. Some are on his side (Agron and Duro) and some aren’t (Crixus), but the great thing about these flashbacks is that they give us more of strategic Spartacus and bring closure to a lot of his relationships, including his relationship with Crixus. Their conversation about possibly being brothers in another lifetime, as he’s trying to convince Crixus to rebel by mentioning how despicable Batiatus is, brings a sense of finality and a logical endpoint to their relationship. They see each other as formidable gladiators and as brothers, but there’s still a friendly rivalry brewing underneath it all.

Batiatus tries to end Crixus

Also in the flashbacks, Lucretia and Batiatus recognize they need Spartacus to continue using him for political advantage. So they let Spartacus defeat Crixus; they don’t want him killed, so they’ll just poison him so he’s weak. This leads to a great conversation between Crixus and Lucretia where they essentially end their relationship. Lucretia still hopes that Crixus can go back with her and the baby, but he lets her know that he loves Naevia. It’s a beautifully harsh scene between the two; they’re ultimately blunt and cruel to each other, but Bennett and Lawless are both exceptional.

Mira gets a request from Spartacus

Plenty more happens in the flashbacks (including Mira and Spartacus coming to an agreement, Aurelia learning that it was Numerius who chose to end Varro’s life, and Illythia being used by Lucretia for the advantage of the House of Batiatus), but the present-moment scenes also contains a lot of emotionally packed action.

After the final flashback, the timeline converges on the exciting Spartacus and Crixus fight (Spartacus is, of course, fighting to convince Crixus to join him). Then the flash-forward really picks up. At one point, when he looks like he’s going to be defeated, Crixus picks up his shield and lets Spartacus know  he can jump on it to the balcony. This is not significant because Crixus has finally recognized him as a brother and as someone he’s willing to work with, but it’s just such an awesome callback to the exact same move they performed against Theokoles.

Then the rebels attack and the uprising begins. Spartacus pulls no punches during these 20 minutes, making the attack look almost like a horror film. It’s visceral and brutal and horrific.

Spartacus gets his revenge on the Romans

Amidst the savage chaos, DeKnight wonderfully incorporates character moments that feel earned. Ashur and Doctore’s fight is loaded with rich moments, including Ashur admitting how miserable it was for him during his time as a gladiator and using his conniving instinct to escape death. The confession that nobody respected him feels completely earned, and even more so with him using a low blow to escape death. It really is classic Ashur—he’s not going to stop thinking of ways to survive.

Aurelia also exacts revenge on Numerius. To be fair, Numerius was acting like a complete jerk the entire time, insulting Varro like he didn’t care. But Aurelia’s explosion at this young boy feels much more emotionally devastating than you might expect something like it to be. There’s real tragedy in that moment, and it hits.

Lucretia confronts Crixus

Let’s not forget two more major character moments. Crixus confronting Lucretia and coldly stabbing her by killing her baby is one of the most brutal scenes of the episode. It’s one of the most shocking things the show has done, and it’s executed with incredible work from Bennett and Lawless in the sequence.

Spartacus confronting Batiatus about the death of his wife and challenging him for his mistakes is also phenomenal. Whitfield and Hannah really clash in this scene, and it feels more like a battle of wills than one of strength. Hannah roaring until the last breath and mocking Spartacus is such a fitting end to a really compelling villain. The last shot, and Spartacus’ rousing speech, are perfect visual closures for the season.

This finale concludes season one on a spectacular high note. The season highlighted the great talent of the late Andy Whitfield. His interpretation of Spartacus is compelling, nuanced, and amazingly sympathetic. He makes you really root for him throughout the season, and this finale is another great example of his talent.

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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