This week picks up right where the last one ended. Batiatus is dealing with getting pummeled by Tullius’ goon squad. In typical Batiatus fashion, he exacts his revenge on Vettius (whose ludus is funded with Tullius’s cash money) with the aid of Ashur by returning the beat down. Gaia helps Lucretia get a wealthy patron over to Batiatus’ house in order to secure Gannicus in the games. While doing so, the patron takes a liking to Gannicus and forces him to have sex with Melitta, Oenomaus’ wife. Meanwhile, Oenomaus has been promoted to doctore, ending in a rain swept slo-mo fight with the old doctore.
This episode was pretty good. Crixus is forced into a fight with Gannicus at the behest of Gaia and actually beats Gannicus up a bit before Gannicus gets the upper hand. We really start to see the drive that Crixus has to be a champion, and the disrespect towards Ashur when he gets the brand of the brotherhood not for completing the trials, but for doing some dirty work for Batiatus in the streets of Capua. I’m still not sold on Gannicus as a character, but this episode gave him a bit more to do. The theme of this episode is the lack of rights given to slaves, and no matter how great Gannicus is as a gladiator, ultimately he is still beholden to the whims of Batiatus, even forced to sleep with his best friend’s wife because his dominus orders him to do so. Once again, Crixus is the most interesting thing about this episode. We have yet to see Lucretia show any interest in him whatsoever, but you can tell that Gaia is the one that will introduce the two of them.
All in all, this episode was better than the first primarily because it focuses more on characters we are used to from Blood and Sand. This one actually had less boobs and violence and it actually helped because it didn’t fell forced. The main storyline revolves around Batiatus so if you hated that character, I’m not sure this is going to appeal to you. Still, I enjoyed it. More Crixus, please.