|Index||2 reviews in total|
It is great fun when a series not only comes into its own but the
producers KNOW it and flaunt it.
In the last 10 seconds of this memorable episode there is a little trick done with images and sound to remind the viewer this is a turning point for the whole series.
I don't want to do spoilers, so suffice to say there is a plot twist here that even the most jaded viewers won't spot. It is exceptionally well done.
And the writers have kept true to their original goal of burying the viewer in what they conceive as the sights and sounds of LOST ROME which is very sensuous, very selfish, very class conscious, and involves lots of lovely nude women.
In other words, aside from the last bit, very close to the world of today.
Lawless is excellent. Hannah is excellent. Everyone shines here. And the viewer, like a fish on a line, is hooked.
Since Delicate Things I have learned to consider the episode titles as
wicked. So I was expecting either a romantic story or filthy chain of
events. In fact it was both black and white so relationships like the
one between Crixus and her slavefriend developed further. However the
Mark of the Brotherhood intense ending could only lead to fiendish
activities. I worried that Batiatus and Lucretia wouldn't react
accordingly but they continued to viciously battle against Ilithyia and
their other enemies. Otherwise even if Lucy Lawless performance was
definitely the enlightenment of Whore I was very disappointed by the
ending. Of course it was surprising but I found the staging awkward and
inappropriate. I think the editor could also have done something
creative but instead scenes were filmed one after an other without the
surreal daydreams and visual effects we have been used to.
Beside these few cons there were still numerous elements to count on. First I really enjoyed Spartacus new behavior and I'm convinced that he'll be rewarded. I'm sure it's only a facade to gain Batiatus trust. But Lucretia is less naive than her husband so I can't wait to see how they will deal with each other. Second I also appreciated the arc involving their new female slave. I really hope she'll be a recurring character because she could be a beautiful and intriguing addition to the existing cast. But she actually reminded me of how much I miss Sura because after her flashback appearances in Great and Unfortunate Things I thought she would become a spooky ludus resident. Spartacus thinks about her all the time so why didn't they decide to show us his dreams and nightmares ? I'm not asking them to turn the show into a Legend of the Overfiend spin-off but I think Erin Cummings proved her talent in the pilot so she deserved better.
So in the end my opinion is mixed even if I still found the episode entertaining and intriguing. Lucretia's mask game was intense but I was hoping for a more subtle and puzzling approach. However I'm convinced the writers are skilled enough to deliver us with great and disturbing upcoming episodes so I can't wait for the season to end. Into a blood bath or dripping quicksand ?
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