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It Just Clicked: The Spartacus Prequel

Photo Credit: Starz

There are times when you keep watching a show hoping and praying it will either get better or you’ll enjoy it more. You never know when that might happen. Maybe it’ll take four episodes or two seasons. But when that moment does come – the gotcha or aha moment – you know you’re hooked.

I was a bit worried after watching the premiere of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. I immediately re-connected with all the characters I already knew from Spartacus: Blood and Sand but some of the newbies weren’t doing it for me, especially Gannicus. Yes, he’s nice to look at but he’s no Spartacus. Because I’m a fan of the original, I pledged to slog through the prequel. I have to support the franchise because I do want to see it keep going (congrats to Liam McIntyre, who has replaced Andy Whitfield as Spartacus). Imagine my very pleasant surprise when I connected with “Missio.”

Now I’m not saying the episode contained stellar storytelling, in fact it was pretty predictable but I like a good soapy period drama. Despite that, there was a moment that rang with emotional resonance for me. After Gannicus is presented to Varrus he’s expected to perform sexually. At first Gannicus thinks it’ll be with Varrus, but instead he’s commanded to copulate with Melitta. Don’t forget she’s a slave and must do as commanded. Lucretia almost stops it but Batiatus, once again living up to his scheming ways, allows it to happen. At first, Melitta holds herself separate but either Gannicus’ prowess as a lover or something else engages her and she enjoys herself. And it’s such a betrayal. Gannicus and Oenomaus are best friends. Oenomaus and Melitta are married. This is a disaster waiting to happen and I can’t wait to see the train wreck. How long will this encounter remain a secret? Will Gannicus develop feelings for Melitta? We can already see he’s been affected as well.  There are multiple witnesses and only four people (Batiatus, Lucretia, Gannicus, and Melitta) with a vested interest in keeping this from Oenomaus. And secrets have a way of getting out, especially in Capua. – Kara Howland

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