Wow. When I first started watching Spartacus, I never thought I’d say something like this, but…this finale is one of the best episodes of anything. Ever. Congrats, Steven DeKnight: You have a hit series.
***SPOILERS AHEAD, if you haven’t seen the episode yet***
This season finale was incredible. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. When Spartacus and Crixus would lead a rebellion against the ludus, killing nearly all the people who have deserved it all season: Batiatus, Lucretia, and even Numerius and his mom. I was happy to see Aurelia finally learn the truth (and believe it, of course) about her husband Varro’s death. One of the most satisfying moments of the episode was watching her kill Numerius for ordering Varro’s death. So emotional. I actually found myself cheering, as I also did when Crixus killed Lucretia and their unborn child and Spartacus killed Batiatus, revealing that he knew Batiatus ordered his (Spartacus’) wife dead.
I will say this now: I did not expect the rebellion to go so smoothly, to see all these people die.
And maybe it’s disturbing that all this death excited me so much. But I think it’s a testament to how wonderful the acting has been this season. All these evil characters have been so well portrayed and so filled-with-venom that it was a pleasure to see them finally silenced. And cheers to Ilythia for locking the doors of the ludus! It reminded me of when Angel locked a roomful of lawyers in with Darla and Drusilla to be slaughtered. DeKnight (the series’ creator) was clearly recalling his roots as a writer for Angel in this moment, granted he wasn’t on the staff at the time that episode was written. ;-)
All this leads me to one question: What the heck is going to happen next season? All the slaves and gladiators have been freed, even Doctore. The Dominus and Domina are dead. The only villains left are Asher, Ilythia, and her husband. Perhaps a broader rebellion? Against Rome? That’s what Spartacus hinted at, in the final shot (which was perfect by the way: the entire slave staff of the ludus walking out the front gate, free at last).
In any case, it’s going to be amazing. Thank you, Starz, for having faith in this show, despite a rocky start; and thank you for renewing it for a second season. I look forward to seeing what happens next. For now, I’d like to read some history books, to find out what happened to the real Spartacus!
UPDATE: This episode now has a 9.9 rating on TV.com. It’s one of very few episodes, of anything, to get a 9.9 on that website. Congratulations to the crew! The first time I checked, it was in the lower 9s, then it jumped to 9.6, 9.7, 9.8, and finally, 9.9. Incredible!
UPDATE #2: Something has happened at TV.com, because all of the episode ratings are going down, for the entire show, yet it is still in the same overall ranking as it was a few days ago. Hmm. Either way, this was still a fantastic episode, and I can’t wait for season 2!