Part of what makes the Starz series "Spartacus" so successful is the fact that it manages to strike just the right balance between moments of tragedy and moments of triumph. Throughout the first two seasons, we have seen some of the greatest triumphs of Spartacus and his band of rebels as they attempt to survive in the cutthroat world of rebellion.
Certainly, one of the key moments of triumph occurs within the first few episodes of the series, in which Spartacus manages to survive everything that is thrown at him by both Batiatus and Glaber, both of whom want to see him dead. These early triumphs -- though they are not experienced as such by Spartacus himself -- set the stage for what is to come and let us know that there are going to be many more to come as this emblematic hero of antiquity works his way into the history books.
The seizure of the ludus
Following up on this, it is hard not to feel a thrill of excitement as the band of rebels at last put their plan into action and take over the ludus, killing Batiatus in the process. Though we do feel at least some small measure of sadness at his death -- he was an entertaining and flawed human character, after all -- that does not diminish the equally strong sense of triumph that emerges as the rebels begin to fight for their freedom. There is an exhilarating quality about this struggle that makes these early episodes of the series a true pleasure to watch.
The slaying of Glaber
Finally, we come to one of the most exciting, thrilling, and satisfying moments the series has yet produced. After having watched Spartacus endure so much at the hands of his enemy, it is with great relish that we watch Glaber at last struck down -- in truly stunning fashion, no less -- by the man that he has tried so desperately to destroy. As bloody and visceral as this scene is, it nevertheless stands as one of the most triumphant and emotionally powerful (if disturbing) scenes that the series has yet produced.
There is, when all is said and done, something gripping and transcendent about the power of cinematic triumph, something that lifts us up even as we watch what unfolds on the screen. It is this sense of triumph that makes "Spartacus" such a pleasure to watch and that will make the final season a true tour de force.
- Arts & Entertainment