Spartacus, “Delicate Things”: #5 ranked episode of Spartacus Season 1 – treachery lurks there!

I’ll make a Roman of you yet! – Batiatus

Spartacus Season 1 Rankings: where did “Delicate Things” rank?
Spartacus’ “Delicate Things” came in as the #5 ranked episode of Spartacus’ 13 Season 1 episodes! Find more Spartacus rankings here.

Here’s why “Delicate Things” was ranked as the #5 episode of 13 Spartacus Season 1 episodes.

GENRE – Drama, Period TV Show, Historical Epic, Swords & Sandals
EPISODE – “Delicate Things”
BEING RANKED FOR – Spartacus Season 1
RANK – #5 of Spartacus’ 13 Season 1 episodes

Spartacus, “Delicate Things” (S0106) review

So, our boy Spartacus (Andy Whitfield) is the new Champion of Capua now, after the defeat of the mythically beastly and nasty Theokoles, while former champ Crixus (Manu Bennett) lies beaten and bloodied. In other words, things have turned relatively upside down in Spartacus-land. So what’s it going to be then, eh, as an old friend from real horrorshow times might ask?

Batiatus (John Hannah) is happy for one, which is enough alone to make us unsettled, unburdened as he now is of debt, proclaiming “we’re the toast of the f-ing city!” in the wake of Spartacus’ bloody victory. In a rare benevolent mood, he teases Spartacus of news of his wife’s whereabouts off in Syria. Even the rains have come, washing away an awful drought. Only Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) senses that things are not as they should be.

As the hour plays out, “Delicate Things” seems to refer to the ability to hold onto elements of humanity, compassion, and love in a world – particularly amongst the gladiator set – that often doesn’t respect the sanctity of life much at all. And it also refers to Machiavellian maneuvers, actions taken without use of sword to meet one’s ends.

Speaking of which, Spartacus’ plot to escape the Gladiator School dominates a good chunk of the episode, as does the yearnings for freedom of Barca and his lover, Pietros. Barca’s involvement in the massacre of Batiatius’ creditor/tormentor and the betrayal of Ashur (Nick Tarabay) spells his doom, and speaks to the lack of control that slaves (and even “nobles”) have in this Roman universe.

And that small bit of control that can be meted played out in the final scenes, with the final “reunion” of Spartacus with his wife Sura (Erin Cummings). It seems that Lucretia had nothing to worry about for the time being, nothing to worry about at all.

More thoughts on “Delicate Things”:

  • Each week seems to bring a “no they di’int” scene that tops one from the episode before it. This week’s edition features Batiatus, uh, having his way with a slave girl while topless Lucretia, getting a spa treatment from equally topless slave girls, look on. As I feel more attached to the substance of the show each week, I find myself disappointed with the way over the top “they went there”-ness of these scenes. It’s lusty, different times, different culture ancient Rome, we get it. I’d contrast that aspect with the more modern Mad Men, admittedly living on AMC, which portrays the lusty / different time / different culture aspect brilliantly well without the need to have an actor of John Hannah’s standing fake humping a slave girl, you know?
  • The above said, the show does do a good job of portraying homosexuality as an accepted condition of the era. It is interesting to think about what has happened over the last few thousand years with regard to social mores and sexuality and sexual orientation.
  • Spartacus’ daydream about escaping from the gladiator school and Capua with his reunited wife is the most overtly graphic novel-influenced scene in Spartacus yet. Again, I think as the plot tones and character studies turn more serious, these overtly over-the-top escapades are unnecessary and somewhat weaken the integrity of the show.

This review originally appeared on TV Geek Army.

Spartacus, “Delicate Things”: episode and cast info

Air date – February 26, 2010
Spartacus creator – Steven S. DeKnight
Directed by – Rick Jacobson
Writing credits – Tracy Bellomo, Andrew Chambliss, Steven S. DeKnight, Miranda Kwok, Todd Helbing, Aaron Helbing


Andy Whitfield – Spartacus
John Hannah – Batiatus
Peter Mensah – Doctore
Manu Bennett – Crixus
Erin Cummings – Sura
Nick E. Tarabay – Ashur
Lucy Lawless – Lucretia
Jai Courtney – Varro
Antonio Te Maioha – Barca
Lesley-Ann Brandt – Naevia
Eka Darville – Pietros
John Bach – Magistrate Calavius
Lliam Powell – Numerius
Mark Mitchinson – Aulus
Matt Gillanders – Marcellus