It’s hard to think that the second full season of Spartacus is already half over, but this week’s episode marks the sixth of the season, as well as the halfway point. ‘Chosen Path’ is a decent episode, but definitely not one of my favorites. The major themes in this sixth episode revolved around the dynamics between Gannicus and Spartacus’ cause, and Glaber’s re-ascension to a power position within his corner of Rome. Once again I found the Roman side of the story to be much more engaging than Spartacus’ gang of freed slaves, but both camps had some entertaining scenes that obviously shouldn’t be missed.
When this season first started the outlook for Glaber was grim. His wife wanted to move on from him, he had other Romans pissing on his credibility, and his lot in life just seemed doomed for failure. Well as we know that all changed last week when some major dealings took place at Capua’s arena that helped to reposition Glaber as the main man in both his own household, as well as his position within Roman society. In ‘Chosen Path’ we get to see the newly revitalized Glaber, and how far he’s willing to take things to restore his full prominence by capturing Sparty.
Surprisingly he turns to a new ally in Asher, who honestly surprised me in this episode. I know this Syrian is evil at his core, but in episode 6 I think we get to truly see this man for what he is for the first time. I really enjoyed the scene that helped Asher seal his favor with Glaber, and for the first time he gets to prove his physical worth rather than his mental prowess. From there his evilness only grows by leaps and bounds, and he takes part in one of the harder to watch scenes I’ve ever laid eyes on in this show. Let’s just say if you’re sensitive to viewing simulated forced sex then you may want to FF through the part with Asher and a leading lady.
Outside of Asher being a bigger scumbag than usual in this episode we get to see him forming a squad of super villains to combat the forces of Spartacus. This episode served as a prelude of things to come when the inevitable showdown between Spartacus and Co. versus Glaber and Co. goes down. Asher’s knowledge of the gladiatorial arts will definitely be biting the collective a*s of Spartacus’ forces before this season is up. He has definitely evened the odds for Glaber’s Roman forces in regards to battling the powerful gladiators of Spartacus’ company.
Meet one of the new members of Glaber and Asher’s Death Squad
Speaking of Spartacus’ forces, they spent most of this episode giving motivational speeches, and training their forces for their upcoming showdown with the Romans. Once again it almost seemed like the main focus of this series is the Roman’s troubles in dealing with Spartacus, and not the famous slave himself. I’m not sure if the writers did this intentionally to help lessen the shock of a brand new actor playing Spartacus, but I can’t help but feel like he is no longer the main focus of this franchise.
Now that’s not to say it’s a bad thing, but I truly think if Andy Whitfield was still alive and well we may be seeing a different Spartacus Vengeance than we are watching now. Liam McIntyre for the most part has managed to fill his shoes, but at least for me he’s nowhere near making me care for the character of Spartacus like Andy did. He just can’t provide the strong emotional tie that Andy was able to create between the audience and his character. The power that Spartacus used to command when he was on screen just doesn’t feel as strong now as it did with Andy.
Unfortunately, it is what it is, because unless he’s a magical being from space, there’s no way Andy Whitfield is ever coming back to Earth to make a few Spartacus fanboys happy. I just wish Liam didn’t have such a nasally voice, because it’s one of those little things that seem to annoy me more than it should, and it’s definitely making it more difficult for me to buy into Liam as the new Spartacus.
Regardless of my petty complaints Spartacus Vengeance is still one of the greatest TV shows of all time, and ‘Chosen Path’ is still a solid hour of entertainment. This episode really set things in motion for how this season will come to an end, and by the looks of things I don’t think it’s going to be pretty for either camp. Asher continues to surprise me with his evil tongue, and he sinks to an all new low in episode 6. Glaber has managed to reaffirm his position in his own home, while the ladies in his house commiserate together over their mistreatment by men. Spartacus, if anything, is getting really proficient at giving motivational speeches, but he’s not convincing enough to keep another major character amongst his forces. Overall, it is a decent episode, but not one of my favorites. For this I give it an EB 7 out of 10 Buddhas. You can check out the preview for ‘Chosen Path’ below. You’ve been wondering who will finally get to end Asher’s rotten life…
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