“Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” mini-cap: Paterfamilias

“Hey, Batiatus! You’ve got a gladiator in the Primus, what are you going to do now?”

“I’m going to copulate!”

Not that the House of Batiatus needs a special reason to celebrate the sensual side of life. In fact, while Batman is announcing to the ludus that Gannicus has “elevated” his house (by demonstrating his organ grinding skills) and Oenomaus is the new Doctore, Lucretia and Gaia are basking in the afterglow of friendship with benefits.

Batiatus joins the ladies, full of wine and himself, giddy about his success. Lucretia is quick to remind him that Gaia was integral to the plan that brought Varrus to the House, which Batman is all too ready to acknowledge.

He leans toward Gaia. “Your place in this will not pass without much f—ing gratitude.”

“The kind I favor most,” she purrs.

And before we can say pink Cadillac, they’re ridin’ on the three-way of love.

Gaia rises to the occasion and drops her robe to reveal a full bikini. I don’t even want to think about how that would be achieved in Ancient Rome. Just. Ouch.

Then, in a scene I wish with all the wishes a recapper can wish that I could show you, Gaia invents an entirely new kind of hors d’oeuvres, dousing her bodacious birthday suit with wine — in slow motion. Batiatus proceeds to partake of the fruit of Gaia’s vine, while Lucretia watches and a kithar trio plays “I Touch Myself.”

Wait. You’re in an intimate setting with John Hannah and Lucy Lawless and you go for John, leaving Lucy to fend for herself? Did all of the Spartacus writers lose their minds at once?

Regardless, the party comes to a screeching halt, as parties often do, when Daddy Titus comes home. Titus is more than disgusted with Batman and spends the next few days undermining everything his son has done to get Gannicus to the Primus.

Honestly, the rest of this episode of Gods is hard to swallow — and I’m not talking about gladiators doing each other because, well, yuck. (Some other time I will tell you the story of the moment I knew, beyond doubt, that I was not the teensiest bit straight.)

The thing is, I understand that in Ancient Rome slaves were just property with no more rights than farm animals. But seriously, who treats farm animals like that? (OK, Michael Vick does. Just go with me here.) I don’t really want to get into the whole brutal rape of the virginal slave girl, but you can get an idea of what happened in this Starz video.

The only slightly redeeming part of this horror is that Lucretia seems to know how wrong it is. Lucy Lawless manages to convey the whole range of feelings, from guilt to frustration to resignation, without saying a word. And that, too, is a sign of the times. As she tells Gaia earlier in the episode, they are just one harsh word from Titus away from being on the streets. Women are slightly more esteemed property, but still property. I’m just glad the gorgeous property enjoys doing the deed together.

What did you think of this episode of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena? Is the Sapphic scenery still enough to keep you watching?