Spartacus: Blood & Sand – 1.08 – Mark of the Brotherhood

PREVIOUSLY ON SPARTACUS: BLOOD & SAND! Batty hatches another plot! Doctore is a superdetective! Crixus finally gets a bath! Sweet little Pietros dies! And Spartacus kicks some serious ass.

Alone in his cell, Spartacus is daydreaming in his tiny gladiator panties about his many recent sweaty and blood-spattered exertions in the arena, to the delighted screams of the crowd. Hm, is he starting to enjoy his fame? The tiny smile on his face at the end of the very next day’s games says OH YES INDEED.

Ilithyia, meanwhile, is sulking prettily as usual, huffy about all the attention paid to Spartacus, her husband’s archnemesis. Solonius is looking vexed and pissy as well, since all the men Sparty’s been killing off have been from his ludus, a point relentlessly driven home by Batiatus. Before Ilithyia can flounce off to go pout elsewhere, Batty lures her back in easily with the promise of newly purchased gladiator recruits at which to leer, all of whom will be displayed in all their manly glory especially for her. By Ilithyia’s answering wide-eyed flush of interest, I’d say his ploy works well. *smirk*

*****

The next morning, Batty, Ashur, and Doctore elbow their way through the crowded slave market, where half a dozen men are presented for sale. Ashur notes in a whisper that Solonius is also present and checking out the goods, so Batty takes a moment to snipe at him like a junior high mean girl. I’d say they should just get over it and fuck already, but it’s so much more fun to watch them be catty.

Batty and Solonius exchange some bitchy banter, hidden among which is their mutual understanding that Solonius was behind the attacks arranged by Ovidius, and that Batiatus was behind the murders of Ovidius and his entire family and household. The rest of the market crowd watches on with gossipy glee, but their performance is cut short by the auction’s start.

Doctore advises that a large dreadlocked Gaul, Segovax, will be a good addition to the ludus, and that likely two German brothers, Duro and Argon, will also perform well. The rest of the men are dismissed as worthless. The auction begins with Segovax, and there is interest from another lanista, Vibius, as well as from Solonius, and the three bid back and forth as the crowd grows more and more impressed with the numbers being bandied about.

Eventually Batiatus decides it’s time for a bravura performance, and loudly sighs his disinterest in the proceedings, loftily bidding 100 denarii – for the entire lot of slaves. And just like that, he’s a highroller superstar. The auctioneer is delighted, the crowd is impressed, and, most importantly, Solonius is really irritated. God, Batty is such a brat. BRATTY.

Doctore is not among the impressed, as he knows that Batiatus has overspent like whoa. But Batty doesn’t care! Fuck that! He just wants to humiliate Solonius, and does so repeatedly, as the crowd laughs and cheers.

*****

Meanwhile, over at the villa, Crixus is looking sweaty and clammy and unwell. Has he returned too early to his gladiator training? Not quite, lols. His current exertions involve pumping away feebly atop Lucretia, who looks torn between genuine concern and extreme frustration. Crixus collapses pathetically on top of Lucretia and then climbs off like an arthritic old man, and Lucretia looks about as unsatisfied as we’ve ever seen her.

Crixus blames his still-recovering wounds for his lousy performance, and looks tragic and ashamed, but once he returns belowstairs with Naevia, we realize that it’s mostly been a cunning sham! Gasp! Crixus, out of love for Naevia, has been hamming up his crappy sexitude in the hopes that Lucretia will lose interest in him. Naevia’s still upset, though, because she wants to get some of his fine ass her own damn self, as do all right-thinking people. They kiss for a bit before he returns to his cell, but by the look on her face, this is far from settled.

*****

The trainee recruits are led out through the ludus and onto the training sands, and the gladiators are having an obnoxious fratboy field day, taunting and threatening and prancing about. Spartacus leaves his cell to join the men, standing by Crixus to glare at each other a bit.

The 6 new men assemble on the sand, exactly as Spartacus did on his very first day, and once again, Doctore addresses them with the important question “what is beneath your feet?” This time, it’s little brother Duro who answers hastily, and Spartacus who provides the correct answer, as befits the Champion. Doctore delivers his usual speech to the new recruits, and Varro quietly places a wager on Duro, “the fool who spoke,” but for what? To die first? MAKE SENSE SHOW.

Up on the balcony, Batiatus also launches into his usual speech, joined by Lucretia and a practically slobbering-with-lust Ilithyia. She manages to rein in her panties long enough to remark to Lucretia that Batiatus speaks to the men as her father, Senator Albinius, would speak before the senate. Oh Ilithyia, if only you knew!

The gladiators cheer Batty’s rousing speech and are only silenced by the crack of Doctore’s sexwhip, which has the same effect upon Ilithyia as it does upon me – FIESTA EN PANTALONES. Batiatus sidles over to Ilithyia and asks her opinion on the new men, and once Lucretia notes her increasing interest, she suggests casually that Ilithyia purchase a gladiator of her own. Ilithyia is scandalized but incredibly titillated, and once Batty makes it clear that she can pay the selected man’s upkeep while leaving him at the ludus, she’s hooked.

Alas, she’s too excited to be able to choose. Whatever shall we do? Batiatus interrupts Doctore to announce that their honored guest wants to assess the men’s more…. intimate, personal qualities. The rest of the gladiators laugh as the recruits are commanded to remove their panties.

Ilithyia is barely holding it together as the men nervously take off their loincloths. We’re treated to a row of bared asses, one after the other, until the last man, Segovax, removes his cloth to reveal a massive veiny demon cock that would put John Holmes to shame. Naturally, Ilithyia decides that this is the man for her, and she and Lucretia rush off to celebrate.

*****

Later that afternoon, Lucretia and Ilithyia are being massaged by a variety of slaves. Ilithyia is gushing excitedly over her new purchase, and crowing over the expected envy from all her friends – Cacaelia, Aemelia, and Licinia, all daughters of wealthy and important men in Rome; in fact, Licinia is cousin to Marcus Licinius Crassus himself. Immediately upon learning this fascinating tidbit, Lucretia suggests that the girls be invited to the ludus to witness Segovax’s manly charms in the flesh. Oh Lucretia, always scheming, how I adore you.

Ilithyia initially shoots down the plan, as such proper Roman women as her friends would only socialize with families of equal social standing, and the wife of a lanista, sharing her husband’s near-infame status, is certainly not in their class. She relents upon realizing that their jealousy will only be the worse once they visit – particularly Licinia, who is a great fan of gladiatorial games.

*****

Outside under the blazing monstrous sun, the recruits are lugging their giant blocks of wood around endlessly, while the rest of the gladiators eat lunch and critique their every move like the ghastly bastard offspring of Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay. Spartacus and Varro are seated together as per usual, sharing idle gossip, but soon enough Rhaskos calls Varro over for some midafternoon gambling. Sparty makes a pointed comment about Varro giving in to his gambling addiction again, but their repartee is interrupted by Crixus smacking around some of the new recruits.

Spartacus decides that he, the new Champion, needs to put Crixus in his place, and tells him to lay off the new kids, as it’s no longer his job to be top dog. Crixus is unsure enough of his standing that he doesn’t immediately throw down with Sparty right there in the dining room, and instead laughs it off with a bitter, fixed smile.

Sparty’s not done, though. See, he doesn’t give a fuck about the new recruits and whether or not they get to eat or not get smacked around. All Sparty cares about is making sure that Crixus knows who the Champion of Capua is – SPARTACUS. Oh man, the look on Ashur’s face is fucking priceless when Spartacus states it so plainly. Priceless.

Crixus takes his dressing-down without a balls to the wall brawl as I was expecting, and departs with a warning to Spartacus to watch his back. Segovax approaches Spartacus to thank him for his intervention, but all Sparty has to say is a disinterested “men should not die with empty stomachs”. Ouch.

*****

That evening, Ashur walks through the insula with a group of prostitutes at his heels – it’s the end of the month and then men may choose to keep their winnings to themselves or spend it on an evening’s rumpety-pumpety. Almost all the men have chosen the latter, and the hallways are noisy with squeals and grunts. Crixus calls out to Ashur that he’s been overlooked, but no, as Crixus hasn’t been fighting, he’s not entitled to money or women. Ashur takes obnoxious pleasure in delivering this news, of course.

Ashur next comes across Varro, and offers to transfer his substantial winnings to Aurelia, but Varro decides instead to keep his money to himself AND get some action as well, because he is a giant manbaby who holds stupid grudges. A few minutes later, as Spartacus walks through the cells, he stops to give Varro a judgmental glare in between thrusts.

Over in the new recruits’ cell, Duro and Agron are talking smack about Spartacus and his lack of hugenormousness, boasting that they could easily defeat him if given a chance. Segovax, however, proves to be the smartest of the group when he explains that any man who could defeat Theokeles should not be taken lightly. The fourth unnamed (so obvsly soon to die) gladiator agrees with Segovax that Spartacus is someone to emulate, as the crowd’s love for him in the arena will certainly one day be responsible for his freedom.

*****

The next day, the recruits throw themselves into their training. Segovax is sparring with Nameless Recruit Dude, and, catching sight of Spartacus watching them, decides to show off a bit. Segovax gives Nameless a good beating, but nothing too serious, until Nameless is suddenly thrown against the wall, the back of his skull impaled on a protruding nail. Oopsy. Spartacus remains unimpressed, and Segovax is pissed that his ploy for attention did not work out as planned.

*****

Nameless’ body is on a slab in the medicus’ room next to Crixus, who is having the last of his bandages carefully examined. Unfortunately, the medicus tells Batty that Crixus’ wounds will need yet more time to heal, maybe even three whole weeks! Crixus sighs dramatically and tosses his curls. The medicus gives Batty a list of herbs and medicines that will help Crixus heal faster, and Ashur is dispatched to the market.

Before he leaves, however, he has a few poisonous ideas to innocently share with Batiatus: since Crixus is taking so long to heal – much longer than Doctore did from his wounds given by Theokeles – maybe they should make some quiet inquiries about selling Crixus off to some unsuspecting lanista, who will surely be glad to own the former Champion of Capua?

Batiatus is annoyed at Ashur’s suggestion until Ashur explains his “reasoning” – Crixus and Spartacus now hate each other beyond belief, and Ashur is fakey concerned that Crixus might try to kill Spartacus, robbing everyone of their valuable profits! Oh noes! This argument is all it takes for Batty to give Ashur the go-ahead to ask some casual questions around the market, perhaps to Vibius.

Lucretia, overhearing, is shocked, but manages to hold back the majority of her rage, instead suggesting that if Crixus doesn’t recover his full strength, he could instead help train the men or work alongside Batty in the day-to-day operations of the ludus. WHAT THE FUCK. How does Lucretia not know that either one of these terrible ideas would quite literally be the death of Crixus? ALL HE WANTS IS TO FIGHT AND DIE A GLORIOUS DEATH KJGHAKDFJGHADGHDGH. Oh Lucretia. You idiot.

Lucretia then makes the foolish decision to petulantly tell Batty that Crixus is “part of the family” and Batty just flips his shit. No, Lucretia, Crixus is just another fucking slave to Batiatus, and if a slave can’t earn his keep, then off they go to the market for sale. Lucretia puts a brave face on it but is seething inside, and Batty telling her to think about Ilithyia and her wealthy friends and their potential patronage is not much of a salve.

*****

Outside on the training field, the gladiators are sparring sweatily in their tiny manties. Crixus, the former belle of the ball, stands alone and unloved on the sidelines like the derpy transfer student at the Spring Fling. Spartacus is training with Segovax, giving him useful, Doctore-like commentary on his fighting style; I’m trying to remember if I ever saw Crixus-as-Champion doing this, and I’m coming up blank. Crixus looks at them pretty disdainfully, but is distracted by Naevia calling to him from the villa’s gate.

Crixus looks wildly unnerved by this, because as we all know, Doctore misses just about nothing that goes on around him. Naevia doesn’t give a shit, though, because she has some seriously bad fucking news – she tells Crixus about overhearing Batiatus’ plans to sell Crixus to Vibius, away from the ludus and Naevia’s trembling loins. Clearly such terrible things cannot stand.

Crixus refuses to believe her at first, but once more details are given about the plan, he descends immediately into misery and resignation and emo manpain. Luckily, Naevia is used to his moody bullshit by now and tells him to quit his jibba jabba and prove to Batiatus that he’s worth keeping around. Crixus stomps off with a new sense of determination and quite possibly the beginnings of a boner. GO NAEVIA GO. Best girlfriend ever.

Back out on the sand, Doctore is walking amongst the training men and delivering another one of his inspirational speeches (someone should needlepoint him some samplers already) as Batiatus and Lucretia come out on to the balcony for their day’s viewing. Crixus, obviously, sees this as the moment he’s been waiting for, and moves to confront Spartacus in the middle of his sparring with Segovax. Sparty responds with a bit of impatient eyerolling and gets back to his training, but Crixus won’t be put off.

Spartacus decides to give Crixus the fight he wants, and asks Doctore for permission to give a demonstration fight with Crixus. Lucretia looks smug and complacent, presumably because if Crixus is healed enough to fight, he’ll be healed enough to fuck, right? Segovax surrenders his practice sword and shield to Crixus, and the rest of the men are called to watch as the fight gets underway.

Crixus performs well initially but soon enough Spartacus has him down on the sand. What follows is basically an exact replay of their very first fight together, except this time Spartacus is the seasoned gladiator teaching the lesson, and Crixus is the hasty and overconfident twit who is doomed to failure. Crixus’ attacks get more and more desperate and flaily, and Spartacus barely breaks a sweat taking him down again and again. Soon enough, Spartacus stops messing around and kicks Crixus’ ass to Gaul and back again, as Lucretia and Naevia exchange glances of horror.

Doctore looks first uncomfortable, then concerned, and finally angry at Spartacus’ treatment of Crixus, but let’s face it – he’s a bit prejudiced by Spartacus’ whole drugged-wine-escape-plan dealio from a few weeks back, and is not going to be particularly objective. It’s not like he had any objections to Crixus treating Spartacus the exact same way when Spartacus made the exact same mistakes in fighting the first time around. SIGH.

*****

Ashur and Vibius are talking quietly in the marketplace, and Ashur promises to present his offer for Crixus to Batiatus. As Ashur departs for home, Solonius leaps out of the shadows and unfurls his cloak of evil, twirling his moustache sinisterly, demanding to know Ashur’s business in the market. Solonius has clearly been eavesdropping, as he knows that Ashur is taking offers on Crixus. RUH ROH.

Ashur is much too clever to fall for any of Solonius’ sorry attempts at cunning, and brushes him off repeatedly, but the offer of coin for a moment’s chat does him in immediately. Oh Ashur, so predictable. Solonius doesn’t really want to discuss business, of course – he wants to buy Ashur’s loyalty, which, LOLOLOLOLOL. You can’t put a price on something that doesn’t exist, dude. Solonius is concerned that Batiatus might be thinking about some more bloody vengeance for the whole Ovidius situation, and wants Ashur to warn him if anything sinister is afoot. Truly, Solonius must be the stupidest man who ever lived, oh my god. You knew he was a snake when you picked him up, Solonius, so don’t bitch when you get bit.

Ashur pretends to consider this plan for a moment or two, and then throws the money back at Solonius, claiming that while he might be a douchebag criminal, he’s not going to be Solonius’ douchebag criminal. HA.

I assume he’s holding out for more money, as does Solonius. Solonius tells Ashur that the offer still stands any time he wants out of Batty’s schemes, and Ashur does indeed look very thoughtful.

*****

Back at the ludus, Crixus waits to be poked and prodded by the medicus, and instead receives a lecture from Spartacus, who, tbh, looks legit concerned at Crixus’ sorry-ass state. Crixus mostly wants to pout about how Spartacus is ruining everything with his fakeo gladiator fakeitude, and whine about how Spartacus doesn’t know the TRUE meaning of brotherhood. Spartacus really does seem to want to understand Crixus’ deal somehow, but is overcome by Crixus’ frustration and anger once again, and stomps off in a huff. I think they’re just way too much alike and would rather die than admit it, basically. OH BOYS.

*****

Lucretia’s guests have finally arrived in all their finery, and the villa is all gussied up in preparation. Ilithyia has brought her three closest (and cattiest) friends: Aemilia, a gold-bedecked brunette; Caecilia, a redhead with a taste for emeralds; and Licinia, the tiny, blonde, and extremely bitchy cousin of Marcus Licinius Crassus, the wealthiest man in the entire Republic.

Oh my god you guys, these women. They are so ghastly. Real Housewives of the Roman Republic, indeed. They trade endless snipes and are full of backhanded compliments to Lucretia, who initially looks very much out of her depth. To her credit, Ilithyia easily deflects most of the bitchiness away from Lucretia and back at the group, but soon enough Lucretia is holding her own. When Caecilia makes a comment about the dismal location of the ludus, far from the center of town and on the top of a dusty hill, Lucretia counters sweetly that she rather likes having all of Capua at her feet. Zorro snap in Z formation, girl. Licinia looks reluctantly impressed.

In further shocking evidence of actual human empathy, Ilithyia deflects some snarky commentary about Lucretia’s lack of children, and Lucretia rallies quickly to turn the conversation towards the new recruits training downstairs – and to Ilithyia’s patronage of Segovax. The girls are shocked and delighted and extremely intrigued, but once they find out that Segovax is still only a trainee and not yet a full gladiator, their interest wanes and they decide they’d rather see Spartacus instead. Ilithyia swallows her sulky disappointment and agrees, and Sparty is summoned immediately.

*****

Meanwhile, down in the baths, Segovax quietly thanks Spartacus for his help and advice earlier during the day’s training, and plainly states his desire to win enough fights in the arena to earn his freedom. Once again, Spartacus takes Crixus’ old role, and tells Segovax to forget about freedom and concentrate on his training and accept his fate. Soon enough, a guard comes in to bring him up to the villa.

*****

Spartacus stands carefully still as the girls fondle him delightedly; Licinia in particular seems especially …. interested. Heh. I like her already. Licinia goes so far as to speak to Spartacus directly, and his short answers seem only to rile up her ladyparts even further. The conversation turns towards the supposed magical qualities of a champion gladiator’s blood – specifically, increased potency when drank by a man – and Licinia insists that she be allowed to see for herself. Lucretia agrees to send a messenger with a vial, but no, Licinia wants it NOW. Ilithyia grabs a nearby knife and insists on doing it herself, and Lucretia grits her teeth but limits her comments only to warn Ilithyia not to cut very deep.

What follows is an extremely hot little bit of knifeplay and bloodshed and seriously, how Spartacus and Ilithyia don’t just fling each other to the ground and hump wildly is quite beyond me. Licinia states breathlessly that surely Spartacus will never fall in the arena, and Ilithyia loses the very last of her patience, calling Spartacus a traitor and a Thracian dog. Spartacus counters by calmly calling her husband Glaber the real traitor for his treatment of the Thracian auxiliary and the Thracian villagers left to die. And thus does Ilithyia flip. Her. Shit.

In Ilithyia’s point of view, Spartacus is the source of all the frustration and misfortune in her marriage, and the source of her husband’s most egregious failure in her father’s eyes. So she makes the mistake of snapping at Licinia, and the utterly fatal mistake of showing genuine, passionate emotion in front of her catty friends, who are absolutely scandalized and thrilled by this goldmine of gossip.

To make matters worse, Licinia brushes off Lucretia’s apologies for Spartacus’ backtalk with a smile and the casual comment that everyone there knows that Spartacus was telling the truth – they’ve all heard the rumours about Glaber’s questionable decisions and conduct at war, after all. Ilithyia is shocked into total silence for maybe the first time in her entire life, and she and Lucretia share an agonized look.

The three girls giggle amongst themselves, then make their excuses and head quickly out of the villa. Licinia stops to thank Lucretia personally, and gives her a Very Significant Look while insisting that they get together again very soon. Lucretia made a friend! A horrible, bitchy, fabulously wealthy friend! I AM EXCITE FOR THE HORRORS TO COME.

Lucretia tries to apologize to Ilithyia for the evening’s unholy end, but Ilithyia is having none of it – she knows how it is with these friends of hers, and instead warns Lucretia to get used to epic levels of bitchery from Ladies of Quality. She also asks for a moment alone with Segovax before she leaves, so I assume she wants to maybe punch a gladiator or something.

*****

Downstairs, the usual crew is gambling at dice and bones – Hamilcar, Rhaskos, Varro – and Spartacus, clearly with some sort of plan in mind, decides to join them. Varro looks suspicious but game, and hands over the dice, only to lose to Spartacus immediately. Snerk.

*****

Segovax is brought up to see Ilithyia in the privacy of a cubiculum – lol, do they think she wants to bone him? Surely not. Segovax looks extremely nervous, which is kind of adorable. Ilithyia arrogantly introduces herself as his domina, and goes about winning his loyalty with promises of wine and women should he succeed in the arena. It’s not until she mentions “freedom” that his interest is truly piqued, though. Poor Segovax. What horrible intrigues will befall you now?

Ilithyia’s no one’s fool, and can see immediately how interested Segovax is when she mentions freedom. She promises him his freedom if only he’ll just do this one simple thing, one thing that she really, really, really wants…. which is….

Fucking cliffhanger.

*****

Over in the tablinum, Batiatus is remonstrating Lucretia for having summoned Spartacus in the first fucking place. Doesn’t she know how volatile the combination of Ilithyia and Spartacus is? Rant rant rant. Batiatus has no idea what Lucretia has to do to secure their place in polite society, obviously. She shoots right back at him that bad idea or not, it won them the friendship of Licinia, who intends to return to the ludus postfuckinghaste to spend some more quality time leering at Spartacus, and Batiatus admits that this was indeed a stunning coup. BOOYAH.

Batiatus frustrates me so. Lucretia is so clearly the true brains of this operation. Surely he realized this about her when he married her for love and not for money or position? So why doesn’t he encourage her more often to join in his schemes? Stupid patriarchy ruins everything.

Batty squees on for a bit about Cousin Crassus’ fantabulous wealth and his desire for a piece of it, and Lucretia nearly sprains her eyeballs rolling them. Batty manages to actually acknowledge her hard work for once, and the conversation turns towards the potential sale of Crixus instead. Lucretia is appalled when she finds out that the lanista in question is Vibius, who is apparently an enormous loser with a small ludus in far-off Damascus. OH THE INJUSTICE. Naevia, unnoticed off to the side, also looks nauseated and dismayed. But Batiatus is adamant – if Crixus is going to be forgotten as a failed and injured gladiator, it’s not going to happen under HIS roof.

*****

Later on, Naevia recounts the conversation for Crixus through the ludus’ gates. Crixus looks miserable but stoic, his usual mien this season, waaaaaah. I know I mock him a ton but I really adore him and his dopey manpain and his ridiculously overblown sense of manly honor. He looks almost close to tears, but instead worries aloud that he’s never seen Damascus, and does Naevia think he’ll like it? Naevia is fit to be fucking tied. How DARE Crixus just give up like that? Such is her total love and adoration for Crixus that she counsels him to convince Lucretia of his manly accomplishments in the best way he can – SWEATY AND NAKED.

*****

The next morning, Spartacus casually returns the gambling money he won from Varro the night before, trying and failing to not look ever so slightly smug. Spartacus, it turns out, was also once a loutish gambler, until someone came along and changed his fiendish ways – his beloved wife Sura, of course. Varro and everyone else in the entire world can see right through this ploy to make him start sending money to Aurelia again, and Varro can’t help but be offended at this unasked for advice. Stupid Varro still insists that Aurelia is a whore for having been raped, and Spartacus just stares at him with pity and disgust until he sits back down.

Once the full story of the false friend from the marketplace comes to light, Spartacus is totally fucking outraged that Varro blames Aurelia, insisting that the blame is Varro’s alone, for leaving his family to fend for themselves due to his gambling debts. THAT’S RIGHT, BITCHES. Spartacus is my forever girl now.

Spartacus straight up calls him out for being an epic douchebag for not defending his wife and loving and supporting her, something that he, Spartacus, wishes he still had the chance to do. Sparty hands over the money and walks away in total disgust, and if I didn’t totally want to slap Varro for his dickery, I would be SO SAD that our boys had their first real fight.

*****

Lucretia has summoned Crixus up to the villa to break the bad news that Batiatus is, at this very moment, discussing his sale in the market. She looks completely miserable and is hiding it quite badly – her voice goes all wobbly when Crixus asks if she also thinks he’s no good to them anymore. And that right there is all the encouragement he needs to grab her and fling her down onto the bed, and give her the savage boning of her lifetime. Lucretia is fucking ecstatic and shrieks her goddamn head off, while Naevia peeks at them from beyond the doorway.

As she escorts Crixus back downstairs, Naevia’s struggling with her jealousy yet again. Naevia, you silly twit. This was your idea. YOURS. Crixus, meanwhile, is even more wretchedly despairing, having learned that Batiatus is already at the market. None of Naevia’s comforting words have any effect on him, and he swoons off to his cell miserably.

*****

Spartacus is alone in the baths, absentmindedly toying with a strigil and staring off into space. Suddenly and from out of fucking nowhere, someone pounces from behind him and begins throttling him with a bit of rope. OH FUCK IS IT CRIXUS?

Oh snap no IT IS SEGOVAX. Oh Ilithyia, you VICIOUS LITTLE WENCH. But Spartacus ain’t going out like that, and fights Segovax off as best he can, throwing him to the ground and giving him The Plebe’s Elbow to the ribs. Segovax uses his height and weight advantage against Spartacus, though, and things are decidedly not looking good for Our Hotass Hero.

Out in the hallways, Crixus overhears the nearby struggle. Just as Spartacus is turning purple and going limp, and Segovax asks his forgiveness (what, for killing him? dude.), Crixus throws himself rageily into the room and flings the much larger Segovax around like a rag doll, giving Spartacus a moment or two to recover. Segovax gets in one or two lucky blows, and slashes at Crixus’ leg with the abandoned strigil, but Crixus is a fucking unstoppable beating machine, and smashes Segovax’s face against the side of the pool, bloodily and toothlessly.

So Segovax is unconscious, Spartacus is barely able to breathe, and now Crixus’ messy stomach wounds are reopening – basically everyone is hating life. Spartacus, quite rightly, asks why the fuck Crixus would kill a fellow Gaul to save someone he totally hates, but of course he’s got it all wrong. Crixus didn’t save Spartacus for being Spartacus, he saved a fellow gladiator who bears the Mark of the Brotherhood. Yes, in case anyone forgot, Crixus’ incredible sense of honor is basically all that keeps him going these days.

*****

Batiatus returns from the market in a flail of complete rage. He’s gone for one afternoon and what happens? What the fuck? A recruit tries to kill his fucking Champion? NO. DENIED. And to make matters worse, OF FUCKING COURSE it’s Ilithyia’s man. Could it be any more obvious that Ilithyia is behind this?

Lucretia seizes the moment to smugly point out that Spartacus would be dead now if it wasn’t for Crixus, glorious Crixus, and Batiatus agrees to halt the sale to Vibius. Ashur tries to stall and hold him to the agreed-upon terms, but Batiatus tells him to fuck directly off.

Ilithyia chooses this particularly inopportune moment to arrive, excited to watch the testing of the new recruits. When Batty tells her that the testing will be delayed due to Spartacus’ attack, she can barely feign concern. Come on, Ilithyia, you are more clever than this! Lucretia’s worried face does nothing to Ilithyia’s tomfoolery, and it’s only when Batiatus says that the misfortune was all Segovax’s that she realizes her plan has failed.

*****

Outside in the training area, the men are assembled silently, watching a badly beaten and emasculated Segovax be crucified. Despite rather a lot of torture, Segovax has not revealed Ilithyia’s part in the plan. Instead of looking grateful, she feigns concern to hide her temper. SIGH.

As the men stand and watch Segovax die slowly, Crixus tells Spartacus that he WILL be Champion again one day very soon, by the gods. Sparty’s response? BRING IT.

*****

NEXT WEEK! Shit gets fucking real, y’all. Crixus is finally back in training! Varro misses Aurelia! Licinia comes by for a little something something! And Ilithyia fucking loses her goddamn mind like whoa.

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  • Geeka

    Just read about Andy Whitfield’s death. So sad. Thanks for the recaps. He will always be Spartacus to me. Don’t know if my brain will accept the new guy.

    • Liz

      holy shit. he was only 39.

      fuck cancer.

      • Geeka

        My sentiments exactly….

        P.S. You are so close to the episode that made me sit up and say, “aw, snap. It just got real up in here!”. Can’t wait to see Ilithyia loose it.

        • Liz

          SHE IS MY FAVOURITE, SRSLY. I was so upset that there wouldn’t be more Licinia interactions, though. She was a great foil for Ilithyia’s personality.