Spartacus: Vengeance – 2.07 – Sacramentum

(Sorry for the delay, guys! Moving is horrible and I don’t ever want to do it again.)

The Port of Neapolis looks like an utterly miserable vacation spot, y’all. It’s dark o’clock in the dead of night and the rain is pissing down, and everyone on the docks looks about as surly as you’d expect, working a wet stormy night shift more than 2,000 years before the coming of Starbucks.

Lucius and Agron, swathed in the traditional cloaks of People Going About Mysterious Business, bribe a slave ship’s captain to get the first look at his hold full of captured fighting men before the marketplace auction later that morning. The captain is surprised that they’re so interested in the men, as the call for this kind of slave has decreased since Capua’s arena burned down, but the substantial purse of coin Lucius hands over distracts the captain from this inconvenient line of questioning. When the captain descends into the belly of the ship with Lucius and Agron, Sparty and Donar slip up over the edge of the dock and, with knife and rope, silently dispatch the guards left on deck.

o hai

Below, the hold is full of chained men, with some women locked in a cell at the far end. While Lucius makes small talk with the captain, Agron, speaking in their shared native Germanic tongue, whispers to the largest of the slaves, Sedullus, that they’re about to be rescued. Sedullus looks less excited than you’d imagine, and for good reason—the nearest guard to them also speaks their language. From there on, there’s nothing left to do but brawl like drunken fratboys.

Lucius and Agron get to work on the guards, with plenty of help from the chained and caged slaves, who are eager to return some violence to their captors. Sedullus and a feisty blonde girl, Saxa, are definitely the most bent on dispensing some mayhem. Once Donar and Sparty drop in from the deck, it’s all over in a minute or two, and the slaves are freed. Sedullus compliments Agron on the fighting skills of “his” men, but Agron corrects him immediately—Spartacus is their leader, not himself.

Although the slaves are a bit confused to have been liberated by men not all from their homeland, they’re definitely stoked for the opportunity to kill some more Romans, and just like that, the rebel army has doubled in number. Agron is delighted that his plan worked out so well, and with no losses, but Spartacus seems to have a few reservations—Agron didn’t exactly mention that the ship he scouted was full of Germanic tribesmen, now did he? Agron’s also awfully gloaty about the fact that the Germanics now vastly outnumber the Gauls in their rebel army.

Man, Crixus is gonna be pissed. And without Rhaskos and Liscus to back him up, I bet he’s going to feel awfully cornered.

*****

Magistrate Gallienus is strolling through Capua’s marketplace with Gannicus, discussing the sad fate of the late Mercato. Gannicus has come back into town to see about getting paid for his work in the arena, as, predictably, he’s drank away all his remaining coin. The Magistrate isn’t as receptive to his requests as Gannicus had hoped, unfortunately—he points out that Gannicus was hired to execute the prisoners, not get knocked into a temporarily amnesiac state (as Gannicus claims) by the collapsing arena while the prisoners escaped. Instead, he hands over a token sum as thanks for Gannicus’ “years of pleasing crowd in the arena,” and tells him to piss off elsewhere.

Gannicus looks frustrated and angry, but he has more important things on his mind—the loss of his rudis weighs heavily upon him, as it’s the only proof of his manumission. Gallienus doesn’t give a shit about Gannicus’s problems, and directs him to speak with Glaber instead. Luckily, or unluckily as it turns out, Glaber is just across the marketplace, giving an angry speech in the square. Gannicus mingles with the rest of the crowd to see what’s going on.

Glaber, surrounded by Ashur’s questionable men, and with Ilithyia, Lucretia, and Seppia at his side, reminds the crowd of the many losses inflicted upon the city by Spartacus and the rebels—as if Senator Albinius and everyone else who died in the collapse of the arena weren’t bad enough, now Seppius has been murdered in his own home, by his own slaves, who then fled to join Spartacus and the rebels! How shocking! Oh Glaber. Liar liar tunic on FIRE.

So, from this day forward, any slave who is heard even whispering Sparty’s name will be immediately executed. And to set things in motion, Glaber’s men arrive with a wooden cross for the very first execution—Ilithyia’s personal body slave, Thessala. Oh shit.

Thessala screams and struggles in total shock as she’s dragged to the cross. Ilithyia looks horrified and steps forward as though to defend Thessala, but Lucretia holds her back with whispered cautions. When Glaber claims that his loyal wife Ilithyia overheard Thessala talking about Spartacus and praising the slaves who murdered Seppius, she is forced to support him completely.

at least it gets you out in the open air

Before the murmuring crowd and an increasingly distressed Gannicus, Thessala is then crucified with long iron spikes. (Gruesome note of historical accuracy: they crucify her the “right” way as opposed to the traditionally depicted way—with spikes through the wrist between the radius and ulna, and not through the palms of the hands. Yes, folks, there is a right and wrong way to crucify people and I know what it is. WHAT OF IT.) As Thessala screams in agony, Ashur gazes out over the assembly with a satisfied smile, and when his eyes meet Gannicus’s icy glare, his smile only widens. Gannicus turns away in disgust and shoves his way out of the crowd.

*****

Over at the abandoned temple, the former house slaves are hard at work, training in swordplay with the gladiators. Naevia is having a determined go at Crixus, lunging at him again and again with a sword with a look of angry determination on her beautiful face. One overreaching lunge sends her stumbling to the ground, and she refuses Crixus’s assistance in getting up—she’s angry at herself for not being more successful. Come on, girl, stop being so down on yourself. You’re training with the goddamn Champion of Capua, the Undefeated Gaul, and this is the first time you have a sword in your hand!

Crixus, more patient than he’s been with any trainee ever, can barely hide his sweet, indulgent smile as he instructs her. He gently tells her that all her attempts to chop his head off are wasted efforts when there are plenty of other, far less exhausting blows that can kill an opponent. Oh yeah? Well Naevia’s going to learn all of them. SO THERE.

Nasir and Mira are watching them from across the courtyard and are genuinely enjoying Naevia’s renewed interest in life and freedom. Nasir laughingly recounts Crixus’s refusal to join in the attack on Neapolis, claiming that Naevia needs him more, and Mira remarks how lucky Naevia is to be loved so deeply. But when Nasir reminds her that she and Spartacus have a similar relationship, Mira looks thoughtful, and her happy smile dims somewhat.

She’s prevented from any further emo musings by Oenomaus, newly arisen from his sickbed. All the former gladiators are thrilled to see him up and about, and Naevia gives him an enormous hug of relief. He and Crixus share a moment of manly arm-claspy reunions, and Oenomaus ruefully apologizes for having been gone so long—he’s now fully committed to their cause, and is proud to stand among them once again. FUCK YEAH.

Spartacus, Agron, Lucius, and Lugo arrive with the freed Germanic tribesmen, all of whom are in extreme high spirits. Sedullus announces that they should all lift cup together in brotherhood, and is sadly disappointed to be told that there’s no wine for manly toasts, only water. Sedullus’s smaller (but no less rowdy) second-in-command, Nemetus, laughs at his disappointment, shouting to the crowd that the only thing more obnoxious than a sober Sedullus is a drunk Sedullus. Proving the truth of these words, the two men engage in some giddy funtimes bro-brawling while the rest of the tribesmen cheer them on.

Mira’s glad that such capable fighting men have joined their cause, but not everyone shares her enthusiasm. Oenomaus and Crixus both look concerned, and Crixus immediately shares his reservations—these men are all Agron’s people, from his homeland and speaking his language. Where will their ultimate loyalties lie?

*****

Back in Capua, Ashur is getting dressed and chatting comfortably with… Oh my god, with Lucretia? Looks like he’s gone from violent rape to casually blackmailing her for sex. UGH. OFF WITH HIS HEAD. Ashur smirks, claiming Lucretia is starting to enjoy their sick joke of a relationship, and when Lucretia is prodded into giving him the “yes” he’s looking for, he further prompts her to call him dominus. Creepily, Ashur’s abandoned most of his usual nasty smarm for what seems like fairly genuine—if cruel and vicious—affection, telling Lucretia that he has a special gift for her.

He opens a small chest in the corner of his cell, and Lucretia is surprised to note that it’s full of jewelry and small valuables—basically, it’s all the stuff Ashur has been looting from corpses, like Seppius’s. He has some unspecified important plans in the works which will require even more hoarding of ill-gotten wealth.

He presents Lucretia with his gift, and right here is a shot just oozing with fantastically subtle juxtapositions—his reaching out gently for her soft, clean, pale hand with his own darker, scarred, filthy hand could almost be sweet if not for the utterly vile threats and violence and coercion that led up to this moment. Even more unsettlingly, he kneels before her with an almost adoring look, and watches her open her gift with pleased anticipation.

Apparently, since he’s now fucking his old master’s wife and forcing her to call him dominus, in his mind this has equated him with Batiatus, and his gift of a beautiful red wig emphasizes this delusion—Ashur bought it for her specifically because Batty loved her in that color, and he wants her to wear it in his presence as a symbol that she now belongs to him.

Lucretia can barely hide her revulsion, but Ashur doesn’t really seem to notice. Or possibly he just doesn’t care.

*****

Upstairs, Seppia is weeping quietly in the triclinium with Ilithyia and Glaber. When Glaber confirms that he’s conscripted her late brother’s mercenaries, she’s full of bitter regrets that Seppius did not join in their cause sooner, as she believes that would have saved his life. Technically, she’s right, but not for the reasons she’s thinking. I assume Glaber would’ve killed off Seppius either way.

Ilithyia plays the part of the loyal wife, agreeing that her father would likewise perhaps still be alive if only rash young Seppius had seen the light. Her support is barely noticed by Glaber, who offers Seppia his hand as they stroll out to the balcony to watch the conscripts assemble in the courtyard below. Ilithyia watches them depart with the tiniest of chin trembles. OH MY PRECIOUS DARLING GIRL.

*****

Glaber, Seppia, and Ilithyia stand on the balcony as Glaber’s second-in-command, Salvius, orders the men to stand at attention. Glaber calls forward the men’s leader, Octavius Tarsus, to take the sacramentum and swear their loyalty to Glaber’s command.

As Octavius reads the oath to the assembled men, Lucretia joins the trio on the balcony. She’s wearing the red wig, and Ilithyia compliments her on the return to her old color. Lucretia smiles a tight, pained smile and says that she’s not sure it suits her anymore. Ashur looks up at her with a creepy smile, which Lucretia valiantly tries to return.

Seppia, still wet-eyed and miserable, wonders if her brother’s men will be enough, and Glaber assures her that, added to his own army, they will surely be enough of a force to bring Spartacus to justice. But Seppia doesn’t want justice—she wants revenge. REVENNNNNGE! She will only be satisfied with bloody, gory, slaughtery violent messy death for the men who murdered her brother, and I swear to god Glaber pops a chub at her words. And despite my unswerving and implacable devotion to Ilithyia, I am admittedly pretty into Seppia right now myself.

oh god i have betrayed my fictional girlfriend i am a monster

Below, the men complete their oath, and Glaber sends them off with Salvius to set up a camp outside the villa. Seppia thanks Glaber for his kindness with a sweet little kiss to his cheek, and a soft whisper in his ear, and yeah, they’re totally going to bone ASAP. ARGH I AM SO CONFLICTED. Glaber then invites Seppia to stay at the villa as long as she wants, and she’s delighted to accept, despite plans to stay with an uncle in Pompeii. Glaber pretends he’s just concerned that she’d have to make a long journey while Spartacus is still at large, but come on, his main reason is sexy sex sexings and also the sex. He and Seppia eyefuck shamelessly while Ilithyia looks on in horror, forced to stammer out a weak agreement to the plan.

The soon-to-be sexy sexers go inside and make arrangements FOR THE SEX for Seppia’s stay, leaving Ilithyia and Lucretia on the balcony to commiserate. Ilithyia can’t believe that she ever thought Glaber was a weak man, because now whenever she looks into his eyes, she’s terrified of the man he’s become. Lucretia tries to soothe her by reminding her of her baby on the way, but Ilithyia finds no comfort in knowing that the baby is the only reason she’s still alive. She’s afraid Glaber will never stop tormenting her for choosing Varinius over him, as the recent outrages of Thessala’s crucifixion, and now Glaber’s erstwhile mistress moved into their own home, prove handily.

Lucretia honestly looks more upset over Ilithyia’s pain than she’s looked over her own tragedies lately, and seriously, it gives me epic shivers over the strength of their alliance and the vast potential it holds for cunningly, craftily executed mayhem and vengeance.

*****

Spartacus finds Agron carving up a joint of meat in the temple’s storeroom—it’s the last of their dwindling supplies, but the tribesmen are determined to feast and celebrate their newfound freedom. Agron laughs, saying he’d forgotten how much his kinsmen can devour in one sitting, but Spartacus isn’t in a jokey mood. He wants to dwell on all the other things Agron has forgotten lately – like how he forgot to mention that the slave ship he intended to liberate was full of men from his homeland, for example. Were there no other ships available? Why yes, there were, actually: two of them, one from Damascus and one from Gallia. OHOHO.

Agron defends his decision, dismissing the Damascenes as low-quality fighters and untrustworthy to boot, and dismissing the Gauls as, well, fucking Gauls! Spartacus is totally irritated at this further proof of Agron’s neverending vendetta against Crixus and all Gauls in general, and gives Agron a quiet dressing-down. He informs Agron that together, they’ll take the tribesmen hunting in the morning, so Sparty can gauge their skills and see how they work together. He also wants them to all speak in the common language of the rest of the rebels instead of clannishly sticking with Germanic. Agron looks a bit deflated and hurt, but is determined that Sparty will see the worth of his kinsmen.

*****

Gannicus is sitting in his favourite Capuan brothel once again, no doubt spending the last of the coin given to him by the Magistrate. The usual drunken revelry is going on around him as he broods manfully. Marcia spots her favourite customer from across the room and hurries over to happily confirm that he’s not dead under the rubble of the arena, as rumoured. In fact, Marcia’s so pleased to see him that she’s willing to give him a freebie, despite his immediate disclaimers of being totally skint. Gannicus doesn’t want to get her in trouble with her pimp, and sadly turns her down. This, my internets friends, is surely a historical moment indeed.

It seems that Marcia’s just as eager for gossip, and she fangirlishly inquires if Gannicus saw or spoke to the famous Spartacus while at the arena’s fall. Gannicus, still unhappy about the earlier scene in the marketplace, cautions Marcia not to speak openly about such dangerous things, but Marcia won’t be dissuaded—everyone’s talking about Spartacus, and many slaves in the brothel want to join his cause. Gannicus mocks the very idea of a cause, saying Sparty’s just leading “innocent fools to their deaths,” and Marcia finally gets the picture, sighing sadly over Gannicus’s lack of spending money.

Their friendly groping session is interrupted by the arrival of Ashur and a pair of his thugs, come to fetch Gannicus on the orders of Glaber. Gannicus sneers at Ashur’s smiles and claims of brotherhood, and wants nothing to do with him, until Ashur reminds him that without his rudis, he’s somewhat powerless to defy the will of a Praetor.

“That sure is a nice freedom you got there, buddy. It’d be an awful shame if something happened to it.” I kind of want to spend the afternoon watching classic Mafia movies with Ashur, tbh. Later maybe someone could beat the crap out of him in a cornfield and bury him alive. Funtimes for everyone!

*****

Glaber receives Gannicus in the tablinum, accompanied by Lucretia, Salvius, and Ashur. Glaber’s all smarm and smiles and hearty friendliness, and it’s so blatantly fake that Gannicus looks increasingly nervous with every word. I think it’s safe to assume that Glaber suspects Gannicus of harboring rebel sympathies, but I don’t think he knows for sure that Gannicus actually joined them temporarily, as Gannicus isn’t being horribly tortured for information.

Besides, Glaber has specific plans for our Gannicus. His scheming political mind took note of the crowd’s love for Gannicus when he entered the arena, and now Glaber hopes to combine that affection with Gannicus’s seemingly miraculous survival in the arena and parlay that into further support against Spartacus. He wants Gannicus to join his army and be the public face of the campaign, the spokesgladiator, if you will—a former slave of the house of Batiatus, working to bring his former brothers to justice! How moving!

Gannicus points out that Glaber already HAS someone like that in his employ—Ashur—and once again, Ashur is relegated to “doing his best work in the shadows,” instead of elevated to the publicly powerful position he craves. Glaber, dude. Seriously. Learn from Batiatus’s mistakes and do not ever underestimate Ashur, as that way lies madness and ruin and death. FOR SERIOUS.

Obviously Gannicus is not even remotely interested in participating in this terrible plan, but instead of killing him where he stands, Glaber gives him the creepiest of smiles and hands over the rudis, claiming that Gannicus is a free man, free to make his own decisions. Seriously, Glaber looks like he’s about to unhinge his jaw and devour Gannicus whole. That right there is one hell of a first-class crazyface Manson Stare, I tell you what. (idk why but right now I am picturing him as Haldir the Elf making that impassive yet judgmental elf face and I am cracking the fuck up.)

Gannicus takes his rudis and departs with a vaguely worried look, probably because Glaber is still grinning like a murderous cannibal. As soon as he’s gone, Ashur steps forward with his many reservations about this confusing turn of events—how can they let Gannicus go free? Oh Ashur. Do you really think Glaber is that stupid? Don’t be ridiculous. If Gannicus attempts to leave town, Glaber will have him crucified.

*****

Later that evening, Ilithyia and Lucretia commence with the first phase of their “Get The Hell Out Of Capua” plan. Lucretia takes out her knife and kneels before Ilithyia, promising it will only hurt for a moment, while Illy watches wide-eyed with fear. OH GOD WHAT.

But no. Lucretia turns the knife on herself, omg, cutting open her own wrist. WHY WHY WHAT IS HAPPEN. And then she tells Ilithyia to lift her dress. LE GASP DRAMATIQUE.

*****

Glaber and Ashur are in the tablinum with Salvius, receiving his report on the attack in Neapolis. They correctly deduce that Spartacus was behind the attack, with the intent of adding more warriors to his rebel army, and men are dispatched to question anyone who might have seen the rebels depart the city. As Salvius leaves to send out the men, Ilithyia staggers through the villa towards the tablinum, with blood smeared down her thighs and all over her dress. She calls out for Glaber piteously and then collapses to the floor, whimpering.

Glaber rushes to her side just as Lucretia comes running to assist. Lucretia cleverly tells him that the blood is a sign from the gods that the baby will die if Ilithyia doesn’t leave Capua, “a city cursed with blood and fear.” Glaber, trusting Lucretia completely, promises to have a company of men escort Ilithyia to their villa in Rome, with Lucretia to accompany them. However, being such a consummate schemer himself, Ashur sees right through their deception and helpfully reminds Glaber that the locals will lose heart if the god-touched Lucretia is seen to leave town.

The combination of her devotion to Ilithyia and her fear of exposure from Ashur keeps Lucretia silent, and Ilithyia’s also too scared to protest. NOOOOO.

*****

Back at Vesuvius, Sparty is trying to convince Oenomaus to help instruct the non-gladiator rebels in fighting techniques. Oenomaus protests that he’s not a soldier, just a former gladiator and slave, but come the fuck on, he is the most badass of badasses, and an asset to any fighting force. Oenomaus looks a bit doubtful but agrees, and Sparty promises to join him once he returns from hunting with Agron and the tribesmen. But Lucius and Crixus arrive with the disturbing news that Agron and the tribesmen left before dawn, without telling anyone.

*****

Sparty, Crixus, and Lucius find Agron and the tribesmen in the forest, returning with fresh kills for all. Agron apologizes for leaving without them, and Sedullus laughs that they awoke to hunt while Sparty and Crixus were still lying in bed with their women. Oh no he din’t.

Even worse, the hunters didn’t just roam the forests looking for meat—according to Lugo, they attacked Romans on the nearby road, killing them all and looting their cart of wine and other supplies. Sparty and Crixus share a look of epic disbelief—how could anyone be so stupid as to attack travelers on the road, so close to their seekrit hideout? And without even having proper weapons? ARGH!

The tribesmen definitely do not seem to comprehend the gravity of the situation or the totally understandable anger of Spartacus, Lucius, and Crixus. They return to the hideout to prepare for some epic feasting. Agron stays behind to defend them, and his enthusiasm rapidly descends into yet another fucking spat with Crixus over how all Gauls are giant loserfaces and no one will ever like them. Crixus, once again proving how much he’s grown and changed, refuses to rise to the bait.

It’s funny how Agron seemed far more reasonable and mature only in comparison with his super hotheaded bratty little baby brother, Duro. His lack of foresight is even more apparent next to the obvious personal growth of Crixus. OH BOYS. I have so many more deep thoughts on this matter but oh man, Manu Bennett’s thighs are really fucking distracting. I can’t even.

*****

Lucretia is giving her blessings all over the marketplace, and catches sight of Gannicus stumbling across the street, jug of wine in hand. She catches up with him in the center of the square, where at least a dozen slaves have been crucified and left on display… including Marcia. Oh shit.

When Lucretia asks, though, Gannicus just dismisses her as a foolish girl who shot off her mouth about dangerous things. Lucretia agrees that the city is full of listening ears, not to mention watching eyes, and carefully draws Gannicus’s attention to the thug Ashur has trailing him. But when she tries to warn him of Glaber’s intent to have him crucified if he leaves the city, he takes it as an outright threat, and shouts that he’s no longer her slave to be ordered around.

Gannicus, broseph. I love you and all but you are kind of a derpface. I get that you don’t want to trust Lucretia, which is of course a very wise decision, but the last thing you want to do is draw unnecessary attention to yourself, fool.

Can you tell that I shout at the teevee a lot when this show is on? It’s fucking embarrassing is what it is. AND THEY NEVER LISTEN. Oh the injustice.

ANYWAY. Lucretia’s not trying to order you around, Gannicus. She has a cunning scheme and she needs your help! Gannicus assumes that she wants him to take Glaber’s offer and join his army, which he dismisses with a sneer. Silly Gannicus, Lucretia has far more terrifying things in mind—she wants you to kill Glaber for her instead.

That gets Gannicus’s attention, all right. He follows her off into a secluded corner of the market to hear more. Lucretia explains that she believes the death of Glaber will ultimately save many lives, since Spartacus’s rage is primarily fueled by Glaber’s part in Sura’s death—with Glaber gone, Spartacus will be denied his chance for revenge and will likely flee the area with his men, and no further innocent lives will be lost on either side.

This seems like a minor miscalculation on Lucretia’s part, tbh. When has Gannicus ever shown that he’d be moved by the thought of saving random lives, slave, Roman, or otherwise? I feel like he’d be better won over if she was honest and just said, “I can’t fucking stand the dude and also he is mean to his hot wife who is my BFF.” Actually, I feel like she’d have better luck bribing him with tacos and beer. Who doesn’t like tacos and beer? Bad people, that’s who.

Lucretia then reveals that Ilithyia will be leaving for Rome that very evening, and will be accompanied by a full half of Glaber’s soldiers, leaving the villa less well guarded than usual. She promises to distract as many of the remaining men as possible, allowing Gannicus to slip into the villa unnoticed and kill Glaber. Naturally, Spartacus will take the blame.

Gannicus tells her that she and her plan are both completely insane, and he wants nothing to do with it, but he looks awfully thoughtful after she’s gone.

*****

The rowdy tribesmen are front and center, cheering while Sedullus and Nemetus brawl drunkenly in the middle of the feasting and festivities. Feisty blonde Saxa is cheering the loudest, bellowing indiscriminately to “rip his fucking cock off!” A fellow tribesman sidles up to her to comment that she’s just as bad as Sedullus when she’s drunk, and not only does she completely agree that she can rival any man in any way, she goes on to prove it by tackling the man onto his back, where she gives him the humping of a lifetime. I like you, new girl. I like you a whole lot.

Nasir and Agron laugh together as Sedullus wins his friendly fight—Nasir’s glad to see the newcomers are having a good time and lifting everyone’s spirits. Agron, who is completely incapable of ever letting anything go, ever ever ever, stays true to form and, nose haughtily in the air, sneers that Crixus certainly isn’t having any fun. It’s true, though—he and Naevia are sitting apart from the rest of the group, and while Naevia is smiling and laughing, Crixus just looks broody and grim.

Sedullus next challenges Agron to a drunken brawl, and flings him happily to the ground without waiting for an answer. Agron rolls and leaps to his feet, ready for funtimes and asskickery. Crixus is totally in A Mood this evening, and grumbles that maybe he’ll get lucky and Agron and Sedullus will kill each other. And as if I didn’t already love Naevia enough, her response to him is fucking golden:

“You are an impossible man.”

A truer truth has never been truthed, y’all.

Lugo and a pair of half-naked girls lumber up the steps nearby, bellowing out the words to some apparently well-loved drinking song. Hilariously, they approach Oenomaus, and Lugo happily demands that he sing along and also share his women. Oenomaus, the politest badass ever to badass, just smiles and says he doesn’t know the words, but this doesn’t dissuade Lugo. He’ll teach his “dark brother” the words! Oenomaus is hauled to his feet and carried off for some strictly enforced carousing.

Mira and Spartacus watch the scene unfold from a few meters away: Mira with amusement, and Sparty with mild disapproval. While he seems to agree with her belief that sometimes you just need to get hammered and party to make friends with new people, Sparty doesn’t think this is really the most appropriate time for a frat party. Mira teases him for his boring ways, and he finally cracks a smile, offering to get the wine away from Lugo for their own consumption while rescuing Oenomaus in the process.

*****

The covered wagon for Ilithyia’s trip to Rome arrives in the villa’s courtyard, and her excitement at her impending escape is tempered by her unhappiness at leaving Lucretia behind. As they hug good-bye, Lucretia whispers to Ilithyia her plan for Gannicus to kill Glaber that very night—Lucretia’s sure she’ll be joining Ilithyia in Rome very soon afterwards, as soon as Gannicus is caught and killed before he can reveal her part in the murder, that is. Ilithyia looks kind of startled that Lucretia has arranged everything so quickly, and almost looks like she might be having second thoughts.

Glaber breaks up their hugfest and calls Ilithyia over to the wagon, telling her that it’s time to get going. Ilithyia walks over to him, looking really uncertain, and when she glances nervously over at Lucretia, I shit you not, my internets friends, I GASPED ALOUD IN TOTAL HORROR. Because that right there? She was totally contemplating the idea of betraying Lucretia in the hopes of winning back her husband’s affections, or at least having him hate someone else more than he hates her. And as much as I hate the idea of Ilithyia and Lucretia no longer being a crafty team united against the entire world, I really love seeing this hint of Ilithyia’s formerly strong and utterly ruthless self.

Ilithyia hesitates long enough to scare the crap out of Lucretia as well, and then finally leans in to plant a pretty serious kiss on Glaber’s mouth, startling him enough that he responds momentarily. She leans in to whisper something to him, and of course I panic again, because I am helpless in this show’s fiendish thrall, but all she says to him is “you will be missed.”

*****

Amidst the revelry, Naevia wanders back inside the temple to refill her cup of water from the barrel. Sedullus stomps in behind her, wineskin at the ready, and teases her for drinking only water while everyone else parties. She turns down his offer with a friendly smile, as Crixus is waiting for her outside, and Sedullus knows exactly who she means—he’s seen the Gaul glaring at him all day long. Naevia apologizes for her impossible man, and explains that Crixus will just need some time to adjust. But when she moves to leave, Sedullus isn’t willing to let her go just yet. Instead, he grabs her and bends her over, planning to get all rapey with her, and it is at this precise moment that I recognize this actor as the dude who played Gregor Clegane in Game of Thrones.

Naevia, while unlikely to have seen GoT, nevertheless recognizes him as bad news, and grabs a knife lying on the table, stabbing him good and hard in the guts. Sedullus knocks her down with a vicious backhand and pulls the knife out of his stomach, preparing to get really nasty with her. Luckily, Agron sees the struggle from just outside, and runs over to yank Sedullus away from Naevia. This time, however, their fight isn’t very playful at all.

Sedullus drags Agron outside, throws him onto his ass, and commences with a determined beatdown. Crixus, not yet having noticed anything amiss, watches their brawl with a small smile until Naevia barely whispers his name from inside the temple. He takes one look at her bloody, tearstained face, and in the very next second he’s got Sedullus on the ground with his hands around his throat. Lugo leaps over to bowl Crixus off of Sedullus, and suddenly the entire courtyard is just one massively confused all hands on deck brawl.

In the middle of all the men flailing at one another drunkenly, there is something far more awesome going on—Mira and Saxa are throwing DOWN like UFC champions. This is no face-slapping, hair-pulling, eye-clawing catfight, mind you. These girls are busting out with some wicked right hooks and roundhouses, and I really really hope they end up being super asskicky BFFs after this.

Sparty and Oenomaus run out of the temple to dispense some law and goddamn order to the scene, taking out every opponent that crosses their paths with the ease of a true BAMF. Agron’s got Sedullus by the throat from behind, but Sedullus throws him off and grabs a sword, preparing to skewer him thoroughly. Sparty draws his own sword and saves Agron’s ass at the very last moment, and then, in the scene I have been waiting for since this season’s very first previews aired, he slices off Sedullus’ entire face. Oh, and then his brain falls out accompanied by a grotendous squishy noise.

No fight has ever ended quite so decisively.

The startled tribesmen stand gobsmacked and guilty in front of Spartacus as he shouts at them for being drunken dishonorable jackasses. He tells them that if they can’t behave and follow his orders, they can GTFO or die like their giant bully of a brainless buddy, Sedullus. Agron backs him up right away, announcing that he’s behind Sparty 100% and will support no man who thinks otherwise.

No one responds immediately, and the rest of the rebels brace themselves for yet another messy brawl, until Lugo steps forward to pick up a discarded sword and shield. But instead of offering a challenge, he announces that any man capable of killing Sedullus must be one hell of a goddamn warrior, and someone Lugo is definitely going to follow. The other tribesmen fall in line, and soon all of them are pounding their chests and cheering for Spartacus.

*****

Gannicus is once again seated alone in the middle of his favourite brothel, but this time, instead of cuddling his wine jug, he’s staring at his rudis thoughtfully. He finally comes to some kind of decision, and leaves with a purposeful spring in his step. Just behind him, wearing the usual sneaky Cloak of Mysteriousness, is the tattoo-faced thug set on him by Ashur.

*****

Lucretia hurries through the villa, and calls away the guard outside Glaber’s bedroom to aid her with some unnamed problem. As Glaber sleeps on, a shadow falls over him, waking him immediately. Is it DEATH?!

Nope! It’s Seppia, and she slowly drops her skimpy night dress as he watches appreciatively. AND THEN THEY TOTALLY DO IT, YOU GUYS. They have alllll the sex, leaving none for anyone else. Selfish!

Since this is objectively the greatest show of all time, we get a nice look at Glaber’s fantastic ass before they’re interrupted by Salvius, who has some urgent news for Glaber. What on earth is more important than boning his new hottie mistress?

*****

What indeed.

The scene on the road is one of seriously epic carnage, even for this show. The bodies of Glaber’s men are literally hacked to pieces and strewn all over the place, and the covered wagon stands alone and bloody. In split-second flashbacks, we see Gannicus leaping out of the night like the goddamn Batman, a sword in either hand, taking the convoy by complete surprise. He rips open the wagon’s curtained door, and Ilithyia stares out at his bloody crazyface in terror.

Back in present time, Lucretia and Glaber approach the wagon with Ashur right behind them. Glaber opens the curtain, expecting the worst, but only finds Ashur’s tattooed thug—with Gannicus’s rudis buried in his chest. It looks like Gannicus has chosen a side, and it’s not Glaber’s. HA.

(I can’t even tell who I’m rooting for anymore. Everyone! Everyone simultaneously! It’s fucking exhausting, y’all.)

*****

ONLY THREE MORE EPISODES TO GO, YOU GUYS. I DON’T EVER WANT IT TO END.

Please like & share:
  • mrmonkeybottoms

    I find myself gasping at the screen while I watch this crazy show too. This episode’s gasp happened when Spartus cut off Sedullus’ freakin’ FACE. Cut it off. Cut it RIGHT OFF. Just…you know…*slice*

    And then, when Lucretia’s plan goes totally and completely wrong in the mess of blood and gore and body parts strewn around the wagon that had her bestie in it I found myself shouting, “Oh Lucy Lawless, you can’t WIN these days! Whyyyy??”

    I also never, ever want this season to end.

    Awesome recaps! xxx ooo

    • Liz

      I have been waiting for that face-slicing scene for SO LONG, OMG. It was one of the very first things I saw in the previews, and I was like DAMN THIS SEASON WILL BE AWESOME.

      And I was right!

  • I’ve recently discovered your website and I have to say I look forward to this recap every week! Hilarious and spot on. I share so many of the same emotions.

    But seriously, he chopped his face off. If that doesn’t underline the awesomeness of this show, I don’t know what does!

    • Liz

      Thank you so much for reading!

  • Star

    Is a casting announcement for series 3 considered a spoiler? I just want to make sure before I gush about one of them, because it is truly glorious.

    You know, until you said Sedullus was also Gregor Clegane on GoT, I had NO IDEA and OMG now I can’t unsee it. How awesome is this show? It is all the awesome. Mira and her kickassness, Glaber and his lack of honour, omg poor Lucretia with creepy mcreeperpants Ashur and Glorious Gannicus of the Gladius of Shiny Death!

    • Liz

      IDK but my personal policy on spoilers for everything ever now that LOST is over is bring it on.

      • Star

        Orrriiiiight. /Aussie accent.

        They’ve cast Julius Ceasar and Marcus Crassus. The actor playing Crassus I’ve never heard of; he’s a Brit. The actor playing Ceasar is Aussie, ex-Home and Away. Which just further illustrates that what TV/film has taught the world is that the heroes of the ancient world were all Aussie and Kiwi. Ave Imperator mate.

  • Vampa

    This was ONE EPIC EPISODE. And OMG, Sparty totally sliced that annoying dude’s face which he totally deserved…. Cant wait for next episode

    PS: Liz, as always, your recaps are AWESOME !!!

    • Liz

      BEST FACE SLICING EVER

  • RMCC

    my BFF and I dont see each other much, but texted each other simultaneously with a message along the lines of “his brain fell out holy shit”. Sparty, cementing friendships since 73BC *manly arm grab*

    • Liz

      AHAHA my bff txted me with JUPITER’S COCK when that happened and it was glorious.