Spartacus: Vengeance – 2.08 – Balance

We open in the forested countryside of Capua, where Gannicus is leading a blindfolded and hand-tied Ilithyia through the trees. She’s filthy and a little bruised, and is wavering between terror and outrage. She’s smart enough to fear Gannicus, having seen him dispatch a good dozen of her husband’s best men without a single scratch left upon him, but she’s also pretty set in her “Romans good, slaves bad” ways.

Gannicus hears the sound of approaching footsteps, and removes both her blindfold and bindings, cautioning her to act normal and follow his lead as a trio of hunters emerges from the trees. Gannicus gives them some Banbury tale of “his wife” being thrown from a gimpy old horse on the road to Pompeii, and, by the expressions on everyone’s faces, this is maybe the least believable lie ever told in the history of falsehoods.

tiny gladiator panties on FIRE!

The leader of the trio warns them that Sparty and the rebels hijacked a wagon nearby recently, so walking through the woods with a pregnant beautiful woman in a nice dress is probably suboptimal at best, and Ilithyia’s terrified reaction to the name “Spartacus” is likely the most honest reaction throughout this entire conversation.

Despite Gannicus’s best efforts to brush off the hunters, their suspicions only grow when he claims to be a butcher looking for work, and finally Ilithyia freaks out and screams that he’s a gladiator and she’s the kidnapped wife of a Praetor. Well done, Illy. Now Gannicus has to stop and kill everyone again. AGAIN! He hasn’t even had breakfast yet! It’s just death death death all day long.

Sigh.

Gannicus takes care of the trio in a matter of moments, but it’s just enough time for Ilithyia to flee the scene, shrieking for help the entire way. Ilithyia, sweetie—I love you forever, but this is one of the stupidest things you have ever done. You’ve just been told that Spartacus and his men are nearby, and now you’re running around screaming like a maniac? Gannicus catches up to her easily, promising to cut out her tongue if she doesn’t shut the hell up already. Ilithyia has enough of her wits left about her to pay attention and be scared.

*****

Up ahead in the forest, Mira and Sparty are hunting together quite adorably. She’s just taken down a large deer with her bow and arrow, and laughs at Sparty’s protests that he could’ve taken it himself with his spear. They’re so sweet together right now, argh. I know this show all too well and surely this means something terrible is going to happen between them soon.

They banter playfully for a bit, until Spartacus tells her that she wouldn’t have been so charmed by him if she’d met him when he was younger and wilder. When she asks what “tamed the wild beast,” Mira knows right away what the answer is, and visibly regrets having asked in the first place—of course it was his late wife, Sura.

Their uncomfortable moment is interrupted by the totally unexpected arrival of Gannicus and Ilithyia. Sparty can only stand and stare with an epically befuddled derpface as Gannicus throws Ilithyia to the ground and tells him to kill her as revenge for Glaber’s part in Sura’s death.

DO NOT WANT.

*****

Glaber stands on the balcony of the villa, staring out over Capua, as Lucretia stammers though an emotional apology over having told Gannicus about Ilithyia’s trip to Rome. She claims that she only did so to encourage Gannicus to join Glaber’s army, which is kind of an embarrassingly transparent lie, one which the old Glaber would’ve seen right through. Today’s vengeance-obsessed, wife-hating, Seppia-shagging Glaber isn’t paying close enough attention to see it, though. He’s too busy getting his rage on, bellowing angrily about the possible loss of his heir.

Furthermore, he has no plans to mount a huge, public search for Ilithyia, or send to Rome for more men, no matter how wildly Lucretia begs and prostrates herself. How the hell would it look for him to admit before the Senate that a rebellious slave stole the wife of a Praetor right out from under his nose? Rather bad, I expect.

Seppia immediately agrees that this is the wisest course, prattling on about looking toward the future. She’s obviously got a very specific future in mind, one where Ilithyia never returns and Seppia can take her place, I’d imagine. Lucretia is shocked by his betrayal of Ilithyia and the baby, and cleverly appeals to Glaber’s sense of greed, reminding him that the baby is heir to the great fortune of the late Senator Albinius. Instead, this sends Glaber into an even more surly rage, only soothed somewhat by Ashur’s return, bearing the news that he’s cleaned up all traces of the attack on Ilithyia’s wagon. No one will ever know or suspect that the attack even occurred.

Glaber and Seppia excuse themselves, possibly for a little afternoon delight, leaving Lucretia alone with Ashur. She can barely conceal her revulsion around him, but either he doesn’t notice or doesn’t care. He warns her not to shout at Glaber again if she wants to keep her place in his household, but without Ilithyia there by her side, Lucretia doesn’t foresee having much future there either way. Ashur creepily promises to keep her safe, calling her “my love” and kissing her hand gently.

*****

Crixus and Naevia are sparring together in the temple courtyard, and oh my god you guys, even Crixus is not as delighted as I am right now. Naevia is taking him on like a fucking BOSS, y’all. He’s obviously going easy on her, but she still manages to surprise him a couple of times, and her competence and enthusiasm is totally inflaming his wild manly lusts. Naevia’s obviously into it as well, telling him that she has the advantage of being taught “by a god” just before they lunge at one another for a makeout break.

Oh god. I am so happy to see her all emotionally stronger and glad to be alive. ACTUALLY I’M A LITTLE VERKLEMPT. Talk amongst yourselves!

HBIC extraordinaire

To their left, Oenomaus is watching various pairs of tribesmen spar together. Lugo and Harudes are having a brawler’s go at one another, and Oenomaus is not impressed by their performance. He tells Harudes that all his crazed goaty bellowing just gives away his next move every time, and Lugo’s less than polite translation of this statement sends the rest of the tribesmen rofling.

Next up are Saxa and Nemetes, although Nemetes doesn’t seem to have a lot of respect for the idea of training with wooden swords. He already knows how to fight, tyvm! Oenomaus reminds them that he’s not training them to fight, he’s training them to WIN.

The courtyard drops into a confused silence as Spartacus and Mira return with Gannicus and Ilithyia. I somehow forgot that the majority of the rebels were slaves from the House of Batiatus, and as such would recognize Ilithyia immediately, so I was a little startled to see them all fly into a righteous rage, shouting “WHORE!” at her and milling around her threateningly. Amidst the ruckus, Gannicus and Oenomaus only have eyes for each other, staring across the courtyard with lots of dramatic tooth-gritting and jaw-setting.

As Spartacus drags Ilithyia into the temple, Lucius stops him, appalled by the thought of vengeance being taken upon a presumably innocent pregnant woman. Sparty coldly informs him that no mercy was shown to his own wife, who was a far better person than Ilithyia could ever hope to be, and stomps off inside. Lucius, perhaps remembering the death of his own wife and family at the hands of rapacious Romans, steps aside.

*****

ORGY SCENE, EVERYONE DRINKS! That evening, in Capua’s busiest brothel, as an old drunken loser is being thrown out on his ass for lack of coin, everyone else is boning away like there’s no tomorrow. And how prophetic of them, because Ashur and his horrible thugs have just walked through the door, which is always a downer on the evening. Even worse, he’s followed by Glaber, and the naked, sweaty crowd goes quiet and still with fear.

They’re looking for news of Gannicus, or even the man himself, but the brothel’s owner nervously tells them that Gannicus isn’t there that evening, and hasn’t been seen there in a while. Old Drunken Loser opens his mouth to bray about wine and women, and the Egyptian thug steps forward to shut him up by twisting his head around 180 on his neck. Ew.

When Glaber tries to find Gannicus’s favourite girl and subject her to some enhanced interrogation techniques, the brothel owner tells him, with no shortage of amused bitterness, that the only girl Gannicus favoured—Marcia—was crucified by Ashur and his men. Alas, Glaber doesn’t punch Ashur in the dick for this lack of foresight. So disappointing. Instead, Glaber slashes the pimp’s throat, and sets Ashur and his thugs to questioning the rest of the brothel’s slaves and patrons. No tomorrows, indeed.

*****

Back at the temple, Sparty drags Ilithyia down into the basement and throws her angrily to the ground. She’s worked herself up into a total panic, swearing that she had no knowledge of Glaber’s plans to enslave and rape Sura. (I can’t quite remember the details of the first and second episodes, but I am reasonably sure that this is, in fact, a giant lie. Bad Ilithyia, no biscuit.)

Ilithyia’s convinced that her messy death is only moments away, and thus plays the trump card of all goddamn trump cards. She wails out the massively shocking news that we’ve all been anticipating this entire season—the baby she’s carrying is Sparty’s. QUELLE HORREUR!

Sparty’s shocked, revolted, horrified; you name it, the emotion is crossing his face right now. He’s sure Ilithyia is lying, but she swears that her monthlies stopped right after their night of sexy sex sexings (and murdery murder murderings of Licinia) at the House of Batiatus, and the naked disgust on her face seems pretty convincing. (Also, they’ve reshot the sexy sex flashback scenes for continuity! YAYS.)

Ilithyia clumsily tries to get Sparty to warm up to her, admitting that she often remembers their night together, despite her best intentions. Sorry, hon, but all Spartacus really wants to remember from that night was the sweet, delicious feeling of his hands around your throat as he attempted to throttle you to death. Well screw you, Sparty! Ilithyia’d rather have you kill her now, then, and let you live with the guilt of killing your unborn child! This only works when she brings Sura into the mix, telling Sparty that his late wife would never forgive the death of his child either. Ouch.

*****

Upstairs, the rebels are sitting down to dinner, and Gannicus is all alone in the corner, as usual. Saxa asks Agron, with much waggling of eyebrows, if Gannicus is truly the champion everyone says he is, as she’s looking for some new ass to grab. Apparently Nemetes just isn’t going to be enough anymore. Agron and I both agree that Saxa is absolutely delightful.

Crixus sits down beside Gannicus, and notes the obvious lack of friendship between him and Oenomaus lately. Crixus, you gossipy old biddy. Crixus is sure that whatever has come between the two former beffies, it will be over with soon enough, leaving them brothers once again. He also compliments Gannicus on his clever job of capturing Ilithyia, assuming it was to further their cause, and is pretty startled when Gannicus corrects him—he’s not interested in furthering their cause, he wants to stop the fighting by giving Sparty his ultimate revenge.

As Spartacus rejoins the group upstairs, Gannicus wanders over to see if everything’s been settled with Ilithyia, and oh man, he is the opposite of thrilled to hear that she’s still alive. He’s super resentful that all his efforts were apparently for nothing, and now he’s basically drawn an unnecessary target upon himself for kidnapping the pregnant wife of a powerful and vengeful man.

Dude has one hell of a point.

Sparty’s got a good point, too, though. He doesn’t want to be as bad a man as Glaber himself, and can’t bring himself to murder a (somewhat) innocent woman. Well what about the other innocent women who have died because of this epic manbattle, eh? Gannicus is obviously thinking of poor silly Marcia up on that cross, and it’s eating away at him.

*****

That evening, Lucretia tries to work her cunning wiles on Seppia, dismissing the body slave preparing Seppia for bed. Lucretia tends to Seppia’s gorgeous hair herself, combing it out gently as she attempts, in her usual roundabout way, to convince Seppia to send word to Varinius in Rome that Ilithyia has been kidnapped. Considering Varinius’s feelings for both Ilithyia and Seppia, he’ll certainly send all the help they could possibly need, and would likely even join them himself.

But it is not to be. Seppia, having now become a woman, has put aside such childish things as her eager lusts for Varinius (and who can blame her, with a man like Glaber in her bed? Unf.) and she’s not willing to jeopardize their new relationship by betraying Glaber’s direct order to not let anyone in Rome know about Ilithyia’s kidnapping.

Lucretia gives up on her attempts at convincing Seppia for the evening, and offers to tuck her in to bed. AHAHA. No, Lucretia, sorry, but Seppia has other plans for the evening. She strolls off to offer “words of comfort” to Glaber, if you know what she means. And oh yes, Lucretia certainly knows exactly what Seppia means—she tells Seppia that this behavior is beneath her, and that it will anger the gods. O RLY?

Those same gods who caused the death of her beloved brother Seppius? The same gods who have now seen Seppia to shelter beneath Glaber’s roof? Seppia is damn sure that the gods are the ones who have seen her to Glaber’s bed in the first goddamn place, and she’s not about to go against their sexy will in this matter.

I just. Lucretia’s face! Her own brilliantly cunning arguments, turned against her! How can she deny the will of the gods! This is, quite frankly, totally hilarious to me. SORRY LULU, but yonder tarty whippersnapper’s won this round.

*****

Lucius has thoughtfully brought Ilithyia some soup for dinner. He goes to remove her blindfold and scares the bejeezus out of her, as she’s basically been bracing herself for death all day long. Ilithyia’s heartbreakingly surprised that someone is being halfway decent to her, but her surprise is nothing compared to her complete shock when she sees that Lucius doesn’t have a slave brand on his forearm like the rest of the rebels. She can’t believe that a free Roman citizen would join their cause.

Lucius, quite bitterly, tells her that he believes their cause is righteous due to the loss of his lands and his family at the hands of Sulla and his invasion many years back. Ilithyia’s all warm sympathy at hearing this, assuming she can gain his trust and assistance by quietly offering Lucius her husband’s help in regaining all that was lost.

Lucius laughs at her offer loudly, but in whispers, informs her that he can’t just let her go, as they’d both be caught and killed before they could even escape the temple grounds. Ilithyia’s already got it all planned out, however—she doesn’t want him to help her escape, she wants Lucius to take a message back to Capua on her behalf. Lucius, unfortunately, looks like he’s considering this plan very seriously indeed. NOOOO LUCIUS NO.

*****

Upstairs, Sparty is giving Mira the ghastly news that Ilithyia claims he’s the father of her child. Mira is like the dictionary definition of AGHAST right here, omg. (Katrina Law has such an incredibly expressive face! I think it’s those obscene goddamn cheekbones, tbh. Also how does she look so gorgeous when covered in dirt and grime? Oh the injustice.)

Mira thinks Sparty is a madman for even considering that Ilithyia the Lying Liarface, Empress of Lieistan, is telling the truth in this or any other matter, and Sparty has to break it down for her: does Mira remember the night back at the House of Batiatus when she and the other slave girls had to rub his hotass naked self down with gold paint and make him look like a hotass naked god? Yeah, I’m pretty sure we all remember that real well, dude.

He explains that while he was meant to sex up Licinia, and Crixus to get it on with Ilithyia, Lucretia’s scheming machinations led to a partner switch, and Sparty ended up boning the sweet jiggly jesus out of Ilithyia instead. Alas, we get no flashback replay of their sexy sexings. I feel so betrayed.

Mira’s horrified, but she insists that it shouldn’t matter in the long run. She wants Sparty to kill Ilithyia and be done with it, and as much as he wants to, he just can’t bring himself to be as bad a person as Glaber.

*****

Glaber, meanwhile, isn’t thinking about Ilithyia, or the baby, or even Spartacus. He’s mainly concerned with Seppia, who is busy doing a vigorous no-pants dance on his dick. I can see how that would be very distracting. After, she snuggles up to him, and makes some awkward conversation leading around to wondering just how much he’s missing Ilithyia. Answer: not at all, actually.

Seppia’s adoration and confidence is just what Glaber needed. He’s candid about the fact that Albinius and the Senate never had much good to say about him, and she assures him that once he’s captured Spartacus, he will raise their opinions as high as her own. (Please note how I restrained myself from making a “raise his weenor” joke there. Thank you.)

Seppia’s feeling candid herself, and she tells Glaber that while she still misses her brother terribly, her pain is fading every day because of Glaber’s hot loving. Does he look vaguely guilty for a split second there? Hm. Probably not.

*****

Ashur is dumping his latest haul of bloodstained coin and valuables into his carefully hoarded chest o’booty while Lucretia watches from the doorway. Lucretia’s there for news of Ilithyia, which Ashur seems to find extremely irritating. What, dude, did you think she was coming to make out with you? Ugh, no.

Ashur’s also annoyed that despite his most gruesome efforts, he’s been unable to discover Gannicus’s whereabouts, and he’s intent upon taking his vexation out on Lucretia. Lucretia’s been so distracted by the loss of Ilithyia that she hasn’t been her usual observant self, and she makes the truly awful mistake of losing her temper with Ashur when he tries to get romantic with her. The moment she slaps him, you can see she regrets it enormously, but the damage is done. Lucretia tries to scurry out of his cell, but Ashur throws her face down on the ground instead, to rape her yet again. ASHUR. GODDAMMIT.

However, it turns out that the gravest error this evening has been made by Ashur himself. As he holds Lucretia down to violate her from behind, and as she shudders with nauseated hate and revulsion, she notices something laying on the floor just in front of her.

It’s Seppius’ golden snake-headed armband.

*****

Spartacus is taking out his many frustrations on the innocent wooden training post in the temple’s courtyard. He’s lost in memories: of his wife, and her smile, and her death. As he smashes the post into splinters, Lucius exits the temple and throws on his cloak, preparing to leave the compound. OHNOES LUCIUS DON’T DO IT.

Lucius’s apparent plan is foiled when Spartacus decides to join him on his walk. Oenomaus watches them leave from the shadows thoughtfully. He’s soon joined by Gannicus, who is still trying to find some way, any way, to have even the simplest conversation with his former bestest best friend. Gannicus bemoans Sparty’s inability to kill Ilithyia, and worries about his own risks taken to bring Ilithyia there in the first place. This does not have the desired effect upon Oenomaus, and he berates Gannicus quietly for only caring about himself and his own guilty conscience, and not about their cause.

Gannicus protests that he doesn’t want to see more innocent lives lost, and he especially doesn’t want to see his brother fall in battle, and oh god, my heart! Oenomaus tells him that they are no longer brothers, and shall never be so again. SOBBITY.

Come on, Oenomaus. Gannicus is standing there in agony, telling you to go ahead and kill him for what he’s done! This is how much he loves you, goddammit. You and Melitta were the only people Gannicus has ever cared for in his entire benighted life! HUG HIM FOR FUCK’S SAKE. HUG HIIIIM.

This is a really emotional episode for me, you guys. IDEK. But seriously I want them to hug it out so badly.

Oenomaus isn’t finished breaking my heart in this scene, though. He tells Gannicus that he’s not going to give him the mercy killing Gannicus is begging for, as that would only release him from his guilt. And when Gannicus, filled with self-loathing, mumbles that he’ll stand condemned for his actions until the day he dies, the icily dismissive response sends me wailing for a Kleenex:

Oenomaus: you stand for nothing, as you always have.

*****

Inside, another pair of guys are having a far better evening. Nasir and Agron are making out like teenagers under the bleachers, and despite Nasir’s best intentions not to get laid in the middle of their watch, he ends up with Agron’s dick in his hands and Agron’s tongue in his mouth. AW YEAH.

Mira’s amused interjection of “This is how you stand guard?” sends them scrambling away from each other with the most wildly adorable embarrassed stammering I have ever had the very great pleasure of seeing on this show. They are blushing and giggling like schoolgirls, y’all. FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH GIRLISH GLEE. I just want to pet them on their heads, give them a gallon jug of astroglide, and send them on their way. HEE.

Mira waves them off to bed, promising to take their watch over Ilithyia instead. Agron is so giddily grateful that he practically prances away like a unicorn with rainbows shooting out of its ass.

(Okay, someone needs to draw that immediately.)

Uh oh. It looks like Mira’s intent is not quite as philanthropic as it seemed. She approaches Ilithyia, who miserably begs her for a drink of water. Mira just stands there glaring at her, and, with false sympathy, agrees that it sure sucks to want something you can’t have—a feeling familiar to all slaves.

In a night full of foolish errors, Ilithyia’s the next to fare badly. She again begs for a drink of water “for the child,” and pats her belly sadly. Mira kneels down in front of her and asks if the baby is truly Sparty’s. Ilithyia, sensing a possible ally, swears on all the gods that she’s telling the truth—Spartacus is the father of her child. Mira, almost in tears, promises Ilithyia that she won’t let Spartacus stain his hands with the blood of his own child, and Ilithyia can hardly believe her moment of victory. Oh Ilithyia. Mira’s going to help you, all right. She’s going to help you right into the goddamn afterlife.

Mira pounces like the badass ninja she truly is, and has Ilithyia by the throat before she even realizes she’s in danger. I actually got super nervous here because Ilithyia is moments from death oh my god before Spartacus charges in and yanks Mira away. I can’t tell who is more stunned by his actions, Mira or Ilithyia.

Mira defends her attempted murder and tells Sparty that she only did it to save him the pain of doing it himself, and that she knows in his heart he would never be able to forget what he’d done. This explanation just makes him even more angry, unfortunately. He hates the idea of having his choices taken away, Mira. YOU KNOW THIS. Spartacus angrily tells Mira that she doesn’t know what’s in his heart, and she is so utterly crushed by this that she can’t even form a rebuttal. Mira runs off in tears as Spartacus pulls out his knife, telling Ilithyia her time with them has come to an end.

*****

Lucretia walks through the villa with her dress billowing dramatically behind her. Her pained, careful post-rape steps are really horrible to watch, and I am left once again praising/cursing this show’s incredible attention to detail.

Luce finds Seppia lounging like a princess in the triclinium, attended by a handful of slaves and looking absolutely radiant. When Lucretia compliments her on her good looks, assuming she got a good night’s sleep, Seppia just smirks and says that she hardly slept at all. Oh no she din’t.

Lucretia’s not there to waste her time bantering with a smug little brat, obviously. She insinuates that she has information that will likely make Seppia a bit less pleased with how she spent her night, and Seppia dismisses the slaves haughtily. Girlfriend, you best chill. You aren’t the grand lady of the house just yet, and when Ilithyia gets home, you’re going to be tossed out on your perky and delightful little ass.

Seppia tells Lucretia impatiently that she’s not going to sit there and listen to any threats, or hear any words spoken against her precious Glaber. Lucretia responds with confidence, because she’s there to Show, not to Tell. She’s about to lead Seppia off somewhere to show her something of importance—the bracelet, presumably—when Salvius and another soldier hurry into the villa, looking for Glaber. It seems someone has arrived with news of Ilithyia.

LUCIUS! You bastard!

Lucius announces that Spartacus is holding Ilithyia hostage, and, when questioned on how he knows this, further announces that he’s just come from the rebel hideout. OH BETRAYAL MOST FOUL.

Lucius insists that he’s only with Spartacus and the rebels because he has nothing else to live for. He also tells Glaber of Ilithyia’s promise that Glaber would restore his lands and his fortunes in exchange for his assistance, and Glaber readily agrees.

BUT NO. Lucius isn’t there to turn traitor after all. He’s there to tell off Glaber in a most satisfying fashion, and to deliver a message from Spartacus himself: they’ll trade Ilithyia for a wagonload of weapons and armor. And if anyone kills Lucius, or prevents him from returning to the rebels, or tries to follow him, Ilithyia will be killed.

Glaber and three men are to bring the wagon, on foot, to the nearby small town of Atella first thing in the morning, where they will be met by Spartacus and three of his men. Once the exchange is made, Ilithyia will be freed.

Oh my god, the expressions on everyone’s faces! Lucretia is terrified but delighted. Glaber is icy with rage. Ashur looks… conflicted and mistrusting? And Seppia, well. Seppia looks like she cannot fucking believe that her entire world is about to come crashing down yet again. She sidles up to Glaber, warning him that Lucius clearly cannot be trusted, but, as Lucretia points out, what other choice do they have if they want to get Ilithyia back?

Glaber agrees that they have no other choice.

*****

Lucius and Sparty return to the temple, smiling with relief at the news that Glaber’s going to go for their plan. The rest of the rebels are also happy to hear that their plans appear to be underway, but the tribesmen have a mind to take the promised weapons and then kill Glaber and his men. Spartacus immediately berates them, saying that they’ve given their word and must stick to it at all costs—otherwise, and this is a huge theme this episode, they’ll be no better than Glaber himself.

Now that this is settled, Agron steps forward to insist that he be among the three men allowed to accompany Spartacus. Crixus is right behind him—he’ll join the group despite having to hang out with Agron on the way. Oenomaus wants to stand as the third man, an offer which Spartacus would accept more happily than any other, but Oenomaus is still injured from the arena, so Sparty turns him down. Gannicus then asks to take his place, and when Sparty asks why on earth he’d fight for a cause he doesn’t believe in, Gannicus’s answer is simple but seriously heartfelt—if it’s a cause that Oenomaus believes in, then that’s enough for him. Awww.

The men move to begin their preparations, but Mira stops them with worries about placing undeserved trust in Glaber’s word. Spartacus doesn’t need to trust Glaber, apparently. All he needs is to trust the men going with him. I feel this is kind of rash, tbh.

*****

Glaber, his three men, and their wagon, enter Atella as the sun rises. The town is silent and empty, save for Spartacus and his men who emerge dramatically from the shadows. Let us pause for a moment to admire these fine-looking gentlemen in their tiny gladiator panties and their jedi robes. Have you ever seen such hotassery? No. No you have not.

Glaber sneers at Spartacus, demanding proof that Ilithyia really is their captive, and, in a move that Sparty’s surely been waiting to bust out for ages now, he hands over a small band of fabric from Ilithyia’s dress, “her scent yet upon it.” O snap.

It’s something that could very well have been removed from her dress after her death, and Glaber observes this immediately. Sparty admits that he’d thought about doing just that, but in the end, decided it would be more fulfilling to kill Glaber himself one day instead. He orders Glaber to bring the wagon forward and then gtfo of town. Glaber glares at him but does as he’s told, and tells Spartacus that while he has regretted many things that have happened since they first met, he hopes his next decision will not be one of them.

And then, and I must lol forever and ever, Spartacus says that when he holds his wife and child, Glaber will always see Spartacus reflected in the child’s eyes, because of Sparty’s mercy in letting them live. Glaber is supremely unimpressed, and agrees that he and Spartacus are not at all alike, because while Spartacus lives for the memory of his wife, Glaber doesn’t actually give a rat’s flea-riddled ass for Ilithyia.

Naturally, this means that he’s going to try to kill everyone instead of sticking to his word.

wagon of betrayal!

Ashur and his thugs leap out of the wagon and kick Agron onto his ass. Yet again, though, Glaber has sadly underestimated the skill and BAMFery of champion gladiators. Between Sparty, Gannicus, Agron, and Crixus, the four soldiers and half a dozen thugs can barely defend themselves.

Sparty disarms Glaber almost immediately, and Glaber backs away from the battle like a little coward. As Sparty fights with Salvius, Glaber slips back in to attack Sparty’s undefended back with a knife, and everyone else is too far away to stop him. GASP!

This is when Mira shows up with her bow of badassery.

aw yeah

She and Lucius fire a few volleys into the melee, wounding a few of the enemies and sending the rest scampering for cover. Glaber’s hit in the chest, and as one of the other soldiers drags him to his feet, he shouts to Salvius to blow his horn and alert their backup. An entire company of men appear on the outskirts of town, and the rebels decide to make a strategic retreat. It’s about time, too, as Crixus is getting his ass kicked all over town by the Egyptian.

Lucius stays behind to cover their escape, sending arrow after arrow into the increasingly enraged Egyptian giant. Even four arrows aren’t enough to stop the behemoth, and he stabs Lucius with his spear twice before lopping his head off with a single blow.

*****

Back at the villa, the medicus is cleaning out Glaber’s wounds while Seppia hovers over him anxiously. Lucretia’s more concerned with the information that Glaber never intended to rescue Ilithyia at all, and she’s horrified that Glaber would sacrifice his wife for his revenge. But Glaber has had just about enough of Lucretia’s wittering on about the will of the gods, and bellows that the gods can save Ilithyia for all he fucking cares.

Gaius calms himself and tells Lucretia that he’ll make sure that everyone sees him mourning Ilithyia’s loss over the coming days, and then strolls off to his bath, with Seppia promising to join him with some wine. As soon as he’s gone, Lucretia realizes she has not one damn thing left to lose, and she follows Seppia down to the pantry.

There, she confronts Seppia with her very last stratagem—the bracelet found in Ashur’s chambers. She throws it to the ground at Seppia’s feet, and Seppia’s blown away, having believed that Seppius’s slaves robbed his body after murdering him and his household.

Lucretia mercilessly explains that the bracelet was in Ashur’s possession, and reminds Seppia that Ashur wouldn’t have done anything to Seppius without direct and explicit orders from Glaber. Oh man. I mean, I love/hate Seppia so much, but I feel so bad for her right now. Although, let’s face it, you can’t expect to go up against Lucretia and come out unscathed.

*****

Glaber sits in the bath with Seppia in his arms, holding her back against his chest. He’s giving her some flowery speech about finding one another despite the loss of those they formerly loved, musing that without the death of her brother, they’d never have been together in the first place. Glaber, my man, if you could see her face right now, you would very rightfully fear our sweet young Seppia, because it looks like she’s been taking some important lessons from Lucretia.

It’s ON.

*****

Spartacus drags Ilithyia off into the woods and forces her down onto her knees. She’s whimpering kind of exhaustedly, and obviously believes he’s taken her out into the middle of nowhere to kill her. He strokes his sword thoughtfully (not a euphemism, you perverts) and muses on the meaning of love. See, he had the truest possible love with his late wife, Sura, so he knows what he’s talking about. And that love is what Glaber took from Spartacus when he took Sura. So naturally, Sparty would very much like to take away that very same kind of love from Glaber, and at first, he’d thought this was finally his chance to do so.

But then Glaber chose taking a chance at revenge instead of rescuing Ilithyia, and Spartacus realized the truth of the situation: Glaber doesn’t love Ilithyia as Spartacus loved Sura. In fact, Glaber doesn’t seem to love Ilithyia at all. Sparty whispers this painful information almost tenderly into Ilithyia’s ear, and then walks away. She doesn’t understand why he’s letting her live, but the fact of the matter is, he doesn’t feel like he’s doing her a favour.

Sparty leaves her there in the woods, shivering on her knees, and very much alone in the world.

*****

OMG ONLY TWO MORE EPISODES TO GO, GUYS. *flails*

Please like & share:
  • Sahana

    Love your comments! But you are missing the last scene when Spartacus leaves Ilithyia in the woods. Could you recap that as well?

    • Liz

      omg what

      brb

      idk i think there was some kind of fiendish gnome trickery afoot

  • Sahana

    Thank you! Viva Bianca has such insane chemistry with everyone- her scenes with Liam were amazing!

    • Liz

      She really, really does!

      Also, this season has given us such enormous character growth for everyone, but these last few episodes have really blown me away in regards to what they’re putting Ilithyia through.

  • mrmonkeybottoms

    I thought I was so clever when, like last week, I suddenly stopped what I was doing and said, “Wait. Holy crap. Hold on a sec. The baby…it’s COULD BE SPARTACUS’!!!!!!!!” I guess I am a little slow to remember these things.

    “SHIT JUST GOT REAL” made me pee my pants laughing. I’m going to start a new internet slang. PMPL. Aw. It looks like pimple. Terrible.

    I can’t wait to see what Seppia does. Look out Glaber!

    Lucy Lawless is so damn amazing. Her expressions blow me away every week.. No one does revulsion as well Lucy.

    • Liz

      I was seriously cackling like a derpy loon while looking for that Martin Lawrence pic, omg. LIKE A LOOOOON.

      LL also has that awesome face of extreme disdain that I aspire to imitating – that “you are so far beneath me that your very existence offends me to my core” face.

  • geewhiz

    Enjoy your recap; one of the better ones out there.

    As much as I enjoy the blood and mayhem this show regales us with, what I find even more rewarding is all the plotting, scheming and backstabbing, particularly by the ever resourceful Lucretia.

    Oh, and seeing Agron get it on with his boytoy, Nasir, is fun too!

    • Liz

      Thanks so much for reading and enjoying!

      And YES YES the vicious scheming is such a delicious part of the show, especially with awesome characters like Lucretia and Ashur! Ashur is like some kind of fiendish turducken, with his plots inside schemes hidden in backstabbings cloaked in betrayals.

  • Vampa

    Love ur recaps Liz, great job!!!

    With only two episodes left, looks like its all gonna come down to one EPIC battle showdown of asskickery at Mount Vesuvius. Seriously guys: Sparty, Mira, Crixus, Gannicus, Argon, Nasir, Naevia and OMG, of course Oenomaus versus horde of Romans and Assur featuring members of his little group therapy circle. YEAAAAA PARTAY!!!!

    • Liz

      I AM SO FREAKED OUT BY THE ALMOST END OF THE SEASON OMG. Because you just KNOW that at least one person we’ve grown to love is going to die horribly/tragically/messily and then I will have to sulk all summer long.