Spartacus: Vengeance – 2.10 – Wrath of the Gods

(I am so, so sorry that I ever questioned this show’s dedication to utter insanity, y’all. I will never make such a sad mistake again, because this was everything a season finale should be and so much more.)

The rebels spend another cold night atop Vesuvius, overlooking the firelit Roman camps below. Their own supplies are running low, both firewood and food alike. Spartacus has his Gravely Concerned Leader face on, but he eventually breaks into a small smile under the force of Mira’s quiet confidence in him and his leadership skills. Sparty’s glad that Mira is there, as always, to drag him out of his emo musings, and tells her so. Her lighthearted response is nevertheless heartbreaking, when she says it’s “a talent I pray your next woman holds.”

KISS HER YOU FOOL!

Spartacus. Dude. This is where you throw yourself at her feet and declare your undying love for this glorious woman. COME ON! Alas, this is not going to happen just yet, what with Crixus and Gannicus galloping over with some appalling news: Nemetes and a group of tribesmen have run off to stage a hopeless attack on the soldiers guarding the foot of the path.

Oh Nemetes, you dumbass.

*****

Salvius is poking grumpily at the evening’s poor fare in the camp at the foot of the path. Ashur and a couple of his goons sneak up behind Salvius, startling him and making him even more grumpy. Then again, no one is ever really happy to see Ashur, are they. And is it any wonder why? The first thing he does is brag to Salvius about the delicious dinner they all had back at the temple—succulent roast lamb, in case you were wondering.

From the look on his face, Salvius is surely thinking about roasting Ashur himself like a tasty lamb, perhaps using only the sheer force of his glare, and Ashur’s goons gesture toward their swords menacingly as the tension rises. There’s no time for brawling, though, as Nemetes and the tribesmen take advantage of the distraction to mount their attack.

A handful of guards fall immediately, torsos bristling with arrows, while two more die at Saxa’s knife-wielding hands. However, Ashur and his thugs were already spoiling for a fight, and they rout the attack before Salvius can even manage to call for reinforcements.

Ashur has Lugo down on his knees and is preparing to send his head a-flying when a new challenger appears—Mira catches him with an arrow right in his sword arm, and is immediately followed by Spartacus and the rest of the gladiators. Agron, Crixus, Donar, and Gannicus tear into the remaining soldiers like a wolfpack on the hunt while Mira picks off the men on the fringes with her bow from above.

A dozen or so meters away, the larger force of soldiers is marching toward them in formation, and Spartacus calls for a retreat back up the mountain path. As the rebels flee, Salvius, having hidden himself behind a tree for the majority of the skirmish, darts out to grab an unattended axe. He hurls with terrifying accuracy directly at Sparty’s undefended back, and there’s barely any time to heed Gannicus’s shout of warning. Luckily, Spartacus ducks.

Mira does not.

DO NOT WANT

The axe catches Mira in the upper left hand side of her chest, and the throw’s momentum tosses her a few feet onto her back. There’s blood everywhere, and it’s only 6 minutes into the episode and I am screaming like a crazed screaming thing because oh my god what is this madness?

Sparty’s at her side in an instant, pulling the axe out with a look of absolute horror on his face. He gathers her up into his arms and runs like the devil himself is on their heels. Gannicus holds back a moment to cover their retreat before following, also at a dead run.

As soon as they reach the mountaintop, Spartacus begins issuing panicked orders—Nasir hurries to heat his sword in the fire, to seal the horrible wound in Mira’s chest, but as Naevia kneels to tend to her injured friend, she halts the preparations quietly, with only the smallest whisper of Sparty’s name. It’s too late.

Spartacus, staring at Mira’s blood on his hands, looks torn between rage and nauseated anguish for a moment, until he catches sight of Nemetes hovering off to the side. Now Sparty’s pretty much only feeling the rage, and throws himself at Nemetes, snarling almost incoherently. Nemetes hardly even fights back, although it’s likely as much from surprise as it is from guilt.

When Spartacus rages that Mira is dead because of Nemetes’s selfish attack to save his own ass, Nemetes has had just about enough of being smacked around, and throws a few punches of his own while bellowing that Spartacus is the one who’s going to get them all killed. This hits Spartacus as badly as Mira’s death did—this lack of faith in his leadership, something that he himself has worried over many times.

Sparty hauls himself to his feet disgustedly and tells Nemetes that he’s right, they are all going to die…if they don’t all work together, for fuck’s sake! They have the advantage of higher ground! Nemetes has heard this argument a thousand times before, and doesn’t like it any more this time around. He knows that this advantage will only have meaning if Glaber is stupid enough to set his men to attack before the rebels starve and become too weak to fight.

Oh no he din’t. Oenomaus has a few things to say about this kind of defeatist attitude. He knows from personal experience that no man is ever too weak or too wounded to fight for his life, and he’s wearing that experience right there on his face for everyone to see—sob sob his gorgeous perfect face—where the Egyptian’s dagger took his eye.

Spartacus is confident that Glaber and his army will attack unwisely, and when they do, the rebels will be waiting.

*****

Salvius and his men have only managed to capture one of the rebel tribesmen, and Glaber is epically unimpressed. Salvius tries to play off his failure by pointing out that several more rebels were killed in the attack, but Ashur’s there once again to spoil everything—he rants that Salvius and the rest of the soldiers would be dead without the assistance of Ashur and his thugs.

Glaber brushes off the bitching and moaning of his subordinates and gets down to the business he likes best—torturing his prisoners for information. Sorry, Glaber, but you are shit out of luck this evening, because the unnamed Germanic tribesman your boys have captured doesn’t speak any language you understand. The tribesman enjoys his last few moments of life by telling Glaber, with a sunny smile, to suck his cock. While Glaber may be linguistically challenged, he’s smart enough to get the gist, and ends the tribesman’s life with a sword through his throat.

Glaber wonders aloud how desperate the rebels seem to have become, to launch such a hopeless attack, but Ashur sees things in a different light—he noted how the attack did not seem to be led by Spartacus himself, and questions if the attack was officially sanctioned. Glaber wants all the gossipy details about Spartacus—how did he look? What was he wearing? How did his hair look? Was he still the prettiest princess in all the land? Ashur admits that yes, Spartacus is still the prettiest and most deadly princess he has ever beheld.

They’re awfully confident that they can starve the rebels out by waiting just a little while longer, and while logic would seem to agree with this assumption, I think maybe Glaber should take a moment to look back on all the other times he was so totally sure he knew what Spartacus was going to do next. Instead, he wanders off to doodle “Super Awesome Senator Gaius Claudius Glaber” on his Alexander the Great Trapper Keeper.

*****

A half dozen soldiers are escorting a wagon along a moonlit, deserted road. Inside, Ilithyia and Lucretia are both feeling a little uncomfortable—Ilithyia’s nauseated by the rocking of the wagon, and Lucretia is a bundle of nerves about being on the open road with so few men to defend them. Ilithyia’s determined to join her husband at the temple, however dangerous the trip might be, as she wants this battle over and done with so she can return to Rome and give birth there, as befits a woman of her station.

Try as she might, Lucretia can’t convince Ilithyia to turn back to the safety of the Capuan villa. Ilithyia is sure there’s plenty of time to convince her husband to finish off Spartacus and arrive triumphantly in Rome. Furthermore, she’s moved by a much greater need as well, and one that hearkens back to the very first time we met Ilithyia in season one: she misses her beloved husband, and doesn’t want to be away from him any longer than she has to.

Lucretia goes a bit teary-eyed and swoony at this news—she’s so genuinely happy to see her BFF happy again with a husband who adores her. She’s a little less happy at Ilithyia’s next piece of news, though. Apparently Ilithyia plans to have Glaber arrange a suitable dowry for Lucretia, so that she can remarry when she joins them in Rome. Ilithyia is thrilled to be able to give Lucretia this opportunity, and you can so clearly see how much it crushes Lucretia to tell her that these plans will never succeed.

Lucretia reveals the entire revolting scenario—how she’s to be given to Ashur, part and parcel along with the ludus, and will not be allowed to stay by Ilithyia’s side as she’s dreamed for so long. Ilithyia is appalled at the thought of her friend given to a horrible man like Ashur, and can’t understand why Lucretia’s taken so long to share the awful news. Oh Ilithyia. How can you not realize that Lucretia just wanted to spare you the worry? Besides, Lucretia has plans for Ashur that involve blood and guts instead of weddings and marriage beds, and she’s hoping their current trip to Vesuvius will see the job done, with the help of something she has concealed in a small bag. Ilithyia promises to help in any way that she can.

*****

The next morning, Spartacus is chopping miserably away at some spindly vines on the ground. The rest of the rebels are giving him a pretty wide berth. Nemetes snarks to Saxa that Spartacus is messing about gardening while the rest of them starve to death, but Gannicus shuts him up right quick by telling him that Sparty “tends to his heart, as any man should.” Gannicus and Saxa have a moment of totally blatant eyefucking before Gannicus explains that since there’s not enough wood available for Sparty to build a funeral pyre for Mira, he’s binding her in his cloak with the vines instead.

Nemetes is determined to be a bitchass, and shoots back with a nasty comment about how luckily they’ll all be dead before the body starts to stink. Saxa stares at him like he’s a monkey that’s just taken a crap on the dinner table, and she and Gannicus share another look before Gannicus walks away.

He makes his way quietly over to Spartacus to tell him that Nemetes and his buddies are getting even more restless and cranky. This isn’t really news to Spartacus, and he again reiterates the need to hang on a while longer and stick to the time-honored tactic of holding the high ground.

Gannicus reminds Sparty that the crazy attack on the arena wasn’t exactly the wisest of tactics, and yet it was supremely successful—Spartacus makes his best plans when he’s bold and reckless, not when he’s cautious and careful. Sparty agrees that his best plans were ones that the Romans would have thought to be completely insane, and thus would never have expected, but no such plans are available to them now. Gannicus, Dude of Dudes, Bro of Bros, just laughs and says he’s glad that at least he’ll be dying like a boss amongst his sworn brothers. I feel some sort of high-five/chestbump combo would have been more appropriate than the manly armclasp they share here, tbh.

*****

Ashur’s sitting with his gang of thugs on the temple steps, and giving his own version of a dramatic speech. He tells them about Glaber’s promise to give him the ludus as a reward for his service, and monologues dreamily for a bit about how awesome the brand new House of Ashur is going to be. He further tells them that he wants them to be his first recruits, and is about to get his loyalty oaths a-swearin’, when Ilithyia and Lucretia come strolling through the gates.

Ashur’s irritated by the interruption at first, until he catches sight of Lucretia in the red wig he presented her. Ilithyia asks her to wait outside while she speaks with her husband, and leaves her with a kiss.

Ilithyia is an equally welcome interruption to her husband, and they spring into one another’s arms like newlyweds. YOU GUYS. I LOVE THIS. They’re back to staring besottedly at each other with goofy, adoring love shining in their eyes, just like they used to, and if there’s a noticeable touch more crazy-eyed bloodthirst there too, well, it’s only for the better.

Between kisses, Glaber sighs out a few halfhearted remonstrations to Ilithyia for making the dangerous journey to see him. Ilithyia gives him the same argument she gave Lucretia: she wants to return to Rome with her husband in triumph, and not give birth to their heir in the Capuan villa, a “house stained with blood and shit.” Glaber patiently explains that since the rebels hold the higher ground, no attack can be made without an enormous loss of lives among the Roman ranks.

Our older, wiser, and far more cruel Ilithyia doesn’t see this loss of life as a barrier to their success, though, and her ruthlessness both inflames and inspires Glaber like whoa. He tells her to get her superfine ass back to Capua, and he’ll see to routing the rebels, no matter what the cost.

Before she departs, Ilithyia has one more thing to discuss with her husband. She hands over the bag that Lucretia’d been carrying, and Glaber opens it to find Seppius’ bloodstained snake bracelet. Ilithyia claims to have found it among Seppia’s belongings, and says that her body slave Amana saw Ashur himself give it to Seppia. Surely this is the reason Seppia knew how Seppius died, and why she tried to attack Glaber, isn’t it?

At first, he doesn’t want to believe that Ashur would be disloyal to him. But when Ilithyia explains that Ashur must have done it when he thought Varinius was going to take over in the wake of Glaber’s seeming failure, Glaber falls for this cleverly crafted deception completely.

Unfortunately, he also seems to think that it’s about time they rid themselves of Lucretia as well. Ilithyia is aghast at the idea of killing her off, and quickly realizes that she’s going to have to choose between her newly regained husband’s love and the love of her most loyal and devoted friend.

*****

Outside, Ashur is pawing all over Lucretia and creeping in her ear about how much he’s missed pawing and creeping at her. The most awful part of their grotendous relationship is how earnest and genuine he seems to be in his declarations of affection—when he’s not raping her, I mean.

Lucretia bears his touch with a smile, delighting in the knowledge that Ilithyia is arranging his long-awaited comeuppance. When Ilithyia comes back outside and gives her a tiny nod of confirmation, Lucretia leaves Ashur with a smile and a kiss—a kiss that so inflames him, he loses his usual cunning edge and doesn’t realize how wildly fucking suspicious her behavior is. HA.

Ashur’s about to stroll back over to his thugs and get their loyalty oaths when Glaber exits the temple, surrounded by guards. Glaber’s got his tiny terrifying Smile of Death on his face as he calls over to Ashur, and pleasantly asks if Ashur thinks he’s a fool. He throws Seppius’s bracelet at Ashur’s feet, confusing him completely—Ashur had his permission to strip people of their valuables after killing them at Glaber’s command, dammit!

Glaber walks toward him, menacing smile still in place, and inquires innocently about Ashur’s alleged plans with Seppia, and Ashur’s even more gobsmacked. It’s actually kind of hilarious how baffled he is, tbh. Here’s a guy who has been embroiled in scores upon scores of incredibly shady schemes, double-, triple-, and even quadruple-dealing everyone unlucky enough to do business with him for years and years. And now he’s being accused of a crime it never even occurred to him to commit! TEE HEE.

As Glaber advances with his guards, Ashur’s thugs step up behind him with drawn swords, to protect their leader. Ashur makes one last attempt to save his own skin, offering to take his men and leave and never be seen again, but Glaber’s got a much better offer. He promises all of Ashur’s thugs land of their own and 1,000 denarii each, and just like that, their loyalty is bought. Who could have guessed that these hardened criminals who would kill anyone for money would be so susceptible to bribery? I mean, really, that is totally unlike hardened murderous mercenary criminals. Shocking!

Oh my internets friends, how long I have awaited this glorious moment. Ashur knows he’s been bested, and knows that he is as good as dead. You can see all this and more reflected in his eyes, even as he laughs ruefully at the betrayal of his men. Ashur lunges at the Egyptian with his sword but is disarmed almost immediately, and shoved onto his knees with the Egyptian’s sword at his throat.

Glaber reminds Ashur of the oath he gave, swearing his loyalty to Glaber alone, and, finally showing some genuine fear, Ashur insists that his loyalty has not been compromised. This is just what Glaber wanted to hear, as he has one last task for Ashur to perform.

*****

Spartacus kneels over Mira’s body, tugging the cloak away from her cold, pale face for just a moment. He tucks her away without even one last kiss, and just in time, too, as Donar scampers over breathlessly to report movement on the path up the mountain. The rebels run for their weapons and assume a defensive position at the path’s summit.

It’s Ashur, alone and unarmed, and bearing word from Glaber. Man, he looks so totally unhappy to be there. Crixus wants to leap on him and eat his face right then and there, but Sparty waves him off: he wants to hear Glaber’s message first. Ashur alleges that Glaber is tired of sitting around waiting for them to die, and offers them terms for their surrender—if they lay down their arms, they will be allowed to live, but only as slaves. If they refuse, any rebels who survive the battle will be crucified. None of the rebels look particularly enthused by this offer.

Oenomaus asks what will happen to Spartacus if they surrender, and Ashur confirms that Sparty will be crucified no matter what. There’s a moment of thoughtful silence before Nemetes steps forward and announces that he doesn’t really feel like dying today, actually. Ashur smiles a tiny, smug smile at this apparent defection, and it’s wiped away immediately when Nemetes follows up with the rest of his thought—if he’s going to die today, it’s going to be as a free man, fuck you very much!

Sorry, dude, no one wants your crappy deal. GTFO. Poor foolish Ashur thinks that this will be the end of it, and turns to leave and give Glaber their reply. Crixus, quite naturally, thinks that Ashur’s head tossed over the side of the mountain would serve as their answer just as well. Ashur looks to Spartacus to hold Crixus back again, and is once again disappointed, as Spartacus doesn’t see anything wrong with Crixus’s reasoning. BOOYAH.

Having no sword in his hands, Ashur decides to use the weapon with which he is most skilled—his smartass mouth. He taunts Crixus as having no honor as a gladiator if he’s willing to kill an unarmed man in single combat. This backfires immediately when Crixus calls for Ashur to be given a sword. Spartacus throws his sword at Ashur’s feet, and Ashur counters with a new stratagem—he’s got a big bad booboo on his arm, and Crixus is a mean bully champion! Boo hoo, so unfair! Crixus is totally fed up with Ashur’s bullshit, and raises his sword to skewer the World’s Greatest Villain, honor be damned, but Naevia shouts for him to stop.

OH HELL YES. She wants to kill Ashur herself. And she has certainly fucking earned it, I tell you what. Of all the people—and there have been oh so many—who have suffered at Ashur’s hands, Naevia was the most innocent of any wrongdoing, and has suffered the most. Crixus looks so proud of her right now that I’m almost expecting him to throw himself dramatically to the ground and shriek as excitedly as I am.

Spartacus looks about as freaked out as we’ve ever seen him. He can’t believe that Crixus would allow Naevia to put herself in harm’s way like this, but Crixus is determined to let his awesome girlfriend take charge of her life LIKE A GODDAMN BOSS and kill the man who almost destroyed her completely. OH CRIXUS.

You guys. It was so fucking hard to watch this scene. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO WORRIED ABOUT A FICTIONAL CHARACTER IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. (Also I had to pee really badly and I was afraid I might piddle myself if Naevia was killed. How is this even my life I ask you?)

Ashur laughs mockingly at the rebels, telling them that if he has to die today, at least he’ll get the chance to murder Crixus’s girlfriend right before his eyes first.

Naevia, beside herself with anger, lunges recklessly at Ashur, using all the awkward, exhausting moves that Crixus tried so hard to train out of her. Even with his injured arm, Ashur fends her off easily, slashing her across the back when she stumbles past him from the force of her swing. Spartacus can’t stand to watch this any more than I can, and moves to stop the fight, but Crixus holds him back.

Naevia gets in a few licks of her own when she slams the heel of her hand into Ashur’s face, following it up with what is likely an extremely satisfying kick to his groin. Doubtlessly there will be many gif iterations of that scene so we can enjoy it again and again. But Naevia’s attacks grow wilder and wilder, and she ends up breathless and stumbling where Ashur remains relatively calm and collected in contrast. Ashur tosses her around pretty effortlessly, and both Oenomaus and Spartacus look ready to end the fight themselves. Crixus just looks horribly conflicted: he’s scared to death of losing his beloved Naevia, but he’s just as scared of taking away her chance to regain her self-worth.

Naevia crawls over to her fallen sword painfully, screaming for everyone to stay back. She swears to kill Ashur or die trying, and the assembled rebels cheer her determination. It’s all for nothing, though, as Ashur deflects her final wild swing and shoves her to her knees. As Ashur holds his sword to Naevia’s throat, he smugly recounts the intimate details of the night he raped her, staring directly into Crixus’s disbelieving, horrified eyes.

Honestly, I think it’s the look of anguished defeat on Crixus’s face that sets her off. Whatever the case, Naevia jams her elbow into Ashur’s groin, and follows it with her sword, hopefully unmanning him in the process. Ashur collapses to his knees, and Naevia slashes the side of his neck while Crixus literally quivers with delight. OH CRIXUS BB I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL.

Defiant to the very last, Ashur gurgles bloodily and wails that his death will make no difference, and that Naevia will always suffer from the memories of his rape and all those that followed. And honestly, anyone who did not cheer wildly at Naevia’s next words is probably some kind of soulless demon who hates all things awesome.

Naevia: “No. It will not. But it is a fucking start.”

It takes her three more blows to sever his head completely. She stands over him for a moment, silently enjoying her ultimate triumph.

sic semper sneakius assholis

Crixus slips up behind her and very carefully rests his hand on her shoulder. Naevia turns to him with a teary smile of relief and tells him that he was right all along about how hard it is to take a man’s head off with a single blow. Crixus pulls Naevia into his arms gently and promises to teach her how to do just that.

HOW ARE MESSY DECAPITATIONS SO ROMANTIC? Once again, this show is ruining my expectations of normal relationships. I will forever more demand to be wooed with swordfighting lessons and the severed heads of my enemies.

Sigh.

Spartacus sends Donar and Lydon down the path with Ashur’s head as their reply to Glaber’s message. Lugo frets a bit about how any survivors will certainly be crucified now, but Spartacus knows better—Glaber would have crucified them all regardless of any surrender agreements. Nemetes is back to his old moaning self now, bitching about how there aren’t going to be enough vines to bind up all their bodies. Agron shouts him down immediately, but Spartacus agrees, saying there will only be enough vines for a few men. Wait, what? Gannicus is as confused as I am, because apparently Gannicus didn’t want to be spoiled by previews either.

Oh, right. Sparty’s got a Cunning Plan. Since Glaber expects them to attack from the higher ground, Spartacus will do what he always does, and attack from where he’s least expected. DUN DUN DUUUUUUUN!

*****

As night falls, Salvius returns to the temple with the reply from the rebels. Glaber looks completely unsurprised—and terribly pleased—to see Ashur’s severed head. He sends the soldiers off to rest and eat dinner, and at first light, they’ll make their move.

*****

Lucretia stands on the balcony of the villa, looking out over the storm rising in the valley below the cliffs. In her hands is the bright red wig given to her by Ashur—the wig he wrongly thought she wore to please her husband, when in fact she wore it as a reminder of her beloved friend Gaia, who died at Tullius’s hands. Standing in the exact same place where Gaia’s body was thrown over the cliffs to conceal the crime, Lucretia throws the wig over the side.

Lucretia stands there for a moment, looking incredibly relieved and peaceful for the first time in a very long while. Ilithyia comes out onto the balcony behind her, and quietly watches her friend for a moment. When Lucretia turns, Ilithyia smiles and tells her that they’ll soon be leaving Capua and the villa, never to return. YAY! Lucretia takes Ilithyia’s hands and gives her the sweetest, most heartfelt speech of love and thanks, basically saying that Ilithyia saved her life and her sanity, and that she’ll never be able to repay it.

As soon as Lucretia turns her back, Ilithyia looks unbearably guilty, and I guess she’s made her decision after all. OHNOES. Lucretia, unaware of Ilithyia’s inner struggle behind her, carries on with her emotional confession, speaking quietly of losing her husband, her child, their home, and all the status and position that defined her, and oh god I want to sob dramatically forever and ever at these two.

Ilithyia approaches Lucretia silently with her hands outstretched, ready to throw Lucretia off the balcony. At the very last moment, Lucretia turns and stares at Ilithyia in shock—Ilithyia’s own face mirrors that shock, because, as Lucretia has seen, Ilithyia’s water has just broken.

All murderous plans are put on hold as Ilithyia goes into labor, and worries over the fact that the baby is coming too soon. Lucretia insists it’s a sign from the gods that the baby must be born within the walls of the villa, and hurries Ilithyia inside to lie down.

*****

The rebels are busy weaving the vines together into four thick ropes. Spartacus calls to Agron, Crixus, and Gannicus to join him in his mad plot, and Crixus stops a second to kiss Naevia good-bye, promising to see her again soon “in this life or the next.”

The rest of the rebels line up along the vines and hold them fast while Sparty and the three madmen slowly descend the terrifyingly sheer side of the mountain. The thunderstorm covers the sound of their approach until they’re just a few meters above the two guards below, but when a few loose pebbles nearly cost them their element of surprise, Spartacus gives the guys a hilarious FUCK IT, WE TRIED look and springs off the cliff wall.

Above them, Oenomaus orders the remaining rebels to prepare their attack as soon as they see Sparty’s signal.

Sparty, Crixus, Agron, and Gannicus sneak through the soldier’s camp like hotass ninjas, slaughtering all the men before any alarm can be sounded. Once the soldiers are dead, the 4 men begin pulling the tarps off the siege weapons.

*****

Salvius finds Glaber standing on the top of the temple’s wall, drinking moodily and unable to sleep. Glaber just wants to get shit over with so he can return to Rome and receive the adulation he feels is his due. Loyal Salvius confirms that Glaber is a totally awesome dudebro, but any further musings of glory will have to wait, as Glaber’s just spotted the nearby camp go up in flames.

Spartacus and the three men have uncovered the ballistae and are launching a barrage of flaming missiles upon Glaber’s position. AW YEAH. Atop the mountain, the rest of the rebels cheer a lusty battle cry—this is the signal they’ve been awaiting.

*****

Ilithyia is writhing in pain and, in between shrieks of agony, haranguing Lucretia over the absence of the medicus. Since the birth is a full month earlier than expected, the medicus is not readily at hand to be summoned to the villa. Lucretia steps out to go find something to ease Ilithyia’s pain, even though Ilithyia begs her not to leave her alone even for a moment; Luce promises to return quickly.

*****

Spartacus and the men fire the ballistae again and again, destroying at least half of Glaber’s army with barely any retaliation. Glaber orders the remaining men to form ranks and kill anyone who stands in their way, leading the charge himself. When they arrive at the scene, Glaber looks highly satisfied to see Spartacus accompanied by only three men, foolishly assuming they will easily be overcome.

Glaber, you are so frustrating in your continued refusal to learn from your mistakes and your inability to stop underestimating Spartacus! ARGH.

Glaber and his men gallop headlong into battle, and just as they approach the 4 laughing gladiators, the rest of the rebels hurtle out of the trees, Oenomaus in the lead. The orderly regiments disintegrate into confusion at this double-sided attack.

*****

Ilithyia is sweating and groaning with pain, attended only by her body slave Amara. Just outside the chamber, a startled scream is immediately silenced, and Lucretia enters Ilithyia’s room—she’s holding a knife and is covered with blood.

WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE OH MY GOD.

Ilithyia is as disturbed as I am to hear that Lucretia has planned this all along. She intends to lift the curse she believes was cast on the House of Batiatus. Amara moves to intercept Lucretia’s path towards Ilithyia, and Lucretia stabs her in the stomach without a second thought. Once Amara is down on the floor, Lucretia stabs her repeatedly in the throat while Ilithyia screams in abject terror. AS DO I, ILITHYIA. AS DO I.

Lucretia smiles at Ilithyia sweetly and says there’s “no one left to come between us,” and pardon me and Ilithyia if we are not at all relieved.

*****

The rebels are kicking soldier ass all over the forest. Glaber finally realizes that he might possibly have overestimated his chances here, and calls for a retreat. Spartacus grabs this advantage with both bloody hands and shouts for the rebels to follow the soldiers and FEAST UPON THEIR HEARTS, BY JUPITER’S COCK!

Okay, maybe that was just me shrieking at the teevee.

*****

Ilithyia begs for her life and the life of her child, sobbing helplessly and asking Lucretia why she would do this to her and her child. And oh god, Lucretia’s answer is as terrifying as you’d expect at a time like this—she thinks Ilithyia is just the vessel for a gift from the gods to the House of Batiatus. Lucretia thinks the child belongs to her.

She advances on Ilithyia with the knife in her hand and the sweetest, most loving smile on her OH MY GOD SO FUCKING CRAZY face.

*****

The soldiers might be dying pretty quickly, but Ashur’s thugs aren’t going out like that. The Egyptian is pretty fucking determined to hack his way through their defenses and cause some major damage. Gannicus engages him cockily and is super startled to find himself thrown onto his perky ass almost immediately. The Egyptian raises his sword to OH NO YOU DO NOT DARE TO KILL MY PRECIOUS GANNICUS, but fortunately Oenomaus feels exactly the same amount of rage at this very thought. Oenomaus leaps over his stunned beffie and slams his fist into the Egyptian’s stomach wound, sending him flying. Hoorays!

Oenomaus and Gannicus fight back to back, taking on both the Egyptian and a couple of remaining soldiers, owning the field like the most awesome of bros, until the moment I’ve been dreading all episode (all season, all the series, all my liiiiiiiife) comes to pass.

As Oenomaus swings overhand at the Egyptian’s face, the Egyptian darts beneath his outstretched arm and stabs him deep in the stomach. Gannicus and I share a moment of slo-mo horror as Oenomaus falls to the ground, and then Gannicus proceeds to kick the everloving shit out of the jerkface Egyptian. I found it deeply satisfying when he chopped the side of the Egyptian’s face off, my internets friends. Very satisfying indeed.

Gannicus holds Oenomaus in his arms as Oenomaus tells him that he goes to meet his wife in the afterlife, where they’ll both be waiting for Gannicus to join them one day. BRB SOBBING FOREVER.

GROSS DRAMATIC SOBBING

Glaber and the soldiers retreat to the temple and prepare to fight for their lives. Before they can even form defensive positions, the rebels pour over the walls of the temple, killing everyone in their path.

*****

Lucretia, smiling her OH MY GOD SO CRAZY smile of craziness, walks in her bloodstained dress through the courtyard of the ludus to the very edge of the cliff. In her arms is Ilithyia’s tiny sobbing newborn son.

Inside the villa, Ilithyia, horribly wounded and bloody, is crawling through the halls, shrieking Lucretia’s name.

*****

Glaber watches from the top of the temple steps as his men are cut down again and again. There’s hardly any soldiers left, and Sparty meets his eyes across the courtyard with a look of triumph.

*****

Lucretia’s standing on the edge of the cliff and smiling down at the crying baby, saying that he’s safe and loved and will be so forever. Ilithyia has finally made her way out onto the sand of the ludus courtyard and is crawling painfully over to Lucretia, horror and blood all over her face.

*****

Spartacus makes his way across the temple courtyard to confront Glaber for the last time. Only Salvius stands in his way, and he’s dead in an instant. Spartacus turns towards Glaber, and Glaber has nowhere else to run.

*****

Lucretia turns to face Ilithyia as Ilithyia begs for the life of her son. Luce just smiles and says that her husband always wanted them to have a son. And now he can have one—and it’s all thanks to Ilithyia.

Ilithyia drags herself to her feet, finally realizing Lucretia’s horrible intent. With one last incredibly gentle and loving smile, Lucretia leans back and falls off the cliff with Ilithyia’s son in her arms. Ilithyia stares over the edge of the cliff, wild-eyed, before collapsing to the sand.

what is this i can't even

OH MY FUCKING GOD WHAT EVEN IS THIS SHOW

I CANNOT

NO

JUPITER TAKE THE WHEEL

*****

Sparty and Glaber! Glaber and Sparty! Mano a mano! Sine missione! Man, is Glaber pissed off. He is really outraged at the thought that he might die at the hands of a slave. Oh Glaber. Have you learned nothing this season?

Spartacus is a free man, you fucker.

Sparty buries his sword to the hilt in Glaber’s chest, snarling Glaber’s own words back into his face:

“The Roman finally learns his place before us—on his knees!”

Glaber wastes his dying words to tell Spartacus that Rome will send legions to defeat him just as he deserves, instead of asking for the kiss we all know they both want, deep down inside. Spartacus doesn’t care about the dying words of his hottest enemy, though—all he cares about is finally, finally, FINALLY avenging his dead wife. He thrusts his sword down Glaber’s throat (i am sorry but LOL HOMOEROTICISM) and ends his life with a look of grim satisfaction.

The remaining soldiers have all been killed, and the rebels are barely holding themselves back from a gleeful dance of victory. Spartacus promises that they’ll kill anyone else sent by Rome to avenge Glaber’s death, and the rebels cheer his name as loudly as the crowds in the arena once did.

*****

Holy shit, y’all. This season has been one HELL of a ride! And so begins the countdown to January 2013 and season three. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go get very drunk indeed. If you are in downtown NYC this weekend and see a wild-eyed maniac in pajamas sobbing into a frozen daiquiri and shrieking OH GOD OENOMAUS NOOOO, come over and say hi!

Please like & share:
  • Tommy

    It’s very refreshing to watch a TV show that manages to actually surprise you. I knew there was going to be a lot of death, but I wasn’t sure who. Well, I knew Glaber wasn’t long for this world, but Mira, Ashur, AND Lucretia?! Just. Wow. I can’t wait for the next Season! Oh, and I was also pleasantly surprised that both Agron and Nasir lived.

    • Liz

      I knew without actual spoilers that Glaber and Oenomaus would die, because 01) hi history says so and 02) Peter Mensah has a new role on True Blood this season anyway. BUT STILL I DID NOT WANT.

      Mira was fucking shocking and I knew right then and there that literally everyone might die all at once. I definitely wasn’t expecting Lucretia either, tbh.

  • mrmonkeybottoms

    Seriously. THIS SHOW. What just happened?

    I watched the episode on my laptop at the gym as I briskly walked on the treadmill. I’m lucky there were only two other people in the room because I kept gasping and wincing and looking crazy with my faces.

    When Gannicus dramatically shouted, “Oennnnoooomaaaaauuuuuuuussss!!” I almost shouted it too. On the treadmill. Like a crazy person.

    I don’t even know what’s in store for the next season. What else IS there???

    • Liz

      I watched a lot of Gods of the Arena at the gym and fell off the elliptical at least twice that I can recall. FANDOM IS HARD SOMETIMES.

  • kim

    they killed my favorite..ilithyia..what the hell fuck was that for? (could be am number of things, come to think of it) but seriously, it’s totally shit…just when she and glaber were cute again….suuuckkks

    • Liz

      INORITE? I mean, I knew the end of this season would be the end of Glaber but I guess it didn’t really occur to me that it might also mean the end of my PRECIOUS DARLING GIRL sob sob sob.

  • Star

    I cannot get over this finale. Wasn’t this the best finale in the history of finales ever to be finaled? I think so! Lucretia’s crazycakes turnaround shocked me, tbh. I had suspicions she’d take the baby and run, not, yanno, topple off the cliff to join her hubby in the afterlife with it! And Mira! OMG!

    I cheered madly for Naevia and FUCK YEAH CRIXUS that he didn’t take that away from her, that was so many shades of awesome, I can’t even. It occurred to me today, actually, that while Sparty will be even more emo bc he’s lost a wife and a feisty, hot Briton girlfriend, he’s also lost his kid – will he find out about Lucretia and her suicide/infanticide? GAH.

    SO MANY FEELINGS. Even knowing what deaths were coming thanks to history, *seeing* them happen was so much more full on. God almighty in a teacup.

    And I so so so glad they kept in the most epic abseil in the history of, well, history. Sparty and co abseil down Vesuvius to fight has to be the most awesome thing ever.

    Is it Jan 2013 yet?

    • Liz

      I mean, I KNEW it would be madness and I KNEW there were deaths of beloved characters coming up but OH GOD IN RETROSPECT I CLEARLY KNEW NOTHING AT ALL. ~feeeelings!

      Yeah, I seriously didn’t see that coming for Lucretia, I can’t believe I underestimated the extent of her crazycakes. I sort of figured Ilithyia would murder her for Glaber and then go insane herself when she found out that Glaber was killed by Spartacus. IDEK.

      I am so stupidly, flailingly excited for next season. Casting spoilers aside (zomg caesar!), I am DYING to see what they do with the development of Gannicus and Crixus into leaders of massive, asskicking armies. Also, tbh, definitely looking forward to the very obvsly foreshadowed Gannicus/Saxa.

      • Star

        Yes! Yes! Exactly! I’m trying to explain to my mum why deaths of people who history tells us die, like Oenemaeus (sob) were so devestating. And Ilithya! Her whole arc with Lucretia! I will have feelings about this for a loooooong time.

        Also, I lol’d for a good long time when I read your point about the sword in face to Glaber via Sparty – that didn’t even occur to me at the time, too busy flailing – but now it makes me want lots of Glaber/Sparty fanfic. Even though that death was pretty in your face. In HIS face, even.

        Oh lord, Ceasar. I am so excite. Mr. DeKnight said in one post mortem interview I read that Crassus’ son will be along too, along with other people from history he can’t name yet. I’m hoping for Pompey SO HARD. I want to see Pompey and Ceasar snark at Crassus, esp. as Pompey and Crassus hated each other. I will giggle like a little girl for serious.

        • Liz

          I have totally wanted Glaber/Sparty hatesex since day one, omg.

  • Jadzia

    This was a great season and a great recap. I want the next season NAO. I hate waiting for shows to come back and cable shows seem to take a glacial age especially. I was watching really late so I had to trap my blood curdling scream at Oenameus dying in my hands so as not to alarm my neighbors. I don’t know anything about the history of Spartacus so I’m unspoiled for the show. There was no Nagron action but at least neither of them died. \o/ lol

    So glad someone linked me to your recaps. Thanks!

    • Liz

      Thank you so much for reading! I agree, the long wait til next season is pretty much UNBEARABLE, but at least there’s Game of Thrones and True Blood for distractions. Also I will prolly go back and watch Gods of the Arena again for my Gannicus fix.

      I WAS TOTALLY EXPECTING AGRON OR NASIR TO DIE OMG. I was like “i must emotionally prepare for this TERRIBLE EVENT” and then BOOM, Mira died instead and that was the end of my sanity for the entire episode.

  • Hah “FUCK IT, WE TRIED” and “JUPITER TAKE THE WHEEL” killed me (just like this show killed everyone I like. Lucy Flawless nooooo!).

    I also don’t know any of this history so I was surprised that Oenomaus died. I was kind of mad because it seemed like they just had him around to forgive Gannicus then offed him – I prefer the BSG way where the person who just got redeemed always ends up dead. Plus sometimes Gannicus talks really slowly and I wonder if he’s high and it’s annoying. But if Oenomaus’ death is historical I guess I can’t complain!

    Can I pretend that Illythia’s death was ambiguous like Lucretia’s in season 1 and maybe she’ll come back? Please?

    Spell check wants me to change “Oenomaus” to “menopause” hehehe.

    • Liz

      I AM SO TOTALLY PRETENDING THAT ILITHYIA WAS JUST FAKING IT

      OMG

      *sobs*