Spartacus: War of the Damned – 3.03 – Men of Honor

Attius is busy in his smithy, melting down all the slave shackles and hammering them into swords for the rebellion. Everyone agrees that this is wonderfully symbolic, and Attius decides this is encouragement enough to ask for a bit more coin for his efforts. Spartacus smiles an evil little grin and jokes that surely the knowledge that he’s doing a wonderful thing for the rebellion is payment enough, right? Attius makes a sad panda face, and Gannicus cackles obnoxiously at his old friend’s failed stratagem.

YOUR FACE SIR, it is ridiculous

YOUR FACE SIR, it is ridiculous

Spartacus throws him a bone, telling him to help Gannicus bring the new swords over to Crixus in the training area, and if Attius decides to stay on in the city with the rebels afterwards, they can discuss new terms of agreement for blacksmithing services in exchange for payment. Attius seems reasonably mollified, and he and Gannicus set out with their clanking bundles.

As they depart, Agron grumps and grouches that he doesn’t trust Attius, which Sparty finds vastly entertaining, as Agron has never trusted a single person before in his life, at least not without great and tedious effort to do so.

Across the town square, a train of local Romans is being dragged past by some of the rebels; Lugo is shoving them along roughly when Spartacus intervenes, asking about the prisoners. Lugo finds it hilarious and delightful to report that many of the prisoners have pooped themselves with terror. Sparty asks him to make sure everyone is fed their rations, and continues his mild argument with Agron.

Agron’s not happy with the idea of having to take time out of their busy rebellion schedule to take care of all these chained-up prisoners. He thinks it’s a waste of time and energy, not to mention all the food being wasted on them. Spartacus is vaguely irritated by Agron’s insistence that they don’t owe the Romans anything, so therefore they might as well execute them all. Sparty shuts down this argument and drags Agron off to inspect the state of the city’s remaining stores.

*****

Over at the training area, Crixus is supervising as Naevia and Nasir spar with various new recruits. When Gannicus arrives with Attius and the newly forged swords, Sibyl is lurking at the far side of the square, peeping at him shyly. Crixus sees that Attius is still around, and he’s just as unwelcoming as Agron, asking why Attius hasn’t left yet. He’s been paid well by Spartacus, after all, hasn’t he?

Attius explains that he wants to continue helping out with the rebellion, but Crixus doesn’t appear terribly convinced. Attius admits that he’s also interested in maybe earning some more cash before he leaves.

Crixus calls Naevia and Nasir over to distribute the new swords to those that are skilled enough to use them, and then arrogantly hands over a single coin to Attius, dismissing him entirely. Attius’ expression seems to indicate that he suspects Crixus of being somewhat of a drama llama, but he offers no response.

All arguments fall by the wayside as Saxa slinks out of the house to climb Gannicus like a sextree, sniping at him between kisses for leaving her alone in bed without her morning serving of huge throbbing gladiator cock.

I just love her so much, you guys.

Saxa notices Sibyl across the square and asks if she’s still following Gannicus everywhere; Gannicus grumpily confirms that Sibyl is right behind him all the damn time, ever since he killed her dominus, Laurus. Saxa lets it go, but keeps glancing over at Sibyl thoughtfully.

hmmm

hmmm

Sibyl carries on a-creepin’ until Nemetes shoves her out of the way, barging through with a chain gang of prisoners. When he tosses them down on the side of the square, he sees Ulpianus and his wife huddled together, scared and filthy. Nemetes notices Mrs Ulpianus’ belly and tells Ulpianus that his pregnant wife should not have to go hungry. Ulpianus looks shocked but happy at this suddenly humane treatment, and Nemetes holds out half a loaf of bread.

Oh Ulpianus, you wide-eyed innocent, Nemetes isn’t giving you charity from the kindness of his heart. He’s offering this bread in exchange for information on where any money might be hidden in the city. Poor chubby little Ulpianus looks sadly betrayed, but he doesn’t even need to think twice or glance at his frightened wife to give up everything he has in order to make sure she’s fed. He tells Nemetes how to find his former house, and describes the hollow table leg which contains all his hidden savings.

Nemetes grins happily and prepares to go a-looting, having completely forgotten about the bread in his hand. Ulpianus calls after him nervously, begging for the bread, and Nemetes tosses it to the ground at their feet. Naturally, a wild brawl immediately breaks out when another prisoner sees his chance and lunges at Ulpianus’ well-earned meal.

Prisoner Dude and Ulpianus wrestle madly for the bread, while the rebels and former slaves laugh derisively. Crixus stomps over and hauls them apart, glaring at them fiercely. But instead of throwing them back into the mud, he shouts to the assembled crowd, asking if anyone wants to see a little blood.

Silly question, Crixus. Everyone wants to see some Roman blood spilled, of course.

Crixus calls for swords and a “proper contest,” amidst much cheering and bloodthirsty hilarity. Only Gannicus and Attius seem less than thrilled about this plan; they exchange a brief look of distaste and Attius voices his discontent. He’s known Ulpianus for a long time now, and knows that he’s neither a fighter nor a particularly bad person, as Romans go.

Naevia stomps over to grab a pair of swords, and Gannicus addresses her with his own discontent, asking if they’re really going to be as bad as the Romans and demand bloodsport. Naevia’s response is basically “why the hell not?” It’s what they forced Gannicus himself to do, as well as Crixus. Gannicus clearly disagrees with this sentiment but not enough to argue with his good friend’s girlfriend in the middle of an already tense situation.

Naevia hands over the swords to each man, and Ulpianus protests helplessly that he has no idea what to do. His pleas go unheeded by Crixus, who holds up the small scrap of bread and demands that they get the fighting started.

Ulpianus and Prisoner Dude approach one another cautiously, holding their swords in nervous, trembling hands. They make a few clumsy, flappy-armed feints at each other as the rebels laugh obnoxiously. It’s all but a few steps removed from a middle school girly slapfight. Eventually Prisoner Dude smacks the sword out of Ulpianus’ hands and throws a vicious elbow at his face. Ulpianus goes down flailing, and Prisoner Dude lunges after him.

The fight devolves into a rolling-around-on-the-ground brawl as Ulpianus and Prisoner Dude try to throttle one another. Both look like they’re about to succeed simultaneously when Ulpianus spots the dropped sword nearby and jams it into Prisoner Dude’s neck, winning decisively. He’s still completely terrified, and disgusted by his own actions.

Crixus mocks them as not being worthy of the arena, but intends to keep his promise of bread nevertheless. He tosses the bread down on the ground near the discarded swords and walks away. Ulpianus snarls after him angrily, and lunges forward. Naevia immediately whips out her sword and whacks Ulpianus’ hand almost completely in half, as she’s sure that he was lunging for the sword and not the bread.

Crixus turns back to the commotion and Naevia explains her actions, but Attius disagrees, and does so loudly and angrily. He shouts that Ulpianus was reaching for the food, calling Naevia a “mad cunt,” which of course Crixus is not going to stand for. Crixus barrels through the crowd to beat the crap out of Attius, and only Gannicus’ intervention at the last moment saves the day. Gannicus reminds Crixus that Attius is helping them out, but all Crixus sees is just another fucking Roman.

Crixus stomps off with Naevia, and Attius pushes his way into the center of the jeering crowd to help Ulpianus bind up his mangled hand. Attius has worked himself into a fine rage, shouting at Gannicus that Ulpianus has never so much as shouted at a slave in anger, much less harmed anyone, and that the rebels are just as bad as the Romans they hate. Gannicus has no response.

*****

Naevia is storming away from the scene, with Crixus right behind her. He asks her if she’s absolutely sure that Ulpianus was not reaching for the bread, and Naevia admits that it never even crossed her mind. Either way, the results are the same – one more Roman who can’t hurt them anymore. Crixus won’t let it go, though, telling Naevia that Ulpianus really did seem like a totally harmless guy, and Naevia just snaps. She goes off on a rant about harmless-looking men being the most dangerous of all, and Crixus realizes that there is something much deeper going on than a simple brawl over bread.

oh my precious darling girl

oh my precious darling girl

At his gentle questioning, Naevia explains to Crixus that she knew a man very like him once; his name was Herius, and he was the first dominus to give Naevia a semblance of kindness and safety. Herius made sure she was bathed and fed and treated gently the first night she was there, and she fell asleep feeling safe for the first time in a very long time, in his household with his wife and two young daughters.

And then, in the middle of the night, Herius carried Naevia away to a place off the grounds of his villa, and subjected her to horrible, gruesome torture for hours and hours. Crixus quietly tells her that if he could physically kill the actual memory of her suffering, he would do it immediately, but that’s not really the memory that haunts Naevia the most. The thing that really disturbs her is how Herius behaved after the torture – he was affectionate with his wife and daughters, and acted like a gentle, pleasant, and totally harmless man.

Crixus doesn’t even know what to say to try and make this okay, and Naevia tells him that he doesn’t need to say anything, because his presence by her side is all she needs. Crixus promises to always be there for her and OH GOD YOU ARE KILLING ME HERE SHOW.

*****

Sparty and Agron are looking over the mess and destruction in grain warehouse with Donar. Most of the stores are damaged beyond salvation by the pitch that Ennius had poured over everything, and Donar predicts that what is left will last them around 2 weeks, maybe a little bit more if they are strict about rationing and no more people join them. This is grim news, and everyone is grumpy and disappointed. Of course this is when Nasir arrives with word of a new crisis – there is a small fleet of ships that have just weighed anchor off the coast of the city.

Well shit.

Sparty heads to the gates of the city and shouts up to Sanus, who is manning the walls. Sanus reports that four heavily armed men are coming up the road, one of whom has a large cask over his shoulder. He also thinks that they’re not likely to be Romans, dressed as they are. Sparty thinks it over for a moment and orders the gate opened.

Gannicus, the most well-traveled of Our Gang, immediately recognizes the four men as Cilician pirates. The pirate leader, Heracleo, a scruffy dude in eyeliner, asks to speak to the leader of the rebellion, and Sparty steps forward. Heracleo lists all of Sparty’s recent victories, demanding to know if all the rumors are true, and when Sparty confirms that they are, Heracleo lunges at him with a backslappy hug and hilarious cheek-kissing, declaring that they shall forever be brothers and beffies.

I am wholly unable to describe Sparty’s epic WTF face at this declaration, so here is a hilarious screencap instead.

o_O

o_O

Heracleo waves to the pirate duder carrying the cask and announces that they’ve brought wine if the rebels wanna party. The rebels warm up to him right away.

*****

Many miles away, we see the encampment of the Roman army that will soon be under Tiberius’ command. In fact, he’s just arrived, with Sabinus and Caesar by his side. The camp commander, Mummius, comes out of the HQ tent to greet them, but only has interest in his old pal Caesar. Mummius mocks Caesar for his scruffy, unshaven appearance, and Caesar again alludes to the fact that Crassus has forbidden him from holding a blade for mysterious reasons – reasons only which trusted people know. Caesar is quick to mention that none so trusted stand among them, a clear snipe against Tiberius, who, like myself, still has no goddamn idea what is going on with Caesar and his weird knife fetish. STILL NOT GOOGLING IT, SORRY.

Tiberius interjects himself into Mummius and Caesar’s conversation, reminding everyone that he’s in charge, not Caesar. Instead of being included, Tiberius is summarily left behind in Mummius’ own luxurious tent to rest in leisure while Mummius and Caesar have manly battle chats about Caesar’s recent adventures with Marc Antony. Tiberius’ WTF face is just as epic and hilarious as Sparty’s was in the last scene. He can’t fucking believe that these idiots are disrespecting the son of Marcus Goddamn Crassus, appointed to command by Crassus’ own hand. Sabinus is likewise outraged.

*****

Back in Sinuessa En Valle, Herocleo orders his cask-carrying buddy, Adherbal, to crack open the booze and get the party started. Spartacus has other plans in mind, though – he wants to find out why Herocleo and his men have turned up, and what exactly it is that they want. Heracleo laughs matily and says that they’re all friends here, aren’t they? And it is his very great honor to stand before a man who stole an entire city from the Romans, of course.

Crixus snarls that the Romans stole their freedom first, and Spartacus agrees that they’ve only taken what they were owed. Heracleo has no argument with this, calling them brothers once again. However, he does wonder if any Romans have been left alive in the city, asking this with a hilariously false expression of total innocence on his brigandly face. Herocleo is particularly concerned about the Aedile, and when he learns that Ennius is among the dead, he claims injury.

Gannicus has had enough of Herocleo’s lack of specificity, and demands that he get to the fucking point already. Herocleo admits that he and Ennius had an “arrangement,” in which Herocleo and his men would prey upon the ships of anyone Ennius claimed was a competitor, adding the looted goods to their own cargo. In return, Ennius would mark the new ship’s manifest with his official Aedile seal, allowing Herocleo to trade the looted goods without suspicion. And now that Ennius is dead, this valuable arrangement has been destroyed.

Agron, having listened to the entire tale of woe, decides that he doesn’t give a shit about any pirate problems. He’s all for tossing Herocleo and his men out of town, and feigns a threatening lunge forward. Herocleo’s men are more than happy to meet him halfway, and Sparty jumps in to shut everyone down. He tells Herocleo to return at sundown, giving them time to discuss their options, and only then will they decide if there’s any reason to break out the wine or not. Herocleo agrees, calling him “King Spartacus”.

Gannicus is highly amused by Herocleo’s brash smarm, but Crixus sees only an annoying and potentially troublesome jerkface, advising Sparty to shut the gates and be done with all the pirate crap. Spartacus thinks that Herocleo and his men may prove useful, though, and sets the men to search the town for Ennius’ official seal.

*****

When Gannicus brings the day’s news, Attius is annoyed and outraged that the rebels are wasting time trusting a bunch of Cilician pirates. Furthermore, why the hell would he know where the seal is? He’s just a goddamn blacksmith! Gannicus rolls his eyes and heads out to continue the search, but Attius isn’t done with his angry ranting; he’s still mad about Ulpianus and the other prisoner having been forced to fight. He grumps at Gannicus, asking if he was made to fight like an animal before he won his freedom.

Gannicus turns back to him, equally irritated, and reminds Attius that he wasn’t the one who demanded that the Romans fight it out. Attius counters that Gannicus didn’t do anything to stop it, and Gannicus just looks at him like he’s the biggest idiot in town. What was Attius expecting when he helped the rebellion? Why on earth did he imagine that the Romans would be showered with hugs and puppies? It’s a goddamn war against an empire full of raping slavers, dude. Simmer down.

Attius yells back that he wasn’t given much of a choice when he “joined” the rebellion, which Gannicus thinks is ridiculous – every man has a choice. Besides, Attius has never cared about these people before, so why is he starting now? Gannicus thinks that Attius only stands for himself, as Gannicus once did, and Attius nods. He takes Gannicus as an example that someone who once stood for nothing can find a purpose in life one day, and Gannicus advises him to leave town and start a new life somewhere, a life that means something.

*****

Two soldiers haul an injured guard to Tiberius’ tent, and he spills his entire tale of woe – Spartacus and the rebels have seized Sinuessa En Valle, and he barely managed to escape with his life. Tiberius sends word to Mummius, and the injured guard continues with his story. He insists that Spartacus slipped through the city walls like a ghost to kill them all, which Sabinus finds ridiculous.

Caesar arrives in the middle of this hysterical story and mocks the injured guard for fleeing like a coward instead of dying in battle. Whatevs, dude, the guard was just some dude that the Aedile forced into joining the night watch, he’s not a real soldier. Tiberius tries to get more details about how many men Spartacus has with him, and the guard is forced to admit that he has no idea.

Caesar decides that the guard is an idiot, and slams his sword into the dude’s face, splitting his head open for really no good reason at all. Tiberius bellows angrily at Caesar, telling him he’s a goddamn maniac, and Caesar just laughs right in his face. Tiberius icily reminds Caesar that he’s not the one in command here, and Caesar gives the least sincere apology ever tendered throughout this entire series.

Tiberius and Caesar glare at one another furiously and let me tell you, I will be extremely disappointed if they don’t have crazed sweaty manbeast hatesex. EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED.

NOW KISS

NOW KISS

Mummius practically has to turn the hose on them to get them apart, reminding them that there’s a war going on. In his anger, Tiberius has apparently lost all reason, and insists that the army send men to attack the city. Caesar quite rightly points out that Crassus ordered Tiberius specifically not to do that, but Tiberius is way beyond caring, and certainly isn’t going to let Caesar tell him what to do, even if he is ACTUALLY COMPLETELY RIGHT TIBERIUS STOP THIS NONSENSE AT ONCE.

Sigh.

So anyway Tiberius totally gets his way and no one can argue, and it’s just so stupid and so petty and so ridiculously ill-conceived and I just want Kore to show up and slap some goddamn sense into his pretty little head.

Why doesn’t anyone on the teevee ever listen when I am yelling?

*****

Lugo brings Laeta over to speak with Spartacus, and she can’t help but look around at the ruins of her former home, horrified at the mess. Sparty dismisses the rest of the rebels so he can talk to her alone, and Laeta immediately assumes the worst, telling him that she won’t beg for her life. Spartacus looks slightly confused by this statement, and says that he’s interested in her assistance instead.

This doesn’t go over well. Laeta enumerates all the bad shit that has gone down, expecting Spartacus to, idk, be sympathetic? Oh honey, no. Spartacus tells her, brusquely, that they’re at war, so what the hell was she expecting? Laeta also has a bug up her butt about Ulpianus being forced to swordfight for a crust of bread, and how he was badly wounded even after he won the fight. Spartacus, naturally, has no idea what she’s on about, and doesn’t much care either.

Sparty offers Laeta a cup of wine, which she grabs and downs thirstily. Thus refreshed, she returns to her ranting aganist Sparty and the rebels, shouting about how he murdered her husband, an honorable man who never harmed Spartacus. Sparty gives her the unpleasant news that Ennius was actually working in league with Herocleo and his men to build his fortune and eliminate his enemies, and Laeta is aghast.

Laeta looks over the document that Herocleo was carrying and realizes that every word of this accusation is true. Now she’s even more upset, only this time, it’s over her husband’s betrayal. She’s therefore unusually receptive to Spartacus’ request that she help the rebels find Ennius’ official seal, so that they can trade it to the pirates for enough food to feed the city for a long time. Laeta explains that Ennius was afraid of the rebellion reaching their city, and had many clever hiding spots for valuables throughout his many holdings in the city. She agrees to help under one condition: she wants herself and the rest of the surviving Romans in town freed.

Sparty tells her that they’ll all be released once the rebel army leaves the city, and Laeta can’t believe he agreed so easily. It’s not like she has much choice, anyway.

*****

The seal is eventually located, and Spartacus uses it to produce a number of official-looking documents for Herocleo. Herocleo is, of course, delighted that everything has worked out in his favor so far, and even more delighted to see Laeta standing nearby in chains. Spartacus tells Herocleo that once they leave town, he’ll hand over the seal for the pirates to keep, but in the meantime, he wants to make an arrangement for trade.

Sparty offers to purchase every bit of the pirate’s food stores on their ships, and Herocleo readily agrees – for the vast sum of 18,000 denarii. Spartacus tells him that for this price, the seal is off the table. Herocleo’s next offer is even less appealling – he’ll take 10,000 plus Laeta. Spartacus tells him to quit being a jackass and make a real offer, and Herocleo gives his final offer – 12,000 denarii, and they’ll meet up on the beach just before dawn.

Crixus isn’t terribly keen on the idea of them going outside the city walls, where they’ll be vulnerable to attack, but Spartacus overrules him, agreeing to Herocleo’s deal.

And now it is finally time to drink.

*****

Pirates and gladiators, when drunk, are remarkably alike. Lots of falling down, lots of cock waving, lots of hilarity and lots of nakedness. It turns out that the cask Adherbal carried was full of hilariously anachronistic absinthe, and everyone is completely wasted. Attius recalls to Gannicus that the last time he got this drunk, he found himself in a wild argument with an imaginary cat. Oh, how they laugh!

Once again, Sibyl is creeping on Gannicus from across the square, but this time, he’s far too wasted to notice. Someone else notices, though.

Saxa slips up behind Sibyl and scares the crap out of her, as Saxa questions her wisdom in so blatantly checking out someone else’s man. Sibyl tries to apologize but Saxa doesn’t want to hear it. Instead, she shoves her up against the wall and interrogates her less than gently. It turns out that Sibyl’s obsession with Gannicus is, in fact, due to him having killed her dominus, but Sibyl insists that she just wants to thank him for doing so.

Saxa stares at her assessingly and then drags Sibyl inside the villa – she’s not done with this interrogation just yet.

Naevia and Crixus are holding themselves apart from the wild drunken revelry, cuddling together on a couch. Crixus says that he still doesn’t trust the pirates, and Naevia agrees, but says they’re still better than Romans.

Totus staggers by, giddy and drunk and bareass naked, and announces to them that his cock is magic. Naevia rolls her eyes, and Crixus tells him to get lost, laughing quietly and tucking his face into Naevia’s neck.

*****

Inside, Laeta is listening to the party and weeping quietly to herself. Spartacus comes in to the room and Laeta tells him that he’s an idiot for trusting Herocleo. Sparty assures her that he’s had plenty of experience dealing with tricksy bastards like the pirates, but Laeta is not comforted. She’s still dwelling on all her husband’s lies, and thinks that she deserves to be thrown to the crazed lusts of the pirates.

Sparty cleverly changes the subject to distract Laeta from her angst – he pulls out the key to her shackles and tells her that he’s given the command that she is to be allowed free movement throughout the city, in order to help make sure that the Roman prisoners are not badly treated, and that they get their fair share of the food stores. Laeta is surprised but pleased, and I am pretty sure that they have A Moment for just a second, staring into one another’s eyes.

Sparty gets up to leave, telling her to sleep right there in the safety of the house, but Laeta refuses, saying that the rest of the Romans won’t trust her if they find out she’s slept in the same house as him. She’d much prefer to go stay at one of her husband’s other properties, a stable on the outskirts of the city. As she leaves, Spartacus says he only wanted to provide her with comfort, which, idek? Does he mean naked sexy comfort? Does he mean he thought she’d be happy to spend the night in her trashed former home? Does he assume she’d feel safer inside a house surrounded by drunken rebels instead of alone in a stable?

Hmm.

*****

Outside, the drunken revelry is getting wilder by the moment. Nasir is wobbly on his feet, and as he stumbles through the crowd, he bumps into Herocleo’s second-in-command, Castus the Super Hot Historically Inaccurate Pirate Sex God. (SHHIPSG? It doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it.)

Nasir apologizes for his clumsiness, but Castus waves it away, as he is completely taken with Nasir’s undeniable hotness. Nasir takes his blatant flirting in stride, telling Castus, with a sweet little smile, that he’s already spoken for, thanks all the same. Castus says that he’s just looking for a good time, not a lifelong commitment, and Nasir laughs at this cocky come-on. Castus laughs with him a little ruefully, saying that he’s been at sea for a long damn time amongst “rough company”. They grin at one another, drunk and silly, but Nasir moves to walk away, saying that he’s really not interested, sorry. Castus grabs his arm to stop him from leaving, and it is upon this scene that Agron abruptly arrives, completely furious that someone would dare lay hands on his precious darling boyfrand.

Nasir tries to defuse the situation, saying that Castus meant no harm, but Castus’ next words – the usual slur upon Agron’s Germanic tribesman background – starts off one hell of a brawl. For all his smooth ways and glorious muscles, Castus is really no match for a champion gladiator like Agron, and the fight is soon completely in Agron’s hands. Sparty comes outside at the sound of commotion and tells Agron to fuck off and stop ruining their cautious alliance.

He turns to Herocleo to see if there’s going to be any further incident, and while he isn’t that pleased about the savage beating of his first mate, Herocleo agrees that they should go ahead with their plan to meet on the beach later that morning.

*****

Inside the villa, Agron is having a wild crazy tantrum. Nasir comes barging in right behind him, shouting about Agron’s unreasonable temper and idiotic behavior, but Agron is having absolutely none of this shit. He feels perfectly convinced that his actions were necessary and correct, and swears that he would slaughter the gods themselves if they set their hands on Nasir.

Instead of continuing his rants, Nasir just giggles helplessly and facepalms at his boyfriend’s mad posturing. Agron calms down long enough to get serious about this situation, telling Nasir that no one is ever going to keep them apart.

And then. AND THEN.

AND THEN THEY HAVE THE SEX. THEY HAVE ALL THE SEX. ALL THE SEX IS HAD BY AGRON AND NASIR. NONE IS LEFT FOR ANYONE ELSE BECAUSE THEY HAVE HAD ALL OF IT. THE SEX!

TOO PRECIOUS FOR THIS WORLD

TOO PRECIOUS FOR THIS WORLD

Also I would just like to point out that Nasir is wearing a necklace of carved wooden cocks.

*****

Gannicus staggers home to his and Saxa’s corner of the villa, and finds her bathed and gorgeous and perfect and oh god I love her and wearing a super awesome dress.

1
He is, of course, absolutely delighted to see her, pouting comically about how she left him all alone at the party, and there was a fight and it was really loud. Saxa finds this pretty adorable, and moves in for some weapons-grade makeouts.

Saxa tells him that she left the party to arrange a surprise for him – this surprise turns out to be Sibyl, bathed and similarly tarted up in an awesome dress. She looks incredibly nervous as Saxa tugs her dress off and gives her a little shove towards Gannicus.

Gannicus looks a bit confused, and maybe even a bit concerned, but walks up to her slowly. He lifts Sibyl’s face towards his and looks into her eyes for a second, and then tells her to get dressed and get out. Saxa is baffled by his behavior, so Gannicus explains that Sibyl is just a scared little girl, and he’s only interested in hot, confident women. So Saxa drops her gorgeous dress off her even more gorgeous body and I and Gannicus are both really, really happy about it.

SEXYTIMES!

Why was I not invited, though. Sob.

*****

Later that night, or rather early the next morning, Gannicus staggers out of the house to find Sibyl sitting on the ground outside, waiting for him. His only reaction is a heartfelt “ugh”. Sibyl apologizes for bothering him again, and scampers behind when Gannicus ignores her and keeps walking. Sibyl just wants to thank him for killing Laurus, but Gannicus doesn’t care in the least – shit happens during wartime, and he didn’t do anything especially for her.

Sibyl declares passionately that Gannicus is a glorious perfect dreamy hero, sent by the gods themselves, and Gannicus cracks up completely at this breathless statement. He doesn’t even remember her damn name, ffs! Sibyl nevertheless insists that she owes him her life and her everything ever, from now until the end of time. Gannicus gets up in her innocent wooby little face and tells her that to repay this debt, he wants her to stay the hell away from him and all other men like him.

*****

Spartacus is walking through the city towards the front gates with Donar and Nemetes right behind him. Nemetes is in a huff over Sparty’s decision to take all the money that Nemetes feels he “earned” – by extorting it from the prisoners – to pay the pirates for their supplies. Spartacus reminds him that everyone has to make sacrifices during wartime, but Nemetes doesn’t want to listen to reason. Instead, he whines that Attius wasn’t made to give up his money as well. Sparty glares at him, telling him that he has clearly mistaken “command for conversation,” which shuts him up neatly.

Crixus and everyone else are ready to go, but Gannicus is nowhere to be found. He stumbles up a moment later, still swigging from a jug of wine and looking reasonably hammered. The usual state of affairs, then.

Totus is still pretty wasted as well, and stops to barf helplessly in the street, drawing a snarl from Crixus. Sparty eyerolls at their drunken antics and tells Nasir to take command on top of the wall. Nasir would rather fight by Agron’s side, but Agron insists that Nasir stay behind. KISSES!

Sparty then instructs Naevia to make dead certain that no one opens the gate for anything less than a direct command from Spartacus himself. Naevia reminds Crixus to keep alert for piratic betrayals, which is not even remotely necessary – Crixus doesn’t trust them one bit already. If the pirates do turn out to be sneaking sneakers, the men are ready to kill them all.

The gate is raised and a few dozen rebels stream out.

*****

In the hills high above town, Tiberius, Sabinus, and Mummius watch the pirates set up camp on the beach. They can’t figure out why they’d sit there, open to attack on all sides, until they see the rebels proceeding down the road towards the beach. Tiberius correctly deduces that the rebels are making an alliance with the pirates for supplies, and that all Crassus’ plans to starve the rebels out over the coming winter will be for nothing.

Tiberius orders Mummius to have his men advance on the beach encampment to attack. Mummius isn’t happy about these stupid orders but has no choice other than to obey. As Mummius leaves to set things in motion, Sabinus quietly reminds Tiberius that his dad specifically said DON’T GET INTO A FUCKING FIGHT WITH SPARTACUS, DAMMIT. Tiberius will not be swayed by this logic, not even from his beffie – he is sure that his dad really wants someone who is clever and brave in battle, not someone who meekly obeys orders.

YES BUT YOU’RE NOT BEING CLEVER, TIBERIUS, YOU’RE BEING A DERP.

*****

The pirates are not pleased about their exposed position out in the middle of the beach, but Herocleo thinks that the rebels are just as exposed, probably even more so. Castus and Adherbal return with the news that the rebels are approaching, and Herocleo finishes tying up a huge unlit torch, handing it over to a bald pirate crony and telling him “upon my signal only”.

*****

Back inside the city, Naevia asks Nasir what he sees from the wall, but it’s too dark for him to see anything useful. Naevia paces angrily, wondering what to do next, when Saxa comes charging out of the shadows, shouting in German to Nemetes. It appears that Ulpianus and his wife, and the others chained together with them, have all disappeared from the villa. Nemetes thinks they should immediately sweep the city and find them, but Naevia refuses to allow this – she suspects that it is merely a distraction and part of a larger plot to get the rebels away from the gate. Instead, Naevia sets off alone to take care of business.

*****

Beachside, the rebels arrive with a small chest, and Sparty tells Herocleo that it contains the full amount they agreed upon. Herocleo looks at the puny chest and assumes Sparty is fucking with him. But when he opens it, it’s not full of mere coins; the chest instead contains gold bars and silver blocks and what frankly appear to be some prune danish but I’m probably just imagining things. Herocleo is well satisfied, and tells Castus and Adherbal to bring out the stores in exchange.

*****

Naevia slips quietly into Attius’ smithy, where he is bagging up all his earnings and packing to leave. She asks if he planned on sneaking out without saying goodbye to anyone, and Attius snarks at her that he’s already said goodbye to “all that matter”. Attius grumps once again about ill-conceived alliances with pirates, but Naevia has something very specific she wants to discuss – namely, her assumption that Attius is the one responsible for freeing and hiding Ulpianus and the rest of the missing prisoners.

Attius very clearly was not involved at all, as he’s totally confused by Naevia’s change of subject. He turns to her with an incredulous look on his face, and she attacks immediately, knocking him to the ground. She demands at swordpoint to know where the missing prisoners are, and Attius, now quite scared and confused, shouts that he has no idea what she’s on about. Naevia refuses to take his word for it, and presses her attack.

Attius rolls aside from her sword at the last moment and grabs a length of chain from the ground. As she lunges at him, he kicks her away from him, and she stumbles backwards, hitting her head. Now somewhat more confident, Attius attacks.

*****

Down on the beach, Castus and Adherbal have only brought out a very small amount of stores. Spartacus and Crixus look prepared to throw down immediately, and Sparty asks Herocleo if this is their entire offering. Herocleo flails dramatically, wounded by this accusation, and tells Sparty that the rest of the stores were too numerous and heavy to bring onto the beach with their small skiff, and that this is just a sample for their approval. Now that they’ve received their payment, the pirates would of course be perfectly pleased to sail into the port and unload everything.

lol okay

Crixus, certainly no fool, hisses to Spartacus that this was not part of their plans. I mean, surely anyone can see that the pirates are just going to sail away with the money, right? SURELY. Castus sneers at the rebels, prompting a snarly response from Agron, and everything is about to fall completely to shit, despite Sparty’s best attempts at calming the situation.

Of course, this is when the Romans attack. Gannicus at first assumes that this is a betrayal from the pirates, but Herocleo shouts that this is not their doing; the centuria barreling down the beach towards them is fairly good proof that Herocleo isn’t lying.

Rebels and pirates alike join forces to attack this new enemy, and it’s just a wild goddamn melee. Poor Tiberius looks ridiculously confident that they will win the day, because ROMANS NEVER FUCKING LEARN. Oh Tiberius, better and far more experienced men than you have badly underestimated Spartacus, and it was the very last thing they ever did. Why on earth would you think even for a single second that you will fare any better?

I LOVE YOU TIBERIUS BUT YOU ARE SO FUCKING DUMB. You are the mostest dumbest.

The rebels and the pirates kick the absolute crap out of the Roman soldiers quite handily until one soldier gets in a lucky blow to Sparty’s midsection, knocking him back onto his ass. But when the soldier moves in for the kill, Herocleo cuts him down without a second thought. He and Sparty exchange a manly and victorious glance. BROS!

As the soldiers fall one by one, Sabinus fights his way over to Tiberius, shouting angrily about the absence of Mummius and his men, who have not yet joined the battle. Tiberius looks around wildly and realizes that Sabinus is right – they’re out there all alone.

*****

ALL SHALL LOVE HER AND DESPAIR

ALL SHALL LOVE HER AND DESPAIR

Naevia and Attius are brawling wildly and mercilessly. Attius manages to knock the sword from her hand with his chain, and things look pretty bad for our glorious heroine as Attius punches her viciously in the face. She manages to haul herself to her feet, but her sword is nowhere within reach. Instead, she grabs Attius’ heavy blacksmithing hammer and smashes him in the face with it. Dazed, Attius drops his chain and tries to crawl over to Naevia’s dropped sword, but Naevia is having none of this escaping business. She pursues him, hammer in hand, and beats him to death, screaming wildly all the while.

Oh sweetie. No.

*****

The rebels are hacking their way through the soldiers, reasonably close to total victory, when Mummius and his men finally show up to join the party. Tiberius and Sabinus begin fighting with renewed glee, and when Gannicus shouts to Sparty about the oncoming soldiers, Tiberius sees his chance to kill Spartacus with his own hand.

Oh my god you are such a twit.

Spartacus runs through the fight to address this new threat just as Tiberius begins shoving his way through from the other side to engage him. Amidst all this mayhem, Herocleo spots the discarded torch by the fire and snatches it up to light it; he then tosses it high in the air.

Out on the ships, this is the signal the rest of the pirates have been waiting for. They load their shipboard catapults with jars of Greek fire and launch them at the approaching soldiers with terrifying accuracy.

INCOMING

INCOMING

Mummius sees the missiles lighting up the sky and shrieks for the men to huddle under their testudo formation, but it does them no good at all. The entire centuria dissolves into firey mayhem, with everyone running and screaming and panicking. Before Mummius can order their retreat, he is caught full on by a blast of fire, and dies quite horribly.

The rest of the remaining soldiers flee in terror, despite Tiberius’ angry shouts for them to stand their ground. He watches helplessly as everyone runs away like giant diaper babies, and while he’s distracted, Totus sneaks up beside him and skewers him with a spear. Tiberius is taken completely by surprise, certainly never having expected anything but total victory. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so damn sad.

Totus steadies himself for one last lunge to finish Tiberius off; Sabinus desperately tries to fight his way through the crush and save his beffie, but there’s just no time. As Totus dives at Tiberius with the spear, Tiberius pulls up his sword at the last moment and buries it in Totus’ chest. They fall together, and Sabinus arrives just in time to catch Tiberius. The wound is gushing horribly, and Sabinus carries Tiberius off the field despite his hysterical protests.

Some of the rebels want to pursue the fleeing soldiers, but Spartacus orders everyone back to the city immediately. Herocleo asks what they’re going to do next, and Sparty tells him to sail his fleet into the port and unload the stores. This time, Herocleo is truly happy to oblige.

Crixus stands over Totus as he takes his last breath, and pulls Tiberius’ fancy sword from his chest. He examines the inscription on the hilt thoughtfully.

*****

Back inside the city, the rebels lay out their dead. Saxa and Nasir shove their way through the crowd, frantically looking for their respective boyfriends, and are glad to see them both safe. Nasir says that he wanted to come to Agron’s aid, but Nemetes refused to open the gates for him. Sparty defends Nemetes’ decision, saying that if the gates had been opened, more people would have died unnecessarily.

Gannicus and Crixus are really goddamn confused as to why the Romans would attack with so few men, and led by a mere boy. Naevia arrives, splattered with blood and gore, and delivers her theory – that Attius was somehow responsible for the Romans’ strange attack. Wait, what?

*****

Gannicus kneels down beside his old friend’s battered corpse inside the smithy, looking unhappy. Naevia claims that Attius attacked her when she innocently questioned him about whether or not he helped Ulpianus and the rest of the prisoners escape. Gannicus looks like he believes the story, and Crixus tells Naevia that obviously she had no choice but to kill Attius or be killed herself. Gannicus actually seems to blame himself, for having told Attius to find something he believed in and fight for it.

Agron reminds everyone that they have more important things to worry about presently, and Sparty orders a thorough search of the entire city for Ulpianus and the escapees, so that they don’t sit around plotting to do the rebellion further harm.

*****

A cloaked and hooded figure sneaks into a barn and lifts up a concealed hatch. Inside a room hidden beneath the floor, Ulpianus and the rest of the escapees are huddled quietly. Of course, it’s Laeta who helped them all along, and she’s come to bring them some food from her own rations. At the sound of approaching rebels, she shuts the hatch quickly.

ohnoes

ohnoes

 

1 hotass saxa gifset source here

all other images courtesy of fishsticktheatre

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2 Responses to Spartacus: War of the Damned – 3.03 – Men of Honor

  1. The name of the actor playing the Herculean named Herocleo the Pirate King is Vince Colosimo. This will mean nothing to anyone who isn’t Australian, but let me just say that this role is 10000 steps up from the usual things he does.

    Seeing him as a Cicilian pirate may well be the most awesome goddamn thing I’ve seen him do, and I remember the 80s when he was in a little comedy show called “Acropolis Now”. Anyhoodle!

    Saxa looked HOT AS HOT CAN BE in that gown, omg. There was a LOT in this ep, though I am all sadness that there’s no ep for 2 weeks. Starz hates happiness and doesn’t want us to have nice things for two weeks, sob. I reckon though, (this is my crazy fan / history buff theory) that Ceasar chopped soldier dude’s skull meats as a way of inflaming Tiberius’ rage chip so he’d go off and do exactly what he did do, only Ceasar hoped he’d die in the process. I have been thinking all week that Ceasar has a legion of cunning plans, all involving “accidents” that can happen to Tiberius, and chopping into defenseless wibble soldier’s brainmeats certainly seemed to make Tiberius do the worst possibly advised thing he could do.

    I also reckon, as today I have all the theories, that Sparty is a little hot for Laeta and has a little crush on her that he’s not quite ready to admit yet. And I have an awful feeling that Naevia is going to either seriously wound someone important – like Gannicus, for instance, – or she’s going to have a serious full-on breakdown. Either way, it will be bad and it will be sad, and I’m kind of scared for her, because as you say, “Honey. No.”

    The Greek fire trebuchet thingies were AWESOME. And hubba hubba, Castus can have fun with me any day of the week. The Nagron ALL THE SEX scene? ABOUT TIME OMG. So happy to see that. Though I lol at the carefully placed thigh or knee so we don’t see Nagron peen. We only see peen when it’s magic, apparently, and Crixus wants it to vanish. (Such a lolaroius line. I laughed like a hyena when he said it.)

  2. I ASSUME that Laeta and Sparty are going to have a ~*forbidden romance*~ that will of course end horribly and with tears and rage and innards strewn about but it might also be all a cunning ruse and they will just be BUDS. The main thing I have come to expect from this show is DON’T PREDICT THINGS BECAUSE YOU WILL BE WRONG AND EVERYTHING WILL BE ON FIRE, basically.

    UGH I AM SO WORRIED ABOUT NAEVIA.

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