Spartacus: War of the Damned – 3.05 – Blood Brothers

Blood. There’s just gallons and gallons of blood everywhere. More blood than we’ve seen since the slaughter in the ludus in season one. Nasir and Donar are stacking up the Roman dead on the shelves in Ennius’ horreum, with the rest hanging from the ceiling like sides of meat. It’s quite gory and repulsive – far too gory and repulsive to screenshot, really, so here instead is a whimsical gif of a little bunny eating a flower. You may need to refer back to this gif many times during this episode, for mental health purposes.

 

Spartacus and Agron stop by to have a look at the gruesome scene, and Sparty tells Nasir to make sure the corpses are cleaned up a bit and salted thoroughly, to preserve them from rotting too quickly. Sparty’s always planning ahead, and thinks that the bodies might serve some mysterious purpose eventually. Hopefully not lunch.

As they turn to leave, Nasir calls after Agron, hoping for a moment or two alone to talk, but Agron coldly shoots him down, suggesting that Nasir spend some time with Castus instead. Nasir’s hopeful little face falls and quite frankly this is a lot more upsetting to see than the rivers of blood at his feet.

STOP BEING A MEANIE, AGRON.

*****

Sparty and Agron stop by the town square to watch Crixus and the rebellious rebels training. Crixus looks really distracted and more than a little bit wild-eyed, and Agron doesn’t really like the way he’s looking at Spartacus. Sparty muses that he’s very familiar with this surly glare of Crixus’, having been the recipient of it for a long time back at the ludus before they became the bestest of bros. Agron is also not pleased by the fact that many of the rebels feel that Crixus was justified in his slaughter of the Roman prisoners, and when Sparty asks him where he stands, Agron needs all of 2 seconds to declare himself Sparty’s loyal bro till the bitter end.

As Crixus crazyfaces himself to an undisputed win in the training square, Sparty sends Agron back to the villa to stand guard over Laeta and the remaining Roman prisoners during Sparty’s upcoming absence. Agron’s not entirely sure that this is the best idea – shouldn’t Sparty try to hug it out with Crixus instead of going off on some seekrit mission? Nope. Sparty is done trying to talk sense into Crixus, apparently.

Sigh.

*****

Over by the docks, Gannicus is sitting at the bow of Herocleo’s ship with Lugo and Sanus, sharing a jug of wine. Saxa is musing to herself in German, and when Gannicus makes his usual face of adorable incomprehension, Lugo advises him to learn their language in order to understand the many terrible things that Saxa has to say to everyone. Saxa shoots Lugo a snarly look and graces him with a few delightful examples of her lexicon, earning a sassy wink from Gannicus, who finds her delightful at all times regardless of comprehension.

plz can we make out a lot ok thx bie

plz can we make out a lot ok thx bie

I JUST LOVE THEM SO MUCH YOU GUYS.

Spartacus arrives and is rather disappointed to see Gannicus and Lugo getting drunk right before they’re supposed to depart for this secret mission to Sicilia, but Gannicus promises that it’s for a good cause. Lugo, it seems, is not all that down with the idea of travel by boat, and he also has a good healthy case of the Fish Fear. Sparty can’t really argue with the Fish Fear, and is thus sort of shruggo about the matter.

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Herocleo comes over to tell him that everything is ready for their trip, and Sparty hands over a large purse of coin, promising more yet to come upon completion. Herocleo waves the purse at Castus, laughingly advising him to spend his share on drink and companions of questionable virtue in order to get his mind off of Nasir, and the two of them turn to leave, startling and irritating Spartacus mightily. He insists that he paid for their piratey services, but Herocleo counterinsists that all Sparty paid for was the use of the ship and the assistance of Tryphon, a grumpy-faced pirate dude.

Sparty’s not pleased by this shifty behavior but opts to go ahead with his plan nevertheless. As Herocleo and Castus depart for the town center, Caesar, lurking unnoticed just around the corner, watches the entire exchange thoughtfully.

*****

Over at the Roman army encampment, the follower’s camp is lively and loud with drunken tomfoolery, even this early in the day. Tiberius sits alone and miserable, glaring at anyone foolish enough to make eye contact with him. A handful of his cowardly men sits to the side of the mayhem around a small campfire, and as one of the men stirs the meager pot of soup, a couple of Centurions from the non-disgraced part of the army spots them. Naturally, these Centurions feel the need to come over and spit into the soup to show their disgust.

Tiberius loses himself in flashbacks of Sabinus’ bloody demise for a moment, clutching at the white stone that marked Sabinus for death. Meanwhile, the cowardly soldiers have fallen to brawling amongst themselves, and their shouting rouses Tiberius from his thoughts. And oh man, is he pissed.

Tiberius stomps over to them furiously, outraged at the thought that they’re eager to brawl over something as relatively minor as soup but were too pathetic to stand and fight against Spartacus. He’s also consumed with loathing over the terrible injustice that jackasses like them are still alive while Sabinus, the only one who remained loyal, was killed for their crimes. Even though all four men are significantly larger and more experienced than Tiberius, they hang their heads miserably all throughout his angry rantings.

Off to the side, Kore’s peeping out from under her cloak at Tiberius and looks awfully upset. I wonder if Crassus has ordered her to stay away from Tiberius as further punishment?

Before Kore has a chance to approach or depart, a horn sounds, announcing the arrival of Senator Metellus.

On the orderly side of the camp, Crassus sends one of his assistants off with orders to reprovision the camp with a large shipment of grain from Sicilia. As the assistant departs, Metellus and his escorts approach. Crassus doesn’t even attempt to conceal his displeasure at Metellus’ surprise visit, nor does Metellus pretend to care. They seem pretty comfortable in this relationship of obvious mutual disdain, actually. This amuses me.

Anywhoodle, Metellus has some snarky inquiries to make, demanding to know why Crassus’ army, which was given to him by the Senate, is sitting on its collective ass barely half a day’s march from Spartacus. Shouldn’t they be attacking already? Crassus haughtily informs Metellus that the Senate only granted the command – the army, the encampment, the supplies and horses and every last thing in sight was actually provided and paid for out of Crassus’ own pocket. So in conclusion, the army operates solely by the command of Crassus himself, and not by that of Rome. The “sit your fool ass down and shut your fool mouth up, Metellus” remains unspoken but is nevertheless very strongly implied.

Metellus ignores Crassus’ disdainful look and forges on ahead with his whining. He’s heard of the unsuccessful attack upon Spartacus, which Crassus dismisses as a “minor skirmish, foolishly engaged.” But Metellus also has a bone to pick with Crassus’ choice of punishment for the cowardly company – everyone’s heard that Crassus has revived the practice of decimation, and are well and truly shocked.

Crassus isn’t even gonna care about defending his actions. You can totally tell that he thinks it’s completely beneath him to explain himself to Metellus, and it seems that Metellus catches on to this as well, because his next move is to needle Crassus with tales of Pompey’s recent victory over Sertorius in Hispania. Crassus realizes immediately that this means Pompey will soon be returning to Rome with all his legions, putting further pressure on Crassus to seal the deal against Spartacus and the rebels ASAP.

Crassus calmly tells Metellus that Spartacus will be a distant memory by the time Sertorius gets home, but Metellus accuses him of being all mouth and no trousers, and demands to see more action, and soon. Crassus is thus forced to reveal that his plans are already well set in motion, with Caesar going undercover with the rebel army inside Sinuessa’s walls.

This is definitely not what Metellus was expecting, and he is really not happy to hear that such an important job has been entrusted to Caesar, someone he wholly dismisses as a complete wanker. Crassus finally loses his patience with Metellus’ whining and bitching, and angrily shoots down his complaints. He knows full well that Pompey would rush into battle like a hothead and fail embarrassingly, because Spartacus isn’t stupid enough to fall for that kind of approach.

Metellus glares suspiciously at Crassus and accuses him of admiring Spartacus, a thing to which Crassus readily admits. After all, Spartacus was basically a nobody from nowhere who rose up into something that terrifies the entire Senate. Crassus finds this rather impressive, all things considered. Metellus puts his grumpy pruneface back on and sniffily tells Crassus that the Senate only trembles with anger at his inaction, which is like the saddest comeback ever.

Crassus sighs a terribly put-upon sigh and offers to sent a small force of men to Sinuessa, to “assuage fears”. Yes, Metellus, he did actually just call you a little crybaby babypants, in case you were wondering.

Metellus, pleased that his demands are being given the attention they deserve, asks how many men Crassus intends to send. Well, Metellus, buddy, that depends on how many men accompanied you today! You see, Crassus really wants you to be able to participate in this glorious victory you’ve so stridently demanded. And if you’re unwilling to join in, then maybe you should haul your sorry crybaby ass back to Rome and leave the important matters of war to the big boys.

Oh snap, four for you, Crassus Coco. And none for Metellus Weiners, bye!

*****

Back in Sinuessa, the rebels are sparring in the town square. Nemetes, in the very center of the melee, heaves one of his swords across the crowd and right into Caesar’s hands. At Caesar’s look of surprise, Nemetes explains that since Caesar has proven himself loyal to the rebellion, he’s earned it. Plus, Nemetes would like to make sure that Caesar is well-armed to have his back in case of further attempts on his life, obviously. Caesar thanks him, saying that he looks forward to using it, which of course means something very different than what Nemetes assumes.

Caesar then spots Crixus and Naevia within earshot and decides to sow some more dissent, asking Nemetes if Spartacus will be returning to join them in their planned attack on the army encampment. This is, of course, brand new information for everyone involved. Crixus barges into the conversation, exactly as Caesar’d hoped, and is super pissed to hear that Spartacus was seen down at the docks, departing on a ship with Gannicus and the Cilicians. Caesar then shares the news that Herocleo and Castus didn’t leave with Spartacus, which confuses everyone mightily.

Crixus also wants to know where the hell Agron is in all this, and Caesar reports that he didn’t see Agron leave. Crixus decides that Nemetes and Caesar should find Herocleo and interrogate him further, while Crixus and Naevia will do the same with Agron. Yes, I’m sure this will go really well.

*****

Agron is strolling around the villa with Donar, watching over the remaining Roman prisoners. Sibyl’s there too, making sure that everyone gets fed. Laeta foolishly decides to address Agron and thank him for the food and safety he’s providing, which Donar finds hilarious. Agron kneels down in front of Laeta and, very calmly and with a gentle smile, grabs her by the throat to make sure she’s paying attention: he’s not there to take care of them with kindness and pleasantries. He’s there to follow Spartacus’ direct orders and nothing more, and if it was up to him, they’d all be as dead as the rest of the prisoners.

Crixus and Naevia burst in to interrupt this harsh lesson, and Agron leaps in front of them to prevent what he assumes will be further slaughter. Naevia sets him straight, telling him how little they care about these “Roman pets” – they just want to know where Spartacus went, and why. Agron is visibly surprised that they found out, but just tells Crixus to ask Spartacus himself when he returns.

Crixus wants to rant and rave a whole lot more, and does so enthusiastically. He’s pissed at what he sees as Sparty’s sneaking, scheming cowardice in fleeing the city without mentioning it to anyone, and when Agron turns it back on him, telling Crixus that he’s done no better with his own scheming to kill the Romans against orders, Crixus unloads his full arsenal on Agron – he quietly reminds Agron that his baby brother Duro died at the hands of the Romans in order to help the rest of the rebels gain their freedom.

Instead of flying into a wild bloodthirsty rage as Crixus was hoping, Agron just turns to him and tells him that he’s not having any of that crap anymore. Crixus is looking for the young hothead who was always glad to rush into battle and damn the consequences, but that former Agron is long gone. Older, wiser Agron isn’t going to be manipulated into making mistakes via emotional blackmail, dammit!

And even though Crixus and Agron have never been friends, and have really only barely begun to truly trust one another, Crixus still seems like he feels pretty betrayed by this. This was maybe the one last thing he felt he could count on – Agron’s easily roused anger – and it doesn’t seem to be there anymore. Oh Crixus. Nothing is really going your way lately, is it?

Crixus and the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad rebellion.

Crixus tells Agron to let Spartacus know that they need to have a long angry talk when Sparty returns, and then he and Naevia depart to sulk in corners and hiss grumpily.

*****

Aboard the pirate ship, Gannicus is still steadily drinking while Saxa continues poking fun at Lugo. Spartacus is standing alone at the bow when Gannicus wanders over to comment that even with all Sparty’s mad plans, he never expected to be sailing off to something new. Sparty’s not in the best mood currently, as the last time he was on a boat was when he was transported as Glaber’s slave. Gannicus decides to honestly present his concerns anyway – he’s worried about Crixus being crazy back in Sinuessa, and about Crassus lurking just outside the city, and in a very general way about Sparty’s current plan to go raiding for food. Is this really the best time?

Spartacus explains that Herocleo’s given them valuable information about shipments of food ordered by Crassus to feed his armies. If the rebels steal these shipments, it will weaken the Roman army while strengthening the rebel army at the same time. Ideally, this will force Crassus to make whatever rash decision Sparty is hoping for.

Gannicus finds these arguments very reasonable and offers no further worry. It might also be the wine talking, though. Sparty snippily points out that Gannicus could’ve figured this all out for himself if he wasn’t drunk all the damn time, and Gannicus just laughs his usual half-rueful, half-delighted laugh. Whatevs, bro.

Spartacus doesn’t want eye-rolling laughter, though, he wants seriousness and attention-paying. Sparty lets Gannicus know that his loyalty is valued, and once again raises the topic of Gannicus having more responsibility amongst the rebels, especially now in light of Crixus’ betrayal. Gannicus really doesn’t want to deal with this, as usual, telling Sparty that he’s no leader.

Sparty insists that Gannicus has proven himself a better leader than Crixus has recently, but Gannicus brushes this off, telling Sparty that he might have joined in the slaughter as well if Naevia hadn’t knocked him out. Spartacus knows him better than that, as do we all – despite his checkered past full of many personal shortcomings and bad decisions, Gannicus has always kept his word when given. And since his primary reason for joining the rebellion was to honor Oenomaus’ dying wishes, it stands to reason that he’s going to stick to Sparty’s commands like glue.

Man, Gannicus is really bad at taking a compliment. LOVE THYSELF, BROSEPH.

Saxa interrupts his thoughtful moment to announce that land has been spotted. She’s excited to hack more Romans to tiny smeary bits, and pulls Gannicus in for some hot smooching before strutting off like the most fierce goddamn goddess ever.

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Sparty turns to watch her leave, and tells Gannicus that maybe some day something – or someone, perhaps – will inspire him to take the leadership position he deserves. I hope that day never comes, because the main thing that has thus far inspired all the gladiators to become leaders has been the death of someone they loved more than anything else. AND I WILL NOT STAND FOR SAXA DYING DO YOU HEAR ME. I WILL NOT HAVE IT.

Gannicus laughingly tells Spartacus that it’s just as likely that he’ll die that very night in the middle of their secret mission, leaving Sparty to weep over his death “with the other women”.

*****

As the sun sets, a small company of soldiers is escorting a wagon full of supplies along a seaside road. This is the moment the rebels have been awaiting, and they attack with little warning. The guards are slaughtered messily and left smeared all over the road.

Sparty and Gannicus open the wagon, grinning happily at the success of their plans, and take stock of the large amount of food they’ve secured. Saxa literally skips over, pleased to report that none of the soldiers have escaped, and Sparty rounds up the rebels to continue raiding the supply chain.

*****

That evening, Crassus visits Kore in the follower’s camp. He sees Tiberius sitting alone in the shadows, and while they have a moment of eye contact, neither one acknowledges the other.

Crassus later discusses this with Kore – he’s unhappy with how things currently stand with Tiberius, and Kore encourages him to talk to his son, but Crassus knows that Tiberius needs to deal with the situation on his own and without his daddy holding his hand.

Besides, Crassus has more important things to take care of right now, namely getting naked and sweaty with his best girl. Kore reminds him one last time that she’s always available to provide hugs or a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on, for both father and son, and then it’s time for the main event of sexytimes.

They are so completely in love that it is surely only a matter of time before something unbearably fucking terrible happens.

SOB.

*****

Sinuessa’s filthiest tavern is having another busy night. Herocleo is dicing with Nemetes while Caesar fondles a random lady of the evening. Castus, at the end of the table, is not enjoying himself as much, having passed out in a puddle of his own sick. Aww.

Herocleo loses the toss to Nemetes and decides to stagger off for a piss, but Caesar lures him back in for more gaming and drinking and groping of ladies instead. Thus distracted, Nemetes and Caesar can further their plans to gently and cleverly interrogate him. Herocleo soon reveals that Spartacus has headed off to attack Crassus’ supply chain, which Herocleo is sure will end badly for everyone involved.

When they press him for more information, Herocleo gets a little suspicious, and staggers off to the little pirate’s room, with half-naked ladyfriend at his side. As soon as he’s gone, Nemetes and Caesar discuss the situation. Nemetes initially thinks to inform Crixus immediately, but decides instead to see if he can get more information – and more winnings – out of Herocleo.

*****

Back at the villa, Laeta is trying to encourage Ulpianus’ pregnant wife to eat something, but they’re both nervous by the way Agron is glaring furiously in their direction. Nasir assures them that the glare is not meant for them at all. As Argon walks by, Nasir again tries to stop him for a much-needed conversation, and Agron once again blows him off, saying that he needs to meet Spartacus down by the docks instead.

Nasir has had just about enough of your bullshit, Agron. You’re about to get TOLD.

Nasir storms off after his errant jerky boyfriend, asking snarkily if it’s the usual custom of Agron’s people to run away from a fight. This is quite effective. Agron shoots right back that he’s learned that Syrians like Nasir tend to be lying liarfaces who lie all the time, and Nasir is outraged, yes, OUTRAGED. How dare Agron accuse him of lying? Nasir says hasn’t done a damn thing to deserve this kind of treatment, which in turn sets Agron off with his own outrage.

Agron rants that Nasir was with Castus, after Agron commanded him to stay away from the man. Oh no he didn’t.

Nasir is not going to let that one slide, nope, no way. He gets a fierce gleam in his eyes and tells Agron that he’s not a slave to be commanded by anyone anymore, but Agron refuses to back down, saying that Nasir would be just as angry if their roles in this fight had been reversed. Agron then tries to storm off but Nasir is right behind him, determined to explain. Nasir wasn’t off making out with Castus, you idiot! He only happened to bump into Castus while running through the streets looking for Agron in the middle of Crixus’ murder, mayhem, and madness.

Agron finds this story just a little too perfect to believe, and sneers brattily at Nasir instead of MAKING OUT WITH HIM WILDLY AS ALL THE GODS INTENDED. He can’t believe Nasir expects him to fall for what he sees as a totally made-up tale. And instead of shouting and ranting any further, Nasir just deflates, miserably. Yes, actually, he does expect you to believe him and trust him, Agron – just like he believes and trusts you, in all things.

 

Agron looks into Nasir’s dewy Bambi eyes of unhappiness and misery, and you can absolutely see him wavering as the realization washes over him.

“Ohnoes perhaps I am being an unreasonable douchebag buttnugget,” worries Agron.

YES. YOU ARE IN FACT CORRECT IN THAT CONCERN SIR.

3
 

There’s no time for these sudden painful revelations, because AS USUAL there is an interruption – Donar arrives to announce that there’s a problem.

Everything’s going wrong? Rebellion in a muddle? Plans gone awry? People running wild and slaughtering Romans willy-nilly? MUST BE FRIDAY.

*****

Crixus and Naevia are standing atop the city’s walls looking out over a most unwelcome sight upon the plains. A small company of Roman soldiers is approaching – 30 men or so, maybe more hidden in the distant fog. Nasir is sure that they’re just scouts, since there’s too few men for anything serious, but Naevia is worried that they’ll soon be joined by more men for a real attempt. Crixus agrees that they shouldn’t let this escalate any further, and shouts to the crowd below to prepare for an offensive attack.

Agron shouts right back that there is no damn way Spartacus would allow any such nonsense, but Crixus overrules him with the news that Spartacus is off attacking Crassus. Nemetes joins in the fight, rousing the crowd’s bloodthirst for an attack, and Agron is forced to remind Crixus that he’s no longer a leader of the rebellion. Crixus, of course, isn’t going to let this go unchallenged, but before he can snatch control of the rebellion, Sparty returns. And oh man, he is so pissed.

In the ensuing nervous silence, Spartacus calmly asks Crixus what the hell he thinks he’s doing. Crixus is all “bitch, can’t you see I am planning to attack those soldiers?” Agron turns tattletale and prissily informs Sparty that Crixus was going to open the gate, and Sparty surprises everyone by agreeing. He wants the damn gate open, so screw you guys!

Crixus is stunned and pleased by this sudden reversal, and Spartacus is happy to explain all the ways in which Crixus is sadly mistaken. Sparty doesn’t want to open the gates to attack the soldiers, he plans to release the remaining prisoners instead.

Welp. Crixus thinks Sparty has done lost his fool mind. Sparty counters that Crixus has lost the right to speak up in “all decisions of worth”. Crixus actually gibbers with rage as Spartacus announces that if anyone tries to open the gate before the command is given, they’ll be kicked out onto their asses.

*****

Tiberius is still sulking alone when Kore finally makes her move. Unfortunately, her small talk is a little awkward, as she reminds Tiberius of being back home in Rome. He’s really determined to be grumpy and unpleasant, and Kore mothers him a bit, asking when he last ate something. Tiberius pouts and mumbles and insists upon remaining outside with his men until Kore explains that she’s there at Crassus’ request.

*****

Spartacus and the loyal rebels move through the villa, unchaining the Roman prisoners. Sparty tends to Laeta’s shackles personally, and she asks him about the men responsible for the massacre – she can’t believe that they’re willing to let the prisoners leave. Spartacus grimly tells her that those men are no longer responsible for making any decisions and no longer follow him, so it doesn’t matter what they want. Laeta foolishly decides to attack him verbally, berating him for not releasing the prisoners earlier, but Sparty shuts her down, unwilling to waste any more time listening to her rants. He just wants to get rid of her and get rid of his disloyal former buddies.

Laeta is startled to hear that Crixus and his allies are being kicked out of the city along with the prisoners. Sparty corrects this misapprehension, telling her that Crixus and the others will remain behind in Sinuessa while Spartacus and the loyal rebels will leave for Sicilia. She taunts him for running away from the rebellion, because apparently she’s not smart enough to figure out what’s really going on here.

*****

The surviving prisoners are escorted to the city gates amidst a jeering crowd of angry rebels. Nemetes stops to spit in Laeta’s face, and Sparty shoves him aside, impatient and cranky. Crixus is also standing in the way, telling the prisoners that the only reason they’re still alive is because Spartacus is an idiot. Sparty gets up in his face and tells him MOVE BITCH GET OUT THE WAY, and after some tense and surly eyefucking, Crixus backs down. Barely.

As the prisoners stagger out into the sunshine, a rebel pisses on them from atop the city walls. None of them even seem to care.

*****

Sparty returns to the villa with an enraged, bellowing Crixus right behind him. Crixus cannot fucking believe how stupid Spartacus is being – how could he possibly not see that the prisoners were party to too much information from the rebels, information which is now being given straight into Crassus’ hands?

Oh Crixus, you precious darling fool. DO YOU NOT SEE?

Spartacus let Laeta see that there was growing discontent amongst the rebels. He let her see Crixus’ rebellion against Sparty’s orders, and gave her the information HIMSELF that Crixus and his followers would be splitting from the rest of the rebels. And once Crassus acts upon this false flag operation, Sparty and Crixus and everyone else can, united once again, kick his ass all the way back to Rome.

Oh Crixus. I love you but sometimes you are just not the sharpest gladius in the armory.

*****

Upstairs, Spartacus outlines the rest of his supremely cunning plan to Gannicus, Agron, and Crixus. Herocleo will take half the army on his ships to Sicilia, along with Sanus and some other loyal rebels, who will make sure that the pirates don’t double-cross them. Crixus will pretend to stay behind with the men loyal to him, while actually sneaking out the back gate to the ridge above town. The warehouse full of dead bodies will serve them well, finally, as Spartacus will have them dressed up like rebels and propped up on the walls to make it look like the city is still occupied by the rebellion.

The men aboard the pirate ships will then attack Crassus’ supply holdings on Sicilia, forcing Crassus to send part of his army to defend it. Once the army is split, Crixus and his men will attack the remainder outside Sinuessa, presumably taking them by surprise. Crixus isn’t so sure that this is the best plan, since he won’t have enough men to engage the remainder of the army. Sparty’s got that covered too, though. Once Crassus’ men land on Sicilia, Sparty and the rest of the rebels will just run away and sail back to Sinuessa to join in the attack.

Crixus’ next concern is that Agron knew about this plan all along and never said anything. Spartacus impatiently tells Crixus that Agron only did as he was commanded, and before Crixus can set into Gannicus as well, Sparty explains that Gannicus didn’t know about the plan until he was told on the boat after they departed.

Crixus still feels totally ganged-up-on and needs more coddling to coax him from his grumpy pouty mood. He’s totally offended and betrayed that no one trusted him with this plan, but Spartacus insists an honest reaction was necessary in order to trick Laeta. Gannicus also unhelpfully points out that Crixus has been a major asshole lately, so is it any wonder that they left him out of the planning?

His last argument is a good one – Crixus reminds everyone that Diotimos said the ridge was impassable this late in the season, so wtf? Sparty is sure Crixus will find a way to defy everyone’s expectations and beat the crap out of Crassus’ army, and Crixus is happy to agree.

*****

Sparty heads down to the docks to see Sanus off with the pirates. Herocleo’s there, ready to go, and asks that someone tell Castus – if he ever awakens from his drunken stupor – that they’ll pick him up on their way back. Sparty tries to thank him again for his help, but Herocleo reminds him that he’s just in it for the money. Sparty promises that the money will be ready when he gets back.

*****

Crassus is taking a report from one of his officers when Metellus arrives with Laeta and the rest of the Roman prisoners; he’s sure that Laeta’s news will be very interesting to Crassus. Crassus doesn’t think much of Metellus’ ability to gauge valuable information, and asks Laeta to speak for herself. She feeds him the whole tale of Sparty’s supposed departure for Sicilia, with the remainder of the rebel army still in Sinuessa. Metellus urges Crassus to attack immediately, having completely fallen for Sparty’s ruse. Crassus, on the other hand…. well.

Crassus asks how Laeta managed to survive the fall of the city, and she innocently explains that she was the aedile’s wife, forced by Spartacus to give aid in his dealings with the pirates. Crassus gives her a very judgmental look for helping out the man who killed her husband, but Laeta summons up her outrage and sharp tongue and tells Crassus that she did it to save as many people as she could. So there!

Another officer interrupts with a message, which Crassus reads very thoughtfully indeed. Metellus, foolish Metellus, insists that Laeta’s information is vital and that Crassus is an idiot. Crassus doesn’t even bother telling Metellus how stupid he’s being, and instead gives the command for the army to march. Before he leaves the tent, he grabs a large medallion off his table.

*****

Tiberius slinks miserably into Kore’s warm, clean, well-appointed tent, where she happily serves him some fine wine – a gift from his father, of course. Tiberius is unhappy to note that the horns in the distance are calling the legions to battle, while he’s still left behind in the follower’s camp. Kore once again manages to inadvertently say the wrong thing when she tells Tiberius that she hopes it’s a sign that the war will soon be over. How is she so smart in some aspects of his personality and so foolish in others? Does she not realize that Tiberius longs to prove himself to his father in battle? He can’t do that if the war is over, you silly thing.

Kore says that Crassus has been upset over Tiberius the entire time, but Tiberius is less concerned about his own absence from the field than he is about Sabinus’ untimely death, for which he naturally blames his father. Kore tries to comfort him by saying that Crassus didn’t give the order lightly, and regrets it in retrospect (which is absolutely not true, where is she getting this? wtf woman that is a dirty fib).

Tiberius has spent far too long wallowing alone in his misery to listen to this nonsense. He’s still holding Sabinus’ white stone, and laments that he didn’t draw the stone himself to die in his beloved BFF’s place. Tiberius is sure that Crassus would hardly have notice the absence of his son and the “dragging weight of constant disappointment,” because he is a giant emo baby. Kore is horrified to hear him talking this way, and insists that Crassus loves Tiberius more than he can imagine.

This doesn’t bring the desired comfort to Tiberius, who just thinks that this means Crassus loves Kore more, since he’s actually able to tell her these things. Kore now realizes that there’s no talking sense to Tiberius, who is determined to be miserable, and just reiterates that Crassus truly cares about him.

As Tiberius finally breaks down and cries, Kore cuddles him gently and tells him it’s all going to be okay.

But oh, it demonstrably is not. Tiberius decides that simple hugs and cuddles aren’t enough, and plants one hell of a kiss on Kore instead.

WHAT IS HAPPEN WHY

Kore is as shocked and appalled as the rest of us, and tells Tiberius that he’s badly mistaken her intentions. Tiberius, however, does not care. He’s decided that since Crassus took something from him, so will he take something from his father.

ARGH NO BUT WHY

Kore struggles to get away, screaming at Tiberius to stop at once, but he grabs her throat and tells her that she’s forgotten her place – she’s just a slave, and she has to do whatever he commands.

CAN YOU PLEASE JUST NOT

Tiberius throws Kore onto the bed and undoes his belt and yanks off his tunic and wow he’s really not just trying to scare her, is he.

THIS IS A BAD THING AND YOU SHOULD PROLLY STOP NOW OKAY

Kore begs him to stop and fights as best as she can, but Tiberius overcomes her, ripping off her dress and raping her as she stares blankly at nothing, completely horrified.

HI I’M FUCKING HORRIFIED TOO TIBERIUS WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK

*****

The dead disguised Romans are hauled up onto the walls of the city and set into place. Spartacus orders that large jugs of pitch be set up there as well, as Crixus will probably want some while atop the ridge.

Over by the northern gate, Crixus and Naevia are overseeing the exodus of their half of the army towards the ridge. A heavily pregnant woman stumbles, and Naevia helps her to her feet, calling to another rebel to make sure the woman reaches the encampment safely.

A little way down the road, Saxa and Gannicus are helping Nasir load a wagon with weapons from the armory. Naevia hesitantly approaches Gannicus, and apologizes to him for Attius’ death. While she still feels that Attius forced her hand, she tells Gannicus that she doesn’t think he deserved to die for it. Gannicus asks if Naevia’s hand was forced when she brained him with a rock, and Naevia almost loses her patience. Wouldn’t Gannicus do the same thing to protect someone he loved?

Gannicus laughs and tells her she’s a true warrior now, so the next time she lays a hand on him, he’s going to treat her like one. He and Saxa leave her standing in the road. I’m not sure how much of this conversation Saxa has understood, but she gives Naevia an assessing glare before departing.

*****

On the other side of town, Caesar walks past Castus, who is still looking pretty rough and barfing up against the wall. He’s not interested in the pukey pirate, though – he’s got plans of his own. Unfortunately for his other plans, Caesar next bumps into Nemetes and a couple of his cronies. Nemetes is surprised to see that Caesar hasn’t already left to join Crixus’ party up on the ridge, and Caesar tells him that he’s got something else in mind.

Nemetes laughs but reminds Caesar that they’re just foot soldiers who need to obey orders, and since Crixus has come to terms with Spartacus, they too need to fall into line. Caesar tries to shake things up a bit by telling Nemetes that they’re all doubtlessly going towards frozen death in the mountains while Spartacus sails off to warm, pleasant Sicilia, but Nemetes isn’t taking the bait.

So instead, Caesar kills Nemetes’ two cronies and turns the sword on Nemetes himself. Nemetes can’t believe this bizarre, unexpected betrayal from “Lyciscus” his buddy, but all becomes clear when Caesar reveals himself as the one and only Gaius Julius Caesar. Nemetes, realizing that he’s completely in over his head, immediately offers his loyalty to Caesar in exchange for his own life, explaining that he’s not one of the rebel gladiators, but a Germanic tribesman who wants to return home one day.

Caesar ponders it for a moment and decides that Nemetes is way more trouble than he’s worth. I must admit, it is deeply satisfying to see Caesar open his throat with a sword.

*****

Gannicus and Saxa are still working to clear everyone out of the city out the back gates, and they’re getting really impatient. Gannicus asks Saxa to find out what’s keeping Agron and Donar from joining them, and she drags him in for a lusty kiss before setting off to find their friends.

As soon as she’s gone, Sibyl pops up like a relentless and vexatious little pixie. Gannicus takes one look at her and tries to literally run away in the other direction, but is, as always, drawn back in by her tragic and plaintive wailings. Sibyl tells him once again that she prayed for freedom and the gods brought him to kill her dominus and blabbity blah, Gannicus doesn’t want to hear it anymore, woman!

This time, however, Sibyl doesn’t demand that he believe that her story is true. She just wants him to accept that it’s important to her, and Gannicus is happy to compromise, if only to get rid of her. Before she leaves, she lunges at him wildly for a desperate hug. Gannicus laughs at her earnestness as she runs off to join Crixus’ party on the ridge.

You’re done for now, bro. It’s like feeding a sweet little fluffy stray kitten, now she’ll never leave you alone.

*****

Herocleo and his men have finally returned to port, full of excuses and apologies for their delay. Spartacus looks at the ship and sees a total lack of Sanus or anyone else useful, and is immediately suspicious. It gets even worse when Herocleo tells them that Sanus is dead. It’s not so much that Sanus fell to the Romans, you see. It’s that he fell due to the enormous amount of money that someone else has paid Herocleo.

Herocleo opens his cloak to show them Crassus’ medallion, and pulls out his sword; the men on the boat throw off their cloaks and open the hatches to reveal a company of Roman soldiers. Well. They are pirates, after all. Wasn’t this what everyone expected?

This is, of course, the perfect moment for Caesar to leap out of the shadows and stab Sparty in the back. HISTORICAL LOLS.

Gannicus throws a vicious punch right in Caesar’s face and shoves him the hell away from Sparty, ripping the knife out of his back on the way. He’s immediately engaged closely by Caesar. Meanwhile, the Roman soldiers are throwing themselves onto the dock and attacking wildly.

Spartacus sends some random dude to warn the rest of the remaining rebels, and turns to fight the oncoming soldiers. Gannicus flips Caesar’s knife around into his hand and flings it across the brawl, killing Tryphon aboard the ship. Caesar, meanwhile, calls for a group of soldiers to follow him to the city gates, which they will open to let the rest of the army in.

*****

Saxa, Donar, and Agron are the last rebels left at the front gate. Agron’s still up on the wall, setting up the disguised bodies, and asks Saxa and Donar to take the rest of the jars of pitch over to Crixus. Saxa sees Caesar and the soldiers approaching and shouts a warning, and Agron just batmans right down the wall, cape all a-swirling.

4
 

The three of them fly at the soldiers, cutting the bulk of them down pretty easily. Agron fights Caesar alone, totally enraged at what he sees as yet another obnoxious betrayal. Caesar practically laughs in Agron’s face when he tells him that he’s actually been a sneaky Roman spy all along. This naturally just makes Agron even more mad.

*****

Down at the docks, Sparty and Gannicus are surrounded and badly outnumbered. Fortunately Crixus arrives just in time to leap off the roof like a goddamn ninja assassin. He lands right in the middle of the soldiers and starts kicking ass all over the place.

HULK SMASH!

HULK SMASH!

It is times like these when I remember that Manu Bennett has a ballet background and I scream with wild delight. Also ngl I would like to impress him with my perfect 180 turnout but whatevs.

Naevia and the rest of the army come barreling around the corner and join the melee, and Nasir comes charging over rooftops to jump onto the boat, sword in hand. He snatches a spear from one of the remaining soldiers and skewers men left and right.

*****

Back at the gate, Caesar shouts to the remaining soldiers to get the gate open right away, and three of them run to do as he commands. Saxa can’t hold off all three of them at once, and two of them make it to the winch. Agron yells to Donar to cut the gate’s rope, which he does in the nick of time – the gate, barely open, falls shut just as the approaching soldiers arrive outside.

*****

The gladiators on the dock finish off the rest of the soldiers handily, and Spartacus bashes Herocleo’s head in quite satisfyingly. There’s barely a handful of men left.

*****

Caesar, realizing that there’s no other way to open the gate, hurls a few jars of pitch at the wood, followed by a flaming torch. The gate goes up in flames.

*****

Crixus is huddled over the probably already dead body of a Roman soldier, stabbing wildly. He’s got a lot of pent-up anger and I reiterate my suggestion that he and Naevia spend some quality naked time together in order to combat these troublesome mood swings.

Once he hauls himself to his feet, Crixus mutters evilly about trusting pirates, and Spartacus thanks him for showing up at the perfect time to save everyone’s bacon. Crixus reminds Sparty that he’s often done the same, and then it is time for brohugs, hooray! Well, almost. Bloody handshakes, at least. IT’S VERY MOVING, OKAY.

next time i want hugs okay

next time i want hugs okay

Their touching moment is ruined by Gannicus’ unfortunate discovery that an entire armada of Roman ships is approaching the port. Sparty orders everyone to fall back to the ridge.

*****

The front gate is burning merrily away, and Agron and Caesar are still brawling madly. Donar joins in the fun, giving Agron the opening he needs to smash Caesar onto his ass. Agron stands over him triumphantly, telling Caesar that his plan will die with him, but of course, that’s not going to happen, because history.

Instead, the army on the other side of the city gate starts smashing shit down with their giant goddamn battering ram. Caesar practically laughs an evil supervillain laugh as Agron, Saxa, and Donar stand ready to fight the soon-to-be-arriving soldiers. As the gate shatters into flaming splinters, Caesar tells them to run.

1 lugo fish fear gifset source here

2 saxa/gannicus smoochin gifset source here

3 nagron gifset source here

4 batman!agron gifset source here

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6 Responses to Spartacus: War of the Damned – 3.05 – Blood Brothers

  1. This was a fine, fine episode. I actually shrieked out loud “OH NO!” when Tiberius started assaulting Kore. He is so dead. He is going to be drawn and quartered and fed to the fishes by Crassus. And I don’t think I’ll shed a tear over him, either. Spoilt, rapey little brat.

    Anyhoo! I can’t be the only one who was hoping for a manly, passionate snog of manliness between Crixus and Sparty after they finished killing the pirates and their Roman soldier cargo, can I? It would have been a perfect end to that scene.

    I am all a-tenterhooks for next week.

    • I KEEP LOOKING AT THE BUNNY AND IT IS NOT HELPING

      FUCK YOU TIBERIUS WHAT IS EVEN WRONG WITH YOU UGH

      I really wanted AT LEAST a Crixus-Sparty hug, dammit. WHY NO HUGZ.

      • I know it aired today/night, but having seen the trailers, etc, I am so scared for Kore. Tiberius, you douche! Bad touches are bad!

        • OMG IT IS TOO FUCKING MUCH I CAN’T EVEN

          i’m in the middle of recapping right now but i don’t think i’ll be able to post until tomorrow cause i’m on some freaky arthritis meds that are making me DO THE WACKY.

          sigh.

          • This show just gets better and better. So I am sad we only have a handful of eps left.

            I feel your pain – I hope the meds and the arthritis stop kicking you around soon. *hugs*

  2. Tiberius is dead to me now. Ugh. On a lighter note, thank you so much for that gif of Agron spinning down like a boss. He, Donar, and Saxa rocked that scene together!

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