March 1, 2013

Episode Review: SPARTACUS: WAR OF THE DAMNED, "Blood Brothers"

Holy crap!

Camp Sparty's still in disarray after the latest massacre, and loyalties were clearly split between those who agreed with Crixus and those who followed Spartacus. Matters were not helped when the Gaul learned that their fearless leader had gone out on a secret mission to pilfer Crassus' supplies. When Spartacus returned to Sinuessa en Valle, the Romans were at the gate, and Crixus was ready to take the fight to them but was rebuffed by the Thracian leader. Instead of attacking, Spartacus insisted that the captured Romans be freed, but there was a catch. This entire time, Spartacus planned on letting Laeta go so she could share his plans with Crassus. The idea was to appear disjointed and split the forces in order to engage the Romans on two fronts, but Spartacus couldn't show his hand so he had to keep Crixus in the dark.

Laeta did her part as she went straight to Crassus to tell him what she had learned, but he too had something up his sleeve. When Laeta admitted that she helped Spartacus gain favor with Heracleo to save her people, Marcus decided to test the pirate's loyalties, so he bribed him to turn on Spartacus. When Heracleo and his men docked near the city, Spartacus, Gannicus and a few rebels were ambushed while Crixus and Agron were split from the group. Caesar finally showed his true colors by killing Nemetes and joining the fight against the former slaves. Luckily for Spartacus, Crixus appeared by his side with reinforcements, but Agron and Saxa were left to fight off Caesar and his Roman friends. During their skirmish, Caesar lit the gate on fire and a massive battering ram came crashing through.

Not to brag or anything, but Spartacus' plans became pretty clear early on during the hour, but that knowledge did not take anything away from transpired during the past few episodes or from this one. Since Crassus prided himself on knowing his enemy, it was only a matter of time before he figured out what Spartacus was up to, and I liked how the show didn't drag out the action because the battle was filled with tension, and I was sure one of the main characters was going to die. My money was on Agron because he's been fighting with Nasir because of his jealousy, and I wouldn't put it past a Whedon disciple to kill off a beloved character while he's on the outs with a significant other. Thankfully, that didn't happen but it's only a matter of time (which I guess is true for all of them). If Agron somehow survives until the finale, then Saxa's the next to go because Gannicus has been way too happy as of late. I just hope I'm wrong.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • There was a pretty substantial plotline about Tiberius being banished to the slave camp and taking out his anger on Kore in a particularly brutal fashion, but most of those scenes fell flat because neither are characters that I care about. That doesn't excuse what he did to Kore, but she hasn't been developed enough for that scene to land.
  • So I guess a Spartacus/Laeta pairing is not in the cards?
  • Sorry Naevia, but your apology to Gannicus for killing his friend was too little, too late.
  • If Saxa does fall, I hope Gannicus doesn't end up screwing Sibyl. I think it be more interesting if they had a brother/sister type relationship. That said, I wouldn't blame him either.
"Blood Brothers" pumped me up for next week, and I cannot believe that we're already at the midway point. Starz, can we have just a few more episodes?


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