Spartacus: War of the Damned: “Men of Honor” Review
“Men of Honor” is another great episode in the final season of Spartacus.
In this week’s episode of Spartacus: War of the Damned, “Men of Honor”, things look bleak for the captured Romans- those who Spartacus spared from death after taking the city in last week’s “Wolves at the Gate”. Food is scarce, and the rebels seem fine with letting the Romans starve and rot; seemingly Spartacus is the only rebel left with a conscience.
Early in “Men of Honor”, we see a complete reversal of fortune: a captive Roman begs for bread for his pregnant wife, and a rebel offers it to him- in exchange for all the coin in his house. The man gives him the location of all his savings, and the rebel drops the bread in the dirt; a fight amongst the prisoners ensues. Gannicus’ bladesmith friend brings fresh swords for the rebellion, and Crixus arms the two fighting Romans, ordering them to fight to the death for their bounty. Crixus, and more so Naevia, seem to take great pleasure in exacting vengeance on the townspeople. The rebels were treated like dogs for years, and Naevia has been a victim of horrible things. She begins to unravel in this episode, maiming first and asking questions later.
Before long, four men make their way towards the city walls. It turns out to be a band of pirates, who offer trade in exchange for a seal that allows them to freely trade goods at ports, without interference from authorities. Spartacus seems distrustful of them, but seeks out the seal to measure the worth of such an agreement. With food in such low supply, he doesn’t have much choice. They broker a deal, and drink is shared in celebration. Soon one of the pirates makes a move on Agron’s lover Nasir, and Agron beats him to a bloody pulp.
Tiberius and Caesar gain knowledge of the rebels’ whereabouts, and Tiberius, yearning to impress his father, launches headfirst into a full-on assault while Spartacus and crew are outside the city walls for their trade. Meanwhile, Naevia seeks out the swordsmith, who she believes is in collusion with the Romans; she confronts and quickly kills him, quite brutally I might add. When Tiberius’ forces begin to overtake the rebels, the pirate’s ships rain down destruction on the troops, and their alliance with the rebels is solidified for the moment. Gannicus returns to find his friend slaughtered by Naevia, and yet another wrench is thrown in the gears of the rebels’ uneasy alliance.
Overall, “Men of Honor” is another strong episode in the final season of Spartacus. It successfully built a lot of tension, as the rebellion seems to be coming apart at the seams, and it was hard to get a bead on the pirates’ true intentions until the very end. The final battle at the end was definitely heart-pumping, and I was surprised (but glad, he’s so annoying) to see Tiberius get badly injured; time will tell if this will make him more cautious or bloodthirsty from here on out. It will be interesting to see how his father Marcus Crassus responds to the news of Tiberius deliberately disobeying direct orders- perhaps this will allow Caesar to rise above him in the hierarchy.