Spartacus: War Of The Damned – “The Dead And The Dying” Review
The final chapter of Spartacus’ journey heats up in this fantastic episode.
Note: Full spoilers for the episode follow.
Man, Tiberius has certainly turned into a heel of epic proportions. Pretty much every major player on Spartacus: War of the Damned has been seeking the arrogant boy’s death, and honestly, it’s kind of amazing that he even survived this far. Just like Ashur before him, Tiberius utilized his cunning intellect and power to sidestep fate at every turn. But in the end, karma caught up to him, and though his end wasn’t as epic as I was hoping for, at least he met his end at the hands of one of the many people he’d wronged in “The Dead And The Dying”.
It ended up being Kore that dispatched Tiberius from the world, after a gladiatorial battle held in Crixus’ honor. It’s the first time we’ve seen Spartacus on the sands since Liam McIntyre took over for Andy Whitfield, and in some ways it felt like the battle was honoring not just Crixus but also Andy. Liam was outstanding in this episode, and absolutely brutal on the sands. He provided the two best kills of the episode, one where he faceplanted a hapless Roman into a pair of swords, and another where he stabbed two swords through the back of a soldier’s head, protruding them straight through his eyes. It needs to be said that the fight choreography was fantastic in this episode. There were some absolutely stellar sword fights featuring Gannicus and Spartacus.
It was fun watching Tiberius’ fear begin to rise as the captive Romans fell one by one. Watching the rebels’ brutality, as they tossed decapitated heads into the crowd, and even threw a live Roman up in the stands and watched as the people tore them apart, was definitely something. Everyone was certainly thirsty for Roman blood and vengeance for Crixus’ untimely death. Even Nasir got to kick some ass in memory of his lover Agron.
But wait! Agron yet lives! Yes, to be honest I kind of saw this coming. Then he was immediately crucified by Crassus and Caesar, but the fact that he was still alive led me to assume that we’d see more of him in this episode. In the midst of the games, Caesar tells Spartacus of Crassus’ offer of trade: 500 captive rebels for Tiberius’ life. I wondered how Naevia would react to the news, as she’d been longing to tear him apart in the arena, but Spartacus offered her the choice. I was quite surprised when she showed enough restraint to hold back from killing him, and agreed to the trade.
But it wasn’t meant to be. Caesar arrived to take Tiberius to his father, but Kore stabbed him in the back before the trade could be made. Although I would have loved to see Naevia, Caesar, or Spartacus himself take Tiberius out, I suppose it’s fitting that he’s robbed of a glorious death, the same way Crixus was.
The funeral at the end, as well as Agron’s reunion with Nasir, was touching. Everyone began chanting names of those they’d lost, before all falling into a chant of “Crixus!” It was great to see the Undefeated Gaul finally get the honor he deserved. It’s crazy to think that next week’s will be the final episode of Spartacus, but if “The Dead And The Dying” is anything to go on, it will be a fantastic end to one of my all-time favorite series.