Spartacus: War of the Damned: “Spoils of War” Review
Spartacus and crew barely escape the clutches of death in “Spoils of War”.
Note: Full spoilers for the episode follow.
Last week’s episode, “Blood Brothers”, ended on a hell of a cliffhanger. Caesar and Crassus’ infiltration of Sinuessa is a success, having burned down the gate as legions of Roman soldiers pour in, cutting down every rebel in their path. This is where “Spoils of War” begins. Completely outnumbered and taken by surprise, Spartacus orders a retreat.
There were some harrowing scenes in this episode, with main characters escaping death by the skin of their teeth. I thought for sure that Gannicus was done for, with his passionate farewell speech to Spartacus and Crixus before they parted ways. I shouldn’t have underestimated him, as he managed to evade Caesar for the time being. At this point, I’m kind of hoping that at least Crixus and Gannicus live on past this season to be part of the heavily-rumored spin-off series once War of the Damned is finished. Technically, there’s no reason even Spartacus has to die, as historically his body was never recovered. But surely viewers are expecting his end, and I don’t really see it all going down any other way.
There were a number of teases toward what will surely be awesome battles to come. Spartacus comes face to face with Crassus, and does an Indiana Jones- style roll through a falling gate, escaping his fate for now. Later in the episode, Gannicus faces down with Caesar briefly, but manages to get away as well. As much as it’ll pain me to see either of these two fall, they will surely at least die in the most epic of encounters.
I keep expecting Sybil to be a Roman is disguise or something. She’s just so damn weird. Is she jealous of Saxa’s relationship with Gannicus? I just don’t see where the whole thing is going, and the fact that it still isn’t resolved yet worries me. If she somehow is a part of Gannicus’ downfall, I will be pissed.
“Spoils of War” takes a lot of time showing Caesar, Crassus and Tiberius celebrating, including some gross scenes of rebels being tortured to death. Crassus throws a party in Caesar’s honor, which Tiberius is none too fond of. Tiberius still manages to evade the wrath of Crassus, by manipulating Kore into holding her tongue regarding his raping her in last week’s episode. I hope this eventually gets resolved, as Tiberius is such an annoying little prick that I’d love to see Crassus exact his revenge on him.
It was a bit surprising to see Heracleo the pirate still living, and even more so to see Crassus hand Laeta off to him in exchange for his services. It was definitely uncomfortable to watch him put his filthy hands all over her, and then brand her arm with an H. Thankfully, he soon met his end with a hot iron through the neck. Now if he comes back alive again next week…
I’m assuming this whole thing is a way to get Spartacus and Laeta on equal “slave” footing so as to enable a relationship between them. While I enjoy the character of Laeta, I do feel that her and Sparty getting together is a bit of a stretch after his brutal killing of her husband.
The end of the episode is pretty bleak for the rebels, as Spartacus has done exactly what Crassus hoped, backing the rebels into a corner in the harsh winter cold, just waiting to be slaughtered. Maybe Crixus was right and they should have just made a stand where they were? Guess we’ll have to wait until next week to see if they can fight their way out of this one.