Just when I think Spartacus cant top itself in its gore, it manages to do just that with one swipe of a sword. I like to imagine the writers and special effects people sitting around, trying to come up with the grossest way to make someone stop being alive, and then they bring it to life on screen the first chance they get.

Tonight’s episode was once again divided pretty evenly between the Romans and the rebels. While Ilithyia found a way out of Capua, the rebels’ numbers doubled, but the arrival of newcomers brought problems.

“If you can not stand among us as trusted brother... If you can not follow my orders, take leave now.”
The situation with the rebels is an interesting and tricky one. As so many of them were slaves, they come from different places, and despite their common cause, some have prejudices against others. For example, it seems relatively universal that Gauls are the lowest of the low among the people, which puts Crixus at a disadvantage in the making-friends department. Then again, he’s not exactly the most sociable guy.

Tonight’s episode began with Spartacus and the rebels freeing a boat full of slaves, all of whom come from the same place Agron does. As Agron and Crixus are on the outs, and Crixus is a Gaul, he was automatically persona non grata with them, despite the fact that the slaves were the newbies, and Crixus should have more than his fair share of status among the group. They seemed to be good-natured people for the most part. “Seemed” being the operative word. Sure, they joked around and dropped a few remarks that suggested they thought they were better than the other rebels. And Crixus made his dislike of them known to Agron when he called them a pack of dogs, to which Agron responded with a snipe about Gauls. Tension was high, at least between Crixus and the new people, and Spartacus knew it.

While the newcomers were sparring, partying and joking around, things seemed fairly high spirited. And then Sedullus, who looked like he was about eight feet tall and seemed to be the leader of the group, took an interest in Naevia. He cornered her and it looked like he was about to rape her when she fought back, stabbing him in the abdomen. He threatened to hurt her, and that’s when Agron showed up and came to her defense.

The fight between Agron and Sedullus escalated when Crixus found out the man attacked Naevia and promptly joined the budding fray, which turned into an all out us vs. them brawl. Even Mira joined in, throwing down with the tough blonde female slave. The fight ended with Spartacus briefly dueling with Sedullus, and inevitably slicing the man’s face off. His brain fell out of the front of his head, which I’m pretty sure tops Gannicus prying that one guy’s face apart with a spear at the end of Gods of the Arena in terms of the gross factor.

Sedullus’ death served a dual purpose, in that it ended the brawl, and also addressed the division among the group. As a bonus, Agron got to step up and firmly state which side he’s on. He’s with Spartacus, and as he put it, he doesn’t consider anyone who doesn’t side with Spartacus to be his kin. The newcomers stepped up and made it clear that they too were with Spartacus. Hopefully this is the end of the tension between the two groups, and between Agron and Crixus. Agron came to Naevia’s aid. When push came to shove, he proved his loyalty. That has to count for a lot.

The whole issue also brought up another interesting point. While these new people share a common goal in killing Romans, they aren’t trained fighters and they aren’t bonded in brotherhood as many of the other rebels are. That’s where Oenomaus may prove especially useful. Spartacus sat with him and requested that the once-Doctore return to his role as trainer. His experience in uniting men and teaching them to fight could prove to be crucial in turning this bunch of rebels into a true force.

“I do not seek justice. I seek vengeance.”
Seppia’s naturally angry about what happened to her brother. Of course, she has no idea that Glaber was the man responsible for killing Seppius. If she were, she might not have consented to move in with Glaber and Lucretia, nor would she have climbed into Glaber’s bed to have sex with him... Unless we’re seriously underestimating Seppia’s cunning and intelligence, and she has some kind of super secret vengeance plan that involves being seduced by Glaber. Is that a completely crazy idea?

Lucretia and Ilithyia are both miserable, and rightfully so. Ilithyia’s now married to a man who treats her like a prisoner and who’s lusting after another woman (tables turned fast there). And Lucretia is stuck dealing with Ashur, who is not only still raping her, but also making her call him Dominus and forcing her to wear the wig he bought her, which seemed symbolic of her submission to him, as well as a slight on the memory of Batiatus.

Lucretia nearly found a way out for herself and Ilithyia. Using her own blood, she made it seem like Ilithyia was having complications with the pregnancy. And then she claimed it was a sign from the gods that Ilithyia and the baby shouldn’t be anywhere near Capua. Glaber’s been eating up Lucretia’s claims about things the gods want, and the plan mostly worked. Ilithyia was set to leave Capua and return to Rome, but Ashur intervened and discouraged Glaber from letting Lucretia go with her.

Down, but not out, Lucretia continued to plot. And that brings us to Gannicus’ story...

Rebel without a Cause
Gannicus returned to Capua to collect payment for his arena job, despite the fact that he barely fought anyone before Spartacus arrived. He also wanted his rudis back. He managed to get a few coins, but his rudis came with a catch. Glaber wanted Gannicus to join him in his fight against Spartacus. He gave Gannicus the rudis back, but wouldn’t let him leave Capua. He did give Gannicus time to think it over, though I’m not sure he had much of a choice. At least, Glaber wasn’t giving him one, but someone else would.

Gannicus had the option to kill Glaber, on Lucretia’s suggestion, and for a minute, it seemed like maybe he was going to do it. Instead, he took off, killed his way out of Capua, and caught up with Ilithyia’s Rome-bound carriage. When Glaber and Lucretia found the carriage, Ilithyia was gone, and Gannicus’ rudis was buried in the shoulder of one of the men. It’s sort of Lucretia’s fault, as she was the one to reveal to Gannicus that Glaber’s wife (and unborn child) were headed out of the area. What has become of Ilithyia? Has Gannicus taken her hostage? I doubt Glaber would be all that disappointed to lose her, but he would be upset to lose the child.

It’s worth noting that Ilithyia had an opportunity to warn Glaber of Lucretia’s plan and she didn’t take it. Of course she didn’t. But if she had, Gannicus might not have had the opportunity to snatch her, assuming that’s what he did.

On a note related to Gannicus’ story, it seems Glaber’s cracking down on talk of Spartacus in Capua. Two women were crucified during the episode, both for having spoken of Spartacus. The first was Ilithyia’s slave, and she was used to set an example. The scene might not have been as gory as Sedullus’ face-off moment, but it was just as horrifying, if not more, due to the sound of the woman’s screaming while she was being nailed to the cross. Later, the prostitute Gannicus visited, who unwisely whispered of rebellion and Spartacus, was shown crucified as well.

Something tells me that turning Spartacus into he-who-must-not-be-named may backfire on Glaber, as it could serve to make Spartacus even more of a whispered hero among the people, and possibly want to join the rebellion. Or he’ll silence the few brave people who speak his name, and the rest will cower in fear. We’ll have to wait and see...

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