Tonight’s episode of Spartacus: Vengeance had a little bit of everything, including some intense fighting scenes, major drama within Spartacus’ group, an interesting revelation about a certain character’s past actions, and even some actual arena fighting. Just like old times! Kind of.
The Greater Good
Agron lied to Crixus and said Naevia was dead after a scuffle with some travelers in the woods led to information on her whereabouts. Of course, we were left out of the loop on Agron and Nasir’s decision to be less than truthful about the woman’s fate. We only found out he lied later on, after Spartacus had a heart to heart with a devastated Crixus and tried to remind him that they still have to keep fighting. If anyone could understand what Crixus was going through, it was Spartacus. He lost his wife, and yet he still fights. His talk lit a fire under Crixus, who eventually seemed motivated to move forward.
Then Nasir broke down and confessed the truth. Naevia’s alive. They lied because they (or mainly Agron) thought it was for the best that they stop trying to find her, putting their own lives at risk for one person. Crixus grief got to Nasir though and in the end, he confessed. This may cause a rift in his budding friendship (or possibly romance?) with Agron, and he seemed aware of that when he made the choice to come clean, but he did it anyway. A bit of fighting and arguing ensued, after which they went to the mines to find Naevia. Of course, when they did manage to get her, they were ambushed by Glaber’s men, due to Oenomaus. More on that in a minute.
Crixus’ reunion with Naevia (who, in case you didn’t notice, was recast and is now played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson) was brief and the two were unfortunately separated when Crixus elected to stay behind to hold off the men and give the rest of them, including the love of his life, a chance to escape. His willingness to put his own life on the line is a mark of his bravery and shows just how far his loyalty and love extends when it comes to Naevia. And we can take mild consolation that Ashur clocked him over the head rather than running him through with the sword, as he probably would have preferred. Is it safe to assume that because his throat wasn't slashed that he's alive and merely captured?
Tonight’s episode was great for Ashur. We can despise him for being the sneaky weasel that he is, but you have to admit, the man is cunning. The big reveal tonight was that it was Ashur who saved Lucretia after the “Kill Them All” attack on the House of Batiatus at the end of Blood and Sand. He found her, stitched her up and made sure she didn’t die. He brought Oenomaus to her last week. And tonight, he not only cut the “B” mark off of his arm (So gross!) to prove to Glaber that he can be trusted, but he also managed to get Oenomaus to give him information that would inevitably lead Glaber’s men to Spartacus. They didn’t get Spartacus, but you can bet Ashur will get points for leading them to the right place and for getting Crixus.
To add insult to all of the injuries Ashur inflicted on Oenomaus as he whipped him, in his efforts to get the man to talk, he used Melitta’s affair with Gannicus as a way to rattle the former Doctore, and rattle it did.
Oenomaus didn’t mean to slip up. It was an accident. He declared angrily that Crixus and the men would find Naevia. Ashur was able to figure out from that pretty quickly that Spartacus and his men were moving south because they were going after the girl. Once they knew that, it was just a matter of sending men to the mines. So now Oenomaus has to live with the newly acquired knowledge that his deceased wife slept with his best friend, and that he accidentally betrayed Spartacus and the others. While he wasn’t exactly Team Spartacus, he did keep his mouth shut when Ashur was torturing him, so there’s some loyalty there, or at least, an unwillingness to be involved in anything that would bring harm on the men.
Tension at Glaber’s House
There was tension at Glaber’s house when Varinius and the Senator paid a visit. Glaber seems threatened by Varinius and he probably should be, considering the Senator seems to favor him, and Ilithyia isn’t exactly shy with her affections either. At the very least, Ilithyia seems to like the attention Varinius gives her.
There was mild tension between Ilithyia and Seppia once again, as Seppia was stuffing her face, and talking down on the idea of being pregnant, or married or anything that doesn’t involve being young and desired. Ilithyia was polite about the whole conversation but it was evident that she was put off by it.
It’s strange to see that shift in Ilithyia’s attitude as she used to be the one dropping veiled comments and giggling merrily. Now she’s the one that has to paint on a polite smile as Seppia goes on and on. Meanwhile, Lucretia seems to have risen above the social politics, in her slightly crazy but separated sort of way. Lucretia’s no longer the lady of the house. There doesn’t seem to be much responsibility of her nor expectations of her, so she can wander around making comments about the gods and patting Ilithyia on the back, above it all.
There was some tension relief in the form of a bloody battle in the arena. Though it’s not the same to see fighters in the ring when we don’t know them or feel all that invested in the outcome, the familiarity of the scene was still welcome.
MIra gets her own section here because she was awesome tonight. Following her comments about wanting to stand side-by-side with Spartacus (a speech that earned her some intense bed-time with her partner), we later saw her making good on that by stepping forward to gain the attention of the man at the mines who might be able to tell them where Naevia was. Putting her life in danger, she let him take her into a tent and just as he was about to rape her, she grabbed his knife, threatened to cut off his manhood and then got the information she needed from him. In order to get out of there alive, she had to fight him, and fight she did. She slashed him to death and got the map of the mines back to Spartacus. She also proved helpful in using the map to lead them out of the mine after they found Naevia and were being chased by the soldiers. I think a large chunk of the success of the mission (excluding Crixus’ capture) goes to Mira.
Someone recognized Spartacus from his arena days. Is that something that could present an issue? The more they travel, the more people are going to know of him, which could make posing as slaves to infiltrate places tricky or impossible.
And that wraps it up for tonight! What will become of Crixus assuming he's ok? Will he and Naevia ever be truly reunited again? And what about Oenomaus? What will become of him now? Also, what’s Ashur’s end game? Is he just trying to make himself especially useful to Lucretia by having saved her life and doing her favors? All things to wonder while we wait for next Friday!