Major spoilers if you haven't seen tonight's episode of Spartacus: War of the Damned ("Separate Paths").
Heartbreaking. Was the ending of "Separate Paths" especially surprising? No, not really. The installment being one of only three episodes left in the series and a bloody war growing ever bloodier, deaths were inevitable and it was only a matter of time before we lost someone major. But that didn't make tonight's final moments any less devastating. Given the events of the episode, I can't say I'll be disappointed to see Tiberius die bloody before all is said and done. Whether or not he meets his end in the final two episodes remains to be seen, but given his treatment of Caesar, the past assault on Kore and his most recent kill, I'd say he has an ugly death coming. I'd like to see Naevia to do the honors, if she manages to survive long enough for that to happen. Factoring in her own brutal history and Tiberius' misdeeds, Naevia seems like the prime candidate to exact justice on the man. But justice won't bring back Crixus or give him and Naevia the future they so very much deserved.
Let's wipe tears from eyes for a moment and go back to the beginning. The season has been setting us up for Spartacus and Crixus to part ways for a while now. Crixus has been chomping at the bit to kill Romans and Spartacus has taken a more tactical approach at maneuvering the army. Tonight's episode saw the birth of a child, which seemed to be a catalyst to some of what was to come. Given how much sex these people have, I'm honestly surprised there aren't more pregnant women wandering around. Were there contraceptives in those days? (Insert Trojan joke here.) The birth of the child seemed to prompt Spartacus to choose the "flight" approach to protecting the rebels. With plans to move the freed slaves up toward the Alps so that they can get on with being free, Crixus voiced his opinion on heading toward Rome and finishing what they started.
At this point, Spartacus wasn't going to force Crixus or anyone else to move on. As he put it, they've all fought for the chance to forge their own path. He's no longer going to stand in the way of Crixus' or anyone else's. So Crixus was free to move toward Rome and take whomever wanted to go with him. There was no animosity on either side, which opened up the departure to celebration and tearful goodbyes.
The group stormed a villa and set up a place to drink, sing that ridiculous "My Cock Rages On" drinking song, have sex - for one couple, in the very fountain where one recently slaughtered Roman was left to die - and enjoy a brief reprieve from the war. The scene was a stark contrast to the icy encampment last week. And that's when the goodbyes started to happen.
Agron and Nasir have been on the outs of late, but the two seemed to be coming back together in recent episodes. When Agron revealed that he was going to fight with Crixus, Nasir was on board to come along. But Agron insisted he go with Spartacus. While Agron is a warrior at heart, it was important to him that Nasir survive all of this. The two shared an emotional goodbye that felt like the real deal. And given the events that transpired later, it may very well have been.
Naevia and Crixus shared a moment earlier, talking about their own future. But it was clear from the conversation that this war comes first and that they stay together. When Crixus was called away, Naevia looked on at the newborn baby and it seemed like she knew she was never going to have that future. She and Crixus are fighting for the baby's future and the future of other slaves, not their own, unfortunately. It was that conversation that seemed to decide that they would move on with the war no matter what.
Speaking of the baby, the birth revealed to Spartacus that one of Crassus' slaves was in their midst. When Kore openly revealed to him that she left Crassus because his son was raping her, Spartacus took pity on her and put her in Laeta's care. Of course they're going to think she's another Crassus spy, but given what happened to his wife, it's not entirely surprising that Spartacus would show mercy on another abused woman. Or maybe he hopes she'll leak information to Crassus. There's always that possibility.
Spartacus allowed himself some down time tonight when he and Laeta put their differences aside and went at it as though it was only ever a matter of time. Maybe it was. Spartacus made sure she knew he could never love a Roman. She assured him she wasn't after his heart. And then they got to it.