TV REVIEW: Spartacus: Vengeance Episode 6 – Chosen Path

Officially in the home stretch now, it’s time to see if “Chosen Path” stands up to last week’s episode.

Spartacus and the gladiators return victorious to their hiding place, but despite the addition of Gannicus, things aren’t as great as they may seem. After a happy reunion, Crixus and Naevia struggle to find some common ground after her ordeal. And Glaber appears to have had enough of being told what to do and decides to take matters into his own hands.

Given the quality of the episodes in the first half of the season, there was bound to be a weak spot somewhere. “Chosen Path” may just be it.

Spartacus and his men return to the temple with Gannicus and Oenomaus, who is still gravely injured. Gannicus makes it pretty clear from the beginning that he is only there  for his friend, and that he has no interest in helping Spartacus with his cause.  In fact, he’s quite vocal about how completely insane he finds it to be. It’s a sentiment that spreads quickly, with the non-fighting members of the community struggling to find their roles in all of it. While all of this is going on, Agron conducts a surveillance mission to Neapolis to find out if there are indeed fighting men to be found, and the results appear to be favorable.

Crixus and Naevia are happy to be reunited, but soon find out that there are more hurdles to overcome.  Naevia, understandably, has developed an aversion to intimacy after her ordeal. Crixus is forced to watch helplessly while she struggles with what this means, and whether or not she is or can be the woman that he fell in love with. After some tense moments where you fear for the worst, she decides that she wants to fight to become her old self again, and Crixus happily agrees to help her.

Glaber makes no secret about the fact that he is done with his scheming wife.  He makes it clear that the only reason she is still alive is because she is carrying his heir.  He is also tired of Seppius and of being thwarted by Spartacus at every turn. After finally listening to Ashur’s advice about the caliber of men they are pursuing, he sets Ashur to the purpose of gathering a group of men that will be able to stand equal to the gladiators. Once Ashur is done pulling together the most ruthless men he can find, Glaber sets them to their first task: ridding him of Seppius, which they do in spectacular fashion.

To call this episode weak is probably a bit unfair; it was a good episode, it just wasn’t as good as last week’s. Not by a long shot. But it’s necessary in the way that filler episodes usually are. There can’t be non-stop action all the time, after all. Spartacus gets to show off his leadership chops outside of the arena. Until now, he’s been leading the charge almost entirely with his sword. But when the dust settles a bit, he finds that it’s not so easy, especially with Gannicus making noise about how ludicrous the whole thing is. He performs admirably, though, quickly figuring out a way to put everyone to purpose, a task that’s not made any easier by Gannicus and his attitude.

Having expected the Gannicus I enjoyed so much in Gods of the Arena, he’s been a pretty big disappointment so far. He came back to Capua to execute his friends under the guise of giving them an honorable death, when really it seems he just needed the money. He won’t be persuaded to join the cause and jeers at Spartacus’s efforts at every turn. It feels very much like he’s just given up. I can only hope that the writers have something up their sleeves with him.

Someone who hasn’t just given up, however, is Glaber – he was like a whole new man this week. The death of his father-in-law has done wonders for him, and he’s got his confidence back, like we haven’t seen it probably since Blood and Sand. Of course, this is bad news for Spartacus and the rebels, but it should make for some epic bloody battles in weeks to come.

Not up to par with the other episodes this season, but a solid filler nonetheless.

Episode Rating: 3/5
GS Reporter: Mirjana

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: