TV REVIEW: Spartacus: Vengeance Episode 7 – Sacramentum

Trying to prepare themselves for attack, Spartacus and the gladiators look to swell their ranks, while Lucretia and Ilithyia come up with a plan to escape Ashur and Glaber.  However, in both instances things don’t go exactly as planned…

Upon Agron’s advice, Spartacus and the gladiators set out for Neapolis in an effort to “recruit” more men to their cause.  They overtake a slave ship which is full of fighting slaves, who also happen to be Germanic, like Agron.  They agree to join the cause and accompany the men back to Vesuvius.  Initially, the new recruits raise spirits with their boisterous celebrating, but Crixus quickly expresses concern  that they are loyal to Agron and not Spartacus.  When Spartacus confronts Agron, he learns that Agron purposely chose the Germanic slaves over another ship full of Gauls because he didn’t want to fill the camp with men who would follow Crixus.  He ultimately proves his worth, however, when he defends Naevia from one of the men.  He re-affirms his loyalty to Spartacus, causing the others to quickly follow.

Ilithyia is at her wits’ end with Glaber – he does nothing to hide his disdain for her, and to make matters even worse he is making eyes at Seppia, who he’s invited to stay with them after Seppius’s death.  Lucretia, who is dealing with her own problems in the form of Ashur’s attentions, concocts a scheme that will send them both to Rome.  It works, until Ashur steps in and convinces Glaber to keep Lucretia in Capua.  Not one to be defeated, Lucretia then turns to Gannicus.

While all this is going on, Glaber’s crusade against Spartacus continues.  All slaves who are heard speaking of Spartacus are being executed.  Glaber now has Seppius’s men, but that isn’t enough for him – he also looks to recruit Gannicus.  He returns the rudis to Gannicus, offering him a place at the front of his army.  He gives Gannicus two days to answer.  While he thinks about it, Lucretia approaches him and asks him to kill Glaber, revealing that Ilithyia has been sent to Rome with half of the guards.  Instead, Glaber attacks Ilithyia’s carriage, kidnapping her and killing all of her guards.  As a message to Glaber, he leaves his rudis embedded in one of Ashur’s men.

A definite improvement over last week’s episode, “Sacramentum” dives a bit deeper into Agron’s character.  Played by Dan Feuerrriegel, Agron first came onto the scene mid-way through Blood and Sand when he and his brother Duro were sold to Batiatus.  While his brother remained a bit of an outcast, Agron took to Spartacus immediately and was one of the first to sign on to the rebellion.  This season he’s had a more central role as Spartacus’s main confidante, and he’s also had a bit of a romance with Nasir.  This is the first time his loyalty has really come into question, and he proves himself admirably.  I look forward to seeing lots more of him in the last few episodes.

Glaber and Ashur get worse and worse every week.  Any sympathy Glaber might have garnered over Ilithyia’s attempt to kill his baby is gone, erased by his cruelty and scheming.  It’s a credit to Craig Parker, really, the way he’s played the character over the course of the season.  I don’t believe that Glaber was necessarily a bad character to start, but now he’s shown a willingness to step outside the boundaries of his position in the army.  Ashur, of course, is more than willing to help him.

It’s still difficult to tell whose side Gannicus is on – he doesn’t give in to Glaber, yet he doesn’t do what Lucretia asks of him.  He chooses an alternative that will no doubt bring Glaber after him in full force, when he’s warned Spartacus against calling Glaber out.  Hopefully the method to his madness will be revealed in coming weeks.

Episode Rating: 4/5
GS Reporter: Mirjana

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