TV REVIEW: Spartacus: War of the Damned Episode 5 – “Blood Brothers”

SpartacusWOtDHalfway through the season, things are starting to get a bit rougher for Spartacus. Last week we saw the beginnings of a division within the rebels, with Spartacus at odds with one of his trusted generals. Can they get it together in time to face the latest threat from the Romans?

 

Thankfully, the answer to that question is yes.

At first, things seem pretty hopeless; Crixus and Naevia continue in their stance against Spartacus. The situation isn’t at all helped when Spartacus and a select few depart for Sicilia to intercept supplies meant for Crassus and his army. Things look bleaker still when Romans advance toward the city, sending Crixus and the remaining rebels into a frenzy. Spartacus arrives just in time to quell the rebellion, only to cause one of his own when he orders the remaining Roman slaves freed. When Crixus confronts him, Spartacus reveals that this has all been a part of his plan from the beginning. Laeta, newly freed, will go straight to Crassus with news of their plans, and of the division between them. When Crassus and his troops descend on the city, the rebels will then have them surrounded.

It doesn’t work out quite that way, though. Spartacus and the rebels are betrayed by the Cilicians, whose ship they planned to use to sail to Sicilia. The Cilicians bring Romans into port, and they immediately attack Spartacus and Gannicus. Meanwhile, Caesar leads the rest of the Roman soldiers to the city, where he reveals himself as a Roman. With the help of Crixus, Naevia and Nassir, Spartacus and Gannicus defeat the Romans on the docks, but they see a fleet of Roman ships approaching. Up in the city, Caesar has seen the gate breached.

Back in the Roman followers’ camp, Tiberius is having a difficult time coming to terms with what happened to Sabinus. He is angry at his father, and he takes his anger out on Kore.

Steven DeKnight has delivered yet another fantastic mid-season episode. Episode 5 of Vengeance is my absolute favorite episode of the entire franchise – while “Blood Brothers” doesn’t quite live up to that standard, it comes pretty close.

Very glad to see the rift with the rebels put to bed. Crixus has come so far as a character, it was really a shame to see him lose control last week. They are going to need each other now more than ever, seeing as they’re finally about to come face-to-face with their Roman foes. While I enjoyed the episode immensely, there was a definite ominous feeling about it. Yes, Spartacus and Crixus have kissed and made up, but just in time to face their biggest challenge yet. It felt very much like the beginning of the end, for several reasons.

Speaking of characters who have come a long way, I also want to give props to Agron. He started out as a hot-head only out for Roman blood, and he’s grown into a loyal, trustworthy soldier. Yes, he often gets things wrong and speaks out of turn, but there is a moment in the episode where he pledges his loyalty to Spartacus that is absolutely brilliant – he’s overcome the desire to avenge his brother and has seen the bigger picture, and he’s willing to support Spartacus through it. Now if only he can get his love life in order…

Only five more episodes to go – things are only going to get more intense and we are dragged kicking and screaming to the series finale.

 

Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Mirjana

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