TV REVIEW: Spartacus: War of the Damned Episode 6 – “Spoils of War”

SpartacusWOtDThis week’s episode picks up right where Episode 5 lets off, so let’s just jump right into things, shall we?

 

 

Caesar’s deception is revealed as the Romans storm Sinuessa. Gannicus offers to stay behind and offer distraction so the others can escape. Crassus first lays eyes on Spartacus, but Spartacus manages to escape through the northern gate just before it seals behind him, leaving Gannicus and Sybil still trapped in the city. They hide out beneath the floorboards of the stable while the Romans celebrate Sinuessa’s reclaiming. Kore joins Crassus, but there’s no escaping Tiberius, as his father has recalled him from the followers camp. He tasks him with planning a celebration in Caesar’s honor, which doesn’t necessarily go to plan. The tension between him and Tiberius continues to mount.

Laeta is cleaned up and appears before Crassus again. He wants her to tell him about Spartacus, to give him an honest appraisal of the man. She tells him that he’s not the beast that one would think – that he’s a wounded heart, fighting for what he believes is just. Crassus admits that in that way, he and Spartacus are the same. Laeta’s relief at being back in the city is short-lived; she discovers that was part of Heracleo’s price for betraying the rebels. Lucky for her, just as he’s about to enjoy his prize, Gannicus shows up and kills the Cilicians, barely escaping the city with Sybil and Laeta in tow. He reunites with the rebels up on a snowy ridge, where they discover that Crassus has them trapped.

This episode was largely focused on the Romans, which made it all the more interesting, as it allows us to really draw some parallels between them and the rebels. After all, how different are they? Both sides have internal conflict – Crixus and Spartacus, Caesar and Tiberius. The Romans have the might and wealth of Rome behind them, but beyond that they’ve proven themselves just as savage as any slave. This is what DeKnight is so good at – blurring the lines between good and bad until they’re completely non-existent.

There’s no question that Crassus is a match for Spartacus when it comes to war. He’s a great strategist, and his patience is gradually winning him the war. Yet he’s incredibly short-sighted when it comes to those closest to him. He expresses his pleasure with Tiberius’s new, hardened attitude a few times, yet he completely fails to see that through his actions, he’s completely lost his son. He’s not hardened by war; he’s a completely different person. Any compassion we saw in him earlier in the season is now gone, proven by his continued brutal treatment of Kore.

Gannicus kicked some serious ass. He always does, but it was especially epic this week. He spent most of the episode protecting Sybil, so we got to see the side of him we haven’t seen since he was with Oenomaus’s wife. We are also reminded just how he won his freedom back in Gods of the Arena. He’s one of the most resilient characters I’ve ever seen, and it’s easy to understand why Spartacus would want him to lead the rebels.

Four episodes left, and the anticipation just keeps on growing. I want more, but I don’t want it to end. It’s driving me kinda crazy, but it sure makes for some damn entertaining television.

 

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Mirjana

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