Can Spartacus continue his success against the well-trained and funded mighty Roman Empire? If the events in the season’s premiere episode are any indication, he still has a few tricks to show his former owners.
Clearly This Show is Going to Need Some More Roman Extras
The new season begins where the last one ended: in the midst of a bloody rebellion. The camera pans across a valley piled high with corpses leading towards a hill containing the Roman officers. They’ve decided to fall back and regroup as they talk. Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) comes over the hill’s edge, followed by a band of shouting ex-slaves. Despite the Roman’s efforts, his band tears its way through the lines, forcing the General to flee for his life. It’s a bloody exhibition filled with an almost gleeful need for retribution. When it’s over, Spartacus tells the men that the dead Romans deserved their fates but that there is still much to do. The Roman leaders of the Senate are having a meeting about the latest events and in typical fashion are discussing the matter while being bathed by naked slaves. They need more soldiers and the only person able to fund the venture is Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells). He’s the richest man in Rome and an emissary goes to offer him a command under the current generals. Surprisingly, he agrees to the lessened leadership title but based on his smirk, it’s pretty clear he is playing the long game against the Senate.
Romans Love To Party and Fight, Often at the Same Time
It’s time for a bit of gratuitous sex, with steamy scenes of Gannicus and a couple of women and Agron with his warrior lover, Nasir. Gannicus finally meets Spartacus to discuss the battle and talk drifts to their respective personal losses. It provides new viewers with a bit of a recap and a chance to remind viewers of the wistfulness that permeates the souls of these warriors. The next morning, Spartacus wanders in disguise through his camp and realizes that many of his men are starving and some are eating the remains of horses wounded in battle. He realizes that he needs to keep his army fed and moving if they hope to survive. His chance may come when they ambush a group of Roman soldiers traveling nearby the camp and learn that 10,000 more Roman soldiers are on the way, provided and led by Crassus.
A Man’s True Enemy Is Doubt
Looking at the Roman message, Spartacus realizes that the Roman Generals are somewhere at a nearby villa, awaiting the arrival of Crassus and his men. He plans to find the villa and send a small band of men in to capture and kill the generals. He hopes the sight of their heads high atop spears will break the will of the remaining Roman army. Back in Rome, Tiberius and Crassus argue about the worthiness of Spartacus. Tiberius believes that his wealth and status make him better than any slave, while his father warns that Spartacus has proven to be a more worthy opponent than many Romans. He goads Tiberius into fighting a gladiator slave and when he loses, warns that status won’t protect you in battle. Crassus then fights the slave and makes it a fight to the death, forcing his opponent to be at his best. When he wins, he kills the slave, telling him that when the Roman has learned everything the slave knew, he is no longer of importance.
Everything I Know, I Learned From a Slave
Spartacus and his small raiding party attack the villa and surprise the Roman commanders. The rebels cut their way through the defenders until only the commanders remain alive. When asked for his terms of their surrender, Spartacus spit out the last words they’ll hear on this Earth. “There are none that I would trust a Roman to honor,” he replies. When word of the slaughter reaches Rome, the Senators realize that now they’re only option is Crassus and they give him command of the Army to lead against Spartacus. Considering that it was his messengers that were intercepted by Spartacus, it’s clear this resolution is what Crassus had planned all along. Tiberius realizes the plan and asks him how he knew Spartacus would attack the villa. “Because,” Cassius explains to his son, “It is what I would have done.” Back in his camp, Spartacus is urged to attack the weakened Roman Army before Cassius and his replacements can arrive. But looking out over the valley of his thousands of followers, he tells his officers that winter is coming and they can’t fight the Romans and winter at the same time. Only a city can hold them now, he explains. “And we will rip one from the flesh of the Empire and salt the wound with their blood.”