[Spoiler alert: If you haven't watched Spartacus yet, don't read further or you might end up used as trench filler!]
We hope the cold winter gave Crassus an appetite because on Friday's Spartacus: War of the Damned, he tasted both defeat and betrayal.
Crassus (Simon Merrells) had the upper hand in his war with Spartacus (Liam McIntyre). Not only were the rebels stuck out in the wintry wilds and kept from attacking by a large trench that was guarded by a manned wall, but they fell into one of Crassus' traps and barely escaped alive.
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After losing more than 1,000 men to a blizzard, however, Spartacus rallied and was able to mount a sneak attack by using the carcasses of the dead to ford the trench. We bow down. This body bridge was ingenious recycling and didn't smack of the Weekend at Bernie's style of fakery that Sparty used earlier by hoisting Roman carcasses to man the wall of Sinuessa en Valle. Next up? Donner party victuals!
Crassus also received a blow closer to home. After Kore (Jenna Lind) realized that she couldn't escape her fate with Tiberius (Christian Antidormi), she made her escape and joined the rebels out in the cold. But what about the conversation she had with Caesar? And what reprisals will there be from Crassus? Check out our burning questions from "Mors Indecepta" below:
Will Laeta (Anna Hutchinson) and Spartacus become romantically involved? Although they shared a blanket (not a euphemism), Spartacus is pretty darn focused on his ideals and being a leader. If she lives, they'll share friendship and respect at least, and that's a good foundation for something more. As a domina's wife who did everything within her power to save her people and abide her own set of morals, she seems like a pretty good match for Spartacus. That said, ever since his wife's death, he's always had issues with matters of the heart — he never could say "I love you" to Mira! — but that doesn't mean that he and Laeta can't find some mutually beneficial arrangement, aka no-strings-attached hookups.
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How will Gannicus (Dustin Clare) deal with his two women? The former champion of Capua is a noble dude who claims he isn't. He will try to do the wrong thing, but in the end, others may take the decision away from him. Saxa (Ellen Hollman) is strong where Sybil (Gwendoline Taylor) is weak. Who needs him more?
Are Crixus (Manu Bennett) and Spartacus finally done squabbling? They brawled nicely in the camp, but in the end Spartacus finally attacked Crassus, earning Crixus' approval. But we feel that their two wartime styles -- tactics over pride and glory -- will divide them yet again. We have three episodes left! Plenty of time for additional internal strife.
What do "Mors Indecepta" and "vilica" mean? In case you missed Spartacus' explanation, "Mors Indecepta" means "Death is undeceivable," which is slap at the rebels since they were easily fooled when they attacked a tent that only had a slave's body crucified inside with those Latin words carved into his body. As for vilica, that's the female version of "vilicus," a high-ranking slave who takes care of the running of a dominus' villa for him.
Is there more to Kore's plan? After that dramatic talk with Caesar (Todd Lasance), we didn't really expect Kore to just give up her cause and defect to the rebels. After all, this won't really help with removing the "mutual threat" of Tiberius that she had promised Caesar. Although we do feel that Kore is sacrificing herself somehow (we can't imagine it's a happy ending for her and Crassus), we expect to see some sort of vengeance on Tiberius.
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Will Crassus forget about Kore? He's going to be really angry and hurt, and although he has a war to win, we doubt he'll stop seeking answers about why she defected, even if it's only to pay her back for betrayal. Besides, that personal blow will just create more of a fire to defeat Spartacus, track her down and possibly confront her himself.
Just how cold-resistant are these guys? Very, apparently. At first we thought it was just the rebels who were forced to weather the snow with just their tattered loincloths and capes, but the rich Romans don't seem to need sleeves either. Maybe waging war makes you warmer. Either way, we're glad we're comfy on our couches, possibly enrobed in a Snuggie/Slanket.
Things That Made Us Go "Ew!"
1. Meaty message Crassus leaving the naked, crucified slave with "Mors Indecepta" cut into his torso was the ultimate indignity in death.
2. Heads up We hate to say it, but many of the battle scenes were kind of beautiful in this episode. The slow-mo combined with snowfall brought majesty to the melee. But that doesn't mean we missed it when Spartacus decapitated a Roman so deftly that his head somersaulted in the air.
3. Vile and veiled "Man must choose proper moment to seize pleasure. Mine is forever entwined with your own." This comment by Tiberius is both clever and gross with its double entendre about basically raping his dad's lover.
What was your favorite part of Spartacus?