Craig Parker, Spartaucs Vengeance
On Friday's Spartacus: Vengeance, we see that Glaber has fully embraced his inner depraved villain, and this does not bode well for the rebels.
After their recent success, Spartacus and his men want to take down Rome's giant arena next. In order to do so, however, they start training to use a bow and arrow and then plan to visit Neapolis so they can recruit the strong slaves coming into port. Meanwhile, poor Naevia is traumatized after all the rape, so her reunion with Crixus is bittersweet since they can't consummate their love. Also, Spartacus isn't able to sway Gannicus to their cause, and before he leaves them, he's accused of stealing their map to Neapolis. Although an epic fight between the two men ensues, it turns out that the blonde slave girl Chadara -- whom Mira shoots with her newfound archery skills -- is the culprit and was trying to sneak off with the map.
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Initially, there seems to be less infighting among the Romans as Glaber suggests that he and Seppius combine their men against their common enemy: Spartacus. While the young lad mulls it over, Ilithiya works on the sibling front, appealing to the deceptively sweet, but wily Seppia. After taking down several of Glaber's men, Ashur gains the Roman's grudging respect and is tasked with recruiting better fighters. In the end, we see Ashur's new troop of bullies slaughter a house full of slaves and Seppius. Turns out Glaber is tired of playing nice and he's just going to take what he needs. Run!
Now that we've laid the groundwork, on to those "Ew!" moments:
The Blood - We can tell we've passed the halfway mark in the season because the violence has escalated and will just get worse (or is it better?) from here on out. Time for the highlights!
1. Ashur isn't the most elegant fighter, but in his throwdown with Glaber's men, he proves he's scrappy, especially when he clocks one guy in the mouth, causing a yellowed, CGI-created tooth to fly out and towards the viewers at home. Glad this show isn't in 3D!
2. This season it's all about seeing people's exit wounds as they're impaled from behind, so that arrow punching through Chadara's jugular/collarbone area was pretty gnarly and made us swallow in sympathy.
3. Ashur's new gang is sick! Slitting the belly of what looked to be a child, however, had to be one of the worst deaths in that massacre.
4. Wow, we thought Glaber was bad when he killed Albinius last episode, but toying with Seppius, who is literally coughing up blood, before stepping on and crushing his windpipe is the height of cruelty.
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The Bodies - Once again, the sex is just not sexy on this show. Ashur's against-the-wall rape of Lucretia actually made us feel bad for her, and we were completely horrified by Naevia's traumatic flashbacks while Crixus was trying to be romantic. But there's one image of bodies we'd love to scrub from our minds, and it wasn't even a sex scene: Please, no more images of nude prisoners who are bloated from being chained up in the sun!
The Bites - We're glad that Gannicus can catch his own game, but does he have to clean and remove the innards (going elbow deep!) while talking to Crixus?
The Bristle - Ashur looks good, but we have to admit that we were shocked when he suddenly showed up in a new scene with a haircut. Somehow, it makes him more menacing. Getting rid of those slave locks, perhaps?
Spartacus: Vengeance airs on Fridays at 10/9c on Starz.
Which scenes unsettled you the most?