On Friday's Spartacus: Vengeance, Gannicus is back! But what havoc does the former Champion of Capua wreak in his old gladiator stomping grounds? Don't look at Gannicus. Turns out that it's Spartacus' men who are behind the biggest, baddest arena bloodbath to date.
Spartacus and Co. find new digs at an abandoned structure and learn that Rhaskos, Crixus and Oenomaus are to be executed. Spartacus can't resist trying to save them, even if this means sneaking into an arena full of Romans who have been hunting him. Meanwhile, Gannicus has returned to Capua and in his mind, acting as Oenomaus' executioner will give the former Doctore the glorious, noble gladiator's death he deserves. That will totally make up for sleeping with his wife before she died! Not an awkward reunion at all.
Sparty and Agron disguise themselves as part of the Roman guard, while Mira leads a group of men to set fire to the arena infrastructure. At the height of the fighting, the stadium begins to collapse. Row upon row of spectators drop into the fiery death below. Mayhem! Panic! In the chaos, Spartacus accidentally spears Cossutius (he was aiming for Glaber) and Albinius dies in the rubble... by Glaber's scheming hand after he had uncovered his disloyal wife's plan to divorce him and marry Varinius. But her father Albinius can't grant the divorce now that he's dead! The rescue party leaves with Gannicus, an unconscious Oenomaus and injured Crixus, who finally will be reunited with Naevia. Aww!
Enough story... on to the good stuff!
The Bodies - Gannicus likes his wine and women, and this visit to a brothel is decidedly less bloody than that massacre from the premiere. And according to the prostitute, he's definitely a god in her womanly arena. That said, the episode was somewhat light on sex to make way for the slaughter.
The Blood - Most of the death was implied since the spectators who perished were consumed by flames offscreen. But there's still plenty of gross onscreen bloodshed to relish. With so much to choose from, here are the standouts:
1. One gladiator with the highest pain threshold ever is actually able to slowly remove a spear that impaled his torso, stand up and wield it. Wow.
2. The new retiarus (net and trident guy) leaps on another victim and there's much distance covered by the blood spurting from the poor guy's neck
3. Welcome to the Spoliarium, where we will take care of all your dead gladiator disposal needs. Just drag the unfortunate fellow in, chop up the limbs, pull out the entrails... and dump them in the underground water reservoir?!?
4. At one point Spartacus slashes at one fighter's belly, and in the helpful overhead shot, we see part of the guy's innards peeking out. We think we could identify what he had for lunch (as we're losing ours)!
5. Glaber killing Albinius wasn't an explicitly gory scene, but it was still disturbing to see the prater coldly pick up a heavy stone spar from the arena wreckage and then slam it down on his dear father-in-law's face. If Ilithiya knew what was good for her, she wouldn't mess with Glaber!
Which scenes disturbed you most? Which were your favorite deaths?
Spartacus: Vengeance airs on Fridays at 10/9c on Starz.