All hail Caesar!
On Friday's episode of Spartacus: War of the Damned, Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells) introduced his secret weapon: Gaius Julius Caesar (Todd Lasance). And Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) revealed his own plan to supply and shelter his followers in the walled city of Sinuessa en Valle — at the cost of Roman lives, of course.
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Just how much of a threat will Caesar be to Spartacus? And what sort of problems will Spartacus' takeover cause? Check out our burning questions from "Wolves at the Gate" below:
Does Caesar have a bloodletting fetish? It's unusual for Spartacus to shy away from the graphic portrayal of sex or violence, but when a slave kneels before Caesar and uses a sharp instrument between his legs, her head obstructs everything from view. We're left baffled and slightly nauseated by imagining what could be happening down there, especially when we see the blood pooling on the ground and hear Caesar's moans of pain. Or is it pleasure? Both? Tiberius isn't the only one to think that Caesar might be a little funny in the head!
Series executive producer Steven DeKnight won't confirm or deny a fetish, but he tells TVGuide.com, "That's this little mystery thing of what the hell is going on there. You don't find out until Episode 4 what that's about. That's another thing I love about Starz. They called me up and said, 'What the hell is this? Is he into the kinky sh--?' That's what we want people to think, and then you find out a little later what that's actually about." Oh, those crazy Romans! Shaking our heads.
Can Attius (Cohen Holloway) be trusted? Gannicus' (Dustin Clare) blacksmith pal helped the rebels take over Sinuessa en Valle by illegally forging two swords and tricking the city's guards, but he did it all for a price. Trusting anyone whose loyalties are based on coin puts you on shaky ground, and you can see that he has doubts. This isn't his cause, and we foresee that Spartacus will have to address that sooner than later.
Will Kore's status as a slave be her downfall? Just because Kore (Jenna Lind) is Crassus' lover, that doesn't mean she's fully protected. Not only was she helpless to resist Caesar's unwanted advances (until her dominus put a stop to it), but Crassus' wife Tertulla (Katherine Kennard) blamed Kore for leading him on. We're sure that the domina knows and is jealous of Kore's standing with Crassus. Kore better watch out because the Imperator has a war to wage and won't be able to keep an eye out for his favored slave 24/7.
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Who will win in the rivalry between Tiberius and Caesar? Although it seemed that Crassus initially favored Caesar's military experience and prowess, he gave the command of his army to his son Tiberius (Christian Antidormi). Our denarii are still on Caesar though. Besides the fact that we know how he turned out historically and that Tiberius is a fictional character created for the series, Tiberius is untried in battle and has no patience for strategy. Spartacus can only be defeated by someone equally fierce and clever, and sorry, boy, you're not either. Crassus also promises Caesar that he'll be a military tribune and that "greater glories at journey's end" will be his, so wethinks Crassus already knows Caesar's real worth.
Will Laeta be a help or hindrance to the rebels? Poor, poor Laeta (Anna Hutchison)! Not only was her city sacked, but she had to watch Spartacus impale her husband through his mouth with a spear. Fortunately, Spartacus declared that the handful of living Romans will remain unharmed, but that's cold comfort for Laeta, who no doubt distrusts the rebels and bears them no small amount of resentment. But if she's to survive, she can't defy them outright.
"That is pretty intense," Hutchison says. "I think back then, it wouldn't be so easy as, say if you or I were to lose our husbands and we depended on them for income. We could get a job if we wanted to. We'd still be incredibly sad, but it's not the same as back then. So she's got to really adapt her way of thinking and the way she goes about that is really gratifying."
Has Spartacus lost his integrity? Oh, sure, Spartacus made a pretty speech about how all the Romans' deaths weighed heavily upon him, but his senseless killing of Laeta's husband (who we think may have relented) and the fact that he didn't even try to prevent the murder of innocent children makes us wonder if he's strayed from the righteous path too much. Yes, this is war, and we know the rebels raped and pillaged their way across the land, but damn, Sparty! That's going to be a hard line to toe as the war wages on.
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Gannicus made a nice diagonal cut across Loris' sneering face, which caused it to split into two planes that slid away from each other. Also, it was brutal to watch the city stoning, even when Spartacus dealt the killing blow with a stone that split the slave's head open.
Rebels/Romans Say the Damnedest Things:
Laeta: "You! You aid Spartacus?"
Spartacus: "No, I stand the man himself." (Editor's note: What a nifty way to get around the expected phrase, "I am Spartacus!")
"Call me Roman no more!" -- Attius after accepting a bribe of 5,000 denarii.
"I shall follow him into the afterlife and piss upon his shadow." -- dying slave Diotimos (Kelson Henderson) about his evil dominus, whom Gannicus just killed.
How do you like this young Caesar? What do you think about Spartacus' actions to take over Sinuessa en Valle?
Spartacus: War of the Damned airs Fridays at 9/8c on Starz.