Two battered, tragic warriors meet face to face before their climactic skirmish, and there's at least one thing they can agree upon (besides the desire to kill each other): "There is no justice. Not in this world." What, you were expecting a happy ending to Starz' bloody breakout hit Spartacus? (Apologies if that's a spoiler.)
The series finale (Friday, 9/8c) justifies this last season's subtitle, War of the Damned, with a truly epic clash of historic titans. It's up to its bared knees in graphic gore as usual, but the finale is steeped even further in stirring demonstrations and declarations of honor, sacrifice and a willingness to die for the cause of freedom. "Whatever happens ... we decide our fates, not you," proclaims Spartacus (Liam McIntyre), leader of the outnumbered slave army, during his secret meeting with Roman "Imperator" Crassus (Simon Merrells). Unlike past seasons, when the Roman antagonists were mostly craven dupes, neither Crassus nor his second-in-command Julius Caesar (Todd Lasance) are fools — but neither is Spartacus, who still has some bold and unexpected maneuvers up his shield during this primal and visceral encounter of fire, blood and literal and metaphorical guts.
Get ready to hear "I am Spartacus!" one last time.
It has only been three years since Spartacus splashed its bloody way across Starz, and Friday's epic series finale (9/8c) will conclude the legendary rebel leader's quest to free the slaves of Ancient Rome. And although history spoils the ultimate outcome, it is how each character has lived — and in some cases, died — that is the key to the show's appeal.
Spartacus' Manu Bennett on Crixus' downfall
Death is a complex thing on the series. Although there's no denying that it can be gloriously gory and over-the-top, at the same time, it is closely tied to the underlying theme of freedom. Slavery or death? That's the choice that masters force upon their slaves sent into the gladiators' arena and on the flip side, the choice fugitives make when they escape to join Spartacus.
Who will live? Who will die? Who will send men to their deaths? Check out this preview of the final Spartacus: War of the Damned and then continue reading for the cast's thoughts on killing or being killed on the series:
Hello, friends and bannermen. Game of Thrones' second episode revealed the fates of several more favorite characters that we didn't have time for in the premiere. That's right, more Starks! How did it match up with the books? How did it differ?
This weekly chat series is for fans of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books, upon which HBO's fantasy drama is based. It's meant to be a safe haven to discuss spoilers and changes from the novels and how they have played out or will play out in the TV series. Hanh Nguyen and Sadie Gennis are longtime fantasy fans of varying levels of geekiness who will sound off on all things Westerosi (and beyond!).
Cynthia Addai-Robinson and Pana Hema-Taylor
With Spartacus' latest episode comes a sense of dread because that means there's only one episode left before the end.
[Warning: The following contains spoilers from the penultimate episode of Spartacus: War of the Damned. You've been warned!]
Spartacus' Manu Bennett on Crixus' downfall
On Friday's Spartacus, the rebels celebrated quite a few triumphs, which was swell for them since, of course, history dictates a huge defeat on the horizon. Enjoy it while you can!
Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson
Our top moments of the week:
13. Best Translation: Any fears about new coaches Usher and Shakira fitting in on The Voice are quickly quelled on Season 4's two-night premiere. While Usher gets comfy from the get-go — pop that leg up! — Shakira shows her true, hilarious colors on Night 2 when she whips out a fake Spanish-to-country dictionary to try to convince a ...
[Warning: The following contains spoilers from the most recent Spartacus episode.]
The Undefeated Gaul finally fulfilled his destiny.
On Friday's Spartacus: War of the Damned, the rebel forces parted ways... permanently. Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) led the fugitives north toward the Alps and the promise of freedom, while Crixus (Manu Bennett) took his group westward towards Rome and ultimately, to their death. And although Crixus' defeat was disheartening, it was to be expected. "Well, historically, it was going to be the case anyway," Bennett tells TVGuide.com. "Anyone who went onto Wikipedia knew."
Helen Mirren and Al Pacino
When a terrific series is truly on its game, some episodes can feel like absolute perfection. Happened Tuesday with a thrillingly entertaining and pivotal episode of FX's Justified, and the same feeling applies to Sunday's sensational The Good Wife (9/8c, CBS). It has everything: sex, suspense, surprise, humor, emotion — and as usual with this sophisticated standard-bearer for network drama, a dazzling array of guest performances.
[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...
Things get awfully bloody on Friday with the explosive first-season finale of Cinemax's violent noir Banshee (10/9c), in which shootouts and long-simmering feuds leave such a gory trail that it almost puts to shame a new episode of Starz' reliably visceral Spartacus: War of the Damned (9/8c).
"I must admit, you have an admirable knack for survival," understates the lethal ...
It's nice to see hypocrisy alive and well in Ancient Rome!
[Spoiler alert: If you haven't watched Spartacus yet, don't read further or you might be branded an enemy of Rome!]
On Friday's Spartacus: War of the Damned, Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells) once again revealed his rather mutable code of honor when he sold Laeta (Anna Hutchinson) to the Cilician pirate Heracleo ...