Spartacus: Men of Honor

War of the Damned Spartacus promo characters

Despite what the title might lead you to believe, this week’s episode actually centered around most of the rebels doing despicable things to some extent or the other.  We start with Agron and Spartacus discussing the fate of their food supply.  Spartacus thinks that they should continue to feed the surviving Romans, in spite of dwindling supplies.  Agron disagrees, because he knows if their people aren’t fed, there’s going to be problems.  Massive problems.  An unfed army is unruly and will often turn in on itself.  Spartacus refuses because there are women and children amongst the Roman survivors.  Of course, they could always let them go in the wilderness to fend for themselves, or something.  It’s not like the Romans don’t already know they’ve taken the city, and I thought the reason why they picked that particular location was because it was so easily defensible.  I have to say, I’m with Agron to a certain extent.  Cut the prisoners loose some way or another, but don’t let them become a liability to your cause.  Then again, when I play Oregon Trail and one of my family members dies along the way, I start wondering why my food supply does not increase.  My little pioneers could have used that meat.

The scene that follows is one of the most awkward and disturbing things this show has ever produced, and it was meant to be that way.  Sibyl continues to make her presence known by being the Roman version of Edward, always creepily watching Gannicus from the corner under the pretense of wanting to thank him for what he has done for her.  She disturbs me.

Nemetes passes a pregnant woman and her husband on his way by and offers the man some bread for his wife in exchange for information.  Instead of actually giving it to him, however, he drops it just far enough out of reach for some other intrepid Roman to go scrambling after it.  The two start wrestling for the bread, and Crixus decides to make things more entertaining.  By giving them swords so they might fight to the death.  The winner gets to keep the bread.  There is no honor in what follows, no sport, just cruelty.  The two men fighting have never even held a sword before, and it doesn’t sit well with Attius, our clever resident blacksmith.  Eventually, the original man kills his opponent, and Crixus throws the bread on the ground for him.  Naevia sees him reaching forward behind Crixus’ back, assumes he’s going for the sword, and proceeds to chop his hand in half.

Crixus is rightly appalled, and when he confronts Naevia about it, she tells him that the ones who smile are the worst ones and recounts to him the story of what was apparently the Roman Jigsaw who greeted his wife and children with a smile in the morning.

Apparently, the former leader of the city was also a rather dishonorable man and kept dealings with  pirates.  Who I don’t like.  Nothing personal, it’s just I know they’re only here for four episodes, and there’s too many other characters to be invested in, so I’m not even going to bother trying to get attached.  I’m just going to wonder when they’re going to stop utilizing valuable screen time that could be spent with Spartacus.  Or the new Romans.  Outside of Julius Caesar, I love the new Romans.

The rebels and the pirates throw a party in celebration of their upcoming arrangement.  There’s naked chicks, a guy who thinks his penis is magic, the return of sassy Crixus, and Castus hitting on Nasir.  Agron steps in to defend Nasir, Castus insults Agron, and things quickly get out of hand as Agron proceeds to assault Castus.  This scene has led to some particular debate as to whether or not Agron was letting his jealousy get out of hand.  Here’s the thing: what Castus was doing was in no way acceptable.  Nasir had already politely turned him down several times, and still the guy proceeded, even going so far as to actually grab Nasir’s arm.  Nasir, on the other hand, is drunk enough to be uncoordinated and doesn’t actually have a tendency to be rough.  I don’t care who you are, no means no.  Yet still Castus persisted, and Agron stepped in.  Agron had every right to step in and tell Castus to back off.  Was he a little extreme with it?  Yes, but if Castus is not accepting no for an answer, and with Nasir being drunk enough to not walk straight, had Agron not stepped in, who would have been there to stop Castus from just going ahead and raping Nasir?  If you were being hit on by someone and you were already in a committed relationship and they didn’t want to listen but you didn’t feel like getting violent with them, you would want help.   Again, maybe not as extreme as Agron did, but somebody definitely needed to step in.

tumblr_mi4qdy4Khj1s4by2eo1_r1_500After the party has been crashed, Nasir confronts Agron about overreacting, even going so far as to admit Castus was out of line but Agron went too far in his response.  At which point Agron proudly declares he ‘would slay all that would attempt to wrest you from my arms.’  Where have I heard that before?  Oh, that’s right, in the first episode, Sabinus told the other Tiberius something along the lines of how the gods themselves would have to wrest him from his side.  Coincidence?  Likely not with this show.  Any way, they kiss and make up, and the next thing you know we’re getting that long awaited Nagron sex scene.  I hope everyone’s happy, because in this show, such a tender moment of intimacy usually means something bad is going to happen.  I fully expect Agron to die or nearly die by episode 6 at the earliest, 7 at the latest.  Here’s why: we’ve already explored the Tiberius/Nasir (who used to be called Tiberius, no less) and Sabinus/Agron connection with the quote above.  The next episode is called Decimation.  For those who don’t know, a traditional Roman decimation involved them cutting the force by 1/10th by literally going down the line and killing every tenth person.  Knowing how this show works, making Sabinus lucky number ten is exactly the type of bastard thing this show would do.  If he dies, that means he dies exactly three episodes after he decided to tempt fate with his wresting line.  Of course, I hope I’m wrong in this prediction.  I hope that Sabinus and Agron both get to live to a ripe-old age with their chosen Tiberius.  I fully understand that this is not very likely.  Also, that kiss above was chosen because it is now my favorite Nagron kiss.

After we leave Agron and Nasir, we get treated to Saxa and Gannicus again.  This time, Saxa is trying to garner attention from Gannicus by offering him Sibyl.  This episode has fully cemented Saxa as my German lady love, which is a far cry from my indifference towards her in the first episode.  Gannicus sends Sibyl away, probably because she reminds him too much of Melitta.  What actually disturbed me about this scene was more the response to it.  Like, there are actually people out there who think Sibyl is more attractive than Saxa, and it has everything to do with sexual experience, and it disturbs me.  Sibyl is actually seen by part of the audience as being more desirable because she is shy, while Saxa, who has always been comfortable with her sexuality is seen as lesser in the eyes of parts of the audience.

Spartacus and a small group go to make a deal with the pirates, and Tiberius sees an opportunity to attack.  Unfortunately, the Romans didn’t think to calculate the added forces from the seas, and they are overrun.  More than that, poor Tiberius is injured in almost the same exact spot that Nasir was run through last year.  Tiburius’ injury is slightly more to the outside, and less likely to kill him.

Meanwhile, Saxa discovers that their Roman prisoners have gone missing.  Naevia incorrectly assumes Attius had something to do with it, and goes to interrogate him with drawn sword.  She attacks him, and the two get engaged in a bloody battle that results in Attius dead.  Once Crixus and the others return, she tells them that she only killed him after he attacked her.  I understand that she has been through a traumatic experience that would most likely cause anyone to break.  But not only is it clouding her current judgment, it’s also affecting her memory.  She honestly believes that Attius attacks her first, just like she honestly believes that smiling Roman tortured her.  But with all she went through in those months, who’s to say that the man who smiled at his wife and daughter and the man who tortured her weren’t two separate men that have blurred together.  To a certain extent, she doesn’t deserve to be condemned for her actions, but on the other hand, the other characters on the show need to recognize the problem, and soon.  Because next time it’s not going to be some blacksmith that only Gannicus knew.  Next time it’s going to be someone she used to love but can no longer recognize as such.   Like Agron.  And then it’s going to be too late.

Just a reminder that there is going to be no new episode on the 15th.  Spartacus will return on the 22nd, and then it will be time to say goodbye to some Romans.


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