- Written By: Brent Fletcher
- Air Date: 2/8/2013
- Directed By: John Fawcett
- Starring: Liam McIntyre, Manu Bennett, Daniel Feuerriegel, Dustin Clare, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Pana Hema Taylor, Todd Lasance, Simon Merrells
- Guest Stars: Anna Hutchison, Jenna Lind, Ellen Hollman, Barry Duffield, Cohen Holloway
Last week, Spartacus and company took over the city of Sinuessa. Now, he has to deal with the Romans that survived the siege and ensure fair treatment of the captives, a hard task considering the hatred of Romans that he himself has inspired (Agron, for one, wonders why they’re still alive). Meanwhile, Tiberius was named second in command over Caesar by Crassus, who orders his son to wait for his arrival before acting. Obviously, this won’t happen.
Attius, the Roman turncoat, turns shackles into swords, a wonderful metaphor and a cool image, but it’s clear he’s only acting for added coin in his purse, and no real belief on either side. While Gannicus and company talk with the man, the slave girl that Gannicus saved last episode is in the shadows, watching her savior. She proceeds to follow him along like a wounded puppy, longing for her master, something that Gannicus’ squeeze Saxa doesn’t fail to notice. What happens is another reason to be jealous of Gannicus.
While Spartacus is elsewhere, Crixus and company stage a gladiator battle between a baker and another man over a scrap of bread. It’s base, awful stuff, as the baker wishes only to feed his pregnant wife, and had already given the location of his money stores for the bread. But the tables have turned. The pair are clearly not fighters, but Crixus, Naevia and others roar for battle. The baker wins, somehow, but when it looks like he will strike Crixus, or merely grab the bread in anger, Naevia slices his hand to pieces. From this point on, it’s clear that Naevia has a lot of built up anger and resentment, as she should, for her rape and awful treatment while at the mines. Now that she can fight and take care of herself, this makes her really dangerous, especially with the specter of Crixus for anyone who would go against her. Gannicus and his friend Attius, the blacksmith who helped Spartacus take over the city, are disgusted in this show of violence.
While they were able to save some of the grain in the town’s stores, much of it was ruined by tar by the Romans, so the rebels are in danger of hunger, yet again. Writing the rebels out of this danger (and into some more), come Cilician pirates, who apparently had had an agreement with the aedile, Laeta’s husband, involving coin and murder. These pirates come to congratulate Spartacus but also to commence trading (and drink), hoping for coin in exchange for food. Everyone mistrusts the pirates, but Spartacus recognizes how much he needs their goods, and attempts a sketchy meet to establish trade between them.
On the Roman side of things, Tiberius and Caesar arrive to the army, where Tiberius is constantly snubbed and treated like a boy. It’s the cliche subplot continued, but when you look at the two side by side it’s little wonder they would recognize Caesar as the leader. When a Roman runs into camp, telling the army that Spartacus has taken the city of Sinuessa, the feud between Tiberius and Caesar boils, leading Tiberius to do something stupid.
For the first 40 minutes, the episode doesn’t have a ton going for it, with mostly bickering, drinking and politics filling the screen time but the last 15 minutes explode with action, plot twists and as always, a ton of bloodshed. It sets up seeds of a Roman underground in Sinuessa, a potential divide in Spartacus’ rebels, a new love triangle, and highlights a new ally, or danger, depending upon your perspective. It’s awesome stuff, but it’s a shame the majority of the set up was boring and cliche (by Spartacus’ standards) to get there.