After fleeing from the city of Sinuessa, Spartacus and his army find themselves trapped between the army of Marcus Crassus and a seemingly impassable trench guarded by Roman soldiers. Knowing that the Romans have the advantage in numbers, Spartacus plans a deadly gambit. Under cover of night and a blinding snowstorm, Spartacus leads a small band into the Roman encampment in an attempt to assassinate Crassus. However, Crassus expects the sneak attack and sets a trap. While Spartacus and the group escape, Naevia is seriously wounded.
Spartacus and his army endure a horrific night during the blizzard which sees a thousand slaves succumb to the freezing temperatures. As Crassus looks to press his advantage, he makes amends with Tiberius and once again entrusts him with command. The contentious relationship between Tiberius and Caesar continues to fester when Caesar finds out that Crassus plans to leave him in charge of the city as Crassus plans to share his victory with his son.
A couple of things of note in this week’s episode; Crixus and Spartacus come to blows this when they once again disagree on strategy. Crixus wants to go headlong at Crassus while Spartacus, familiar with Roman tactics from his days in Thrace, prefers to hold back. But Crixus hits a nerve when he rightfully tells Spartacus that Crassus has outmaneuvered him throughout the campaign. Spartacus realizes that he needs to think like Crassus and do something the Roman leader would never expect.
Things are getting extremely antagonistic between Caesar and Tiberius and this week it was young Tiberius who had the chance to preen in front of his rival. Caesar clearly irks Crassus when he criticizes his son. But the key to all of this came with Kore (Crassus’ concubine) convincing Caesar to take her to see Crassus on the battlefield. What did they talk about? Was Caesar just doing her a kindness? Doubtful. Did he anticipate that she would escape and make her way to the slave camp? Also doubtful. Did he expect that Kore might kill Crassus in the night? Hmmm…one begins to wonder now. The beautiful slave so far seems to be the one soft spot that Crassus has and Caesar seems well aware of this fact.
Crixus has been somewhat on the sideline in recent weeks but finally got a moment to shine. During the escape from the Roman camp Crixus turns when the Romans call him a coward and proceeds to dispatch at least a half dozen soldiers who dared to insult him. Great stuff!
As I am known sometimes do I have to pick a nit…As wily as Crassus has been in anticipating Spartacus thus far, guessing at the assassination attempt might have been a little much. If you’re going to assume your opponent might make that crazy of an attempt you might assume any possibility. And if you were assuming such an attempt would you not have had more men ready to attack? Crassus looks like a genius for expecting the attack but then a complete fool for not leaving enough men to do the job.
The other gaping plot hole was Kore’s escape from the Roman Camp. Spartacus had to sneak in during a snow storm to remain unseen. So How did Kore managage to slip by all of the Roman guards and all of the soldiers, and all the way to the slave camp, when the weather wasn’t as inclement? With those two hiccups this episode checks in a notch lower than in previous weeks.