Spartacus: War of the Damned: Blood Brothers (

By:Tim Janson
Review Date: Saturday, March 02, 2013

 The rift between Spartacus and Crixus continues to grow this week.  As Spartacus plans his next move he purposely places Crixus out of the loop.  The isolation leaves Crixus bitter and he begins to pay more attention to the incognito Julius Caesar who is inciting unrest and outright rebellion among many of the slaves.  It seems as things will finally come to a head when Spartacus makes the unpopular decision to release the remaining Roman captives, including Laeta. 

Spartacus reveals to Laeta that he plans to leave Rome and return home to be done with the war once and for all.  Ahh but that Spartacus of course has something up his sleeve.  He has used both Crixus and Laeta in an attempt to fool Marcus Crassus into thinking that he plans to split his forces and leave the city lightly guarded.  With Crixus no brought up to full speed (and likely feeling like a total jerk) Spartacus plans to catch Crassus between his forces.
But Crassus again proves to be every bit the tactician that Spartacus is and immediately suspects a trap and he moves to spring his own surprise on Spartacus.  He pays off the Celician pirates to betray Spartacus so he can make a strike on the city.
First, another exception episode this week.  Manu Bennett was on top of his game this week.  He went from playing the part of the self-pitying soldier to nearly being in awe at just how clever Spartacus truly is.  In a key scene, Crixus attempts to block the Romans from leaving the city until Spartacus warns him to get out of the way.  Once the most feared gladiator in Capua, Crixus skulks away like a dog with his tail between his legs.  In the end though, Crixus is nearly awestruck by Spartacus. Even Naevia comes around and attempts to mend her relationship with Gannicus, who basically tells her to what she can do with her apology. 
Simon Merrells continues to dominate every scene he is in as Marcus Crassus.  He’s arrogant as all hell but also thoroughly commanding.  I could not help but laugh at the way he dressed down the Roman senator who came to check on this progress.  Crassus dismisses him like a child, reminding him that he paid for his army out of his own vaults.
The two things that I have misgivings about is Spartacus, astute as he is, placing so much trust in pirates who are notoriously untrustworthy.  Was anyone surprised at their treachery?  And secondly, It seemed as of Caesar gained an influential foothold in the city far too easily but obviously it was a means to an end.

Mania Grade: A-
TV Series: Spartacus: War of the Damned
Episode: Blood Brothers (Season 3, Episode 5)
Starring: Liam McIntyre, Manu Bennett, Dustin Clare, Simon Merrells
Written By: Allison Miller
Directed By: T.J. Scott
Network: Starz