Spartacus: War of the Damned: Separate Paths Review (Mania.com)

By:Tim Janson
Review Date: Sunday, March 24, 2013
Source: Mania.com

We knew this day was coming.  Ever since the slave revolt began we knew that, historically, we would finally have to see this day and it happened during Separate Paths, one of the most emotionally charged episodes in the series’ history.  Spartacus seeks to lead his army of slaves over the Italian Alps and into what they hope will be their freedom.  Crixus however wants to take the fight to Rome.  After nearly a full season of bickering between the two Spartacus finally relents and gives Crixus his approval to lead a faction of the army towards Rome itself while Spartacus takes a larger portion (although made up of many women and children) towards the mountains.


Before that, the army attacks a small Roman settlement gaining much needed food and supplies.  They use their victory as a celebration but also a going away tribute to Crixus.  This consists of more wine flowing and the most copious amount of nudity since the days of the Batiatus’s villa in Capua. But it’s evident this is the last party.  It’s a sendoff to those soldiers whom even Spartacus seems to know he will not see again.  Agron confirms this belief as he agrees to go with Spartacus but leaves his lover Nasir behind.  Crixus has taken a backseat to Spartacus for most of the year but this was his shining moment.  He delivers a memorable, rousing, William Wallace-esque speech his army before their final battle.  


The Rivalry between Caesar and Tiberius reaches its zenith as Caesar threatens to expose young Tiberius’s rape of his father’s slave Kore.  Tiberius reponds by attacking Caesar and then has his guards restrain him why he humiliates him in perhaps the most shocking and degrading way possible.  You have to admire Caesar for his honor in trying to keep Crassus focused.  For the first time Crassus is showing cracks after his humiliation by Spartacus at the ridge and with his slave’s betrayal, even going so far as assaulting a Roman Senator who had arrived to check on the campaign’s progress.  I certainly hope the rumors of a spinoff show involving Caesar are true.  He’s a compelling character and I want to see more of his story.  I also want to see what further happens between he and Tiberius whether in the last two episodes or in a spinoff.  Tiberius is a fictional character although he is likely based upon Crassus’s oldest son who was also named Marcus Licinius Crassus.  


Getting back to Crixus, while his fate was traumatic to say the least, as mentioned we knew it was coming.  It will be interesting to see how Spartacus’s fate plays out.  While it’s assumed he was killed in battle, historical chroniclers of the period have noted that his body was never found.  Certainly his body would have been a great prize to Crassus.  Some historians have even speculated that Spartacus may have survived and escaped to live out a peaceful life.  Whatever happens, the final two episodes should be a ride to remember.

 

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Mania Grade: A
Episode: Separate Paths (Season 3, Episode 8)
Starring: Liam McIntyre, Manu Bennett, Dustin Clare, Simon Merrells, Todd Lasance
Written By: Brent Fletcher
Directed By: TJ Scott
Network: STARZ
Studio: STARZ
Series: