Spartacus (McIntyre) is reduced to a bit player in “Spoils of War” but despite that fact, this was another fantastic episode. The Romans have stormed the city of Sinuessa en valle after Caesar succeeded in setting the main gate on fire allowing Crassus’ troops to use a battering ram to bring it down. As Roman soldiers pour through the gate, Agron, Saxa, and Donar face the initial wave before being forced to retreat. Caught unprepared after the betrayal by the Cicilian pirates, Spartacus hurriedly leads his troops out of the city leaving Gannicus and Donar behind to create a distraction to slow the Roman’s attack. Spartacus and Crassus have their first, although brief face-to-face moment before fleeing through another city gate.
Donar is severely injured as Gannicus encounters Sibyl. Together they have to hide in the shelter beneath the stables to wait their chance to escape. Crassus, once again showing how ruthless he can be gives Laeta to the pirate leader Heracleo as final payment for the Pirate’s aid. Heracleo dooms Leata from ever having a life among the Romans by branding her as a slave. Later Crassus executes several of the slaves by increasingly brutal methods until only Donar remains. But Tiberius, jealous of Caesar’s success, secretly frees Donar leading to a duel to the death between him and Caesar.
There’s a point in this episode where Crassus is asking Laeta for her opinion of Spartacus. She reveals he’s not a man driven by vengeance as the Romans believe but rather driven by justice. Crassus remarks that it will be up to history to decide which of them was the hero and which one was the villain. This again points to his respect for Spartacus. In fact Crassus has more respect for the slave leader than many of his Roman peers.
This week’s episode belonged to Gannicus who remained behind to slow down the Romans and then had to make a harrowing escape from the city along with Sibyl and Laeta…but not before delivering a serious, but not fatal blow to Caesar. It would be interesting to see a fight to the death between Spartacus and Gannicus as the two are clearly head and shoulders above the other gladiators.
Great interplay this week between Caesar and Tiberius. Tiberius can barely contain his contempt for the glory-hungry Caesar while Caesar delights in throwing his success back in Tiberius’ face. You can’t help but feel for Laeta who did what she had to do to keep her people alive, only to have Crassus sell her like any other common slave.
White Spartacus is only onscreen for a short time and Crixus even less, Dustin Clare as Gannicus more than made up for Even though we know historically how the story ends there continues to be several surprises and blood-soaked action that is keeping each week’s episode fresh.