Spartacus: War of the Damned: Separate Paths Review -

Spartacus: War of the Damned Review

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  • 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:

Spartacus: War of the Damned: Separate Paths Review

Spartacus and Crixus finally split

By Tim Janson     March 24, 2013

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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Showing items 1 - 8 of 8
fallensbane 3/24/2013 12:23:17 AM
Evening though I knew it was coming that was one of.. if not the hardest to watch character deaths I can remember seeing.
domino2008 3/24/2013 12:53:16 AM

Yeah , history is the spoiler of Crixus fate , the writers should had him die a warriors death with  sword in hand , but with a spear in the back .they really put alot of money into this last season showing thounds of warriors an  soldiers fighting . I was also happy that Tiberus got even with Ceasur  in a strange way(LOL) , but this episode is one of stand -out in the series with the fate of  some of top players in the show . NO , if they made a spin-off on this series i hope its with Gannicus an not Ceasur . I just couldnt enjoy watching Romans  living the good life , while they kill the poor.To anyone who hasnt seen the show yet , watch it !

fenngibbon 3/24/2013 7:50:38 AM

 Given all the dark stuff going on in this episode, I have a suspicion that the whole bit with Crassus asking why Caesar wasn't on a horse was done for (admittedly dark) comic effect.

flickman37 3/24/2013 8:02:14 AM

As great as the episode was, I still have trouble with one thing:  How the heck did Crassus find out that they were splitting?  I watched the episode twice, and at no point does it explain this.    Maybe I missed it?

Caesar wasn't involved directly in the Third Seville War, which this is kind of bothering me.  Pompei's forces were integral in defeating Spartacus, and there isn't even a mention of the name Pompei.

tjanson 3/24/2013 10:54:57 AM

Flickman...Pompei was mentioned about three episodes back and how his ships were returning.  Historically, Pompei got a lot of credit for victory in the 3rd Servile war although historians believe it was unwarranted as he basically mopped up what Crassus had already defeated leading to a rivalry between the two men.  As for how Crassus knew that Crixus had split that's not all too difficult.  One assumes he had forward scouts.  He was only a few days behind Spartacus and its kind of hard to hide several thousand people suddenly moving in a different direction.

Domino as much as I live Gannicus his defeat and death was documented as well.  The producers have taken some liberties with characters but in general they have stuck to the main historical events.  With Spartacus...i think its 50 - 50.  Spartacus's body was never found so if the producers decided to give him an out and let him escape i would not have a problem with it,

TheSilentKiller 3/24/2013 12:11:48 PM

 With you janson. I like gannicus, but I think he carks it next episode. I'm guessing Spartacus also croaks, but the two women (Crassus' slave and the Roman he gave away) survive, with the baby that was born. 

jd25u 3/26/2013 5:01:21 AM

The best thing about Crixus' death ..... we can now get more of Manu Bennett in "The Hood" ... err .... "Arrow"!

As far as Ceasar .... I'm guessing that he was never really raped by some Roman punk kid, but I can't wait to see how this Ceasar gets his revenge.  I'm thinking it doesn't exactly bode well for a kind-of fictional Tiberius character.

I really like where a spinoff show could go from here, with Ceasar in the lead-role.

jd25u 3/26/2013 5:09:12 AM

By the way, even though there was no proof of Spartacus's death in the final battle, and they could easily go that route .... I really don't see anyway this Spartacus survives.  For one, in this show, Crassus has now seen Spartacus on at least two different occassions, and Ceasar knows what he looks like.  Do you really think this Crassus is gonna just assume Spartacus is dead without seeing his body/head?  Does anyone truly believe this will not come down to Spartacus v. Crassus in a duel/fight to the death (in which I'm assuming Crassus will have some sort of advantage), even though that did not actually happen?  And finally, I can't see this version of Spartacus making his escape, like a Thief in the Night.  He is in it til the bitter end.



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