Spartacus: Vengeance Series Blog – Episode Five – Libertus

"You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"

Spartacus made a vengeful return to the Capua Coliseum last week.  This began with him sneaking in through the sewers and ended with the whole huge edifice exploding in flames.

As comebacks go, It was completely AMAZING.

Now obviously you’re here for a snark filled review of proceedings,  but my main reaction to this episode was unabashed glee as it was utterly dynamite (pun intended).

And that’s not all. Spartacus killed a guy with a back handed slap! That’s incredible! Imagine a Roman Legionnaire is coming at you with a great big sword and you slap him so hard with the back of your hand he dies. At the risk of sounding like the pathetically nerdy, geeky teenager I definitely wasn’t, that would be the coolest.

This whole episode was jam-packed with excitably excellent stuff like that, and by my reckoning was the best episode yet of what has become one of the best shows on television.

The cause of Spartacus’s return to his old stomping grounds was that two of his bestest Gladiator buddies (his second in command Crixus who was nabbed by the Romans during the mine raid a couple of episodes back and his old trainer Oenomaus) were due to be executed on the sands of the arena for their association with him.

Shaking off the lack of vision that has rather stymied his incipient rebellion up to now, Spartacus decided it was time to make a statement.

Burning thousands of people to death in a huge collapsing stone arena probably qualifies as that.

Before we got to that though, there were the usual series of brutally cunning moves on the chess board of Roman politics. Primarily this involved Praetor Glaber being informed by his monstrous wife Illithyia that he was ditched for another more handsome and powerful Roman nobleman and she was going to abort his unborn son into the bargain.

But he would still accompany her to the arena to keep up appearances. You don’t want the neighbours gossiping, after all. Surprisingly he does so rather meekly. I’m not one to pass judgment on how others conduct their relationships, but if ever there was news that justified storming out in a huff that’d be it.

On the sands of the arena, things were just as messy as the crowd got warmed up for the main event- the slaughter of Spartacus’s pals- with a series of increasingly brutal, bloody and buttock-clenchingly savage gladiatorial bouts.

In order to give said main event a suitably dramatic edge, those crafty Romans had brought back a familiar face to carry out the execution: Gannicus from Gods of the Arena, the rootin’, tootin’ Celtic gladiator who had won his freedom from slavery by being a thumping great force of lusty violent nature.

This including having an affair with his best pal Oenomaus’s now deceased wife, a fact the latter had recently become aware of. When the two starting going at each other it felt fittingly apocalyptic for a scrap that had been a good season in the making.

Not nearly as apocalyptic as what followed however, as Spartacus and pals crashed the party on an almighty wave of fiery destruction. Oh and crafty old Glaber took advantage of the chaos to bash his father-in-law’s head in with a bit of food, those preserving his marriage for at least another week.

All in all, it was bloody fantastic.

Savage Roman brutality of the week – The thousands of people who burned to death was pretty bad. But some of the warm up fights in the arena were insanely savage. Bloodier than a bath full of blood in a blood bank.

Savage Roman Nudity of the week – As I mentioned Gannicus is a rather lusty chap, this is the man who coined the song ‘My cock rages on!’ after all. So it was entirely appropriate that his first big scene in this episode found him having extremely vigorous sex with a prostitute.

Obligatory mention of how Lucy Lawless is great to keep my Xena loving editor happy – Great acting from Lawless this week was displayed when Lucretia gazed upon her former lover Crixus as he was about to be executed. She hates him but there’s clearly some weird twisted affection still there as well.


Spartacus: Vengeance airs on SKY 1 on Mondays at 10pm.

Related Posts

Spartacus: Vengeance Series Blog Episode One
Spartacus: Vengeance Series Blog Episode Two
Spartacus: Vengeance Series Blog Episode Three
Spartcus: Vengeance Series Blog Episode Four


About Ian Dunn
I love avocados, WH Auden and dinosaurs but I don't like effort.

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