This week’s episode of Spartacus: Vengeance features dueling interpretations of Stephen Sondheim classics: while Spartacus and his men do their best version of Into the Woods, Illithyia hosts a party that starts out as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum but quickly devolves into something straight out of Sweeney Todd, with a smattering of A Little Night Music (minus Catherine Zeta-Jones’ horrendous, Tourette’s-style overacting) thrown in for good measure.
We open with red-cloaked Roman soldiers tromping through the woods looking for the fugitives from the mine. Hasn’t anyone told these Romans that running through the woods in little red riding capes tends to invite trouble? Of course, Spartacus et. al. are looking to steer clear of trouble, as they crouch low to the ground hoping to avoid being seen. I’m not sure that three leaves spread across the tantalizingly broad back of a gladiator is enough to actually keep him hidden from sight, but it seems to be working fine. In fact, everyone’s still and quiet except Naevia, who is as nervous as a Southern Baptist at the Folsom Street Fair (and let me tell you, that’s nervous.)
Sure enough, Naevia loses it and starts screaming and running like this is a Pepsi commercial and her hair just caught fire (is it too soon for Michael Jackson jokes?) The head soldier chases Naevia while Spartacus and his men confront the rest. The head soldier catches Naevia; panting, he tells her, “You made me run…I hate running.” Oh my God, so do I! The last time I ran like that was to get to the front of the line at the Chinese buffet, but otherwise, I’m so with my lazy Roman friend—running is for (well-built, in good health) suckers! The Roman prepares to kill Naevia but along comes Psycho Mira with her mini-dagger-o’-doom. I love it when Mira goes crazy like that. It reminds of the way my sister tackles the Thanksgiving turkey—best just to stand back and just let her work it out of her system rather than get in the way.
Spartacus and his men kill the rest of the Romans, but one of the red-shirt gladiators dies—I have to double check, but I think his name was Ensign Nonamius. This unnerves the rest, and one of the gladiators—I didn’t catch his name because I was too busy drooling over his incredible chest, so let’s just call him Pectorus—Pectorus suggests that they leave Naevia behind, because she is more of a liability than an asset (I’m guessing this may also be because she’s starting to resemble a flat-chested version of the younger Kardashian sister—what’s her name again? Kris Jenner?) Spartacus says that no one will be left behind—except Crixus and all the others that were left behind in the mines. So Spartacus angrily says that no one will be left behind this time and storms off into the woods.
Ashur, seeing the slaughtered soldiers, tells Marcus that the Romans “are going to need a bigger boat,” or something to that affect, but Marcus just brushes him off. Marcus says that Roman soldiers aren’t afraid to die; they’re only afraid of needles and kittens and kites (paper cuts are the worst!)
Meanwhile, another group of soldiers runs into the gladiators again; this time, Nasir gets stabbed while saving Mira, and the only gladiators left standing are Spartacus, Pectorus, and a third gladiator who, in my notes, I kept referring to as Dreadlockius. Anticipating Oregonian law by about 2000 years, Pectorus wants to euthanize Nasir, but Spartacus says no, he doesn’t have the proper doctor’s consent.
Naevia, being helpful for a happy change, suggests cauterizing the wound, but Pectorus worries the fire will attract the Romans. Spartacus sends Pectorus and Dreadlockius off to find Agron to send reinforcements, while he toddles along with Nasir, Mira, and Naevia.
The happy, gay group, enjoying their outing in the woods, start up a fire to roast some marshmallows and staunch the bleeding coming from Nasir’s gullet (there’s always one person on a campout who has to whine about roughing it…).
Pectorus returns, having lost Dreadlockius in the woods and saying he could not get through to Agron because there were too many Romans in the way. I’m sure Siri could find a way past all the Romans, but Spartacus is too cheap to pay for phone upgrades—just like my boss at work, cough, cough.
The group finds Dreadlockius hanging from a tree, and more Romans are upon them. Pectorus bites the big one, but Spartacus goes absolutely nuts when he sees his woman threatened and kills the Romans to a man—hey, it was just Valentine’s Day, after all, and nothing says love like slaughtering the eight Romans who have come to kill you and take you back into slavery. Though I confess I was happy with the rice cooker the hubby got me for Valentine’s; all those dead Roman bodies would have been murder on the carpet, anyway.