“Spartacus: War of the Damned” Episode 6 Recap: How to Succeed in Roman Business (Without Really Dying)

We open this week’s episode of Spartacus: War of the Damned where the last one left off: with the gates of Spartopolis about to come tumbling down around the rebel’s ears.

Caesar again reminds Agron, Saxa, and the other assembled rebels that running may be advisable as the Romans breach the gate and begin pouring through.

Our beloved rebels decide to stay and fight, which only demonstrates that while discretion may be the better part of valor, stupidity knows no boundaries of rank, religion, or creed. Saxa soon wises up that they are hopelessly outnumbered, telling the others to boogie while the boogieing is good. I swear, if they ever had a Rebel Spelling Bee, she’d win first prize in a landslide.

Crassus enters the city, and Caesar smugly welcomes him to Spartopolis. We see Roman soldiers everywhere, battling former gladiators or chasing down former slave girls, and clearly, things are not going well for our heroes. Spartacus, Crixus, Gannicus, and Agron meet up and swap stories about the double betrayal of Heracleo and Caesar. Crixus votes to stay and fight to the last man, but Spartacus quickly decides they are—and here I’ll use military terminology drawn from the annals of Herodotus himself—completely screwed. Spartacus believes that their only chance is escape through the north gate and up the ridge, into the snowy mountains above the city.

Ahh, but how to hold off the Romans in order to let everyone out? Gannicus steps forward to sacrifice himself. Spartacus says no, he will do it, but Gannicus reminds Spartacus that the show is named after him and even if there are only a few episodes left, it would be weird if Spartacus himself wasn’t actually in any of them. Everyone agrees, and Gannicus prepares to find a way to slow the Romans down. Saxa gives her man a big smooch and wishes him luck. Clearly, for her, this is no Tammy Wynette moment. Stand by your man? No way. There is more a Julie Andrews theme at work here: the hills are alive, and so is Saxa if she heads there. I told you she was smart.

Agron searches for Nasir, who is in a spot of trouble until the dueling divas of Castus and Agron help him out. You know, the last time two men fought over me like that, I…umm…okay, so two men have never fought over me like that. And the only time the hubby ever gets riled up is when I put the toilet paper on the roll upside down (can someone explain to me how toilet paper can be upside down, please?) Agron believes Castus to be part of Heracleo’s nefarious schemes, but Nasir defends the honor of the hunky man he is not supposed to be checking out. Awk-ward…

Gannicus and a comrade plan to start a fire in the city as a way to distract the Romans. And, of course, who should show up but Gannicus’ own personal stalker, Sibyl. Gannicus is clearly not amused but rolls his eyes and tells her to stick close. The fire rages but Crassus is not fooled; he knows a distraction when he sees one. He orders his men to march on the north gate. Spartacus had better hurry.

Spartacus and company are nearly evacuated when the Romans arrive. Spartacus, Crixus, and Agron manage to eviscerate the early arrivals (maybe this is why my mother always stressed that it was obnoxious to show up early for a dinner party?), but soon the entire bloody legion is there. No matter—Spartacus makes it out by the skin of his teeth while Caesar and the Roman soldiers run into the gate like a cartoon monster on Scooby Doo. Boink!

Despite the rebels’ escape, Crassus is very pleased with how the battle went and declares it a great victory for—well, himself. He orders his soldiers to kill any remaining rebels, so Gannicus and Sibyl hide in the one place they know no one will look—in the secret cellar to Laeta’s stables, where Laeta herself hid a number of Roman citizens from the rebels. Hmm. Locked in a small, dark windowless room with my stalker? I might prefer the company of the Romans, thanks.


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