Trapped in between armies on a snowy mountain ridge with a horrific snow storm approaching isn’t great for morale. ‘Mors Indecepta’ shows that such conditions can easily lead to a battle of the bros as Crixus (Manu Bennett) and Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) fight it out AGAIN in the battle for dominance of the slave rebellion.
Let’s bitch it out…I’ve got mixed feelings on this episode. If I didn’t know that we were so near the end of the series, I think I would have found it an acceptable thematic-reiterating episode. But since this is the fourth last episode ever, it feels as though things are moving far too slowly.
At issue is the amount of repetition. When it’s working, Spartacus is unpredictable, shocking and expertly plotted. This season has had its share of amazing sequences, twists and characters, but it has often suffered from feeling “familiar.” We’ve seen this struggle for leadership between Crixus and Spartacus in multiple episodes now, and it’s not becoming more compelling each successive time we revisit it. Ditto the inevitable (groan worthy) moment when Gannicus (Dustin Clare) submits to Sibyl’s (Gwendoline Taylor) sexual advances, which is then immediately discovered by Saxa (Ellen Hollman). We’ve seen this coming for weeks, hoping that the show wouldn’t be this predictable and yet…here we are.
Because of this ‘Mors Indecepta’ feels like it’s treading water. The slave rebellion is meant to be an epic tale with an unhappy ending, but this just feels like another miniature Spartacus adventure: a focus on a series of events between two warring parties. There’s nothing that screams “final season” in any of this. For that reason it’s hard not to be disappointed in such an episode. With only three episodes remaining, at least our heroes are off the mountain pass and available to go big or go home.
- I’m torn on my feelings about Kore (Jenna Lind) joining the rebels. On one hand, this could be a ploy by Crassus (Simon Merrells) to get closer to Spartacus. On the other, it could also simply be a sign that regardless of how much Crassus tries to reassure Kore that she’s occupying a place of privilege, she’s still a slave who has no power in the struggle between him and Tiberius (Christian Antidormi)
- It’s surprising that the antagonistic relationship between Tiberius and Caesar (Todd Lasance) has lasted this long. I keep waiting for the rug to get pulled out from under the spoiled brat. The events of the last two episodes have seemed ripe for Caesar to try something and blame it on Spartacus and co. And yet…Tiberius still lives
- How many more episodes before Laeta (Anna Hutchinson) gives in and makes a move on Spartacus? This is the second most predictable romance after Gannicus/Sibyl so it seems inevitable
- Oh wait! I forgot about the painfully dull love triangle between jealous Agron (Daniel Feuerriegel), Nasir (Pana Hema-Taylor) and Castus (Blessing Mokgohloa). It seems that it might be put to rest after Castus saves Agron’s life as they breach the wall, but in the world of Spartacus that probably just means Castus will be killed next week
- Admittedly the scene of Crixus returning to defend a wounded Naevia’s (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) honour – and prove he’s not a coward – is incredibly well-shot and stylized
- Anyone expect that a snowslide would factor into Sparty’s victory, not a bridge of frozen human bodies?
- Finally, adulterers beware: offering a city to your sexy servant is all well and good, but make sure that you don’t also leave your rapey son with her or suggest that it’ll be a great love-shack for you to sneak away to. It’s not as romantic as it sounds in your head and appears to end in bloodshed
What did you think of this fourth last episode? Is the pace quick enough for you? Do you want the repetitious plot points to end? Does this engagement with Crassus feel epic enough for you? And which couples (if any) do you want to see happy endings for? Comment away below.
Spartacus: War Of The Damned airs Fridays at 9pm EST on STARZ