Perhaps the most striking—literally—plotline belongs to Oenomaus (Peter Mensah). While kicking major @$$ fighting in off-the-grid, gladiator-style combat, he reflects back to his youth and initial encounter with Titus Batiatus. Back then the future Doctore found purpose in fighting for his master. In the present, however, he seeks to find someone to defeat him—thus relieving him of misery and shame.
Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) himself continues to struggle with being a leader of newly-freed men who seem willing to enslave themselves to old habits and passions, rather than forging new paths. His conflict is externalized by the plight of Tiberias who initially resents the freedom he has been granted. Agron (Dan Feuerriegel) and the former slave eventually realize both have lost brothers and forge a tenuous connection. Perhaps there is hope yet for this rebellion.
Glaber (Craig Parker) experiences difficulty while recruiting allies to help quash the Thracian’s insurrection. The praetor is greatly offended by the impertinence of Seppius (Tom Hobbs) who seeks to cement his own reputation by capturing Spartacus. Meanwhile Ilithyia (Viva Bianca) is nonplused by her husband’s insistence that she attend to Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) whose survival must surely mean the gods favor her. During a trip to the marketplace, the widow Batiatus is swarmed by well-wishers who seek her blessing as if she was Lady Gaga, Madonna, or perhaps Michelle Obama.
McIntyre continues to ease into the role of Spartacus, especially as he inspires troops, slaughters Romans, or encourages the search for the missing Naevia. I find his relationship with Mira (Katrina Law) fascinating. He confides to her that Crixus (Manu Bennett) may not be ready for his soulmate’s condition when—and if—she’s found. Yet Mira seems to realize despite their intense bond, Spartacus can never truly be hers.
Last week I opined that Lucretia and Oenomaus are the two wild cards so far this season. The writers evidently concur because by episode’s end the treacherous Ashur (Nick E. Tarabay) reunites these two characters. It turns out the treacherous Syrian was one of Lucretia’s admirers in the marketplace and slipped a note to her. Although she has undoubtedly experienced post-traumatic stress Lucretia has regained enough of her senses to efficiently slaughter a goat for ritual sacrifice, conspire with Ashur, and hint to Ilithyia about secrets that lie within the walls of the House of Batiatus.
Crazy like a fox!