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Jan 26, 2013

TV Review: SPARTACUS: WAR OF THE DAMNED: Season 3, Episode 1: Enemies of Rome

Liam McIntyre Spartacus War of the Damned Enemies of Rome

Spartacus War of the Damned Enemies of Rome Review. Spartacus: War of the Damned: Season 3, Episode 1: Enemies of Rome started out the third and finale season of the series on solid footing.

The victory sex scene between Saxa (Ellen Hollman) and Gannicus (Dustin Clare) was a visual event but lacked any meaning or substance. It certainly didn’t have the flare to it that the , , and Jaime Murray scene had in Spartacus: Gods of the Arena: Season 1, Episode 3: Paterfamilias.

Spartacus (Liam McIntyre)’ camp was humungous, so large in fact that some camp members had never seen him. He had grown from last season into a larger than life figure in the eyes of many former slaves.

Spartacus was not perfect. He was blind to many things, even when he was told them to his face. He had no plan for if and when he defeated the Roman empire. He had no plan for what government would take its place. He had no plan for how the bureaucracy would remain in place, how the poor of Rome would be fed, clothed, etc. He only saw what was in front of him.

This is how large the show has become, how daunting the problems some of its inhabitants face. More characters were on screen than ever before within action, drama, and even speaking roles.

The one of the best of these moments in Enemies of Rome was between a horse butcher and Spartacus. Listening to his failures and the unabashed complaints from a butcher / camp follower opened Spartacus’ eyes to the deficiencies of his command, the holes in his brand of freedom. It was a good character moment for him.

The stand out sequence in the episode belonged to another scene though. It was scene in which Spartacus tracked down the two Roman Lieutenants at the villa and Marcus Licinius Crassus (Simon Merrells) and a victorious gladiator engaged in sine missione. The stronger of the two segments in dialogue, build up, and action was the Crassus / gladiator fight. By offering the gladiator his freedom if he achieved victory, Crassus ignited a fire in his opponent. Even so, the gladiator was not stupid hence the finely written dialogue in that moment.

The scene was not about absurd blood splashing and gratuitous gore like its counterpart was. The scene illustrated how the series used to be before it went off the horror deep end: great dialogue, situations, and acting. It was the HBO Rome moment in the episode (“Thirteen!!!”). Even at its conclusion, the blood was kept at a bare minimum between Crassus and gladiator. If only the entire series was so attuned.

The one thing that Spartacus: Blood and Sand and Spartacus: Gods of The Arena had going for them was the acting, drama, arena, training, and the ludus hierarchy. The sand in Crassus’ lavish home brought a little of all of those back for a few short scenes.

Fans of the series will lament the sands fleeting return and their early demise.

For more Spartacus reviews, videos, photos, and information, visit our Spartacus: Blood and Sand Page.

  • Titanius Anglesmith

    It is not often that you see Spartacus actually listen to
    someone, so I am looking forward to his scene with the horse butcher. I’ll throw
    on Enemies of Rome as soon as I get home. Normally I would wait until the
    morning, since my wife would definitely wake up from the sound of gladiators
    fighting for freedom. But with the DISH Hopper I can connect my Bluetooth
    headphones, so my bad hearing doesn’t disturb her while she is sleeping any
    longer. And with the new remote finding feature it has, I won’t have to dig
    under her for the remote unless I’m positive it’s there, lol.