Spartacus War of the Damned Victory Review. Spartacus: War of the Damned: Season 3, Episode 10: Victory brought to a close one of best shows on the Starz network, second only to canceled Boss. Historically, the viewer always knew how Spartacus (Liam McIntyre)’ story would end. Starz took that ending and manipulated it into something highly entertaining and surprising in many of its aspects, especially the emotional subplots.
The strongest of the emotional subplots was that between Kore (Jenna Lind), Caesar (Todd Lasance), and Crassus (Simon Merrells). With the unbiased information from Spartacus in hand, some of the best acting from the aforementioned actors occurred. The viewer felt Crassus’ twisting emotions, his turmoil when he finds out the truth, Kore’s fear and grief, and Caesar’s compassion for the both the them.
This scene was as strong as any action scene within the episode and heralded back to the strong, dramatic writing found in Spartacus: Blood and Sand and in certain episodes of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.
The mutual respect Crassus showed Spartacus was not surprising. There first meeting gave both the opportunity to understand each other and their motivations.
Their second meeting, the one that took place on the battle field, was one of the best fight scenes of the series, full of twists and turns, of one combatant having the upper hand and of one losing it.
Seeing the blood-loss on Spartacus’ face was equivalent to seeing a walking, talking horror movie in real life. The blood was literally draining out of him because of his multiple wounds yet he kept fighting. It was a small plot point that had a big effect.
When the flashbacks began, the viewer was with Spartacus. They felt Spartacus’ rage, witnessed how it galvanized his movements in the present, soon overwhelming a taciturn and somewhat stunned Crassus.
Some of the CGI is this episode was very disappointing and down-right lousy e.g. Lugo (Barry Duffield)’s death. If you can not afford big budget special effects, do without their shabby cousin. The bad CGI during the finale battle was distracting and made the viewer think that instead of a Starz TV series, they were watching an original SyFy Channel movie.
The female rebels’ deaths were not surprising but Gannicus (Dustin Clare)’ was. With his swordsmanship skills, I thought the bodies would have dropped left and right around him but a sword is nothing against a multitude of shields that are of the same thickness.
Too many professionally trained gladiators in the last three episodes turned their backs and did not “mind their surroundings”, especially the approach of heavily armored soldiers. In the heat of battle things get confused, chaotic but aren’t those the moments when discipline and training kick in? Would professional gladiators really make such critical errors in judgement when it counted the most? Battle resolutions and character deaths would have been far more realistic and memorable if this tactic had not been employed multiple times.
The ending of episode left the storyline open for the two (main) new characters that entered the show at this season’s beginning. If Starz has a spin-off in mind they have not hinted at it yet but their storyline continued would be welcome.