This was by far the best episode of the season yet, and that is pretty good for only the third episode. It would seem that Lucretia unleashing that little bit of information about Gannicus and Oenomaus’ wife Melitta happened a lot sooner than I thought, as she and Ashur worked towards gaining the location and intent of Spartacus and the other escaped slaves. I thought that Oenomaus was one of the more intriguing characters of the series, but he really doesn’t compare to the likes of Ashur.
Ashur personifies the concept of scheming and treachery. Having said that, his loyalty is somewhat steadfast as long as the person employing him treats him well. It has already been shown that he is still loyal to Lucretia, though whether that is pure or simply a means to get revenge against Spartacus and the others remains to be seen. I don’t see him ever actually being true to the likes of Glaber. You have to wonder what Ashur’s driving force is, because it’s not likely he could rise much higher than someone’s lackey being a freed Syrian slave in Rome. Either way, he is a brilliant villain for the series and has made plenty of enemies of people who could really beat the living crap out of him. (Oenomaus and Crixus in particular.)
Oenomaus seems to be a broken man at this point after learning of Melitta doing the nasty with Gannicus, and bringing the poisoned wine to drink with him just before it. I would think even though he may want to see Gannicus dead, he may care a little less for long dead Quintus, and still alive Lucretia as well, especially if he finds out that Lucretia is responsible for Titus dying.
There have been some interesting developments indeed going down for the renegade slaves as well. After freeing another group of slaves being transported, Agron and Nasir interrogate one of the surviving Romans and gaining some information about Naevia, which isn’t good. After Crixus finds out that she is supposedly dead he goes into flip out mode and then mopes around quite a bit. It was actually pretty sad to see Crixus react to Naevia’s death, but as the episode wore on you could tell by the way Nasir was acting that something was amiss and when it was revealed you know things wouldn’t be good for anyone who pissed off Crixus.
Finally the truth comes out when Nasir admits that Agron lied about Naevia’s death because he didn’t think it was right that they were risking everyone to save one person. And so Spartacus, Crixus and Nasir strike off with a small group for the mines where Naevia is being held and Agron leads the others to Mount Vesuviusto make camp. I always liked Agron, but I was kind of disappointed to see him screw up the harmony of the group with his lies. It was good to see Nasir as such a valuable member of the group, offering to assist them at the mines, and a bit weird to think of him and Agron as…*gulp*… a couple. Of anything by the end of this episode, the comradarie seen between Crixus and Spartacus was a welcome sight, though by the looks of the ending it may have been cut short.
It would seem Claudius Glaber is finally being useful without having to rely on Verinius and Seppius as he heeds Ashur and Lucretia’s advice to seek out Spartacus and the others at the mines. The scene where it alternated between the fights at the Capua arena and the slaves escaping the mine with Naevia was very well done, both musically and visually. My biggest question at this point is what in the hell will become of Crixus? I really am starting to like the big oaf. And can I just add that I absolutely cannot stand Seppius’ sister Seppia? If actress Hanna Mangan Lawrence was going for ditzy and annoying noble Roman girl then she nailed that right on the head, and is a great actress for making me despise the character after only briefly seeing her in three episodes. I give the episode 5 out of 5 grizzlies, because it was perfect. It kept me on the edge of my seat with the interrogation of Oenomaus and the rescue of Naevia the entire time and left us with an excellent cliffhanger ending. Not to mention there was plenty of action to sustain us barbaric male viewers.