Spartacus Season 2: Vengeance – Episode 4 “Empty Hands”

It seemed like the rescue of Naevia was going very well in the last episode. They infiltrated the mines after killing the guards and disguising themselves as Romans. They even seemed to have Glaber’s troops fooled when they came searching for the rebel slaves, until Ashur had to go and ruin things for them. Now they are on the run with Naevia in hand, but absent most of the men they went in with, including Crixus who is now captive of the Romans! Along the way of escaping Spartacus will lose even more of his followers and one begs the question of whether or not Naevia was really worth the cost of so many lives. The fight scenes mingled in between all of the political machinations this episode were awesome and entertaining even though they didn’t progress the story so much. I would imagine those not interested in political maneuvering at all were probably pretty bored with the episode as a whole. I definitely enjoyed it even though it didn’t live up to the other episodes of the season.

It was pretty obvious that Agron and reinforcements were going to show up at the end when Spartacus and Mira were making their last stand, but it was a nice touch when it turned out that the approaching “Roman” soldiers were really Agron and his men. I’m hoping Nasir survives the wound he took protecting Mira in the episode because I’m really enjoying his character and how far he has come in regards to his loyalty. I have a little notion in the back of my head that he is only doing many of these things to gain Spartacus’ trust so he can get close and ultimately kill him, but his loyalty to their cause seems genuine. Especially with him wanting to be called by his Syrian name and taking a sword in the stomach for Mira, but only time will tell.

Ashur was in rare form once again in helping the Romans track the rebels. He even actually showed a little fighting prowess…. By stabbing an ex-gladiator in the back, but at least he is still willing to get his hands dirty. His decision to kill the Roman commander and retreat from Spartacus instead is probably going to be deemed as cowardly by a lot of us viewers but I think it was smarter. If Ashur was a viewer of the show he’d know like us that Spartacus was pretty much unstoppable against a squad of Roman soldiers, but as a character Ashur was able to see every victory Spartacus had in the arena up close and in person. I applaud him for knowing it was futile to fight the ex-champion of Capua. I wonder what Glaber will do to Ashur when he returns still alive but with many troops lost. He sure as hell won’t be happy.

As I said above, the political battle between Glaber and Verinius continues into this episode with Glaber being forced into hosting a party in the honor of Verinius since he kind of embarrassed him last week by having his troops pull a no-show. Very surprising to me is Illythia’s willingness to simply abandon Glaber by having her marriage dissolved and get together with Verinius. It seemed like she was always right by the side of her man but after seeing him receiving aid from Lucretia and listening to her dad talk of how great Verinius is the last couple episodes it would seem she’s more than ready to move on to greener pastures. After receiving a pretty solid yes from Verinius (you know what I’m talking about) on the stipulation that her marriage be dissolved things couldn’t be going better for Illythia. That is, until she finds Lucretia banging her dad! Lucretia claims that she did it for Illythia to convince her father to dissolve the marriage between Glaber and her, but Illythia has doubts about it.

Lucretia is back to her scheming and plotting self fully now and one wonders what she convinced Illythia’s father of while doing the nasty. It would seem after Seppia’s failed seduction of Verinius that her and Seppius’ part in the show would be over, but I think it might still linger. Glaber already planted a seed of discontent in the mind of Seppius with that comment about Verinius banging his sister and he probably won’t see past her being cast aside for Illythia. It could be that an alliance is brewing between Glaber and Seppius that will culminate against Verinius and Illythia. One must wonder where Lucretia intends to land during all of this. Honestly, I don’t think we’ve seen Glaber’s dark side at this point, even though he has done much. I would fully expect there to some major retribution coming Illythia’s way once he finds out that she plans to betray him. Who knows, once she is out of the picture (potentially.) Glaber may gain the allegiance of Seppius by taking his sister as a wife.

Overall I can’t wait to see Crixus, Oenomaus and Rashko fight in the arena once more. The scene that Lucretia had alone with Crixus for a moment was about as tension filled as it gets and I can’t help but think that he shouldn’t have told her about Naevia being alive. It would be revenge enough seeing Crixus in the arena as a hated enemy of the state but if Naevia were to be recaptured and a slave again that would be the ultimate torment to the Gaul. I give the episode 3 out of 5 grizzlies. Good but not the greatest, but it definitely had stiff competition to go up against with the brilliance of the last episode.

I’m more than ready for the coming episode as we were treated to a preview at the end of this one featuring none other than ex-champion Gannicus! There will be arena fighting and more to come so stay tuned!

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