Spartacus: Vengeance 2.7 Review: "Sacramentum"

By John Keegan

spartacus-posterBecause nothing happens without purpose in a season of “Spartacus”, unless the real world intervenes, all that tension between the rebel factions was going to bubble to the surface before long. With Agron feeling more and more on the outside, especially with Oenomeus back in the fold, it was almost inevitable that he would rescue a large group of his own people over Gauls. And it takes no time at all for them to get out of Agron’s control.

It’s an interesting footnote in historical research that many consider Julius Caesar’s blanket condemnation of the Gauls, Germans, and Celts a kind of propaganda. For all intent purposes, the Gauls were a subset of the Celtic tribes that migrated across Europe. Their route took them right through the region that Agron’s Germanic brethren would have come from, and as such, they are mutual victims of Rome’s expansion, vying for control of ever-shrinking non-Roman lands.

For better or worse, while Caesar and his contemporaries had little enough respect for the culture of the Gauls, given their propagandistic reports on the subject, just about everyone had bad things to say about the Germanic tribes. Let’s just say the depiction in this episode, while certainly unfavorable, does match what the source material would have said. Still, who can complain, when it provides a character like Saxa?

Spartacus-Vengeance-Sacramentum-Episode-7-2-550x366Even as the rebel ranks continue to swell, Glaber pulls together his own forces, even as his grip over Capua takes a chilling turn. It brings into stark relief the difference between citizen and slave in the Roman Republic, and serves to remind the audience why Craig Parker was a fitting choice for Glaber from the start. When he brings on the intensity, it is disturbing, to say the least.

Glaber also uses his latest anti-Spartacus ad program as a means of exacting further revenge against Ilithyia. And with Ashur in more control than ever, Lucretia must suffer through his little game of “Who’s Your Dominus”. Enter Gannicus, who had no reason to join the rebels, until Glaber’s heavy-handed tactics forced his hand. By the end, no one in the former House of Batiatus has what they want, perhaps Seppia, who finally takes opportunity to slide her way into position with a man of apparent status. (Another one of those items that found fruition after many episodes of setup!)

The capstone to the episode, of course, is the riot that begins, thanks to Sedullus and his attempt to rape Naevia. That wasn’t going to end well, especially since there was a very good chance that Crixus was going to kill Sedullus and really make a mess of things. But of course, since we know that the rebels were fairly unified in their opposition to Glaber, it had to be Spartacus that ended the fight in rather emphatic fashion.

Things are definitely lining up for that fateful battle at the foot of Vesuvius. With Glaber forcing Gannicus to choose sides, will the former champion take Ilithyia to Spartacus’ camp, thus giving Glaber a reason to attack before he is truly ready? Or will Gannicus’ journey into his destined role among the rebels be more circuitous? With only three episodes left to the season, we won’t have long to wait, regardless!

John Keegan is Editor-in-Chief for Critical Myth, a partner site of SciFi Vision.

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