Furius and Cossinius can't capture the rebel slaves army, nor properly keep their plans secret. Realizing hiding will be much harder in winter, Spartacus decides to capture a town. First he and a trusted band sneak up to the commanders' hideout villa to slay them. The senate fears Rome itself may be endangered but lacks funds and men to mount a suitably large army. So Metellus turns to immensely rich, ambitious Marcus Crassus, who accepts, to eager son Tiberius's frustration without even negotiating an accordingly exalted status or mandate, and continuous private sparring with a dearly paid gladiator, whom he ends up killing in a fair duel. Spartacus's victory unwittingly plays into Crassus's hand, as he now formally 'inherits' sole command.
- "Spartacus: War of the Damned" - "Enemies of Rome" - Jan. 25, 2013
A battlefield soaked in blood, bodies and limbs everywhere. The camera pans over a mountain and we see intense fighting with the Romans complaining about how well the enemy forces are doing. Suddenly, Spartacus enters, riding up in slow motion, and begins to lay waste. He's a one-man wrecking machine. His horse is speared and falls, taking Spartacus down. Just as a Roman officer yells at his men to kill him, the rebel forces come from behind and the battle is joined: blood spurting, necks cracking, swords swinging. The Roman leaders finally, wisely retreat as Spartacus and his troops kill the remaining stragglers.
There is much rejoicing by Crixus, Gannicus, and Naevia but Spartacus puts the kibosh on that saying they haven't won anything yet.
Cut to a bathhouse where Roman leaders are bemoaning being bested by errant slaves while being attended to by body slaves. They think the number of rebel forces has been understated by the Senate.
In flashbacks, we see that after Spartacus killed Glaber several months ago, he liberated thousands from the mines, recruited them to his cause and they've been wreaking havoc on their former masters with the energy of the newly-freed. One senator says that the Senate's resources have been drained, that they don't have coin to recruit more men. They say there is only one man who can help pay without pain but the Senate doesn't want to be beholden to him. That man? Marcus Crassus. The senator says he'll have a talk with him.
Cut to Spartacus in his headquarters receiving reports from Agron and Crixus. He wonders where Gannicus is, and they say he's out celebrating their victory his way. While Spartacus keeps downplaying their successes, Agron and Crixus argue that they're doing well and recruiting more slaves every day. Spartacus says he's ready to strike again. He's definitely committed to taking the fight to the Romans.
Back in Rome we see two men sparring in a pit, Marcus Crassus and his trainer. A younger man, Crassus' son Tiberius, watches his father disapprovingly, thinking that he should be paying attention to more pressing matters. The slave he's sparring with accidentally cuts him but Crassus forgives him and they talk about improving his moves. The senator enters to ask Crassus for financial assistance in fighting the rebellion. Crassus asks how much. The senator asks for 10,000 men. Crassus replies that that many men will be expensive. The senator says he'll have his own title, and all that that implies. Crassus wonders aloud why the Roman commanders haven't come to him. The senator says that they are in hiding, regrouping, and the situation is dire. Crassus agrees to the terms offered. Tiberius sneers at this as well. Crassus says all that matters is that Spartacus falls and that the glory of Rome is restored.
In the rebel camp, Gannicus and other fighters drink and trade war stories in his quarters. Several beautiful women present themselves, asking for wine. Gannicus kicks the other men out and becomes amorously involved with the three ladies who, of course, also become involved with each other.
Speaking of involvement: Agron and Nasir are also amorously inclined in their tent. Afterwards, Agron compliments Nasir on fighting well in the battle and commends how far he's come.
Spartacus, however, is not so inclined. When a drunken Gannicus arrives to give his report of the battle, Spartacus is not amused. "We fought, we won," retorts Gannicus. Spartacus wants to promote Gannicus to a leadership role. Gannicus resists, saying he wants to remain one of the brotherhood unlike Spartacus, who is being seen increasingly as a god. Gannicus also points out that defeating a couple of Roman generals won't be the end of the conflict as more will come. Spartacus is confident that they will defeat them as well. Gannicus says most of those that wronged them are long dead. Spartacus replies that that isn't the issue. Gannicus admits that he was once in love, that he exacted vengeance as Spartacus did, and that it left him empty just as it did Spartacus. He confesses to loving Oenomaus' wife, Melitta -- which is shown in flashback. Spartacus says he has no one left he holds to heart to speak such loving words. Gannicus offers the adoration of the men. Spartacus says he couldn't save his wife but that he will fight until a day when no innocent life is so easily disregarded. Gannicus hopes he finds peace when this day arrives. Gannicus wants them to share wine and women, to stop talking about sad subjects but Spartacus demurs. Gannicus says he will drink and ---- in Spartacus' name, and fight all the way to the steps of the Roman Senate if that's where Spartacus' madness leads.
Cut to Crassus who is tallying up what he needs to spend to lure potential new soldiers. He gives Tiberius the information and the boy sets off to make offers of land and money. A younger boy and his mother enter. He is impressed that his father is going to war. He wants to go, too. Not yet, says Crassus. His wife points out that Tiberius deserves a title that befits his name. Crassus says he's too young and hasn't earned it and although he's a good soldier he falls in strategy and discerning mind. She tells him she'll bring him food and wine but he says his slave will take care of him. She bristles but assents and tells him his bed awaits if he finds a want of it.
Tiberius discusses the coming campaign with his friend Sabinus. Tiberius complains that his father doesn't seem to hunger for laurels and adulation while he burns white hot with desire for it. Sabinus jokes he won't stand too close for fear of melted wings. Tiberius grabs his arm and says he doesn't want him in the battle. Sabinus protests, saying he'll be there. Tiberius' mother enters, noting this intimate exchange. The two young men break apart and Sabinus says he's off with the orders for the men. She reminisces about them being children. She tells him not to give his father further reason to doubt him. Tiberius says he'll show his father how good he is when their enemies' blood spills in great rivers.
In the rebel camp,new recruits spar while Crixus, Spartacus, and Agron assess their skills. Agron points out a couple of new refugees who are squirrelly and suspect. The recruits go to a butcher to get some meat. Spartacus follows them, asking who gave permission for the recruits to have meat? The butcher doesn't realize it's Spartacus and totally trashes him, saying "the great man on the hill" is not providing for his people, which makes him question joining the fight. Crixus arrives with the news that Romans are riding from the north, calling him by name, and the butcher reacts fearfully, begging for forgiveness. Spartacus says he might not always offer food and a warm cloak but as long as he's in charge men are free to speak from the heart, even against him.
They set a trap for the Romans using Naevia. She's digging in the road as the Romans approach. They harass her. She knifes their leader as Spartacus and his forces attack from the woods. Bloody slow-motion battling with decapitations and one awesome Spartacus spear-chucking ensues, the result of which is the interception of the message saying that reinforcements - 10,000 men - are in hand.
Crixus, Gannicus, Agron and Spartacus strategize. They think they need to strike at the commanders to turn the tide of the war. They deduce where Crassus is -- in his villa -- and plan to use a few men who can take the villa undetected. Agron will stay behind to lead the troops.
Naevia complains about this dangerous plan to Crixus but he flatters her, telling her how strong she's become. She wants to fight by his side but he tells her to stay near Agron. She tells him to kill many Romans and return to her arms with their blood hardened upon him. Then they become -- entwined.
Crassus spars again with his trainer while Tiberius whines that they should be doing something about Spartacus. Crassus points out that Spartacus is a better fighter than some of his own men. Tiberius sneers at this, saying the wealthy and powerful tower above slaves in all things. Crassus responds by giving Tiberius his sword, telling him to fight the "common slave". Tiberius isn't very good and the trainer bests him, knocking him to the ground. Crassus calls this a sorely needed lesson, one that Spartacus has already learned regardless of his "station" in life.
The small force - Gannicus, Crixus and Spartacus -- invade Crassus' villa stealthily, slitting throats and taking no prisoners.
Another Roman leader gets word that the rebels are massing in the north and orders his men to start moving in that direction. That movement shows the small force which villa is Crassus'.
The slave Kore tends to Tiberius wounds as he whines about his father who is again sparring vigorously with his trainer. She tells him to think as Crassus would and he will gain insight. Crassus tells the slave to stop holding back and really try to kill him. The trainer refuses because if he does he'll be killed himself. Crassus makes Tiberius promise that the slave will be freed and given money if he succeeds in killing Crassus. They fight. Crassus kills him but not before being seriously injured himself by grabbing the blade of the sword with both hands. He thanks the slave for training him well and says he'll build a statue in the former gladiator's honor.
The small force gains access to the villa, killing all who come against them until they corner the two primary commanders, swords to throats. They attempt to surrender but Spartacus decapitates them both, telling Crixus and Gannicus to bring the heads.
Word of the calamity reaches Crassus amid the worry that their soldiers will lose focus without senior leadership. The senator points out that it's curious that the messengers rode so close to the rebel camp but Crassus pretends ignorance. The senator says it's time to look forward. Providing he foils the rebellion, the position of Imperator is now Crassus' if he wants it. Tiberius arrives, impressed that his father engineered the murders of the commanders who wanted Crassus' money but denied him a leadership position. "The House of Crassus bows to no one." Tiberius wonders how he knew Spartacus would attack the commanders. Crassus says it's what he would've done.
With heads on pikes breaking the Roman spirit Crixus, Agron, and Gannicus want to strike now while the iron's hot. Spartacus wants to find a defendable area and lay low for the winter so cold and famine don't do them in so they can fight Crassus' new army. Spartacus says only a city can hold their numbers now and they will gleefully tear one away from the Romans.