Review: Spartacus Vengeance Episode 5 ‘Libertus’
The political maneuverings and bloody battles of Spartacus Vengeance were dialed up a few notches for this week’s episode ‘Libertus’. Once again the Roman side of this tale was the most interesting aspect of this particular episode, but more importantly Spartacus and his band of slaves were finally brought back into the main fold in a spectacular fashion. The last 20 minutes of this episode have to be considered some of the greatest moments to date in the Spartacus series, and they changed the direction that I thought this season was headed in before I could say “Jupiter’s c*ck!” Let’s just say that Glaber isn’t going to be as big of a chump as we all thought he’d be by the end of this season.
‘Libertus’ opens up in a flash forward that pits the captured Crixus and Oenomaus against their executioners in the arena who just so happen to be some familiar faces. Gannicus, from the prequel, makes his return to the series and his appearance only helped to amp up the intense emotions that this arena scene evokes from viewers. The writers have woven a tale between him and Oenomaus that makes the execution battle that much more intriguing. In fact, once the episode catches up to the flash forward that was seen at its beginning the action gets dialed up to a point that hasn’t been seen since Sparty went on a killing streak at the home of Batiatus at the end of season 1. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but ‘Libertus’ easily has the highest kill count to date for a single episode in this franchise. Many Romans die, and even a few mainstays meet their maker.
Spartacus goes all Tom Cruise in his return to the arena
I appreciated how the writers went about setting up the final battle in this episode, and like I mentioned earlier Spartacus and Co. are finally brought back into the limelight in this episode with a grand entrance. For the past few episodes it has seemed like all Spartcus ever did was run from Romans trying to catch him. Not running from them as in he’s a pussy, but running from them to keep his group’s dreams of freedom alive. In ‘Libertus’ he finally takes the fight back to the Romans, and it is done in a Mission Impossible sort of way, that really kept my heart on edge throughout the entire second half. Outside of some less than perfect CG work the finale of this episode is one of the best I’ve seen, and I can’t wait to see where things will go from here. Due to the outcome of this episode many of the old plot threads have been tied up, at least in regards to Spartacus’ party, so it’ll be interesting to see where things go from here for these free slaves on the run.
Spartacus’ return to the forefront of the series was an action packed affair in ‘Libertus’, but as far as overall storytelling goes I would have to say that the Roman side of the story still has some of the best writing of the series. Once again Ilithyia’s scheming ways take center stage, and she’s easily becoming one of the most evil Romans on the show. The way she handles Glaber in the early parts of this episode will make you almost feel bad for the man who put Spartacus in bondage in the first place. She is ruthless in her desire to elevate her standing in society, and she absolutely pulls no punches when laying out her intentions to Glaber. Luckily for him Spartacus inadvertently helps his cause through his antics at the arena, and once again we get to see why Glaber is ultimately the main bad guy of this franchise. He’s not as dumb as his wife and Father-in-law make him out to be, and that is made extremely clear by the end of this episode.
Varinius and Ilithyia have a monkey wrench thrown into their plans by the name of Spartacus
I can’t wait to see where things go from here, because by the end of ‘Libertus’ many of the early threads the writers wove for Vengenace came to a close, so this opens up the rest of the season for all sorts of interesting happenings. Gannicus is back in the picture, Spartacus’ team is strengthened, and the Romans have been beaten down to a point where things are starting to get desperate for them. Glaber managed to reemerge as the prick we know him to be, and the Roman side of this tale only seems to get more interesting with each episode. If the end of ‘Libertus’ didn’t have some low budget looking CG work then I’d be inclined to give this episode a perfect score, but I can’t look past the cheesy computer work, so I give it an EB 8 out of 10 Buddhas. Once again this episode will remind you of why you fell in love with this franchise in the first place. Check out a preview for it below. You’ve been warming up to the new Spartacus…
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