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Libertus - Recap

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The scene opens at the arena with its bloody activities; where bloodshed is a game, cheered on by the crowds. Meanwhile, Spartacus and his ragtag warriors, still weary from the journey, find shelter in an abandoned villa; much to their relief. Fatigue is clearly written on their faces. On the premises, Spartacus and Agron find Lucius, a disgraced Roman in exile, embittered by his experiences; he shares his pain with them, along with providing them some vital information and thus helping them out. Having kept an ear to the ground, Lucius tells Spartacus that Crixis, “the undefeated Gaul” is alive; much to everyone’s relief and joy, but he also tells them that, Crixus is due to be executed in Capua; so there is still an opportunity for them to rescue him, although time is of the essence.

Spartacus is visibly gladdened by this news, the most. Lucius also intimates that, word is spreading that Spartacus himself has been killed; such is probably done to appease the masses, and to convince the people that, the rulers are still in control. Meanwhile, Ashur has returned to Capua, lying to Glaber about the dead Roman soldier (it was in fact Ashur who killed the soldier out of fear of being slaughtered by Spartacus and his warriors). Glaber has Ashur imprisoned. But that’s the least of his concerns, as elsewhere there is more trouble brewing; Ilithyia is openly planning the dissolution of their marriage with her father, Virinius and even Lucretia, who is stunned to discover that Ilithyia plans to take a potion, concealed in a red vial, designed to end her pregnancy; thus ending every link to Glaber. Lucretia tries talking some sense into Ilthiyia, and manages to convince Ilithyia to hold off until after the execution of Crixus, Oenomaus and the other Gaul; it would be a grand spectacle indeed, from the look of things.

And it is grander than before because, as a special attraction, Gannicus will return to deliver the killing blows; thus leaving a lasting impact on the minds of the people. More shall soon be revealed about Gannicus, from the looks of it. Meanwhile, Lucretia goes to Ashur, once more telling him that she will use her influence to free him, and entursts him with a special assignment: replace the red vial’s contents with water and herbs; so that the unborn child isn’t harmed in anyway. Lucretia probably feels that, Ilithiyia’s decision to end the life of an unborn child is rash. Indeed, Ashur is freed, but somehow, Glaber is told of Ilithyia’s plans; he is visibly enraged to hear about her intention. He finds the vial, and confronts her with it, then smashing it against the wall; thus making his anger and displeasure known very clearly. Ilithyia responds by mocking her husband, saying that he’s unworthy of her; making it clear that she would go to any lengths to separate from him; leaving hime even more enraged than before.

But she also tells him that, though she is more determined than ever to dissolve their union, she will wait until after the ceremony in the arena, performing her duties as Glaber’s faithful wife one more time. She has taken this decision, just so that Glaber doesn’t lose face in front of the people. Her decision to wait till after the execution, seems to assuage Glaber to a certain degree. Meanwhile, Spartacus decides that they will sneak into the arena, disrupt the execution and save Crixus and the others. Nassir, healing but still weak, wants to go with them, as he too wants to help, but Agron gently tells him to stay behind and be safe, sealing their happy reunion with a kiss. He thus manages to convince Nassir to stay back. As Spartacus grimly prepares for the dangerous mission ahead.

Meanwhile Gannicus is in a brothel, enjoying himself before his task. In reality, Gannicus is conflicted about his agreement with the Romans; a fact that is made visibly clear. But as a freed man, he’s been adrift, despite the legendary status he has achieved. But money is money, so he will be the executioner; that is his final decision. The ceremony begins, and the three warriors are given blunted swords with which to “defend” themselves. They all agree to make the Romans rue the day they’ve given them even such paltry weaponry; with their sills and determination they might surely prove more than a handful. They are led to the arena, boos raining down on them; a fact that manages to rile them up, if anything. Soon after, Gannicus hits the sands, and is cheered like a rock star; it immediately becomes clear how popular he is. Watching all of this, the Roman hierarchy anticipates bloody good sport; they are pleased by the overwhelming response from the crowds.

Meanwhile, Glaber, understandably, is distracted by his world crumbling around him; hence he is unable to enjoy the proceedings, as he would have like to. Virinius is smug, Ilithyia wet with future ambition, Lucretia conflicted by it all; thus each of them is a different state of mind. Meanwhile, Spartacus, Mira, Agron and the others are underneath the literal bowels of the arena, overpowering the guards and get into position. As Spartacus and Agron don the guards’ uniforms and position themselves inside the arena, Mira and the warriors douse and set fire to the walls; thus they have set in motion the wheels that would help them rescue Crixus. Meanwhile in the arena, the execution is cloaked as a “battle”, in which Oenomaus strikes the first blow, raging at Gannicus for bedding his dead wife.

The battle is pitched, with Crixus fighting like a man possessed; he clearly has a point to prove. Agron is impatient, and quickly wants to jump into action, but Spartacus tells him they must wait until the fire takes down the arena; as that way their task would be much easier to carry out. Crixus and Oenomaus (and the other Gaul) put up as fierce a fight as they can, just as they had planned, but it looks like they’ve run out of steam, from the looks of it. Just then, the fire does its job, as the stands collapse, causing absolute pandemonium. Spartacus and Agron make their move, dispatching the warriors and saving Crixus in the process; just as planned. But unfortunately a piece of the canopy structure falls on top of Gannicus and Oenomaus.

However, Gannicus proves what side he’s really on when he helps Spartacus save Oenomaus; thus his dislike for the Romans seems to have gotten the better of him, in the end. They all manage to escape in the same manner in which they came; thus the endeavor of Spartacus and his men to save Crixus, is a resounding success. Meanwhile, as chaos reigns, Glaber happens upon his father-in-law, pinned under strong timber; he is apparently is real trouble. Instead of saving his life, Glaber kills him; thus eliminating a major thorn in his eye. Shortly, he “sadly” reports his father-in-law’s demise; putting up a rather convincing act. Instantly sensing that his power base has been weakened, Virinius leaves, abandoning the plan to marry Ilithyia. The episode ends with Ilithyia forced to look on helplessly as Glaber proudly proclaims his return to status; much to her dismay.

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Warning: Spartacus: War of the Damned season 2 episode 5 guide may contain spoilers
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