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The Dead and the Dying - Recap

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The episode begins and a small group of Roman soldiers huddle around a fire. Their leader complains that they have only one rabbit to eat amongst them. Suddenly, a flaming arrow pierces him through the gut. Attacking this small group of Roman soldiers is Spartacus and company, who discover that these Romans are not wearing the crest of Crassus. Laeta confirms that these are Pompey’s men and the rebels realize that they are caught between two armies, each vying to be the one that takes down Spartacus.

A lone rider approaches them and it’s a battered and defeated Naevia, who is carrying with her, the head of Crixus. Naevia, who seems in a really bad shape, tells everyone of the many victories the rebels had and how they stood before the very gates of Rome itself until Crassus caught up with them. She describes to them how Crixus was brutally killed. Nasir asks Naevia about Agron, but she remains silent. Naevia says that she was spared only to taunt Spartacus with vision of his end. Spartacus says that the rebels should not waste time fretting over Crassus because Pompey, who is closing in, is the more pressing threat. Crassus and Tiberius express their frustration that despite all of their various methods of torture, none of the rebels will spill any vital intel on where Spartacus is or what he is doing.

News arrives that the woman, who knew about Tiberius raping Kore, has been mysteriously murdered. Caesar knows that this is Tiberius’ doing although Tiberius feigns ignorance. Two soldiers from Pompey approach, carrying news of a possible parley. Crassus is in no mood to accept any such offer because he assumes that Pompey wants this meeting to happen in his camp. The envoy says that Pompey is suggesting that the two men bring twenty soldiers and meet on neutral ground. Caesar suggests sending Tiberius instead of Crassus himself going to this meeting because Tiberius is the word and will of Crassus. Crassus is not sure if Tiberius is seasoned enough for this task, but Caesar assures Crassus that he is. Tiberius is pleased at the turn of events, imagining that Caesar has learnt his lesson.

Naevia has a talk with Kore, and asks her, why she did not kill Crassus in his sleep, when she had the chance. Kore grieves with Naevia over her loss and says that they cannot live in the past. Tiberius shows up for his meeting with Pompey and discovers that the envoy did not come from Pompey at all, but from Spartacus. Caesar recognized the men as belonging to Spartacus, but said nothing, so he could send Tiberius to his doom. Tiberius is chained by the rebels, and Kore catches a glimpse of him. Spartacus announces they will have games to honor the fallen, so he saves Tiberius and his men to sacrifice in the arena and gives Naevia the sword Crixus had earlier taken from Tiberius. Agron is still alive and Crassus orders him crucified, so Agron is nailed to a board and hung from a cross.

A real envoy from Pompey arrives, which leads Crassus to suspect that the first one was sent by Spartacus. Crassus refuses to believe Tiberius is dead and sends Caesar to find a way to bring him home. In the rebel camp, Tiberius is seething that Caesar betrayed him. Kore comes to gloat, and Tiberius tells her that Crassus still loves her, and that if she can find a way to free him, he will restore her to his father’s good graces. Kore seems genuinely moved to hear about Crassus’ feelings. She tells Tiberius that she will return for him in the evening, when they drag him onto the sand and kick him around. The rebels prepare a makeshift arena for the games and Spartacus takes the lead as an announcer.

The first Roman is brought out and Tiberius has instructed his men not to fight back, not to offer entertainment to the masses, so the Roman throws his sword to the ground. Despite this, Spartacus swiftly chops off his head and the crowd seems highly entertained. Spartacus has two Romans sent out next and fights the both of them. While watching the games, Sibyl and Gannicus have a heart to heart. Gannicus takes to the arena next and to one-up Spartacus he takes on three Romans at once. While Gannicus is fighting, Spartacus spends a few intimate moments with Laeta. Spartacus notices Laeta shying away from watching the games and asks her if it is because her kind is being killed. Laeta says that the Romans are not her kind anymore, and that she is looking away because of the gore.

While the rebels are busy killing the Romans one by one, Tiberius looks nervous because he knows it will soon be his turn. Lugo, Saxa and Nasir get their turn in the ring, while Naevia waits anxiously. She tells Spartacus that she used to loathe the games, but now they are all she longs for. A solider comes to Gannicus and Spartacus and informs them that Caesar has come to see them. Gannicus is not happy to see him, but Spartacus wants to hear him out. Caesar offers 500 of Spartacus’ men in exchange for the life of Tiberius. Tiberius meantime is being led out to fight Naevia. Despite his fear, Tiberius tries to show bravado, calling Naevia a slave and asking for his sword back. In return, Naevia scornfully calls him a woman. The two begin fighting and Naevia proves more than a match for Tiberius and right when she is about to chop off his head, Spartacus stays her hand.

Kore and the entire crowd are clearly disappointed, but Spartacus tells them of Caesar’s deal and lets Naevia decide what to do. Naevia decides the lives of her people are worth more than killing Tiberius, though she punches him in the face and says that she will soon kill him. Spartacus brings Tiberius forward to give to Caesar, when Kore rushes up and stabs Tiberius right in the kidneys. Tiberius collapses to the ground and both Caesar and Spartacus are not happy with what just happened. Kore says that Crassus will still make the exchange; if they offer him something he would want as much as an alive Tiberius. Next a grief-stricken Crassus, who is leaning over Tiberius’ body, is told by Caesar that Spartacus agreed to make the deal but an old slave man rushed from the crowd to kill Tiberius.

Crassus wonders why Caesar went ahead and made the deal anyway. He says he took advantage of an unforeseen opportunity and presents Kore to Crassus. He kisses her, but when she melts and calls him Marcus, he coldly tells her, that from now on she is his slave and should call him dominus. As per the deal, the wounded rebels are returned to Spartacus. Nasir and Agron are relived and overjoyed to see each other. In a final ceremony, the rebels pay homage to Crixus and the others who were killed. Spartacus gives a stirring speech, asking the rebels to prepare for the final stand against Rome. The episode ends at this point.

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Warning: Spartacus: War of the Damned season 3 episode 9 guide may contain spoilers
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