|Date Aired||April 12, 2013|
|Writer||Steven S. DeKnight|
|Previous||The Dead and the Dying|
Spartacus and his outnumbered rebels make one last attempt to win freedom in an epic final battle against the Romans led by Marcus Crassus.
SynopsisWe open in battle between rebels and Romans. Pollux and Rabanus are easily killing Roman guards. Gannicus tells a Roman lord to spread the word to free the slaves or see more destruction. The Roman asks who he is and he says "I am Spartacus." This turns out to be a strategic plan by Spartacus as other battles across the land with various Rebels proclaiming the same, including Nasir, Lugo, Pleuratos, and Spartacus himself. Spartacus makes plans, Gannicus believes that they may not work. Spartacus thinks it will hold them off. Agron offers to help so Spartacus asks him to grip a sword and of course, he can't, because of his crucifixion injuries. Spartacus assures him that he will serve a purpose leading the Rebel slaves to the mountains with Nasir at his side. Nasir later shows a special shield, with an image of a red serpent, and sword he crafted that ties to his hand so Agron can fight. Agron says he will fight, and not go to the mountains. Nasir assures him he'll stay by his side. Gannicus says goodbye to Sibyl, and they share an intimate moment before parting ways and tells her she must go with the others to the mountains and freedom. He then tells her about how she once said that he was sent by the Gods to save her. He tells her she was wrong, and that she was sent to save him. Crassus prepares to meet Spartacus by sparring with his men. He proves himself a very proficient dual-swordsmanship specialist. Kore is brought to him in shackles and the two go into his tent. She looks at the Tiberius face mold and Crassus says he appears at peace, she agrees. He says it's a false image of the boy he knew who was always with the furrowed brow, just like his father. Crassus is reflective and she says she wishes nothing more that their journeys had set a different path. Caesar enters and says Spartacus' men have been spotted. She wants to tell him what happened in order to gain his forgiveness though he responds by saying he cannot be moved.
Spartacus and Laeta talk about her helping to lead those who flee to the mountains. She wants to wait for him there. He says she shouldn't jeopardize her own life and that of the others by waiting on him. She tells him she has faith he will defeat Crassus. He thanks her for her faith and the comfort she has offered him.
Agron reports for duty and Spartacus tells him how proud he is of him as the last man standing that he holds to heart from The House of Batiatus.
Spartacus gives one last speech to the assembled, both combatants and fleeing slaves. He says many will fall but they should know that their blood will give them the opportunity to gain the mountain path away from death and misery of Rome. "Part ways and live free." First the Rebel Mother comes up to him with her newborn clutched in her hand and offers eternal gratitiude to the Thracian. Following this, many others come up to offer their gratitude to Spartacus and say their goodbyes to each other. Castus arrives on horseback and says Crassus' men are on the way. Spartacus tells everybody to get going and gives Laeta one last kiss.Gannicus says he's done with tearful farewells, now he desires blood. Spartacus replies "Let us make it so."The armies march towards one another and stand their ground across a field. Spartacus says not to engage until given command. Rufus advances and Spartacus throws a spear at him, forcing him to stop. The rider says Crassus wants to talk. Up on a hill, Crassus, Caesar, Rufus and a clutch of men meet with Spartacus and his main Rebels: Gannicus, Agron, Nasir, Naevia, and Castus. Crassus tells his men to leave him alone with Spartacus and disarms himself. Caesar protests but Crassus asserts his order. Spartacus then does the same and the two leaders are left alone. Spartacus wonders why he called him up. Crassus says the same reason he came; curiosity. Crassus remarks that after all this time they have never even broken words. Spartacus states it makes no difference. Crassus says Spartacus can't win this time, but Spartacus notes he's been told that by every Roman he's conquered. It is here that Crassus learns the truth about Kore and Tiberius. Crassus tries to talk about their losses, but Spartacus warns him to not make those things equal, by pointing out the misery his wife Sura endured and the suffering it caused him. Spartacus says that even if they lose they are making the decision of their own free will. Crassus wonders if Spartacus gets justice for his wife if he'll withdraw from the Republic. Spartacus says there is no justice in this world. Crassus says that is something they can finally agree on. They shake hands as a sign of respect. Spartacus says when they meet again he will kill him and Crassus says he will try. Spartacus responds it's all a free man can do. The two then part ways and return to their respective armies. Crassus is livid and goes back to his tent to confront Kore and Caesar and the truth comes out fully. Kore confesses when Crassus says only the truth will gain forgiveness. He is devastated and puts a knife to her neck and Caesar explains that Tiberius raped her. He asks why she didn't tell him. She says she tried. He flashes back to telling Kore on the night she left that nothing could turn him against his son. Caesar says they didn't want to cause him further pain. Crassus looks at the mold of Tiberius' face and destroys it, seeing himself in it. Kore tries to reassure him. He apologizes to her for all she has suffered and tells her it shall end when Spartacus falls. He embraces her. Spartacus lingers on a map of his homeland Thrace. Gannicus enters and they talk about the cost of war. He asks if he doesn't think they can defeat Crassus. Gannicus says he's been a miracle worker thus far but the odds are against him. Spartacus reminisces to him about his wife and her vision that he would never love another woman. He says it was true with her loss. Spartacus says that he now realizes that the point is not killing Romans but the lives of those fleeing that they protect. Gannicus says he's on board. Spartacus says that he has to be a leader now more than ever then. Gannicus is reluctant at first but Spartacus remains insistent. Gannicus then asks Spartacus what he would have him do. Spartacus says "the impossible".
The next day, the two sides square off. Crassus gives his gratitude to Caesar for his loyalty. Rufus sneers that Spartacus is a fool for facing them with so few men. Crassus retorts that Spartacus has proven to be many things but a fool is not among them.
Spartacus and his army prepare themselves on the battlefield. Spartacus again recalls his wife, after looking to Agron's shield, and rallies up his troops with a rousing battle cry that it is time to show the slave-holders that all who draw breath are equal. The slaves begin to shout and cheer.
Crassus tells his men to show no mercy. The Romans then use siege engines to rain pitch pots and ballista bolts on the rebel army, to which Spartacus orders the rebel army to advance, so that the siege weaponry cannot fire without the risk of hitting Roman lines. The Roman infantry advance in tandem.Unexpectedly, Spartacus halts the rebel charge, with the Roman front line continuing to advance and falls into a concealed rebel trap comprised of punji stakes, impaling many. The rebel army then unleashes a torrent of arrows at the Roman line while the latter flounders in confusion, but the Romans change to a protective position. The rebels then pull up planks concealed in the sand to bridge the chasm created by the trap, Spartacus leading their advance, throwing himself into the thick of the fighting. Crassus orders the siege engines to open fire again, even though this means killing his own men with the fire as well. He says it will end the war, and fratricide in this instance is acceptable. Spartacus tells his people to press forward ahead of the fire. Lugo is set on fire by a catapult and consumed but not before he kills several Romans. Caesar is appalled at Crassus' indifference to the fates of his men. Crassus forcefully reiterates that it's a necessary evil and believes the battle will end soon, when large numbers of Rebel cavalry lead by Gannicus and Saxa sweep up, ambushing the Roman troops manning the siege engines. Gannicus orders Saxa and Correus to dismount and turn the siege weapons against the rear of the Roman lines and for Pleuratos to hold the left flank. This explains the comparatively minuscule size of Spartacus' original forces. Seeing the flank being overpowered, Crassus sends Caesar to lead the rear's defence. The fighting becomes confusing and intense with many falling. Castus is killed by a Roman soldier on a horse. Agron and Nasir go to him and he tells them he wishes he could've been Agron for a day. The two, inflamed at the death of their comrade, then move to continue the fight. Spartacus orders Naevia to aid Gannicus and for Agron and Nasir to stay together. Crassus calls out to Spartacus, charging on horseback towards him. Spartacus runs forward and jumps up, knocking Crassus off his horse mid-charge. Crassus is winded, but Spartacus is also briefly wounded. Rufus and other Roman troops surround their Imperator, dragging him off to safety before Spartacus can get back to him. Spartacus, Agron, and Nasir meet up and Agron calls it a glorious day with so many Romans to kill. But Spartacus only has his eye on one. He tells Agron and Nasir to keep fighting them off while he pursues Crassus. Gannicus and Saxa throw jugs of flammable pitch at the counterattacking Romans and then heave flaming brands into their midst, immolating many of them. Caesar and Gannicus meet up in the field and begin to fight. They are distracted from one another and then Saxa is overpowered and stabbed through the stomach. Gannicus runs to her and holds her. She then tells him she once again finds herself in her arms in her native tongue and smiles before dying. Gannicus cradles her in death and becomes enraged at her passing, moving back into battle.
Naevia charges against Caesar, but is bested by him. Caesar grabs her sword and thrusts it into Naevia's neck, killing her. Gannicus cries out and heads towards Caesar again. The Romans box them in as they fight. As Gannicus has the upper hand, Caesar retreats from single combat and Gannicus futilely tries to fight off the entire army. Tired by the battle, he loses his two swords ans falls to his knees. He falls and Caesar grins, ordering his soldiers to stop. He approaches him and then knocks him out with the butt of his sword.Crassus is carried up to a ridge by his men but angrily demands to return to the fight, contrary to the insistence of Rufus not to risk his life. Spartacus, however, appears charging up the ridge. He slaughters all but Crassus, sustaining a few minor injuries in the process. it is just him and Crassus left facing each other. They begin to spar, both dual-wielding swords. Crassus proves a worthy opponent in single combat, and they both get in their licks. As he fights he first pictures Mira and her death, then Varro in his, before finally seeing his wife being pulled away and then her dead. They continue to battle and Spartacus manages to disarm Crassus, thrusting his sword in for the final kill. Crassus, however, uses a distinct strategy by grabbing Spartacus' blade and yanking it from Spartacus with his bare hands, and shoving the blade at Spartacus' torso. Spartacus, however, proves himself like-minded and stops the blade using the exact same trick, headbutts Crassus and body slams him into the dirt. Crassus is soundly defeated. Spartacus is about to finish him off when he himself is impaled by three spears hurled by a small band of arriving Roman troops. Crassus yells at them to halt as Spartacus falls to the ground in agony, still alive. Crassus, admiration clearly visible, says to him "Would that you'd been born Roman and stood beside me." Spartacus replies "I bless the fates it was not so." He's slipping away, looking at some discarded thread on the ground but instead hallucinating the purple thread of his wife. Crassus raises a sword, about to perform the coup de grâce as Spartacus closes his eyes and sees his wife. Unexpectedly, Agron rides up along Nasir and the retreating remnants of the Rebel army and knocks Crassus off a small cliff on the ridge, killing the Romans who threw the spears at Spartacus. Agron stares at a stunned Crassus wallowing in the dirt, probably contemplating whether to kill the latter, but Nasir yells at him to come over and attend to the still impaled Spartacus, who asks for a sword. He looks back on the fight and views the ultimate defeat of his army.
Caesar and other Roman troops stream up from the victorious field of battle to come to Crassus' aid. They scramble back up the hill but Spartacus is gone. Crassus says he's bleeding to death and orders the remainder of the captured revolting slaves crucified at the side of the Appian Way as a deterrent to any slaves throughout the Roman Republic who would think of turning against their masters again.
Upon the Appian Way, Nails are then driven into Gannicus' wrists into a crossbeam. He's to be crucified along with the other slaves. Caesar smiles, noting it as an ignoble ends to a God of the Arena. Kore is crucified next to him. Crassus is clearly saddened but says he did what he had too, because Kore had participated in the rebellion on the side of Spartacus, whatever the case may be.Pompey arrives with Metellus a flourish and reports that he came upon Spartacus in the north and defeated him as they tried to flee to the mountains. Caesar is livid saying he knows this is a lie and that Spartacus was defeated right there. Crassus, however, sees oppurtunity and says Spartacus was defeated in the north by Pompey, who he then calls Hero of Hispania. Pompey says Crassus honors him, but Crassus says he honors Rome and those who are of like mind who would see her flourish. Pompey, knowing full well what Crassus is doing, thanks him and agrees and states that they should dine once they return to Rome. Caesar can't believe that after all they've been through that Crassus would let Pompey take all the credit for victory when Pompey and his men played no part in the final victory over Spartacus. Crassus says that public support will make Pompey their ally and they shall stand a fearsome Triumvirate with means to change the course of history. Caesar remarks how Crassus always speaks on the future but Crassus states the past can't be changed and the present has nothing but suffering, giving Kore one last look before walking off with Caesar.
Gannicus begins to fade in and out of life, but has a vision of Oenomaus. He smiles and lets go with the sights and the sounds of the arena chanting his name. He lets out one last fearsome battle cry.Spartacus awakens upon the foot of the Alps. "He yet lives!", Agron yells. He is surrounded by Nasir, Laeta, and Sibyl, and others, who did in fact wait for him and are all huddled around him. He asks if all are safe. Agron reports that Pompey set upon them on the way into the mountains and many were lost. Laeta says they must see Spartacus to the path before they are discovered. Spartacus demurs and says he will rest awhile. Nasir says he can't stay. Spartacus says he cannot follow either. Laeta murmurs his name. Spartacus begins to take his last breaths. He says "Spartacus... that is not my name. I shall finally hear it again, given voice by loving wife." He tells them to not shed tears because there is no greater victory than to fall from this world a free man. They all, understandably, cry anyway. A shadow comes over the sun as the "bringer of rain" fades away. It begins to rain. Agron closes the dead Spartacus' eyes and says "One day Rome shall fade and crumble yet you shall always be remembered in the hearts of all who yearn for freedom." He then kisses Spartacus' head. They raise a cairn over Spartacus' unmarked grave, adorned with the special shield emblazoned with a serpent and sword crafted for Agron by Nasir. Agron, Nasir, Laeta, Sibyl, and the others take to the mountain path to the north, the road to freedom.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Sura (memories)
- Mira (memories)
- Varro (memories)
- Oenomaus (vision)
- Historically, the final battle between the forces of Spartacus and Marcus Licinius Crassus took place at the Battle of the Siler River in the southern Italian region of Calabria (at the time called Bruttium) in 71 BCE. In the series, the setting of the final battle takes place somewhere in Gallia Cisalpina (now the Lombardy region in northern Italy) at the foot of the Alps.
- In history, both Castus and Gannicus were killed in a separate battle from Spartacus' last stand at the Siler River. Gannicus' battle took place some days earlier than the Siler River at the Battle of Mons Camalatrum (Mount Soprano) in Lucania (modern region of Basilicata). Gannicus and Castus are both thought to have died in the fighting.
- Upon the final battle, to protect his army from the rebel archers, Marcus Crassus orders his front unit to use the famous roman tactic known as Testudo. However Spartacus and his army lift hidden ladders from under the ground to move over the formation and renders the latter useless.
- After surviving his last encounter with Spartacus and seeing the rebels have been successfully corralled, Marcus orders Caesar to punish the surviving rebels along the Appian Way.
- Despite Gannicus being the only member of the rebellion to have been legally free, he dies by the Appian Way, as any other slave.
- When Naevia exchanges blows with Caesar, his sword slices the right side of her neck, but when he kills her, the wound has somehow moved to the left side. A similar thing happens with Spartacus' left arm manica, which moves for a brief second to the right, just after Spartacus commands Naevia to aid Gannicus.
- The main infantry tactic used by Marcus Crassus during the final battle is known as the Triple Line (Triple Axies). The formation is divided in three ranks, the first rank (which used Testudo), the principes in the second rank, and the veteran triarii in the third and final rank (this last being Marcus Crassus and Caesar).
- During the final credits of the episode, the writers and producers chose to credit (by showcasing an image) all of the actors that had a significant role during the series, including the late Andy Whitfield.
- This episode contained the most deaths of main characters: Lugo, Castus, Saxa, Naevia, Kore, Gannicus and Spartacus were all killed.
- Spartacus incorrectly states that Agron is the last gladiator standing that was with him from Batiatus' ludus. Background characters, Pollux, The Veteran, Rabanus, Litaviccus and Lydon are all former gladiators from Batiatus' Ludus and present for the final battle.
- Lydon and Litaviccus, however, did not appear in Blood and Sand.
- Spartacus may have also been referencing that Agron is the last person from the ludus that he has held to heart.
- The conversation between Spartacus and Gannicus before the final battle is a "finish" to their conversation that took place in Enemies of Rome.
- Spartacus initially held that the more Romans he killed the better off the rebels would be, an act which Gannicus saw as empty. At the end of the season Spartacus realises that the death of Romans means nothing and that the lives of the rebels is worth more, something Gannicus agrees with wholeheartedly.
Caesar: "I've longed to meet you in true contest."
Gannicus: "And I have longed to see your head parted from fucking neck!"
Crassus: (Upon Spartacus being mortally wounded) "Would that you'd been born a Roman...that stood beside me."
Spartacus: "A blessed fate...that it was not so."
Caesar: "You forever speak of the future."
Crassus: "Past cannot be altered. The present holds but regret and loss. It is only in the days to come that a man may find solace... when memory fades."
Spartacus: "There is no greater victory... than to fall from this world... a free man."
Spartacus: "Spartacus... That is not my name. I shall finally hear it again... Given voice by loving wife, in greeting longed for."
Agron: (To dying Spartacus) "One day Rome shall fade and crumble. Yet you shall always be remembered in the hearts of all who yearn for freedom." (Last line in the show)
- ↑ Spartacus: War of the Damned Season 3; Episode 10