Saturday, March 2, 2013

Spartacus Power Rankings, Vol. 5

Spartacus: War of the Damned, Episode 5 - "Blood Brothers"

Unranked this week: Naevia, Kore, Sibyl, Senator Metellus

10. Nemetes - I said in last week's Power Rankings of Nemetes' activities in episode 4 that "he rockets clear to the top of the list of this show's most death-worthy living characters," and damn if one of the great things about Spartacus is the way it never delays your satisfaction. Nemetes not only dies by Caesar's hand, but does so promising to betray Spartacus, stopping just shy of of begging for his life like a fucking coward, and then slowly gargling to death on his own blood. Not only a death but a pathetic and ignominious one. There's one rapist down!

9. Tiberius Crassus - ...Aaaand immediately replaced by another. Not cool, Tiberius. Not cool. You have lost your affectionate "Tibby" nickname, and now you must die too, preferably sooner rather than later.

8. Heracleo - Speaking of the dead! Yeah, when he finally betrayed Spartacus, even a wounded Spartacus took Heracleo's life as easily as you or I might swat a gnat, which is pretty embarrassing. But still, he did at least smuggle those Roman soldiers into Sinuessa en Valle, which is something. I mean, all those soldiers died too, but it provided the necessary distraction. Still, dying when you clearly didn't intend to can only land you so high on this list.

7. Crixus / Laeta, the Deceived Duo - These two characters outwardly seem to have little in common – I mean, the former does want the latter dead – but in this particular episode they are very much alike in the way they are ultimately tricked and used by Spartacus as part of his greater scheme against Crassus. Still, both deserve some praise, Crixus for his performance in the battle at episode's end, Laeta for keeping the steel in her spine while confronting Crassus.

6. Gannicus - Gannicus, leader? This episode says maybe! Also, his "Oh god" reaction to seeing Sibyl was funny as shit.

5. Spartacus - Pros: Raided Crassus' food caravan like a boss. He also hatched a pretty complex and interesting scheme, the aforementioned one involving Crixus and Laeta, and crafted an impressive military strategy to use against Crassus. Cons: Said scheme and strategy were pretty much rendered useless when Crassus attacked ahead of schedule, and he got his Thracian ass stabbed in the shoulder. Spartacus lives on, but it's fair to say he's having a bit of a tough time of things at the moment.

4. Nasir - Nasir is mostly this high for his very well-said "The collar that once bound my neck is but distant memory. Do not think I will slip it round again for you!" retort to Agron. But he also kicked a respectable amount of ass in the final skirmish.

3. Agron / Saxa / Donar, the Triple Teamup - Looking cool, jumping down from roofs in slow motion, killing bad guys, defending the gates. Just bein' badasses. Rock and roll.

2. Marcus Crassus - Assuming the assault on Sinuessa en Valle was planned by Crassus' own hand, it must be said: He won this one. He just plain acted faster and played it smarter than Spartacus and the rebel army, and did a brilliant job turning their seemingly massively advantageous walled city into a death trap as he cornered it by sea and land, strolling right on through the gates with a battering ram and a little assist from the inside. He also got in some more good cracks at Senator Metellus' expense. (I'm less certain about some of his parenting, but I guess we'll see how that plays out next week.)

1. Julius Caesar - Wait, is it against the rules to put the same person at the top of Spartacus Power Rankings two weeks in a row? Thankfully, as I make the rules on this blog, it don't matter none! And besides, "Decimation" and "Blood Brothers" essentially form a "Caesar kicks all the ass" two-parter, with him this week once again thoroughly deceiving the rebels, then killing Nemetes and his boys, getting a good stabbing in against Spartacus, holding off Agron and Saxa and Donar all at once at episode's end, then lighting up the door to Sinuessa en Valle and slamming the episode shut with an awesome one-liner. Yep, Caesar's a badass.

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