Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spartacus Power Rankings, Vol. 8

Spartacus: War of the Damned, Episode 8 - "Separate Paths"

Unranked this week: Gannicus, Sibyl, Castus

10. Senator Metellus - While I'm sure we were to some extent supposed to see Marcus Crassus's infuriated physical/verbal beatdown of Senator Metellus as an "Oh no, Crassus off the rails!" moment, Metellus is such a gutless turd – a power-hungry coward – that it was all I could do not to stand and applaud to see him bloodied and trembling, literally on his knees before Crassus.

9. Julius Caesar - Before starting this episode, if you'd asked me to list the top thousand things I thought might happen within the hour, I honestly doubt "Tiberius Crassus demonstrates his dominance by raping Julius Caesar" would have made the cut. But rape he did, and Caesar was left brutalized, horseless, and even had his kills stolen by Tiberius in the final battle. Caesar has officially hit rock bottom. The silver lining is that there's nowhere to go but up.

8. The newborn baby - The newborn baby who did nothing but drain resources is listed here strictly to demonstrate by juxtaposition how low-ranked Senator Metellus and Julius Caesar truly are.

7. Kore - Kore had a bit of a tough time this week, having her past as Crassus's personal body slave discovered and being handled roughly by Spartacus, who feared a spy. But in the end she was at least cautiously accepted by the rebels. I can't help but remain a little suspicious myself, though.

6. Team Alps (Spartacus and company) - Spartacus, Gannicus, Saxa, Nasir, and all the rest who broke off from Team Crixus to lead the non-combatant rebels to safety didn't technically accomplish anything beyond not dying and living to fight another day, their cocks raging on. But still, compared to the fate that befell Team Crixus, I'd say that still counts as a kind of victory, and you know they'll strike back with furious vengeance.

5. Laeta - Laeta basically accomplished what the rest of Team Alps did – i.e. heading for the Alps – but she also got laid, so, hey, good for her.

4. Agron & Naevia - While they may have ultimately fallen – Agron stabbed and possibly but not necessarily dead, Naevia captured – Crixus's top lieutenants in his fearless charge into the heart of Rome sure as hell kicked some ass along the way, and sent many a Roman to the afterlife. The gods themselves salute them.

3. Marcus Crassus - As much as it pains me to admit, Crassus made the smart move closing in on Crixus and doing so within seconds of the end of another battle, when Crixus's forces already stood weakened. This week marked a huge, decisive military victory for Team Crassus.

2. Tiberius Crassus - Hey, speaking of hating to admit things! Here we're ramming up against the Power Rankings issue of acknowledging a character's accomplishments vs. hating them, and make no mistake, I surely hate Tiberius. He's a spoiled, sniveling little brat, a backstabber (in the sense of betraying his father), a backstabber (in the sense of waiting in battle to literally stab people in the back), a rapist, and an all-around piece of shit. He and Joffrey could be best friends. But – and here's the rub – he is clearly the most powerful character on Spartacus as of the end of "Separate Paths," triumphant in his rivalry with Caesar, back in favor of his father, and the defeater of the Undefeated Gaul. His death cannot arrive soon enough.

1. Crixus - But still, there's no way Tiberius is going above Crixus, a champion and a true God of the Arena. His final assault against Rome may have ended in his death, but it was a spectacular fight indeed, etching his name into history for millennia to come and beyond. Hail Crixus!

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