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Spartacus: War Of The Damned S03E09 “Victory”

“Victory” is all about the final battle between Spartacus and Crassus, the epic and decisive end to the rebellion. I don’t want to go into too much detail, because it was so incredibly done and intense that I don’t want to take that away from anyone. But I’ll at least briefly summarize.

After the highly emotional tribute to Crixus at the end of the last episode, Spartacus asks the still-injured Agron to lead those who cannot fight north while he and the others engage Crassus to distraction. Agron protests, and is eventually allowed to join the battle after Nasir fashions him some custom armor. With Gannicus leading one group of rebels and Spartacus the other, they engage the Romans in battle. Gannicus, Naevia and Saxa all fall, but Spartacus is determined to take Crassus down. He pursues the Roman leader, but is finally brought to his knees. Before Crassus can claim his life, though, Agron and Nasir intervene. By the time the Romans regroup, Spartacus is gone. Agron and Nasir remove him from the heat of the battle, and he dies among his few surviving friends, happy to be joining his beloved wife in the afterlife.

I won’t lie, you will need a lot of Kleenex to get through this episode. It’s very difficult to watch at times – the sequence leading up to Gannicus’s capture and subsequent death is absolutely brutal. Even though he goes down fighting, the anticipation and inevitability of it had me on the edge of my seat. Interestingly, of all the deaths, I found his the most difficult to stomach. Not the fact that he had to die, but the way it happened – I just would’ve wanted more for him. It’s my only real complaint about the way things turned out.

While I was sad that Spartacus died, I was glad that he was able to pass among friends. The fact that it was Agron by his side made it all the more meaningful – he was the last of the gladiators from the ludus, and he was there when this whole journey started. His goodbye was very touching, and I am thankful to Steven DeKnight for having both Agron and Nasir survive. It was a nice balm at the end of an emotionally exhausting episode. And just when you think it’s over, the closing credits pay a wonderful tribute to all the characters we’ve loved and hated over the years. Really amazing stuff.

What an amazing, emotional journey this whole series has been! I am so sad to see it end, but I feel like they delivered everything they promised, and I loved every minute of it.

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