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‘Spartacus: War of the Damned’ Review: “Mors Indecepta”

Spartacus War of the Damned Mors Indecepta Review
Starz

Spartacus: War of the Damned’ builds a bridge with its seventh episode of the final season “Mors Indecepta,” as Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) desperately attempts to keep his people alive and find an escape from the snowy ridge of their entrapment, while Kore (Jenna Lind) and Caesar (Todd Lasance) attempt to take action against a newly re-instated Tiberius (Christian Antidormi).

Last week’s ‘Spartacus: War of the Damned’ episode “Spoils of War” saw Spartacus and his followers driven from the city, while Gannicus (Dustin Clare) became trapped within its walls and Crassus (Simon Merrells) held a ceremony in honor of Caesar’s victory, so what will the latest episode of ‘Spartacus’ final season bring? Will the rebel armies triumph over Rome, or go down in history as a failed slave uprising?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Spartacus: War of the Damned’ episode 7, “Mors Indecepta!”

Still trapped on the snowy ridge, hundreds of Spartacus’ dead followers line the trench, as those who try to climb out are struck down by the looming Romans. Spartacus and the rebels see that from the other side Crassus’ army has begun to advance, to which Crixus riles them all for battle, but Spartacus successfully predicts that they only intend to set up camp and wait for their commander.

Back in Sinuessa, Crassus calls Tiberius before him to present him with armor once more, restoring his title in the wake of the recent victory. Meanwhile, Caesar continues to heal and enjoy his consort’s company, unaware of his nemesis’ elevation.

Back at the rebel encampment Gannicus continues to grow more concerned of his fellow man’s survival, while Nasir prevents a rebel from attacking a still-bound Castus. Spartacus pays a visit to a still-healing Laeta, urging her to keep her strength up despite her depression at being cast out from Roman society. Spartacus reminds her that he too has endured pain and loss, and should she survive her injury, they can swap tales of woe.

Tiberius pays another menacing visit to Kore to update her of his recent ascension, a prospect that prove joyous until the boy reveals Crassus intends to appoint Tiberius as overseer of Sinuessa, with Kore to run the villa. Immediately after, Kore begs to break words with Crassus on the matter, but Crassus brushes her off to leave for the snowy ridge.

Spartacus observes the Praetorium Crassus appears to have erected to his impending victory, formulating an idea with the others to attack silently in the night. Under cover of darkness, Spartacus and his best men attack the guards and advance on the tent, but instead find the sight of a crucified Donar inside. Carved upon his chest are the words “Mors Indecepta,” which Spartacus translates as “death is undecievable,” before a hidden Roman force attacks from behind. Spartacus and his men fight their way out, sustaining only a leg wound for Naevia in the process, though Crixus’ dissatisfaction at fleeing the Romans again becomes clear.

Stressed by his failure, Crassus summons Tiberius and Caesar to his villa and presses them to fall to command, though Caesar balks at the idea of serving under Tiberius. Crassus reminds Caesar of all that’s been awarded in his name already, and commands him to fall in line. Caesar vents his frustration in private, but having observed the argument, Kore asks to break words of their common enemy, Tiberius. The wolf remains unmoved by a slave’s words, but comes around when she points out victory over Spartacus will solidify Tiberius’ favored position with his father.

Back at the rebel camp, Spartacus observes Sibyl and her fellow slaves praying in the cold, before leaving to break words with Crixus. Unwilling to hide from the Romans any longer, Crixus elects to lead his own force against Crassus’ men, but when Spartacus commands him to fall in line another brawl breaks out between the brothers. Gannicus breaks up the scrap, reminding the two that all need to find shelter with the approaching winter storm.

With Crassus arrived at the snowy camp, the Imperator is surprised by the appearance of Caesar and Kore, the latter of which continues to beg an audience. Crassus assures Kore that he appointed her to head the villa under Tiberius as a gift, so that she and Crassus might have a place of their own when he visits, as Kore quickly realizes there will be no swaying the man against the subtly sinister nature of his own son. The two make love, but after Crassus falls asleep, Kore ominously reaches for a dagger nearby.

Back with the rebels, Agron makes a point of freeing Castus at Nasir’s request, while Saxa expresses her concern to Spartacus that she can’t find Gannicus. Meanwhile, Gannicus pulls Sibyl away from the devout slaves still praying in the freezing cold, while Spartacus gives up the search and hesitantly agrees to huddle with Laeta for warmth. Unable to reach the camp, Gannicus carries Sibyl to an overturned cart for shelter, where the two huddle for warmth and finally give in to their passions.

The next day, Spartacus observes the praying slaves that have frozen solid, learning that some 1000 were lost to the storm. A returning Gannicus and Sibyl observe that the followers’ prayers seem to have gone unheeded, but Spartacus derives an idea from the frozen bodies. Defrosting his relationship with Crixus, Spartacus points out that much of Crassus’ plans involve deception, and by that logic there wouldn’t be as many Roman legions beyond the trench as initially feared. In any case, should his theory prove wrong, Crixus will at least have his glorious battle.

Over at the trench, the rebels take out the nearest guards, climbing up the ridge with a grappling hook. Spartacus and Crixus indeed finds the Roman force far smaller than previously thought, and the rebels mount an assault. Once the battle turns in their favor, Spartacus urges Lugo to get to work hammering out a passage through the ridge.

The Roman officials rouse Crassus in his tent, informing him of the wall’s breach, as Crassus realizes that Kore must have cut her way out of the tent’s rear and fled. Indeed we see Kore among the rebels, as Crassus, Caesar and Tiberius observe how Spartacus made his escape. The rebel leader managed to lead his people over the trench by building a bridge from the bodies of the dead, but the realization is quickly interrupted by Spartacus himself and the others attacking from the ridge. Crassus and his men flee, as Spartacus  prepares his men to move out, and eventually avenge their losses.

Though a bleak outing prophesied through the episode’s white title card, “Mors Indecepta” proves a significantly entertaining installment of the final series. However action-packed and tense the previous two episodes felt in showing the downfall of the rebel city, “Mors Indecepta” feels far-less burdened by piece-moving. So late in the final season we certainly begin to feel the impending sting of history, but the liberation from the snowy ridge provides a much-needed victory as we head into the final episodes, and truly unleash hell upon the characters. Also unexpected was the defection of Kore from Crassus and the demotion of Caesar sure to divide the Romans as they make their final assaults, and continue the lingering hope for the rebellion. All in all, a fine, beautifully shot palate-cleanser for the final three hours of a great series.

What say you? Did you get your fill of blood-spattering ‘Spartacus: War of the Damned’ action?  What did you think about “Spoils of War?” Join us next week for another all-new ‘Spartacus: War of the Damned’ episode recap of “Separate Paths” on Starz!

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