|The Red Serpent|
|Date Aired||January 22, 2010|
|Writer||Steven S. DeKnight|
SynopsisEditThe series opens with Spartacus chained in the bowels of the Amphitheater of Capua awaiting his turn to be executed. He then flashes back to his village in Thrace where the villagers, Spartacus among them, are discussing the appearance of a Roman soldier, Claudius Glaber, who has come to ask for their help in battle against Mithridates. Despite Rome and Thrace's shaky relations in the past, the villagers agree to march with the Romans in return for help fighting the local barbarians that plague their village, a treaty sparked by Spartacus.
Spartacus returns home to his wife, Sura. They speak of a happy, peaceful future together, without the attacks from the barbarians. The next morning, Sura reveals that the gods spoke to her in her dreams, showing her Spartacus kneeling before a red serpent. She asks him not to leave, saying that if he does, he will be led to great and unfortunate things. Spartacus decides to leave despite her warnings and ties a purple ribbon around her leg, so that she keeps his memory close in the time he is away.The Thracian men march to battle against the advancing barbarians. The Romans arrive late, chasing off the stragglers. Later in the evening, there is dissatisfaction in the Thracian camp, and talk of leaving due to the Romans' lack of commitment to their cause. Spartacus reminds them that they gave their word to help, and sparks a fight with Drenis, a fellow soldier. The two are caught by the Romans and sent to scout for enemies as punishment.
Glaber returns to his tent to find his wife, Ilithyia, waiting for him. She sneaked into the camp, without her father's permission, to bring her husband a gift of wine and companionship in bed. She mentions that her father, the Senator Albinius, will be displeased if Glaber returns unfruitful in battle.The next morning, the Thracians discover that the Romans intend to march East towards Mithridates whilst their villages in the West are still under threat from the barbarians and Glaber refuses to aid them, breaking his word. Desperate to win his own battles, he orders them into formation, but Spartacus refuses. Glaber attempts to force them to his will but the Thracians resist, and Glaber is thrown from his horse and knocked unconscious whilst his following of soldiers are slaughtered. The Thracians rush towards their home villages.
Back near Spartacus' village, Sura is seen picking fruit when a group of barbarians close in on her. She manages to fight one off her with a rock to the head and defend herself with a sword before Spartacus comes to the rescue, and together they fight off the rest of them. After a moment's reunion, the two see their village in the distance, the buildings burning and screams resounding from it. They decide to flee into the wilderness.
Spartacus and Sura set up camp for the night and discuss what to do next. Spartacus regrets ever leaving and Sura is visibly shaken by the fate of their village, but they decide to flee South together, away from everything.
The next morning, Spartacus awakes to find Claudius Glaber standing over them. He reaches for his sword, but soldiers quickly grab Sura and whisk her away, screaming. The soldiers beat Spartacus on Glaber's order, who blames Spartacus for his lack of good fortune; half his army being dead, and him being recalled to Rome shamefully. Glaber reveals that Sura is destined for slavery for Spartacus' actions before knocking him out and sending him via ship to Capua with the other captured Thracians, including Drenis and Byzo.
Glaber, once again in Capua with Ilithyia, discusses the forthcoming games and a way to reclaim standing with her father, the Senator Albinius. In a presentation of the gladiators who will be performing in the games (in which Batiatus and Solonius both present their best), Glaber brings forth the Thracian prisoners and announces that they are to be executed in the arena in hopes that the entertainment their deaths will be provide might make up for him returning without a victory.Spartacus is next seen in the arena, watching Drenis battle against Arkadios. Though Drenis puts up a spirited fight, he is eventually slain by Arkadios, leaving Spartacus the remaining Thracian prisoner to be executed. Spartacus is then handed a gladius and forced onto the floor of the arena to face the formidable gladiator. To his shock, three more gladiators from the house of Solonius enter the arena prepared to help execute Spartacus. The crowd boos as they are against the uneven odds, but the fight commences nevertheless. The gladiators initially have the advantage over Spartacus and he suffers multiple wounds. As he lies on the sands, he sees a red serpent on Arkadios' shield and is reminded of Sura's dream. This spurs him to attack and he immediately kills Arkadios, finishing off the others one by one. Having won the crowd's support with his surprising victory, the crowd chants for him to live. Glaber cannot allow Spartacus to live out of his own pride and wishes him dead, but he also craves the acceptance of Albinius, who must honor the crowd's wishes. Batiatus offers a solution and buys Spartacus for his ludus, not expecting him to survive the training.
Characters in Order of AppearanceEdit
- Claudius Glaber
- In the episode, it is shown that the Getae are savage monsters and that the Maedi are a noble people when in fact, the Getae were the nobelist of all Thracians and the Maedi were a minor barbarian tribe.
- Spartacus' real name is never revealed. Whenever he is asked for his real name, he is interrupted.
- When Batiatus describes Spartacus as fighting like "the Thracian king of old", he may have been referring to Spartokos I, whom founded the Thracian-descended Spartocid Dynasty which ruled the Cimmerian Bosporus Kingdom (located in the Crimea region of the Ukraine) from 438-108 BCE. The Bosporan Kingdom was a culturally Greek nation composed of ethnic elements as the Greeks, Thracians and Scythian peoples.
Sura: "The gods came to me last night, in my sleep."
Spartacus: "What did they show you?"
Sura: "My husband on his knees, bowing before a great red serpent. The life draining from his veins."
Spartacus: "What meaning did you take from it?"
Sura: "A warning. If you go to war, you are destined for great and unfortunate things."
Sura: "Kill them all."
Spartacus: "For you."
Spartacus: "We'll continue this discussion later."
Drenis: "What if we're dead?"
Spartacus: "Then my boot will find your ass in the afterlife."
Spartacus: (referring to Glaber): "Pompous, arrogant, Roman boy-lover."
Sura: "You did what you could. You came back... for me, knowing it could mean your life."
Spartacus: "There is no life without you."
Batiatus: "...Solonius secures half a dozen of his ill-trained simians. That man has fingers in all the proper assholes."
Albinius (referring to Spartacus): "What name does the man carry?"
Glaber: "I never cared to ask."
Batiatus: "The way he fights... like the legend of the Thracian king of old... Spartacus, he was called."