Spartacus is back on our TV screens and this season is already looking to be one of the most action-packed yet. We have been treated to all the muscle-bound warriors, bloody gore and slow-motion stabbing we can handle already. However, one thing is clear, with the addition of Crassus as this year’s villain. This season could very well be the final one.
In Roman history, Crassus was the guy who eventually killed Spartacus and put an end to the slave rebellion. If the writers decide to follow history accurately, Spartacus should be reaching the end of its run. It is probably a good thing: this is the kind of series that can get old fast, so it might as well end, before its memory is tainted with a forced season. Also, in my opinion, it doesn’t seem like that long ago that the last season was out, suggesting that the producers have decided to quickly wrap up the series, while it is fresh in our minds.
But how would they end it? It is the question on most of our minds. Spartacus can be quite a difficult series to predict (I was not expecting Lucretia’s shock ending), but I think I have come up with three different ways they could end this season. Let me know if you agree or if you have a better sneaking suspicion in the comments below.
3 – SPARTACUS DIES HEROICALLY IN THE HEAT OF BATTLE
This is probably the most obvious way the storyline could go. The season will continue at break-neck speed, probably killing off principal characters halfway through the season (Manu Bennett who plays Crixus had time to star in ‘The Hobbit’, so my bet is on him). When Spartacus realises that the end is obvious, he will send away the remaining main characters (so the audience doesn’t feel completely depressed by the end of the series), and will take a hopeless last stand, which will result in his death, which will include lots of screaming and slow-motion falling to the ground. The audience will probably momentarily think they are watching the end of 300.
However, like I said, this is a little obvious. It might be quite cool to see a character like Crixus die a few episodes into the season, but otherwise, it is pretty much what we are expecting. Also, it would be insanely depressing, seeing the characters we know and love get butchered on our screens. I think that the writers will try something else, like…
2 – IGNORE HISTORY COMPLETELY
Let’s be honest: the writers have ignored key historical facts. The villain of the last season, Claudius Glaber, was not meant to die on that battlefield. He probably never even showed up to the fight, hanging back at home instead. However, that wouldn’t have been awesome enough for the TV series, so they had him turn up to the fight and get stabbed in the face by Spartacus. In fairness, it was pretty cool.
(I am going to take this paragraph to digress for a moment, because I do think the writers missed a trick here. I would have kept Glaber alive – he could have been at the fight, but would have lived to see another day. That way, when he gets home and finds that his child was murdered, his character could take an interesting turn. Also, he disappears from the history books, at this point, so his character was pretty much free for the writers to play with. He could have been an interesting side player in the season we are watching now. Also, while I am digressing, I would like to thank Nathan Simkin for filling me in on Glabba’s history).
Anyway, back to the article. My point is that the writers are willing to change history. Maybe for a twist ending, Spartacus will turn around and simply kill Crassus. We would all be waiting for his character to get butchered, as history has assured us, and then somehow, this immortal-like slave survives yet again. We could even share the Roman’s disbelief at this point. In their eyes, he should have been killed ages ago and simply cannot understand how he is still living. We would be feeling that same emotion, but maybe with a smile on our faces.
My friends don’t believe me, when I say this. For one, Glabba does disappear from the history books, so it was a pretty small change, if he died or not. Crassus is a major player in Roman history, so it might cause a few internet debates, if he is simply killed off. However, it would squeeze another season out of the franchise and from this point, the season is free to go anywhere it desires. Next, the slaves could be taking on the Emperor. Maybe they will overrun Rome. History would be a null-void factor in the storyline, leaving a world of possibilities open to us.
However, I can predict that decision, turning silly and ruining the series. I am all for this season being the last one, keeping our opinion of the programme positive. I would end the season like this…
1 – MAKE SPARTACUS THE VILLAIN
I think that the writers have already started this. Every episode sees Spartacus getting a little bit darker. With the previous seasons, Spartacus had a goal in his mind: avenging his wife, slaughtered by Batiatus and imprisoned by Glaber. As Gannicus pointed out in the first episode of ‘War of the Damned’, her death has been avenged. Yet Spartacus, rather than taking the imprisoned slaves and going into hiding, continues to push the Roman borders and attack their cities. He is becoming a man obsessed with death and destruction.
All it will take is creating a villain that we could easily side with in the final episodes. That shouldn’t be too hard, because most of the other villains have had our support. Most of the audience loved John Hannah’s Batiatus more than we cared for Spartacus and we devastated to see him killed off. Crassus’ seems like a guy we could easily side with, especially if his son is killed off by Spartacus some point in the upcoming episodes.
Then you could portray the heroic death I pictured earlier, but with that twist on it. Rather than being killed off, Crixus, Gannicus and the others chose to leave him, because Spartacus is on a mission to the death. They take most of the slaves and leave happily away from the Romans. Then Spartacus takes on Crassus himself, which leads in his death. Or maybe, if the writers wanted to do something completely different, Spartacus goes so out of control, Gannicus or one of the other lead roles are forced to stab him in the back. It would be such a shock ending, typical of the series, that we would be left amazed and taken aback by the writer’s ingenuity. Well, we would be if some internet article writer hadn’t predicted it beforehand. What a bellend!