“Mors Indecepta” showed the best and worst of Spartacus. At its best, we had the continuation of the thrilling chess match between Spartacus and Crassus, with Spartacus’s catastrophic attempt to assassinate Crassus followed by his stunning turnaround: conquering the trench and building a bridge out of hundreds of fucking corpses.
At its worst, the episode shined a light on the patchy characterisation that the show’s been guilty of this season. Crixus and Naevia are an example of characters from the show’s beginning who’ve each been reduced to one note – angry. The character of Naevia has been weak ever since her change in actress in season two, a combination of weak writing and weak acting, but Crixus seems to have followed her into all-consuming anger with none of the complexity he demonstrated in the past.
I’ve generally been impressed by the show’s ability to develop all the new characters this season, but I wasn’t convinced by the Kore plot in particular in “Mors Indecepta.” I can understand her motivation for joining Spartacus’s camp, torn between Tiberius’s abuse and Crassus’s paternal love, but to commit murder? This came as a surprise to Crassus, but shouldn’t have been a surprise for the audience.