Given there’s only have three episodes left, the first half of “Separate Paths” is surprisingly slow, bringing the inevitable Crixus/Spartacus conflict to a head with genuine respect for the difficult relationship that has developed between the men since they met in Batiatus’s ludus. Given the short shrift Crixus has had this season, it was good to see him get a true showcase before his violent end later in the episode (more on that shortly).
A lot of the padding for this felt unnecessary: more random nudity and Romans being slaughtered (though it was good to see this week’s Laeta nude scene serve as empowerment, as she finally hooked up with Spartacus). Plus, in a weird development, Tiberius got rape-y again, with Caesar on the receiving end.
The last half of the episode felt rushed. The slow build to Crixus splitting from Spartacus to march on Rome suddenly shifted to a “they’re at Rome already” montage that briefly promised victory, until Crassus and his men arrived to dispatch our heroes (save Naevia). I really wish there had been time for these deaths to earn the emotional impact they should have had; the climax was simply too rushed to realise its potential.