Spartacus, “Old Wounds”: #6 ranked episode of Spartacus Season 1 – fate, blood, treachery, and death!

spartacus - old wounds

“When he falls, you shall quickly follow.” – Magistrate Calavius, to Batiatus

Spartacus Season 1 Rankings: where did “Old Wounds” rank?

Spartacus’ “Old Wounds” came in as the #6 ranked episode of Spartacus’ 13 Season 1 episodes!

Here’s why “Old Wounds” was ranked as the #6 episode of 13 Spartacus Season 1 episodes.

GENRE – Drama, Period Show, Historical Epic, Swords & Sandals
EPISODE – “Old Wounds”
BEING RANKED FOR – Spartacus Season 1
RANK – #6 of Spartacus’ 13 Season 1 episodes

Spartacus, “Kill Them All” (S0111) review

Varro (Jai Courtney) lies dead on a slab of stone. “His heart was stilled, for a boy’s amusement,” Spartacus says of him, and he’s right. Numerius (Lliam Powell) cast his thumb in the downward direction (thanks to Ilithyia’s, played by Viva Blanca, crafty machinations), and now Varro is dead at Spartacus’ hand: to some deficit, and to some advantage as things go.

Crixus (Manu Bennett) of is looking for his angle to regain his title as the Champion of Capua, and Batiatus (John Hannah) is busily plotting the death of the magistrate. Of course, in Batiatus’ case, he would have happily accepted Varro’s death in exchange for support of the magistrate for political office, but because it was not given the Varro business only compounds his fury.

Batiatus’ rage takes him to the lengths of kidnapping the magistrate Calavius (John Bach) , who had blithely cast his political aspirations aside. Under pain of (painful) death, the magistrate keeps it real, telling Batiatus that his position is only buoyed by Spartacus’ feats in the arena. “When he falls, you shall quickly follow,” he tells him. Such a statement again reflects the thin line between glory and the depths in ancient Rome.

“Old wounds” taunt Spartacus (Andy Whitfield) meanwhile in both the physical and spiritual sense as Varro’s death agonizes him, sending him into a fever that could keep him out of the gladiator games with rival city Pompeii. This gives Crixus the opportunity he’s been looking for, as he agonizes over recapturing the title as the Champion of Capua. We’re seeing a turn of fortune here as Crixus’ injuries in the midst of gladiator match against Theokoles caused him to cede glory to Spartacus.

It should be noted here too that Bennett does a terrific job in the rough, gruff (and sometimes in the buff) role of Crixus. Especially striking is the way in which Crixus expresses something close to a “soft side” only with his forbidden love, slave Naevia (Lesley-Ann Bancroft). But now that Ashur (Nick Tarabay) knows and domina Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) is sure to demand his “services” again soon enough, the path of Crixus is far from certain.

Spartacus, who had found solace and then pride as a gladiator in the wake of his wife’s death, now looks to find some purpose in seeing to the needs of Varro’s family. So focused he is on Varro that he has hallucinatory visions in which his old friend speaks to him from the beyond. And he also finally breaks down in front of Mira (Katrina Law) and finds some comfort from her.

When Spartacus’ wounds (old and new) bring him to a feverish and sickly state, Crixus has the chance he’s long waited for, taking on Pericles, titan of Pompeii, in the arena. It’s a great fight scene, as they often are in this show, ending with Crixus crushing the now not-so-titan’s skull with his boot.

Meanwhile, away from the “honor” of gladiator life, Solonius (Craig Walsh Wrightson) and Ashur’s (Nick Tarabay) scheme-y meetings take new form in the wake of Calavius’ kidnapping. The intrigue factor ticks up extra notches as Batiatus pretends to search for Calavius with the latter’s son, Numerius (Lliam Powell) as Spartacus has a fever-induced revelation that his wife’s murderer lies far closer to the House of Batiatus than he had realized.

Solonius’ “set up” as Calavius’ captor and murderer is a nifty coup for Batiatus, even if it’s a bit made-for-TV plot twist of the week. The episode ends on a darkly ironic note with Spartacus telling the newly jubilant Batiatus that, “Yes dominus, I am myself again.”

That is to say, the endgame between Spartacus and Batiatus grows near.

More thoughts on “Old Wounds”:

  • It should not go unnoticed that Jai Courtney did a great job as Varro and it’s a sorry thing to see him and his character go from this ancient Roman realm!
  • The gold that falls out Spartacus’ wound during his hallucinations is a nice idea. However, the CGI that executed the idea was not quite on point.
  • Is it just me or has it been a few episodes since women in the stands of the arena ripped their tops off, as they seemed to do every week for a while? Maybe it’s winter in Capua?
  • “Is this my path, blood and death?” – Spartacus

This article originally appeared on TV Geek Army.

Spartacus, “Old Wounds”: episode and cast info

Air date – April 2, 2010
Spartacus creator – Steven S. DeKnight
Directed by – Glenn Standring  
Writing credits – Daniel Knauf, Dan Filie, Steven S. DeKnight, Miranda Kwok, Todd Helbing, Aaron Helbing


Andy Whitfield – Spartacus
John Hannah – Batiatus
Peter Mensah – Doctore
Manu Bennett – Crixus
Erin Cummings – Sura
Nick E. Tarabay – Ashur
Lucy Lawless – Lucretia
Jai Courtney – Varro
Antonio Te Maioha – Barca
Lesley-Ann Brandt – Naevia
Eka Darville – Pietros
John Bach – Magistrate Calavius
Lliam Powell – Numerius
Mark Mitchinson – Aulus
Matt Gillanders – Marcellus