By the end of the last episode of the final season Spartacus creator Steven de Knight has accomplished resurrecting Spartacus in a modern day quintessence. The episode “Victory” in which the slaves call out the name Spartacus victorious translates an essence of hope that even today brings tears to our eyes. De Knight has created a victorious Spartacus who gains leadership by his desire to advance freedom instead of power and by the mercy of the writers releases his sword grip on tangible live among his people.
The War of the Damned portrays a mix of distinct gladiators taking on the roles of heroes and villains each propelled forward by disparate drives and goals. In the Decimation episode where Spartacus has taken the city of Sinuessa we see how ravaging hunger for power and the blinding hate for revenge against Rome harbored by a fraction of the gladiators turns them back into the bitter savages that the romans had whipped them into. There is a relentless darkness of human suffering in those scenes which seem to be an attempt to give context to human aggression. The first moment we understand why this season is named the War of the Damned is when the undefeated Gaul Crixus overtaken by hate; stands powerless to redeem his girlfriend’s pain inflicted by the Romans, decides to break from alliance with Spartacus and venture off to bury Rome in blood. He subsequently fails in his quest partly caused by his need for evaporative vengeance and his lack of having a plan of survival for his followers. This plan of finding freedom is what sets Spartacus expedition apart, he is a leader far outgrown the pitiful need for revenge. He is the hope that fights as a flame to keep his people alive, shine light on a better pad towards true freedom.
Spartacus the War of the Damned visualizes possibilities that can be prompted in characters who are fortunate enough to become the ruler of their own destiny. Each character elevates in a different way showing that acquiring power and being a leader are two very divergent concerns. With Crassus being the role model for Roman leadership every sacrifice made by the Imperator from the decimation process to crucifying Kore and relinquishing his victory over to Pompeii are the acts of an assuage leader who is loyal to his cause and sets out to mold his own destiny. This show portrays an animated original line of happenings in the uprising of Julius Caesar who with his charms and intelligence follows Crassus in times when he needs to and plays a chess game in times where he has to. His loyalty towards Rome gives him a depth that spins off his character into higher moral grounds. The scene in which he kills the roman Domina captured by Nemetes shows humanity in him reaffirming that he is the promise of Rome. The season three villain found in Tiberius whose treachery against Rome is his arrogant desire for power and shortsighted need for revenge on his father is paradoxically robbed from life by the hand of the one woman that could have redeemed him. Bus as his father always feared Tiberius allows his weakness to allure him into his dead. The irony here is that the undoing of both Tiberius and Crixus is linked together in resembles of the type of leadership roles they cultivated in their own camps and how they consequently failed due to their own selfish enterprises.
Gannicus undergoes the most heartwarming transformation of the final season which functions as a testimony to the leadership capabilities of Spartacus. Gannicus finds a reason to fight outside of the arena and rises up to the challenge of becoming the leader that Spartacus needs in his army against Rome. The scene in which Gannicus fights off the romans that have surrounded him, keeping him from striking Caesar dead is a Homeric climax of the war of the damned. Two soldiers facing one another, compatible by sword and strength however, Gannicus has no chance to win this battle; even a dragon can’t lay waste to a roman army. The War of the Damned concludes with advancing the methodology that Spartacus’ legacy is about him sacrificing his life and with that giving his people the chance to be freestanding characters far outgrown their slave title. Such as he does for Gannicus, giving him the dead of a free man whose life has served the cause and now forever soars in the company of his friends in the arena.