Some intriguing developments provide context to the characters’ decision-making, and the episode hinges on a well-executed stealth rescue.
This Barbarians season 2, episode 2 recap for the episode titled “Captured” contains spoilers.
After Marbod’s betrayal in Barbarians season 2, episode 1, Ari has been captured by Flavus and dragged back to the Roman camp, much to the jubilation of the soldiers there. Flavus is incredibly smug about this, despite the fact that he wouldn’t have succeeded had Marbod not cheap-shotted Ari with a stone, but you know how siblings can be. Gaius, Ari’s son, isn’t exactly thrilled to see him either, but it seems like the Roman camp hasn’t been much fun for him either way. Something to keep an eye on.
Barbarians season 2, episode 2 recap
But here’s the idea: With Ari out of the way, the Romans are planning to install Marbod as the king of Germania, uniting the tribes under a banner of peace and enjoying Rome’s relative protection as an important trade partner. It’ll be a totally exploitative one-way arrangement, of course, and why Marbod can’t see that is anyone’s guess, especially since Tiberius just flat-out disrespects him to his face during their little tete-a-tete. But Tiberius’s English dub sounds exactly like Stewie Griffin, so maybe Marbod was distracted by that.
Or maybe Marbod is distracted by Flavus. As we later learn, the two of them had a sexual relationship back in Rome, and they continue it here. More so than that, Flavus seems like he might legitimately be in love with the barbarian, and the feeling might even be reciprocated. Suddenly, it’s a lot more obvious why Marbod would be inclined to side with the Romans.
Meanwhile, Thusnelda has figured out basically immediately that Marbod has hung Ari out to dry and that he’s a captive of the Romans. She takes some men to stake out the camp and kills a bunch of patrolling centurions during the reconnaissance. When word of their deaths gets back to Germanicus he doubles the guards and ceases all traffic in and out, making it almost impossible for Thusnelda to sneak inside. Naturally, she tries anyway.
Quite by chance, Folkwin saves Thusnelda from capture by pretending she’s his sister who got kicked in the head by a horse. As can be surmised from this excuse, he isn’t exactly happy to see his former lover, and when she asks for his help he reiterates why: Thanks to her husband, his family was crucified, his woman was stolen for political reasons, and he has been excommunicated from his tribe. He has no reason to save Ari, but his current girlfriend, Dido, who could have used help against the Romans back in Carthage and never received it, volunteers to sneak Thusnelda into the camp the next morning. When she does, Folkwin has a change of heart, plays the role of a recalcitrant drunk, and attacks a guard so that he can be dragged off to the camp’s jail, thus showing Thusnelda the way.
Thusnelda, Folkwin, and Dido all break Ari out of prison, but in the skirmish, Gaius slashes Dido open with a blade and is knocked out. Ari stays behind to help him and ends up having another fight with Flavus, though this time it’s a littler fairer. Thusnelda, Folkwin, and Dido escape the camp in a wagon, while Ari makes a slightly more obvious exit dressed as Flavus, carrying an unconscious Gaius with him.