Barbarians season 2, episode 5 recap – “Doomed”

October 21, 2022
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Recaps


“Doomed” sets up a big finale in an hour rich with character and stakes.

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“Doomed” sets up a big finale in an hour rich with character and stakes.

This Barbarians season 2, episode 5 recap for the episode titled “Doomed” contains spoilers.

It’s just like the Romans to launch even a surprise attack against unarmed opponents from a safe distance.

As we discovered at the very end of Barbarians season 2, episode 4, thanks to the treachery of Gaius, Germanicus and Flavus had led the Roman legions to the Thing in the hopes of eradicating all the barbarian Reiks at once. They launch their attack in the form of volleys of arrows from a nearby hill and cause many casualties — including Odvulf and Marbod’s wife, Odarike — until they’re chased off by a manic Folkwin, who cleaves through their ranks with fury, clearly unafraid of his own potential death having already — he believes, anyway — sacrificed his life for Dido.

Barbarians season 2, episode 5 recap

Both Germanicus and Flavus return to the Roman camp to a standing ovation, but they’re not pleased with themselves for very long. Tiberius is furious and chews them both to pieces. (“I preferred you when you were all talk,” is a particularly savage barb directed towards Germanicus.) The peace he has carefully cultivated an illusion of has been destroyed, and he need look no further for proof than his own gates. Marbod arrives demanding the heads of Germanicus and Flavus on pikes, and something tells me he isn’t going to take no for an answer.

Marbod summons the full might of the Marcomanni army. But since he’s grieving, he’s in no fit state to go and greet them, so an emissary has to be sent in his place. Whoever goes will need to convince the army to follow, and since Ari isn’t trusted in the east, it has to be Thusnelda. And since Ari doesn’t want her making the four-day journey alone, he wants Folkwin to accompany her.

The long journey is a good excuse for some flirty banter and a few very serious conversations, but the relationship remains platonic — Thusnelda even confirms she loves Ari, though she does confess it’ll always be Folkwin who is closest to her, who knows her best. They’re both distracted from each other, though, when they run into Gaius.

Now, Gaius has spent the episode hiding in the woods like the snooty little coward he is, but he did develop something of a backbone during his excursions. Running into some patrolling Romans, coincidentally one of those who were giving him a hard time in the camp earlier, he drops a headbutt on him and runs. By the time he stumbles on Thusnelda and Folkwin, he has made a rather important discovery.

It’s this discovery, that the Romans are bringing in countless more troops on ships, that keeps Germanicus smug even after Ari kidnaps him. The barbarians have been outsmarted. They have scouts all over the roads, but not watching the water. By now, it’s too late to adapt. They’re going to be imminently overwhelmed by a much larger force, approaching from an angle they didn’t anticipate.

No wonder Germanicus is smiling. Ari should have let Dido kill him when she had the chance.

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