Synopsis by Josh Ralske
This episode of Rome examines the events surrounding the historic battle of Pharsalus. Things look grim for Caesar (Ciarán Hinds) by the time Mark Antony (James Purefoy) joins him in Greece, and to make matters worse, he's lost thousands of men at sea in the journey over. Pompey (Kenneth Cranham) is prepared to wait Caesar out, but Cato (Karl Johnson) and the other senators urge him to crush Caesar, once and for all. He masses his troops for battle. Caesar is massively outnumbered, but he knows his men will put up a fight. "We must fight or die," he tells Antony. "Pompey's men have other options." Back in Rome, a worried Atia (Polly Walker) sends Octavia (Kerry Condon) to Servilia (Lindsay Duncan) again, this time to request some men to guard her home. Servilia graciously agrees, but later gets word of Caesar's startling victory on the battlefield. Uncertain as to the fate of her son, Brutus (Tobias Menzies), Servilia breaks down, and is comforted by Octavia, but the two soon find themselves in a more intimate embrace. The disgraced Pompey suggests his confederates flee to Egypt, where he has friends. Cato and Scipio (Paul Jesson) decide to leave on their own, while Brutus and Cicero (David Bamber) decide to surrender to Caesar. Pompey is left alone with his family, a few slaves and soldiers, and some Greek mercenaries. Meanwhile, Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Pullo (Ray Stevenson) survive a shipwreck, and find themselves alone on a desert island with no food or water. Eventually, Vorenus gets the idea to make a raft from the corpses that washed up on the island with them. They make their way to the mainland, and happen to wash up onshore just as Pompey's party reaches the coast.