Synopsis by Josh Ralske
Cato (Karl Johnson) and Scipio (Paul Jesson) have just suffered a devastating defeat at the Battle of Thapsus in Africa. They retreat to Utica, where Cato quietly commits suicide. After the funeral ceremony, Scipio has a soldier take his life as well. Caesar (Ciarán Hinds) returns home and begins preparing a celebration of his triumph. Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Pullo (Ray Stevenson) retire from soldiering. On his return, Pullo is delighted to find that the slave girl he rescued, Eirene (Chiara Mastalli), now speaks his language. Soon, at a loss for how to earn a living, the two former soldiers join Niobe (Indira Varma) and her sister in the butcher business. Vorenus breaks up a confrontation in the street, and a ruffian mocks his military service to Rome, for which he gets slapped. The thug makes it known that he works for Erastes (Lorcan Cranitch), who runs the neighborhood, and makes quick work of his enemies. (Erastes is the man for whom Vorenus briefly and unhappily worked as a bodyguard.) Erastes later goes to Vorenus' home and threatens to rape and kill his wife and daughters if Vorenus does not publicly apologize and kiss his feet. Vorenus and Pullo send the children away and prepare for a fight, but Caesar arrives before Erastes can get there, and asks Vorenus to run for the local magistrate position. Meanwhile, bent on revenge against Atia (Polly Walker) and Caesar, Servilia (Lindsay Duncan) tells Octavia (Kerry Condon) that Atia had Glabius killed, and convinces her to seduce her own brother, Octavian (Max Pirkis), in order to get information about Caesar's mysterious affliction.