|Date Aired||March 26, 2010|
|Writer||Brent Fletcher & Miranda Kwok|
Spartacus and Crixus are set up to fight in an exhibition match for Numerius' birthday, but Crixus is intent on blood.
The crowd of the Arena cheers the name of Spartacus. He and Varro stand together in preparation of their upcoming battle. Varro's mind is still distracted by the thought of not yet receiving any messages from Aurelia and their son. This frustrates Spartacus, but Varro reassures him that he is "clear to his purpose". Once the match begins, the two gladiators overwhelm their opponents one after another.
Numerius, watching from the pulvinus, expresses excitement. Titus Calavius speaks of Numerius' affections for the gladiator games, which is so strong that Numerius plans to celebrate the day of his ascension into manhood at the arena. Batiatus, seeing an opportunity to gain Calavius' favor, extends an invitation to Calavius for Numerius to instead celebrate the day at his villa, in which Numerius can get a closer look at all of his gladiators. Calavius accepts. Domitia tells Lucretia that Ilithyia's absence surprises her. Lucretia counters by saying that Ilithyia is unwell, but has nothing too serious.
Meanwhile, Spartacus and Varro struggle against their last opponent, a Large Gladiator, and are hindered by the chains that bind them. After taking a few blows, Spartacus comes up with a solution to use the chain to bind their opponent's neck and suffocate him. The plan works flawlessly and the two gladiators are victorious.When Spartacus and Varro arrive back to the ludus, they are greeted with the praise of their gladiator brethren, which stirs Crixus with jealously. Spartacus surprises Varro, who, with the help of Mira, delivers Aurelia to her husband's arms. The two lovers reunite and share a brief moment of romance. Aurelia tells Varro that Titus had returned, but she "cut him, deep and low" in his attempt to rape her, "He will never force himself on a woman again" she continues. After which, she sought refuge with her brother's family in the hills, where Mira found her and brought her here. However, she notes that she still carries Titus' child from the first attempt. Varro tells her that he will father the child, and will continue to love her.
Up in the villa, Lucretia tells Ilithyia that her absence was noticed. Ilithyia says that she could not go in fear of the others discovering what she had done by looking into her eyes. Lucretia continues that Numerius' celebration will be held at the villa, in which she will need Ilithyia to appear herself. Also, using Ilithyia's high standing, she gives Ilithyia a list of people who she wants present at the celebration. While the gladiators are down in the baths, Batiatus summons Spartacus and Crixus to the villa. Batiatus reveals that Numerius wishes for the two to fight each other at the celebration. However, Batiatus tells them that blood will not be spilled, as the match will be exhibition only. As Crixus leaves, Batiatus shows Spartacus a customized plaque with Spartacus' name carved into, adding him onto the list of the Champions of the House of Batiatus.
Night falls in the villa. Hector approaches Naevia, speaking of the key that went missing after their last encounter. He attempts to touch her, but she brushes him off, threatening that Lucretia would punish him if he continued. Naevia also threatens to blackmail him, armed with the knowledge of him losing his key. This worries Hector and he leaves.
In their room, Batiatus is excited for the day of the celebration. He exclaims that he sent an invitation to Solonius, for Solonius can personally witness his triumph. The next day, the gladiators begin their daily ritual of sparring. Crixus easily bests Duro, then looks to Spartacus, hinting of his eagerness to face him on the day of the celebration. As Lucretia watches the action, Ilithyia approaches her, seeming as her usual self again. She tells Lucretia that the list of people on the list will indeed make an appearance at the celebration.
Night comes, and Agron shows resentment towards his brother, Duro, for his display of his cowardice in his bouts against Crixus. Batiatus summons Spartacus up the villa. Once there, Spartacus watches Batiatus and Ashur play a board game. Batiatus removes Ashur from the game and allows Spartacus to take over, whom quickly beats Batiatus. Down in the ludus, Crixus and Naevia embrace each other. Crixus tells Naevia that he intends to spill blood when he faces Spartacus at the celebration. This worries Naevia, fearing that Crixus' life could be in danger as well if he were to act on his words. He reassures her and the two lay together. However, the two do not realize that Ashur watches them from afar.
Spartacus continues to best Batiatus in the game. Lucretia interrupts the men, calling Batiatus to bed. Batiatus orders Spartacus back down to the ludus. On his way back to his cell, Spartacus sees Hector being physically aggressive with Mira. Spartacus grabs Hector's head and presses his face against a torch, scarring Hector. The commotion catches Batiatus' attention. He quickly puts an end to the fight, threatening both men with punishment.
On the day of the celebration, the gladiators again begin their daily training. Varro is surprised to hear that Spartacus escaped punishment from Batiatus. Up in the villa, Batiatus welcomes Calavius, Numerius and Domitia to his home. Batiatus tells Numerius that he has full control of his gladiators for the day, which excites Numerius. Batiatus adds that Spartacus will be giving Numerius a tour of the ludus as well, to which he leaves to go do.
Spartacus walks Numerius through the training grounds. They witness an intense sparring match between Crixus and Duro. Throughout the match, Crixus taunts Spartacus and tries to persuade Spartacus to fight him. However, Duro insists that the fight is only between himself and Crixus, as he relentlessly attempts to overpower Crixus. Crixus easily bests Duro again before leaving. As Duro sits in defeat, the gladiators unexpectedly applaud him for his courage. Agron, too, is proud of his brother for his display of bravery.Up in the villa, Batiatus continues his attempts to gain favor with Calavius, but is showing no progress. In the bathing room, Ilithyia enters to find Numerius as he baths in privacy. She slyly attracts his attention to her breast in an attempt to seduce him, which is successful. Taking advantage of the situation, she undresses her clothing and continues to seduce and control him. Back at the villa, the celebration party flourishes as many people of high class are there. The gladiators are all lined up in attendance. Batiatus and Ilithyia note how "grown up" Numerius has become. Mira approaches Spartacus and affectionately expresses gratitude for him coming to her aid when Hector attacked her. Spartacus rejects her affection, saying that he would have done the same for any woman. This upsets her and she storms off.
Aemilia and Caecilia worry over the disappearance of their mutual friend, Licinia. Lucretia tries to persuade them that their worries are for nothing, as she must have slipped away in the night to lie with a man. As the women talk about Licinia, Ilithyia imagines a pool of blood under her feet, and quickly notices Licinia's body in it. She becomes slightly distraught, but nobody notices. Solonius enters the party. Batiatus immediately greets him and mocks him for his continued defeat in the arena. Solonius walks over to Ashur, and the two men talk in secrecy about why Batiatus invited Solonius in the first place. Ashur reveals that it is only to humiliate Solonius, nothing more.
Batiatus gains the crowd's attention. He publicly congratulates Numerius on becoming a man and readies the fight between Spartacus and Crixus. As Batiatus prepares, Numerius interrupts him. Numerius insists that Varro take the place of Crixus instead, which angers Crixus and surprises everyone else. Ilithyia slyly grins at Numerius' sudden decision. Batiatus calls Varro to the floor, as Spartacus happily prepares to face him. The two gladiators enter a friendly match, which ends with Spartacus as the victor.
As the match concludes, the crowd waits for Numerius to pass judgment on Varro. Numerius orders that Spartacus kill Varro, which shocks everyone in the room. Batiatus, in hopes of winning Calavius' favor, orders that Spartacus kill Varro as well. Spartacus disobeys him. Within moments, the guards surround Spartacus and Varro. Realizing that the both of them would die if they disobeyed, Varro tells Spartacus to do it. Varro gives Spartacus his last wish—to take care of his family, before shoving Spartacus' sword into his shoulder. Spartacus complies and finishes Varro, bringing him to tears. The crowd cheers and Ilithyia smiles in triumph.
Later, Batiatus tells Calavius of his interest in becoming a senator. Calavius, while praising Batiatus for his success as a lanista, rejects Batiatus' interests. Calavius says that Batiatus is not fit to become a politician. As Calavius leaves, Lucretia approaches Batiatus, asking to know Calavius' response. Batiatus tells her that it is "to be answered in blood." In his room, Spartacus is extremely distraught, upset, and regretful for killing Varro. He smashes objects in his room before again being reduced to tears. Mira enters his room and embraces him as he weeps in her arms.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Large Gladiator
- The board game Batiatus is playing is called "Ludus latrunculorum".
- The way Spartacus plays the game foreshadows his strategic abilities as a General.
- The bust that Batiatus has made for Spartacus has the words "Spartacus baiulus pluviae qui umbram mortis necat"
- By words of Liam McIntyre, this chapter was Andy Whitfield's favorite episode.
Varro: "The Champion of Capua — always making friends."
Spartacus: "I need but one."
Varro: "Fortunate, since it appears one is all you have."