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Empty Hands
Season 2
Number Episode 04
Date Aired February 17, 2012
Writer Allison Miller
Director Mark Beesley
Previous The Greater Good
Next Libertus

"Empty Hands" is the fourth episode of Spartacus: Vengeance. It is the twenty-third episode of the Spartacus series overall.

Plot Outline

Spartacus leads survivors through the woods, but Crixus gets separated and returns to a place of past suffering. Lucretia pries into Ilithyia's affairs, seeking influence with a powerful Roman.


Spartacus and his forces rescue Naevia from the Mines, but Crixus, Acer and Rhaskos are captured in the process. Captured by Glaber's forces, the Gauls are taken back to Capua to The House of Batiatus to be displayed by the nobles of Capua. As Spartacus, Mira, Naevia, Nasir and some of the Rebels go into the woods, they are set upon by some Romans. Tychos is killed by a Roman soldier.

Glaber's Tribune, Marcus, finds Tychos' corpse and uses his sword to place the mark of Glaber on his head and has him hung from a tree as a warning to the Rebels. Ashur, who accompanied the Romans, tells Marcus he would have better luck at catching Spartacus if he didn't divide his forces, but Marcus shrugs off his warning while boasting that Spartacus will fall to the legions of Rome. He tells Ashur that if he crosses him, he will put a sword in the Syrian's back to which Ashur glares at Marcus who has his men advance in search of Spartacus.

In The House of Batiatus, Glaber is visited by Ilithyia's father, Senator Albinius, and fellow Praetor, Varinius. While they are initially angered that Glaber didn't have his men present at The Arena, their anger is forgotten when Glaber informs them of Spartacus' attack on the Mines and his arrest of three rebels. Varinius then states that Seppius' men have been searching for Spartacus for months without luck and asks how Glaber knew where he was. Glaber tells them it was Lucretia, through divine guidance, who told him where Spartacus and his men were. Ilithyia then joins them and says "Let us make it a thing of the flesh, with celebration. Here, within these walls, to pay tribute owed" to Varinius, but Glaber gazes on, with a displeased look. While they are in the bath, Ilithyia reminds Glaber that their home is in Rome and with Varinius' support, he would have Seppius' men.

In the meantime, Spartacus and the other Rebels are on the run to Vesuvius to meet Agron, the Romans at their heels. Ilithyia is then talking to her slaves about Varinius, boasting that he is a man of highest regard and telling them to see his cup always full and all desires met.

Seppia talking to Lucretia, asking for her counsel.

Seppia is talking to Lucretia when Ilithyia walks in, not told of her arrival. Seppia says to Ilithyia she came to seek Lucretia's counsel in a marriage to Varinius, if the gods bless such union. Lucretia tells her that she will entreat them on her behalf, and Seppia leaves.

Ilithyia is angry, but Lucretia points out that she has made an impression upon her. Ilithyia replies, saying she has too and that those seeking the consideration of the gods need only bow to "The Oracle of Capua." "I am but humble vessel, offering a mere taste of their will. Perhaps you would have me partition the gods for a different union?" Lucretia says. Ilithyia, however does not trust her.

At this point, Salvius and some Romans come to the ludus with the captured Rebels to be brought forth to Glaber. He anticipates that Spartacus is among them, but when he removes the bags on their heads, it reveals Acer, Rhaskos and finally, Crixus. "Your Gaul returns to you, at least" remarks Ilithyia, leaving Lucretia shocked. Glaber asks where Marcus is, to which Salvius replies he is chasing after Spartacus in the forest. Glaber orders to be told when they

Ilithyia about to tell Lucretia that Glaber stands with Empty Hands again.

are sighted, so he may set upon the road. Glaber leaves while Ilithyia tells Lucretia that he "Stands with empty hands. Do not think me the fool as my husband and father. You and I have unfinished affairs, and I will see them draw to a close."

Down in the cells, Crixus and the other rebels meet up with Oenomaus. They tell him that Naevia lives, and they rescued her from the mines. Oenomaus replies "you fell to ruin for love;" but Crixus says she lives, and that's all that matters.

Spartacus and the Rebels are in the woods. They are hiding from a nearby unit of Romans when, in sheer fright, Naevia cries out for Mira. Spartacus and the Rebels jump out from hiding and attack the Romans, but in the fight, Sophus dies and Nasir is badly wounded.

As the celebration starts at the ludus, all the Roman nobles are there. Mercato states that it staggers the mind to think this house was so recently a tomb. Magistrate Gallienus points out that "These walls truly present no evidence of witnessed horrors." Lucretia then has a flashback of the massacre in the ludus. Varinius, Seppius, Seppia, and Cossutius arrive, and Varinius tells Glaber that Cossutius has come for his games. After a

Glaber making a speech to draw blood.

speech from Glaber, the rebels are brought forth so that Varinius may draw blood, but he declines saying "Let them fall in the arena, before all of Capua."

The rebels are in the forest, where they find water. Liscus is arguing over whether to end Nasir's life, seeing that he is unlikely to survive and is essentially dead weight to the group. Spartacus says no, and Naevia points out that he will live if his wound is sealed with fire. Under Spartacus' orders, Liscus and Fortis leave to find Agron and get reinforcements.

In the ludus, the celebration continues. Seppius wants to kill the men in the same place that they robbed his cousin Sextus of life, so he comes to middle ground with Varinius and agrees to pick a single man to make sport of. Lucretia is selected to do so, and picks Acer. While they're torturing Acer, Ilithyia is talking to her father about dissolving her marriage to Glaber, but he says "You carry his child, strike it from your thoughts as I have mine" and walks off.

Spartacus is about to seal Nasir's wound and asks Naevia to fetch something for him to clutch between his teeth. She goes off, leaving Mira to talk to Spartacus, saying "we chose to do this, even Liscus" (suggesting that Liscus should have remained with them). Spartacus replies, "Glaber does not send his forces against Liscus, he sends them against me." Mira says "Yes, it is because of you that we are free." Nasir wakes up and asks what are they doing. Spartacus says "I must close your wound." Nasir says, "I have to be branded with fire, as a true Gladiator would." "You have earned your place among the brotherhood. Do not cry out," Spartacus replies. Once the wound is sealed with fire,  Mira puts the fire out.  They then hear voices, and quickly lea

Ilithyia killing Acer at the celebration for Varinius.

ve. Back in the ludus, it's Seppia's turn to torture Acer, with the help of Varinius at the start. When Acer raises his head and looks her in the eyes, she cannot bring herself to harm him, so Ilithyia takes the sword and says "our honored guest asks too much of inexperienced hands." She then puts the sword through Acer's stomach and continues "that is how you state desire, for love, or vengeance. Without

Lucretia meets Albinius on the balcony.


Out on the balcony, Lucretia meets Albinius. They start talking about their dead partners and Ilithyia, who troubles Albinius' thoughts. Lucretia says "give them voice, and see them fly to the heavens. Or whisper desire to me, and I shall intrigue the gods to see them satisfied." Albinius replies "Your counsel would be much appreciated."

Spartacus and the Rebels are in the woods when they meet Liscus he tells them he lost Fortis in the woods to Romans. Spartacus replies "We will break "West".

Seppia is crying to Seppius because she was not able to do anything to Acer and because of Varinius, he says "You over reach and hot tears burn in result, turn from him and dry your eyes, let us leave this house and memory of this night fade in warm embrace", then he kisses her and she agrees and leaves

Seppius giving Seppia a warm embrace.

with her brother while Glaber looks on. Varinius is next seen talking to two young women about Marcus Crassus that he has dined and bathe with him. Ilithyia comes out of the shade and seduces him into marrying her, he says he will if her marriage to Glaber is dissolved by her father, Albinius.

Ilithyia seduces Varinius.

Ilithyia goes to find her father, she asks Mercato has he see him, when she does she is in shock to see him having sex with Lucretia.

The last of the rebels are in the woods when they find Fortis' body hung on a tree. They’re about to turn and leave when Spartacus hears voices, it’s the Romans led by Marcus and Ashur. Liscus fights well but as he is about to kill a Roman soldier he is stabbed in the back by Ashur much to Spartacus' surprise, who calls out to his dying comrade. Marcus then attacks Mira and briefly battles Spartacus but is stabbed in the stomach with a spear. Spartacus begins to fight all the Romans and Ashur notices the wounded Marcus, picks him up, and berates him for not listening to his earlier warning and takes him into the forest.

Ashur tells Marcus his wound is serious but he should live, however Marcus, angered that Spartacus bested him, tells Ashur to call the remaining men. Ashur tries to convince Marcus otherwise but the stubborn tribune shouts "Spartacus is here! Bear arms!". Ashur tells Marcus he is leading his squad to Spartacus. Marcus says" And we will fight until the last drop of Roman bl-" but Ashur cuts him off by placing his hand on Marcus' mouth replying "I am not a Roman". Ashur then says "And I will not die this fucking night". Marcus attempts to fight back but Ashur stabs deeper in the tribune's wound with a dagger and Marcus slowly dies while Spartacus continues to kill the Romans until having last words with Liscus who tells him to not let their sacrifices be for nothing. He takes his last breath and dies.

Ilithyia throws Lucretia to the floor because she slept with her father.

In the ludus, Ilithyia thinks Lucretia slept with her father because of blood and betrayal. Lucretia then reveals she has regained her memories and Ilithyia, not wanting to be manipulated, slaps her to the ground and tells her "I will bash your head against the stone as I did Licinia". However, Lucretia quickly informs Ilithyia that her father will dissolved her marriage that is why she took him to her thighs.

Glaber apologizing to Ilithyia.

When everyone is leaving, Albinius wants to break words with Varinius before he goes. Glaber apologize to Ilithyia for early doubt about the celebration and Ilithyia replies " Yes, I long to see what dawn shall bring

Spartacus and Mira looking at Mount Vesuvius.


Spartacus, Mira, Naevia and the wounded Nasir see Vesuvius. Mira asks how far, and Spartacus tells her it's half a day’s journey. Suddenly there are voices. Spartacus tells Mira and Naevia to head for Vesuvius while he holds the Romans back but Mira says she won't leave as her place is with Spartacus and she will stand by his side. Spartacus hands her a sword and tells Naevia to protect Nasir while he and Mira turn to face what they think is more Romans but it turns out to be Agron and his men, and they are relieved to see them.

Characters in Order of Appearance

  1. Acer
  2. Rhaskos
  3. Crixus
  4. Glaber
  5. Lucretia
  6. Ilithyia
  7. Salvius
  8. Oenomaus
  9. Albinius
  10. Publius Varinius
  11. Spartacus
  12. Naevia
  13. Mira
  14. Nasir
  15. Liscus
  16. Fortis
  17. Tychos
  18. Sophus
  19. Marcus
  20. Acer
  21. Ashur
  22. Seppia
  23. Seppius
  24. Agron
  25. Donar


  • A comment by Glaber to Seppius about his sister, foreshadows their affair.
  • Seppius is hinted to have an incestuous attraction to his sister.
  • Varinius condemns the captive rebels to death in the arena.
  • Ilithyia plans to divorce Glaber and marry Varinius.
  • Spartacus' group reunites with Agron and the other rebels at Vesuvius.


Lucretia: "Do not think that the gods have shown you mercy. I but delay your passing so that I may savor it."
Crixus: "My life is gladly given... for Naevia's."
Lucretia: "She lives?"
Crixus: "Far from your fucking grasp."
Lucretia: "News greeted with joy. I would have her here of your final moments, in the arena you held so dear. And the crowd which once cheered your name spitting upon you. And when you fall, it will not be as champion. But as a common slave, absent honor and absent glory, and your name forever lost to history."

Ashur: "Spartacus and his men are gladiators. A handful of your men will stand a pale shadow against one-"
Marcus: "Roman soldiers know something of death and the dealing of it. Do not measure their worth against common slaves."
Ashur: "Slaves, true. But far from common. Move absent proper force and see the rank of the dead swell. Your men are spread too thin throughout the forest. A single man carried by a swift purpose could be returned with reinforcements-"

Ashur (to Marcus, after Spartacus slaughters his soldiers): "DId I not fucking warn you?"



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