|Date Aired||January 28, 2011|
|Writer||Maurisa Tancharoen & Jed Whedon|
- This article is about the Spartacus episode of this name. For the term referring to a gladiator's surrender, see missio (term).
Batiatus conjures up a devious plan and enlists Lucretia, Gaia and a clutch of gladiator recruits to see it through. Oenomaus longs to reclaim the top gladiator rank, but new challenges cross his path.
Batiatus, safely back in the ludus, still has nightmares of what happened in Capua and flashbacks of being violently beaten. Lucretia and Gaia enter as he wakes up, and Lucretia expresses her fears for his health. She suggests that he talk to magistrate Sextus about what happened. Knowing of his and Tullius' close relationship, Batiatus refuses and decides to take the matter into his own hands.
At the villa, and against his better judgment, Solonius tells Batiatus that Tullius has offered double his original price for Gannicus. Batiatus reacts to the offer in anger, and recalls the champions of his forefathers: Magneteus, Adrianus, Acolytus, Dolo and Zephyros. He says he will not give up his own champion, even when told by Solonius that should he continue to refuse, Solonius will be excluded from the games along with him.
Among the gladiators, Crixus improves and manages to land a strike on Oenomaus during training. Batiatus and Solonius watch over them as they discuss what to do. The latter mentions that Quintilius Varus is visiting Capua to pick gladiators to fight in the games, and that Vettius will be meeting with him in town. Gaia, who knows Varus, says that he is quite influential. As Batiatus stands thinking, he notices Indus giving missio - raising two fingers in surrender - in jest, during training. In his anger, Batiatus sentences the man to the mines, and declares that nobody surrenders in The House of Batiatus. He then decides to gain Varus' favor so that Gannicus may enter the games in spite of Tullius and Vettius.
Melitta arrives in Oenomaus' room to find he and Gannicus sharing wine. There, she berates Gannicus for discussing the possible death of her husband so lightly, and asks him what he would do if he were unable to laugh or fight his way out of such a situation (which is what he would normally do). Joking, Gannicus replies that he may have to "fuck his way out," foreshadowing future events.
The next day, Batiatus goes into town with three recruits: Ashur, Dagan, and Indus, the recruit who was to be sent into the mines. Barca accompanies him as his personal bodyguard, going against Ulpius' better wishes, who feels as if his gladiators are being misused. Once in town, Batiatus sends the recruits off to their tasks, promising them the Mark of the Brotherhood if they succeed.
Indus meets Vettius, who is out to find Varus, and tricks him into entering a side alley. There, Ashur and Dagan ambush him, killing his slaves and beating him unconscious. Similarly to what he had done to Batiatus, Dagan urinates on Vettius' face. After the deed is done, Ashur suddenly strikes and kills Indus, whose face was seen by Vettius, who could easily link him to Batiatus. The two then leave to return to the ludus.
Meanwhile, Gaia and Lucretia come upon Varus in the market. They charm him into coming to Batiatus' house to wait for Vettius, who is late to meet him. They pass the afternoon talking and drinking until Batiatus arrives in the early evening.
Batiatus suggests Varus to pick some of his gladiators for the games, and shows him a demonstration of Gannicus' skills. Gaia chooses Crixus as his opponent, enthralled by the Gaul's fighting. The battle commences with metal swords instead of wooden ones, and Crixus proves to be a strong fighter. Although he manages to disarm one of Gannicus' swords- a move taught to him by Oenomaus- and down him, Crixus loses. Nevertheless, Gaia is permitted to choose his fate and decides to let him live.
As they reenter the villa, Varus appears to be more interested in Gaia than in the gladiators. Gaia insists that she has the situation under control, and orders Gannicus prepared and oiled to be placed before Varus. The man admires Gannicus' physique, but declines the option of sleeping with him as he is too tired. Instead, he asks that Gannicus have sex with one of the slaves, and chooses Melitta. The two are hesitant at first, with Gannicus appearing apologetic as he is close friend with her husband, Oenomaus. Melitta, in turn, has not slept with anyone other than Oenomaus. Eventually, however, she begins to take pleasure and shows enjoyment; her feelings are replaced by shame and tears when it is over. When she visits Oenomaus in the evening, she mentions nothing of it to him.
Outside in the ludus, Ashur and Dagan receive the mark of the brotherhood for their services that day. Believing they were undeserving of the mark, Ulpius argues with Batiatus, which leads the latter to strip him of his title of Doctore; he tells him that Oenomaus is to take over the role. When Oenomaus later confronts Ulpius about the marks on Ashur and Dagan, the old Doctore challenges him to a battle. Even though they are evenly matched, Oenomaus receives a deep slash to the chest. Eventually, he is forced to stab Ulpius
through the stomach, killing him. In his last moments, Ulpius grins and holds Oenomaus' face fondly and says he has taught him well.
Pleased with the evening's events, Varus states that he wishes to see Gannicus perform again—in the primus. After he leaves, Batiatus and Lucretia celebrate their triumph with wine and sex. As she watches from behind the curtains, Gaia is noticed, and joins them for a threesome.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Quintilius Varus
Gaia: (to Diona and Naevia) "I envy your youth, and all the wonders you have yet to discover. Do not be afraid to pursue every delight this world has to offer."
Batiatus: (gesturing to his wounds) "Do you see these marks upon me? Do you fucking see them?"
Solonius: "... I see them."
Batiatus: "That is the man's true gesture, the only to be considered. You counsel to suck the cock that pisses on me!"
Batiatus: (pointing to the recruit who gave missio) "Doctore! Take that fucking man to the mines! Do it! We do not surrender in this fucking house! I would see these walls fall to ruin before missio is given!"
Melitta: (to Gannicus) "You joke of killing a man you love when someday you may be asked to."
Gannicus: "We are slaves. The burden of choice and conscience equally removed. We are truly free when we fight, or when we fuck, which I shall leave to do presently."
Batiatus: (about Varus) "Pleasing this man must now become your sole fucking purpose."
Gannicus: "Please him? In what manner?"
Batiatus: "I have had my fill of being questioned by slaves! If Varus wishes you to suck his cock dry, you will savor every drop. Are we of a singular mind?"
Oenomaus: "I have done a terrible thing."
Melitta: "We do what me must in this house."
- During the talk between Gannicus, Oenomaus and Melitta the trio jokingly remark on the latter two fighting for real in the arena with gannicus proclaiming he will give his friend a noble death. This foreshadows future fight between them which would take place in Libertus where Gannicus has to fight Oenomaus to the death and attempt to give his friend an honorable death.
- It is shown how Oenomaus became Doctore of the House of Batiatus.