Crixus is back in the arena and is once again the darling of Capua. He hacks his opponent to leaky messy bits as the crowd goes titshakingly wild. But below the arena, the real drama is underway. Solonius, looking beat to all hell, is chained up and awaiting his execution at the hands of Spartacus. Batiatus can’t resist getting in some final smug supervillain monologuing at how easily Solonius fell for his and Ashur’s schemes. Batty twists the knife even deeper by mocking Solonius’ jealousy of not only the ludus but his own hotass wife. Solonius admits kind of ruefully that he underestimated Batty, and Batty preens obnoxiously.
Rock star Crixus all but whips his cock out to the roar of the crowd, and dedicates his kill to Naevia up in the pulvinus. Lucretia assumes he’s pointing to her and barely manages to restrain herself from leaping to the sands and fellating him hungrily. Girl please. Have some dignity.
Down below the arena, Spartacus is waiting for his execution fight with Solonius. He’s sent Doctore to fetch Batiatus, but Doctore’s returned alone. Batty’s been busy taunting Solonius instead, and Doctore reminds Spartacus that as a slave, he’s in no position to be commanding the presence of their dominus. Sparty makes some cryptically ominous remarks about correcting the mistakes he’s made since becoming champion and stalks off. Doctore gives him the People’s Eyebrow.
Batiatus announces the execution fight with his phoniest and most statesmanlike speech to date. Who in their right mind would think this man isn’t made for politics? He is the douchiest douchecanoe ever to paddle douchily down Doucheriver out into the Douchebay of the Sea of Douche. COME THE FUCK ON.
Solonius enters the arena to hisses, boos, and a shower of old lettuce. In spite of his many bruises and wounds, he looks reasonably brave and even somewhat confident holding a sword and shield. He’s certainly less potbellied and puddinglike than Batty is, but he’s no goddamn Spartacus.
Sparty enters the arena to shrieks of glee and tit-shaking galore. I’m surprised by the lack of flung panties until I realize that Roman women didn’t wear panties in the first place, the strumpets. I fling my own panties at the screen to make up for this sad oversight. Between the glittery manicae, the greaves (oh hi random fetish) and his tiny leather skirt, I am forever lost to the fiesta en pantalones. *hearteyes*
Solonius addresses Spartacus with bravado, reminding him that Sparty survived his own execution in that very arena, and perhaps Solonius will fare just as well. Spartacus expressionlessly tells him that it’s pretty fucking doubtful. I CONCUR.
Solonius attacks immediately, and Spartacus doesn’t bother fighting back – he just casually defends himself, barely even breaking a sweat. In the pulvinus, Numerius worries that Spartacus isn’t fighting at all, but Batty reassures him that Spartacus is merely putting on a good show for the crowd.
Spartacus takes first blood easily, but notes to Solonius that he’s not totally unskilled after all. He’s tired of fooling around, though, and shows Solonius what a real ass-kicking looks like.
Ilithyia arrives late to the games, and Lucretia barely even greets her, preferring to immediately interrogate her as to the prospects of patronage from her husband the legatus. Ilithyia’s looking much like her old confident self, and informs Lucretia that Glaber will arrive from Rome the following day to discuss that very thing.
Down on the sand, Spartacus has delivered a nasty blow to Solonius’ stomach, and Solonius falls to his knees while holding his spewing intestines in. Pleh. As Solonius prepares himself for his inevitable death, he takes a moment to enjoy the roar of the crowd, and to tell Spartacus that Batiatus is the truly guilty party in this whole mess. To his surprised delight, Spartacus coldly informs him that Batiatus will join him in death presently.
Sparty lops off Solonius’ head mid-gleeful laugh, and salutes the pulvinus with this grisly trophy on the end of his mighty sword. (His real sword, not his cock, you freaks.)
Later that evening, back at the villa, Batiatus and Doctore are discussing the various gladiators – Batty wants Agron and Duro separated in future games, so that Agron doesn’t risk himself for his derpy bro. He also doesn’t have time to chat with Spartacus tonight, and has Mira sent to vaginally distract him instead.
Off in an alae, Ashur is being fit for new and luxurious robes, as thanks for his cunning role in the Solonius Scheme. Batty has decided to remove Ashur from the ludus and house him in the villa as a higher servant and not a lowly gladiator slave. He’s also decided to reward Ashur with the female slave of his choice, and my first assumption is that he’s going to choose Mira, just to be an asshat.
Oh how wrong I was. Oh how badly I underestimated the asshattery. Le sigh.
Mira enters Sparty’s cell with a smile, because she is seriously ridiculous. Oh sweetie. Just because he waffled a guy’s face doesn’t mean he loves you. But no. She’s still delighted to have been commanded to fuck Spartacus, which, admittedly, is totally understandable.
Mira goes to gently touch Spartacus’ lickable jawline, and he twitches away grumpily. Mira’s all “what the shit dude, I sponge bathed your stank ass when you were sick and stood guard while you shanked Aulus. YOU AT LEAST OWE ME A FEEL, BITCH.” Sparty has the decency to admit that he’s just really distracted by other thoughts, namely those of slaughtering their boss.
Mira, in the eternal foolishness all of which women are occasionally guilty, asks Spartacus what he’s thinking. Mira, come the fuck on. When has this line of conversation ever worked well?
Spartacus is worried that Batiatus suspects his part in Aulus’ death, since Batty’s been ignoring Spartacus’ requests for a summons. This is, hands down, the girliest thing Spartacus has ever said. HE’S NOT RETURNING MY PHONE CALLS MIRA I THINK HE DOESN’T LIKE ME ANY MORE. *facepalm*
Mira thinks Spartacus is being ridiculous, and wants to know exactly what it was that Aulus said while dying that’s got Sparty so vexed. And Spartacus, inexplicably, confesses that Batiatus ordered Sura’s death at Aulus’ hands.
Mira freaks out like whoa, because if Spartacus – or any slave – kills their master, Roman law states that all other slaves in the household will be put to death. Spartacus is totally willing to sacrifice the entire household for his revenge, because he’s kind of a twat sometimes, and Mira runs off to flail in private, leaving Spartacus to his stabby thoughts.
Off in a secluded corner of the storeroom, Crixus and Naevia are humping sweatily on the floor. Crixus sadfaces for a moment about how Naevia wasn’t there in the pulvinus to witness his victory against Perikles, and Naevia promises to never miss his hotass winnings again. Before they can bone again, though, Naevia is called by Lucretia. OHNOES!
Crixus flees through the ludus gate and Naevia attempts to look casually busy fetching wine as Lucretia descends the stairs with an odd expression on her face. Whatever could be the matter, I wonder. Hm. A mysterious service is required of Naevia by Batiatus.
Oh yes. You guessed it. ASHUR CHOSE NAEVIA FOR HIS SEXY FUN TIMES.
Naevia is summoned to Ashur’s new chambers in the villa, looking nervous and epically repulsed. Ashur drops some pointed comments about not holding grudges for past actions, meaning Naevia’s conversations with Doctore about Barca’s death and Ashur’s part in it. Once Naevia is totally flustered, Ashur moves in for some groping and naked times. WHY SO CREEPY ASHUR.
He makes some further creeper remarks about how hot it is that Naevia is apparently a scared and trembling virgin, and Naevia tells him (stupidly, SO STUPIDLY) that Lucretia has kept her untouched all these years. Oh dear. Naevia tries not to barf or sob as Ashur takes off her ratty slave dress and pushes her gently down onto the bed.
Lucretia, meanwhile, is berating Batiatus for allowing her precious virgin Naevia to be wasted on Ashur, a mere slave. She feels revolted and betrayed at the thought of Ashur fucking her darling Naevia, which, lol. HOW DO YOU THINK NAEVIA FEELS, EH?
Also, wait til you find out who else has been boning Naevia, babe.
Batiatus cleverly distracts Lucretia by reminding her that Glaber, and presumably his august patronage, will arrive at the ludus the very next day, and soon all their social climbing dreams will be realized.
Early the next morning, Spartacus is the first on the training sands. He’s bashing the shit out of the wooden training dummy and reliving every moment of Sura’s death and Batty’s betrayal. Crixus stops by with some smartassery about how little wooden men can’t fight back nearly as well as he himself can, and how badly he looks forward to defeating Spartacus in the arena and becoming Champion of Capua once again. Batty’s summoning of Spartacus interrupts their intense eyefucking before it can descend into mansex, AS PER FUCKING USUAL GDIT. Spartacus is clearly planning to kill Batty ASAP, as he tells Crixus that they will likely never have the chance to fight one another again. Crixus looks baffled, which is sort of his default expression around Spartacus.
Okay, baffled and horny.
Up in the villa, Batty is driving the slaves completely fucking insane with his flaily demands for absolute house perfection in preparation for Glaber and Ilithyia’s visit that afternoon. The “new girl” is sent to fetch flowers as Spartacus arrives with his guards.
Batiatus apologizes for not having had time for Spartacus in the past few days, but Spartacus is concentrating more on locating the nearest weapons with which to hack Batty to bits. Mira, cleaning the floor, looks between the two men anxiously.
Spartacus seems about to reach for a large knife sitting openly on a nearby table, but is momentarily distracted from his stabbytimes at the mention of Glaber’s impending arrival to the villa – Batty asks that Spartacus not dwell on his hatred for Glaber, and Spartacus agrees that while Glaber is responsible for Sura’s kidnapping, another man is responsible for her death. Just as he’s about to reach for the knife, the “new girl” arrives with an armful of flowers.
She’s working in the villa now to pay off the rest of Varro’s debts – even though Spartacus asked that his own winnings be given to her instead. Aurelia doesn’t want any money from Spartacus, as she foolishly blames him alone for Varro’s death. Everyone on this show is so ridiculous, oh my god. STOP BLAMING PEOPLE FOR BEING FORCED TO DO THINGS AGAINST THEIR WILL, ROMANS.
Mira, watching the interplay of emotions on Spartacus’ face, surely comes to the same conclusion as we all do – Spartacus will risk every life in the villa to kill Batiatus… every life except Aurelia’s. Naturally she decides to look jealous instead of relieved. SIGH.
Since Batty now has a moment or two, he wonders what Spartacus had wanted to discuss so badly these last few days. “YOUR SCREAMING DEATH AT MY HANDS, ACTUALLY,” Spartacus neglects to bellow savagely.
Sparty pretends that his intent was to inquire after Aurelia’s well-being, and further pretends to be relieved to see her safe under the roof of the House of Batiatus. You’d think that a consummate liar like Batty would be able to easily see through Spartacus’ really halfassed lie, but no. He’s too pleased with himself to think too hard about it, and simply offers Spartacus a pear.
As Waffle-Face Hector escorts Spartacus back down to his cell, Mira stops them and demands some time alone with Sparty. Hector’s not about to be ordered around by a mere slip of a girl, but Mira reminds him that she’s kept silent about the missing gate key. Hector snarls at her impotently and allows them a moment alone.
Oh lord. Mira’s decided to confront Spartacus in a jealous rage over his decision to not kill Batiatus once he saw Aurelia. Sparty defends himself by saying that Varro was like his brother, but Mira storms off nevertheless. Spartacus obnoxiously counts on Mira’s affection for him to not reveal his plan to anyone, which is kind of arrogant IMAO.
I mean, yes, he’s hot as fuck, but who in their right mind is going to maybe die for a guy who isn’t even giving up the cock? NOT I.
Crixus is on his way back into the insula when Ashur stops him, supposedly to say goodbye before moving up into the villa for good, but really to be a douchebag about everything ever. He gives Crixus a clay panel commemorating Spartacus’ victory against Theokeles, in which Crixus himself is pictured as half-dead on the ground, which Crixus throws to the ground in disgust.
Ashur tries to rub in his new position as Batty’s right hand man, and Crixus counters by saying “oh what, you mean the hand he wipes his ass with? BOOYAH.” Ashur says these witty conversations are what he’ll miss most about being a gladiator, and Crixus sneers at him that he was never really a gladiator, obviously. Ooh, incendius.
Ashur departs with a nasty smile and thanks for the part Crixus played in his recent rewards. Crixus again looks baffled. Why is Ashur saving the information that he fucked Naevia? ARGH.
Upstairs, the preparations for Glaber’s arrival are almost complete. Aurelia arrives with a three-tiered serving tray of revolting Roman “delicacies”, and Mira angrily tells her that it’s for the balcony table, not the atrium table. Mira, come the fuck on. How do you not know how much Aurelia hates Spartacus right now? It’s not like she’s shy about it.
Ashur shows up in his pretty new dress just in time for Ilithyia’s arrival… alone, no husband in sight. Lucretia and Batiatus are pretty straightforward about their displeasure, demanding to know where Glaber is. Ilithyia replies with her old crafty smile that Glaber wants Batiatus to greet him as he enters the city – which he is doing right now.
Batty and Ashur run off to find the Legatus, and Lucretia suggest that she and Ilithyia retire to the balcony to await their menfolk. But no! Ilithyia needs to return to her villa and start packing, because she’s moving back to Rome with her husband. Glaber is running for Praetor, and wants Ilithyia by his side throughout the campaign.
Lucretia somehow manages not to swoon with despair over the thought of potentially losing their most valuable meal ticket, and Ilithyia is gone with a kiss and a smile before Lucretia can even work up the strength to protest as vehemently as she’d like to.
Outside in the courtyard, Spartacus is training with Rhaskos, but his heart doesn’t really seem to be in it. Agron interrupts him to ask a favor – he’s worried about being parted from Duro in the arena, and asks that Spartacus use his significant influence with Batiatus to see them reunited instead. Spartacus declines to involve himself, and Agron walks off kicking the sand dejectedly. Up on the balcony, Aurelia tries to pretend that she hasn’t been watching Spartacus, and looks away as soon as they make eye contact.
On the outskirts of Capua, Glaber and his retinue are entering the city in ridiculous and unnecessary slo-mo. IT’S JUST A BUNCH OF DUDES ON HORSES, STARZ. The plebes rush to get out of his glorious way, and Batiatus and Ashur arrive belatedly to greet Glaber, who is well and truly pissed at not having been met at the city gates. He’s also got some bitchy things to say about the recent spate of lawlessness in Capua which led to the Magistrate’s death, as well as Ovidius’. And now Licinia, cousin to Marcus Crassus, has gone missing, and Glaber intends to get to the bottom of this! He rides off to discuss the situation with Mercato, ordering Batty to await him at the villa.
Man, Glaber is such a dick, but I love seeing him get the better of Batty. (Also, let’s face it – that is one fine-looking man, and I enjoy watching him bone his fine-looking wife. So there.)
Back at the ludus, Crixus has been summoned up to the villa. Naevia’s been sent to fetch him, and can’t even look him in the eye, as she’s concentrating on not bursting into totally anguished tears. Crixus tries to get all flirty with his girl, and she angrily tells him that they can’t meet anymore, because Batiatus has given her to another man.
Crixus immediately demands to know WHO DAMMIT WHO but seriously, what does it even matter? Why are you worried about this when you should be comforting your beloved fucking girlfriend, you immense derpface? Naevia runs off before he can further interrogate her, and Lucretia arrives in one of her scandalous nighties to pounce on him hungrily.
She slinks up to him in a way that I find extremely distracting, but her frantic kisses are halted by the sudden realization that something is very wrong indeed. Crixus seems to think she means his reticence, but it’s actually something amiss with Lucretia herself. She calls for Naevia and collapses to the ground in shock.
Batiatus and Ashur return to the villa, and Batty’s once again aflail with rage and hurt feelings, like a chastised toddler. Batty bursts angrily into Lucretia’s chamber to yell about Ilithyia’s failure to win her husband to their cause, and is stopped short by the sight of his wife lying weakly in bed, surrounded by solicitous slave girls gently sponging her brow. Batiatus shows one of his rare moments of legit uxorious love and humanity when he’s immediately worried that something terrible has happened to Lucretia.
The tiny but overjoyed smile on Lucretia’s face belies this, though, and she quietly tells him that she’s finally and at long last PREGNANT. Batiatus does a happy dance and orders a celebration for the entire house, never suspecting for a single moment that the child might not even be his. Whatevs, Lucretia and Crixus’ kid will prolly be the most cunning and mighty sex god ever.
Glaber returns in a noisy rage to his villa in central Capua where Ilithyia waits in yet another scandalous and highly distracting nightie. He’s all worked up over the disappearance of Licinia, and Ilithyia casually shares the current gossip that Licinia ran off with a lover. Glaber doesn’t want to be teased out of his mood, instead wanting to know what stupid promises Ilithyia may have made to Batiatus and Lucretia on his behalf.
Ilithyia denies having made any promises other than to speak with him on their behalf, and gets Glaber naked before any further unpleasant conversational topics can come up. AND THEN THEY BONE, HOORAYS.
Aurelia’s just dropped a full amphora of wine in the storeroom, and Mira impatiently orders her to fetch another one and bring it upstairs already, NEW GIRL. Spartacus peeks through the gate and asks for a moment alone to speak with Aurelia. Neither woman looks even remotely pleased about the request – Mira stomps off and Aurelia refuses to even look at Spartacus.
Spartacus once again begs Aurelia to take his winnings and leave Batty’s employment, but Aurelia wants nothing from Spartacus unless he can return Varro to her somehow, magically. Furthermore, she’s left her and Varro’s son with her brother to be raised by her sister-in-law, and procured an abortion for the child of her rape. I don’t even want to know how, frankly.
Sparty warns Aurelia not to trust Batiatus, and Aurelia laughs bitterly – she’s not ever going to trust anyone ever again.
The next morning, Glaber and Ilithyia finally visit the villa. Batiatus tries to impress them with the grand tour of the newly cleaned and decorated villa, but neither of them are likely to impress that easily. Glaber cuts to the chase, wanting to know why Batty’s been so insistent for his favor, if he’s been so financially successful of late, and Batty lays it out equally plainly – he wants political office: perhaps just a minor one at first, hm?
Glaber decides to humor him, asking what men of status have offered support for these wild schemes. Batty claims that Magistrate Calavius supported him fully just shortly before his tragic death, LOLS. You so crafty, Bats. Glaber’s still not convinced, and wants to know exactly what the benefit will be to him in associating with a mere lanista, but Batty has a ready answer for this as well – his gladiators are the heroes and darlings of Capua, and Batty will leverage the crowd’s love on Glaber’s behalf, which will be especially valuable during election time.
You have to hand it to him, really. His plans are very well thought out.
Ilithyia, in the guise of supporting the idea, agrees that the crowd does favor Batty’s men – especially Spartacus. The mention of his old enemy wipes the calm smile off of Glaber’s face, as he asks what Batty thinks it means that Glaber’s worst soldier is the best gladiator. Batty boasts that it is evidence that he’s the best lanista in the Republic, so Glaber, clever Glaber, immediately demands proof. He wants Spartacus and all the gladiators summoned to the villa immediately. Ruh roh.
The gladiators are assembled before Glaber and his men, and Glaber stops before Spartacus in a blatantly obvious attempt to wind him up. Spartacus doesn’t take the bait, so Glaber insists upon a demonstration fight – between Spartacus and his entire group of guards.
Spartacus takes his place against the half dozen men, and even though Batty points out that he’s fighting with only wooden practice swords, Glaber calls for the fight to begin.
Spartacus defeats the first man easily, and Glaber next sets two men on him despite Batty’s halfhearted protests. Glaber’s wasting everyone’s time with this stupid vendetta, because Spartacus makes short work of the two men as well. Glaber’s next gambit is to set the remaining 4 men on Spartacus all together. Mira, Batiatus, Lucretia, and Doctore, plus all the assembled gladiators, look on nervously.
Spartacus is an awesome fighter, but this is 4 on 1 and he’s only got a wooden sword. He ends up on his ass in the impluvium as the remaining guard moves in for the kill. Spartacus hauls himself to his feet and beats the almighty crap out of the last guard with the hilt of his broken wooden sword, and then drags one of the other guards off for a savage barehanded beating.
I assume Glaber’s meant to be looking really fucking pissed off right about now, but seriously, I have to say, he looks unbelievably fucking turned on. Like he might at any moment start humping Sparty’s leg or something.
As Spartacus stands over the unconscious defeated guards, Batiatus smugly tells Glaber that he was right after all. Glaber’s not quite finished pushing Sparty’s buttons, and idly wonders aloud if Spartacus would be so submissive and deferential as to bow to him as well, claiming it as his final price to secure his patronage. Batiatus naturally agrees at once, and Glaber tells Spartacus, in the silkiest and most frankly erotic tones we’ve ever heard from the man – including when he’s in bed with his gloriously delicious wife – to kneel before him.
There’s a tense moment or two when it looks like Spartacus might refuse, but in the end, he kneels and bows his head. Batiatus tries and fails to conceal his triumphant smile.
And then, infuckingexplicably, Ashur chooses this particular moment to sidle up to Naevia and start fondling her in front of Crixus, with a similarly obnoxious and triumphant smile.
Crixus is no match for these kinds of head games, and lunges at Ashur with a demented roar. Crixus throws him to the ground and can’t decide whether to throttle him or smash his face in, and does both in quick succession. Spartacus and Doctore move as one to restrain Crixus, grabbing him off of Ashur and restraining him, just barely.
Glaber loudly berates Batiatus for allowing such mayhem among his slaves, and Batty is understandably confused about Crixus’ seemingly random attack. Ashur, however, is happy to loudly inform everyone present that Crixus is clearly crazed with jealousy over Ashur touching Naevia, and furthermore, that Naevia was not a virgin when Ashur first fucked her.
Crixus is literally frothing at the mouth like a fucking maniac and has no words to defend himself, but the tears and panic on Naevia’s face are enough to condemn them both. The look of incredible betrayal on Lucretia’s face would be really poignant if she didn’t have it coming 100%. Ilithyia just laughs and laughs and laughs, enjoying every scandalous moment to the fullest.
Lucretia drags Naevia off to beat the everloving shit out of her in a wild and jealous rage like no other. Naevia sobs and bleeds on the floor, and Mira watches, shocked and scared, from the doorway as Lucretia notices that Naevia is trying to conceal something in the folds of her dress – it’s the key to the ludus’ gate.
Lucretia’s crazyfest freakout is at least somewhat legit. After all, Naevia was the only person who knew of her true feelings for Crixus, which makes the betrayal all the more terrible in her eyes. Naevia unwisely spits at Lucretia that Crixus never loved her at all, but was just fucking her because she commanded it, and Lucretia loses what’s left of her fool mind. She throttles Naevia mercilessly, but abruptly changes her mind, and sends Mira off to bring her a knife, while ominously stroking Naevia’s face. OSHIT.
Glaber and Ilithyia are rushing out of the villa with Batty in their wake, loudly promising that Crixus will be punished for his attack. Glaber snarks that Batty’s too weak to adequately see to the job, but Lucretia icily pronounces her firm and resolute determination to kick all the asses all the livelong day. Glaber’s had just about enough of their crazy ass bullshit, and prepares to flounce out of the villa and back to Rome, and that’s when Batty just fucking snaps.
Batty tells him to sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up, and when Glaber tells him to mind his fucking place, Batty clears the room of servants and sends Ashur off for the special gift they’ve prepared for the Legatus. Glaber doesn’t give a shit about any gifts, but Batiatus promises this gift will be remembered until the day they all die. Ilithyia’s no fool, and quickly senses where things are heading, and tries to rush her husband out of the villa, to no avail.
Ashur arrives with a wooden box and hands it to Glaber, who gestures for it to be opened, and oh dearie me. Inside is the rotting severed hand of Licinia, still prominently bearing the family ring. Ilithyia stifles a scream of terror, and Glaber demands to know just what the actual fuck is even going ON anymore. And oh, Batiatus is very happy to let him in on their little secret – that Ilithyia murdered Licinia, and that Batty and Lucretia covered it up.
Oh, and they have the rest of her body in case he wants to see it. Would he like to see it? Hm? No?
Batiatus threatens to arrange for Licinia’s body to be found on the grounds of Glaber’s villa, should he not give his patronage to the ludus immediately and without reservations. Ilithyia begs Glaber not to believe their “lies”, but it really only takes one good look into her eyes to see her total panic and fear.
Glaber silences her with a vicious slap (which seems to turn Lucretia on just a little bit) and blankly grants his them patronage, effective immediately. He’ll be leaving some of his men behind “to guard against further embarrassments”, and Ilithyia can see to the rest of the arrangements – he’ll be leaving her behind in Capua as well and returning to Rome alone.
Ilithyia runs after him, sobbing, and is stopped by his guards. She glances back over her shoulder into the villa and sees Lucretia, Batiatus, and Ashur, all smiling coldly at her.
OH THIS SHOW I CAN’T EVEN. I love/hate everyone and absolutely revel in seeing them each alternately delighted and destroyed.
I think this show is actually making me a more terrible person. It should come with a sociopath warning or something.
That evening, Crixus is tied to the whipping posts for his punishment. Up on the balcony, Batiatus rants to the men about the betrayal of trusted slaves and guards, throwing Hector’s severed head down onto the sands. He then tells them all that Glaber is now the ludus’ patron, and that things are going to be very different now. Batty apparently thinks he’s been TOO GOOD to his slaves in the past, and that’s now all going to change. Mkay dude.
With a nod from Batiatus, Doctore moves to begin the punishment, regretfully unleashing his sexwhip. He tells Crixus to “embrace the pain”, which is not terribly helpful, all things considered, but it’s the best he can do.
Lucretia winces a bit when the first few blows make Crixus cry out in pain, and you can see her visibly steeling herself to remember her anger and betrayal. The gladiators watch silently and thoughtfully and unhappily, in stark contrast to Ashur’s very obvious enjoyment up on the balcony. DIIIIICK!
To make matters epically and astoundingly fucking worse, Batiatus tells Lucretia, in a bitter undertone, that he expects her sexy sex meetings with Crixus to cease immediately. Lucretia tries to play it off with a smile, like he’s mistaken, but Batty’s known from the very beginning. He’s only ignored it because it made Lucretia happy and didn’t make any problems between them.
(Batty’s comments about Lucretia turning her attention only to her pregnancy, and “their child”, makes me wonder if he suspects that the baby is really Crixus’. He doesn’t come right out and say it so I am doomed to wonder forever.)
He ends the punishment and the gladiators return to their cells, leaving Crixus hanging bloodily from his whipping posts. Naevia struggles away from her guards and runs sobbing to Crixus, and Doctore tells the guard to allow them this one last moment in honor of Crixus having been the Champion for so long, and also because Doctore is basically the one decent human being in all of Capua.
Naevia is beaten and bloody and her hair’s been hacked off by Lucretia’s knife, but Crixus still looks at her like she’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. He sobs quite wretchedly about how he’s ruined everything for them forever and ever, but Naevia only cares that he’s still alive. She has no idea where she’s being sold off to, and Crixus swears to win his freedom and find her no matter what it takes. Doctore comes to gently take her away as Crixus bawls like a tiny baby.
Naevia then thanks Doctore for his kindness to them by giving him the piece of information he’s been seeking since forever – the information that Barca did not earn his freedom, but was killed by Batiatus instead. Doctore stares up at the balcony with murder in his eyes.
Down in the insula, Glaber’s guards are shoving the angry gladiators around and generally treating them like shit. Duro and Agron in particular are getting the brunt of their anger, as neither can resist talking back to their captors.
They’re finally tossed into a common cell next to Spartacus, bitching about how things are just getting worse and worse in the ludus. Spartacus suggests they might not want to be around when things get worse, as they inevitably will. When they ask Spartacus just what he’s on about, demanding to know if he’s talking of escape, he has only three words to say: