Spartacus leads a bold mission to free Crixus from Roman captivity, but a storied gladiator from the House of Batiatus complicates matters. Ilithyia's scheming puts her marriage to Glaber at risk.
Agron's group allowed Spartacus to escape. They find refuge in an abandoned temple with its resident, embittered Roman citizen Lucius Caelius, who hates the republic since Sulla killed his loved ones. Hearing Varinius is to preside over major games in Capua, to culminate in the pseudo-execution of Crixus and two other captives, Spartacus is determined to free them and take revenge on Glaber. Meanwhile, senator Albinius agrees to let Ilithyia divorce and remarry Varinius. Lucretia helps her to an abortion potion, but Glaber finds out.
- "Spartacus" - Libertus
The episode opens with a spectacularly bloody fight to the death in the arena with the cheering, clapping, stomping crowd deep in its bloodlust cups. As Crixus (Manu Bennett) and Oenomaus (Peter Mensah) begin the final battle for their lives during what have clearly been designed as their public "execution," we jump back in time to see how we got here.
Trouble is brewing in the chambers of the leaders. Ilithyia (Viva Bianca) has decided to abort her child in order to seek better opportunities for herself in Rome alongside her father Albinius (Kevin J. Wilson). When Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) learns of this plan she convinces her to hold off taking the potion that would do the deed so that she will still be able to attend the games the next day. (The potion, not surprisingly, causes sickness and bleeding for days.) llithyia believes this to be wise counsel and thinks that she and Lucretia will be allies now. Of course, Lucretia has other plans. She goes to the always treacherous Ashur (Nick E. Tarabay) and convinces him that she will get him freed by whispering the right ears of his usefulness to the gods in. In return she asks him to go to Ilithyia's chambers and swap out the potion for something harmless. Instead, he goes to Glaber (Craig Parker) and tells him of Ilithyia's plan. Glaber goes to her where she tells him in no uncertain, and in incredibly cruel, terms that he is not worthy of an heir or her and Senator Albinius will shortly be dissolving their marriage.
Meanwhile, Spartacus (Liam McIntyre), Agron (Daniel Feuerriegel) and their ragtag band of rebelous survivors stumble upon an isolated temple. It's lone inhabitant is Lucius, a Roman who no longer swears allegiance since his family was decimated and he is disillusioned with Rome. He seeks to help Spartacus exact his vengeance. He offers them shelter for rest and tells Spartacus that Crixis, "the undefeated Gaul" is still alive. The news brings unexpected relief and joy to all, but the other sandal drops when Lucius also tells them that Crixus is due to be executed in Capua!. There is still an opportunity for them to rescue him, although time is of the essence.
Naevia (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) is, understandably, beside herself. Spartacus decides that it is time to take the fight to the arena itself. It may be folly but in a pep talk to his remaining crew he says it's time to ignite the hearts of the still shackled slaves and show them that the republic can bleed.
A returning Gannicus (Dustin Clare) meanwhile is feeling pretty melancholy. He is free, but at what cost? After a night of wine and the company of "questionable" women, and some ruminating on his past, he is sent to the arena to finish off Crixus and the others.
Spartacus and his band arrive at the arena through an underground waterway where the bodies of fallen gladiators are tossed. He and Agron overtake some soldiers and grab their uniforms. They station themselves at the gates as Gannicus is preparing to head out. Spartacus notices the brand of the House of Batiatus on Gannicus' arm and asks how he can do what he is about to do. He says he is no champion and is only assuring these men get honorable deaths.
There are several undercard fights and then Gannicus and a band of soldiers take on Crixus and the others. Spartacus and his men lie in wait as Mira (Katrina Law) leads other members of their crew to set fire underneath the seats at the arena. The fight wages center stage, brutal and bloody, and suddenly whole swaths of the screaming crowd collapse into the bowels of the arena as the fire takes out the seats. It spreads like a wave dropping many more as others scramble to exit. The fire finally makes its way to the royal viewing box.
Spartacus and others charge onto the arena sand and begin to battle. Glaber and Spartacus see each other and Spartacus hurls a spear at him, missing him but grazing his cheek and killing Cossutius. Once passage is clear Glaber, Ilythia, Lucretia and the others escape. But as Glaber is emerging from the wreckage he sees Albinius trapped beneath debris. Instead of helping him, he does him in. He tells Ilithyia that her father has "fallen" and that they will now carry on as husband and wife. She is bereft, and Varinius (Brett Tucker), seeing this tableau in the ruins beneath the arena and sensing that his power base has been weakened, coolly turns from she would would have been his bride, and walks away.
Although Gannicus had Oenomaus down and was about to strike the death blow, the fire distracted them all and once the chaos broke out he called to Spartacus and the others to assist him in helping Oenomaus up. Spartacus, Gannicus, Crixus and their remaining crew escape back out of the arena waterway, ready, wounded but ready to fight another day after destroying the arena.