[note in passing; I just realized yesterday that the guy playing Octavius was the young lad in Master and Commander]

This week's episode opens with Vorenus and Pullo swimming ashore, apparently the only two (at this point) to have survived the shipwreck ... they're on some C-shaped island

Meanwhile, at Caesar's camp in Greece, Caesar and MA are strategizing (talking of retreat) ... MA suggests fighting where they are.

At Pompey's camp they're dining heartily and the various folks are already talking as if they've won ... they're urging Pompey to attack ...

Back in Rome, our herald announces that MA is safe but he lost some ships; predicts victory for Pompey ... Atia asks Octavia to go to Servilia and get some of her men to act as guards for them [Octavia has one of those parrots that I've blogged about before ... I'll track it down]

Niobe's sister comes for a visit, but is obviously rather miffed ... also seems miffed at Niobe's recent 'wealth' ... Niobe doesn't know if Vorenus is alive or dead; there's a sisterly 'make up' scene

Pullo's out trying to spear fish ... Vorenus says they're wasting their time because they'll die of thirst soon; Pullo suggests drinking the dead guys' blood. Vorenus is resolved that they're going to die (leaving a message for Niobe) ... Pullo seems rather more positive.

Octavia's getting dolled up to visit Servilia ... nice covered litter ... Octavia asks for a favour because she fears the aftermath of the upcoming battle; Servilia grants her the men she wants. Then Octavia gets all weepy ... Servilia really is a nice person; quite the contrast to Atia (despite the curses laid an episode or so ago)

Pompey sends a runner to Caesar ... "The decisive battle begins today" ... Caesar's slave is incredulous ... they're outnumbered 3-1 ... Caesar says "We must win or die; Pompey's men have other options" ... scene of Caesar praying ... slices hand and collects blood in a cup on his lararium or whatever it is (that's the second time we've seen this sort of thing) ... Pompey donning armour ... Caesar says goodbye to his slave ...very tight shot of battle (all close up and blurry ... no cast of thousands here) ... will he say hoc voluerunt? (no, alas) ... Caesar was clearly the victor and clearly not happy that he had one ... "Send to Rome ... tell them Caesar has won".

Pompey under a tree; he's cut his hand ... a rider begs him to leave because Caesar's men are on the way ... Cato et al are pondering their next move; Cato wants to go to Africa ... Cicero says he's going to surrender to Caesar; everyone else is shocked ... Brutus agrees with Cicero "If I had known what an old fool was Pompey, I'd never have left Rome" ... Pompey hears it, proposes to Cato and Scipio (?) that they go to Amphipolis, then Egypt. Cato thinks it might be better if they didn't go together. Pompey clearly defeated and abandoned.

Pullo and Vorenus ... Pullo doesn't believe he was meant to die this way; but is looking forward to seeing his mother again ... wonders about the 'system' of finding relatives in the afterlife ... Vorenus notes a corpse floating high in the water gets the bright idea to build a raft out of corpses and driftwood!! (effin brilliant eh?!)

A bunch of quick scenes:

Pompey's with his wife (and kids) eating ... wifey putting on a brave face

Pullo and Vorenus floating at sea ...

Pompey's retinue abandons him et familia in their cave ... their guide is some guy named Misandros (who kind of looks like Billy Connolly); wonders how he'll get paid ...

Octavia praying at the lararium; interrupted by Atia ... Servilia is inviting Octavia to weave with her

Pompey's kids say "The sea! The sea!" ... then "Look, mama, dead people" ... turns out to be Pullo and Vorenus ... Pompey orders Misandros to leave them with some water and bread (cuz Pullo claims to recognize Pompey), but he won't. Pullo figures out it's Pompey ... "Caesar's going to drown us with gold!". Too weak to do anything, though

Servilia and Octavia weaving and chatting ... slave girl comes in to announce that Caesar had won; Servilia worried about her son "No word". ... Servilia crying, then Octavia gives her a long passionate kiss (hmmmmmmmmmmm).

Cicero and Brutus come to surrender to Caesar ... Caesar is happy they're alive ... Caesar "No talk of surrender ... we've had a little quarrel, now we're friends again" ... Caesar's clementia again. He's worried about Pompey ... Cicero and Brutus get him caught up. Caesar offers them food and drink ...

Mark Antony et al are eating, recounting the battle. All fall silent when Brutus and Cicero enter ... chatter starts up again

Pompey ... telling his kids tales about how he was pals with Ptolemy Auletes ... Vorenus asks Misandros about 'that man', who is "Aeneas Miller" ... Misandros tries bargaining with Pullo and Vorenus; Vorenus miffed ... kills Misandros. Vorenus identifies himself to Pompey ... Pompey claims to be Aeneas; Vorenus takes Pompey prisoner.

Pompey and Vorenus chatting ... Pompey saying he wished he had been at Alesia ...starts yakking about Caesar and clearly gives himself away ... Vorenus asks how Pompey lost; Pompey explains it all ... draws the battle lines etc. ... Pompey asks for mercy for his wife and children; asks to be allowed to take them to Egypt where they'll be safe. ... after Vorenus leaves, he's humming away

Atia and Octavia in bed together ...

Pullo and Vorenus leave Pompey et all behind ... Pullo is mad because of what Caesar would have given them

Caesar's camp ... Pullo and Vorenus before Caesar; report that they had seen Pompey and that he was on his way to Egypt with family and slaves ... "Why didn't you apprehend him?" "I saw no need ... his hands trembled ... he's clearly broken". Caesar miffed ... Vorenus asks for Caesar's pardon. "I ought to have you scourged and crucified". Lets them off. MA thinks Caesar's being too lenient. Caesar thinks Pullo and Vorenus must have powerful gods on their side and he doesn't want to mess with them.

Pompey in a boat coming ashore at Egypt ... greeted by Lucius Septimius, who served with Pompey in Spain, but is now "Working with the Gyppos" ... stabs Pompey then slices off his head (Pompey's wife and kids look on). "I'm sorry sir".