Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (2011): Season 1, Episode 4 - Beneath the Mask - full transcript

The younger Batiatus is having more than just a bit of difficulty accepting his father's ongoing - and seemingly permanent - presence at home. The patriarch refuses to take on the powerful ...

Beneath the Mask

- Up on your end.
- Back this way.

Keep in line.

Mommy, help me!

Can't catch me.

This way.

Net and trident?

The man appears more common
fisherman than gladiator.

The style is called retiarius,
carried from the outer regions.

They should carry it back.
I favor the murmillo.

The crowd is of the opposite opinion.


Soon there will be a retiarius
in the sands in every game.

And the ludus absent them
tragically lacking.

Very well.

Yet place net and trident in the hands
of one of our lesser men.


Did I not tell you?
Listen to them.

A spectacle to be sure.

All the more thrilling if viewed
from the pulvinus.

- Invitation was extended.
- And refused?

The pulvinus is too far removed.

I would witness the games here
among the people

with son beside me.

Your hour is upon you.

A fine blade.

To be wielded with deadly purpose.

Reform my words in manner
Dagan understands.

You bear the mark
of the brotherhood.

An honor you have not earned.

Your true test awaits you.

Live and count yourself
among us.

Die and prove yourselves
as unworthy as I suspect.

Dagan says he will honor the House
of Batiatus with gifts of blood.

As will the mighty Ashur.

Then do not die too quickly.

Go on, Ashur!

Come on. Yes!


Come on!


Fucking yes!

Show them no mercy!


Hasdrubal falls!

As all men
who face Ashur!

The man assumes credit
owed his betters.

He is but swollen by the moment.

Perhaps he will turn
greater performance next time.

You speak of what
may never pass.

Now the lesser matches
have passed,

let us see something of note.

Vettius, make presentation.

I give the good people
of Capua this day

my latest acquisition,

certain to inflame passion

and ignite fear in all who oppose him.

From the darkest lands
east of the Rhine,

behold Caburus Murmillo.

The crowd favors Vettius' offering.

They greet Gannicus with louder voice,
yet he stands removed from the games.

Enter Drappes Thraex.

Crixus shows promise,
yet again the same fate.

Our men see victory
only to be awarded exclusion.

The fruits reaped when you offend a man
beyond our station.


I but stood ground to protect
our house as any lanista would.

Yet ambition beyond the title
clouds yourjudgment.

We must be humble
if I am to repair relations

with Tullius and see all our
men returned to the sands.

Quickly I pray if we are
to place our men

in the opening games
of the new arena.

Reaching for such heights is what
sent you tumbling from favor.

Strike it from your thoughts.

Place mind and effort towards
more reasonable pursuits.

Caburus! Caburus!

Perhaps the procuring of a man
as worthy as Caburus.

Fleeting opportunity
to enjoy the old arena

and yet we're swept aside,
absent even casual regard.

I consider it a blessing

to be so reprieved
from condemning presence.

The manner Titus glares at us, it is
a shock we do not burst into flame.

He is but an old man
set upon his ways.

He is a gorgon with a cock
turning all around him to stone.

Titus does not fare well
in the dust and the heat.

His health will prompt return
to the coast of Sicilia very soon.

Until such glorious event, I would fade
from beneath his oppressive roof.

You would leave me?

You are with husband.

A man who would never see you
harmed by whim or circumstance.

I stand alone,

severed from such protection.

A perilous condition
that must be attended.

You are never alone
while I draw breath.

Words of much comfort.

Though a husband with heavy purse
would be more so.

Then we must find one
suitable to cause.

A possibility presents itself
in most pleasing form.

You know the man?

I've seen him about in Rome
absent encumbrance of a wife.

Well, how fortunate that we should come
upon him at this time and place.

In desperate times fortune must
give way to more assertive hands.


Would the gods have me so blessed?

Gaia. We were introduced
at one of Varus's affairs.

Oh yes.

- Yes yes, of course. Apologies.
- None required.

Seeing you so unexpected
has lifted questionable spirits.


- Lucretia can attest...
- You're Lucretia?

Wife to the lanista Batiatus?

I do call him husband, yes.

I have heard
your house spoken of

and the, um, pleasures
contained within.

Barca has lost form
since Auctus fell.

His cock will find
another hole to fuck.

Ah, we return anointed
in the blood

of our enemies.

Hasdrubal and Kleitos
met their end.

The first of many to fall
beneath our swords in the arena.

See yourselves to the baths.

Pair with Rhaskos.

To what end?

If I am not to fight in the arena
I'll remain here in the shade.


Send the man up.
I would have words.


One of the finest champions
this house has ever forged.

He stood a titan.

As all my champions.

The culmination
of years of training,

dedication, sacrifice.

You would hold
yourself their equal?

In the arena
I am every man's equal.


The champion is more than
his victories upon the sands.

He is the sum of his actions.

Every decision, no matter how small,
speaks to the man

in the balance of his heart.

In his breast beats the heart of a lion.

And what does it beat for?

The House of Batiatus.

Return him to the ludus.

See? The man fights for the honor
of this house

as all your champions
have in the past.

Gannicus speaks but words
he knows I seek to hear.

He is no champion of my house.

I stand before Petronius
with obvious charms

and all he can do is prattle
about the House of Batiatus.

I fear I've lost delicate touch.

Your touch is many things,
delicate not among them.

You're of a mood.

If word of what we have offered
has spread to Petronius,

how long before it lights
on Titus' ear?

Perhaps it should.

The shock would no doubt
end the old goat.

You jest while all around us
threatens to fucking crumble.

The only threat is of you and Quintus
becoming favored among the elite.

As a whore is favored
by the man atop her.

It is not as if all of Rome knows.

Only the most privileged tongues

whisper of the delights
offered within these walls.

Delights Petronius and his friends
long to witness for themselves.

To even consider it
is beyond reason.

If Titus were to...

What joys does my father
prevent now?

None of note.

We came across Petronius
in the market.

You are familiar with the name?

As any man with their mind towards
business and the procuring of it.

He is familiar with yours as well
and spoke with great interest

of sampling of your more
exotic offerings

with acquaintances
of equal position.

And how did good Petronius
come to hear of such things?

Varus and Cossutius.

Their tongues are looser
than their cocks.

Petronius departs for Rome
the day after next.

Decision must be given quick birth
or see opportunity aborted.

With the support of Petronius
we may yet find position

in the opening games
of the new arena.

- Quintus, your father...
- Make the arrangements.

I'll attend to my father.

Melitta. A word.

I have none to give.

It is a matter of some importance.

A moment.

You avoid my gaze.

As you should mine
lest suspicions be aroused.

Should they not also be aroused

if two friends are no longer
seen to speak?

What happened between us...

Was not of our choosing.

We must turn it from thought
and never give it voice.

My tongue, it bends
to such warning.

Yet the thought of you,

it proves troublesome.

The memory will fade
with time,

as do all things born
of misfortune.

We were as brothers once
but no more.

The men no longer accept me
as a gladiator

and do not yet give respect
as doctore.

Even Gannicus refuses
to heed my instruction.

Gannicus heeds nothing
but his own desires

beyond all reason.

You must teach him that you alone
are in command.

And by firm hand erase all doubts.

Show them all the man
that I've given my heart to.


Your mastery of the sword
falls to question.

The net and trident
are your weapons now.

A fucking net, Oenomaus?

You will do as commanded
absent complaint

or see flesh stripped from bone.

Yes, Doctore.

Return to training.

You speak as Jupiter hurling bolts
from the heavens.

Raised there by words
and touch of loving wife.

Now pair with Barca
and remain far from the shade.

Bring fucking spear to purpose.


Your man shows fire today.

Ignited by your words I'm sure.

- Honeyed wine, quickly.
- I'm fine.

Sound and pallor
threaten disagreement.

You are too long
from the salt air of the coast.

And shall remain
from Sicilia longer still.

- Do not waste breath on the matter.
- I would not see you so far removed.

But a day or more
by the waters of Neapolis?

- Oh.
- Yes, to revive color.

My concern lies only
with this ludus

and seeing it to former glories.

Well, then let ourjourney
serve dual cause.

We can review the latest
shipment of slaves

with mind towards procuring
a champion favored by us both.

Someone to rival
Vettius' new man.


You conspire against an old man.

To your advantage.
Make preparation.

We leave for Neapolis.

See to my father.

He is attended to as promised.

Have Gaia send word to Petronius.
You entertain tonight.

If he and his circle overreach?

The appetites of men are not easily
set aside by the words of a woman.

We'll send message to Solonius.

He can stand in my place,
speak for the house if so needed.

- Quintus.
- The risk outweighs concern.

See to Petronius and his guests.

And with their satisfaction our position
in the opening games is secured.

Snare any fish today
in your little net?

Reward for victory in the arena.

Continue and see more weigh palm.

Dagan questions receiving
the greater sum.

We stood equally upon the sands.

Tell him he receives twice the coin

because you are half the man.

I am a gladiator

as he is.

If we did not need you to exchange
our words for his,

you would never have been given
chance to take up sword.

Bread for your pets.

Doiros was the brother
I held closest to me.

He was a fierce warrior,

as was my father
and all before us.

I would sit at their feet and listen
to their many stories of battle,

longing for the day
when I could pick up arms

and stand beside them
in glory.

My father, my brothers,

Doiros... I watched as they all fell
beneath the spears of the Arverni.

My hand yet too small
to pick up sword,

I was forced to serve,

to bow and scrape.

First of all to the shits
who took my family

and then to the Romans
they sold me to.

Not a day passes where I do not dream
of honoring the dead,

of proving myself worthy to them

in blood and victory.

Auctus is the first life
I've ever taken in battle.

He will not be forgotten.

They were Auctus' pets.

I never favored them.

Now they are all that's left.

Line 'em up.
Make 'em stand up straight.

What of this one?

See how his form is carved with each
muscle building on to the next?

A worthy addition to any ludus.

A fine offering, is he not?

I would not waste coin.

The man favors his left
revealing injury to the leg.

Unsuitable for men of discerning eye.

Let us turn to something
of rarer quality.

I have a Thracian of the Maedi tribe,

the likes of which you have...

Thracians are too difficult to control
and aggravate the Gauls beyond reason.

My son speaks truth.

You offer us piss
and claim it wine.

You'll find none better in Neapolis.

I would hope your city's drink
holds higher standard.

Come, let us seek libation

to wash the taste of shit
from mouth.

- Diona.
- It does not hurt.

Wait. We haven't spoken
or laughed as we usually do.

I have no time for childish things.

Domina wishes me bathed
for tonight.

Take this to Oenomaus. These men
are to be brought to the villa

- properly oiled and scented.
- Yes, Domina.

There is much I will need
attended to tonight.

I would have you by my side,

not be dislodged by any request.


There is one thing
that I would ask you in return.

It is well known that your husband's
allegiance lies with Titus.

Sway him to keep what we do here
confined to shadow,

or I fear that other secrets

will find their way into the light.

Am I understood?

Yes, Domina.

See it done.

Venus blushes in her garden,

shamed by such beauty.

Would that she stood in my place
and I among the roots and leaves.

These hands were not meant
for common earth.

They have held me close
as dearest friend,

as sister.

Tonight mine shall return favor

and aid yours in seizing position
so richly deserved.


Solonius arrives.

Let us greet him

and forge memory of a night
not soon forgotten.

The man is no Gannicus,

yet he surpasses in enthusiasm.

They are well received.

As are all things born of base desire.


We ask too much of you in this.

But your presence is of great comfort.

Situation forces us all to actions
otherwise never considered.

Blame lies in the Fates
absolving weighted heart.

See this to the pantry

and remain there until I call upon you
after all have left.

We dishonor this house.

We but do as commanded.

Cause does not alter result.

No, yet me must move beyond it
or be driven to madness.

The man fucks as a bull

horns to purpose.

Gratitude for gracing
the House of Batiatus

with esteemed presence,
one which my husband

regrets he cannot share
due to pressing business.

Oh, I had not noticed his absence.

What you have seen
is but a taste of the pleasures

afforded you beneath humble roof.

Our gladiators, our slaves,

everything within these walls I place
at the whims of your desire.

For a single night
you are the masters of this house.

An enticing offer.

One I would see to full advantage.


I have never cared for surprises.

And you have provided many
in your day.

Your disappointment
has often been given a voice.

A loud and clear one.

Disappointment can only exist
upon expectation.

You proved from tender age

that you would listen to no one's
counsel save your own.

When did I ever turn from iron advice?

A desire to gain military experience
raised your objection,

I turned from it.

You commanded that I run
the ludus in your absence,

I obeyed abandoning my own desires
long since forgotten.

When has son
even denied the father?

When he married a woman beneath him.

You were wrong about her
as you have been of many things.

An old man's mistakes
swell in the breast

as remaining days shrink.

You will outlive us all.

You're too stubborn to die.

Do you think me a fool, Quintus?

There are many words I would use
towards your description,

fool lives not amongst them.

No it's not.

You knew those slaves were shit
before we ever set foot to path.

Purchase of men was not the reason
you parted me from the ludus, was it?

You wish to find common ground

far from the site
of former disagreements.

My deception meant only to strengthen
the bond between father and son.

This surprise is one most welcome.

And long overdue.

Yet we did not need to travel
so far from comfort.

I would return home and continue
in warmer surroundings.

- What, now?
- Yes.

Should we not wait
until the break of day?

A few hours upon the road
and our own beds to fall to.

Come. Let us put this wretched city
behind us

and embrace closer future.

How does that man find himself here?

Petronius or perhaps loose tongue
of his confederates.

His presence changes nothing.

It upends the fucking earth.

I will break words and gauge intent.

To stand with a smile
in our fucking house

after the injury
put to my husband...

Force him from thought or see effort
and risk fall short of reward.

Petronius and his guests
stand erect with expectation.

Let us see them to climax.

Bring them in.

Good Tullius, seeing you here
comes as surprise.

Surely not to you.

I warned you of
Batiatus' maneuverings

not as invitation, but in hopes you
would prevent such foolishness

and the retribution to valued friend
that it would bring.

You warned me to grow favor.

Continue speaking
and see it wither.

You have shared drink, food,

distractions of the eye and ear.

Yet these are common things
enjoyed by men

bound by accusing morality
of their deeds.

I would see you freed
from such human constraints.

Touch these to flesh.

Sever all ties from the mortal world

and rise as gods
in the House of Batiatus.

Oh, Jupiter.

Never in our dealings, Tullius,

have I been so elevated.

This house truly is a marvel.

If I am to assume the mantle of a god,
I would first prove myself

against one.

You would challenge Gannicus?

A harmless exhibition

to measure humble skill
against vaunted prowess.

I would poison my desires
to witness such a thing.

Gather the practice swords.


But the clash of steel rings through
the halls of Olympus, does it not?

Give them your swords.

Let us clear space and have contest.

See grin removed.

You are to indulge him,
allow a show of blood.

But level no insult
nor injury in return.

Such action would bear
unfortunate consequence.

- I am to lose?
- And win your life.


Let us see if I recall what I learned

years ago in service to the Republic.

It begins to return to me.

I stand unscathed.

Perhaps you are not
the champion I believed.

This goes too far.


The man gives the missio.

The match is yours.

God of the arena

saved by a woman.

See him to the medicus.

An excellent diversion.

Gratitude for allowing it.

Ah, I have delayed
proceedings past reason.

Come, let us explore
what other pleasures

may be mined
from the House of Batiatus.

That fucking animal,

to turn simple exhibition
to blood.

I could have ended
the man in half a breath.

Yet you allowed him
to nearly kill you.

I was ordered not to raise hand.

Other commands
have been more pleasurable.

Are you never serious?

On occasion.

I should return to the villa.

You should.

Why are you doing this?

Because to not would be a lie

much deeper than the one
we tell Oenomaus.

I did not want this.

I love that man like a brother.

Yet what I feel for you...

Tell me it does not stir
in your breast as well.

What I feel means nothing.

It holds the world.

What would you do if you were my husband
and you learned of such a thing?

I would kill us both.

You are an imposing brute.

Tell me, giant,
where do your tastes lie?

Toward cock or cunt?

Uh, apologies.
He does not grasp your language.

Are you able to form words
so that he may?

I serve but to do so.

I do not care
for struggle nor complaint.

Will you submit to all I ask for?

- He's agreeable.
- Come then.

I'll have your ass quickly.

He tells me he hopes you're not
of a gentle nature.

A brute such as this
craves rough hands

and cock their equal.

Then he shall be well satisfied.

How does he fare?

Painfully, yet he lives.

It should not have happened.

To be said
of many things this night.

He does not drink,
he does not fuck.

- Why does he remain?
- The man is a mystery.

One I would have forever solved.
You could gauge nothing of his intent?

He fears your husband
attempts maneuver.

I believe his presence is meant
only to rattle nerves.

Tullius will give voice of this
until the din reaches Titus's ears.

Then we must keep
his tongue occupied.

You believe your charms
will sway him?

You know nothing of women, Solonius.

And even less of their charms.

Oh, I would not ask you to do this.

- That is why I offer.
- The only reason?

The man proves troublesome thorn.

Who better to remove it
than trusted friend?


Keep thoughts
towards elevating this house.

I will see to Tullius.

And in the act secure
elevation of my own

to the benefit of all.

The woman thinks highly of herself.

An estimation deeply shared.

You've become a difficult man
to gain private audience with.

It was not always so.

Much has changed
since our youth.

Not everything, I hope.

I remember a time when it was you

who was impossible to trap alone.

Every man in Capua was at your feet.

Now I would have but one

standing beside me.

I was saddened to hear
of your husband's passing.

Were you?

Only with thoughts toward you

once again
with no family to speak of.

No one to care for you.

It is a difficult thing

to find a man of my standing.

I always favored this color.

I know.

The gods smile upon me

having had word
of this night reach my ears.

The fortune is mine.

Yet I would have word of it
travel no further.

You petition this for yourself?

Or for the House of Batiatus?

Lucretia is as a sister to me.


I would not see her injured
by wagging tongue.

You ask much.

I offer more.

I swear never to speak of what
has happened this night...

if you would deliver
a message to your friend...

and her husband.

One they would take to heart...

...coming from you.

Words have not inflated beyond truth.

The offerings of the House of Batiatus
are truly to be admired.

Well, even more so upon the sands.

Imagine the excitement
our wares would cause

if included in the opening celebration
of the new arena.

Capua would be blessed
by such appearance.

I'll send word to your husband
to discuss the matter.

Oh, I thought this night
would never end.

It concludes with this house
soaring to the heavens upon your wings.

A feat aided by your presence.

The evening would have gone
as well had I never known.

Perhaps more so.

The hour is late.

Take to your bed
and carry with you my gratitude.

I would linger until all guests
have departed.

Well, Gaia is a woman
of great appetite.

Dawn will threaten
before she has had her fill.

- Lucretia.
- Hmm?

This house is pale shadow
absent your light.

See everything restored
to proper place.

- Nothing must be suspected.
- Yes, Domina.

I know you feel it's betrayal.

But there are times
when truth is more hurtful.

Titus must never know.



God of the sun.

And truth.

Something often obscured
by the masks we wear.

Your guests have abandoned you.

I thought the toad Solonius
would at least remain.

The hour is late.

He believed you occupied
for the night.

They say Apollo brings warmth
and prosperity

to those who would pray to him.

Those who understand their place
on their knees.


You know, I often dreamt
of Gaia's touch

when I was a younger man.

The taste of her lips.

Now they form words in my ear
asking favor for this house

placing me in difficult position.

Gaia's affections for this house
are genuine.

As are her feelings for you.

Returned in kind.

She holds my reply.

Go to her
and see it delivered.



Have you lost mind?

Again attempting to maneuver
around Tullius.

I only sought
to elevate our position.

By plunging the good name
of this house into muck and shit?

What would you have me do?

Bow and scrape
to the fucking lunatic?

He is above our station!

I gave warning
not to provoke the man.

You ignore it
and here are the results...

a Roman citizen
dead in my house.

By the hands of the very man
you defend.

You helped set this in motion

and now claim innocence
in the outcome?

I claim vengeance.

His life for hers.

Blood and brains
on the fucking floor.

- Reward well deserved.
- No.

There will be no retribution.

- I will see him dead.
- You will do as fucking commanded.

And what of Gaia?

She partook of too much wine...

as she was often known to do.

In the night she lost footing

and fell to her death
at the bottom of the cliff.

Do not look to him.
I am the dominus of this fucking house.

See it done.

So this is why you spirited me
to Neapolis.

Not to find common ground
but to bury your father.

- That was not my intent.
- You knew nothing of this?

It was all that woman's doing?

The two of you feed off each other,

fattening yourselves with lies.

Well, I would see the feast at an end.

- What is your meaning?
- You know my fucking meaning.

That ill-bred woman has brought
this family nothing but shame.

- She is my wife!
- Because I foolishly allowed it.

I wanted you to have
something of your own,

something that held meaning to you
even if no one else saw it.

Yet what has she given you?

No dowry to speak of,
no name to elevate status,

and no heir
to carry the name Batiatus.

Every choice you make
shapes your fate, Quintus.

I cannot change
missteps of the past,

but I will see you
on proper path.

And Lucretia
must be swept from it.

You would dissolve
my marriage?

No, you will make that choice
for yourself

or be gone from this
house with her.