At Cicero's villa, the man himself is in his rear courtyard, playing a board game involving black and white stones. His opponent is a young boy with whose rear courtyard I presume Cicero is no less familiar. This subtly ooky scene is interrupted by Cicero's slave Tyro, and another man who brings news from Antony's camp. The messenger whispers into Cicero's ear. Cicero's face gets very serious as his attention shifts from the game on the table in front of him to the much larger one, in which he's about to be taken off the board.
A bit later, Pullo and his little party ride slowly along the lane, while Cicero's little friend hides behind a tree, and then dashes off girlishly into the woods.
Back to Cicero in his courtyard, writing so fast that he's literally sweating. But can he recap four episodes of 24 in a week? In voice-over, we hear the contents of his urgent letter to Brutus: "Octavian and Antony are reconciled. Their two armies are united. They plan to descend on Greece and take you by surprise with an overwhelming force." In panic, Tyro rushes in and tells Cicero that men with swords have just arrived. Cicero finishes his letter, telling Brutus to retreat to Asia while there's still time. Tyro throws himself across Cicero's shoulders, begging him to run himself. Cicero refuses, pushing Tyro away: "Too late for that." Then he saves and sends his document. Or, in ancient Roman terms, he scatters powder over the parchment to dry the ink, rolls it into a tube, and hangs the tube over the shoulder of a waiting courier, as the sound of the front door being bashed down echoes through the house. "On your life, you must get this letter to Brutus," Cicero urgently tells the courier, and sends him out the back way with Tyro.
And thus Pullo finds him alone in the courtyard. "Are you Cicero, then?" he asks, because this is the first time they've met, believe it or not. He already knows that Cicero knows what Pullo's doing there. Cicero asks Pullo's name, and acts honored that his assassin is someone famous. Pullo returns the compliment: "Everyone's heard of Cicero." Indeed, my first encounter with the name was when I was about five years old. It was in connection with an awful pizza parlor, but still. Pullo's acting all friendly, because Cicero's setting his tone of mock pleasantness and Pullo's going with it, taking it for the real thing. Cicero tells Pullo, "I daresay your work today will earn you immortality." Pullo asks what Cicero means, and Cicero says that since he himself will go down in history, his killer's name probably will as well. "Ah, my name," says Pullo. "Thought you meant me." How embarrassing for Cicero to have to be assassinated by a moron. Pullo then notices the peaches growing on a nearby tree. "Just getting ripe," Cicero remarks ruefully. At least he won't have to can them now. He ventures to offer Pullo a bribe to let him live, but it gets him nowhere. "Imagine the fuss," Pullo chuckles. "I get back and I haven't done my job." Just then Tyro rushes back in, waving a rusty, flimsy sword he found somewhere and generally making an idiot of himself. Annoyed, Pullo tells Tyro to quite messing around and drop his weapon. Pullo still hasn't drawn himself, even when he stomps up within range of Tyro's blade. Cicero also tells Tyro to knock it off, and makes him drop the sword himself. Pullo nods, thanks Cicero, and finally draws. Cicero asks for a moment first. "Whenever you're ready," Pullo agrees, sheathing his sword. Cicero turns away to make peace with his gods, but even that moment is denied him when Pullo asks to pick some peaches. Swallowing his annoyance, Cicero tells Pullo to go ahead. "Nice present for the wife," Pullo says gratefully, and starts harvesting. Cicero looks up into the sky at a hawk circling high overhead. At least it's not a buzzard. His eyelids flutter, and he tells Pullo, "Now." Pullo sets down his peaches, redraws, and steps toward Cicero, who tells Tyro to quit his histrionic crying. The good news, Cicero says, is that Tyro's been freed in his will. "Take care of my people," he says, and Tyro tearfully agrees. They say their goodbyes, and Cicero returns to Pullo. Putting a friendly hand on Cicero's shoulder, Pullo tells him, "Easiest if you kneel." Cicero gets to his knees and pulls the collar of his tunic aside to expose his neck and shoulder. Raising the point of his sword to Cicero's shoulder, Pullo advises Tyro not to watch, but Tyro does anyway as Pullo sinks his blade straight down behind Cicero's clavicle. Cicero gasps as CGI blood spurts from his carotid, and he quickly flops face-down on the ground. And that's the end of Cicero. Way to make this moment seem more significant by making the scene leading up to it last forever.