The Collegium is just about open for business, and Pullo's interviewing a job applicant. She's a world-weary, busty woman who must be all of twenty-five. Therefore she's not applying to be a whore, but a supervisor. Pullo asks her name. "Romans call me Gaia," she says, but declines to say what her own people call her. She wants her own room, full access to the menu, and a fifth of a percent of the brothel's take. "Saving up to buy your freedom, eh?" Pullo guesses. She dryly says, "No, a fur coat." Pullo hires her on the spot.
The camera follows her out, so we can get a good long look at what that fur coat is going to be covering one day. On her way up the stairs and out of there, she crosses paths with Mascius, the fellow ex-soldier from last season. He's all scruffy-looking and wearing an ill-advised beard that emphasizes his overbite, but Pullo immediately recognizes him. They greet each other warmly, and Pullo asks if Mascius is there for a job. Mascius confirms it, saying that farming didn't really work out all that well for him. Pullo warns him, "It's a dark road we're on and no one knows where it will lead." Mascius philosophizes that all roads lead to the same place, so Pullo agrees to take him in back to see Vorenus and "cheer the old bastard up." Because that worked so well last time. Mascius wonders if what he's heard about Vorenus's family is true. "True enough," Pullo foreshadows. "Not a fucking word."
Vorenus is hanging in his back office, but if Mascius expects his old legion-mate to shake hands or embrace or even offer more than a ten-watt smile, he's disappointed. "You tried to warn him off, did you?" Vorenus asks Pullo, glad to hear that Pullo did. Vorenus reiterates Pullo's warning. "We here are pimps and knifemen. You sure you've sunk so low?" Mascius says that he walked there from his farm and slept in ditches on the way, but when he arrived in Rome, he heard all about the "black hearted villain" who's "in league with the gods below" by the name of Lucius Vorenus, and realized his luck has changed. Vorenus chuckles and gives Pullo an "I told you so." Pullo's still disapproving, though. "What more can the gods do to me?" Vorenus scoffs as he gets up and leaves the room. "What more can they do to me now?" Pullo doesn't want to find out. There are eight episodes left, so I'm sure the gods will come up with something.