Pullo takes a job as a hit man for Erastes Fulmen. Alas, he has little aptitude for anything besides the actual killing, and thus gets himself pinched in short order. Vorenus wouldn't intervene in Pullo's trial even if he wanted to, because he's got other stuff to worry about. One of his old soldier pals is coming to him with complaints from veterans that Caesar isn't giving them any land in Italy. Vorenus takes their concerns to Caesar, who decides to have Vorenus offer some distant land to the vets and a personal bribe to the negotiating soldier. Vorenus succeeds in closing the deal, and his conscience dies a little bit more. At a party hosted by Julii Cooper, Niobe has trouble fitting in with high society, and Vorenus is sad to learn that nothing can be done to save Pullo; since his victim was a critic of Caesar, it would be politically unwise for anyone from Caesar's camp to help Pullo now. So Pullo ends up sentenced to the arena and a bloody scene that makes Gladiator look like a middle-school play. Pullo ends up alive but exhausted, defenseless against the cudgel-swinging hulk sent in to finish him off. So Vorenus jumps in to save Pullo, at a cost to himself that we don't yet know. But if Caesar's looking for people to blame for his weakening political situation, it's a shame the mirrors were so crappy back then. Because in trying to simultaneously flatter and ditch Brutus by offering him the governorship of Macedonia, Caesar instead mortally offends the younger man. Mortally for whom? If you don't already know, it looks like we might soon see. Oh, and Julii Cooper and Mark Antony get back together.
An old man runs in panic through the Roman streets in the dead of night while a man's voice (let's pretend we don't immediately recognize it as Pullo's) hums a mournful tune. The humming seems to come from everywhere and nowhere, and from somebody who is definitely not running. But before we can speculate upon when and how Pullo became a disembodied wraith of the night, the old man runs himself onto an outstretched knife. The weapon's owner drives it further into the man's body, and the victim slowly and painfully falls into the street. And in case you're just joining us, the killer is indeed Pullo, wearing furs and jewelry that make him look like he's reinvented himself as gangsta rap star Tight-S (His first jam: "Baby, Pull My O"). So I guess he joined Erastes Fulmen's operation after all. He crouches down just long enough to wipe his blade on the dead man's toga, and then leaves him to the scavengers who emerge from the woodwork to loot the corpse. (Human scavengers, in case that's not clear.)
Vorenus also has a new job. He's won his election to the post of magistrate, as promised, and his workday is about to begin. He steps out onto his balcony and looks down at the citizens gathering in his courtyard to be magistrated. He goes back into the house, where Niobe and the girls are fussing over their own appearances. I don't know why.
Oh, now I know why. When Vorenus takes his seat in the courtyard, his entire household is arrayed behind him. They have to stand around while he goes about his magistrative duties? Good heavens, how tedious for every member of the family who isn't a magistrate. Vorenus gestures to the first petitioner to step forth. The man has a complaint that you don't hear much nowadays: all of his piss has been stolen. Apparently, some soldiers broke his pots and tipped them over the heads of citizens. He doesn't say whether the assaults were accompanied by screams of "Where was my parade?" As he's going about his complaint, a man pushes his way to the front of the crowd and pleasantly protests that the perpetrators might have been gladiators impersonating soldiers. Vorenus seems to recognize the fellow, and they smile amiably at one another. The complainant protests that he knows soldiers when he sees them, demonstrating this ability by recognizing the new arrival as such despite the lack of a uniform. Meanwhile, Vorenus's younger daughter is exchanging flirty glances with a boy in the crowd, until Niobe physically turns the girl's head to face forward. She's no doubt worried that the nine-year-old is liable to come home pregnant any day. Piss Pot Guy is starting to get more and more...well, pissed about the lack of piss, without which he apparently can't make cloth. I am so glad I don't have to wear the costumes on this show. Vorenus isn't so squeamish, though; he grabs the man's cloak and rather sharply assures him that it won't happen again. The guy recognizes this as the dismissal it is, and takes off. Vorenus is now free to greet and embrace the ex-soldier who's just arrived, and we get to learn the guy's name is Mascius. Vorenus comments on the guy's weight gain, and Mascius chuckles that he's done nothing but "fuck and eat and fuck" since he got home. In between inappropriate swearing, of course. Niobe "blushes" in the background, and Mascius apologizes for his language. Vorenus says they'll talk later, after he's all done magistrating. Mascius apologizes again, this time to Niobe, and heads out.