Read this plot summery by Jennifer Watson – avert your eyes if you haven’t seen the episode yet and wish to remain spoiler free and skip to the juicy production skill of Andrew down below!
Caligula (Andrew Gower) and his Jewish friend Agrippa (Michael Peluso) have come to Jerusalem with the Roman Emperor Tiberius (Kenneth Cranham). Caligula is quick to let Pilate know from the very beginning that they were at odds, challenging the governor’s position with the help of troublemaking Agrippa. In order to combat this threat, Tiberius and Pilate make a plan to separate the two.
The evil acts of Agrippa and Caligula reveal a twisted behavior that is not befitting a future emperor. Disturbed by the opinions and actions of Caligula, Pilate is urged by his wife Claudia (exquisitely portrayed by Joanne Whalley) to cultivate “good will” with Tiberius’s successor.
In a bed of luxurious fabric, Claudia wrestles with a nightmare of Caligula ruthlessly holding a pillow over Tiberius’s head, suffocating him in his sleep. She awakens, trembling in fear, to find her nightmare has in fact become reality. Caligula brings word that the Emperor is dead, claiming he died peacefully in bed.
The episode closes with Caligula brandishing his new power and commanding Pilate and Claudia to kneel at his feet, in the presence of their new emperor.