‘Queen Cleopatra’ Episode 3 Recap & Ending, Explained: Who Wins The Battle Of Actium?

Episode two of Queen Cleopatra ended with Mark Antony making his entry into Cleopatra’s life after executing her sister Arsinoe. Arsinoe was charged with sheltering the assassins who had murdered Julius Caesar. It was only fitting to get rid of her. With her last sibling gone, Queen Cleopatra, who is essentially Pharaoh, has the full power to rule Egypt as per her wishes. The episode also had Cleopatra visiting Rome with her child with Julius Caesar, Caesarion, whom she had hoped would get public recognition as his son. Unfortunately for her, Caesar was murdered by his people, and she was forced to flee Rome to save herself and her child. What would happen with Mark Antony now in Alexandria?


Mark Antony has been in Alexandria for quite some time. The expert chipped in that he was finding it comfortable around here, now with the power of the eastern side of the Roman republic behind him and Octavian taking care of the western front. But there is still a power struggle brewing between the two because they are both now in the quest for ultimate power, which is the post of Julius Caesar as a lifetime dictator of the Roman republic. With Antony reaching Alexandria, Cleopatra has found a new lover or partner in him, and she is glad to have him by her side. Experts in the documentary say she was not expecting to fall in love with the man, but again, just as smart as she was, Mark was equally intelligent Mark Antony makes an entry into Egypt at a time when Cleopatra was responsible for the economic growth of the country. Mark Antony started finding Alexandria comfortable, and living with her became easy. The couple was very much in love, but Cleopatra would push Mark Antony to head back to Rome to convince Octavian and get him under his control. Mark Antony was too busy not wanting to do this for a while.

The couple ends up getting married. Mark Antony spends a significant amount in Egypt in the name of charity and to raise money for establishing the Library of Alexandria because it was burned down during the civil war between Cleopatra and her siblings, Ptolemy XIII and Arsinoe. This enrages Octavian because Mark Antony cannot use the Roman republic’s money for the neighboring kingdom. Apart from that, Mark Antony, as a show of love, gives Cleopatra back all the provinces that were part of Egypt but were annexed by the Romans. This time around, Cleopatra’s kingdom had more land under her than any other pharaoh before her. She is grateful to Mark Antony, who proves his love for her. Queen Cleopatra is pregnant again; this time, it is Mark Antony’s child, and she is hoping to give him an heir. Mark leaves for the eastern front for the fight, but he does not return for three years straight. Cleopatra, meanwhile, gives birth to twins and with their birth, she has now got Mark on her side. She has cemented her position as the powerful leader of her time and in the region. Bringing children into their world would prove the legitimacy of their families, and it would help Cleopatra seek more allies in her favor. This is the first time the Ptolemaic ruler has been able to gather this many allies and supporters.


Who Wins The Battle Of Actium?

With Mark Antony gone for three years, Egypt under Cleopatra manages to prosper even more. She was expecting him to come back just to see his children, but that did not happen. As the experts in the documentary series say, Cleopatra loved Mark Antony but did not spend a lot of time pining for him.

Meanwhile, Mark Antony does get married again, this time to Octavia, Octavian’s sister, in the hope that Octavian won’t come after him and his claims. He was hoping getting married into Octavian’s family would give him safety, but that did not happen. With the hope of expanding the eastern faction of the empire, Mark Antony waged war against the Parthians. But that fails miserably because Mark Antony loses battle after battle and ends up desperate for money and troops to gather enough strength to carry on with the battle. Mark Antony’s failure as a commander was a big blotch on the Roman republic, and cracks started appearing because of his failed military campaign.


In a bid to get more allies on his side, he summons Cleopatra, hoping her wealth could be used to fund his mission to expand the empire from the eastern front. Cleopatra agrees to his plans, and in return, she has a list of demands, which include making Crete and Cyprus a part of the kingdom and making sure the twins get their share of provinces once the eastern command is under his control. All her demands are met, and why not? She is the one in power and has the money to offer him to run his campaign. She is sure her power over him would help her be the decision-maker on his behalf. But to her horror, the Parthian mission is a lost cause because Mark Antony loses the war, and the money he had spent on it goes along with it.

Antony comes back to Alexandria to recuperate from the war, and in that process, he meets his twins. He was happy to be back with the family that wanted him. The couple rekindles their romance now that they are together after almost three years. With Antony back in Alexandria, Octavian declares war against Cleopatra because he is enraged about the fact that Antony declared Caesarion the heir of Julius Caesar. With this happening, there is vicious propaganda against Cleopatra, who is called a witch and seductress and who managed to bring two towering figures from the Roman empire on her side. They all forget the fact that it was Antony who was unfaithful to Octavia, but the entirety of Rome was ready to blame Cleopatra thanks to the Octavian smear campaign against her. Cleopatra was not bothered by this because she was a leader, and as a leader, she could not get herself carried away by his false campaigns to discredit her. As the war begins to capture Egypt, it begins with a naval battle known as the Battle of Actium. With Cleopatra providing her navy to and funding Antony, the war was on their side from the beginning. As Cleopatra’s ships are bigger, it becomes harder to maneuver them around, unlike Octavian’s fleet. One would have to give it to Cleopatra, who was in the war and took part in it like a leader. Her being part of the war is a show of power, as is the fact that she would be willing to face the onslaught on her own instead of sitting in the comfort of her palace in Alexandria.


Antony was losing this battle as well, and as the battle went in favor of Octavian, Cleopatra quickly turned her fleet around and headed back to Alexandria. Antony is livid at the fact that she did not stand by him in adversity. As a co-ruler, he was expecting her to be on his side, even on the verge of losing the war. Cleopatra makes it clear that she had to save herself and her kingdom from perishing. Her actions caused a deep rift and trust issues between the couple. Cleopatra realized Antony could no longer lead them into a war and win it. Antony is sure Cleopatra does not trust him, and she is more worried about her kingdom. Her actions might come off as selfish because she got her demands fulfilled by the man, and in his need of the hour, Cleopatra made everything about herself instead of standing by the man she claims she loves. The Battle of Actium was won by Octavian Caesar, and there is nothing that will stop him now from a full-on attack on Egypt. Cleopatra is not sure how she will defend herself from here on. She was not trusting of this man, but she loved him too much to let him go. He was a liability, but he was her liability, and she loved him. In the last scene of the third episode of Queen Cleopatra, the Octavian messenger visits Alexandria with a message of peace between the two regions. Peace would work out if Cleopatra was willing to kill Antony for Octavian. Cleopatra is sure she cannot go ahead with the killing of the man she loves. But the offer seems tempting, though again, she would never betray her husband.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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