We're in one of Proximo's chambers, and he asks Maximus what he wants: a girl? A boy?
Proximo has sent for Maximus. He tells him he's good, but not that good. He could be "magnificent" he really wanted to be.
Maximus is unmoved: "I'm required to kill, so I kill. That is enough."
That's enough for the provinces, but not for Rome, he tells him, before proceeding to inform Maximus that Commodus has arranged some "spectacles" to commemorate his father.
Maximus' interest is piqued. Proximo continues, noting the irony of the situation (it was Marcus Aurelius who "closed us down") before expressing contentment at the fact that he is now able to go back where they both belong: the Colosseum.
Proximo rhapsodizes about the Colosseum in Rome—the crowd noise, the celebration, the feelings of euphoria, and the approach to godhead ("as if you were the thunder god himself").
Proximo himself was a gladiator, Maximus notes. He asks him if he won his freedom.
Proximo then tells how Marcus Aurelius gave him a wooden sword—the symbol of his freedom—touched him on the shoulder, and freed him.
Maximus laughs, and Proximo gets very defensive. He's proud of the fact that the wise emperor touched him on the shoulder.
Maximus answers the question of what he wants: "I too want to stand in front of the emperor, as you did."
Proximo then tells Maximus to listen carefully. He, Proximo, was the best because the crowd loved him, not because he killed quickly.
The crowd is the key, he says: "Win the crowd, and you'll win your freedom."
Maximus says he will win the crowd. He'll give them something they've never seen.
Proximo laughs, and talks excitedly about going to Rome, and how much fun it will be, suggesting that, when enough men have died, Maximus just may have his freedom.
Before sending him away, he gives Maximus a breastplate to use in combat.
Proximo then looks out his window, and stretches his arms wide in celebrations.