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November 21, 2014

Rome: Egeria

by Ryan j Budke, posted Oct 3rd 2005 9:04AM
romeWe've just about reached the halfway point in this season and you can feel things are starting to heat up. It's like the tangible tension that is present in every episode of Deadwood. You know the s**t is gonna hit the fan, you're just not sure how or when. Last week Antony was left in charge of a Rome in dismay, the streets are chaotic and the government in shambles. What could possibly go wrong here?? On with the show!

At home Lucius tries to convince to propose getting away for a little vacation to rekindle his and Niobe's struggling marriage, and while she is at first excited, she can't bring herself to leave her sister who's husband has been missing for over two months. Lucius expresses his frustration to Titus who does his best to console Lucius: "Ha, women" though he knows the real reason Niobe's sister is in distress. Later that night, after one a few too many drinks, Titus suggests that maybe Lucius would be happier if he left Niobe. Lucius responds that he'd rather die than leave her. Titus knows now what he must do and at breakfast the following morning, tells Niobe's sister that he used some of his "shady connections" and learned that her husband will not be seen again, and although looking directly at Niobe, tells her sister to "Forget the past and move on". Niobe's sister is devastated and while Niobe tries to console her, her sister quickly accuses her of being the one to cause all this and vows never to speak to her again. Niobe, strangely free after her sister leaves, prays and makes offerings to the gods and when Lucius comes home that night she is ready to "serve" him. Lucius is happy.

Antony summons Servilius (man I hope this is his name, but if not I'm sure you guys will correct me), the highest ranking remaining senator and makes him an offer he can't refuse. He will be nominated to the rank of Counsel on two conditions: 1) he convinces the others to elect Caesar as co-counsel and 2) that he pass a law freeing every 3rd slave, thus opening jobs for the poor, something that Caesar had promised to do. Servilius makes good and accomplishes both of his tasks. Caesar sends word from Italy that he is struggling a great deal and that he will soon be out of supplies, men or both. Antony ponders the situation and also receives an offer from Pompey of great wealth and power if he should betray Caesar. Antony ponders what to do as he enjoys a late night booty call to Atia. Afterwards, Atia proposes that they get married, Antony is convinced it is merely a power play on her part and storms off, tired of being tempted from so many sides. He calls the 13th legion to arms and prepares them to ride off to help Caesar.

Atia, concerned for her family's future sends a...uh... living dildo gift to Servilia for "when" Caesar and Antony are defeated in Italy by Pompey. Atia apparently doesn't have a lot of faith in her men. While Octavia is delivering the "gift" to Servilia on behalf of her mother, Servilia offers to more or less "adopt" Octavia, saying that she knows she is just a pawn in her mother's games. Octavia may want to consider that one a little. The episode ends with Titus and Lucius on a ship in the middle of a stormy sea with others of the 13th legion on their way to support Caesar.

A mark of a good episode always seems to be when it flies by and this one seemed to for me. I loved the little side story of Titus taking Octavian to have his "cherry popped" at the high class brothel. The scenes between the two of them continue to remain some of my favorites on TV at the moment. I love the gruff soldier trying to teach the aristocratic kid how to become more manly. I like how we're seeing Marc Antony struggle with who he is and who he would like to be. He probably thinks he knows what he should be doing, but he just doesn't know how. Good show, can't wait til next week.

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Brian

Excellent review/summary--a couple of minor quibbles, and a couple of comments: 1. The post for which Antony proposes the Senator (and Caesar) be appointed is "Consul," not "Counsel." 2. The law that was proposed by Caesar/Antony was that at least 1/3 of the workers on any project be comprised of free men, not that 1/3 of the slaves be freed. If you recall, the law was proposed as a means to reduce unemployment. Obviously, freeing slaves would do nothing to fix that problem. Now, the comments: 1. Maybe it was just me, but it seemed that at the end of the episode they showed the sail snapping on Titus and Lucius' ship. Does this mean that they'll drift to another land, and/or be presumed dead? It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. 2. I agree that the interplay between Pullo and Octavian is arguably the best part of the show. The thing is, Octavian may be new at things which other shallow Romans like Atia consider passages to manhood, but Octavian's already a man in terms of his intellect and emotional maturity. He never acts like a "kid" when it comes to reading people and facing adversity. And Pullo seems to recognize this, too. The general public's underestimating Octavian will be his secret weapon.

October 03 2005 at 12:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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