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September 2, 2014

Rome: Pharsalus

by Ryan j Budke, posted Oct 10th 2005 3:50PM
romeThis episode of Rome seems to be based completely around faith and the destruction of it. Faith is the downfall and faith is the saviour of so many players in this episode. Pompey has his faith that he will not lose, then, that he still has his colleagues trust, then that he will make it safely to his stronghold. Caesar's faith lies in his soldier's prowess and his friends' forgiveness. Titus' resides in the belief that he's not meant to die in some ridiculous manner. Lucius' in his idea of what a government should be.

Caesar is completely surrounded and knows that his time is drawing to a close, even with the reinforcements that Antony has brought. He settles in, makes his peace, and prepares for his final battle against Pompey. He makes one last prayer and rides off. I loved how the entire series has been building to this moment and we don't even get to see it. I was very aggravated at this point at first but loved the way the battle was presented later on, by Pompey to Lucius. Much I think to even his surprise, Caesar wins.

Pompey's army either defeated or fleeing, he walks in on the remaining senators in disarray. Brutus and Scipio decide to hand themselves over to Caesar's grace. Cato and others decide to flee to Egypt where Pompey decides he will leave to as well. The senate however thinks it may be better if Pompey didn't travel with them. Ouch. Shortly into his travels, Pompey's armed guards abandon him and he is left with a ragtag traveling group of servants. This group finds a washed up Lucius and Titus on the beach.

Lucius and Titus had been marooned on an island with the bodies of others from the 13th legion. After days of thirst and starving, they fashion a raft out of the bodies and make their way out to see where they wreck only to be found by Pompey and his men. When they've recovered, they recognize Pompey and one of his servants makes them an offer to go in halves on the reward should they help the servants. Lucius, still not wholely convinced of Caesar's quest, rids Pompey of his traitorous men and then returns to Caesar with Titus, but without Pompey. Caesar is furious but doesn't want to anger the gods that have protected Lucius and Titus so far and lets them go. Pompey arrives safely in Egypt, only to have his head cut off by one of his former soldiers.

Good episode. I like the idea that Titus and Lucius are taking on an almost mythical aura because of their penchant for getting out of horrible trouble. Pompey's cockiness right up until the end of his life did end up being his downfall. Next week's gonna be a doozey because of the introduction of the Egyptians and Cleopatra, I can't wait to see what happens next.

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Legatissima Julia

Wait, there's more! The ladies were busy too this episode. Niobe is working in what looks like a shop and Lyde appears. She tells Niobe she looks well and seems to be doing well. She gets a dig in but stops when Niobe tells her she's not heard from Varenus in ages. This news softens Lyde and she says she misses Niobe and she's tired of being angry. They hug, seem to forgive each other and are friendly again. Later on we see Niobe "thinking" about Varenus. :) Next! Atia, certain that Caesar will lose to Pompey, tells Octavia to go to ask Servilia for men to guard their house after Timon sends over less than adequate men. Octavia doesn't want to go, of course, but Atia prevails as usual. To Atia's delight, Octavia gets all dolled up and nervously heads over to Servilia's. After niceties, Octavia nervously asks for the men and sheds tears of relief and embarrassment when Servilia says yes. Wiping her eyes, Octavia attempts to apologize for her mother and goes to take her leave, but not before Servilia shushes her and gives her a long, loving, embrace. Sometime thereafter, we see Octavia kneeling in supplication before the family gods, fervently saying a prayer. Atia comes and interrupts her, asking what could be so bad that she harrass the gods so much. She tells her that Servilia has asked Octavia over to do some weaving. Octavia really, really doesn't want to go, but Atia has already accepted for her. Later, Servilia and Octavia recline on opposite couches, chatting about Octavian and Mediolanum when a servant interrupts Servilia with news about Greece. She tells Servilia that Caesar prevailed, Pompey's troops were routed and the men scattered. Servilia breaks down in tears when she's told there's no word of Brutus. Octavia joins Servilia on her couch and comforts her while she cries. Servilia composes herself and Octavia, arm still about Servilia's shoulder, looks at her meaningfully. Servilia returns the look and they begin to kiss. Later we see them nestled together in bed, asleep. That's it for the ladies.

October 11 2005 at 10:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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