"It's only hubris if I fail," Caesar says after Mark Antony accuses him of hubris, and decides to stay behind in Egypt and play Cleopatra and her brother/husband Ptolemy 13th. For me, this quote pretty much sums up all of Rome's "leaders" to this point. Everyone sees themselves in the right, even though they know they are wrong. Rome's true downfall was their cockiness. On with the show.
We start from last week with Caesar arriving in Egypt. He demands Pompey, but when he is brought just the head of his friend, he's furious. The boy king Ptolemy sees no wrong in what's been done until Caesar puts him in his place. The only thing that scares the current regime in Egypt is Ptolemy's exiled sister Cleopatra. Caesar offers to find her, to help "mediate" a truce between them. Alone later, Ptolemy and his advisors decide to have Cleopatra killed and send their men to do it. At the same time, Caesar sends out Lucius and Titus to rescue Cleopatra.
Ptolemy's men arrive a little earlier and prepare to kill Cleopatra, but Lucius and Titus arrive in time to stop them and they turn and head for Egypt. Cleopatra worries and tells her advisor that she must seduce Caesar to her side, otherwise she fears she will be killed. She wishes that Caesar was there now because she feels that she would certainly bear him a child. Her advisor concocts a plan and originally recruits Lucius before turning to Titus, who "has a nice romp" with Cleopatra. They arrive in Egypt, and Cleopatra immediately starts the seduction of Caesar.
Wooed to her ways, Caesar dispatches her brother's advisors, placing their heads on the gate outside of, what I'm guessing, is the Roman embassy. The Egyptians do not take well to this and start rallying against the roman troops "invading" their country. This situation seems very current and familiar.... The show ends with Caesar presenting his (really?) and Cleopatra's child to a cheering crowd.
I love how Caesar is expecting to put a "puppet queen" in place down in Egypt and his plan on playing Cleopatra, yet she is the one that is using him, playing his emotions and desire for a son. I think the actress playing Cleopatra did a good job, and she is certainly pretty enough, but I always expect anyone with the name "Cleopatra" to be an absolute knockout. I think the actress that plays Lucius' Niobe would have been a better choice. Ah well. Let me know what you think.