June 22, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Rome “An Owl In A Thornbush”

Season One, Episode Three

Since Caesar has crossed the Rubicon, quite literally, surely Pompey will be waiting for him with his own legions to defend Rome, right?

Yeah, not really.

It seems that while Caesar has only a single Legion to Pompey’s three, Pompey’s are made up of new conscripts and a bunch of guys who fought with Caesar in Gaul, so they can’t really be trusted.  Pompey sees the only real option is to make a tactical retreat and come back in the Spring with fresh, battle-hardened Legions that can be trusted to drive Caesar out.

What follows show the various reactions to Pompey leaving.  Most of the Senate goes with him.  So, ultimately, does Caesar’s friend Brutus.  Brutus believes the Republic is more important than any friendship, but Brutus’ mother Servilia won’t be leaving since she is Caesar’s mistress.  Brutus believes fleeing will show which side he is on while staying true to his ideals.  Servilia has been waiting for Caesar’s return for eight years.  She’s not going anywhere.  It’s a great scene.

Caesar himself sends Vorenus and Pullo ahead as scouts for the Legion.  The two men are somewhat bonding.  Vorenus is more soldier than anything else, and he needs Pullo’s advice on how to deal with his wife.  The two men also discuss stars.  Idealist Vorenus sees the stars as a question of philosophy.  Do as he’s ordered and all that sort of stuff.  Pullo is more a pragmatist on top of everything else.  Fate throwing these two together has worked out in really weird ways.

Back in Rome, Niobe is approached by her former lover and baby daddy.  Though she sends him away, we do learn the only reason she cheated on Vorenus was because she mistakenly believed Vorenus was dead.  She doesn’t believe Vorenus will ever forgive such a deed and may just kill his whole family in anger.

And as for Atia, after barricading herself in her home (she’s Caesar’s niece…she can’t exactly flee to Pompey), she is initially planning the order in which she and her household will be killed/commit suicide to prevent worse from befalling them, when Octavian, that observant weasel, notes the crowds outside have gone.  All of Pompey’s people have fled.  This is a perfect time to get her house in order.  Octavia is sneaking out at nights to see her ex-husband.  Atia has him killed and then lies about being responsible.  Octavia believes it.  Octavian?  Maybe not.  She’s also selling “protection” to other folks who stayed behind.  She’s probably overcharging these folks…but who’s going to tell Caesar’s niece “no”?

Speaking of money, Pompey’s wife reminded him Legions need to get paid.  So, Pompey sent his most trusted man to get some gold from the emergency fund.  That guy may have been trusted, but the rest of the team?  Not so much.  They kill the trusted guy and take off with the gold on a slow ox cart.  They even kidnap a random woman off the street.  Vorenus and Pullo find the thieves, realize these guys are wearing soldiers’ boots with their farmers robes, and chase them off.  The ringleader survives, but Vorenus and Pullo and their men kill the rest.  Pullo wants to go back and check the cart and see to the woman, but Vorenus says they have orders.  They ride on to Rome, find no defenses, post Caesar’s message, and Vorenus promptly quits the Legion.  He makes a sacrifice to the gods he honors and makes nice with Niobe…before she can admit who the baby really belongs to.

As for Pullo, he goes back to the cart, frees the woman…and finds the gold.  Seeing as how it’s all his now, off he rides just before Caesar shows up playing his victory music.

Pullo may be the luckiest guy in Rome at this rate.  He keeps making things better for Caesar, bringing down the Republic, and making things great for himself without really trying that hard.  Good for him, I guess.