June 18, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Rome “The Ram Has Touched The Wall”

Season One, Episode Five

There’s a scene in this episode where Caesar has to go break up with his mistress Servilia.  Despite the fact they both love each other, Caesar can’t divorce his wife Calpurnia for political and financial reasons, so Servilia has to go.  The two then get into a slap fight.  That’s politics for ya.  I don’t think things have changed that much in the past few centuries.

So, last week Octavian learned Caesar had epilepsy after watching the great general have a seizure.  One of his mother Atia’s servants overheard the noise and assumed it was a sexual encounter.  Now, given Atia was all over her son to be more manly, you’d think she’d have a problem with that.  Well, no, she doesn’t.  She’s actually pleased if Octavian is giving Caesar the ol’ reach-around.  Except, you know, he isn’t.  He suggests Caesar had something happen, but Caesar made him promise to tell no one, and that includes Caesar’s politically ambitious niece.  And here Atia was mostly happy someone other than Servilia was giving to Caesar what was Caesar’s by right of (sexual) conquest.  Nah.  You know what to do then?  Hire a guy to paint graffiti all over the city depicting Caesar and Servilia  doin’ the wild thing behind Calpurnia’s back.  You know, for the good of the Republic.

That’s what leads to the slap fight.  Servilia finding out Atia was behind it leads to Servilia making a promise to the gods to get back at both Caesar and Atia.  Hey, who was Servilia’s son again?  Brutus?  Yeah, I don’t see anything coming of that.

On the civil war front, Pompey is still listening to the Senate bitch and moan about how they appear to be surrendering when Pompey agrees to Caesar’s terms, but he won’t meet Caesar in person.  And since Caesar isn’t leaving Rome any time soon, Caesar can use that to his advantage too.  What he can’t use is when he finally does go after Pompey and finds the whole camp deserted.  It looks like Pompey took his people to Greece to raise an army.

But those are the big wigs.  What’s going on with Vorenus and Pullo?

Well, Vorenus found most of his slaves had died of plague save one sick-looking kid.  That doesn’t bode well for a slave trader.  I can’t say I feel too bad for any slave trader.  His next gig to raise some money is to try being a bodyguard for a moneylender, but that ends up more like a leg breaker for a moneylender, and Vorenus won’t do that.  Looks like it’s back to the army for him.  Marc Antony can sneer over that a bit.

Pullo, meanwhile, is really taken with the slave woman he rescued.  Wikipedia tells me she has a name, but I’m not using it here until she either speaks or says her name.  So far she’s mostly sat in silence.  Pullo mostly finds her soothing and has yet to touch her the same way Atia thinks Caesar touched Octavian.  Vorenus buys her to keep at his home over Niobe’s objections.  But then Pullo gets a part-time job training Octavian in the art of war and other manly stuff that doesn’t involve reading books by Greek philosophers.  Atia seems to think reading is for chumps.  Considering her great plot against Servilia was dirty graffiti, the Roman equivalent of writing Servilia’s phone number on the wall of the men’s room stall under the caption, “For a good time, call…,” maybe a little more maturity would be a good thing.  Maybe then she’d have a way of shaming people without getting caught.  For such a wily planner, she sure hasn’t risen above the rank of “high school queen bee” from her plotting.

But, see, Pullo actually respects Octavian as an observer, and shares some concerns he has about Niobe that he spotted at Vorenus’ house.  The only thing to do then is grab the guy, take him into the sewers, and then have Pullo and Octavian interrogate the man until he confesses that, yes, he is the father of Vorenus’ “grandson”.  That gets him a sword to the stomach and a sewer burial.  Octavian and Pullo both realize Vorenus would go ape-spit violent against Niobe and who knows who else if he ever finds out.  So, yeah, that’s a thing that is almost certainly going to happen.