You know what Vorenus is bad at? Being a crime lord. Who knew the honorable military man used to having a bit of rank would be so bad at reading people and being flexible? You know, besides everyone.
Titus Pullo, on the other hand, is still the luckiest son of a bitch in Rome. Though the episode opens with weird revels in Vorenus’ new headquarters, revels that seem to amuse everyone but Pullo and Eirene (who seems to be hating every minute of it), Vorenus is asked to deal with a dispute over a gang leader whose young nephew was defiled by an older Roman. While Pullo seems to think some sort of punishment and leeway would avert a gang war, Vorenus insists that since the boy was paid as a prostitute, then there was nothing to be done.
So, when the offended party castrates the old man anyway, Vorenus sees it as a problem of discipline while Pullo sees it as a potential gang war, and Pullo’s advice as Vorenus’ only friend doesn’t seem to be going well, especially when Pullo accidentally lets out that Pullo had killed Niobe’s baby daddy.
Yeah, Vorenus didn’t know Pullo knew that much for that long, and though Pullo tries to make excuses it only comes across as a rift between the two because Vorenus then suspects Pullo also slept with Niobe, and Pullo’s denials aren’t working. After a fight, Pullo and Eirene leave Rome.
But on the other end of things, well, stuff is happening. There’s stuff with Timon, stuff with some servant in Atia’s house who seems to be having some wild sexual fun with half the staff regardless of gender…oh yeah, Servilia hired that guy to poison Atia. It took a while because he had to wait for newly crowned pothead Octavia to leave the house. She met her brother’s friend Agrippa, and he looks a lot like the chauffeur from Downton Abbey, mostly because it is the same actor, and she really likes that hemp stuff.
But the biggest surprise may be that Cicero has a backbone. Sure, Marc Antony thinks Cicero being afraid of Antony means Antony can do whatever he wants in the Senate, but Cicero prefers Octavian, the man Atia has since disowned. Wonderful mother there. Antony was supposed to become governor of Macedonia when he retired as consul, but then he opts for Gaul for convenience and such, but that would need Cicero’s endorsement. Cicero is persuasive and respected by the other Senators.
So, when Cicero is out but leaves a speech to be read by a clerk, there’s a bit of a shock that it’s just full of insults to Antony’s character. Antony reacts as any reasonable man who suffers from mood swings would by beating the clerk to death with the scroll.
Three months later, Antony is a hated rebel. Vorenus got his gang war, but he’s in Gaul with Antony, and when Pullo returns trying to make amends, he learns that Vorenus’ children are alive. See, Vorenus’ sister-in-law managed to escape, and though blinded, she manages to find Pullo, who now has a really good reason to find Vorenus.
See? Luckiest son of a bitch in Rome.
Weekend Trek “Ship In A Bottle”
Vikings: Valhalla “Pieces Of The Gods”
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #52 (September, 1967)