April 23, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Rome “Death Mask”

Season Two, Episode Seven.

Apparently, the producers of Rome were told about halfway through season two that there wouldn’t be a third season.  The plan had originally been to end season two with the death of Brutus, spend two seasons going through the Cleopatra stuff in Egypt, then five would cover this new religion everybody was talking about involving a shepherd from Judea.

As a result, the last few episodes of the series tend to rush through all that stuff.  So, we’re off to the races!

OK, I think it’s time to call BS on someone here.

See, Servilia took the death of her son pretty damn hard.  That’s to be expected.  So, she goes and squats outside Atia’s place and calls for justice for, like, a week, until a frustrated Atia finally comes out to let the grieving mother say her piece.  Said piece was a curse on Atia followed by Servilia committing suicide.  And so did Servilia’s servant.  Ouch.

OK, here’s the BS part.  Atia didn’t kill Brutus.  She had nothing to do with Brutus’ death.  Atia is hardly an innocent woman, and she can be downright nasty.  She did some horrible things to Servilia during their feud.  But she wasn’t on the battlefield, so she sure didn’t kill Brutus.  What did happen?

OK, first Atia did help push Servilia and Caesar apart.  But, you know, Caesar was married to someone else.  Having a girlfriend on the side?  Not politically viable.  Atia didn’t need to enjoy it, but she didn’t cause it.  Further, Brutus was being pushed into assassinating Caesar from all sides, particularly from his vengeance-minded mom.  Now, if Brutus had just been a better killer, or taken out Antony, or been a better speaker than Antony, or just been a better general, maybe he wouldn’t be dead.  Blame Antony, blame Octavian, blame Caesar for getting in the way of the dagger, but it seems to me Servilia wanted her son to do the deed that ended up getting him killed.  So, maybe she should look in the mirror for someone to blame.

But there might be something to this curse.  Octavian is proposing splitting the empire and the treasury three ways between himself, Antony, and Lepidus.  Antony wants the rich East and Egypt.  Octavian can have the west.  And Lepidus, the guy Antony mostly just pushes around, can have a chunk of Africa.  And then a bribe controversy causes some more problems, so the only thing to do is connect Antony and Octavian by marriage.  Atia assumes she’s going to be the bride.  She can’t really arrange her own marriage, though.  Stupid sexist society.

And then we learn, for political purposes, Antony will marry Octavia.  No one is happy about that.  Atia is unhappy.  Octavia is unhappy.  Antony is unhappy.  Agrippa is really unhappy.  Octavian might be happy, but he’d have to capable of human emotion first.

Pictured:  someone with more emotional capacity than Octavian.
Pictured: someone with more emotional capacity than Octavian.

Oh, there’s some stuff in there involving King Herod and Timon and Timon’s radical brother, but I don’t know what any of that has to do with anything, so I’m skipping it.

But back with the more fictional characters, Eirene complains to Pullo that Gaia is too insolent and wants her husband to beat the slavewoman.  That gets quite violent and somehow ends up in rough sex.  Pullo, I thought you were better than that!  But Eirene thinks Gaia has been suitably chastised, and Gaia…she buys some abortion drugs.  Uh oh.

As for Vorenus, he seems to be happy letting other captains cheat him out of foodstuffs, so he might be unhappy if he finds out his oldest daughter is being blackmailed to spy on him.  I mean, she hates her dad and all, but screwing around with one of the lesser guy’s muscle means, well, bad times for Vorenus, man of principal he generally is.

Three more episodes of this stuff…