Rome S01E09: Utica or The One Where I Realize that Literally Everyone in this Show is Morally Bankrupt
Content Warning: Suicide, sexual assault, and incest.
So…this episode got pretty dark.
It opens with Cato and the other dude in some town in Africa. They’re talking and Cato tells other dude he should make his peace with Caesar, and the other dude says he’ll do whatever Cato does. This is…unfortunate. Because Cato goes into another room to kill himself. After the other dude sees Cato properly burning on a pyre, other dude has one of their remaining soldiers cut other dude’s throat.
Caesar declares a victory and Vorenus and Pullo return to Rome after two years away. While they were gone, Niobe has become quite the businesswoman and is running her former lover’s butcher shop with her sister (widow of Niobe’s former lover) and they’re having quite the successful go of it.
Atia, being Atia, has a party for Caesar’s return, and Servillia, much to Brutus’ dismay, insists on going. There’s all kinds of longing gazing going on. Octavian gazes longingly at Octavia who gazes longingly at Servillia who gazes longingly stares balefully at Caesar. Ceasar after telling clearly mind-numbing anecdotes asks Octavian how he’d go about fixing Rome if it were up to him and Caesar likes his answer so much, he appoints him to the pontiff’s table and Octavian tries to decline because he’d rather work on his poetry – which I assume is the Roman equivalent to being serious about his music. However, Caesar gets his way as always.
Octavia lets something slip about Caesar’s secret affliction, and Servillia demands that Octavia find out exactly what the affliction is from Octavian. When Octavian won’t reveal it Servillia basically insists that Octavia seduce Octavian to get it from him. She’s horrified, but then Servillia tells her that she saw one of Atia’s men kill Octavia’s husband. So Octavia seduces Octavian (doesn’t really have to do all that much convincing) and Atia finds out about it afterward and loses her damn mind, all the while denying she had Octavia’s husband killed.
Vorenus quickly grows bored and Niobe puts him and Pullo to work at the butcher shop where Vorenus gets into a fight with early mobsters and is given the ultimatum to apologize and kiss said mobsters feet or die after watching the rapes of his wife and daughters. Before he can confront the mobster, Caesar shows up and asks Vorenus to be his magistrate. He doesn’t want to but agrees, anyway.
Atia gets revenge on Servillia by having her men attack Servillia’s men as her litter is being carried through town. One of Atia’s servants hacks off Servillia’s hair and the others tear her dress off her leaving her lying mostly naked in the street.
Later that night, a drunk as usual Pullo, wakes up Eriene and after rambling on about his mother who was a slave and his father who was likely a slave, and how he’ll never be a slave, he demands she take off her clothes and sexually assaults her.
And now…the questions.
My favorite part of the episode:
Probably when Pullo saw Vorenus dressed in his magistrate robes and told him he looked “like laundry”.
My least favorite part of the episode:
So many choices. Pullo’s rape of Eriene, Servillia bullying Octavia into seducing her brother, Octavian and Octavian both going along with it, Servillia being attacked. This episode was pretty brutal.
I’m a fan of most of Octavia’s dresses, but this one is pretty and looks super comfy.
Team Atia or Team Servillia, and why:
UGH. Servillia was the fucking worst this week. But honestly…so was Atia.
Favorite watch-a-long tweet (obviously used with permission):
This is tough. I’m torn between this for obvious reasons:
Guess Jess’s head canon.
I think it would have been when Pullo seemed sad that Vorenus was becoming a magistrate and leaving him behind. And of course, Vorenus would have to go comfort sad Pullo…
What made Jenny super happy?
Jess’ take on Utica.