Rome S02E07: Death Mask or The One Where Rome Seems Like a Terrible Place to Get Married
Things are getting even worse in Rome.
Octavian, Antony, and that other dude whose name I can never remember divide up the Roman Empire between them. And Antony accepts a giant gift (read: bribe) from Herod.
Posca, Caesar’s former slave is pissed when he doesn’t get a share, so he rats out Antony to Octavian who demands they share the money equally. Oh, and speaking of Posca, Atia marries off poor traumatized Jocasta to him.
Meanwhile, Servillia is deeply grieving the death of her son Brutus. She’s nearly inconsolable. She takes up position on her knees outside Atia’s house and while her servant sprinkles her with ashes, endlessly repeats, “Atia of the Julii, I call for justice.” Seriously, she’s out there for days doing this driving Atia utterly batshit, until Antony finally tells Atia that Servillia will likely go away after Atia responds to her and gives her some attention. So Atia and Octavia open the door to see that a crowd has gathered.
As soon as Atia acknowledges Servillia curses her to a life of abject misery for the rest of her days and then does this to seal the curse.
As soon as Servillia is dead, her servant pulls the blade out of her and follows suit leaving the crowd gasping and seemingly blaming against Atia.
And it’s apparently wedding season in Rome, because despite the bloodshed outside her door, Atia is planning her nuptials to Antony. Only…her son and ruler has other ideas. He marries off his sister, Octavia, to Antony instead. I think it was for multiple reasons. 1.) he figures Octavia will be easier to control than Atia. 2.) to get back at his mother for choosing/siding with Antony over him. 3.) It’s a better political union as far as the people of Rome are concerned. And maaaaaybe some oedipal issues on Octavian’s part? He was watching Antony and Atia having some pretty intense sex one night…
But anyway, Atia is furious and hurt. Octavia is horrified especially since she’s in love with Agrippa.
And she’s subjected to some pretty dismal consummation sex.
And to continue the sex theme, Vorena the Elder is carrying on with that super skeezy guy who’s an employee of one of the gang leaders Vorenus oversees on the Aventide. And it’s a setup, of course. The gang leader busts in on them while they’re in bed, and says that he owes it to Vorenus to tell him what his daughter is doing. She begs him not to tell and he says he’ll consider it if she helps him out. So basically, he’s setting her up to spy on her father. Spoiler alert: she’s not very good at it.
Then there’s the whole Pullo/Eriene/Gaia thing. Eriene’s turning Pullo down for sex because her people believe that once the baby starts moving, sex is bad for the baby.
Gaia and Eriene still hate each other and almost throw down in the marketplace and Eriene tells Pullo to beat Gaia. Pullo talks to Vorenus about it, and he agrees that Pullo should beat her.
So, Pullo goes to beat her and she taunts him and they end up having really rough kind of rapey sex. Gaia clearly wants him and has come on to him before, but his intent seems to be more about power and punishment. At least, initially. That scene is super fucked up. The very last scene is of Gaia buying some sort of herbal abortifacient and it’s clear it’s not for her.
And now, the questions.
My favorite part of the episode:
Okay, so I’m a horrible person and despite the fuckedupness of that situation, the Gaia and Pullo scene was pretty damn hot.
My least favorite part of the episode:
So. Damn. Many. See also: the above mentioned scene. Vorena the Elder with the skeezy guy. Octavia having to marry Antony.
There were a lot of great costumes in this episode, but I really like Eriene’s blue number – particularly with the fancy hair/scarf combo.
Team Atia or Team Servilia, and why:
Team Servilia! Way to get the last word.
Favorite watch-a-long tweet (obviously used with permission):
Guess Jess’s head canon:
My guess is that she thinks Pullo went to Vorenus for more than marital and slave advice.
What made Jenny super happy?
The thought of tormenting me. o.O
Jess’ take on Death Mask.