Rome S02E08: A Necessary Fiction or The One Where The Julii are the Very Model of a Wildly Dysfunctional Family
I can’t even with this show, you guys.
Octavian has put out the call to his flunkies to find him a wife. I think there were the usual provisos: noble family, attractive, and my personal favorite, proven fertility. The chick his boy found for him meets all these criteria. Too bad she’s all kinds of married. But, as her mother assures Octavian, her daughter is quite willing to divorce her husband to marry the leader of the Roman empire. Octavian tells Livia (his new wife) that he’ll probably beat her – not because she’s done anything wrong, but because he gets off on it. She seems fairly unfazed by that announcement.
Octavian’s weasally friend plots with Posca to steal the gold Herod is sending to Rome. Vorenus has been put in charge of providing safety for a shipment of gold coming. He puts Pullo in charge, but Gaia’s evil plan worked. She gave Eriene the Willow tea laced with the abortifacient and Eriene went into labor and delivered her son far too early for him to have survived. And while Pullo doesn’t want to believe his wife is dying, Eriene knows she’s bleeding out and makes him promise to bury her rather than burn her body.
Pullo is devastated and Vorenus sends his third man and crew to protect the gold. They are, predictably, robbed and only two guys are left alive. The weasally guy thinks that Posca and Antony have betrayed him, so he retaliates by telling Octavian that Antony is still banging Atia (Octavian’s mother) and Octavia is having all the sex with Octavian’s buddy, Agrippa, instead of with her husband, Antony.
Meanwhile, Vorenus is trying to track down the missing gold. He’s pretty damn sure he knows who took it. (His rival whose name starts with an “M” – the one who’s having his thug seduce Vorena the Elder. And “M” pretty much alludes to his guilt, too. But Vorenus has no proof. Until he figures out that Vorena the Elder sold him out, and he nearly chokes her to death in front of his other two children. (Not winning Father of the Year, here, Vorenus.
Octavian is piiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssseed about all the fucking around. And, after surprising them with his wife, has a family smackdown where he berates his sister, mother, and Antony. He has Octavia and Atia locked up in their home and sends Antony off to Egypt. Antony goes to Atia and swears that he’ll send for her as soon as he’s able. And Agrippa sneaks into the villa to break it off with Octavia. In the end his loyalty to Octavian is more important than his relationship with Octavia. She reveals that she’s pregnant and doesn’t know if it’s his child or Antony’s but says that they both suck.
Vorenus, ever the soldier, decides to go off to Egypt with Antony and basically hugs Pullo goodbye, leaving him in charge of the Aventine and the kids. Pullo and “M” agree to have a parley about the missing gold and whatnot, and at the last minute, Pullo attacks and bites out this dude’s fucking tongue. Then he kills him and Pullo’s men attack “M”‘s men.
Antony arrives in Egypt, takes one look at Cleopatra and immediately forgets about sending for Atia.
And now, the questions.
My favorite part of the episode:
I really love that Atia snuck Agrippa in for Octavia. And I think she did it to be kind. It didn’t turn out great for Octavia. And I love her parting shot at Agrippa.
Octavia: Oh, by the way, I’m having a baby.
Agrippa: Who is the father?
Octavia: Who knows? Neither man is worth a brass obol, So what matter?
My least favorite part of the episode:
OhMyGod. Eriene dying. I ugly cried. Also, Vorenus choking Vorena the Elder.
I’m going to give it to Cleopatra this week. Mostly because I’m jealous that I will never be able to wear a dress like this. Never.
Team Atia or Team Servilia, and why:
Welp, Atia is the only one left. And TBH, I kinda feel a little bad for Atia.
Favorite watch-a-long tweet (obviously used with permission):
So many good ones this week.
Guess Jess’s head canon:
I think she was really moved by Vorenus worrying about Pullo and of course their goodbye.
What made Jenny super happy?
This is a tough one this week. I’m going to go with this:
Jess’ take on A Necessary Fiction.