We just watched the last episode of the series. I wish the show could have gone for the entire five seasons as planned.
Okay, so this episode begins after the battle between Antony and Octavian. Antony has been beaten for the first time in his life. And he reflects that defeat isn’t quite as awful as he’d expected. He and Cleopatra hole up in the palace at Alexandria and it’s all opium and orgies all the time – at least until Octavian sends a messenger to tell Antony to surrender. There’s also a super secret message for Vorenus that he’ll be welcomed back to Rome if he leaves the palace gates unlocked for Octavian’s forces. Vorenus, loyal to a fault, takes a pass on the offer.
Antony challenges Octavian to single combat, but Octavian declines. He does, however, send a super secret message to Cleopatra telling her that if she gives up Antony, she’ll retain her crown and her children will live. She pretends to commit suicide and Antony buys it. Grief-stricken, decides to commit suicide, too, and tells Vorenus to tell the people that he “died Roman”. He has Vorenus help him off himself and Vorenus cleans off all his makeup and henna, puts him back in his Roman armor, and props him up on the throne.
Cleopatra shows herself once she’s sure Antony is dead and weeps over him. She and Vorenus have it out – at least, a little bit, and he convinces her that Octavian might let her and her and Antony’s children live (to be paraded around the streets of Rome), but he’ll never let Caesarian live. I think Vorenus’ main motivation here is to save him because he’s Pullo’s son. She allows Vorenus to smuggle the boy out of the palace as Octavian and crew comes in to chat with her about the terms.
These two are like venomous scorpions, verbally circling one another looking for the best place to strike while lying their pants off and saying everything the other one wants to hear. Octavian sends Pullo after Vorenus and also charges him with killing Caesarian.
After Octavian leaves, Cleopatra knows that Vorenus was right and that suicide is pretty much her only option. She opts for the snake bite in the boob method and waits to die in the throne next to Antony.
She gets to have the last word with Octavian. When he busts in, she says, “You have a rotten soul.” Which is pretty fucking harsh coming from Cleopatra. I also enjoyed how none of his friends defended him.
Octavian takes her and Antony’s children back to Rome and eventually dumps them off on Octavia who is super done with her brother’s bullshit. Octavian really seemed to enjoy telling Atia that Antony was dead. Like, I’m pretty sure he got off on it.
Pullo eventually finds Vorenus and Caesarian (who’s going by Anais, now) in the desert and they catch up.
The next day, as they’re making their way through the desert, they’re stopped by one of Octavian’s patrols and they’re just about to make it through, but the kid gives them away. And there’s a fight. They kill all of Octavian’s men, but Vorenus is mortally wounded. And it’s horrible. He tells Pullo he wants to go home.
They finally make it back to Rome and at first, and somehow Vorenus has survived the journey across the sea. His children refuse to see him, at first, but finally, Vorena the Elder goes to his bedside. I’m not sure if it’s because she forgives him or if she feels bad for a dying man.
Meanwhile, preparations for Octavian’s Triumph are in full fucking swing. Octavia tries to cajole Atia into attending, but she’s having none of it. Livia is immediately a bitch about it, and just as Octavia is trying to smooth things over, Atia sweeps out and prepares to greet the crowd gathered for the triumph. Livia corrects her and says that as Octavian’s wife, she should go first.
Atia looks at her and says, (as only Atia can), “I know who you are. I can see you. You’re swearing now that someday you will destroy me. Remember: far better women than you have sworn to do the same. Go and look for them now.”
She turns and walks out in front of Livia as Octavian comes driving a chariot pulled by in white horses. Part of the procession includes Cleopatra and Antony’s bodies paraded through the streets while the people cheer.
Octavia and Agrippa exchanged a look during the Triumph, but I’m choosing to believe that Octavia won’t waste her time with him any more. You don’t get over someone just choosing your brother over you.
After the Triumph, Pullo goes to see Octavian to tell him that he killed Caesarian. He says that he’d taken the boy’s head as a trophy, but it went bad on the voyage back and he threw it overboard. He also tells Octavian that Vorenus didn’t survive his injuries. (However, I think he was entirely too cheerful about losing his only friend. I think that Vorenus did survive and Pullo was just protecting him.
After he leaves Octavian, Caesarian/Anais catches up with him and asks if Octavian believed everything. Then he begins ranting about how he’s going to destroy Octavian and avenge his father, etc. when Pullo says, “Listen…about your father…”
Perfect last line for the episode and the series. And as Jen promised me, only one person it this damn show gets a happy ending.
And now, the questions.
My favorite part of the episode:
I really loved the last little bit when Pullo says, “About your father…” to Caesarian. I also adored Atia taking down Livia.
My least favorite part of the episode:
Hmmmm… pretty much any time Octavian and Livia opened their mouths.
I really love both of these dresses. Not crazy about that big old poof on top of Octavia’s head, though.
Team Atia or Team Servilia, and why:
Servillia’s curse is still in play, but watching Atia taking down Livia was a highpoint for me.
Favorite watch-a-long tweet (obviously used with permission):
This week’s best tweet has to go to Jen.
Guess Jess’s head canon:
Jess, I’m sure, was charmed by Pullo and Vorenus catching up around the fire. And I’m thinking that she, even more than me, is choosing to believe that Vorenus miraculously survived his wound and they’re going to live happily ever after, raising their children together.
What made Jenny super happy?
Oh, you know, Atia being Atia.
Jess’ take on De Patre Vostro (About Your Father)