Once Octavian rose to power, it was only a matter of time before Lucius and Titus became directly involved in his organization. Octavian put what might be the first ever hit list together (1,000 strong!) in order to quell support for Brutus and Cassius. Interestingly, the writers’ decision to use Titus in the role of Cicero’s killer isn’t based on any historical fact. The assassination itself was quite brutal, which is a perfect example of how unusual this series is. Titus and Lucius do nasty deeds time and time again, but they’re somehow still completely likable. While most of TV deals with heroes against villains, “Rome” uses anti-heroes, and with great success.
Even though Titus was used for such an important task, he wishes he were a soldier again. Eirene’s announcement that she was “preglant, or whatever you call it” was both comical and sad as the girl burst into tears. Titus seemed happy about the news, so it will be interesting to see if he sticks around for the child’s birth. Complicating matters, the temptress Gaia also has her eye on him, and it seems like she’s bound and determined to land a man in power, damn the consequences.
Agrippa’s scene with Octavia was the lone bright spot in an episode of murder and mayhem. It looks like this relationship is headed for disaster, however, as Atia has made it clear that the two will not be married. Her daughter has already proclaimed her love for the young man, so it’s bound to get pretty ugly.
We were treated to a gorgeous shot as the two armies clashed in the Battle of Philipi. In the real world, there were actually two battles, but for creative purposes, it was condensed to one. Also, in real life, Brutus fled the battlefield and committed suicide. But I’ll admit that his one-man attack made for pretty good television, especially since he died of multiple stab wounds, just like Caesar.
The best line of the episode goes to Mark Antony, during the battle…
Octavian: “What is happening? Do you know?”
Mark Antony: “No idea. When in doubt, attack!”