Tag: Kevin McKidd (Page 2 of 3)

Rome: “Death Mask”

One of the very first scenes this week set the tone for the entire episode. During Jocasta’s wedding, while Antony winks at a not-that-attractive slave girl, Atia mentions to him that she’d like to get married. The point? Men and women are rarely on the same page.

Even though she’s an insufferable bitch, I actually felt sorry for Atia this week. First, Servilia lays the mother of all curses on her before committing suicide in front of her house. The real Servilia died of natural causes, but like Antony said, the fictional Servilia knows how to make an exit. Then Octavian arranges for his sister, not Atia, to marry Antony as a show of goodwill to the people of Rome. This, of course, does not sit well with Atia or Octavia. While in bed with his new wife, Antony had a great line that pretty much sums up the situation – “This is strange, isn’t it?”

Even with the marriage, it’s clear that the conflict between Octavian and Antony isn’t resolved.

Meanwhile, Eirene’s run in with Gaia led to a great scene between Titus and the slave girl. It seems that the temptress Gaia is looking to climb the social ladder, and she isn’t afraid to use all of her……um……assets to that end. When she laid the “she’s such a mouse of a woman and you’re such a lion of a man” line on Titus, I knew the big fella was going down. If nothing else, a man has needs and it certainly didn’t help that Eirene decided to withhold sex because the baby started moving. Just like Titus, I almost spit up my drink when Eirene said that he should beat Gaia the same way once a month to keep her in line.

The Timon/Levi storyline ended unceremoniously when Timon stabbed his brother to keep him from trying to assassinate Herod. Other than Timon’s decision to release Servilia, this storyline hasn’t had much of an impact on the show. It will be interesting to see how much of Timon we’ll see now that this thread with his brother has come to a conclusion.

The episode ended with Gaia buying a concoction that presumably causes a miscarriage. Obviously, she intends to use this on Eirene. But what’s her end game? Does she truly want Titus, or does she just want to screw up Eirene’s life?

And how will Vorena’s actions affect Lucius? What will he do when he discovers his daughter’s betrayal?

Rome: “Philipi”

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!”

Rome: “Heroes of the Republic”

In the middle of last season, Cicero said that he wanted to retire to the country. For someone that was thisclose to retirement, he’s certainly back in the middle of things. After getting outsmarted by Octavian (which is becoming a trend, methinks), he tries to intimidate the young man by trumping up Brutus’ and Cassius’ army. He says they have 20 legions, but in reality, they have nine. Octavian realized that was enough to defeat his four, which is why Atia went to Mark Antony. If the two generals come to a truce, they could make life very difficult for Cicero and his pals.

But I’m not sure why Atia went to Octavian in the first place. It’s clear by the shifty looks that she’s up to something. Maybe peace between her son and Antony is her end game, but it’s doubtful. After her fumbling of the Servilia situation, she definitely needs protection.

Pullo’s wife admitted that she’s jealous of the bond he has with Lucius. That was a nice moment when Titus said that he’d definitely save her if the two were drowning. She seems to be warming up to him, and it’s probably a good sign that she’s jealous. At least he can be sure that she cares about him.

I sensed that Gaia was into Lucius, and I don’t think that the two are quite done. There’s a good chance that she’ll create some conflict between Lucius and his third in command. (I still haven’t caught his name.) She seems pretty intent on not being viewed as a prostitute, so Lucius forcing her to take the money may come back to bite him in the ass.

Finally, I loved the scene where Agrippa brought Octavia home from the orgy. Octavia’s drugged explanation was terrific – “So I was at an orgy. Who cares?” – and Atia’s mood changed from embarrassment to anger, and finally to amusement when Agrippa professed his love for her daughter.

Looking forward, Brutus and Cassius intend to wait for Octavian and Antony to weaken each other before they step in to take control of Rome. Man, are they in for a surprise!

Rome: “Testudo Et Lepus”

You have to hand it to HBO. When every other network either goes dark against the Super Bowl or has programming aimed at the fairer sex, HBO just goes about its business, airing new episodes of “Rome” and “Extras.”

I also like how they edit the previews together at the end of each episode. It’s an art, really. Show enough to keep the viewers coming back but don’t show too much as to ruin the surprise. These days, it seems that there are very few series that follow these rules.

Based on last week’s previews, I thought for sure that Atia would be poisoned, but they didn’t actually show her on the ground. One of her servants bit the dust, which allowed Atia to unleash her wrath on the assassin, and later, on Servilia. With the show delving into Timon’s life at home, it was clear that he was going to do something out of character. By letting Servilia go, he really put Atia in a tough spot. Of course, Atia made her own bed, so to speak.

She had a couple of great lines during the scene where her men tortured the assassin, calling Octavia’s friend a “bad influence” (now that’s the pot calling the kettle black) and later saying, “it isn’t a legal confession unless there’s torture.” It’s just another example of how much times have changed.

We met the new Octavian/Caesar, who is now played by Simon Woods. Max Pirkis did a great job building the role, and probably could have played it for a while longer, but Octavian’s break gave the show the perfect opportunity to make age. Agrippa appears to be Octavian’s most trustworthy friend. It looks like they are setting up an angel/devil scenario with Octavian’s two advisors. Agrippa’s budding romance with Octavia provided a few laughs, and is just another example of how little times have changed.

It’s good to see Titus and Lucius together again, because at its core, “Rome” is just a buddy story. I knew it wasn’t going to end well for the slave boss when he took them down that hallway with all the little rooms. You’re not going to get very far in life pimping out Lucius’ daughter, knowingly or unknowingly. I’m interested to see how Lucius plans to deal with his bastard son. It’s clear he’s got too big of a heart to kill an innocent kid, but will he be able to deal with the constant reminder of his wife’s infidelity?

Next week, Octavian and his army should return to Rome, which sets up nice conflict between he and Cicero. Speaking of the Senator, he sure has his swagger back, doesn’t he?

Rome: “These Being the Words of Marcus Tullius Cicero”

I was wondering about last week’s long, drawn out shot of the slaves in Octavian’s caravan, but that turned out to be Lucius’ children, who are actually alive. They weren’t on screen much prior to that, which is why I didn’t recognize them. Lucius is floundering right now, but expect that news to get him back on track. It’s tough to see his friendship with Titus in such bad shape, but he’s just lashing out at everyone who loves him, and at this point, Titus is the only person that falls into that category.

Duro – the slave boy trying to assassinate Atia – turned out to be working for Servilia. On that subject, what’s with all the man rape? This week we saw Duro and his boss, heard about some child prostitution and saw another rape that starts a gang war. I can only take so much of that.

Cicero sure got the last (cowardly) laugh on Mark Antony, though I wonder if that’s where the saying, “don’t shoot the messenger” comes from. The series jumped forward three months and Antony has fled the city (with Lucius). Now, he prepares for a war with Octavian, but my guess is that neither man’s blood will be shed.

Speaking of Antony, he had a couple of great lines when he met Atia in the bathroom. When he arrived, he said, “Uh-oh, wine in the bath. This can’t be good.” When she questioned his tardiness, he quipped, “Revise your expectations and I will always be early.”

I’m going to try that line on my wife next time I’m late getting home!

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