Tag: Rome blog (Page 2 of 2)

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!

Rome: “Son of Hades”

About a month passed between episodes and Lucius is still mired in guilt over the deaths of his wife, children and Caesar. Titus continues to be a good and loyal friend, but it’s clear that his new wife doesn’t want to stay with Lucius any longer.

Mark Antony has bit off more than he can chew and is quickly finding that the day-to-day responsibilities of consul are more than he can bear. He has to deal with Octavian, who justifiably wants his inheritance, with Cleopatra, who wants her son proclaimed to be Caesar’s, and with the gangs, who have all tried to fill the power vacuum present after Lucius’ antics last week. For the last bit, Antony enlists Lucius’ help, giving the soldier a swift kick in the ass in the process.

Lucius takes to his new mission with vigor and declares himself a “son of Hades.” Titus continues to worry about the dark path that his friend is taking, but hasn’t shown any signs of leaving Lucius’ side.

Atia’s loyalty to Antony has more to do with her underestimation of her own son than any true affection she has for the consul, though she did throw out a unreturned “I love you” early in the episode. She is still distracted by her hatred for Servilia, but has a new foil in Cleopatra, who has certainly caught Antony’s eye.

Towards the end of the episode, Octavian made his move by promising to deliver the money that Caesar originally pledged to the plebes. He decided to borrow against his inheritance, which caused the throw down between he and Antony. Octavian has decided to leave Rome, and will no doubt return with an army and loads of support from the citizens of Rome.

Now, for a few of the best lines from this episode:

Atia: (to Antony) “I love you.”

Antony: (to Cleopatra) “Your son will eat shit and die before I make him legal.”

Antony: (to Lucius) “Look at the fucking state of you.”

Cleopatra: (to Atia) “I have made a friend for life.”

Lucius: (at the parlay) “I am a son of Hades and I fuck Concord in her ass!”

Cicero: (to Servilia) “I doubt [Octavian] will be more than a nuisance to Antony.”

Rome: “Passover”

It’s been more than a year since we’ve had a new episode of “Rome” to watch, and I always find it interesting, especially with these shows on HBO, how our everyday lives roll on as the cast and crew work furiously to but together twelve or thirteen episodes to entertain us for three months before the process starts all over again for another season.

Tonight’s episode picks up moments after Caesar’s murder, and all hell’s breaking loose in the city. For the most part, the creators did a beautiful job of seamlessly rolling the first season into the second. But Atia (Polly Walker) looks quite different to me, so much so that I almost didn’t recognize her when she first hit the screen. It’s possible that they wanted her character to look like she’s aged five to ten years and gained ten to twenty pounds, but something tells me that was an issue the creators had to deal with when they started shooting for the second season.

This episode dealt with the aftermath of not only Caesar’s death, but Niobe’s as well. It’s not often that a show will kill off two of their main characters at the same time, but the parallel storylines make for compelling television.

First, the political implications of Caesar’s death had to be dealt with and it was clear right from the start that Octavian was stepping up his role in the political realm. He’s extremely savvy, so it’s no wonder why Caesar bequeathed his estate to the young man, effectively making Octavian his son. As his mother tres to get the family out of the city, he quickly formulates a plan, and with Mark Antony’s help (and his mother’s approval), he effectively seizes control of the city. Brutus made the mistake of trusting Antony against the advice of all of his advisors, including Servilia. When she put in her two cents, his line – “You too, mother?” – was priceless.

Meanwhile, Lucius is reeling from Niobe’s suicide, but it was clear that he was going to kill her anyway for having a child by another man while he was away at war. He made the mistake of cursing and banishing his children and almost immediately regrets it.

Titus and his slave girl have a nice moment in the woods when he had the best line of the show: “I know I didn’t get us started off on the right foot, killing your man, and I’m sorry for that.” He proposes to her and she agrees to be his wife, but it’s clear that she’s having a tough time understanding that she’s a free woman now. Anyway, once someone rides by yelling about Caesar’s death, Titus hilariously knocks the guy off his horse and uses it to head back to the city.

There, he finds Lucius in a serious tailspin, but helps his friend pull things together. Lucius is torn up about placing a curse his children and the two men discover that their old boss abducted them. After a bloody attack on the boss’ hideout, the man informs the duo that for Lucius’ past transgressions, he “f*cked them, killed them and threw them in the river.” And that was the end of that guy.

It may take a while for Lucius to recover from he day’s events, and he’s not unlike the city of Rome trying to recover from Caesar’s death. Brutus has been sent to the country, so it looks like Antony, Octavian and Atia will control the city for the time being. Octavian and Titus also had words during the episode and it’s clear that kid trusts the big man. Over the season, Octavian is going to develop into more of a leader and it will be interesting to see what role Titus (and Lucius, for that matter) play in the future of the empire.

All in all, it was a great premiere and I can’t wait to see more.

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