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Rome Fodder

Rome: Passover - Capsule Review

2.1 “Passover” Capsule Review.

Rome is in turmoil following Caesar’s assassination, we see Quintus’s gang try to assassinate Antony as well.

We also see Vorenus, mourning the dead Niobe, dead by suicide before he could kill her himself for infidelity.

Throughout the episode parallels are maintained between the private grief of Vorenus, and the very public grieving for Caesar. We see their bodies prepared, their friends mourning, and the final ceremonies – burning on funeral pyres.

But around Caesar’s death, politics swarm. Atia, Octavia, and Octavian have returned from their confrontation with Servilia. Thinking all is lost, they make plans to flee, and are joined by Antony who has escaped the assassins and vows to “Go north and raise an army of monsters, and return to crucify them all.” They stop to pay their respects and pick up Calpurnia to take with them, but Calpurnia insists on having Caesar’s will read first. Caesar bequeaths adequate provisions for Calpurnia, freedom and a stipend for Posca, a modest sum for each enrolled citizen, and everything – everything – else to Octavian, whom he designates son and heir. Antony fumes that Brutus and his gang have the power to declare the will null and void. Octavian shrewdly calculates that if the cabal names Caesar a tyrant, thus justifying their assassination, all his acts, including the appointments of cabal members to important posts, will become null, also. Therein lies a wedge they may drive into the cabal, and Octavian proposed staying.

Brutus returns home, is comforted and congratulated by Servilia, who, after all, engineered the whole plot, both as revenge on Caesar for spurning her at Calpurnia’s insistence, and to revenge herself on Atia of the Julii. We see the plotters gather including Cassius, Quintus, and a non-plotter, Cicero, who comes to congratulate them. Suddenly into the chamber strolls a bold Antony, sarcastically congratulating the cabal on their tyrannicide, but pointing out that many of the mob still love Caesar, and may hold his death against them in the upcoming elections. Elections? They hadn’t thought of that, and so listen as Antony proposes a truce, with Brutus and Antony to speak jointly at Caesar’s funeral, and then ‘let it be as if he had died by accident, struck by lightning, perhaps.”

After some discussion, the plotters agree to Antony’s proposal. Before he leaves, though, Antony slits Quintus’s throat, payback for the earlier attempt on his life. At the funeral, Antony slyly lets Brutus speak first, then uses his own oration to whip the crown into a murderous frenzy. Brutus and cohort barely escape with their lives. Antony proposes Brutus accept a post as “grain inspector” in the far flung provinces thus effectively banishing him and the other plotters from Rome. We see Brutus and Cassius, with retinue, glumly riding out of town.

In our plebeian sub-plot, Titus Pullo and former slave Eiraine are making a pilgrimage to a shrine outside the city. Pullo proposes and Eiraine accepts. When they hear of Caesar’s death, Pullo immediately hurries back to the city where he finds Vorenus grieving over Niobe’s body, and the children and Niobe’s sister disappeared. Vorenus frets over this, seeing as his last contact with them was to curse them for keeping the secret of Niobe’s infidelity from him. Pullo attempts to comfort Vorenus and they attend to Niobe’s funeral. Upon returning from the funeral, they learn from a neighbor that the children have not run off, but been kidnapped by Vorenus’s enemy, businessman Erastes Fulmen.

Vorenus and Pullo invade Fulmen’s house, kill all his henchman, and confront Fulmen about the children. Fulmen at first attempts to feign ignorance, but, seeing that won’t work, claims to have raped the children, killed them, and thrown the bodies in the river. Shortly thereafter we see still-bloody Vorenus and Pullo walking through he marketplace, swords in hand, carrying Fulmen’s head. They ascend a long staircase, and we see the neighborhood, and beyond, the river.


Next Capsule: Rome 2-2C "Son of Hades" - Capsule Review

Full review now available HERE.

- Cecil

Posted by Cecil on January 15, 2007 3:21 AM
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