Sign Up for the Daily TV Fodder Newsletter       
buy prednisone online no prescription buy zithromax buy strattera online no prescription payday loans buy clomid buy valtrex online buy buspar no prescription buy atarax online buy diflucan buy buspar no prescription

Rome Fodder

Rome: 2-7C Death Mask - Capsule Review

Rome: 2-7C "Death Mask" - Capsule Review

Previously: We see the death list being built, name by name, Atia’ suggested addition (Jocasta’s father), Jocasta seeking asylum at Atia’s house, Pullo at Cicero’s, Octavia and Agrippa, “I’m preglant”, Thug 2 meeting Vorena the elder, Cassius’s death, Brutus’s suicide by soldier at Philippi.

[Bear with me, folks another dizzying round of quick scenes, over thirty of them in the 55 minutes of this episode. Forgive me if I’ve made any mistakes, which I’ll correct in the longer version after reviewing the DVD tomorrow.]


Opening scene:

The street outside Servilia’s house. Inside Servilia weeps over a death mask of Brutus as Eleni attempts to comfort her and we have our fastest title, ever.

Atia’s house: Jocasta is being prepared for marriage, She snivels a bit. Finally we see the ceremony, and she’s marrying…. Posca! In mid ceremony, a strident voice is heard in the street calling “Atia of the Julii, I call for justice.” It’s Servilia. Atia says “just ignore her,” not reckoning with Servilia’s persistence. A servant (priest?) dribbles blood over Servilia’s head.

Pullo and Eirene’s bed. Pullo creeps into the bed telling Eirene to get up. Marital natter ensues. Pullo’s hints for a little morning nookie, but Eirene says it’ll disturb the baby, and invites Pullo to feel the baby move, which he does and goes all soft like goofy fathers everywhere.

Aventine Collegium – Vorenus, Memmio and Mascius discuss the allocation swag. Memmio wants a 5 per cent bump on the Ostian docks, which Vorenus concedes but sends Mascius to Ostia to supervise.

Rainy Streets outside Atia’s house. Servilia still kneels and chants without a break.

The triumvirate’s headquarters. Antony enters gingerly, proclaiming a hangover and the world’s worst headache. Octavian gazes at a map of the (mostly Roman) world. Lepidus mentions some of his friends are fearful over possible tyranny of the triumvirate. Antony tells Lepidus to have the nervous citizens take a look at Cicero’s hands, still nailed to the forum door. Octavian proposes getting back to business, that being figuring out how the three can share the power in ruling Rome. He proposes they divide the territory and each assume command over their piece.

But how to divide things fairly? Antony draws his sword and literally slices the wall map up as he proposes Octavian take the city and the western provinces, and he take Egypt and the eastern provinces. ‘What does that leave me?’ Lepidus wonders. “Africa”, Antony says. ‘But Antony, Egypt is in Africa,’ nobody says.

Back to Atia’s house. Servilia is still chanting outside, and Atia’ s covering her head with a pillow as Antony walks in. Antony says ‘Just go out and let her have her rant and she’ll go away.’ ‘Never in front of the plebs,’ Atia responds.

Aventine. Pullo is distributing fish, but runs off a fellow he thinks is coming back for seconds, and probably doesn’t live on the Aventine any way. Nearby Eirene orders a sullen Gaia to get some chores done, but Gaia is not responsive. Infuriated, Eirene promises ‘My husband will beat you.”

Inside the Aventine Collegium. Pullo and Vorenus discuss the ‘faker’. Vorenus is not sufficiently upset, i.e., not at all. Pullo fulminates. Vorenus says do nothing. Pullo says that man was probably a Memmio plant. Vorenus says ‘so what if he was?’ Eirene comes in to request a Gaia beating, then leaves. Pullo is nervous about this, wonders if Vorenus will do it for him. Vorenus says he will if Pullo wants it. Pullo decides, ’no, my wife, my problem.’

In the Aventine Collegium tavern, strangely vacant, Pullo approaches Gaia, asks her to ‘assume the position’. Gaia wants to assume a different position. Pullo grabs her and it turns into quite a fight, Gaia not afraid to sling crockery and uses her knowledge of a man’s “sensitive areas” to hold her own for a while. Pullo finally grasps Gaia in a close hold, and she turns it into a kiss to which Pullo responds with another. He flings her down on a table and ‘rapes’ her, though it’s what she was maneuvering for all along, and has been for some time. After round one he flips her over – for some serious beating? No he ‘gags' her with, like, a bridle , and it’s round two, ride ‘em cowboy. Pullo growls that ‘this will never happen again’ and Gaia smiles.

Atia’s house. Servilia is still chanting, and Antony again advises confronting her. Atia finally agrees and goes to the door, challenging Servilia. Servilia looks as it she’s switched from blood to ashes over the head, a really ghost-like appearance. Servilia calls on the “gods below” to curse Atia and says she gives then all she has if they will do so. Curse complete, Servilia pulls out a dagger and stabs herself in the heart, falls in the street. Eleni weeps over the boss's body, withdraws the dagger, and then loyal unto death, stabs herself with the same dagger and falls beside Servilia’s body. Atia appears to be weighing the balance ‘rival dead vs. curse on my head’ and can’t quite decide whether she’s won or lost.

In front of the fastum. The town crier dude announces that King Herod of Judea is visiting Rome.

Antony’s chambers. Antony receives Herod who asks for a short course in bribery etiquette. Antony is glad to oblige and they settle on twenty thousand pounds of gold at Posca’s suggestion. Herod asks if Antony speaks for Octavian and Lepidus as well, which Antony assures him he does. After Herod leaves, Posca asks what his cut will be, and Antony assures him he will be a generous as ever, i.e. nothing.

In the streets. Levi shouts “Scum!” at the departing Herod as Timon attempts to quiet him.

Near Octavian’s chambers. Posca approaches Maecenas who is writing on a wax tablet while having his toes painted. Posca asks if Maecenas is a ‘man of discretion’ who can hear a confidence and not later let on who told him. Maecenas says he is.

Octavian’s chambers. Octavian confronts Antony about the bribe with Maecenas looking on and demands his cut. Antony says it was a personal gift, not revenue to be shared. Octavian differs. Antony tries to make light of the matter, but ends the lightness when he declares that Octavian’s never accomplished anything on his own. ‘Oh, then beating you at Mutina was nothing,’ Octavian low-blows back. Now Antony’s mad, and declares Octavian never left his tent at Mutina. Octavian says he thought Antony had matured, but now sees he is still an ignorant, arrogant oaf, as he strides off. “Yes, and I’m still f***ing your mother,” Antony really low blows back.

Aventine Collegium. Gaia is serving dinner to Pullo and Eirene, commenting herself on ‘how servile I am since my “beating”’. Eirene says Pullo should “beat her the same way every morning,” which nearly causes Pullo to choke on his wine.

A bed. Thug2 and Vorena the elder are in it. Memmio ‘discovers’ them there and wails about how he must report this to Lucius Vorenus. Vorena the elder begs him not to, saying he’ll kill her like he did her mother. Memmio ‘relents' if only she’ll do a little spying for him which Vorena the elder agrees to do.

The triumvirate office. Octavian, Lepidus, and Antony are hammering out the deal, with Maecenas acting as scribe and Atia looking on. The terms are nearly agreed when Atia pipes up that a marriage between the houses of the Julii and Antony would be the perfect tie to bind the deal. She adds that “after Lupercalia” would be an auspicious time to have the wedding. Octavian seems open to the idea but sends Atia away because “It’s not proper for a woman to be present” at the marriage bargaining.

Atia leaves and chortles with someone over her upcoming wedding. Someone wonders where Octavia is. Getting boffed by Agrippa, that’s where.

A synagogue. Timon and Levi are in it discussing the proper time to carry out some political action. Tomorrow after the wedding, they agree.

Timon’s house. Dinner.

Atia’s bedchamber. As Octavian gazes on the two lovers from behind a curtain, Atia babbles with wedding plans. Antony says there’s something he must discuss with her.

A wedding. As a priest asks the same questions we heard at the Posca/Jocasta wedding, we see Atia dressed well but with a noticeable lack of emotion on her face. Octavian as giver of the bride grasps Antony’s hand, then.... Octavia’s! Antony is marrying Octavia! The guests applaud as the wedding completes, but Agrippa looks on disconsolate.

The Reception. Octavia shakes hands receiving many notables, including Herod. Agrippa complains to Maecenas of the unfairness of it all. Maecenas simple lays it to “politics”. Atia retreats to her bed, despite Antony’s entreaties to return to the party. Antony, too, says it’s just “politics” and was Octavian’s idea, and won’t change anything between himself and Atia. OK, all together now... eugggghhhh.

The Streets. The wedding procession makes its way, Antony kissing thrilled dowagers’ hands as he walks along. Among the guests following behind is Herod. Levi and Timon watch him approach. As Herod passes Levi urges “now”, but Timon hangs back and holds Levi back, too. Timon says he can’t do it, “No more blood.” The two struggle, swords drawn, unseen by the revelers. Levi ends up stabbed, and with his last breath proclaims “You are not my brother.”

The Marriage bed. Antony and Octavia lie in uncomfortable silence. At last Antony comments “Strange, isn’t it.”, and later ‘It is our wedding night,” Octavia non-romantically responds “Do as you like.” Antony requests she assume a position, which she does, and a very non-romantic coupling takes place. Antony doesn’t seem to mind.

Elsewhere. Atia stares out a window in the darkness and remembers Servilia’s curse.

A potion shop. Gaia buys what is apparently a potion to induce an abortion. Is it Pullo’s baby, or is she getting rid of Mascius’s baby to make way for Pullo’s?

Next Week:

Another confusing set of fast flash images that I can’t catch while writing, but we see Cleopatra in there, and the slogans “All Trust is Lost” and “All Ties are Broken” and we certainly can imagine several applications of both.

- Cecil


Full length review now available, HERE.

Previous Capsule: 2-6C “Philippi” - Capsule Review

Next Capsule: Rome 2-8C “A Necessary Fiction”

Click here for complete "Rome" broadcast schedule, including reshow days, times, and HBO Channel

Posted by Cecil on March 2, 2007 11:13 PM
Permalink | Email to a Friend | Add to | Digg This

Eirene says Pullo should “beat her (Gaia) the same way every month", not "morning", I believe. Also, I think Gaia buys the potion to induce a miscarriage in Eirene, not herself.
Antony marrying Octavia is historically accurate, I was thrilled to see them involve it in the story-line.
Technically, Servilia could not have had a death-mask made for Brutus, only former Consuls of Rome were allowed that honor.
Just a couple notes I wanted to share!

-- Posted by: Anonymous at March 5, 2007 12:41 PM

Good points all. For technical reasons I have to make the capsule review from notes hastily scribbled while watching/listening to the program, then do the best I can with those notes and my memory, so I could easily mistake month/morning.

I fill in more detail and check repeatedly on a DVD copy of the show while doing the full review, and I'll frequently go back and straighten out some details in the capsule as well if the error is grievous enough.

Thoughtful speculation on Gaia. I hate how evil that makes her, if so, but it may be where the authors are going. Can you tell I drool a little whenever she's on the screen? That will end if she's hurting Eirene, but it would explain Pullo shouting for help in the previews - at least I think it was Pullo - boy do thery ever flash those scenes by fast.

Yes, I knew Antony married Octavia, but Servilia, on the other hand, is supposed to have lived to a ripe old age.

Didn't know that about the death-mask. I figured it was a kindness (in Roman terms) to help a relative accept the fact of death in an age without photography and no hope of bringing a body back. Although they did spare us any gory details about Brutus's head. Do you know if it was in fact brought back pickled in salt? Wouldn't put it past the character of Mark Antony to display it - either the historical character or the show-character.

Thanks for commenting.

-- Posted by: Cecil Rose at March 5, 2007 5:06 PM

More Recent Stories:
A Little "Rome" on Demand
Bits and Pieces of Rome
Rome 2-10F De Patre Vostro - About Your Father - Full Review
Rome: 2-10C De Patre Vostro - About Your Father - Capsule Review
Rome: 2-9F Deus Impeditio Esuritori Nullus - Full Review
Rome: 2-9C Deus Impeditio Esuritori Nullus - Capsule Review
Rome: 2-8F A Necessary Fiction - Full Review
Rome: 2-8C A Necessary Fiction - Capsule Review
Rome: 2-7F Death Mask - Full Review
Rome: 2-7C Death Mask - Capsule Review