Last week we had a quick year, and between that one and this it appears yet another has gone by. Caesar and all our soldier-boys have come home to Rome. A fact that prompts much luvy-dovy tween Lamb and Niobe, and much yearning glance from Chicken.
Presumably because skraggy-shoulder man and friends have been defeated and the army is being demobbed Lamb and Chicken are no longer soldiers. At first they lounge around, Lamb re-enacting battles and upsetting his supposed grandson, and Chicken watching Eirene. Niobe gets a little fed up with having them underfoot, and suggests they become butchers. Lamb protests a little, but eventually gives in and becomes a hauler of pig carcasses and chopper-off of swine heads. Lovely.
This is Rome however, and it doesn’t take trouble long to find them. Lamb intervenes to stop some loval bully boys from “taking the nose” off someone who couldn’t pay up and ends up on the wrong side of the “big man” of local crime. There are threats, there is the brandishing of weapons, and finally the promise that if Lamb does not publicly kiss the feet of Erastes Fulmen and say that he is very sorry then Erastes will have him killed, but not before he sees his wife and daughters raped.
So, kids farmed off to the countryside Lamb and Chicken wait, Lamb keeping busy talking to Niobe. Chicken keeping busy by sharpening weapons and hiding them all over the yard. Luckily however, Caesar turns up. And with him a whole bunch of still soldiers, who by simply being there persuade Fulman that maybe attacking the man chatting with the “dictator” is not really a great idea. Caesar offers Lamb the role of magistrate, so he can help bring about the restoration of the republic, and a return to the golden days of Rome. At first reluctant, Lamb of course accepts.
In the meantime there has been much shennanigans involving Servilia, Atia, Octavia and Octavion, including incest, accusations of murder and plots into discovering what exactly Caesar’s terrible affliction is.
It all ends badly for Servilia, whose men are killed while she herself has her hair chopped off and is stripped in the middle of the street. Nice.
As Lamb prepares for his new job, Niobe and Eirene dress him in his fancy white robes. Which poor Chicken isn’t even allowed to touch because he’ll “dirty them”  so he wanders off, only to return later on, a little drunk and calling for Eirene.
He offers he wine, tells her he wants to see her happy, gets her to smile, talks about his mother, then tells her to take off her dress and consols himself with her.
A great episode, and not just for the wonderful chest of Chicken’s, but because of his oh-so-obvious envious glances at Niobe and Lamb. Also, Octavion returned, although the getting it on with his sister, not so pleasant. But no Mark Anthony this week :(