Double episode tonight, so I’m guessing that the BBC have cut a few scenes out of both episode 11 The Spoils and episode 12 Kalends of February. Ah well, we’ll just have to wait for dvd releases and find out if we missed any fun stuff.

Now, remember last week, we finished up with the head-slamming and killing of the slave Limpsalot, who had been going to marry Eirene, which resulted in poor Chicken getting all upset, and accusing Lamb of corrupting himself? Well, we now see Chicken reduced to a common murderer. A drunk, drugie murderer, for Mr. Bling aka Erastes Fulmen. Chicken too has blinged up, but his fancy necklaces and armlets don’t last long as we see some whores[1] stealing his decorations. He looks better as non blingin-chicken imo.

Meanwhile Lamb is busy with his fancy new white robes his new job and hearing the various complaints of his clients. Then one of his brother veterans shows up, asking him to talk to Caesar about getting land in Italy for his brothers. No, Lamb does not come from a very large family, they mean the other soldiers. Lamb tells soldier-boy that this won’t happen, that there isn’t enough land, but he’ll talk to Julius any way.

Back with Pullo and things aren’t going to well. Blingin’ Fulman thinks he isn’t discreet enough for the mortality business. Then when he finally relents and says he’ll have a job for Pullo tomorrow he won’t let Chicken drink in this special inn. It is a decent inn, for local decent people.

Lamb has popped off to visit Caesar in the Senate, in order to tell him what his brother soldiers are looking for. Caesar isn’t too happy, says he cannot make land, and when Anto suggests evicting his enemies JC looks almost surprised that he still has any. Says he’ll turn them into friends. But no matter, he won’t give the veterans land in Italy, and instead tells Lamb to offer them land in some other place. Vorenus objects, that land is too far away, but Caesar is not for turning and tells Vorenus to bribe soldier-boy into acepting it on behalf of all the other soldiers. Ah, the corruption is spreading.

And so too is graffiti showing Brutus killing Caesar.Spotting some, Brutus tells a slave to clean it off, but Cassius informs him that it isn’t worth the trouble. The pictures are everywhere. Brutus has really grown on me through this season. After all with that mother how could he do anything but be a conflicted twisted mess[2] When they reach the Senate Cassius points out Caesar’s new chair. It has a back and everything. Brutus disagrees with Cassius’ interpretation that it is a throne. I’d have to agree, although it is a step in that direction. Still, Cassius begins to push and prod, telling Brutus that he must be involved, and that Caesar must die. For the Republic!

Back with Chicken[3] and he stabs some auld lad in the street, prompting a very old, ever so slightly hag-like woman to shriek Murderer at him, over and over again. Not quite as much venom as Gollum managed to invest in that word but it does the job. Guilt prompts Chicken to drop his knife and sit on the steps. Ah, Pullo, where did it all go wrong?

Atia is throwing a partah. And Anto appears, sweet-talking Octavia, is he making a move? No, he wants her to tell her mother how much he misses her constant sniping and her horrible-ness. but before they can kiss and make up Atia spots Niobe arriving, in her vulgar dress. Yup, Lamb is moving up in the world, but this also means he has to leave Niobe in the clutches of Atia and friends while he talks business with Caesar. And as JC makes nice, telling him that corrupting one man for the sake of thousands is a good thing, Ocatavian shows up, revealing that Pullo is in prison. That he’s charged with murder[4] and they have to do something. Caesar disagrees. Politics see, the fella Chicken stabbed was a critic of Caesar’s and if he now interferes The People will think that he ordered the hit. But still Octavian insists. Nice to see him acting because of emotion rather than cold logic all the time. And really nice of him to stand up for poor abandoned Pullo. But Caesar tells him to drop it, not in so many words, but we get the message. Ocatvian however has a different idea, and the following morning asks for Timon the Jew. not sure exactly how much help Jez from Coronation St is going to be but still.

And I was right, Timon looks for a lawyer, but one they hear what case they’ll be handling they all back-off. All apart from one young dude, who we can tell is crap. He is the Gil (from the Simpsons) of Rome

And as the trial goes ahead Gil does indeed try his best, it just doesn’t work. Guilty! and Setenced to death. Poor Pullo. Look at him, in chains, and all morose. Awwwww

Meanwhile, in the crowd Lamb has turned up. But I fear this is no Robin Hood style rescue, and it isn’t. He meets soldier-boy from earlier and when he hears that a few of the squaddies from the 13th are going to free Pullo Lamb at once tells them not to. Orders soldier-boy not to, says it’ll look bad for Caesar. For the Republic. Almost makes you agree with Servilia don’t it?

And for the good of the republic Caesar wants to send Brutus to Macedonia. Brutus does not look impressed. He doesn’t want to go, why should he. And Caesar’s arguments don’t change his mind, in fact they rather persuade him the Julius doesn’t trust him. Brutus is insulted. Highly insulted after all, he is an honourable man. Caesar and Brutus part on not the best of terms. Tut tut, JC, you’ll regret that come March so you will.

Enough of politics, back to the real star, Pullo. He sacrifices a big old cockroach[5] to some god or other, asking for a long life for Eirene and for Lamb. Awwww, he is so cute. Then the guard arrives, its time for his sentence of death in the arena.

I’m thinking he is supposed to fight, only our Chicken has had enough of fighting. He tosses away the crappy looking sword they left for him, and sits in the dirt. When the gladiators show up he doesn’t stir. They look nonplussed. This isn’t how things are supposed to happen. He has to fight back, they tell him. Pullo disagrees, and doesn’t move. They begin to insult him, poke him and the crowd shows how much it dislikes this non show[6] But eventually one of the gladiators stumbles across Chicken’s weak point, and he. insults. the. thirteenth.

Pullo does not like that. And the gladiators see that, and all start in on the legion. Wrong move. I could describe the battle, but I won’t. Suffice to say Chicken does his stuff, resulting in many many dead gladiators, and much howling of outrage from the crowd, apart from Timon who thinks this is great, and much gore. But in the process Pullo gets quite a few wounds himself, and he isn’t looking too hot when a new gladiator enters the arena.

As well as Timon, Lamb has shown up in the crowd, and looks quite upset. Especially when Pullo shouts Thirteenth. And now that this Ultimate Gladiator dude looks about to dispatch Pullo off to meet his mother, Lamb finally makes a move. And then a hero comes along, and deals out gruesome death to Ultimate Gladiator. Saving Pullo and carrying him out of the arena.

And who do we see now paying Erastes Bling-man a visit? Posca, looks like julius Caesar was bothered about that auld nailmaker critic dude.

And final scene, Servilia making nice to Brutus, you know why don’t you, that’s right, he’s ready to do his duty to the gorram republic.

And I’m guessing this is where Episode 11 ended on HBO? So episode 12 is below the cut

Upon being informed that he is now famous, a previously bed-ridden and bandaged Pullo rises out of his hospital bed. Staggers along, steals a horse, launches himself on its back and heads for Rome. He knows what being famous means; drink & women. Course if he doesn’t survive he won’t really get to indulge will he?

Also out of the city are Niobe and Lamb, taking a tour of the mud that is their country estate. Looking all happy, and in love. If I was them I’d be really worried, if Joss Whedon has taught us anything it is that happiness must be defeated by death. Anways, after their fake love-making to enhance the fertility of the fields, which turns into a major smooching session the happy couple return home, to be informed that Pullo is there. In bed, asleep after being found on the road. Eirene doesn’t look too happy, but then again not too upset either. Lamb goes to see Chicken, to ask what the hell he is doing, but look, they are all friends again. Huzzah!

Cut to the middle of the night and Eirene has found herself a sharp looking knife, and heads for Pullo. Did I mention he was tied to the bed? No, well he is, but doesn’t even bother to struggle as Eirene holds the knife to his throat. Instead he tells her its okay, he’s sorry. And when she hesitates he tells her “its okay if you can’t” but before we discover whether she was just hoping he’d beg for his life Niobe appears. Not impressed, and the following day after Lamb heads off to look sorry in front of Caesar she orders Eirene to feed Pullo. Now it is Eirene’s turn to be unimpressed. And to show it she spits in Chicken’s porridge. Chicken doesn’t care. He just likes having Eirene around, she calms him, remember?

Anyways, back to Lamb and his meeting with Herr Caesar, turns out that JC doesn’t want to kill him. Or at least The People have taken to him and Chicken as heros, and it isn’t good for a politician, or indeed a tyrant if he upsets The People, so he makes Lamb a senator. Cue burst of laughter from Anto, and astonishment all around. Later as both Anto and Posca explain why making Senators of Gauls and Celts isn’t a good idea Caesar deflects their complaints, and their “you’ll make even more enemies” warning, after all he’ll have the ferocious Lucius Vorenus by his side won’t he. Yes, clever and cunning is our JC.

Then there are a few sequences to remind you that things don’t end well for Julius Caesar, before we get back to Chicken, who has somehow persuaded little Lucius to cut his bonds. Free Pullo staggers into the city looking for women. And eventually, after informing someone who he is, he finds one. Brings her home and all, but then sees Eirene, and stops. Thanks the perspective “pillow-friend” and sends her on her way. All the time looking at lil ol’ Eirene, letting her know exactly why he isn’t having a good time.

Remember way back when Servilia and Octavia were… friends, and Octavia told her about Octavian’s secret of killing Niobe’s brother-in-law, you didn’t think that was just gossip did you? Because now that all the conspirators are worried about how to go about killing Caesar they discuss Lucius Vorenus in front of Servilia. She doesn’t react, but we can see her memory begin to stir. Meanwhile Brutus’ new friends begin to think maybe they should kill JC in his sleep. Or poison him. Brutus shouts “Oi! No!”[7] and goes on to say that this is no sordid little murder, but is in fact an honourable[8] killing, they all agree and begin to formulate plans.

Plans which get a boost when Servilia remembers where she heard the name Lucius Vorenus before. Which means that Niobe and Lamb’s happiness is about to come crashing down doesn’t it?

Next day and we meet up with Atia, Anto near by so obviously they are friends again. She has a letter from Servilia and is wondering why exactly that bint wants to see her. Curiousity killed the cat, we all know she’s going to go along, and she decides to bring Octavian with her, for protection, she says with a smile.

In Lamb’s home Pullo is all dressed up and heading for the country, he wants to ask some goddess for forgiveness for all the bad things he has done in his life, he tells Eirene, then asks does she think he’ll be forgiven. Eirene looks at him, and gives a noncommital maybe answer. So Chicken asks would she like to come along.

Back to Servilia as she welcomes Atia, pleasantly. Come on Atia, you must know something is going on. but she doesn’t know what, and we cut to Servilia’s slave woman as she bustles along the streets and bumps into Lamb. He has been following Caesar to the Senate, but slave-woman’s whispered tales about his grandson make him stop. Stop dead and then stalk off home. Oh dear.

Caesar notices Lamb’s absence, but thinks nothing of it. He enters the Senate, Posca at his side, and we get to see Anto being distracted by some random. And now the shit hits the fan, as *cut* Servilia begins to tell Atia what is going on. Posca gets hit over the head, JC is all alone, and suddenly being stabbed left right and centre. It isn’t the quickest of kills. We get to see him twitch and stagger and fall, and to see the blood spray, and soak everything, as Brutus looks on, horrified, unable to move. Until Cassius gives Brutus back his knife, which he had earlier dropped, and tells him to do it. And do it he does.

Back at Vorenus’ things are not all puppies and hugs either. Lamb smashes stuff, shouting for little Lucius, and finally Niobe admits it. But she thought he was dead. Doesn’t seem to make much difference to Lamb as he stares at her, backs away and picks up a long, sharp knife.

This is brilliantly shot and acted. Is Lamb going to kill Niobe? Little Lucius? Himself? None of the above, Niobe whispers that little Lucius is not to blame and tips herself backwards off the balcony.

Back in the Senate the honourable murderers are looking a little uneasy. Cassius raises Brutus’ arm in triumph “Thus ever for tyrants” but Brutus seems to disagree and in grief/horror/pain he staggers away. And Anto comes in. Fantastic acting here from James Purefoy, as he takes in the scene in front of him. All the emotions he could be feeling are clear on his face; anger, pain, grief. Impotence. He knows he can’t do anything, not now, and slowly he backs away. Into the shadow.

And we cut back to Servilia, pleasantly telling Atia that her life is about to be nothing but pain and suffering now that JC is dead and she has no protection. Atia looks shocked. For once in her life she has no witty, snarky comeback. No cutting remark. Servilia smiles, like a snake. And as Atia and Octavian leave, we see a look on Octavian’s face that clearly states “bitch. I’ll get you for this”.

Poor Lamb, craddling his dead wife. And little Lucius walks into the courtyard. Vorenus looks at him. But before anything is said, or happens, we cut to Pullo and Eirene in front of an altar. Chicken says his prayers, asks for forgiveness and then, as they walk off together, Eirene takes his hand. But if you were Pullo would you trust her not to take up a knife again? And if you were Eirene wouldn’t you still be a little upset at the brute who smashed your fiance’s head against a wall until he twitched to death?

The End. Of this season

Linknotes:

  1. they looked like whores to me
  2. Mother issues, Freud would be happy
  3. yay, its chicken, boo he’s a murderer
  4. possibly on account of him being a murderer?
  5. gross. can we all say eeww
  6. Apart from Timon, who has shown up, he doesn’t seem to care one way or the other
  7. not really, he merely disagrees
  8. because Brutus is an honourable man

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. NineMoons says:

    FYI, Amazon.com are now saying this re ROME DVD:

    "Availability: NOT YET RELEASED: The studio is currently not producing this title, but to be notified when it is available, enter your e-mail address at right. You'll also be voting for this release; we'll let the studio know how many customers are waiting for this title.

    "

  2. Fence says:

    Really? Cause Amazon.co.uk just have a message saying not currently in stock, but we'll email you. So I'd say it is on its way.