Genre: drama, historical fiction
Script: Bruno Heller
Cast: Allen Leech, James Purefoy, Kerry Condon, Kevin McKidd, Polly Walker, Ray Stevenson, Robert Pattinson, Simon Woods
Setting: Ancient times, Rome
Rated : 9 Stars
The final episode. I’m going to miss Lamb and Chicken, and even scheming Caesar/Octavian, not to mention bitch-Atia and all the others. And Beeb watchers, let me tell you, Heroeswhile entertaining, is not even half as good as Rome.
This episode begins after the final battle between Mark Antony’s forces and those of CO. And as we all know, Antony lost. But don’t worry, he is still alive, and so is the far-too-loyal for his own good Lucius Vorenus. Defeat seems to have taught Antony a bit of a lesson, after all these years of fearing defeat he now finds that it actually isn’t so bad. “Glory is all well and good, but life is enough, neh?”
Back in the eternal city itself the Town crier is having a great time giving out about the “Egyptian slave” Mark Anthony and how he has been defeated. But in Egypt CO is sending an emissary in order to work out the details. Obviously enough there are slight disagreements, CO wants an unconditional surrender, Antony and Cleopatra are hopeful for something slightly better. They are going to be disappointed. CO thinks that maybe Vorenus might be persuaded to open the gates of Alexandria so that they don’t have to lay siege to the city. Pullo tells him that he doesn’t think Vorenus will agree to that. But sends a message anyway, a private joke about his child.
Antony meanwhile has had the genius idea that he will fight CO in single combat, thus proving that he is the better man. He does a bit of training with Vorenus, but to be honest he looks rather rusty, and drugged up, and maybe even CO could defeat him. Not that CO is planning on fighting him. He respectfully declines the offer. Instead offering Cleopatra a private deal. A deal that upsets her a little, it would be dishonourable you see, killing Antony in exchange for her life. But she hasn’t discounted it entirely. When Antony comes looking for her she is a little upset, but tells him to return to the party, she will see him tomorrow. They also agree that death is the only option, but that it will wait til the morning so they can die in the sunlight. Anthony returns to talk with Vorenus; the usual drunken ramblings about life and death and the afterlife.
The next morning Antony is woken by Cleopatra’s slave, she has what appears to Cleopatra’s suicide note. Poor Antony is distraught to learn that she has “gone on” without him. After he gathers himself he, with Vorenus’ help, kills himself:”(with a proper Roman sword)”. Have you noticed how most deaths in Rome are so very intimate? Once Antony is dead Vorenus begins to take care of the body, wiping off the eyeliner, putting him in his Roman armour, that sort of thing. By the time he is finished Antony looks impressive, all dressed up and sitting on the throne. Just in time for Cleopatra to arrive. As though we thought she was dead. Vorenus glowers at her, but she doesn’t appear to notice, instead kissing Antony’s cold dead lips. Noticing Vorenus’ scowl she asks has he anything to say, he doesn’t, so she orders him to stop looking at her. He doesn’t, and when she begins to rant that she’ll have him killed he shouts back. “Kiss my arse”:”(okay, that is what he SHOULD have shouted, only on account of the HBO he says ass)”. Ah well. He then says that he is taking Caesarion off to safety.
Cleo is confused by this. CO has said that she and her children will be safe. Vorenus wearily informs her, that yes, she will keep her crown, all the better to parade her through Rome with. And her children will live, her children with Antony that is, but a child of Caesar? CO will have him killed. And for what, he and Cleopatra both now that Caesar isn’t his son. And he reminds her that he was there, at Caesarion’s conception. Cleo then asks is Pullo a good man. Vorenus pauses, “define good.”:”(heh)”
After Vorenus and Caesarion escape Cleopatra opens up the gates and lets CO and his army into her city. Then herself and CO have a nice wee chat, during which Cleopatra learns that CO is a cold hearted bastard and that Vorenus was right and she was a fool to believe otherwise. So, after the audience, she does the whole snake suicide thing. CO is lucky enough to catch the end of, and gets to hear Cleopatra’s final words, that CO has a “rotten soul.”
As CO orders the soldiers now filling the room to look for the children, Pullo, who had been in attendance, notices a little painting, and picks it up, knowing it is Vorenus’
After learning that Vorenus has left, with Caesarion, CO asks Pullo to track him down. Sweet, says Pullo, cause the kid, yeah, he is really mine not Caesar’s, so I was totally going to look for him anywas. Well, that is what his expression says, the words he uses are slightly different. But the result is the same, he heads off for the desert. The bit with the ugly old bastard statue from season 1, where lo and behold there is Vorenus. And the boy. Pullo, ever tactful, tells them that Cleopatra is dead, killed herself, best way, but Caesarion gets a trifle upset. He goes so far as to gather his blankets and thinks about storming off, but, never having been in the desert at night he reconsiders, and stays close to the fire. Vorenus and Pullo discuss what to do now. There are plenty of legions out looking for them. They’ll head south, and although Pullo tries to persuade Vorenus to come home, he says that he’ll leave them and head for Judea.
After a quick scene back in Rome between CO and Octavia, where he gives her Antony’s children, showing how kind he is, clever, we return to Pullo and Vorenus. They are riding in a wagon through the desert with Caesarion in the back. And they come across some Roman soldiers. Pullo is all “charge”, but as ever, Vorenus says to hang on, maybe they can talk their way through. Pullo, a little disappointed, calls Vorenus as grumpy and cautious as an old sheepdog. They greet the captain and have a bit of banter, and all seems to be well, although they do agree that “Aeneas” is far too haughty for a slave. They are waved through, but then the soldier addresses Caesarion in Egyptian, and of course he responds. Smart boy!
Fight. Blood. Death.:”(you know the deal by now)”
All the soldiers are dead, the kid is grand, as is Pullo, but Vorenus, well he is alive, but not really doing too well. Pullo tries to make it seem better, but the blood on his hand says otherwise, and Vorenus knows it. He demands that Pullo take him home. To die.
One Month Later:
Back at Atia’s Octavia is chasing children. Or possibly giving out to children for chasing each other. It isn’t really important, it is just scene setting, for Atia and her depression. Octavia asks her has she chosen a dress yet, Atia tells her that she doesn’t think she’ll go. A response that doesn’t impress Octavia, who says it isn’t as though they have much of a choice. Sides, this is what Atia has wanted all her life. Mother to the First Citizen of Rome. Yay, celebrates Atia, with an ironic, sarcastic little fist-pump.
Meanwhile, the Town Crier dude is busy telling people all about the upcoming Triumph, and how they must keep the streets clear, when who should drive by in his cart, only Pullo. With the kid, and Vorenus, still alive in the back. Clearly near death, but still, alive.
Pullo takes him home where Mascius:”(Third man no longer, eh?)” is more than a little surprised to see him. They put Vorenus to bed, and Pullo tells the children that he is likely to die, but they don’t look too upset. Vorenna the elder is still mad at him then. Upstairs, Lyde tends to Vorenus as Pullo tells her that he should have died ages ago. That he’ll probably die soon. Which prompts a “thank you Dr. Pullo” from Vorenus. Awww. Vorenus is happy to see Lyde, but soon realises the children aren’t around. He begins to talk to Pullo, last words no doubt, but then hears trumpets and stops. But Pullo tells him they are from the Triumph, which relieves Vorenus a little. He had thought he’d died. Vorenna the elder, who had been watching, secretly, from behind the wall, chooses to come in. Awww. And is soon followed by the other children. All gathered around Vorenus’ death bed.
Back at Atia’s, or maybe CO’s, I can’t really tell, but whatsherface, CO’s doll-faced bitchy wife is organising the women for the Triumph. Making snarky remarks to Octavia about how disappointed CO will be when he finds out that Atia isn’t there. Eventually she gathers all the ladies, and begins to depart, in order of preference, when who makes an appearance, only Atia. Swanning in to take first place. Doll-bitch is taken aback, but pretends not to mind, only the priests say she should have precedence. Atia manages to glare at her while appearing utterly bored, and tells her she doesn’t give a fuck what the priests say. She is going first. Doll bitch makes nice, but Atia is having none of it, and tells her, “I know what you are, and while you may be swearing that one day you’ll destroy me, remember, far better women than you have tried.” In the background Octavia smirks, her bad-ass mammy is back:”(which in one way, yay! but then again she is an evil cow, so I dunno)”.
Some time after the Triumph and Pullo arrives to see CO. To tell him what happened to Caesarion, and Vorenus. Of couse he lies, tells him that he killed Caesarion, slit his throat somewhere in the desert, and brought his head back, but it rotted, didn’t look like anyone so he threw it away. But poor old Vorenus didn’t make it. CO doesn’t look to persuaded, but then again, he doesn’t accuse Chicken of anything, he even offers him a reward
Outside, Pullo tells Caesarion that CO believed it, and straight away, Caesarion starts to rant about how he will regain his rightful place. For his mother’s honour. For his father. Pullo looks at him, and says “about your father” and credits roll.