Rome 2.4 Testudo et Lepus
dir. by Adam Davidson
Genre: drama, historical fiction
Script: Todd Ellis Kessler
Cast: Kerry Condon, Kevin McKidd, Lindsay Duncan, Polly Walker, Ray Stevenson
Setting: Ancient times, Rome
Rated : 9 Stars
When last we left Rome we all thought that evil slimy servant dude was going to succeed with Servilia’s plan to off Atia. He had, after all, found an opportunity when she wasn’t eating with Octavia, and so could be poisoned without harm coming to the daughter.
But then we see the serving wench sneak a taste, and it all became clear. She’d die, Atia would realise what the plan had been, and would not be impressed. And, lo, so it came to pass. Octavia and her tradesman’s daughter friend arrive home just in time to hear the screams as Atia has the poisoner tortured by Timon. She knows who is responsible she tells Octavia, but without the torture the confession wouldn’t be any good, from a legal standpoint Tradesman’s daughter has obviously not had a chance to witness torture before, sickened by the scene as she is. Octavia is merely wearied by her mother’s continual dramas.
Eventually Timon takes a break from the whipping and the use of very hot metal and Atia takes over. Oh, not with violence, but with the honeyed words. Promising that if she gets a name then all the pain will stop, and that she won’t even kill servant assassin dude. Of course he gives in and whispers “Servilia”. Atia promptly tells Timon to dispose of the body carefully once he has killed yer man. What have we learned? Never trust Atia.
And Castor seems to recognise Atia for what she is, begging for his life, after all, he is the reason that the junior assassin got into the house. Atia doesn’t seem to care all that much and lets him away with it, merely telling him that if he really wanted a boy he should have bought one rather than picking one off the streets. But she is totally, like, whatevah.
Timon leads the not-so-arrogantany more would be assassin through the alleyways of Rome, looking for a suitable spot, with the boy pleading for his life. Timon doesn’t listen, and despite his pleas that he is only sixteen, and stabs him, repeatedly. Then he and a minion dump the body down a sewer. Timon doesn’t really look to happy with his life. He head home, surely his family life and domestic bliss will cheer him up. Only he sort of forgets to clean up first, and arrives in the doorway to his house to see his brother, his wife, and his children having a gay old time, while he stands there, covered in blood. The brothers argue, Levi calls Timon an animal and asks is it really worth the money. Timon, developing into more than a kill and fuck character of last season, gets a tad upset, and ends up holding a knife to his brother’s throat. Just in time for his little boy to see. Oops.
After a quick recap by Town Gesturer we learn that the armies of the Republic are going to “do battle” against the rebels led by Mark Anthony. But we don’t need to see the battle, we just need to see the aftermath, right? Well, that’s what we get as Pullo arrives, searching for Vorenus. There are quite a few dead bodies around, but luckily enough a fancy dude on a horse shows up, and turns out to be Caesar/Octavian. At first Pullo doesn’t recognise him, maybe because it is a new actor but soon enough he realises that it is the “Young master”, and Caesar/Octavian isn’t about to forget his old friend Pullo, helping him find Vorenus by giving him a horse, some supplies and a mud seal of his, to show to any who might question Chicken. Pullo heads off while Caesar/Octavian retires to his tent to make plans with his generals The Republic’s generals have died in battle, so Caesar/Octavian and Agrippa will get all the fame, but Caesar/Octavian thinks that, for the good of the republic, they should return to Rome and get it sorted. He sends Agripps ahead, with a message for his sister and another for Cicero.
Back with Pullo. He is riding through the mountain, weaving through Anthony’s battle-wearied and retreating army shouting for Vorenus. And eventually finds him. Though by the look on Lamb’s face he isn’t too happy to see his old friend. But once he hears that his children are alive he doesn’t care. Instead of abandoning at once Vorenus goes to Anthony and asks for permission to desert the army. This amuses Anthony who is busy being having a wound sewn up and listening to reports of the thousands of casualties, who thinks that it is so like Vorenus to ask for permission to abandon the army. Vorenus explains about his kids and Anthony wearily says “What the fuck, I’ve lost so many that one more won’t make much difference”. But as Lamb and Chicken get ready to leave he seems to get a new lease of defiance and shouts at them to tell everyone they meet that he is not defeated, that he will return and destroy his enemies, especially that little brat Octavian. Vorenus doesn’t say much, but Pullo gives an encouraging shout in return, while keeping mum about his seal and where he got his horse. I doubt he believes him though.
Remember Brutus? Well, he is busy raising an army of his own, and looking all impressive and general-like, won’t his mother be happy? Well not really, because we cut to a scene of her praying before Isis, before she is captured by Atia’s men and hauled away. Atia really doesn’t like Servilia, and, wow does she ever show it. Having Servilia raped, whipped, tortured, the list goes on. But Servilia doesn’t break and when Atia demands that Timon go even further in his torture it is too much for him, he cuts Servilia loose, lets her go and grabs Atia by the throat shouting that he is not an animal
Back with the boys, and Pullo hasn’t had much luck in getting Vorenus to talk to him, obviously still upset about the Niobe comments and the fight. But Pullo tells him that he lied, he never had anything like that with Niobe. He only said it to make Lamb angry. That even if he had wanted, which he didn’t, Niobe wouldn’t have. Oh and by the way, he really stuck it to that snake before he killed him. Lamb nods, this is a good thing. They make camp later that night, and, sitting by the fire Pullo wonders if Vorenus has ever seen a slave camp, he hasn’t, so Pullo warns him that it really isn’t a healthy environment for children and due to trauma they might be slightly altered The things he saw… Awww, isn’t Pullo adorable. But enough of his memories, the children will be different from before. They’ll need to be treated gently, he tells Vorenus. He then brings up the issue of the boy. Lamb says that honour demands he die. Pullo agrees, honour, yes, very important. Very. But, you know, the girls won’t like it
Back in Rome Agrippa has made it to Atia’s, and is giving Octavia her brother’s letter, telling her that he’ll be bringing his army back to Rome. For the good of the Republic. Octavia is quite impressed that her little brother won. Against Anthony. Course, he also wants her to swear allegiance to him. She aint happy about that, so Agrippa quickly says, oh, that is more for your mother, really. Caesar will protest you, and besides, I’d fall on my sword if it would make you smile. Really I would. Want to see? At this Octavia seems to realise that Agrippa may have a slight crush on her, and begins to thaw, only a little though, and says that any friend of her brother is a brother to her too. Not too sure that Agrippa is happy with that, although he probably isn’t aware of the fact that she does fuck her brothers, so there is still hope for him. But before the conversation can go any further Atia shows up. Seeing Agrippa she assumes, correctly, that he has news of her son. But she thinks that Anthony won, and of course the thought crosses her mind that maybe Octavian is dead. This actually makes her upset, or possibly she is still reacting to the Timon incident of earlier. Octavia tells her the truth and gives her the letter to read.
Agrippa heads off to the Senate to find Cicero, and tells him all about Caesar/Octavian’s victory and his wanting a triumph. He is slightly more impressive and dour looking here than when he was babbling at Octavia and manages to make Cicero realise that what the Republic has is merely another Caesar.
Cut to Pullo and Vorenus who have found their way to the slave camp. Some sort of desert mine complete with overseers on horseback and with whips. A joy-joy place then. Pullo tells Vorenus to let him do the talking. Lamb shrugs, as though his barely contained rage wouldn’t make anyone slightly suspicious of this so-called slave catcher. Pullo gets directions, through bribery, to the camp’s head guy but only after Vorenus almost ruins things. He reminds his brother that he will do the talking. Vorenus glowers. At the procurator’s tent Pullo tells him they are looking for runaway slaves, two girls Vorenus reveals. And a boy Lamb pipes up, with a significant glance. Lamb scowls. The procurator makes some comment about randy soldiers, almost resulting in a Vorenus-explosion, but Pullo tells him that they are on official business, and shows him Caesar/Octavian’s official seal. Procurator isn’t so impressed, it is a mud seal after all, and what if they are lying. Slight mistake, as Pullo does the looming trick and asks, ever-so-threatening, if he is calling Pullo a liar.
Result! They quickly find the younger daughter, chained up and peeling something that might resemble a vegetable of some description. She doesn’t really react to Lamb, but then the boy appears, spots his fake-grandfather and begins to scuttle away. Vorenus grabs him as Pullo looks on, concerned But awww, cause Lamb gives him a big hug. Cue a very relieved expression from Pullo
But there is still one daughter missing.
The procurator shows them the, I dunno what you’d call it, sex part of the camp. Where we get to see an almost naked woman wiping off as a man leaves her tented area. In another Vorenus finds his daughter, a man about to remove his clothes in with her. He does his usual Lamb trick of killing someone in anger before freeing her. Then they leave, Vorenus carrying little Lucious and leading the elder daughter by the hand, Pullo carrying the younger, and the knife he pulled from the procurator’s back.
Lamb has his family back and Pullo has his friend back. All is happiness and they all live happily ever after. Right?