COVER REVEAL AND RELEASE DATE!

The original title of this post said “cover real”. It is the real cover, obviously, but more importantly, it’s a cover REVEAL.

Good Monday, everyone! I promised everyone I would have information today about Ian and Penny’s second book(s), Second Chance. Here’s the cover:

The cover for second chance features a photo of the Manhattan Bridge, with the clocktower apartment building Ian lives in in the background. There is a white bar that reads "Second Chance" in bue and black text, and a blue bar with "Abigail Barnette" written in white beneath that. Under those, a picture of a man's legs in jeans, with bare feet are standing beside a woman with bare legs and feet, facing him on her tip toes. A small blue bar in the corner says "Penny"

The cover for Ian’s book will look just like this. But it will say “Ian” on it.

Now, about that release date: You don’t have very long to wait at all! Second Chance will be available in e-book on May 31. I’ll have a blurb and preview post to remind you as the day approaches, don’t worry.

Now, a spoiler warning: It picks up just a few hours after First Time left off, so if you haven’t read The Baby from the Sophie Scaife books, and intend to, definitely read The Baby while you wait for Second Chance to be released.

#LegionXIII Rome Watch-Along, S02E08 “A Necessary Fiction” or “An Unnecessary Death And Demonization Of A Character”

A picture of a big roman number XIII, in front of an ominous sky, in the middle of a road through a field. In the crotch of the X, I, dressed as a centurion, naturally, am slumped over, sleeping. Bronwyn Green, dressed in a stola, is looking nervously at a harp, and Jess is depicted as the woman with a bloody knife from the DVD cover of season 2.

CW: Rape (although honestly, CW: rape for the whole show from here out)

Quick rundown of the episode: Octavian sets the tone for this episode by talking to a group of Roman women about the “steely virtue” of Roman women, and how he’s going to enact laws that punish promiscuity and reward fertility, so basically he’s establishing Ye Olde Republican Party. He goes directly from this speech to meet a woman and proposition her, suggesting that divorcing her husband would be no big deal. So, virtue, infidelity, blah blah blah, he just stole a wife from her husband.

Timon and his family leave Rome, and the show, for good, with their storyline pretty much unresolved. Glad it took up so much screen time for no reason.

Jocasta is super enjoying being married to Posca, because he indulges her every whim. She can’t move without her jewelry clacking. Posca and Micenas have a plan to steal money from a bribe that Octavian is sending by way of the collegium. The guy who’s name I can never remember, who’s the “third man” in the gang is mad that Pullo is getting the job guarding the gold, and he storms off.

As predicted last week, Gaia gives Eirene the abortifacient in her tea, and she dies. Here lies Eirene, the only decent person on the entire show, murdered to cause Pullo manpain.

The shipment of bribe gold gets ambushed, and Mascius (who gets the job guarding the gold after all, since Pullo is catatonic with grief) gets seriously wounded. The gold is gone. Micenas says it’s convenient that the only person Octavian trusted suddenly couldn’t guard the gold, and Antony takes that as an accusation. Micenas thinks Posca has double crossed him with Antony.

Meanwhile, Vorenus goes to see Memio (what is up with all the M names?), who is drinking and whoring like there’s no tomorrow, but who insists he doesn’t know anything about the stolen gold. He assembles all the rival gang leaders together and tells them it’s time to overthrow Vorenus. They’re all like, you took Vorenus’s gold, stop making it our problem. And by the way, Memio totally stole the fucking gold. He uses it to buy off the other mobsters.

Pissed off about the gold the suspected double-cross, Micenas tells Octavian that his mom is still fucking Antony, and that Octavia didn’t tell him because she’s busy banging Agrippa. Octavian calls the family together and airs all their business like it’s Thanksgiving. Agrippa admits to his affair with Octavia, resulting in Octavian putting his mother and sister under permanent house arrest and banishing Antony from Rome.

Vorenus is about to have Pullo kill Mascius for betraying them and stealing the gold, when he sees one of the straw dolls the fiddly, greasy guy has been making Vorena the Elder. Vorenus confronts his daughter, who totally takes responsibility for betraying him and telling Memio about the route for the gold. And he’s like, why would you do that, and she points out all the egregious shit he did to them, like kill their mother (the kids don’t know that he didn’t), and curse them to Hades, resulting in their enslavement. He strangles her, but Pullo stops him before he can actually kill Vorena in front of the other children.

Antony is banished to Egypt. He goes to see Atia first, and promises he’ll send for her when he can.

Vorenus tells Antony he resigns from the collegium, citing personal reasons, and promises that the gold will be returned. He practically begs Antony to take him to Egypt, and Antony is like, you’re a fuck up, but I need guys on my side. Vorenus leaves his kids in Pullo’s protection, and the two men say nearly-tearful goodbyes to each other.

Meanwhile, on house arrest, Octavia is taking out her boredom on the houseplants when Atia tells her that Agrippa is in the kitchen. But Agrippa isn’t there for funsies; he tells Octavia that basically he’s choosing loyalty to her brother over her. He won’t help Octavia escape, because Octavian has the right to lock her up. In other words, this prick was happy to dance to the tune, but he’s going to make Octavia pay the piper. Octavia tells Agrippa she’s pregnant, and he’s all, “Who’s the father?” and she says it doesn’t matter because both options are shitty. She’s not wrong.

Now that everybody knows that Memio stole the gold, it’s time for a rumble on the Aventine. Pullo and Memio parlay, but Pullo apparently doesn’t know what that means, because he headputs Memio and bites his tongue out. Then he hurls an axe into greasy guy’s chest, and bam, everybody was kung fu fighting. Even Gaia, who is finally given something to do besides use her sexuality for evil.

Antony arrives in Rome, where he’s met by Cleopatra. We all pretty much know where that goes from here.

My favorite part of the episode: When Octavian Grey tells Livia that he plans to get sexual pleasure from beating her. I guess his tastes are “very singular”. He gives her about as much agency in the decision as Christian Grey gave Ana Steele, and it’s just about as romantic.

My least favorite part of the episode: Let’s talk about how fucked up Eirene’s storyline is. She starts off as a slave, gets freed by the master who raped her, he kills the man she loves, she tries to kill him, ends up marrying him instead, gets pregnant, then gets murdered by a woman who sees her as competition. The audience is supposed to go, “Okay, this is fair payback. Pullo killed the person she loved, now he’s lost the person he loves.” Which is bullshit, because Eirene doesn’t deserve to die to teach Pullo a lesson or further his characterization.

In the meantime, we’ve got Gaia, who exists only to murder Eirene. Name a single thing she’s done of importance to the plot other than poisoning Eirene. Her sole function in the story is to be the conniving, jealous female. Why? Because it has an effect on the characterization of male character.

At least Atia, Octavia, Cleopatra and Servilia were given motivations that weren’t solely wrapped up in a man’s journey. Eirene and Gaia aren’t so lucky, and that pisses me off.

Favorite costume: Jocasta’s purple dress and mauve veil:

Jocasta is wearing a purple dress with slashed sleeves banded at the elbow with ribbon and buttons. She has a little tiara in her hair, with a long mauve veil of some kind of knit cloth with a lot of rustic pilling.

Team Atia or Team Servilia: Since Servilia is dead, you’d think this question wouldn’t have much of an answer, but Servilia’s curse seems to be playing out, so gotta give it to Servilia this time.

Favorite watch-a-long tweet: 

What hairdo or costume would Bronwyn steal? The dress itself isn’t that exciting, but the fabric is light and has a delicate pattern, so I’m going to go with Octavia’s lavender/blue-ish dress:

Octavia's dress is of a sheer blue/lavender fabric with a print of lines that criss-cross to form squares. Inside each square is a little flower or something.

Guess Jess’s head canon. Her boys have broken up, but they parted tenderly, with face touches, a hug, and a kiss on the cheek. A shipper can’t ask for much more without something becoming truly canon.

Now go check out Bronwyn’s post, as Jess is still nursing her injury from the fight she lost to an avocado, and join us Monday at 9 PM EST for season two, episode nine, “No God Can Stop A Hungry Man”. Tweet to #LegionXIII to join us!

State Of The Trout: “I’m not dead!” edition

Hello everybody! I’m not dead! Isn’t that great? I’ve just been super busy getting Second Chance ready for it’s big day. When is that big day? Well, I’ll tell you on Monday, when I reveal the cover and release date right here on this very blog.

Because of this, my serialized projects are back-burnered until June. If you’re a Patreon supporter, you should have gotten a message about that, and Wattpad followers of The Afflicted should also have gotten one, so this probably doesn’t come as a shock to any of you. But I’m covering my bases.

In personal news, I’m so happy to announce that D-Rock’s dog, Muggsy, who lived with us for about a year while D-Rock also lived here, has come to stay permanently. You may remember my cousin D-Rock from our brief YouTube show, Roadhouse. Nowadays she’s living in the Aleutian Islands, working as a hyperbaric welder and a boat nanny in Dutch Harbor. She recently made a very surprise visit to us. By very surprise, I mean that she didn’t call me before traveling all the way here. I was in bed and my bedroom door burst open with a shout of “Melissa!” to herald her arrival.

Anyway, Muggsy (a.k.a. Muggs, Mugzilla, Mugzoo, Tubbsy, and Tubszilla) the senior Pit Bull is our newest family member, and she looks pretty psyched to be here. I think she missed us:

A very smiley Pit Bull, being hugged by my equally smiley seven year old.

Also pictured: my genetic clone.

So, hence the lack of updates: I’ve been busy writing, editing, and snuggling this cute ass dog.

Next week, I’ll return with an Apolonia recap.

#LegionXIII Rome Watch-Along, S02E07 “Death Mask” or “If You’re Going To Be Petty About It, Servilia.”

A picture of a big roman number XIII, in front of an ominous sky, in the middle of a road through a field. In the crotch of the X, I, dressed as a centurion, naturally, am slumped over, sleeping. Bronwyn Green, dressed in a stola, is looking nervously at a harp, and Jess is depicted as the woman with a bloody knife from the DVD cover of season 2.

CW: Rape (although honestly, CW: rape for the whole show from here out)

This week I didn’t realize what day it was. I thought this was still Thursday, so the post is late. Mea Culpla. OMG that, works, because Rome/Latin get it?!

Quick rundown of the episode: Real super quick this week, actually. Servilia, destroyed by her son’s death and what amounts to a complete check mate between her and Atia, mounts a days-long call out/curse combo and kills herself in front of Atia’s door. Later, when Atia suggests a strategic marriage between Antony and herself, Octavian is like, this is a great idea, but he’s going to marry Octavia instead, Atia is like, damn, maybe that bitch did have the last laugh.

Octavia isn’t the only one being forced into a marriage she doesn’t want. Jocasta, formerly the daughter of a merchant, marries Posca, because he’s her best choice now that she’s been raped and impoverished.

On the Pullo side, he fucks up real bad. After Gaia disrespects Eirene, Pullo tries to whip her, but ends up raping her (Gaia appears to be into it and an equal aggressor, but she’s a slave, and we’ve already seen her trying to move up in the household via her sexual charm, so this isn’t like, “Hey, hot guy, wanna bang,” but “I’ve got no other choice.”) Gaia sees her chance, now that she knows Pullo would actually be into her sexually, so all she has to do is remove Eirene.  She goes to ye old abortionist and gets some herbs.

Vorena the Elder is having a full on affair with the guy who keeps giving her straw dolls, and Memmio “catches” them together. He offers to keep it secret from her father, as long as she spies on him for her. Like, Memmio, this is by far the most complicated plan anyone has ever concocted for no reason, because Vorena fucking hates her dad and would sell him out for q-tip.

Timon and his brother decide they should kill King Herrod while he’s in town, but at the last minute Timon spots Atia in the crowd and, presumably not wishing to prove to her that he is, in fact, an animal, kills his brother in an argument instead.

And that’s it, in a nutshell.

My favorite part of the episode: The way Eirene says, “She say she gonna choke me wit a stick!”

My least favorite part of the episode: Pullo and Gaia. I hate that it’s a) yet another scene of rape, as Gaia is a slave, b) an incredibly violent scene seemingly justifying itself as rough sex, and c) is uncomfortably hot despite a and b, so it makes you feel bad.

Favorite costume: I really dig the intricate nature of Jocasta’s wedding dress. Actually, from here out, Jocasta really becomes the style icon of the show. Or, at least, she rivals Antony.

jocasta

Team Atia or Team Servilia: Servilia. That is probably the greatest case of getting the last word that anyone has ever seen.

Favorite watch-a-long tweet: 


What hairdo or costume would Bronwyn steal? She would definitely make something with that embroidered border.

atia purple

 

Guess Jess’s head canon. My assumption is that Vorenus and Pullo still sail the seas for her, even though the angst has been turned down a little in these past couple episodes.

Now go check out Bronwyn’s post, as Jess’s post is pending due to injury (she has stitches all over her hand, it’s gross), and join us Monday at 9 PM EST for season two, episode eight, “A Necessary Fiction”. Tweet to #LegionXIII to join us!

Big Damn Buffy Rewatch S03E04 “Beauty and the Beasts”

CW: Intimate partner violence

In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone tore something in her upper arm and can’t lift a cup of coffee now. She will also recap every episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer with an eye to the following themes:

  1. Sex is the real villain of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer universe.
  2. Giles is totally in love with Buffy.
  3. Joyce is a fucking terrible parent.
  4. Willow’s magic is utterly useless (this one won’t be an issue until season 2, when she gets a chance to become a witch)
  5. Xander is a textbook Nice Guy.
  6. The show isn’t as feminist as people claim.
  7. All the monsters look like wieners.
  8. If ambivalence to possible danger were an Olympic sport, Team Sunnydale would take the gold.
  9. Angel is a dick.
  10. Harmony is the strongest female character on the show.
  11. Team sports are portrayed in an extremely negative light.
  12. Some of this shit is racist as fuck.
  13. Science and technology are not to be trusted.
  14. Mental illness is stigmatized.
  15. Only Willow can use a computer.
  16. Buffy’s strength is flexible at the plot’s convenience.
  17. Cheap laughs and desperate grabs at plot plausibility are made through Xenophobia.
  18. Oz is the Anti-Xander
  19. Spike is capable of love despite his lack of soul
  20. Don’t freaking tell me the vampires don’t need to breathe because they’re constantly out of frickin’ breath.
  21. The foreshadowing on this show is freaking amazing.
  22. Smoking is evil.
  23. Despite praise for its positive portrayal of non-straight sexualities, some of this shit is homophobic as fuck.
  24. How do these kids know all these outdated references, anyway?
  25. Technology is used inconsistently as per its convenience in the script.
  26. Sunnydale residents are no longer shocked by supernatural attacks.
  27. Casual rape dismissal/victim blaming a-go-go
  28. Snyder believes Buffy is a demon or other evil entity.
  29. The Scoobies kind of help turn Jonathan into a bad guy.
  30. This show caters to the straight female gaze like whoa.
  31. Sunnydale General is the worst hospital in the world.
  32. Faith is hyper-sexualized needlessly.

Have I missed any that were added in past recaps? Let me know in the comments.  Even though I might forget that you mentioned it.

WARNING: Some people have mentioned they’re watching along with me, and that’s awesome, but I’ve seen the entire series already and I’ll probably mention things that happen in later seasons. So… you know, take that under consideration, if you’re a person who can’t enjoy something if you know future details about it. 

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#LegionXIII Rome Watch-Along S02E06 “Philippi” or “Family Appropriate Outing”

A picture of a big roman number XIII, in front of an ominous sky, in the middle of a road through a field. In the crotch of the X, I, dressed as a centurion, naturally, am slumped over, sleeping. Bronwyn Green, dressed in a stola, is looking nervously at a harp, and Jess is depicted as the woman with a bloody knife from the DVD cover of season 2.

CW: Rape (although honestly, CW: rape for the whole show from here out)

Apologies for missing last week’s post. A family emergency took precedence.

Quick rundown of the episode: Meanwhile, where all the fucking losers are, Brutus is in really good spirits for someone who basically knows he’s at the end of his life. Probably because he’s like, fuck it, I’m going to die, we’re not going to beat Octavian, might as well enjoy myself.

In Gaul, Mark Antony and Octavian have agreed on a plan to murder basically anyone who’s ever looked sideways at either of them, so they can seize their money. This includes Cicero, who has to go first because he’s got the most spies. Octavian sends the list of soon-to-be dead men to Vorenus, so his mob guys can do the killing and money collecting, and just for fun, Atia tosses Jocasta’s dad onto the list. Like, literally, just for fun; she doesn’t like Jocasta, so she’s like, you know. Kill her dad (and as an added kick in the teeth, Atia later offers to take Jocasta in once her whole family is dead and she’s been raped). As an added dramatic touch, Antony says Cicero’s hands should be nailed to the senate doors, for old times sake.

At the collegium, Gaia is doing like, the one thing I don’t hate her for, being kind to Vorenus’s children. But he’s not into that; he doesn’t want Gaia giving Vorena the Elder makeup tips. There’s some tension between Gaia and Mascius (I think that’s his name), who is kind of like, her dude. She later tries to get Pullo’s attention, and it’s clear that the only way Gaia can move up in the world is by getting at least one of the important guys to want her.

Speaking of manipulating important guys, one of Vorenus’s enemies sends a real greasy looking fuck to pay attention to Vorena the Elder, for obviously nefarious purposes. He ends up giving her a little straw doll or some shit.

Vorenus tells the collegium dudes like, here, go kill these guys, and hey, use the money for whatever you want to do, but I’m going to look like Good Guy Greg and use the money to feed the poor. To take care of Cicero, Pullo rides out to Cicero’s villa, taking Eirene and Vorenus and the children all out to the country on a murder field trip. Like a gentleman, Pullo asks Cicero if he can take some peaches, before killing Cicero in what has to be the most painful way to get stabbed. Then later that night, Pullo goes and nails Cicero’s hands to the doors.

Because she hasn’t yet figured out that she’ll never be allowed happiness, Octavia and Agrippa start an affair. And the weaselish little poetry guy knows something is up. I don’t like the looks of that guy. Never have.

Timon and his brother have a confrontation in the synagogue due to some ill-defined political drama meant to show us some kind of meaningful progression in Timon’s character. Honestly? I’m more interested in why Timon became who he was when we first met him than in who he’ll become when he abruptly departs the show without any resolution.

Eirene gets pissed when she thinks Pullo is going back into the Army, and tearfully tells him that she’s “preglant.” Pullo is psyched about this news, but like… doesn’t he remember he already has a kid? And that kid is a prince?

So, it’s final showdown time between Brutus and the Octavian/Antony dynamo show. It doesn’t go well. Brutus knows he’s boned and just doesn’t give a fuck anymore. He ends up walking straight into the advancing lines, where he’s surrounded by dudes and stabbed over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over until we get the obvious parallel between his death and his

My favorite part of the episode: Titus Pullo, Gentleman Assassin. Although “You might not want to watch this,” is not the thing you want to hear right before you get murdered.

My least favorite part of the episode: I take issue with the fact that the only character coded as being a person of color* is a sexually aggressive manipulator. She only gets like, one nice thing to do, and that’s be kind to the children. I think this episode is the only time.

*(I say coded, as I don’t know the actress’s ethnicity, but the character has dreadlocks and a light brown complexion)

Favorite costume: Mark Antony’s Sheriff of Nottingham get-up. This entire season is just like, “What’s Antony’s new look gonna be this week?”

There's really no good description for this beyond "Antony has the same hairstyle and outfit as Alan Rickman in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves," but I'll try. He has a black, sweptback mullet thing happening, as well as a beard, and all black armor.

Team Atia or Team Servilia: Doesn’t really apply this week, as Servillia isn’t in the episode.

Favorite watch-a-long tweet: 


What hairdo or costume would Bronwyn steal? Eirene’s green dress.

A bad screen cap of Pullo and Eirene standing in the little glad where they have their murder day picnic. Eirene's veil is very light green, her dress is darker green.

Guess Jess’s head canon. I think this week was a little bit of a drought in the ho yay department, actually.

Now go check out Bronwyn’s post, as Jess’s post is pending due to injury, and join us Monday at 9 PM EST for season two, episode seven, “Death Mask”. Tweet to #LegionXIII to join us!

Jacquis Award

Yesterday, I got an email informing me that I’d won an award, and here’s a little graphic I could put on my website. And I was like, rock on, I won an award.

Text reads: Jacquis Winner 2016 Abigail Barnette for First Time. There is a black bar at the bottom that reads "Legendary Women" and a stylized logo of some books in red on the left side of the banner.

 

Legendary Women is the site that profiled me as a professional Fifty Shades of Grey hater in 2015, and this year they decided that First Time should be recognized as a good example of feminist literature. I’m absolutely delighted to be in such good company, and I’m pleased that Ian and Penny got some spotlight here. Usually Sophie and Neil get all the attention.

You can check out all the books featured here.

Jenny Reads 50 Shades of Midnight Sun: Sunday, May 22, 2011 or “I’m not sure this whole day-by-day instead of chapter numbers thing is practical PART TWO”

Because this is yet another unbearably long chapter (thirty-three pages, according my Kindle app), I’m dicing this one up. For my reading challenge, I’m reading Anne by Constance Fenimore-Woolson, and the chapters in that are also very, very long. The reason for this is that it was a serial in Harper’s Bazar, and serial installments back in the day were long-ish. Grey is not a serial, and therefore that is absofuckinglutely no need for these chapters to be this long.

I don’t know what I have against long chapters, I honestly don’t. It’s not just this particular book. And it’s not like I don’t write them, either. But as a reader, I absolutely loathe them. Maybe I like that sense of completion you get from reaching a natural stopping point. I don’t know.

In Fifty Shades Darker movie news, the internet was positively abuzz with casting announcements. Bella Heathcote came on board as Leila, and Eric Johnson as Jack Hyde. But perhaps the most exciting casting news came when it was announced that Tyler Hoechlin would portray the unforgettable character Boyce Fox. (warning: autoplay video on that link)

Wait, who?

Turns out Boyce Fox, a character that even I could not remember, is the author Ana signs to her publishing house. He’s mentioned briefly in the third book, if I remember correctly. They’re “expanding” Boyce’s role in the films, so I assume he’ll be yet another handsome man who can’t resist Ana. Okay, I know that I can’t resist Dakota Johnson, either, but this isn’t about me. This is about the fact that the last two movies are apparently being written by E.L. James’s husband, so let’s not kid ourselves. E.L. probably wants the role expanded so her onscreen avatar can be lusted after by even more hot guys.

Also, Hugh Dancy has joined the cast as Dr. Finn, since being in one show about a shitty psychiatrist wasn’t enough for him. He’s dead to me now.

With all of that out of the way, let’s recap.

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#LegionXIII Rome Watch Along S02E04 “Testudo et Lepus” or “This whole rivalry thing has gotten out of hand. That goes for all of you.”

A picture of a big roman number XIII, in front of an ominous sky, in the middle of a road through a field. In the crotch of the X, I, dressed as a centurion, naturally, am slumped over, sleeping. Bronwyn Green, dressed in a stola, is looking nervously at a harp, and Jess is depicted as the woman with a bloody knife from the DVD cover of season 2.

CW: Rape (although honestly, CW: rape for the whole show from here out)

Quick rundown of the episode: So, remember when Atia was about to get served some poisoned soup? The kitchen girl helps herself to a little taste as she’s carrying it in, and all that saves Atia is her love of music and her inability to multi-task. Atia is so entranced by the girl’s singing that the spoon doesn’t make it all the way to her mouth before she drops dead. Servilia’s assassin sees that he’s fucked things up, but he doesn’t get away. Octavia and her new friend Jocasta come home to find Timon torturing a confession out of the assassin. Because a confession wasn’t considered legal under Roman law unless torture was involved. He gives up the info quick, and Atia has what she needs to murder Servilia.

Timon is having a rough time at home. His brother is acting like he’s man of the house and laying down edicts like, “don’t come home bathed in blood” and shit. Fuck that guy. But the longer he’s around, the more Timon’s conscience is acting up.

Pullo travels north to get Vorenus, who’s part of Antony’s floundering military campaign against Octavian. He even checks some dead bodies to make sure they’re not Vorenus, because there are dead bodies all over the place. Who should happen to come along but Octavian, played by an entirely different actor who looks absolutely nothing like the old one at all. Either that, or the war was so hard it turned him ginger. He tells Pullo where he can find Antony’s camp, and that they’ll comb through the dead bodies again and see if Vorenus isn’t in there somewhere.

Octavian is doing good, and he wants a party in Rome to welcome him home. He sends Agrippa back to take a letter to Octavia–and not to Atia, a noted mail thief–, and Agrippa is all about going there because he’s got a crush on Octavia. Octavian gives a rousing speech to his men, too, which is surprising given his utter lack of charisma.

Pullo finds Vorenus marching with the losers. Mark Antony is getting some battle embroidery and deciding on the best way to run away. Posca is like, you should probably just surrender, and Antony is like, nah, let’s winter in the Alpines. When Vorenus is like, hey, my dead kids aren’t dead, Antony lets him leave. Probably because he’ll be one less person to feed in the mountains in the winter.

So, Servilia is at some kind of shrine, looking like the Virgin Mary, when Atia’s men kidnap her. Atia is done playing games. She throws that “slow, painful death” thing from season one right back into Servilia’s face. Atia has Servilia gang raped, scourged, and tortured, but Timon balks when he’s commanded to cut off Servilia’s face. He lets her go, then attacks Atia, choking her and telling her he isn’t an animal. Servilia stumbles into the street, her face all bloody, and Atia just sits there like, man, what did I do wrong? Because Bond movies haven’t been invented yet and she didn’t know you weren’t supposed to do the prolonged death scene.

Vorenus and Pullo hit the road to find the children, and Pullo has to be the sense of the operation, planning for things like rest and food and not riding their horses to death. Pullo warns Vorenus that the slave camp the kids are in is going to be rough. Pullo knows, because he’s been to a slave camp; he doesn’t specifically say why, but you get the feeling from the way he almost bursts into tears that it wasn’t for any good reason. He also asks Vorenus to reconsider killing Niobe’s son.

Agrippa arrives in Rome and tells Octavia and Atia that Octavian has actually won, but it’s bittersweet for Atia, because that means Mark Antony lost. Agrippa also goes to Cicero to ask for that triumph thing, and Cicero tells him exactly what he thinks of Octavian. Because Cicero is finished with this whole Rome thing.

As it turns out, the camp is just as bad as Pullo says it’s going to be, with people getting worked to death and crucified and shit. They find Vorena the Younger and the little boy working in a kitchen. Vorenus breaks down and hugs the little boy, so it’s like, okay, he’s not going to murder him anymore. They find that Vorena the Elder is a sex slave. Vorenus puts his knife through the back of the main slave manager dude’s head and he and Pullo take the children out of there.

My favorite part of the episode: This episode is so dark, my favorite moment is the only light-hearted one in it, when Agrippa tries out a line on Octavia and she shoots him down immediately by asking if her brother is eating well.

My least favorite part of the episode: The clumsy way they introduced the new actor playing Octavian by making him act like he and Pullo were BFFs back in Rome.

Favorite costume: Not the best picture, but I loved Atia’s torture dress. It’s so slinky and it has such great flow. 

Atia's dress is really slinky gold silk, with strips of beading across her boobs and a nice silk cape thing that has great movement.

Team Atia or Team Servilia: This one is tough, because I don’t really want to be like, “Yay, it’s totally cool to have your enemies gang raped,” but I do very much admire the fact that Atia was more hands-on than Servilia was in terms of her attempted murder. Servilia hired someone to poison her, probably so she wouldn’t get found out. Atia, on the other hand, planned what she was going to say at her inevitable murder trial.

Favorite watch-a-long tweet: 

 What hairdo or costume would Bronwyn steal? I guarantee she loved Octavia’s watercolor/tie dye dress:

Octavia's dress, shown from the back, has like, open sleeves, and it's like, dip dyed or something, so the pink and the green and the yellow kind of blend all together in a gradient.

Guess Jess’s head canon. The boys are back together, and Jess was definitely thrilled when Pullo’s advice led to a change of heart for Vorenus regarding Niobe’s son.

Now go check out Bronwyn’s and Jess’s posts, and join us Monday at 9 PM EST for season two, episode four, “Testudo et Lepus”. Tweet to #LegionXIII to join us!