Monthly Archives: January 2016

Legion XIII Rome Watch Along S01E09, “Utica” or “Everyone Who Wasn’t Terrible Is Terrible, Everyone Who Already Was Is Worse”

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.

Quick rundown of the episode: Things open with elephant tragedy, and then it just gets worse from there. Cato and Scipio off themselves in the desert, and I marvel at the casual attitude the Romans have to suicide. News of their deaths apparently have reached Rome, since Caesar, Anthony, and Brutus enjoy a play about it.

Well, Brutus doesn’t seem to enjoy it, but. You know. He’s also living with his mom, who thinks he should have committed suicide rather than come home.

So anyway, Caesar is back in Rome. Everyone is back in Rome. It’s been two years, and when Vorenus gets back, he finds his apartment is tricked out with new decor and four slaves, and his wife an entrepreneur who owns a butcher shop with her sister. Pullo is happy to see Eirene, who now speaks Latin. Which, you know, for the purposes of the show is English but with a German accent. Vorenus and Pullo go to work in the butcher shop, where Vorenus runs afoul of the local mafia. So Vorenus has to send his kids to the countryside to avoid them being raped and murdered, and he waits with Pullo and Niobe for Erastes Fulmen (who’s basically the Godfather) to come start some shit.

Octavian is back in Rome, too, which gives Servilia a plan. She’s pissed off that she has to make nice with Atia and Caesar at social functions, so she leverages her on-going love affair with Octavia to find out stuff about Caesar. First, Servilia just asks Octavia to find out whether or not Caesar has the affliction Octavian said he does. Instead, all Octavia can find out is that Octavian helped torture and kill Vorenus’s brother-in-law. Servilia suggests that Octavia sleep with Octavian to find out what’s up with Caesar, and she convinces Octavia to do it by telling her that Atia killed Glabius.

While Vorenus and Pullo wait to fight Erastes Fulmen, somebody else shows up. It’s Caesar, with a job offer: magistrate of the lower Aventine, which is like, the neighborhood where Vorenus lives. So when Erastes shows up to kick some ass, he sees a lot of soldiers waiting, and decides to leave it for another day. But this brings up another problem: Pullo feels pretty unsuccessful next to his friend who’s come home to find himself flush with cash and a new job in politics.

Octavia does manage to seduce Octavian, who knows the whole time that she’s trying to get something from him. So basically, he fucks his sister knowing it’s a transaction, and shames her for it afterward. Atia finds out her kids have committed incest and she freaks out, like people generally do. It’s actually kind of nice to know that there is some upper limit to how fucking terrible she is. I mean, it’s pretty high up there, but at least it’s there. Octavia tells Atia she did it because Servilia told her Atia killed Glabius. And Atia swears on a bunch of gods that she didn’t, because Atia apparently figures she can talk her way out of shitting on the gods, too. We already know she totally killed him.

Pullo comes home drunk and tells Eirene a story about how she reminds him of his mother. Then he rapes her, because she’s a slave and can’t consent to his advances. She clearly is not into him.

It’s Yom Kippur and Atia’s man, Timon, who is Jewish, is out to get a job done. A job he’s clearly not okay with being a part of, either because it’s a religious holiday, or because it’s fucking terrible, or both, considering his religious conviction storyline in season two. Anyway, in retribution for Servilia tricking her kids into incest, Atia has her men attack Servilia’s litter, strip her, and cut off her hair before leaving her in the street.

And this whole time, Vorenus’s kids are like, fleeing to the country, thinking their parents are dead. Which nobody really mentions at all.

My favorite part of the episode: Caesar is a giraffe murderer.

Caesar: “It is the height of four men, with a long neck, like a goose, spots like a leopard, and the speed of a horse.”

Brutus: “I don’t believe it. A new chimera.”

Caesar: “I assure you, it is quite real. With any luck you might see one at my triumph. I’ve been trying to bring one over for months now, but the wretched creatures keep dying on the way here. They do not like the sea.”

My least favorite part of the episode: I know it’s HBO and everyone is terrible, but Pullo drunkenly raping Eirene is so disheartening for me. Especially when I know what happens next week.

Favorite costume: This a twofer:

Octavia in a loose, flowing lavender dress, Atia in a tight, structured dark purple dress.

Here’s why I like this so much. It looks a little gray in the screencap, but Octavia is wearing pale lavender here. Throughout the episode, she’s wearing purples of various shades. Now, she’s committed this terrible crime against nature as a means of a plot. Now, what’s Atia wearing? Ding ding! Purple. Octavia has become Atia, and the purple clothes have foreshadowed this for the entire episode.

Team Atia or Team Servilia: Team Atia. First of all, fuck Servilia for stringing Octavia along for two years only to use her as a weapon. Second, the revenge Atia plots against Servilia is ruthlessly cruel, to the point that Atia could be running the Roman mafia, and to be quite honest, I admire that kind of hardcore cruelty in a historical woman character. I didn’t know anything about the importance of a Roman woman’s hair, but apparently it was a BFD. As in, women had busts of themselves made with interchangeable wigs. As in, there are tons of surviving sculptures showing women doing their hair, so centuries later we know that they spent a lot of time on it. So Servilia having her hair cut was the ultimate attack, probably just as bad as being stripped naked in public.

Favorite watch-a-long tweet:

What hairdo or costume would Bronwyn steal? This might be the “safe” choice, but I know that Bronwyn is a) a sucker for green, and b) a sucker for girdles.

Atia wearing a bright green dress with long sleeves and a fitted waist, with ribbon girdles around it.

(Sorry for the low quality, my internet was sporadic when I was trying to do these)

Guess Jess’s head canon. Jess was sadly absent this week, but I’d like to think it would involve that scene where Pullo is naked and oily.

Now go check out Bronwyn’s and Jess’s posts, and join us Monday at 9 PM EST for season one, episode ten, “Triumph”. Tweet to #LegionXIII to join us!

 

The Big Damn Buffy Rewatch S03E02, “Dead Man’s Party”

In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone ordered way too many Girl Scout cookies this year. 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.

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 S01E08, “Caesarion” or “Julius Caesar, you are NOT the father.

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.

Quick rundown of the episode: Humiliated by his side’s loss to Caesar, Brutus returns to Rome, to a mother who seems equal parts relieved by his survival and embarrassed that her kid lost in the war against her ex-boyfriend. But it’s cool, because now that the and his traitor friends have returned to Rome, they can just keep on plotting. Brutus doesn’t want to get involved right now, but I think we all know that’s going to change. Antony overhears them plotting, and warns Cicero that if he acts up, he’ll nail his hands to the senate doors.

Caesar arrives in Egypt, where all the speaking Egyptians are as white as this year’s Oscar nominees, and Pharaoh Jeoffrey Ptolemy presents Caesar with Pompey’s head. Caesar isn’t very thankful for the gift, and decides to help Cleopatra overthrow her stupid, spoiled brother. He sends the thirteenth out to find her. She’s out in the desert smoking opium and waiting for her brother to get pissed off enough to kill her. Luckily, Titus Pullo shows up just in time to stop her from being assassinated. Cleopatras’ womb is “between the flood”, so she comes up with a plan to get inseminated any way she possibly can, so that when she inevitably seduces Caesar, she’s already got one in the chamber. Her slave brings her Lucius Vorenus, but he can’t do the job, so it’s down to Titus Pullo to have some tent-shaking, acrobatic sex with her. They smuggle Cleopatra into the palace in a sack, and Caesar wastes no time getting her into the other other, proverbial sack. At the end of the episode, he proudly present “his” baby to his cheering army, while that little shit brick Ptolemy floats face down in some sandy water.

My favorite part of the episode: When, in what can only be described as my perfect romantic evening, Titus Pullo and Cleopatra bounce off the walls of her pavilion like ping-pong balls to the sound of extremely enthusiastic ululation.

My least favorite part of the episode: Every single Egyptian with a speaking part is a white person. Ptolemy, Cleopatra, the guy who was Cassandra’s slave in the Doctor Who episode “A New Earth,” every single one of them is white. There are a lot of black Egyptians in this episode. They’ve all been cast as slaves who have no lines and who just stand behind the talking white people. What the fuck, HBO?

Favorite costume: When Cleopatra returns to the palace all decked out, and her slave’s makeup is AMAZING.

A middle-aged lady wearing a really busy wig with beads and starchy curls, with very exaggerated black eyebrows drawn on and triangles of rust-colored makeup over her eyes.

Team Atia or Team Servilia: Doesn’t really apply in this episode, as neither are featured. Servilia has a sex scene with Octavia that’s presented in contrast to Caesar’s scene with Cleopatra, but that’s about it.

Favorite watch-a-long tweet: When Jess was unimpressed with Caesar’s dramatic style of lovemaking.

What hairdo or costume would Bronwyn steal? Bron is sucker for comfort, so I’m going to go with Cleopatra’s linen nightgown thing.

An elfin white girl wearing a very low-cut linen gown with an empire waist and short sleeves.

Guess Jess’s head canon. Pullo and Vorenus double up on Cleopatra, but end up being more interested in each other.

Now go check out Bronwyn’s and Jess’s posts (Jess’s might be a little late this week due to illness), and join us Monday at 9 PM EST for season one, episode nine, “Utica”. Tweet to #LegionXIII to join us!

 

Don’t Do This Ever: “Defending A Sex Offender” edition

CW: This installment of Don’t Do This Ever deals with child sexual abuse and victim blaming.

This week, popular romance author Karen Marie Moning announced on her Facebook page that fan favorite narrator Phil Gigante would return to record the audiobook for Feversong, an upcoming novel in her beloved Fever series. Certain issues prevented him from narrating the most recent book, Feverborn, disappointing fans. It’s a great thing he’s coming back and everyone is happy, right?

Except for the part where “Phil” is Phil Gigante, convicted sex offender and pedophile, and the “issues” that prevented him from narrating Feverborn were a prison sentence followed by house arrest.

Ceilidhann at Bibliodaze covered the full story in depth, so I suggest heading over there and getting “all the details,” to borrow a repugnant phrase from Moning herself, and view a screenshot example of the discourse that followed the announcement. Some readers were overjoyed at the promised return of their favorite narrators, but others raised concerns over Gigante’s continued involvement in the series.

Moning’s initial response, which you can see at Bibliodaze and Red Hot Books, was to defend Gigante. She claimed to have insider knowledge proving his innocence, but has yet to come forth with it. Readers are meant to take her at her word, and ignore the fact that Gigante pled guilty to accosting a minor for immoral purposes, as well as possession of child sexually abusive material, just two of the four felonies he was charged with in the incident. In a plea bargain, Gigante was sentenced to only four months in jail and three months on a tether.

Despite Moning’s assurances of Gigante’s innocence, some readers didn’t back down, resulting in the current state of the post on Moning’s Facebook page:

Moning's original Facebook post alluding to "issues" that prevented Gigante from recording the Feverborn audiobook, and congratulating Gigante for a recent award. Beneath, where the reader comments used to be, it now reads: "In the interest of protecting all parties involved in this case, we are deleting all comments on this post. My Facebook page is not the place to discuss this.

One party Moning doesn’t seem terribly interested in protecting are readers who have survived sexual abuse, either as children or adults. Whether her motivation is driven by loyalty to a friend or desire for the continuing success of her audio titles, Moning is alienating readers who have stayed faithful to her for novel after novel. For some of them, Moning’s books may have provided them an escape during difficult times. How can these readers be expected to continue to support Moning, now that they’ve seen her defend an admitted sexual predator?

It’s not just Moning who’s to blame for victimizing these readers. Many fans still stand on the side of Gigante. They jumped in to hypothesize what “really” happened, from suggesting that the girl came onto Gigante to sharing anecdotes about the ubiquitous “guy I know”, who pops up time and again in stories about predatory teen girls tricking grown men into committing sex crimes. Gigante is, after all, the voice of the romantic hero of their dreams; he’s simply too sexy and beloved to have done such a thing. Never mind the fact that, no matter how sexually forward a teen might be toward an adult, the adult has the responsibility to not engage them. Never mind the fact that Gigante pled guilty to these crimes. Their enjoyment of his narration precludes him from any possible misconduct.

We’ve talked many times on this blog about separating art from an artist and enjoying problematic content or content made by problematic creators. Ceilidhann brings up David Bowie as an example; while celebrated for the impact he had on GLBTQA+ people, he also had sex with minors, a fact that complicated our global mourning for many fans. The conclusion I arrived to with regards to Bowie was that I didn’t have to defend his actions to recognize the enormous influence he had on my life. I’m sure that, for some readers, Moning’s series has had a profound effect on their personal lives, and therefore they’ll continue to read and enjoy the audiobooks. But they can do that without insisting that Gigante didn’t commit a crime, or that his victim was lying. They can do it without arguing with readers who’ve decided to stop reading Moning’s books. They can do it without harming their fellow readers with their victim-blaming rhetoric.

Moning’s defense of Gigante extended much further than simply defending his innocence. She also suggests there might be some kind of conspiracy behind his conviction:

Facebook post: Melanie Simmons: How can you stand by Phil Gigante when he preyed on children? --Phil Gigante pleads guilty to accosting a child for immoral purposes, possession of child sexually abusive material [link] Karen Marie Moning's reply: There is more to the story than is public knowledge. I will not make a statement about this other than to say this: This is not my battle to fight but I will be having him narrate my future books. What is being reported is not what happened and many people know that. I would not stand behind a sexual predator of any kind. He's not.

screencap courtesy of Melanie Simmons

I’m not privy to all the details of Moning’s business arrangements, but she seems to be saying here that she has some power over who is cast for her audiobooks. If she didn’t want the issue discussed on her Facebook page, it would have been so much simpler to just say that she couldn’t comment on Gigante’s legal issues, and that the producer made the casting choice they believed readers wanted. There was no need to argue his innocence or suggest there was any further information she could provide that would make Gigante’s actions acceptable. She did, and in doing so she gave some of her devoted readers license to speculate as to the sexual predations of a fourteen-year-old girl against a grown man. Her actions give her readers who are survivors of assault and abuse the proverbial finger.

In another comment defending Gigante, Moning lies about the crime he was charged with, and specifically states that links proving otherwise will be removed:

Facebook post: Karen Marie Moning: Read the comments in this thread. We will hide the reposting of the news article. What he was charged with was not accosting a minor. He was charged with 'improper Facebook message to a minor'. I know the facts. I continue to support his narration.

screencap courtesy of Melanie Simmons

Moning claims to want to protect all the parties involved, but she never addressed the rampant speculation and victim blaming that took place on her post, right alongside her own defense of Gigante. Is the fourteen year old girl he sent nude photos to not an involved party? Are the readers who feel tricked or cheated for having purchased books narrated by Gigante not involved? What about fans who would prefer not to support an author who lies to her readers in order to defend a child molester? To the casual observer it seems the only people Moning is interested in protecting are herself, the fans who agree with her and will continue to hand over their money and praise, and Phil Gigante, sex offender.

Authors, if you find yourself in a similar position, you have three choices. You can fight to disassociate your work from the bad actions of the person involved, while sharing disappointment in that person with the fans who are also being let down. Alternately, you can remain neutral, stating that such decisions are out of your control; whether your readers believe this is true is out of your hands. Or, you can defend a man who sent nude photographs to a fourteen year old girl, claim you have some secret knowledge that would excuse what he did, and lie to your readers about the crimes he was charged with. I would hope it goes without saying that the third option is what you should not do, ever.

UPDATE: Moning has released this statement on Facebook:

Karen Marie Moning's Facebook page: Two days ago, a post went up regarding the former narrator of my audio books. I did not have all of my facts straight and I apologize profusely for my post. I will not be working with him in the future.

Screencap courtesy of Yajairia Diaz

Jenny Reads 50 Shades of Midnight Sun: Grey, Saturday, May 21, 2011, or “THE BIGGEST CHAPTER EVER: PART FOUR”

Now, everybody who’s been around these parts knows that Christian Grey is a creepy rapist. That’s not in dispute. But I’m still going to give you guys the heads up here with a CW: Rape, not because this is a rape scene, but because so many things he says/thinks in this chapter sound exactly like something a rapist would say/think. So there’s your heads up.

EDIT: I just woke up and read this amazing post on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. It is so super relevant to this recap, I had to edit to include it.

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#LegionXIII Rome watch-along S01E07, “Pharsalus,” or “Somebody’s landed on the Isle of Lesbos, and it sure ain’t Pullo or Vorenus”

 

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.

Quick rundown of the episode: Despite being the dick who doomed his own ship by pissing off Triton, God of the sea and father of the brattiest mermaid in history, Pullo survives. He and Vorenus end up marooned on a sandbar together, where they debate the merits of blood drinking and Pullo is just generally not worried about the fact that they’re dying of thirst. Vorenus, however, is a man of action, and he decides the only way to survive is to ride a raft made of corpses out of his personal hell. Which is being alone with Titus Pullo for any length of time.

Things in Caesar’s camp are not going great. People are eating rats. Meanwhile, Pompey and his band of traitor bastards are eating like kings. They’re pretty sure that rather than starve Caesar out, they can fight Caesar’s army in a great big battle and get the whole conquest of Rome over (spoiler alert: it’s the battle of Pharsalus and this is a bad idea).

Atia is pretty sure her uncle is going to lose, so she sends Octavia to see Servilia, to beg for protection. Octavia gets all prettied up to go see Servilia. Since Servilia is the only human being who is remotely nice to her, Octavia immediately crushes on her hard and spends some time strumming her downstairs lute after their meeting. Later, Servilia invites her over for some “weaving”, the Netflix and chill of ancient Rome, and we see some May/December lady lust.

After a blurry, anti-climactic, grainy slow-motion battle, Pompey is left humiliated and poor, with no where to run but Egypt. And who should he run into along the way? You guessed it! Forrest Pullo, who totally recognize him. They see how beaten down he is and they let him go, which pisses off Caesar. Cicero and Brutus are basically like, I’m tired, I’m going to go home, so they go and surrender to Caesar. All things considered, Pompey gets away pretty easily. He arrives in Egypt with his wife and children, who get to watch as a servant of the Pharaoh cuts Pompey’s head off before he can even get a foot on the shore.

My favorite part of the episode: “Doesn’t matter. Everything’ll be fine.” -Titus Pullo, the Chris Traeger of Ancient Rome.

My least favorite part of the episode: Lyde and Naiobe’s reconciliation. It’s not that big a deal to get disowned if you’re just going to get reowned in the next episode.

Favorite costume: Octavia’s purple dress and veil. I would wear the non-stop fuck out of that.

Octavia is wearing this really pretty lavender veil with all sorts of gold and beads decorating the hem, and a dress that's got all these vertical crinkles in it. It's super cool.

Team Atia or Team Servilia: Team Servilia, because Atia said Servilia looks like “an old trout”. WTF is wrong with being a trout, huh? That’s what I thought. So Servilia wins this round. Doesn’t feel good, does it Atia?

Favorite watch-a-long tweet:

What hairdo or costume would Bronwyn steal? I was going to be funny and pick the silver replacement nose guy, but I think we’re probably in agreement about the Octavia

Guess Jess’s head canon. They’re stranded on an island together. This one is a no-brainer.

Now go check out Bronwyn’s and Jess’s posts, and join us Monday at 9 PM EST for season one, episode eight, “Caesarion”. Tweet to #LegionXIII to join us!

 

State of the Trout: 2016 book release news and new Afflicted

In case you hadn’t already heard, 50 Shades of Grey is now an Oscar nominated film. The tragedies of 2016 just keep coming and coming.

But here’s the good news! I’ve got books planned for 2016!

  • Second Chance Ian and Penny return in another set of dual novels in the spring, release date tba.
  • Emir will get his own novel in the fall No title yet, but expect a romance between El-Mudad and a hunky bodyguard, and a very hot scene with Neil and Sophie.

Other good news! A new chapter of my free online horror serial, The Afflicted is available now! If you haven’t read it, you can start from the beginning here.

Oh! And I forgot and am now editing this bit in: I started my 2016 reading challenge today (I had to finish up a book I started in 2015 first). For “A book with a blue cover” I’ve selected Truthwitch by Susan Dennard.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print for now!

Jealous Hater Book Club: Apolonia, chapter 17

So, we left off with everyone deciding that they need to get to a radio station that will, realistically, be of absolutely no use to them, for reasons more than explained by Trout Nation resident experts in the comments section last time. Thank you to everyone who took the time to teach us a lesson in radio communications, by the way, that was fantastic!

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This is my favorite David Bowie song.

There’s like, filth and suicide/torture imagery, but it was the 90′s.

There’s not a lot I can say. I’m a Bowie fan. His work touched me the way it touched millions. I don’t know anything about the guy, and I’m not going to be like, “He was such a good person,” because I have no clue. But I do know that his mystique and persona and art did a lot for a kid in Catholic high school who wasn’t quite sure what was wrong with her mental health or her confusing sexuality.

Legion XIII Rome Watch-Along S01E06: “Egeria” or “Get in, loser, we’re going to Greece.”

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.

Quick rundown of the episode: Lucius Vorenus has had about enough of two of his houseguests: his sister-in-law who’s perpetually crying about her missing, probably dead, husband, and his BFF Titus Pullo, who keeps going around treating slaves like people. Meanwhile, Mark Antony is running Rome the way Trump is going to run the White House, with threats, intimidation, and hideous decorating sense. He’s making it clear to enemies and resisters to Caesar’s rule that he’ll weaponize the senate, have them murdered, and marry their wives.

Vorena the Elder still has her mother over a barrel with the whole “I know you fucked my uncle and this baby isn’t mine” thing, which is really contributing to the household tension that’s driving Vorenus to drink. Pullo dissuades Vorenus from beating Niobe, suggesting the pair divorce, instead. But Vorenus  isn’t down with that. So instead, Pullo tells Lyde that he’s asked around and it turns out that her husband is dead, but hey, it’s not so bad, you’ve still got people who love you. It’s very clear that what he’s saying to both Lyde and Niobe is that they need to be careful, and not let Evander’s death become the thing that unravels their whole secret. We get a little more insight to what happened between Evander and Niobe, and it’s starting to sound like Niobe slept with Evander for his money, and the fact that he wanted a child motivated him into doing it. I guess maybe their plan was to wean the baby and then Lyde and Evander would take it? I don’t know, they don’t cover that.

At Atia’s house, she’s thinking of sending Octavian away to fight in Greece. But the more pressing issue is he still hasn’t “penetrated” anyone. She tells Titus Pullo to take Octavian to a brothel, but a clean, classy place. Not the type he would go to.

Vorenus returns home to a different marriage. Niobe has made dinner and gotten prettied up to seduce her husband, probably because if Lyde spilled her guts about Evander and the baby now, it would help if Vorenus was besotted with her.

Caesar is getting into some deep shit in Greece, and he asks Mark Atony to bring the XIII to Greece to help him. But Antony says he needs to think about it. Pompey offers Mark Antony a deal. If he doesn’t send troops to Caesar, he’ll get a province and all sorts of stuff. He tells Pompey’s man that the answer is going to have to wait a day. So clearly, he’s considering the offer. Atia suggests that Mark Antony marry her and not go to Greece. He could take over Rome with her money and his name, and she would basically be the first lady of Rome. And it’s this that sends Antony over the edge. There is Dynasty-level face slapping, and they break up. Antony is super ashamed of himself for even considering betraying Caesar, and he calls the XIII. They’re going to Greece.

Atia has a slave with a very impressive asset, and she’s going to send him to Servilia as a gift. “A large penis is always welcome,” she reasons, and sending gifts will gain Servilia as an ally. Atia thinks Servilia, as honest and sweet as Atia believes she is, has no idea that Atia was behind the graffiti that caused Caesar to dump Servilia. But that is not the case, and Servilia makes it very clear to Octavia that revenge is coming for Atia, but that Servillia doesn’t blame Octavia for her mother’s actions, and there shouldn’t be any bad feelings between them.

Pullo bids farewell to Eirene, whom he’s clearly developing romantic feelings for, and Vorenus and Niobe share a sad goodbye, and everyone leaves for Greece. The ship Pullo and Vorenus sale on is not faring so well in the tossing seas, but Vorenus is pretty sure they’ll be okay; a good offering was made to Triton to protect them. Pullo says exactly what he thinks of Triton, and the ship capsizes.

My favorite part of the episode: When Titus Pullo’s blasphemy dooms an entire ship.

My least favorite part of the episode: So, you know how Octavian has to pick out someone to “penetrate”? Why did he pick a girl who looked almost exactly like his sister? YOU KNOW WHY HE DID.

Also, Mark Antony’s ridiculously loud breathing after he’s done fucking Atia. WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE SO LOUD?!

Favorite costume: Everyone, truly appreciated this lady’s purple theme going on. Purple ombre wig, even!

A large woman in a gray-to-purple ombre wig and bright purple, ribbed dress.

Team Atia or Team Servilia: Team Atia. Because she sends thoughtful presents.

Favorite watch-a-long tweet:


What hairdo or costume would Bronwyn steal? Octavia is dressed in a light blue, drapey, kind of oddly shaped thing, but the fabric is highly detailed with little gold touches like flowers and intricate borders.

Guess Jess’s head canon. The drunken hugging scene between Pullo and Vorenus is a hurt/comfort fic waiting to happen.

Now go check out Bronwyn’s and Jess’s posts, and join us Monday at 9 PM EST for season one, episode five, “Pharsalus”. Tweet to #LegionXIII to join us!