Let me tell you a story, gentle reader.
Once upon a time, I convinced Jess and Bronwyn to watch Game of Thrones. I had already seen the series through its fourth season. So when season three rolled around, I savored their tears and horror like the finest of wine.
That same thing happened this week and it was glorious.
Quick rundown of the episode: Titus Pullo wakes up in the hospital to find out that he’s famous in Rome. He thinks he better cash in on that, and despite being slashed all to hell and back, tries to ride for the city.
The Vorenus family visits the farmland they’ve just been granted, and as part of some kind of weird Roman blessing, Lucius and Niobe totally bone on the ground in front of their kids. When they get home, they find out that Pullo has returned. Nobody is thrilled to see him, least of all Eirene, who decides to murder him in the night. He wakes up and tells her it’s cool if she kills him, but Niobe stops her and tells her it’s stupid to murder him because she’d get caught. Instead, Niobe lets Eirene take over care duties for Pullo, which ends up with him eating an impressive quantity of spit.
Pullo eventually finds a way to escape from the Vorenus household in the hope of cashing in on his fame. But he’s not very famous, and when he brings a woman back to the apartment, he feels bad, anyway. He eventually tells Eirene that he’s going to go to some shrine to ask for forgiveness. He asks Eirene if she thinks the gods will forgive him, and she’s like, whatever, they do what they want. But he invites her to go to the shrine with him, anyway. She follows him out of the city, but not like, in a “let’s travel together” way.
Caesar decides it’s a super idea to make a bunch of Gauls and Celts senators. And people are not happy. So instead of disciplining Lucius Vorenus, Caesar is like, hey, you should be a senator. So that means you need some OJT. Just follow me around. All the time. Definitely do not leave me even just to go to the bathroom. But his wife is still pretty freaked out when she has a bad dream about birds.
Servilia and Brutus have gone full-on serial killer, praying in front of a wall of death masks, asking their ancestors for special murder powers or something. But they don’t need them; Servilia remembers the secret Octavia managed to get from Octavian, about how Lucius Vorenus believes his wife’s son is his grandson. They can use that information to distract Vorenus and get him away from Caesar for long enough to assassinate him.
Senate is going to be in session, so Caesar, flanked by Lucius Vorenus, heads through town. Servilia’s slave stops Vorenus and whispers something in his ear. And it totally works; he takes off back to his house, leaving Caesar unprotected.
So, then you know what happens in the senate. But while it’s happening, Servilia has invited Atia over to hang out. Octavian has gone with his mother. In the senate there a stabbing frenzy and a whole bunch of blood and a really gruesome scene that once again makes me suspect that the sound guys blew through at least thirty percent of this shows budget just buying melons to stab. But basically, it’s brutal, and they hack Caesar to fucking death and it’s awful. But it’s Brutus who delivers the death blow (obviously), and they forgo the “Et tu” line. Mark Antony arrives too late and wisely backs out of the senate slowly, but he gives everyone a hardcore murder glare.
Vorenus wrecks up their house while Niobe screams and asks what’s going on. She admits the kid is hers, and tells him that she thought he was dead. Which, you know. Honestly, how do you not forgive that? While Vorenus contemplates killing Niobe, or maybe himself, it’s hard to tell, Niobe tells him it’s not the kid’s fault, then throws herself backward off the balcony, spitting her melon all over the courtyard. But it doesn’t make a melon sound, because at this point the melon budget was all used up. While Vorenus cradles Niobe’s dead body in his arms, her son walks in.
Servilia gloats about her triumph to a near-catatonic Atia who doesn’t have a single card left to play. Servilia tells Atia that she’s not going to kill them specifically that day, but she is going to enact this long as fuck revenge on her. Atia keeps her shit together, but just barely.
The episode closes with Pullo doing his penance at the shrine, while Eirene watches and, judging from the hand-holding into the sunset that precedes the end credits, forgives him for that whole “you murdered the man I love” thing pretty quick.
My favorite part of the episode: The entire last quarter of it. It’s so tense. Obviously almost everyone watching this knows how it’s going to end for Caesar, but the first time I watched this, I freaked out the moment the guys stopped Mark Antony from going into the senate. I was so caught up in the show, I completely forgot how shit was going to go down. I looked at Mr.Jen and said, “OHMYGODIT’SGOINGTOHAPPENRIGHTNOW!” And I still feel that way, every single time. It’s just as shocking on the tenth viewing as it was on the first.
My least favorite part of the episode: I loathe the way Niobe dies. You know from the second you see her breastfeed that baby at the beginning of the season that some bad shit is going to go down, but I just…ugh. Things were going so well for her and Vorenus.
Favorite costume: They really let Eirene shine in this one. Specifically, her hair:
Team Atia or Team Servilia: Have to give it to Servilia this week. Calling someone to your house so you can watch their reaction to their family member being murdered and their place in society dashed all to hell and back is the coldest thing imaginable.
Until next season.
Favorite watch-a-long tweet:
— Jessica Jarman (@jessjarman) February 16, 2016
— Bronwyn Green (@Bronwyn_Green) February 16, 2016
I drink the TV induced tears of my friends like fine wine.
What hairdo or costume would Bronwyn steal? Honestly, I think she’s with me on Eirene’s hair this week.
Guess Jess’s head canon. First of all, it’s good to see the boys together again. Vorenus is going to need someone to lean on now that tragedy has struck.