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#LegionXIII Rome watch along S01E02 “How Titus Pullo Brought Down The Republic” or “The One Where Titus Gump Gumps His Way Through Western Civ”

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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: Casual rapist Mark Anthony returns to rome, having been “elected” People’s Tribune. So that means he has the power to veto shit in the senate, which is good news for Cesar, but bad news for Pompey. To become tribune, Mark Antony is subjected to a long ass ceremony, the flashbacks to which are hilarious, because dude just wants to get to Atia’s house to get his knob thoroughly shined up by a consenting women this time.

Pullo and Vorenus take little lord Fauntleroy back to his mother. Atia manages to choke back her vomit at the idea of eating dinner with soldiers, and in a discussion about politics, Vorenus turns out to be FOX News’s convenient plebeian friend, talking about how he thinks the system that’s actively oppressing him is amazing and good for everyone. Pullo, however, becomes a heavy-drinking, hard-fucking, gambling-addicted junkie within two hours inside the city walls. He gets into a bar fight that ends up in an incredibly graphic emergency skull surgery on Vorenus’s kitchen table. The whole town comes out and watches what is basically going to be the most talked about thing on that street for centuries.

Vorenus returns home to find his wife holding a baby that has definitely been born recently and couldn’t possibly be his kid, but surprise, it’s really his grandson. But surprise again, it’s actually his wife’s son, we just don’t know with whom yet.

Mark Antony hands out some sass to Pompey, Scipio, Cicero, and Cato. Basically, try anything, and Cesar is going to be marching into town so fast you won’t know you’re dead until you get the invitation to your own funeral. Scipio breaks ranks and an all out brawl begins in the Senate when he’s like, “Hey, we should sentence Cesar to death if he doesn’t plan on coming back here and apologizing.” The dugouts fucking empty, but it’s okay, because in all the chaos, nothing got finalized. If Mark Antony can just make it to the Senate during the next session to use his veto, then everything is going to be great. Pompey is basically like, “I cannot stress enough that Mark Antony needs to get here without incident. And I’m talking, if you see a pothole in the street, throw your body over it so he doesn’t trip because if there’s any hold up or he thinks he’s being sabotaged, Cesar is going to come back and spank your ass.

Antony is on the lookout for any excuse to run back to Cesar like, “Your friends want to kill you and they tried to kill me when I tried to stop them from killing you, but it wasn’t real dramatic, it was still in the ‘on paper’ stage when I left.” He has his men, including Vorenus and Pullo, surrounded him like Secret Service dudes to keep him safe on his walk to the Senate, and wouldn’t you fucking know it, one of the dudes from Pullo’s bar fight is in the crowd, and he pulls a knife. Pullo subdues the dude, but never bothers to mention to anyone that this guy wasn’t out to kill Mark Antony. He makes himself out to be this big hero as the streets descend into chaos, while Vorenus just gets stabbed for his troubles. Pullo takes all the glory involved in being the dude who rescued Mark Antony, and puts in motion Cesar’s return to Rome to hand Pompey his ass.

In other words, a lot of bad Roman shit could have been avoided if Titus Pullo had just had his gambling addiction under control. Instead, Cesar crosses the Rubicon like a mom with a trash bag coming to clean up your room. And Pompey is the room.

 My favorite part of the episode: Women handling shit the way men would handle shit. It might sound terrible to say I like to see women push each other around or say horrible things about setting dogs on people, but damn, these ladies aren’t fucking around. It’s nice to see Niobe shouting “My father’s cock! How’s that for tone?” at her awful husband, or Octavia loudly imitating her mother’s orgasms over dinner. It’s good to know that if someone fucks with Atia, she’s got dogs trained to handle that. They’re flawed and cruel to each other and, yeah, violent, but I’m loving their negative emotions because oh my god, they’re female characters who aren’t written to be the perfect fantasy for dudes who think all their ex-girlfriends are crazy. They’re real people.

My least favorite part of the episode: Despite the whole “Vorenus comes home to slut shame his wife and daughters” bullshit? Nitpick-o-rama time: Vorenus has sex with his wife, his lactating wife, and doesn’t notice that she’s, you know. Lactating. In case you’ve never heard or thought about it before, a person’s tits leak for what seems like ever, we’re talking will-my-shirt-ever-be-dry-again levels of insidious, seeping moisture that happens uncontrollably in hormone fueled situations like getting drilled just feet from a crib full of howling baby. How did he not notice? And I’m not buying that he’s just naive; they already have two kids. This was written by a dude who thought we could just gloss over that reality of boob-haver anatomy. But I can’t ignore that shit.

Favorite costume: Niobe’s nightgown.

niobe nightgown

Look at that. It’s almost translucent, so you know the fabric is light as air. It floats around her. I bet that muslin or linen or whatever is butter soft. I want this nightgown. I want to wear something as comfortable as that nightgown.

I covet that nightgown.

Team Atia or Team Servillia: “Casta! Fetch the dogs!” Team Atia, though Servillia wasn’t even in this episode, that I remember.

Favorite watch-a-long tweet:

What hairdo or costume would Bronwyn steal? 

A blurry picture of Octavia in a purple dress, with very long mermaid hair curls.

I could see Bronwyn coveting both the hair and the dress. I couldn’t catch her when she wasn’t blurry, though.

Guess Jess’s head canon. “Oh my  god, did you see how hurt Pullo looks every time someone says Vorenus isn’t his friend?”

Now go check out Bronwyn’s and Jess’s posts, and join us on Monday at 9 PM EST for season one, episode three, “An Owl In A Thornbush”. Tweet to #LegionXIII to join us!


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  1. I *did* like that dress but I couldn’t find a picture of it anywhere.

    And yeah, I’m definitely loving the women on this show.

    Also…I didn’t realize that Marc Antony was the casual rapist.

    November 13, 2015
    • Belle de Jour
      Belle de Jour

      When the legion is crossing the Rubicon and Mark Antony spies the little kid fishing, I thought, great, are you gonna rape him, too?


      May 27, 2016
  2. Titus DOES look so hurt every time someone says he and Vorenus aren’t friends!!!

    Yeah, I can’t look past Vorenus not knowing his wife was lactating. Just cannot.

    Niobe’s nightgown…I want one!

    November 13, 2015
  3. Bryn

    I have watched this show so many times and never caught the lactating Niobe gloss-over. Maybe because I’ve never had kids or been around women who ended up talking about their lactation woes? It honestly never occurred to me that it should have been super-obvious. Which is embarrassing considering the years since my first watch have been spent around a number of women who talk about boob leakage fairly frequently.

    November 14, 2015
    • Andrea Taylor
      Andrea Taylor

      Leaking during sex (or at other times other than when nursing the baby) doesn’t happen for the entire duration of when a woman is lactating (at least not universally so). There is a period of about 4-6 weeks after the baby is born where the breasts continually make milk in fairly high quantities, and damn near anything will induce leakage when the breasts are moderately full of milk. Then there is a transition where the milk becomes more “produced on demand”, and the “filling” and “leakage” is much reduced (a lot of women unfortunately interpret this as their “milk drying up”).

      Depends on how old the baby is. A couple of months old? Yeah, she’s almost certainly going to leak (especially if she orgasms, which releases oxytocin, causing milk letdown, which at the very least would lead to lots of leakage, if not milk literally shooting from her nipples). 9 months, a year, even older? Much, much less likely. I didn’t have to use breast pads for leakage after about four months, although certainly women vary considerably, and some might end up having to deal with leakage the entire time even if they nurse for years.

      November 14, 2015
      • JennyTrout

        See, I find it unbelievable because she’s not nursing the baby when Vorenus is around, and then the baby is just howling while they’re doing it, so she’s probably already engorged and the baby is crying. I nursed my son for a little over a year and holy cats, I could go three days without leaking, hear somebody else’s baby crying in the grocery store, and BOOM! let down. LOL

        November 15, 2015
  4. Norah

    “Instead, Cesar crosses the Rubicon like a mom with a trash bag coming to clean up your room. And Pompey is the room.”

    I laughed at this for like 10 minutes.

    November 14, 2015
  5. Cathy

    “Pullo kills someone who gets in his way” could be a drinking game for this show.

    November 15, 2015

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