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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.”

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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.

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!

#LegionXIII Rome Watch-Along S02E03: “These Being The Words of Marcus Tullius Cicero” or “This Being An Epic Slam By Marcus Tullius Cicero”

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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.

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

Quick rundown of the episode: Vorenus is still tormented by the fact that he killed his wife and children. Fair enough. The mental strain is making him a bad ass ruler, though. One of his gang captains comes to him for permission to kill a guy who got his dick sucked by twelve-year-old. it’s a thing about family honor, but Vorenus denies his request on the basis that the twelve-year-old was paid, and therefore wasn’t defiled, but working as a prostitute. Pullo puts in his two cents, which Vorenus does not want. he tells Pullo never to question him in front of the other gang members. Pullo doesn’t appreciate this, but he is who he is, and he goes along with it.

Continuing on her journey of self discovery in the realm of not giving a shit, Octavia has brought home her new stoner friend, Jocasta. They are bogging out the house “inhaling hemp”, and Atia isn’t impressed. I mean, she doesn’t seem to have a problem with the hemp, because she takes the pipe and hits it like a champ, but she’s really not happy that Octavia is hanging out with a merchant’s daughter. She tells Octavia that her slumming better not go any lower.

Meanwhile, Timon is still pining for Atia, while his brother is usurping his place with his children.  The brother (Abraham? Avram? I don’t remember the guy’s name.) Is also doing this whole shadowy meeting thing in alleys, which Timon definitely notices. Again, due to the show’s cancellation, the storyline will go nowhere.

Atia has soured on the idea of going to Macedonia. She tries to convince Antony to stay in Rome and keep playing the politics game, and from his frowny concentration face when he rides his horse away, it seems like he might be considering it.

Vorenus and Pullo are having  a perfectly lovely lunch when in comes that asshole who paid a twelve-year-old to have sex with him. Also, he’s missing his penis. Turns out the dudes ignored Vorenus’s ruling and went ahead and got their revenge anyway. Vorenus blames Pullo for this; if Pullo hadn’t questioned his authority, they never would have been bold enough to go against his word. This leads to a huge fight, in which Pullo accidentally slip that he knew about Niobe’s cheating all along and killed Evander for it. This is new information to Vorenus, and as is the theme of this season, Vorenus doesn’t take this well.

Meanwhile, Cicero and Mark Antony are chilling together, the way enemies do, and Cicero heaps praise on Octavian, bragging on the huge army Octavian is raising. Antony expresses his opinion on this by whizzing into a potted plant. He also tells Cicero that he doesn’t plan to go to Macedonia. He’d rather be governor of Gaul. Cicero is like, yeah, that’s not going to work, some other guy is running Gaul right now. Antony tries to intimidate Cicero into making it happen, and that’s exactly why Cicero won’t do it.

Agrippa, a.k.a. Tom Branson, comes to Atia with a message from Octavian, but he meets Octavia first and is “entranced” by her harp playing, which is also accompanied by frustrated swearing. Octavian sends his best wishes to Octavia, and Agrippa informs her that Octavian is a pretty important and powerful guy.

What nobody is worried about, though, is this new asshole, Duro, who works in the kitchen at Atia’s house, because he’s working for Servilia. His job is to poison Atia, but it’s taking a long time; Octavia almost always eats with Atia, and Servilia doesn’t want to kill Octavia. Duro is crude and nasty, and he demands Servilia kiss him before he’ll carry out his job. She wants Atia dead so much, she does it. So like, she’s committed.

Meanwhile, in some other place, Brutus is trying to raise money to crush Antony, but apparently the people he’s trying to win over think Brutus is cowardly for killing Caesar only after everyone else stabbed him about a billion times. They also want to watch some pretty specific bestiality. Things aren’t going great for Brutus, who later has a weird John The Baptist type scene in a pond.

Meanwhile, back at the hellmouth, Vorenus accuses Pullo of sleeping with Niobe, and he’s so out of control, Pullo is like, yeah, you know what, I totally had sex with your wife. Fine. They end up getting into a brawl so big that it breaks furniture and pieces of the building, and Pullo is like, fuck this, let’s go. He and Eirene leave the city.

Antony shows up to the senate to find that Cicero hasn’t bothered to show up at the senate, where he was supposed to propose that Antony’s governorship be transferred to Gaul. Instead, he basically sent a long speech about how much he hates Antony and basically telling him to fuck off. Meanwhile, Cicero has left the city and is going to align himself with Octavian.

Three months later, Octavian is a real threat to the city, and shit isn’t going well. Pullo and Eirene have returned to the city, after traveling like, forever. They find the Aventine all burned up and wrecked, and barricades have been erected to protect the mob house. Vorenus went to Gaul with Mark Antony. All of the nonsense in the Aventine stems from the gelding dispute, and a retaliatory rape. While Pullo and Eirene try to decide what to do next, Lyde stumbles up. At first they don’t recognize her, probably because they expected her to be dead. But she’s escaped from slavery, and come back to tell them that the children are still alive.

We cut back to Atia’s house, where she’s just about to tuck into some delicious poison, because Octavia isn’t home. Just as the servant brings her the food, the episode ends. CLIFF HANGER!

My favorite part of the episode: When Atia acts all outraged by her kid smoking pot, then hits with nary a flinch.

My least favorite part of the episode: In the first season (and I believe early on in this season), passage of time was marked by showing a person climbing a ladder and changing a big public calendar. Out of nowhere, “Three Months Later” is slapped on the screen. It’s so jarring and unnecessary. They trusted the audience to understand the passage of time in the first season, and yeah, people did complain about it being difficult to follow, but a few episodes into the second season is not the time to start introducing title screens.

Favorite costume: Octavia’s casual wear for pot smoking:

Octavia's dress is made out of some crinkly silk fabric, with wide off-the-shoulder straps in a cream color, while the rest of the dress is like, streakily-died blue green. She's also gulping down water, because she's high as goddamn.

I wish we would have seen the whole outfit.

Team Atia or Team Servilia: Atia, all the way. I want to admire Servilia’s dedication, but she’s so desperate at this point that it’s kind of hard.

Favorite watch-a-long tweet: 

What hairdo or costume would Bronwyn steal? Bronwyn is a sucker for drapey, ethereal bullshit:

Octavia wears what is basically the exact kind of Roman palla people imagine when they think of Roman pallas, and it's all in gauzy white.

Guess Jess’s head canon. Jess’s headcanon was dealt a blow in this episode when Pullo and Vorenus fell out, but the fact that Pullo returned to Rome to set things straight only further validates her ship.

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!

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

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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: 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!


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

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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: 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!


#LegionXIII Rome watch along S01E03: “An Owl In A Thornbush” or “Cannonball Pompey Run”

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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: Caesar is back in Italy with a single legion. Guess which legion? Hurrah! Except this makes him a traitor, so the people who are loyal to him in the city are kind of SOL now. But as Antony points out, it’s really only treason if they lose. He sends Vorenus and Pullo and some other soldiers off with a message for Rome, a message they’re supposed to deliver to the Senate doors.

We get to meet the father of Niobe’s baby, who she totally doesn’t love, you guys. Except for the passionate kissing and stuff. And Vorena the Elder is like, we are all covering for you, you either need to come clean to dad or stop fooling around with this guy.

With Caesar thirty miles from Rome, Pompey is sort of like, “You know, let’s just leave. Fly south for the winter. Then we’ll get the band back together and come back.” And everyone in his crew does what he says, even though they all know he’s running away like a coward. He’s also going to take as much money as he can from the treasury, and he sends some dudes to get it, all sneaky like. But the guys in charge have a knife-related disagreement over whether or not they should take it to Pompey, and instead some of the soldiers run off with it.

Supporters of Pompey surround Atia’s house, where Servillia and Brutus are trapped with them. The mob is about to break down the door, and everyone is making plans for who will kill who before they can be taken alive, when suddenly everything just stops. The news guy is in the square talking about how anyone who doesn’t leave the city with Pompey is a traitor.

Brutus is stressed about whether or not they should stay in the city, and he tries to convince his mother to leave. But Servillia is gonna stand by her man. Octavia is gonna stand by her man, too, but since she’s Octavia and this show treats her the way it does, her mom sends Timon (her security dude) to kill Glabius.

Now that the city is all but Caesar’s, Atia finds herself in exactly the right position to be killing people who get in her way. Because she’s a straight-up mafia don. People are coming to her for “protection”, which she gives them for a fee after she makes them grovel appropriately.

Without the money from the treasury, Pompey and all the rich people trudging along behind him are up shit creek without a paddle. Bad news for them, Vorenus and Pullo and the cavalry find the thieves first. Pullo wants to rescue the slave girl the thieves are dragging behind the cart, but Vorenus is like, nah.

Atia should be pretty much in the clear with the whole “murder my ex-son-in-law” thing, until someone brings his dead body to the house. Which of course devastates Octavia. And then she totally blows her cover with Octavia by letting her guilty conscience show. Luckily, Atia easily recovers from her bouts of conscience when they attack, and she swears on all sorts of very Roman things to swear by that she didn’t do it.

Caesar’s declaration to Rome is basically, “Look, we all have bad days. If you were rebelling against me before, just don’t do it violently anymore. You can still hate me, that’s cool, but you’re not my enemy and you get to keep all your stuff.” Which is about 100% more user friendly than Pompey’s “Do it, or consequences” that’s going to end in crucifixion or some other horrible Roman thing.

Vorenus decides that he’s a traitor to Rome, so he’s going to desert the legion and go home and fix his marriage. He apologizes to Niobe for how he’s been treating her, and she tries to tell him about the whole “Hey, your grandson is actually my son with this other dude I’m still seeing,” but he shushes her up and tells her that the past is in the past.

As Caesar marches into Rome, Pullo goes back to find the girl being dragged behind the now untended ox cart. He finds her, and she’s barely alive. He also finds all the gold, and does what any man who finds an ox cart of gold would do: he jumps on that fucker and drives the oxen straight out of dodge, while Caesar’s weird sounding horns trumpet his return.

 My favorite part of the episode: It’s actually one of my favorite scenes of the series overall: Octavia and Atia arguing over whether or not Atia should get to slit Octavia’s throat in the event of impending rape/murder by the angry mob.

My least favorite part of the episode: It is so unfair that Glabius had to die, but nobody gets to be happy on this show. Even when they win, they’re not happy. Still, this put’s Octavia’s average at one shitty thing happening to her per episode.

Favorite costume: 

Pompey's wife, in a really pretty blue/gray veil thing with intricate metallic thread embroidery of flowers along the edges, and a stola made of some nave blue ridged material.

Team Atia or Team Servillia: Setting aside my feelings for her for the rest of the show, Servillia wins this round, for handling the equivalent of a nasty Facebook politics fight with her son with grace, while also sticking to her guns.

Favorite watch-a-long tweet:

What hairdo or costume would Bronwyn steal? I bet we had the same fave this episode. I’m going to ask her to help me make it (sans intricate embroidery, because I have no patience for that kind of thing).

Guess Jess’s head canon. “I have no need for your coital expertise.” –Vorenus, to Pullo. “Yes you do.” Jess, to the TV.

Now go check out Bronwyn’s and Jess’s posts, and join us two Monday’s from now (we’re taking the week off for American Thanksgiving) at 9 PM EST for season one, episode four, “Stealing From Saturn”. Tweet to #LegionXIII to join us!


#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!