An Owl In A Thornbush

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We're On A Mission From Caesar

Niobe looks out over the matte painting of the darkened city from her window, singing a lullaby to the baby in her arms.

Pullo and Vorenus lie on their backs next to their campfire, under the stars. Pullo, trying to measure the size of a star by peering through a tiny gap between his thumb and index finger, asks what the stars are. Vorenus confidently says, "Holes in the celestial spheres." Now feel free to page back to that gag about Caesar's helmet from earlier. I'll wait here while you laugh. Vorenus adds, "Holes through which the light of the heavens shines." He adds that the stars are big. "They only seem small to us because they're hundreds of miles away." Heh. Pullo asks if a man could climb through one, and Vorenus says sure, but a man could never get up there in the first place. Pullo suggests holding onto a giant bird. Vorenus snickers that it doesn't work that way, but he's out of his depth when Pullo asks why not. "It's philosophy," he says. "It's hard to explain." Meanwhile, any modern-day philosophers watching this wonder what went wrong in the last two thousand years that led to them sitting around and thinking while physicists get to play with the cool supercolliders and stuff. Vorenus rolls over to go to sleep, and Pullo goes back to doing the "I'm crushing your head" thing with Alpha Centauri. Aw, Pullo's getting deep. How cute.

Remember how I said in the very first recap that every street scene on this show was probably going to be a crowd scene? Well, now the show mocks me by presenting shots of several streets in a row, including the Forum, all without a soul in sight. Shut up, show. This isn't over between us.

At Julii Cooper's place, some tubby little merchant and his wife are literally prostrating themselves before the lady of the house, begging for protection. Julii thinks he's with the Pompeyan faction, but the guy points out that Pompey's homies have already left. Julii rather coldly accuses the guy of sticking around because he's afraid of having his stores and factories looted in his absence. Julii Cooper calls Castor over and whispers in his ear, and Castor pronounces, "Five thousand dinarii." I like how the implied taboo against women speaking of money is barely obeyed there. The merchant balks at the figure and looks like he's about to negotiate, but Julii Cooper breathlessly says, "Please, let's not be vulgar." Sometimes, on the other hand, that taboo comes in handy. The couple is ushered out as the merchant says he'll make the arrangements.

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