An Owl In A Thornbush

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We're On A Mission From Caesar

Julii receives the entreaties of another suitor for her protection, but she's not impressed, since it's been a while since she saw him at her morning levy, whatever that is. She gives him an out, asking if it's because he's not feeling well due to goiters. He grabs at the excuse. "Fat, greedy men often find it so," Julii Cooper remarks lightly, and promises, "I shall kill an owl that your good health continue." Exit suitor. Just then, a female servant comes in to whisper into Julii's ear. "Speak sense, creature," Julii snaps, but no more is forthcoming. Julii wraps a shawl around herself and heads to her front door to see for herself what's going on. As if she doesn't already know.

Julii Cooper comes out of the gate already raging at the guys who have brought a corpse to her door. "Take it away!" she yells angrily. But, just as she hoped, Octavia is right behind her, reacting in shock at the sight of Glabius laid out on a wagon and looking like he's been dead for about a week. Seriously, they should call him Graybius now, because that's what color he is. He must have bled out real good. "See what you have done?" Julii hisses at the corpsemen, and they abandon their burden in front of her door, wagon and all, while Octavia weeps into the face of her exsanguinated ex.

Vorenus leads his regrouped men along the lane where the peasant girl was abducted. Further along, the lane is lined by trees on both sides, and the city of Rome itself is visible not far beyond. It's pretty. And, on the small screen I use for recapping, quite convincing. Vorenus realizes that his worst fears are realized: "The Republic has fallen." Pullo sarcastically points out that "the sky is still above us and the earth's still below. Strange." Vorenus -- who's really going to have to learn when he's being made fun of if he's going to keep hanging around Pullo -- says that the gods will "take their time in tormenting us." Yeah, they're still not done, dudeus. Pullo suggests they go back to inspect the wagon and untie the peasant girl. Vorenus firmly reminds him of their orders to "advance until resistance is met...You will do your duty." Pullo says, "You are a mean bastard, that's your problem. No love in you. You can talk sweet as you want to Niobe. It won't do you any good. She won't believe a word." Vorenus, rather than repossessing that plate he paid to have put in Pullo's skull, just rides on in annoyance.

Julii Cooper fusses over Octavia, who appears to have fainted and is now in bed. Octavia wakes up, asking, "Oh, it was not a dream, then? Glabius is dead?" Julii Cooper confirms it, and comforts Octavia. It's quite a performance. Octavia looks at her mother sadly. Julii Cooper draws back and demands to know why Octavia is looking at her like that. Octavia has no idea what Julii Cooper's talking about. "As if I--" Julii Cooper begins. "Did you?" Octavia demands. Julii Cooper puts on a big show of being hurt and crosses the room in anger. "Look at me!" Octavia orders, and Julii Cooper turns to her daughter as if she would do so for any reason on Earth other than her own. She returns to Octavia's bed and says to her face, "I swear on the masks of all my ancestors that I had nothing -- nothing to do with the killing of Glabius." Her ancestors must not have been big mask-wearers. Having successfully headed off Octavia's suspicions at the pass, she finds herself grabbed into a hug by her daughter. But the tender moment is interrupted by Octavian, who's standing in the doorway eavesdropping. "Who do you think did it, Mother?" he asks disingenuously. Julii Cooper says it could have been anyone. "Why, it could have been someone in this very room! Inspector, lock the doors!" No, she doesn't.

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