Death Mask

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
Screw My Mother-In-Law

Cut to the wedding, which is much fancier and better attended than the previous one. Also, it's not in a stableyard. As flower petals are flung about willy-nilly, Antony recites his vow: "When and where you are Gaia, then and there I am Gaius." Julii Cooper stands next to her daughter as the response comes. "When and when you are Gaius, then and there I am Gaia," says...Octavia. She looks like she's in shock. So does Antony. Julii Cooper looks like she's just trying to keep it together as the priest begins reciting Latin, as priests do on this show. Octavian takes his place in front of the happy couple and joins their hands together, looking quietly pleased with himself. He's the only one. Agrippa, in the front row, looks as miserable as anyone as the non-speaking members of the crowd clap and cheer.

Later, during the reception, Agrippa pouts against a post as he watches the unhappy couple sit at their receiving line. Maecenas brings Agrippa a drink and asks him why he's so bummed. Agrippa pleads a headache, when in fact his real pain is much lower. Wait, not that much lower. Pervs. Maecenas gleefully expresses sympathy toward Julii Cooper: "I always thought her attachment to Antony was purely practical, but look at her. I think the old girl's genuinely in love with him." Agrippa wonders why Octavian arranged this marriage, and Maecenas explains that a match between Antony and Octavia is more likely to produce an heir. Agrippa insists that it's wrong. Maecenas cautions Agrippa not to act like he's in love with Octavia, and claps him on the back while Agrippa wonders if he's really busted, or if his friend is only kidding, or if he even cares.

Meanwhile, Julii Cooper is looking more and more down as she watches her new son-in-law greeting the guests. A slave offers her a piece of wedding cake, and she says, "I'd rather eat shit." Octavian comes up behind her and helps not at all by asking Julii Cooper to look beyond her own selfish needs: "I couldn't very well let you marry Antony. Everyone knows you were lovers. The public would assume it was a marriage of sentiment, of lust." Certainly couldn't have that. "Whereas this marriage is clearly a political statement of unity," Octavian finishes. Because the last time she smacked her son she started a war, Julii Cooper simply leaves without another word.

Julii Cooper holds it together until she reaches her bedchamber, where she angrily hurls herself on the bed and throws pillows around and so forth. Antony follows her in to say that their guests will wonder where she is. "Well, our guests can go fuck themselves," says Julii Cooper, turning her back to him. Given the setting, I'm not sure that's a figure of speech in this case. Antony dismisses Merula with a look, and tells Antony that Octavian gave him no choice. Julii Cooper mocks him for obeying her son, and accuses Antony, "You love power more than you love me." Antony doesn't bother to deny it, instead saying that they're two different things. He claims that the marriage changes nothing between them, but when he tries to reach for her, she won't have it: "First you betray me and now you propose to betray my daughter!" Antony gets it, and withdraws, figuring that Julii Cooper just broke up with him for good. I am glad to say that my relationship with my own mother-in-law is considerably less fraught.

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