Servilia is still parked outside Julii Cooper's house, the ashes now forming a peaked mound at the top of her head while the business of the city goes on around her. Antony and his entourage boisterously approach the front door, but he always has time to take a moment to note the presence of an eminent personage. And mock her. "Is she putting down roots?" he snickers to a sidekick, heading inside.
Julii Cooper is in bed, trying unsuccessfully to tune Servilia out. Antony finds her with a pillow over her head and chuckles, "How goes your day? Mine went extremely well." Julii bitches about how unfair it is that Servilia is putting this on Julii, since Julii didn't kill Brutus; by rights, Servilia should be camped outside Antony's house instead. He advises her to go out and let Servilia vent for a while. Julii Cooper refuses, and Antony tells her that Servilia won't leave until she's had her say. Or runs out of ashes, whichever comes first.
Outside the Aventine Collegium, Pullo is passing by the soup line when he spots an old guy he thinks looks familiar. The man offers a clay token, which are presumably exchangeable for food, and Pullo thinks it's a fake, going on to accuse the old guy of not living on the Aventine. Pullo runs him off empty-handed and empty-bellied. As he goes around the corner, the old man passes by Gaia, who's just sitting on the steps fanning herself next to the woodpile. Eirene comes out and finds her this way, and gets pissed that Gaia hasn't brought in the wood like she's supposed to. Isn't "bringing in wood" supposed to be the prostitutes' job? Gaia blows her off, says that she's "busy," and generally acts so insolent that Eirene picks up a handy stick of firewood to smack Gaia with. Gaia threatens to shove it down Eirene's throat. Thinking better of trying to deliver a thumping in her delicate condition, Eirene drops the stick and tells Gaia, "You'll be sorry. My husband will beat you in pulp." Ah, you can never go wrong with funny-talking foreigners. Eirene stomps off, and Gaia finally gets up, but only to spit on the ground where Eirene was just standing. Was there quite this much spitting last season? I don't remember that there was.
In Vorenus's office, Pullo tosses a couple more of those fake clay tokens on the boss's desk, saying that half the people in the soup line have them. "Well made," Vorenus mildly declares, like the craftsmanship is the issue. They both figure it's Memmio trying to fuck with them, and when Pullo asks what they're going to do about it, Vorenus tells him, "Nothing." Pullo doesn't get it. Vorenus explains, "Memmio is greedy and dishonest. Nothing we can do can change that. If he thinks he's deceiving us, then he's happy. And I want everyone to be happy. That's how we keep the peace." Well, consider me glued to my chair for the rest of the season. I can see the promo now: "NEXT SUNDAY...GANGS REMAIN CONTENT...MORE PEACE IS KEPT..." and so on. Riveting. When Pullo protests that Memmio is basically stealing, Vorenus says that they're still fulfilling their original mission of feeding hungry people, no matter where they happen to live. And then Eirene bursts in, angrily telling Pullo to "beat her dead!" Pullo asks what this is about, and Eirene tells him about Gaia's insubordination. "Then she say she gonna chook me with a steak!" she adds. Vorenus gets up out of his chair to conceal his mirth at these nutty women, especially the one who can't seem to say "choke me with a stick" properly. Pullo asks what Eirene did to provoke Gaia's threat, which is such the wrong thing to say, on so many levels. After Eirene storms out, Pullo asks Vorenus what he should do. Vorenus is no help, as Pullo complains that it's awkward for him to go beat up Mascius's girlfriend. Plus there's Pullo's little crush on Gaia, which he keeps to himself but of course we all know better. "It's a puzzle, all right," Vorenus says unsympathetically, pouring them each a drink. Pullo wonders if Mascius would be willing to do the beating for Pullo, but we know from earlier that Mascius is out on business until next month. Pullo wonders if Vorenus would do it. Vorenus says he will if Pullo wants, knowing damn well that Pullo won't dodge his responsibility like that. And of course he's right, as Pullo sucks it up and resolves to do the right thing. Wait, did I just say "do the right thing" in reference to Pullo beating up a woman? This show's morality fucks with my head sometimes. "Marriage, eh?" Vorenus philosophizes. "It's complicated." So hard to keep track of whom to beat up and when. Pullo thinks pregnancy "drives them a little mad." Vorenus doesn't disagree. The Romans probably could have used a god of hormones. "To a boy," he toasts, and they clink glasses. I'm glad that, in this culture, Pullo would prefer to have a child of the sex that delivers beatings instead of the one that receives them.