Deus Impeditio Esuritori Nullus (No God Can Stop A Hungry Man)

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
Antony And Cleopatra
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Somewhere in Alexandria, Egypt, Vorenus lies awake in bed in the morning light. A woman with a curly mane of luxurious black hair is lying with her back to him. He gently wakes her, and Niobe rolls over and smiles at him, beautiful as ever. Which would explain why Indira Varma's name was in this week's opening credits. Instead of recoiling in horror at this vengeful revenant from the realm of the undead, Vorenus kisses her. But when he pulls back, she scowls and spews out something in a harsh-sounding language and an even harsher voice, like she's possessed. But the subtitles inform us that she's only telling him, "Took the sheet again, you hairy bastard." Vorenus finally wakes up enough to realize that he's in bed not with his resurrected wife, but with a hideous bald prostitute. Yikes. She sits up, complaining about his bad dreams, and plops her wig on her head. Top of the morning to you, too, lady. They climb out of bed and go to their respective basins. Yeah, good luck washing that sight out of your eyes, Vorenus. I don't think they've invented bleach yet, and even if they have, it's not going to be enough.

Vorenus heads out into the busy streets of Alexandria in his full Roman armor, tying his prefect's helmet on. The citizens nod respectfully to him as he passes. This is either because Romans in Egypt at this time enjoy special status, or because Vorenus has already scared the hell out of everyone in Egypt. I'm telling you right now that he's the only person in Roman armor we'll see all episode. He walks along the shore, turns right at the docks, and walks right into the royal compound as the gates are opened for him.

Inside the antechamber to the throne room, Vorenus finds Posca reclining on a couch with his hennaed feet up and his lips wrapped around a hookah. Posca is surprised to see that Vorenus has already finished his "monthly debauch." Rocking some thick Egyptian-style eyeliner, Posca claims that he's only smoking to settle his nerves. Vorenus asks where Antony is, and Posca says that he's physically in the throne room, having an audience with a Senator Bibulus and a delegation from Rome. As for why Posca's not in there with him, he says it's because Cleopatra growled at him, and he doesn't want to get killed. As Vorenus heads disapprovingly into the throne room, Posca claims, "It's not cowardice. Who would look after my wife?" That seems a little backward; I'd rather lose Jocasta than Posca any day.

In the throne room, Antony -- also working the hell out of the eyeliner look -- is giving Cleopatra, her court, and the Roman delegation a demonstration of hunting techniques. And also, simultaneously, a demonstration of how much he enjoys making out with Cleopatra, which seems to be quite a lot indeed. He's got a slave draped in a deer's head and pelt, and he makes the slave crawl up to a bowl of water on the floor like a buck taking a drink. While Antony aims a bow and arrow at him. Antony lets fly, but the arrow is either dull or not very fast, because it bounces off the leather armor they've deigned to allow the slave to wear. The court applauds Antony's marksmanship. Wearing an early version of Princess Leia's slave girl outfit, Cleopatra gets up into Antony's lap to take her turn. Just can't wait to wrap her fingers around that shaft. Bibulus, looking very formal in this debauched setting in his red-and-white Senator's robes, tries to get back to his point. Antony and Cleopatra rudely shush him so as not to scare the fake deer. Cleopatra takes a shot and hits a vase instead. She angrily claims that "the beast moved" (which is why she missed by two yards instead of five feet and eleven inches), and Antony gives her another arrow so that can try again. As she nocks it, Bibulus offers double the usual price for the next grain shipment if Antony guarantees delivery to Rome in the next month. Cleopatra's second arrow hits the wall in front of the terrified slave, and she demands, "Triple." Bibulus quickly agrees. So then Cleopatra demands, on top of the inflated price, Carthage for Antony. Bibulus reluctantly says that's possible. Antony smirks that Octavian must be desperate. Bibulus peevishly says that people are starving to death in Rome, and that Octavian will do what it takes to prevent more suffering. Cleopatra mockingly says that Octavian loves the people, and Antony gets to be her straight man, saying that nobody loves Octavian: "He could feed the people larks and oysters till they burst, and they would still love me more. Isn't that right, Vorenus?" Vorenus dutifully agrees. Bibulus just wants to be sure that they have an agreement, and Antony confirms it: "Triple rates, and Carthage. And Spain." Cleopatra gives him this hilarious "Whoa, get you!" face as Bibulus sputters that Antony's not getting Spain. Antony says there's no deal as Cleopatra looses her third arrow; this one goes right into the slave's neck. Antony congratulates his lover fulsomely: "Venison for dinner, then?" Antony and Cleopatra withdraw, leaving the Romans empty-handed and the deer-slave expiring messily on the floor. Vorenus mildly gives orders to have the body removed and says that he'll show the visiting Romans to their rooms. "Is he always like that?" Bibulus asks Vorenus. "Like what?" is Vorenus's response. It must suck to be so loyal all the time.

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