Caesar's got himself a couple of problems. The first is that, while pursuing Pompey in Greece, he's suddenly, at long last, outnumbered. He writes to Mark Antony for help, which is where his second problem comes into play: Antony isn't exactly rushing to the rescue. Things are going pretty nicely for Mark Antony, after all, running Rome and living in Pompey's house and staging naked catfights with real swords and so on. Mark Antony's disloyalty irritates Vorenus, even though Vorenus's life is going pretty nicely as well, now that Pullo has taken care of the Evander/Lyde problem and Niobe's being all kinds of attentive to her husband. But then Julii Cooper ruins everything for everybody, as she does. She has Pullo get Octavian laid, and then kicks Octavian out of the city for his own safety, now that he's suddenly a "man of the Julii." She sends Octavia to Servilia with a peace offering, which gives Servilia an opening to start sowing a little familial discord. And in encouraging Mark Antony to abandon Caesar to his fate, Julii ends up inciting him to do the opposite. So Vorenus is off to Greece with the army after all. That is, if he and Pullo don't end up at the bottom of the sea first.
This episode was directed by Alan Poul. Ah, so we meet again.
The little slave boy that Vorenus brought home last episode is all crammed up in some kind of little cabinet with barely enough space for him and the camera. The sad music of poor-little-slave-boy- who-has-a-smaller- living-space-than- Harry-Potter plays as mysterious footsteps rustle around outside the box. The boy listens and looks around like he's waiting to be taken out and used, or perhaps beaten, or perhaps even used in a beating. And then the lid on the hamper is lifted, and he and Vorenus's younger daughter scream at each other. The boy hops out and the kids chase each other around the courtyard adorably, because being a slave isn't so bad when you're owned by the Vorenii. Even when playing hide and seek with one of them, she'll hold up the lid for you so you can make your escape when she could tag you at any moment. Somebody lacks her dad's killer instinct.
Upstairs, Niobe is lacing up Vorenus's uniform sandals, and he suggests that they go away for a little trip. While Niobe appreciates the thought, she insists that her sister Lyde needs her. And indeed, we see Lyde moping over the kitchen table in the other room. Niobe timelines that Evander's been missing for two months (which also explains why the slave boy isn't limping anymore), and that they're starting to think something bad has happened. "Very likely something bad has happened," Vorenus says loudly. "Very likely he is DEAD!" Vorenus stomps past a now-sobbing Lyde. Sure, get her all worked up right before you leave. I've done that with other people's dogs, but never their grief-stricken sisters. In the passageway from the courtyard to the street, he toe-nudges a sleeping Pullo, who apparently is no longer allowed to crash on the stairs. Lyde must be sleeping there now. Vorenus says that Pullo needs to wake up so that they can get to work. "Mump off and die, you pigfucker," Pullo grumbles in his sleep. ["Sounds like someone's got a case of the Mondays!" -- Wing Chun]
We skip right past whatever ugly smackdown may have ensued to Pullo dunking his head in a basin to wake up. It appears to work, more or less. He and a glowering Vorenus head out, but not before J. No wordlessly sends Pullo off with a bit of bread. Pullo thanks her, which Vorenus advises against. "Bad for discipline," he snaps. Noticing that Vorenus's customary bad mood has been replaced by an even worse mood, Pullo asks if it's Niobe. "I don't understand her," Vorenus grumbles. "All the hoo over her sister's damn husband." Pullo starts to say that maybe Niobe is...something, but before he can reach an adjective, Vorenus is right up in his face. "I dunno. Women," Pullo finishes lamely, and follows his superior officer to work, wishing that somebody would hurry the fuck up and invent coffee already. Because hanging around with Lucius Cantankerus is starting to get a little nervous-making. Only one of them is wearing armor and full weaponry to work every day, after all.