The next morning, a woman walks past a rooster and...sticks something into a Wheel of Fortune-type wall outside. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say it was a calendar of some sort, but I don't know. Look, if I had to make another Roman house out of sugar cubes, we'd be okay, but otherwise, I'm recapping blind here with the Romans. Anyhoodle, Pullo stumbles into Vorenus's house and falls on the ground, brains all falling out of him, as the cock crows. Tee hee. Cock. I am twelve. Vorenus yells at Niobe to run and get a doctor.
In the next scene, Pullo gets something extracted from his brain and a steel plate put into his head on Niobe's kitchen table. While he's conscious. And the whole town watches. And that is all I can say without losing consciousness myself.
So, I'm pretending I never saw the inside of his head, right? We're all on board with that, okay? Thank you. Anyway, Pullo is all bandaged up in Vorenus's bed. The doctor packs up his primitive instruments and gives Vorenus instructions. Apparently, among the things Pullo can look forward to in the wake of his brain surgery is "copious pus -- first putrid, then wholesome." Those are words I hope never, never to hear. But apparently, "that will be all to the good." Vorenus pays the doctor, who also suggests offending "a white rabbit" to Spes.
As for Niobe, she's really very cranky about having to clean the surgery detritus off her kitchen table, as one would be. Vorenus's statement that "it's only blood, it will wash" doesn't seem to help, as she gets very naggy with him while he's trying to leave to attend to some mysterious business. "I understand that you are upset, but I will ask you, do not question me in thattone," he hisses at her. She pulls a face and goes back to cleaning table. "Tone," she mutters after he leaves. "MY FATHER'S COCK. How's THAT for tone?" she yells after him. Well, I'd say it was pretty sassy, young lady.
Vorenus checks on his slaves. They seem fairly unhappy, since they are, you know, enslaved. They are also not ready to be sold, according to the slavekeeper, because they're too skinny. Or something. I have to admit, I have no idea what happened in this scene, since I was very distracted by the slavekeeper's outfit, which looked like he was wearing a wicker trash bucket on his head for a hat.
Over at....gladiator practice or something, Pompey is watching his slaves duke it out. Enter Cicero. I've been having trouble telling him and Cato apart, but I think I've finally realized that Cicero is the kinda fey, younger one, while Cato acts like a crabby old woman. After some yapping, Cicero gets down to business. He wants to know what's up with the whole Caesar hoo-ha. What's the plan? What are they doing to control their little problem? Pompey explains that tomorrow, in the Senate, "Scipio" will propose an ultimatum to Caesar. He wants Cicero to support this ultimatum and make his friends do the same. Cicero, of course, asks what, exactly, the ultimatum is. I don't even need to hear it to know that it's not going to work. Men never respond to ultimatums. If only the Romans had had Cosmo. It appears that everyone would have likewise enjoyed the sex tips. Anyway, the ultimatum is that Caesar must disband his men immediately and return for trial, or be considered an enemy of the state. "But he cannot accept that, not without dishonor," Cicero wisely points out. "He will fight at any cost. You are declaring war!" Pompey chuckles that Caesar won't have to refuse OR accept, because he's quite sure Marc Antony will use the Golden Power of Veto to overturn the ultimatum. Cicero then speaks for the television audience and asks what the hell they're talking about. Well, more or less. Pompey explains that this whole thing will basically function as a vote of no confidence. If the Senate votes against him, Caesar will know he is all alone. "Of course, anything but an overwhelming vote causes Caesar to think he still has friends and hope," Pompey adds, giving Cicero a pointed look. Cicero thinks. "I am no friend to Caesar, nor any tyrant," he says, but adds that he cannot vote for a proposal he doesn't want to see realized: "It would be...irreligious." So Pompey gets all up in his grill and says that unless he gets full backing of the Senate, he will sail for Spain and leave EVERYONE to their own defenses against Caesar. In other words, if Pompey doesn't get his way, he is taking his toys and going home. Cicero gives him a sort of "You are making trouble for everyone, you big baby, and lo, it troubles me" sort of look. And scene.