Pompey's got Caesar right where he wants him: outnumbered, surrounded, desperate, weak, and trapped. The final battle is at hand. Naturally, Pompey loses, because that's what he does. Pompey himself survives, but his coalition shatters as Cato goes his own way and Cicero and Brutus surrender themselves to Caesar, who's all happy about another chance to do his "magnanimous in victory" dance. Stranded on an island in the middle of the sea that's little more than a sandbar, Vorenus and Pullo show us all what wussy wimps the people on Lost really are. Seriously, do you see Michael using bloated corpses for pontoons? Let alone a fair portion of the deck? You do not. Anyway, they wash up on another beach right in front of Pompey, who reluctantly takes them in while his greatly diminished party is fleeing to Egypt. Meanwhile, back in the city this show is nominally about, Julii Cooper is still using Octavia to suck up to Servilia. But Octavia's loyalties may soon be in question, seeing as how she and Servilia are now having of the sex. You heard me. And Niobe and Lyde make up, for no apparent reason other than to give the former some screen time. Vorenus has a chance to capture Pompey, but decides against it. He and an irate Pullo return to Caesar empty-handed instead. Caesar gets madder than we've ever seen him at being denied his best "magnanimous in victory" dance ever, but refrains from punishing two men who so clearly have the writers on their side. Except he says "gods" instead of "writers." Pompey reaches Egypt safely, but before he can set foot on dry land, he's betrayed and quite unambiguously killed. It was nice to be unspoiled for that. And of course by "unspoiled" I mean "almost completely ignorant of Roman history." I'm learning, though. And isn't this show really just out to educate us a little? Between the lesbian love scenes, I mean?
You know how beaches on TV are always white, sandy, and pristine? This one isn't, so much. The sand is a muddy brown, littered with seashells and bits of wood and canvas and dead guys (and bits of dead guys), all along the high tide line for hundreds of yards. Worst tourist brochure ever. But it looks welcome enough for the two figures who are struggling up from the surf towards dry land. And if you haven't figured out that I'm talking about Vorenus and Pullo, take some time to go back and read the last six recaps. They collapse, exhausted, onto the beach. And then we get a nice aerial shot of the place they've fetched up, which is a low, narrow atoll that can't be more than a mile long. Nothing but beach to the place, really. Cozy.
Hey, we haven't had a subtitle in a while. This one reads "Caesar's camp in Greece." Notice how we don't get a date this time. Which is understandable, since the season started in 52 B.C. and the episode ends with an event that my research (read "Google") tells me occurred in 48 B.C. I hope it's not giving away too much to say that. The producers are clearly keeping the audience on a need-to-know basis as regards the timeline. Anyway, Vorenus and Pullo would no doubt be disappointed to learn that, had they reached their intended destination, they would now be feasting richly upon campfire-roasted rat and enjoying the ambience provided by the screams of wounded men. Nice charred stump, there, dudeus. How'd you get that before the invention of gunpowder? ["A really specific curse?" -- Wing Chun] Posca's out among the men, ladling water from a pot over a fire and carrying it toward Caesar's tent...
...where the conqueror is poring over maps and trying to figure out his next move with Mark Antony. So obviously Mark Antony's ship made it safely across the Adriatic; otherwise, I probably wouldn't have heard about him before seeing this show. Posca announces that he's ready to conduct Caesar's ablutions, only to be ignored. He points out, "Maps never redraw themselves, if that's what you're waiting for." I like Posca. I'm glad Mark Antony didn't kill him to prevent him from tattling. Caesar chuckles, because a sassy slave is always welcome when you find yourself in real-life checkmate. Mark Antony agrees with Posca that they'll just have to stand and fight. "And beat them," Caesar adds. Mark Antony goes along with this, but the falsity of his bravado becomes apparent the moment Caesar turns his back on him. "Maybe 'wicked old harpy' was a little harsh," he thinks to himself. Mark Antony leaves the boss to his shave. "Try to avoid bloodshed this time," Caesar warns Posca. I don't know how that expanse gets shorn without a riding lawn mower in the first place. "Wait a while and Pompey can shave you instead," Posca sasses. Pompey's pretty old, though. He might not want to commit that kind of time.