As for Pompey: instead of thinking about shaving Caesar, he's having a rich feast in his tent, listening while his inner circle talks about how they'll divide up the provinces among their supporters. Pompey warns, "We are cooking rabbits that have not been caught." Cato, who's gotten hold of a rather plain breastplate to wear over what looks like an old black t-shirt, points out that the rabbit is "cornered, starving, and has lost near two thousand men." Pompey asks Brutus what's bringing him down, and Brutus explains that, while he won't suffer tyrants, Caesar was once like a father to him. "I feel for you," Cato says. "When do we strike?" Porcius Cato, grief counselor. Pompey says that they've pretty much finished striking; they just need to keep Caesar pinned down for a month or so until the remains of his army disintegrates. But the others around the table aren't on board with that plan, insisting that honor requires them to prevail by force. Poor Pompey. He finally gets over his stupid overconfidence, and his guys just push him back in.
Back home, the Town Crier's doing his thing. "News! From! Greece!" he headlines. He announces that although Mark Antony is safe, most of the ships sent to help Caesar were lost at sea, and now Caesar is outnumbered and surrounded: "The forces of the Republic and Senate and of Pompey Magnus confidently expect a decisive victory to follow shortly." Of course, it's easy to forget that, back then, the only way for news to travel from Greece to Rome was for someone to physically carry it, so by the time this is being announced, Pompey's "decisive victory" has already happened. Or, you know, whatever else might have occurred, not to give anything away. But I don't really have a problem with a little timeline-futzing in the interest of making the events seem roughly contemporaneous. However, when I start thinking of how a lot of the other stuff in this episode could have happened in less time than it would have taken Vorenus and Pullo to dehydrate to death, I get a headache. Anyway, Julii Cooper is being carried past the Town Crier in a litter, and she listens to the news with interest. No doubt merely because it affects her directly.
Julii Cooper arrives home and finds Octavia feeding a bird on a perch. (The bird's on a perch, I mean, not Octavia.) Julii Cooper bitches at her daughter about the poor protection force that Timon arranged for her. And with Caesar soon to be dead, "[they] may as well be lying naked in the street." Octavia, accustomed by now to her mother's drama-empress ways, doesn't bother looking up from her bird-feeding until Julii Cooper sends her to go ask Servilia for some of her men to beef up security. "Why?" Octavia asks. Julii Cooper explains again about the need for extra manpower, but Octavia means why does she have to be the one to do it. "Well, as if I would go begging to Servilia? I think not." I love her "I'm above it, but you're not" attitude. As does Octavia, except not. Julii Cooper thinks Servilia would never refuse after the lovely gifts she sent. Octavia remembers that visit and looks away, embarrassed. Julii Cooper asks, "Why, what did she say?" What, she didn't already debrief Octavia the minute she walked in the door last time? I think not. Octavia insists that Servilia said nothing. "You're very arrogant, that's all," she says. "Think you can buy her friendship with stud slaves and tortoises?" "And six barrels of ice," Julii Cooper reminds her. In any case, Octavia's not on board. Julii Cooper whines, "You'd rather be gang-raped by slavering proles while your mother's house burns down around you?" Octavia claims to be past caring. She complains about Julii Cooper's attitude constantly changing with Caesar's fortunes and says, "I just want this vile war to be over, one way or the other." Julii Cooper says that the war is over, and that's why Octavia has to go to Servilia. Where do these poor people get their spoilers?