Rome
Philippi

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M. Giant: A | Grade It Now!
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Brutus is hanging out in Cassius's tent, sprawled out on the couch and admiring the signet ring that Servilia sent him in the last episode. Annoyed, Cassius asks what the deal is with the ring, but his attitude changes when he hears it belonged to Brutus's father and was sent along by his mother. "It's a good fit," he up-sucks. This sensitive moment is interrupted when a soldier enters with the news that scouts have sighted the enemy. "At last," Brutus says, sitting up in excitement. The bad news is that it's not just Octavian; the scouts also spotted Antony's oh-so-scary Heron standard. They're facing at least nineteen legions. "To our fourteen," Brutus says sadly. "The worm turns." Cassius asks how far away they are, and the solider tells them a day's march. Cassius gives the order to muster the men, break camp, and start the retreat, but Brutus kiboshes that. "No more running," he tells Cassius. "We will meet them here tomorrow. If we win, all the more glory for us. And if we are to die, this is as good a place as any. It's in the hands of the gods now. We have the upper ground." Cassius isn't too jazzed about dying because Brutus is bored of constantly retreating, but he agrees. "As he says," Cassius tells the solider, who leaves the tent with no orders of any kind.

The subtitle for the next scene tells us we're in Philippi, Northern Greece. On a wide plain, we see -- get this -- thousands of soldiers arrayed against one another. I'm sure they're all CGI, but I don't even give a shit at this point. This show has been dodging battles ever since showing us that claustrophobic woodland skirmish in the opening scene of the whole series, and now it's finally going to pay off. Or else the show's combat choreographers got tired of running away as well. The camera slowly travels through the ranks, finally finding Brutus on horseback next to Cassius, both men in extravagantly plumed helmets. Brutus suddenly remembers that it's Cassius's birthday. He shakes his friend's hand, wishes him a happy birthday, and apologizes that there's no cake. Cassius says Brutus can bake him an extra big one next year: "No cinnamon. Makes me sneeze." Something tells me Cassius won't have to worry about it.

On the other side, a clean-shaven Antony and Octavian are commemorating the historic moment with similarly mundane concerns. "If you need to urinate, now would be the time," Antony advises his young sidekick. Octavian stiffly says he's fine. In his element, Antony tells Octavian to watch closely: "This is how history is made. Now, let's have some fun." Not that it'll be very much fun for the millions of pixels about to give their lives, but it's not a general's job to worry about that. He raises and lowers one hand, and the tribune in front of his horse bellows, "Advaaaaaance!" Antony's front rank lowers its spears, and his army begins the short march forward.

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Rome

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