Stealing From Saturn

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: C | 1 USERS: B+
Toga Parties

Out by the stables, Caesar has just finished writing on a scroll, which he hands to Posca, which Posca slips into the boot of Quintus, who's tied to a horse as instructed. Quintus is even tied to the top of the horse, in yet another magnanimous gesture on Caesar's part. What a gentleman. Mark Antony advises that Caesar will regret leaving Quintus alive. Caesar says that Quintus won't be the only one, and instructs Mark Antony to go with Pullo to get the gold. Caesar stands and calls, "Legionary Pullo!" Pullo stands at attention before Caesar, who tells him, "You are a thief. A foolish, incompetent thief. But you have served us well in the past, so we will pretend your foolishness is a species of honesty and let you go unpunished." He'll even reward Pullo: "I do not like to quarrel with fortune, and clearly she's taken you for a pet." A fellow pet, you mean, Fido. He tells a disappointed Mark Antony to give Pullo a hundred gold pieces when they find the gold. "As you wish," Antony grumbles. Quintus and Pullo are sent on their way, but before Mark Antony follows, Caesar has one other order: "Never question my judgment in the presence of our enemies. You have a good memory, so you will remember that." Antony -- realizing that this is about as close to a threat as Caesar ever gets -- shamefacedly promises to remember. Caesar dismisses him.

The great man is then left alone in the stableyard, aside from his servants, guards, and Octavian Camden, who's just shown himself. "Why do you frown, little owl?" Caesar asks. Maybe it's that nickname. But Octavian merely agrees with Mark Antony that a truce isn't the right move. "Depends on the terms," Caesar coaches. Right away, Octavian realizes that Caesar offered terms Pompey can't accept, but that the Senate can. Caesar begins to compliment Octavian's quick thinking, but abruptly freezes in his tracks. Out of nowhere, Posca swoops in to wrap his arms around the motionless Caesar, urgently telling Octavian to take them someplace out of sight. Octavian quickly leads them to a small pantry, where they unceremoniously dump the staring man onto a pile of flour sacks like he's just one more of them. That part's more shocking than the actual attack, I think. Octavian thinks that Caesar's poisoned, but Posca explains, "It's the Morbus Comitialis." Which is ancient Roman for epilepsy, I take it. Apparently, opinions vary as to whether Caesar actually had epilepsy or if it was just a rumor. I guess we know where this show stands on the issue. And on the issue of one other rumor, which is about to be born in another moment. Posca tells Octavian to shut the door, but Octavian is too slow to prevent the kitchen maid -- Demeter, I think, but it's really dark and that other scene she was in was kind of a long time ago -- to see that someone's in there. As Posca jams a stick between Caesar's teeth, Octavian wonders if they should get a doctor. Posca says it has to remain a secret: "No one will follow a man whom Apollo has cursed with the Morbus." Well, except these two, obviously. Caesar's got himself worked up into a nice little grand mal by now.

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