Rome
Testudo Et Lepus (The Tortoise And The Hare)

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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A New Man

Pullo, Vorenus, and the procurator enter a kitchen shack, where they quickly find an old woman making stew. Sitting next to the old woman, slowly peeling a turnip? Is Vorena the Younger. Vorenus goes to her, calling her "daughter," and telling her that he's her father. She doesn't seem to have much of a reaction, even when he hugs her fiercely and kisses her head. Aw. So much for being gentle, though. Vorenus looks up, and Little Lucius is there. Upon seeing his mother's husband, he drops a sack of grain that was too big for him to carry in the first place and stares at his mother's husband with frozen terror. Nobody says a word for a very long time. Vorenus goes to him, and the kid tries to make a break for it, but Vorenus grabs him by the shoulder. The silence stretches out. Vorenus holds him in place, trying to keep his glower steady, but after a couple of helpless Wookiee-like head-cocks, Vorenus finally sweeps the boy up into an emotional embrace. Again aw. Little Lucius looks at Vorenus in confusion, relief and joy. Or maybe the five-year-old actor is just thinking, "Do I have a line here?" After witnessing this protracted and emotional scene, the procurator makes a stunning deductive leap, protesting, "You're not slave-catchers!" It was probably a bad idea for him to remind Vorenus of his existence, such as it is. Still holding Little Lucius, Vorenus turns to the procurator and angrily asks, "Where's my daughter?" The other one, he means. Too bad the kids can't talk yet.

The procurator leads Vorenus and Pullo into the back area, if by "leads" you mean "gets roughly pushed ahead by." This part of the shack consists of a narrow hallway with curtained doors on either side, and it's pretty clear what goes on in this structure. Even before a large man comes out of one doorway. Vorenus looks inside the alcove to find a nearly naked woman washing herself off with a damp cloth. Vorenus hears a noise from the alcove across the hall, and as the procurator shakes his head sadly (instead of running, which is what I'd be doing), Vorenus barges into this other cubicle to find a man removing his tunic. Looking past the man, he sees his elder daughter staring through a crack in the wall, clad in a raggedy dress. Vorenus's shocked reaction is wordless, hers expressionless as she turns to stare back at him. But thank the gods he got here before anything improper happened, right?

The procurator is the first to emerge from the back hall, but he immediately collapses on the floor. As the opening theme song starts up again, Vorenus leads his older daughter out by the hand. Pullo stoops to retrieve a knife from the procurator's neck, and then scoops up Vorena the Younger in one arm. At the door, he catches up with Vorenus, who's now carrying Little Lucius in his free arm, and the five of them leave together. And the Vorenus family is back together again. Except with a new wife, of course. The old woman turns from her stew to nudge the procurator's body with her foot. Who's going to peel the turnips now?

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Rome

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