Oh, gods, where to start? Besides Caesar's big party in the forum, I mean. Well, Pullo has decided he's in love with his slave girl, J. No, so with Vorenus's help, he's going to free her and marry her. Brutus and Cicero are still feeling guilty about surrendering to Caesar, and their consciences aren't exactly soothed when they have to make a motion in the Senate that Caesar be granted absolute power. Vorenus is also conflicted about his campaign for magistrate when he learns that the fix is in and his victory is a foregone conclusion, but Posca talks him into staying in the "race." As for Brutus, his situation is further complicated by the fact that an increasingly bitter Servilia is still very much not on the Caesar train, and has in fact taken Pompey's son Quintus under her wing. And then, with the help of Quintus and a new character named Cassius, she's published a scorching anti-Caesar manifesto under Brutus's name. Awkward. Octavia's run away to join a cult and take up cutting, so her brother goes to retrieve her. Once she's home, it almost looks like Julii Cooper wants a taste of that as well. There is spooning. And Pullo's love story ends in tears: no sooner has he freed J. No than he learns that she is engaged to another of Vorenus's slaves. Pullo murders the poor guy on the spot, exchanges some harsh words with Vorenus, and is banished from the house of Vorenii, evidently for good. So then he goes and gets drunk and Erastes Fulmen offers him a job. Pullo's still keeping the secret of Little Lucius to himself, though. Maybe he forgot.
This week's episode begins with a rather startling visual: the camera pans along the packed Senate chamber, fading in so slowly that for a moment the mostly-white robes of the Senators look like they're in grainy monochrome footage from a pre-World War II newsreel from Berlin or something. Wonder if that was intentional. In keeping with the death-of-democracy theme, Brutus and Cicero are sitting next to each other and whispering about the impending demise of the Republic. Brutus is philosophical, saying that they must all be reconciled with Caesar for the good if Rome. Cicero doesn't think there's much "good of Rome" left, and Baldwins that as soon as they're done with "this farce," he's moving to the country: "It's the only honorable thing to do." Brutus grins mirthlessly that if they had any honor in the first place, they'd be with Scipio and Cato in the afterlife. Yeah, when you put it that way, honor is really overrated.
Caesar enters the chamber and parks his Consular carcass in one of the two chairs on the dais at the front of the room. Mark Antony, who followed him to the doorway and hung back for a moment, motions to the two pages with him, and the empty seat next to Caesar is carried away. Caesar may indeed be magnanimous in victory, but he's merciless about clubbing people over the head with symbolism. Mark Antony takes his seat among the Senators as the meeting is called to order. The old guy with the voice of Dr. Claw immediately gives the floor to Cicero, who overcomes his misery to rise and hold his hands up in an orator's pose. Cicero gives a brief but flowery speech, basically advancing the motion that Caesar be given absolute power over Rome for ten years. Yeah, I'd say the honor train has sailed on Cicero. Caesar looks expectantly around the chamber, his hands in his lap, until a smattering of applause arises. Caesar next looks at Brutus, who looks back, and then takes his turn. "As some of you know," Brutus begins informally, "Caesar and I have had our disagreements." He smiles as winningly as possible, considering that he's even British in the orthodontic sense. Senators chuckle obligingly. Brutus stretches it out a little long, but finally says that since Caesar's proved himself to be a good guy in victory, Brutus is pledging his loyalty. He asks his colleagues to do the same, and commends Cicero's motion. This time, the applause is quicker and more comprehensive. Dr. Claw announces that the motion has passed unanimously. Caesar rises from his seat to give his own speech. The gist of it is that although many of the people now present once wanted Caesar dead, he bears no grudges, and only asks them to join him in building a new Rome for the good of all citizens. "Oppose me," he finishes, "and Rome will not forgive you a second time." He lets the threat hang there for a moment, and then announces, "Senators! The war is over." Brutus leads the Senate in a standing ovation. Caesar steps off the dais to greet the Senators in the center of the chamber. The long embrace he shares with Brutus is good for a whole new round of applause. You can just imagine what the reaction would be if the Senators had seen a little tongue.