Steph (normandie_m) wrote,

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I kept meaning to post this update all week, but whenever I sat down to review the last two eps of Rome I'd seen, I couldn't think of anything. And you know it's dire when you get writer's block when attempting to write a simple blog entry that's mostly tv show squee.

What's Latin for 'OH NO YOU DIDN'T!'? Because there was a lot of that in this episode.

There was painfully inevitable about Vorenus acting like a sulky emo teenager and refusing to get out of bed after killing Erastes Fulmen. Like I said in an earlier review, the guy really hits rock bottom when bad stuff happens to him. Best part of the episode was Mark Antony coming to lay a verbal smackdown on him and holding up Fulmen's rotting head before throwing it away.

(Funnily enough, I don't mind the anvil-shaped 'This is a cable show, therefore there must be gore and smut!' moments here. Maybe because it's authentic Roma antiqua in the spirit of I, Claudius.)

Having written a paper on them, I'm intrigued to see what the writers do with the characters of Timon and Levi. Levi is obviously a Zealot, and given that Herod the Great is due to appear later, I'm actually a little more interested in this in the short term.

Cleopatra back again. I find her a bit annoying, but the actress that plays her and James Purefoy have the right sort of chemistry to play the famous couple. And Atia wins for best authentically Roman insult: Die screaming you pigspawn trollop. Kinda makes Servilia's curses look like child's play.

This episode is also Max Pirkis' last appearance as Octavian, since it's about time he went from a teenager into a young man. Pirkis has been an asset to this show, and his cool, calm and calculating Octavian was a great performance and establishes just what sort of man he'll become as Augustus.

Slightly Cicero-centric episode FTW! I will cry buckets when he's executed in the next episode, though I don't quite like this interpretation of Cicero as much as the one in Robert Harris' Imperium. Cicero seems more cowardly than his historical counterpart, and while I love that this episode was a nod to the Phillipics, it would've been far more effective to have Cicero read the speech himself in the senate. These are great speeches- the Romans were very good at their tirades, and it would've been a fine showcase of that. And Cicero wasn't yet on the run at that point, so it's a shame they couldn't have a bolder Cicero prepared to attack his enemy to his face. Still! I liked the scene of Cicero in the litter with Tiro- there should be more Tiro!

A minor quibble I had was the mention of Crassus. Crassus was a non-entity in series one, something that I felt miffed about because it bypassed the importance of the triumvirate and Crassus' importance as a financial backer of Caesar. Choosing to mention him now felt superfluous, even if it was the manner of his death as a veiled threat to Cicero.

So I was kind of undecided on how I felt about Vorenus becoming this Gangster-Overlord-of-the-Aventine-Son-of-Hades kind of figure. But then he decided to leave and become a soldier again, which just seems to fit him much better IMHO. Even if he only became a soldier because he had a massive falling out with Pullo, which is sad. Completely baffled by the fact that maybe ten minutes passed and when Pullo came back into Rome with Eirene, it'd been three months (the problem of a short-run historical series that spans maybe a decade- see also: The Tudors). I wanted to hear more about Pullo's adventures- I'm quite sure he said something about the gods telling him to seek out Vorenus- so I think he probably went to Delphi or Cumae and consulted the oracle/Sibyl. That is a story in itself, and it'd look great on film.

They're obviously introducing all these new characters into the show too. Was delighted when Agrippa arrived on the scene, though they're obviously setting up something between him and Octavia, which I can't really buy. Don't know about Vorenus' henchwoman Gaia though- I have a feeling I'm probably going to hate her. And I say that having not read any spoilers.

Oh- and what was that crap with Brutus and the lake like he was baptising himself? I can't lie- I'm really looking forward to seeing him get bumped off. And that smug bastard Cassius too. And Servilia and that slutty male slave who might poison Atia in the next episode. Bring it on!

Hopefully the worst of the early semester rush period is over. I want to go back to uni and, you know, work on my thesis. I did manage to get to Borders yesterday though, while there was a discount sale for students and picked up 'Constantine and Eusebius' by Timothy D. Barnes. It's a book I wouldn't buy for retail, but with a 20% discount it was worth it. Might be able to use it in the thesis, though I'm more keen on reading it for leisure, strangely enough, since Constantine doesn't feature that much in my study (though Eusebius does, since he wrote Historia Ecclesiastica, one of the more complete early church histories).

I got tickets to Persepolis for next Friday night with Amy too (it's showing here as part of the film festival), which I'm very excited about. I've read both parts of Marjane Satrapi's memoir and really enjoyed them, so I can't wait to see how it translates to film.

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