Maybe I'm not a good judge, what with living in the 21st century and stuff. But I was quite surprised by how shocked Atia was at Servilia's curse-and-suicide combo. I sort of thought that Atia, having publically humiliated Servilia twice (and tortured her once) would be immune to Servilia's threats about summoning the gods of the underworld to curse her. Obviously curses are Serious Business, even for Atia. Anyway, at least Servilia's gone. There's only room for one cold-hearted matriarch!
How pimpin' was Herod? Walking around in all his gold with the African guards and his posse. I'm glad to see him appear in the series, largely because he's a figure in an area that I'm now pretty well-versed in. The timeline for the show is sketchy, but at this point even with Rome's backing, Herod still had a few more years of struggling against the Parthians and the House of Asamoneus for the throne ahead of him. Timon and Levi certainly reflect the general sentiment felt by Judean Jews, that the Idumean Herod was not a true Jew and thus not fit for rule. However, seeing Zealotry this early is a little strange. Josephus (pretty much the only extant primary source on the history of Judea) only starts talking about Zealots and the Sicarii when he gets to the first century C.E., when the movement picked up and started rebellions that would culminate in the First Jewish War. Oh, well. We needed a little drama and angst that wasn't to do with the Julii/Pullo and Vorenus. And it doesn't get any angstier than killing your own brother for the greater good.
(Something strangely amusing about seeing Herod in the show too, particularly given that Ciaran Hinds played him in The Nativity Story a few years ago. Caesar and Herod!)
Still not much to say on Pullo and Vorenus. I hate Gaia like burning though and hoping she doesn't poison Eirene with those abortion herbs. Noooo! :( Pullo pissed me off in this ep too for losing control. He was doing so well!
Some of the characterisation in this series is just unacceptable. I'm dying to see Agrippa played like the brilliant tactician and strategist he was, not just getting angsty over Octavia and moping about. I know we're supposed to sympathize with Agrippa when he's watching Octavia marry Antony, but I swear I was laughing, he looked so pathetic. And Lepidus is coming off as a third wheel (no pun intended) who Octavian and Antony couldn't care less about, rather than someone of great influence and power. That scene where Antony divided up the Republic into pieces, Lepidus was like 'What am I? Chopped liver?'
So, we can't be far off Cleopatra re-appearing now. And it looks like Octavian's meeting Livia in the next episode too. Yay! This is where it starts to get really interesting....