"It's a crime if we lose," Antony says of Caesar's rebellion. "If we win, it isn't." Nice to see how little has changed in the world in all this time, huh? Then we're right into the sex, blood and intrigue, with Atia telling Timon she'll see that he's "properly rewarded" if he does what he's asked. And the sucker thanks her. Guess he's not watching this show, since her idea of "properly" could mean any number of awful things. "All will be well, I assure you," Pompey tells his wife as they abandon Rome before Caesar's forces arrive. Lotsa lying in the air, no? Me, I'm happiest when we stick with Pullo and Lucius, both of whom are as likable as you get on this show full of schemers and louts. In fact, grading on a bell curve, they're out-and-out heroes. And what a great scene in Atia's household, with the wealthy and spoiled quarreling over who shall kill whom and who shall kill themselves (and in what order) before the rabble burst in. Then there's the unfair info trade when Pullo gives Lucius mostly decent advice on how to make his wife love him, and gets crappy astronomy facts in return: Stars are holes in the celestial sphere, "hundreds" of miles away, that let the heavenly light shine through? Oh, well who's ever going to tell him differently?
Polly Walker plays the villainous Atia beautifully, doesn't she? Having her daughter's husband murdered, then claiming it "tortures" her that the girl would even suspect her? Then there's the unexpectedly honest and earnest move by Lucius, who resigns his position as a soldier, handing his sword over to Pullo before praying to have his wife Niobe love him again and showing up to bare his soul impressively and convincingly, telling her the past is gone and he forgives her. I actually like the guy, and like Pullo even more for going back to help the girl tied to the wagon. Now here's the question that'll bring me back next week even more than the fact that it's my job to be here: Where the heck is he headed with all that gold?