To read Damian J. Holbrook's witty commentary on the Emmy Awards, click here!
Ah, Sunday, and it wouldn't be Sunday without Rome. And it wouldn't be Rome without blood and sex. The blood's here before the theme's out of my head, with the poor wretch who stole Pompey's gold hanging upside-down and being tortured to death with a hook. And I am reminded I'm not any less squeamish than I was last week. Oy. No rest for the squeamish, either, as after a short break in which we see Antony offer Lucius a nice incentive package to return to the military before threatening him, we then see one of Atia's underlings cutting off a nice helping of goat privates so Octavian can eat them to build his masculinity. To make matters worse, she insists he down them while they're still warm. Double-oy.
Atia's no slouch in the viciousness department, as we saw when she first ordered her daughter, Octavia, to break it off with her husband, then had said husband killed. But despite the girl's frail demeanor, when she says she'll open her mother's throat with her teeth if she finds out she was involved in hubby's demise, I believe her. More intrigue, as Lucius' wife Niobe struggles to keep her husband from discovering that her supposed grandkid is actually her own child, fathered by her sister's husband. Then we're treated to a harrowing demonstration of just how tough Lucius really is, as the sadistic Quintus shows up to demand Pompey's gold, which Lucius knows nothing about, and Lucius, a blade held to his throat and more than one held to his wife, calmly proclaims his innocence without so much as a flinch. Great moment when Pullo shows up just in time to rescue them, though, of course he's saving his former commander from a mess he created. And once again, Pullo manages to screw up and into a pretty damned good position, as Caesar gets Pompey's gold and even tosses a few coins his way. "I do not like to quarrel with fortune, and clearly she's taken you for a pet," Caesar tells him. As have I, since I really like this series, and as has HBO, which recently announced we'll be getting another season of it. Michael Peck