Well, dear readers, let it NEVER be said that I've let you down. Ok, so I missed the airing of the episode, but Glaukopis is wily and has managed to procure the episode (we just won't discuss the lengths to which she had to go for it). She has also watched it, and was almost wishing for the poor reception of her own television again.
To be fair, this episode made for a better script than previous episodes. There were some decently-written scenes, though they mostly leaned on the cheesy side.
However, as per usual, there was far more annoying me.
First, we have the matter of Camane. By this episode, nobody seems to think it all that wretched that Octavius is romantically involved with her. In fact, Antony taunts him with promises of exile with her if he gives up the battle. Um? They also actually KISS, and there is suggestion that it was more than a mere kiss. It is difficult to know, though, because by the end of the episode, they remember that she is a Vestal (though we're not certain if she is still a virgin...). Octavius appoints her "Keeper of the Flame" and "matriarch" (it's possible I've forgotten already--I do try to forget unpleasant experiences--but what happened to the previous matriarch??) and makes her vow to remain childless. I like their choice of "childless," rather than "a virgin." Mmhmm.
So yes, directly after their kiss, Camane is musing about how she fucked up (excuse the language, but the bad pun was intended), and I'm sitting there thinking, "Well, yes, you just broke your vow to Vesta--of course that's a sign of the ruin of Rome." I also like how, at the end, she is called "child of Minerva" as well while taking her her role as "keeper of the flame" and "matriarch of the vestals." It's also convenient how they never once (that I caught) actually use the word "virgin" in this episode.
Oh but I dwell too long on one thing. My apologies.
Issue the second--the third legion. This is just... a whomping big issue. I mean, I was actually shocked that they got the technical idea of decimation correct. However, since when does decimation of what is supposed to be Caesar's "finest legion" mean that the legion will be so BROKEN (mentally) that they will defect and run off into the hills to become legendary ghosts until boy Octavius comes to rally them (with a cheesy speech, after he tells Cicero--who has also come running to his aid again--that he will speak for himself) to his cause?? I mean, it was... interesting, I suppose, but it smacked of imposing our own modern notions of "decimation" onto a Roman practice.
Issue the third--the comet. Ok, so I'll admit that my Caesar/Augustus history isn't the best, and I'd forgotten the details of the comet. But upon looking it up (in a two-second search), I quickly remembered. So why is Octavius making pretty little speeches about this comet with no reference to Caesar? It hurts enough that they don't mention Caesar's deification in the first place, but to randomly throw in the comet in the last episode and make it about something else entirely--it just hurts.
My last issue is with Tyrannus. He is treated like and acts like a mindless android (no offense to Data's kind) throughout the episode. He even has this moment on the battlefield (fighting on Antony's side, because he suddenly just does exactly what he's told) when he kills a guy who says, "Hail Caesar!" as he dies. This apparently brings back old, repressed memory files (I kid you not--it was filmed in a way very reminiscent of androids regaining old memory files. Yes, I watch too much sci-fi), and he suddenly recalls his initial droid imperative to defend Octavius. And so he turns, and his men follow (for which, I suppose, I should give them some credit).
I must admit, though, that my absolute very favouritest
moment was when Octavius decided to spare Antony, who is daring Octavius to kill him--and Antony has this look on his face like, "Shit. Now I have to go back to my bitching wife..."
That, dear readers, was a great acting choice.
I must say, though, that I am very glad this series is over.
And now for a couple links from Classics-L that amused me:Satue of Emperor Found Among Roman RuinsChaucer's tales become rap songs
There are several other links of Classical interest that have popped up today, but since rogueclassicism
is now up and running again, I no longer feel obligated to link to everything (or almost everything) of great Classical interest.