Penultimate Channel Flip! This one I was actively looking forward to, except the first disc broke and I had to send away for another, which seemed like a bad omen, which is sort of fitting for everything that has ever happened on Rome, ever, because all of it is just a beautifully-shot and -acted cascade of terrible things. Not that I know that from watching the series! It’s just a guess I have, having never ever watched the series, because of course not, ha ha, DON’T LOOK AT ME.

Episode: Season 1, Episode 8, “Caesarion,” chosen at random

Timestamp: 00:21:42

A gentleman is in a lady’s tent – to tell her to prepare for the afterlife. (What did I JUST say about the cascade of terrible?) The lady takes it well, though her momservant loses all shit instantly, so when the bad guys come sailing through the tentflap, she’s looking at them like this:


“Hey guys, lemme just handle my momservant, be right with you.”

They haul the lady to her feet, where she begins her final prayers, but before they can kill her, enter THIS GUY:

Conveniently, this is the face that everyone else in the scene is making, and also I am making for a good percent of the time even during times I was not watching this show.

The lady wisely moves out of throat-slicing range, and everyone looks at each other hilariously for a minute trying to suss out what the hell is happening before the fighting picks up again. The new guy wins!…and proves it by stabbing the other dude literally twelve times after he’s already clearly dead. This man is here to party and kill and ran out of party, I guess.

Egypt someplace! Politics being argued in a room full of dudes in wigs. Actually there are very few dudes, it’s just a lot of wig. Advisor thinks it’s time to attack Caesar! I dunno, sir, we still have a whole disc from the first season, maybe it’s too soon to be thinking about this. When are sweeps? After some statecraft emotional manipulation, things are left a little fuzzy, but I think we can all sort of tell that this will be as terrible as everything else.

Someplace else! Ciaran Hinds, wisely eschewing wigs, is doing homework in the garrison when a messenger arrives. He’s bearing a message that he’s the one who killed Pompey. Shit gets awkward in this garrison with a speed you can’t imagine. Ciaran Hinds makes the very best of his long and amazing face.

And cut to outside, as the messenger’s head is impaled on a ready-made pike outside the palace gate! (What did I JUST say?)

Young lady I can’t pretend any more isn’t Cleopatra is smoking up and giggling over boys. I look around for other people to make faces at, even though I am in a room alone, because I am not sure about how this is going. She also slaps her momservant and falls prey to the kind of reverse psychology I was onto when I was seven years old. I see. I SEE.

(Cut to: dozens of slaves carrying her litter, which is an entire room including walls and shit. Yikes.)

Meanwhile, Party Killer is riding next to another Roman gent, who he informs, “She wants me badly.” Oh, Party Killer. Reasonable Roman points out that she’s a princess and if you touch her you’ll probably be sliced open. Party Killer laughs, “I’m not stupid, I’m just saying she wants me.”

Well, she wants somebody, for sure! As we find out that evening, between withdrawal cold sweats, Cleopatra’s between the floods, if you know what I mean, and I mean ovulation, because of the discussion of the menstrual cycle, we’re all adults, come on. She points out, quite accurately, that she has to ally herself with Caesar or die, and if only he were here right now, “A child would come as sure as spring.”

And Momservant pulls away with the time-honored expression of a devoted friend who is about to go make sure her mistress, daughter of Isis and goddess on earth, gets herself some, PRONTO.

So lo, she marches out into the night, in the cruelest timestamp ever, because it ends moments before what I am of course only guessing is a truly priceless few minutes of sex comedy.

What It All Means, I Bet: Cleopatra and the Party Killer hook up in this tent, then get married and rule Egypt together for many years, arguing about when their kids are old enough for wigs and having wacky sitcom hijinks with occasional visits from their dour neighbor Reasonable Roman! Am I close? I’m super close.