As last time, I'll begin with a sort of stream-of-consciousness thing and answer some questions that arise during the week.

Episode is called "How Titus Pullo Brought Down the Republic" ... there's some compression of events perhaps ... we're now in 50 B.C. or thereabouts

- opens with Caesar sitting in Cisalpine Gaul, dealing with desertions ... we learn that Caesar financed Antony's campaign to be tribune of the plebs

- back in Rome, MA seems rather arrogant and already is dismissive of Octavian (repeatedly refers to him as 'boy')

- Atia proves to be quite the b**ch when she finds Octavia cavorting with the hubby she was forced to divorce

- very interesting (and somewhat incongruous) scene when Octavius returns with Vorenus and Pullo and invites them to dine; Atia doesn't want to because it's not socially proper for a woman of her standing to dine with soldiers (I guess it's okay to sleep with horse traders though); Octavius proves to have a handle on the protocol and the dinner takes place. At dinner we get interesting details -- Octavius clearly has a popularis streak; Vorenus is pro-Republic, Pullo seems pro-revolution

- Vorenus comes home to find wife holding a child obviously not his; after initial anger, we learn it belongs to his 13-year-old daughter (this is an interesting 'thread' in the drama as it turns out)

- several scenes of the installation of the tribune (MA) ... very long and MA is obviously bored. Do we know of this ceremony?

- back at Vorenus' house there's an interesting detail that he's walking around with a Suebian penis in his purse

- interesting brothel scenes; very reminiscent of frescoes from Pompeii

- late night meeting of the various factions at Atia's house (Cicero, Pompey, Antony, Cato) ... Antony is quite the charmer and still wearing his military cloak (which Cato objects to, of course) ... Antony says "che bruta figura!" (interesting use of Italian) ... Antony says says wants imperium in Illyria and one legion; Pompey thinks Caesar is bluffing and wants him declared a public enemy

- cut back to the Subura and the brothels ... Pullo passes a very strange shrine which looks almost Indian ... what's up with that? (I might have to wait until the repeat to get this one)

- Pullo's gambling; loses to a guy with loaded dice ... goes 'postal', then gets his head smashed

- meanwhile, Antony is sleeping with Atia!

- interesting shot of the calendar being 'changed' ... another one I'll have to watch again, I think

- surgery scene: Pullo getting a good trepanning by a Greek (by his dress) doctor on Vorenus' table

- passing scene in a slave market; slaves were chalked with numbers but I couldn't see their feet

- Pompey and Cicero meet at what appears to be a gladiator school (or a small demonstration); Cicero wants to 'do the right thing' but seems very much a middle of the road guy (meaning, of course, he's going to be hit with traffic in both directions) ... Pompey assures Cicero that Antony will impose a veto on a proposal (from Pompeians) to declare Caesar a public enemy

- scene of Vorenus meeting his daughter's 'hubby' ... he threatens to use his patria potestas and kill him (not sure he could actually; he would have to have caught them in flagrante delicto); when he finds the 'hubby' might come from a lower-class-but-potentially-well-off family, he approves the marriage but expects an "appropriate dowry".

- senate meeting ... who is presiding? Is it the princeps senatus or the pontifex maximus? Really old guy

- the proposal is made ... Cicero and his group 'cross the floor' (parliament style, again), causing a near riot in the senate ... Cicero has to yell to Antony to veto the motion, but it appears to have been done too late [was Cicero set up?]

- repeat meeting set for the next day; Antony wants a pile of soldiers in support

- meanwhile, Antony dines with Atia, Octavia, and Octavius and there's a Roman version of "I'll have what she's having"

- on the way to the senate meeting, there's a major brawl ... Pullo kills a Pompeian supporter who tried to stab MA (and, coincidentally, was among the gamblers whom he was brawling a few days earlier); Vorenus was stabbed in the melee ... not a bad depiction of this aspect of late Republican politics

- Caesar's declared an outlaw; MA runs to Caesar who seems genuinely angry

- nice scene of Caesar addressing his troops from horseback ... a very simple, but effective speech which probably could easily be translated into Latin

- crosses the Rubicon ... a tiny stream (good) ... a little kid fishing in it; MA winks at the kid (I've seen this scene before in a more modern context)

- guy runs through the city shouting 'Caesar is in Italy' ... closing scene of Vorenus' wife (Niobe) holding what was ostensibly her granddaughter ... then she starts nursing it. Hmmmmmmmmm ....

A very good episode with a good pace to it. Where last time the focus largely seemed to be on Atia and her machinations in regards to Octavius, this time around we saw more of the plebeian life via Vorenus and his familia. Mark Antony's 'sleazy' side is being developed as is Cicero's almost-indecisiveness. Overall, though, it is clearly building up a confrontation between classes, with the optimates being clearly defined so far. Not sure whether Caesar and MA can really be called populares yet ...