De Patre Vostro (About Your Father)

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"De Patre Vostro (About Your Father)"
Rome episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 10
Directed by John Maybury
Written by Bruno Heller
Original air date March 25, 2007 (HBO)
July 22, 2007 (BBC)
Setting Rome,
Alexandria
Time frame September 31 BC ~ August 13–15 29 BC
Episode chronology
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"Deus Impeditio Esuritori Nullus (No God Can Stop a Hungry Man)"
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List of Rome episodes

"De Patre Vostro (About Your Father)" is the series finale of the television series Rome. It is the tenth episode of the second season and 22nd overall. It originally aired on March 25, 2007.

Plot summary

After losing the Battle of Actium, a vanquished Mark Antony barricades himself with Cleopatra in their palace in Alexandria. The palace becomes a place of endless debauchery as Mark Antony and Cleopatra host orgies while drugging and drinking themselves into a stupor. Octavian sends an emissary to Mark Antony, with a secret message to Lucius Vorenus, offering him amnesty if he will betray Antony and open the palace gates in an attempt to avoid a direct assault on the palace which might lead to a popular uprising. It is made clear that Titus Pullo is aware that Caesarion is his son and that Vorenus also knows this. Mark Antony refuses Octavian's offer of unconditional surrender and challenges Octavian to single combat. Vorenus also refuses to betray Mark Antony. Meanwhile, Mark Antony's physical condition continues to deteriorate along with his mental condition. When he spars with Vorenus, he is easily defeated. When a bystander accidentally laughs, Antony is enraged. He then challenges the bystander, quickly killing him.

Octavian refuses the challenge as barbaric and secretly sends word to Cleopatra offering her the chance to keep the crown of Egypt and save the lives of her children if she gives up Mark Antony. She tricks Mark Antony into believing that she has committed suicide. Vorenus assists in Antony's suicide at his request. Vorenus, shocked to find Cleopatra still alive, tells her that Octavian will keep Mark Antony's children alive as a popular gesture of mercy but will almost certainly kill Caesarion as a potential rival to the rule of Rome; he also reveals his final orders from Mark Antony to escape with Caesarion to keep the boy alive. It is made clear that Cleopatra knows that Caesarion is actually Titus Pullo's son.

Upon meeting Octavian and failing to seduce him as she had Mark Antony, Cleopatra realizes that he wishes to take her kingdom and parade her, alive but in chains, in Rome at his triumph. She commits suicide by clasping an asp to her breast, and as Octavian's soldiers storm her throne room, she dies, telling Octavian with her final breaths, "You have a rotten soul".

Vorenus has meanwhile escaped the palace with Caesarion and Titus Pullo is charged by Octavian with finding and killing Caesarion. Vorenus and Pullo meet near where they had previously saved Cleopatra's life in the first season and they discuss plans to escape Egypt. At a Roman roadblock they appear to pass until a guard recognizes Caesarion and mocks him. Caesarion responds in anger revealing his true identity and a fight ensues. Although they manage to fight their way out, Vorenus is seriously (perhaps mortally) wounded. He demands that Titus Pullo take him to Rome to die.

In Rome, Octavian arrives at his mother's house, bringing with him Cleopatra and Mark Antony's twin children, Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios who he asks Octavia to take under her care. Atia takes the news of Antony's death with satisfaction, but takes little pleasure in her son's success in at last gaining supreme power; Octavia is disturbed by Atia's mood.

After a month-long journey, a badly injured Vorenus and Pullo return to Rome for an emotional reunion at the Collegium. On his sickbed, Vorenus is reconciled with his grieving children. Series creator Bruno Heller later revealed that Vorenus did not die after this scene.[1]

At the same time, Octavian's triumph is taking place. As Livia and Octavia are about to enter a podium in the Forum, late arrival Atia takes the lead, calling Livia a "vicious little trollop," and says, "You're swearing now that some day you will destroy me, but remember that far better women than you have sworn to do the same. Go look for them now."[2] Atia's look, however, is ambiguous as she watches a triumphal float pass by with the effigies of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, her lost love and his seducer, as glances are exchanged between Agrippa and Octavia.

A month later, Pullo pays Octavian a visit, lying to him about the fate of Caesarion and is rewarded. He also tells him that Vorenus didn't survive his injuries without giving details on how they were inflicted. Leaving Octavian's palace, he meets Caesarion who begins swearing revenge in his wish to claim his rightful throne as Caesar's heir, "redeeming my father's name!"

The series ends with the pair disappearing into a crowded Roman street as Titus Pullo puts his arm around Caesarion and says "Listen, about your father..."

Cultural references and continuity

  • Akin to Caesar's death in the previous season, Mark Antony is depicted as covering his face when he is grieving over the "death" of Cleopatra.
  • Since the real Atia had died in 43 BC, her presence at the triumph of Octavian is fictional.

Ratings

The series finale of Rome was watched by 2.4 million viewers.[3] Apart from the season premiere, this is the only episode in the second season with known viewership numbers.

References

  1. ^ "Heller looking for movie version of 'Rome'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
  2. ^ Referring to Servilia, for example, and to Livia's future murderous ambition that her son will succeed Augustus, known to TV audiences from I, Claudius.
  3. ^ "Cable Ratings Round-Up (Week of March 19–25): 'Earth' Big for Discovery". The Futon Critic. March 29, 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2015.

External links

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