Death Mask (Rome)

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"Death Mask"
Rome episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 7
Directed by John Maybury
Written by Scott Buck
Original air date March 4, 2007 (HBO)
July 11, 2007 (BBC)
Setting Rome
Time frame c. 41 BCE
Episode chronology
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"A Necessary Fiction"
List of Rome episodes

"Death Mask" is the seventh episode of the second season of the television series Rome. It aired on March 4, 2007.

Plot summary

Servilia mourns the death of Brutus, killed at Phillipi. She kneels in front of Atia's door chanting repeatedly for justice. Although Atia ignores her initially, the incessant chanting attracts a crowd of pleb onlookers and annoys Atia. After two days, Atia gets fed up with Servilia's obstinacy and throws open the door to let Servilia vent her anger and leave. However, Servilia calls upon the gods to curse Atia for the rest of her life, and then commits suicide, leaving Atia in shock.

The trio of Octavian, Antony, and Lepidus discuss the new ruling arrangements over Rome. They decide to divide the Empire into three administrative portions and share all revenue equally. When Posca, upset with Antony over the latter's refusal to share a portion of his bribe money, secretly informs Octavian that Antony is hoarding tribute, the triumvirate comes close to civil war again. Some last minute negotiations preserve its unity, and to strengthen the bond, Atia proposes a marriage between Antony and the House of the Julii—thus also accomplishing her personal desire to wed Antony. However, Antony and Octavian privately agree that Octavian's sister, Octavia of the Julii, and not Atia, will be wed to Antony, as it is a more acceptable symbol of the political union. A devastated Atia begins to wonder if Servilia's curse has come true, while Agrippa and Octavia exchange distraught glances at the extravagant wedding.

The Jewish Prince Herod visits Rome seeking an alliance. Levi regards him as traitor to the people of Judea and convinces Timon that they should kill him at Antony's wedding, even though they know they are certain to lose their own lives in the process. Timon swears an oath on the Torah, but changes his mind at the last minute. He argues that killing Herod will accomplish nothing, and he also has a family to think of. Levi calls him a coward and starts out alone. Timon wrestles him back, and in the ensuing struggle, accidentally stabs his brother dead.

Vorena the Elder is seduced by Memmio's man on his orders. Memmio catches them having sex and pretends to be angry with her, saying that he will have to tell Vorena's father and his business friend, Vorenus, about the relationship, which will probably result in severe punishment for Vorena. Vorena begs him to remain silent and he agrees on the condition that Vorena spy on her father and report his actions to Memmio. She agrees willingly, and lies when she is caught in the act by Vorenus.

Eirene complains to Pullo of the slave Gaia's constant abuse, laziness and threats towards her. An angry Pullo debates whether to wait for Mascius, away on business, to punish his woman but eventually decides to do it himself. As he confronts Gaia, she tries to seduce him to stop him from beating her in the middle of a violent argument, and Pullo ends up having sex with Gaia. A guilty Pullo promises that it will never happen again, but does not come clean to Eirene, who happily notes that Gaia's behavior has improved since the 'thrashing'. At the end of the episode, Gaia is seen purchasing some abortifacients, but her smile as the episode ends implies it is not meant for her.


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