Rome

Season 1 Episode 3

An Owl in a Thornbush

2
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Sep 11, 2005 on HBO
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
365 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
With Caesar quickly advancing toward Rome, Pompey begins ordering a retreat and forces his citizens to pick sides. Timon is forced to do Atia's dirty work and Vorenus cannot understand why no one is resisting while on a scouting mission.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • An Owl in a Thornbush

    10
    An Owl in a Thornbush was a perfect and very entertaining episode of Rome and I enjoyed watching this episode because the story was intriguing and full of action, suspense, humor, and character development. It was interesting to see how every ones lives from different classes, all intersect and play a part to the bigger pictures of history. It was fun watching those who remained behind in Rome sucking up to Atia. It was sad what she had done to her daughter's ex husband. I like how Titus Pullo finds himself in another unlikely position as Ceaser continues towards Rome. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Review

    9.0
    With Caesar quickly advancing toward Rome, Pompey begins ordering a retreat and forces his citizens to pick sides. Timon does Atia's dirty work and Vorenus cannot understand why no one is resisting while on a scouting mission. this was another decent episode of rome, back in the day when this was aired I only really watched two shows they where Rome and Lost, I can now see why I liked this show back in 2005 it is full of action, gore, humour and it is a very accurate adaption of Rome, I could really imagine it like this back in those days, this was another good episode.moreless
  • Another good episode...

    9.1
    With Caesar quickly advancing toward Rome, Pompey begins ordering a retreat and forces his citizens to pick sides. Timon does Atia's dirty work and Vorenus cannot understand why no one is resisting while on a scouting mission. this was another decent episode of rome, back in the day when this was aired I only really watched two shows they where Rome and Lost, I can now see why I liked this show back in 2005 it is full of action, gore, humour and it is a very accurate adaption of Rome, I could really imagine it like this back in those days, this was another good episode.moreless
  • worth watching

    7.0
    caesar marches his legion to rome with lucius and pullo leading the way. pullo and lucious encounter almost no resistance along the way. he story of this episode shows the relationship between lucius and pullo and what happens around them. it helps give this broad tale a central point where audience can see. caesar and mark antony are also interesting, stuff happens around them as well. we get to see things the romans might have gone through. this episode is interesting to watch, we get to expect that this is not the typical hollywood action picture, it's a much more realistic look into the lives of the romans.moreless
  • Important, but slow moving episode...

    8.0
    This was not a bad episode, but as far as this show is concerned I feel it was one of the worst. I found the episode to be rather slow moving and drawn out, although many important plot events seemed to be taking place. However, this episode leaves many a plot line wide open for the show to build upon in typical huge budget awesome HBO fashion. Clearly something had to be done to set up the events occurring in the upcoming episodes and this episode was really just there to lay the foundation for the great story lines and climaxes to come. The other episodes are all just so good, I guess my expectations were set very high; like I previously stated this is a good episode of television, but not by Rome's standards.moreless
Robert Purvis

Robert Purvis

Glabius

Guest Star

Matt Patresi

Matt Patresi

Durio

Guest Star

Eliza Darby

Eliza Darby

Daughter of Pompey

Guest Star

Manfredi Aliquo

Manfredi Aliquo

Castor

Recurring Role

Lydia Biondi

Lydia Biondi

Merula

Recurring Role

Ian McNeice

Ian McNeice

Newsreader

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (4)

    • In this episode, Atia is seen to be "holding court"; obviously wealthy people coming to her, as Caesar's Legion approaches. This was a custom of the Roman nobility known as Clientela.

      If one needed support, or help, or a favor of some kind, one often appealed to a more powerful (or rich, or influential) family or person for a "favor", which they might grant. If they did so, you were a cliens of that person, or family, and they were your patronus until your obligatio was discharged by returning some favor that the patronus asked of you (clearly these terms are where we get the words client and patron). Cliens were required, by custom, to report to their patronus every morning to see if there was anything they could do for them. Note Atia chiding one of her cliens for being so long absent. Additionally, cliens were required to show public support for their patronus, such as accompanying them when they went to the Forum. Patroni also had obligations to take care of their cliens.

      A great family's prestige was often enhanced by the number and quality of their cliens; if you had a lot of rich, powerful, and important people owing you favors, you must be rich, powerful, and important as well.

      Clearly the various people coming to Atia are her cliens, or those wishing to become cliens, in hopes that an affiliation with the Julii clan will spare them from the ravages of Caesar's Legion. Atia is obviously not above abusing the system of Clientela, extorting 5,000 denarii from one factory owner for her "patronage".

    • The term "war chest", meaning the money that a politician has for his/her campaign goes back to Roman times. When a general was sent off to war he was given a chest of gold and/or silver to pay his legions expenses, hence his "war chest".

    • When the soldiers salute the officers by putting the hand across their chest and then stretch their arm out they are pledging their heart and their sword to the general. Some historians believe this to be the forerunner of the Fascist salute of Mussolini and possibly even the Nazi salute of Hitler.

    • Historical Trivia:

      Vorenus: Who will pay Proserpina and Pluto for my keep?

      Proserpina
      , a Roman goddess, is the Queen of the Underworld and is a life-death-rebirth deity.

      Pluto
      is the Roman god of the underworld and death. He is also referred to as the god of wealth. He is married to Proserpina.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Atia of the Julii: (as they prepare to commit suicide) Castor, be sure to cut Octavia's throat before you cut mine!
      Octavia of the Julii: Please, Castor, let mother do it! I won't deny her one last pleasure. It would be undaughterly.

    • Mark Antony: I applaud you. You're about to enter Rome as a bloodstained conqueror, and yet you look as calm as a cup of water.
      Julius Caesar: I am glad I appear so.

    • Pullo: Your best method for pleasing a woman, is the warm beating heart of an enemy. Women will say they don't like it, but they do. It makes them wet as October.
      Vorenus: That doesn't answer.
      Pullo: Well, failing that, talk to her.
      Vorenus: Talk? But of what?
      Pullo: That doesn't matter.

    • Vorenus: (about the abandonment of Rome) If Mars were watching, he would not allow such a disgrace.
      Pullo: Maybe he was having a crap and missed it.

    • Octavia: Mother I would rather it were not you who killed me. If you have no objections.
      Atia: Why ever not? You can't still be angry with me!

    • Atia: If Timon and his men weren't guarding our door they would be burning down the house!
      Brutus: Oh they're not that energetic.

    • Vorenus: You heard what she said, she hates me.
      Pullo: (pause) What's your question?
      Vorenus: How do I stop her from hating me? Obviously!
      Pullo: That's not obvious! I thought you were making her hate you for a purpose.
      Vorenus: That was not my intent at all. Why would I do that?
      Pullo: Well I don't know. You're the clever one.

    • Julius Caesar: Think we can trust him?
      Mark Antony: Who?
      Julius Caesar: Lucius Vorenus.
      Mark Antony: (laughing) Oh! Deep 13th him. He'd follow the Eagle up Pluto's ass.

    • Brutus: It's very tempting to abandon Caesar, but to do so know, well, that would look like we're mere... slaves to fashion.

    • Cato: (to Pompey) You have lost Rome without unseathing your sword. You have lost Rome!

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • In discussing Caesar's march on Rome, Pompey starts tell an anecdote about when he destroyed pirates, but is cut off by Cato

      This is an allusion to Third Mithridatic War, where Mithridates VI of Pontus allied himself with bands of pirates in the eastern Mediterranean against Rome. The pirates were immensely successful: attacking Roman shipping, threatening the supply of grain to Rome; conducting inland raids to capture and ransom prominent Roman citizens - including an ex-Consul's daughter, and two Praetors; and even attacking the Roman fleet while it was in harbor!

      Pompey was given a 3-year Imperium Infinitium over all the Mediterranean, all islands in the Mediterranean, and all land within 50 miles of the coast. This was unprecedented, controversial, and highly contested in the Senate - although this action was supported by a young Senator called Gaius Julius Caesar at the time.

      In 3 months (67-66B.C.E.) Pompey had smashed the pirates (but resettled them as landholders in Roman controlled territory, gaining hundreds if not thousands of new cliens and supporters amongst the ex-pirates), but went on to "tour" the east for the next 6-years, acting like a king. He founded the Roman province of Syria, insulted and alienated the king of Parthia, and committed sacrilege in Jerusalem by barging into the "Holy of Holies" in the temple to see what all the fuss was about, before coming home.

      Pompey was so successful that he alarmed his fellow Consul, Marcus Licinius Crassus, who scrambled to find ways to counteract Pompey's "run away power" - most of which failed. Finally, Crassus decided to counter-balance Pompey by creating an 'anti-Pompey', and threw his support behind the career of an up-and-coming Patrician, Gaius Julius Caesar.

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