The fifth episode of Domina Season 2 had Augustus heading to the war front with Drusus and Tiberius and hatching a strategy to bring Germany under their control. For Drusus, this is an honor, while Tiberius suspects foul play because he believes their stepfather wants them to fail. The episode ended with Julia getting rid of her nemesis, the high priestess Turia, and being successful in amending her husband’s will.
This could be the longest episode of Domina season 2, for there is plenty to unpack from what we got to see. Agrippa and his wife Julia welcome another child. As Julia goes into labor, Agrippa passes away, possibly because of heart failure. This could be the most peaceful death any character has had in Domina Season 2. He passed after securing the future of his children, knowing Julia and his kids would be in safe hands. Since Julia is the only daughter of Augustus, marrying her comes with a lot of perks. Agrippa, though, left behind a will that was altered by Livia four years ago, unbeknownst to anyone, so that it tallies with Augustus’ altered will.
There is no reason to believe his death was a murder. The viewers were hoping to see Agrippa betrayed by Livia. His death was unexpected, which might pave the way for Augustus’ death as well. There is a possibility that this might happen by the end of this season. But there is not much discussed about Agrippa’s will and what it constitutes. It is assumed that Livia’s plan is working out. But the next problem would be how she could stop Julia from getting married again. The more kids she has, the more they will be a threat to Livia’s plans to make her son succeed Augustus.
With her husband gone, there is plenty of speculation going around about who Julia will marry this time. Since she is young and has kids, and to top that, she is the only daughter of Augustus, any child with any man will have key power after Augustus passes. Julia is in mourning, but she is most likely happy to be rid of her wifely responsibilities. Octavia’s daughter Marcella is keen to get married, and that would mean even committed men were willing to seek her as spouse. They will have to divorce their first wives to accept Julia’s hand in marriage. The setup reeks of patriarchy, for no women are asked for their consent in marriage or in the dissolution of one. They are expected to bow down to their fathers or husbands for their bright future, while the divorced wives will have to wait for another man to accept them. The regressive nature of this system showcases that even though women may consider themselves to be powerful, there is not much they can do without husbands by their side. The reason Livia stands tall is that she can fall back on Augustus, and once he passes, she will run the show with the help of her sons. There is no acknowledgment of the fact that women of that era were practically powerless without men in their lives.
Julia is now a free woman and intends to remain that way as she conveys the same to Livia. People coming back to Livia for counsel has been the running theme of the show since the beginning of this season. It is as if Livia has solutions to all the problems happening within the city and within her immediate family. Livia wants Julia by her side as an ally, which is why she agrees to her stepdaughter’s terms. Even though Iullus is the first person to have shown interest in marrying Julia, He is refused because Augustus would prefer to arrange a marriage that would benefit him, which is typical of any leader.
Domitius and Livia
Domitius is also one of the leading contenders to marry Julia. Even though Livia has altered her husband’s will, keeping him close to Augustus will be politically a wrong move. Domitius is a silent but power-hungry man, and he might be capable of doing anything to secure power. What confuses the audience is that Domitius has not done anything major to cause a stir among Livia’s allies except for the grain famine. The makers should have given more context and added scenes to understand his need for power. Livia blackmails him into backing off before Augustus approaches him with the marriage proposal by letting him know she knows of his role in creating an extreme grain shortage in the city. Domitius has never felt cornered before. Livia was the only one to scare him off. But the man is not willing to accept defeat. Viewers are also surprised to see Livia face off with Domitius.
Will Tiberius Follow Augustus’ Order To Marry Julia?
Tiberius is the smartest boy of the lot, but no one seems to acknowledge that fact because of his questionable mental health status. He predicted that Julia would be married off to him because Augustus never saw him as a threat. That could be the reason he wanted the boy in the city, while Drusus has been assigned to capture Germany and occupy the land for Rome. Tiberius is far from okay with this arrangement, and at this point, his mother cannot go against her husband’s wishes. Having Tiberius in the inner circle of her husband will only bring her and Drusus closer to achieving their goal of restoring the Roman Republic.
Tiberius is attached to his wife because she is the only person who has seen his worst side and still loves him. She has acknowledged his traumatic childhood. Tiberius absconds with his wife in the hope that they will never be found. He knew going against Augustus’ will unleash the wrath of the man on him, which is a risk he is willing to take, but his mother and brother aren’t. Tiberius feels like a piece on a chessboard who is being used as a pawn by his family for their benefit. Drusus locates the couple and promises to stay by their side. The boy is back in town, and thus Livia and Augustus put the plan for his marriage to Julia in motion. Tiberius sees this as the end of him, for the story is set in an era where consent was not understood. Tiberius never sought power, but he is being put in a peculiar position. His tension is palpable, but his predicament is such that he cannot refuse at this point. Drusus and his wife Antonina start their journey to Germany, and only the upcoming episode will let the audience know if they will be successful or not.
Tiberius has a memory of his late father letting him know that his mother tried to kill him as an infant. On confronting his mother about the story, she reveals that she did it to save him from getting caught and killed at the hands of the enemy. Tiberius feels his mother used him, and he tries to choke her to death, but Tycho intervenes at the nick of time. Tiberius most likely wanted to get rid of her because of how she managed to manipulate him into this political situation. Even though he was the elder child, he always stayed in the shadow of Drusus, which is what he preferred. Hopefully, Tiberius will surprise everyone in the coming episodes with his political acumen. Even though Drusus is desperate to attack Rome using the army assigned to him to capture Germany, this plan is thwarted by Livia.
Episode 6 of Domina ends with Domitius finally agreeing to the fact that Livia needs to be tackled head-on, for which he will need strong allies on his side. He concludes that Livia was able to get Octavia onto her side in a jiffy, for which she must have had a strong pawn in her hand. To tackle her, Domitius is willing to bring Vilbia’s brother on board, whom he believes was falsely killed, thanks to Livia’s manipulation. This stage is set up to defeat her, but again, as the running theme of the show goes, she is indestructible so far.