The seventh episode of Domina Season 2 ended with Livia saving herself by jumping into a waterfall and surviving. Meanwhile, Domitius is shocked to see her alive when he had been informed that she’s been dealt with. Tiberius and Julia get married even though they do not like each other at all, and Octavia extracts a promise from her brother to kill one of Livia’s sons as payback, still believing she had a hand in Marcellus’ death.
Drusus’ Plan To Capture Rome
Domina Episode 8 begins with Drusus not complying with the orders of his stepfather to return to Rome. He allies with the enemy camp so that it will help him attack Rome with a much larger army. This was Drusus’ plan all along, as per the letter he had sent to his brother. Drusus’ ambition had surpassed what Livia had planned for the empire and restoring the republic. Drusus had the same ambition, but his impatience was surfacing as Livia repeatedly asked him to stand down. Drusus was raised with the idea of restoring the republic, and even though he is not Augustus’ direct heir, he feels he is the right man for the job after his stepfather. But as history states, power goes to those who do not seek it. It is implied from this scene that Drusus may be headed for betrayal, as Tiberius had expected.
Julia And Tiberius
A few years into their marriage, Julia does have a child, but Tiberius is not the father. The couple living their separate lives is an indication that her child belongs to her paramour. The secret is safely hidden from Augustus. Livia likes to manage and control the people around her, and her persuasive powers were enough to make sure Tiberius did not open his mouth. Julia’s son, Tiberillus, is the only child who people think has the blood of Livia and Augustus, which is why Augustus showed interest in adopting him. This should have alerted Livia. If he considered Tiberillus his heir, he would try to get rid of Drusus because he never saw Tiberius as a threat.
This is very uncharacteristic of Livia to not sense danger. It does not make sense since the news travels fast in Rome, and Livia is surrounded by enemies who would do anything with the news of Tiberius and Julia’s marriage. Keeping that in mind, she was unable to persuade her son to do his duty by giving Julia a son. She could be in trouble if Augustus learns of this blasphemy. Tiberius is sent to Germany to force his brother to come back as per Augustus’ orders.
Marcella, Octavia’s daughter, comes to Livia with the issue of her pregnancy, and it is easy to assume that it is Domitius’ child she is carrying. The family dynamics in this show are perplexing, and it seems the writers are probably, at this point, only making this relationship up because there is an audience for such shows that thrive on shock values and taboo topics. Marcella wants Livia to convince Iullus to accept her child, or she will have to inform Augustus about Tiberillus’s lineage. Livia should have seen this coming and had the ammunition to plan for such situations.
Livia, so far, is well known for coming up with quick solutions. The narrative around Livia’s arc is getting repetitive, and I hope the next season will allow for Livia to have more layers. Her role as a solution provider without worrying about the consequences is becoming too monotonous. Iullus is unwilling to accept Marcella’s child, and Livia is only left with one option. She asks Marcella to meet Iullus at his beach house to discuss the terms of how to raise this child. It is a trap being set up to make sure Marcella never opens her mouth about the pregnancy. Marcella should have behaved smartly; with her mother gone, there is practically no one that could help her with this situation. Livia was also instrumental in transferring Domitius to Africa so that he would stay away from politics. Despite the games he played, he could not outshine Livia.
Who killed Drusus? Will Livia Avenge His Death?
Iullus and Julia are at the beach house when Marcella approaches them, only to be shocked to realize it is her husband, who is Julia’s old lover. Either the character or the storyline was not well developed; Marcella never assumed her husband would have had an affair with Julia. She is drowned by Iullus and Julia, as per Livia’s orders. This is not a good idea, as per the viewers watching the show, because the family in Rome will ask questions, as Octavia did about her son’s death. Livia’s solution to anyone openly threatening her cannot be to just kill them. The writers need to be a little more creative. Iullus, Julia, and Livia intend to pass off Marcella’s death as suicide, for she was carrying the baby of another man. This showcases the regressiveness of that era.
Tiberius reaches Drusus’ camp only to be informed that he is gravely injured and has gone blind. The makers have not specified the reason behind Drusus’ blindness. It could be because of the blunt trauma he suffered when he was betrayed on the way to the enemy camp. Drusus has given up on life, and he requests that Tiberius and Tycho kill him at nightfall. Drusus feels ashamed to live with the fact that he was attacked and maimed for life. The solution came easily to him, which might prove that there is a lot of Livia in him. Tycho and Tiberius slit his wrists as a part of the assisted suicide, and Drusus dies holding Antonina close to his heart. This was a rather emotional scene, and it was hard to watch Drusus willingly accept death.
Livia is informed of the death, and from Tiberius and Antonina, she learns of Vistilius proposing marriage to her, and he is certain Augustus would agree to the match. The two of them joined the dots to conclude that Vistilius was Augustus’ spy, and he betrayed Drusus on his instructions. Livia, as Tiberius stated, is torn between killing her husband, which will render her powerless, and having to live with the man who killed her son. This is a dilemma she never thought she would be thrown into. She will have to make a calculated decision to get rid of Augustus in a way that preserves her power. Now, she cannot make a sound decision because of her bereavement. Augustus kept Octavia’s promise, but he underestimated Livia’s wrath.
The final episode of Domina Season 2 ends with Tiberius’ other personality taking over, and he heads to see Julia’s son, Tiberillus, and chokes the baby to death. He does it only to not give Augustus the satisfaction of having an heir, even though the child’s father was someone else. Tiberius could start a civil war with this move if he came out and admitted his role in the death. It could also lead to Tiberius becoming as ruthless as his mother and seeking power and vengeance that will surprise Augustus. Hopefully, Domina Season 3 will have more answers to the many questions that viewers have about Tiberius’ plans.