THE BLOG
03/28/2007 12:34 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Washingtonia: The Spin-Off of "Rome"

There is little I can say to console my fellow addicts of the HBO series "Rome," which ended forever this past Sunday. Some of us might well need support groups to get through the coming Sundays without the company of Lucius Vorenus, Titus Pullo, Atia, Antony et al. (Was there ever a more cheerful and loveable mercenary than Pullo? A hunkier thug than Antony? A greater inspiration to middle-aged female sexuality than Atia?) I understand why there can't be another season of Rome--the huge cost of making it, etc.--but why not a spin-off? Look around and there's one going on before our very eyes. And the set's already built...

www.hbo.com/washingtonia

WASHINGTONIA
Official Website

>About the Show

Half a century before an Islamic caliphate encompassed the West, Washingtonia had become the most powerful city in the world, epicenter of a sprawling democratic empire. Founded on principles of shared power and fierce personal competition, the Washingtonian Republic was created to prevent any one man from seizing absolute control. It was a society in which the sons of car salesmen and wives of former Consuls can rise up to become national heroes, even leaders of the Republic.

But as the ruling class was overwhelmed by illegal immigration from foreign lands, and depleted by a grueling war in Mesopotamia, the foundations have crumbled, eaten away by corruption and excess. The old Judeo-Christian values and social unity have given way to a great chasm between the classes...

>Episode Guide

14. The Fall of Alfredo

Synopsis:

With little good news arriving from the battlefield, the public grows restless under the rule of Consul Georgius the Younger (son of Georgius the Elder of the aristocratic Frutex clan). Georgius' enemies and critics cunningly exploit Georgius' loss of popular favor by fanning outrage over a series of "mini-scandals" that in a more stable time would not merit much attention. In this episode, Georgius' trusted legal advisor, Alfredo, is discovered to have murdered eight unlucky Oracles at the Consul's behest. The discreet killing of Oracles who rendered unwelcome prophesies was considered acceptable at the time--Georgius' predecessor, the slippery Clintonius, had fully 93 Oracles murdered to no complaint. But Georgius has become so unpopular that even his allies in the Senate rise up against him. Georgius and his close advisor, the wily Carolus, meet at the palace to discuss what to do.

INT. IMPERIAL PALACE--DAY

GEORGIUS

What have I done to anger the gods so? It all goes back to Harrietora. I should never have thrown her to the mob.

CAROLUS

You had no choice. The Senate had deemed her unfit to be a praetor.

GEORGIUS

Of course she was unfit! But it's what she wanted. And I owed her something for so many years of loyal service.

CAROLUS

I always thought the Temple of Vesta was the place for her.

GEORGIUS

The confirmation hearings for a Vestal Virgin are even tougher than those for a praetor.

CAROLUS

I'm sure she'd have passed. Besides, she ended up betraying you.

GEORGIUS

Not on purpose.

CAROLUS

Still, appearances had to be maintained. Having her publicly dismembered was the politic thing to do.

GEORGIUS

I suppose you're right. What about Alfredo?

CAROLUS

I'm afraid, Mr. Consul, he is another one of your loyal servants who has been promoted beyond his competence...

Chenius enters the room. Georgius rises to greet him.

GEORGIUS

Yo Chenius! Good to see you again! Where have they been keeping you this time?

CHENIUS

They moved me to my villa on the eastern coast. It's not too bad. I've been able to hunt.

GEORGIUS
(laughs)

Our critics, I hope?

CHENIUS

Not the season. They're all nesting here in the capital. Good day, Carolus.

CAROLUS
(rises)

Vice-consul.

CHENIUS

CO-consul.

CAROLUS

Of course.

GEORGIUS

We were just talking about Fettuccini.

CHENIUS

Lunchtime already?

CAROLUS

That's the Consul's nickname for Alfredo.

CHENIUS

Right. I've just come from the Senate. Not good. They're mad. Insulted by your manner towards them. They think you're acting like a dictator.

GEORGIUS

Carolus, wouldn't it solve everything if we sent Alfredo out hunting with Chenius? It's simple. We'd be rid of him. No one would miss him. And the Senate could move on to more pressing matters.

CAROLUS

I agree that it would be good to get rid of Alfredo. But with all respect to the Co-Consul, I don't think we should ask him to carry out such a job. As he knows, hunting "accidents" are tricky things to stage. We can't afford a survivor this time. Besides, I don't think a hunting accident with Chenius would send the right message. In order to placate the Senate, nothing about this should appear accidental. And yet we must also save face. Otherwise we will be handing our Clintonius rivals the torch with which they may burn us.

GEORGIUS

The Clintonii! Man--what plebs! You know their lavish villas and households are paid for by those barbarians in the West. Geffenus, Burklus....

CAROLUS

Actually Mr. Consul, Geffenus has deserted them. He has betrayed them for Barracus.

GEORGIUS
(laughs loudly)

Barracus? The son of a slave?

CAROLUS

There is dispute about that. The slaves say he is not slave enough.

CHENIUS

Back to Alfredo. I agree with Carolus that we must be rid of him, but in a face-saving manner.

GEORGIUS

Fine but how?

CHENIUS

He must be persuaded to kill himself. For the good of the Republic.

CAROLUS

After signing a statement acknowledging full and total responsibility for the murder of the Oracles.

CHENIUS

Of course.

GEORGIUS

How would you kill--how would he do it? Swallow poison?

CAROLUS

Let's leave poison to the Clintonii. Frankly it's amazing that Barracus is even still alive. Remember Warnerus? Bayus? Vilsacus...?

CHENIUS

It must be by sword. The sooner the better. Before the Senate puts him to torture.

GEORGIUS

You're right. Carolus, will you inform Alfredo of our decision?

Carolus rises.

CAROLUS

Right away, Mr. Consul.

Chenius stands and removes his sword from its sheath. He hands it to Carolus.

CHENIUS

Use this. It bears the Consul's seal. No one will be left in doubt about who ordered this "suicide."

Carolus nods and takes the sword.

CAROLUS

It's not often a man commits suicide by slitting his own throat.

CHENIUS

Good man.

Carolus leaves.

GEORGIUS

What else is going on out there, Chenius?

CHENIUS

Some good news. General Patraeus reports that the extra legions are helping in Mesopotamia. And Rudolfus--our former Dux of Novum Eborcum-- is gathering an army mighty enough to crush the Clintonii.

GEORGIUS

Like the Dux. He's a tough ass.

CHENIUS

Yes. So long as he escapes poisoning....

END