After two brutal, action-packed chapters, “Spoils of War” is – after a bloody prologue – a less eventful, less bloody episode. It confidently establishes Gannicus as a hero worthy of admiration and solidifies Crassus as a formidable foe– witness his blithe disregard of Gannicus’s diversion attempt, and the reveal of his true plan at episode’s end is inspired.
Often, the nudity is purely fanservice – unnamed extras flashing their bits to keep things interesting – but it’s not averse to using it to accentuate character development. This was evident in “Spoils of War” with respect to Laeta and Caesar.
(NSFW past the jump)
Laeta’s nude scene achieved dual purposes. The lingering male gaze wasn’t without purpose, bringing chilling heft to her sale to Heracleo, but the scene predominantly served to emphasis her sense of relief and vulnerability… right before the carpet is pulled out from under her.
Caesar’s nude(ish) scene, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. I’d expected the series to establish him as the moral counterpart to Spartacus (as Crassus is his strategic counterpart), but his cruel swagger before Tiberius made the reveal that he was party to Laeta’s betrayal seem almost inevitable.