'Whore' is the most important episode of the series. Everything that happens - Mira and Spartacus teaming up, Glaber and Ilithyia being tied to the villa - is because Licinia and Ilithyia were horny. Earlier we mentioned that 'Shadow Games' isn't at the top because things would have happened even if Spartacus hadn't been crowned champion. And that's true. While it certainly didn't hinder Licinia's decision to get jiggy with Spartacus, she was so smitten that it wouldn't have mattered. Why? Because he's freaking hot that's why. Have you seen that guy? Man could burn eye sockets if you stared too long. Ilithyia was just as entranced by Crixus, though her decision to lay with him might have been anchored in the theory that he was Lucretia's lover and wanted to make her feel inferior or at the very least, make it known she was way below Ilithyia's status. Regardless of the reason, these two ladies chose their man toys for a night, but Lucretia is nervous that Spartacus won't do anything due to his stubbornness. Enter Mira. She is ordered to make sure Spartacus can hold his own in the sack. He's offended but really, maybe he should have practiced? It had been a long while since Sura and Ilithyia did wind up pregnant.
But Spartacus has more on his mind. Varro is troubled because his wife and child are missing. So one night Mira comes to him again as ordered and Spartacus gives her a mission (which she fulfills in 'Party Favors'). She reports that Spartacus is ready for his assignment. He gets dressed in gold body paint and a mask. And that's it. He gets on with who he thinks is Licinia but since she is wearing a mask, he can't tell. When Lucretia interrupts them, it's revealed that it's Ilithyia, not Licinia under the mask. He goes berserk and tries to strangle her, perhaps in a Thracian attempt at lovemaking. He's taken away but Ilithyia has to sit there and be humiliated by Licinia, who's laughing. Ilithyia loses her temper and soon what used to be Licinia's brains are all over the floor.
If ever there was an "Oh s***" moment, it was this - not just for the audience, but for the characters as well. Lucretia's attempts at taming Ilithyia caused the death of a major noble Roman (cousin to Marcus Crassus. Sound familiar?), put the house at risk, and in a rippling effect caused Ilithyia to lash out of her tormentor's hands. Her fury settles on Varro, his family, Spartacus, the slaves, and eventually her husband. Had she not lost her temper (or Lucretia been so evil), Varro would have lived, Glaber wouldn't have given patronage thus tying he and Ilithyia to the house in Vengeance, and Ilithyia would have been in Rome to give birth to Sparty Jr. Instead we see her morph into a villain and wreak havoc for everyone.
The show has a "ripple effect" in all of its episodes, but it is 'Whore' that has the biggest game changer.