Starting off with a surprise, Pompey dictates a letter offering Caesar a truce. We cut from flies buzzing around Pompey and his crew to a comfortable Caesar getting a shave. "Judicious use of mercy is worth 10,000 men," Caesar says when told he's being a spendthrift. Then the intrigue begins in earnest, with Octavian spilling to his mom that Caesar's cursed with an affliction; Lucius buying Pullo's girl back from a stranger and giving her to Niobe as a slave (and spy); Caesar refusing Pompey's offer of a truce (and not following Antony's advice to immediately head south and kill him) and Lucius finding his business dead before he's started it. Now, all the ugliness of that last one aside, it's setting up his return to soldiering, which is good for us since he's a lot more entertaining as a fighter than he was as an entrepreneur and a cuckold.
Did someone say fighter? Here's an interesting twist: Pullo is working as a tutor to build up Octavian's masculinity. Then Lucius finds he's no cutthroat-for-hire, and does goes back into the military. So how about that Servilia-Caesar artwork, huh? Modern-day taggers have nothing on graffiti artists of old. (Though I'm sure Caesar and his wife don't quite appreciate it the way I do.) And we go from pitying the rejected-and-smacked Servilia to being more than a little scared of her as she puts very graphic curses on both Caesar and Atia once she finds out the latter was behind the paintings. A long, bitter life of shame, with all her children dead, she says. Ouch. Speaking of ouch, Octavian and Pullo go after Niobe's lover and get him to confess to fathering her son, cutting off his thumbs and killing him in the process. Damn, that's one scary kid, huh? And we end with Caesar at the sea and finding he's too late Pompey has sailed off. This show's never slow, huh? I mean, I'm hooked, and happy to be.