Poison in Every Cup and an Assassin on Every Corner
Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys himself a papacy, and a whole lot of enemies along with it.
Dine and Death
Della Rovere tries to drum up support, and finds himself at the dinner party from hell. In Rome, Alexander agrees to take in a sultan’s sweet, lovable brother, for a price. Naturally, the guy’s too likeable to stick around for long.
Nice Day for a Spite Wedding
Alexander meanly bars Vannozza from Lucretia’s wedding and makes Cesare perform the service, so Cesare gets revenge by bringing Vannozza to the reception. Juan predictably screws up the entertainment, and the groom is so appalled by it all he takes it out on poor, sweet Lucretia.
Alexander asks his vice chancellor, Cardinal Sforza, to lean on his cousin, the Duke of Milan, and convince him not to let the French come parading through. When that doesn’t work out, he decides to start planning another wedding. Meanwhile, both Lucrezia and Cesare get crushes that will probably end tragically.
Everyone gets into bed with someone this episode: Juan with his little brother’s wife, Lucrezia with cute stableboy Paolo, Cesare with Ursula, and della Rovere with the King of France.
The French invade and seriously trash Lucca before heading south, scaring the hell out of everyone along the way, including della Rovere.
War is Hell
Everyone learns this lesson big time when Juan sets the outnumbered and outgunned Papal Army against the French, who get to play with their devastating new toys.
Alexander strikes a deal with the French, saving his papacy, and then turns his attention to the annulment of Lucrezia’s marriage, which goes through just before she gives birth to a son.
Alexander tries to make peace between his sons, finds a Roman ruin, and helps the people of Rome party likes it’s 99. In plague-stricken Naples, Alfonso’s crazy family history comes back to–literally–bite him in the ass.
Alexander don’t want no pigeons (or poor people) cluttering up his pretty fanatasy Rome. So he has one killed and has Giulia take care of the other. I’ll let you figure out which is which. Lucrezia’s former lover Paolo rolls into town, just as much a pest to Juan as those pigeons are to Alexander, and he gets treatment about as gentle as the pigeons do.
Paolo’s death puts Lucrezia in a tailspin of grief and Juan hating, which nearly culminates in fratricide. Cesare gets double duty, tending to his sister and brilliantly faking out the French king, with an assist from Victor/Vittoria
It’s time to get the French out of Italy. While Alexander prays for rain, Cesare takes a bloodier, more badass route that actually works. In Rome, Lucrezia schools the curia and joins with her mother and Giulia to actually get some shit done.
Lovers and Enemies
Cesare and Micheletto travel to Micheletto’s hometown, where they meet his mom (hee!) and a lover each. Lucrezia, Giulia, and Vannozza set out to bring some cardinals to heel and improve the lot of Rome’s prostitutes; Della Rovere decides to poison Alexander; and Alexander thinks God might be a bit pissed at him
Plots and Plans
Della Rovere gets a sacrificial lamb, Alexander celebrates Lent, Lucrezia starts discarding suitors, and Savonarola gets served.
Juan returns to Rome with a panther, cigars, and syphilis. Alexander sends him to Forli to kick Catarina’s ass and he proceeds to botch it horribly. Lucrezia’s got a crush on the wrong guy, and Cesare gets to watch the Bonfire of the Vanities first hand.
The Whole Story
Juan returns to Rome and lies all over the place about how bravely he fought at Forli. Little does he know, Don Hernando delivered Catarina’s son right to Cesare, and the kid knows how totally full of BS Juan really is. Also, Lucrezia realizes she doesn’t have to choose between the Genoese brothers–she can marry one and sleep with the other!
The Trouble with Juan
Juan dials his assholishness up to about 11, finally forcing Cesare to act
Alexander bids farewell to his son, Savonarola says goodbye to life, Lucrezia leaves the single life behind, and Cesare finally gets to cast off his cardinal’s robes
Micheletto in the Bedchamber with a Candlestick
Lucrezia’s quick thinking saves her father’s life, but the attempted poisoning only serves to light a fire under Caterina Sforza, who decides it’s time to assassinate the entire Borgia family
Alexander makes both Cesare and Cardinal Sforza earn their penance by giving them a task to which they’re both eminently well suited: rooting out the Borgia enemies both within and outside the Vatican
The Most Dangerous Game
Cesare’s sent to play hardball with Alfonso’s kinsman, the King of Naples, who retaliates by inviting all the Borgia enemies, including Caterina Sforza, to Lucrezia’s wedding. Alexander, meanwhile, starts cozying up to the new French king
Giulia comes up with a pretty ingenius way to ensure the cardinals’ loyalty, Lucrezia is forced to consummate her marriage in full view of her brother and the King of Naples, and Caterina tosses Bianca Gonzaga back in the pope’s bed
The Dark Pool
Lucrezia goes to Naples and finds her son’s not at all welcome there, so she resorts to rather desperate measures to bump the opposition out of the way. In Rome, Alexander’s dealing with Bianca, who’s gone completely crazy, and in France Cesare gets himself a bride and an army
The Bastard Army
Cesare marches his army into Italy, bent on conquering Milan before marching on Forli, but he’s foiled by Caterina. Good thing he’s added some malcontented Italian noblemen to his ranks to fill out the numbers. Alexander’s planning a huge party for the upcoming Jubilee year, which means doing business with some newly arrived Jews who claim to have a holy relic.
Micheletto gains a new lovah, Lucrezia plays politics in Naples, and Cesare grows ever further away from his father
Micheletto and Lucrezia finally realise how badly they got played
Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot
Alexander cleverly confounds all his enemies (and his allies), Lucrezia escapes Naples, and the conflict with his father shoves Cesare right over the moral event horizon
Cesare neutralises Caterina, but Alexander’s got a new, somewhat meglomaniacal plan to put into action, and Lucrezia’s husband no longer fits in