Unlike the lucky ladies, the men of The Borgias tend to have a fairly set uniform, and you only really sit up and take notice when they change out of it. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some interesting things going on, costume-wise.
Previously on The Borgias: Lucrezia and her husband escaped from Naples, only to find themselves essentially prisoners again in Rome. Cesare and Alexander finally buried the hatchet, with a serious assist from Mattai, and Cesare was given command of the papal armies.
Previously on The Borgias: Caterina Sforza mailed plague to Rome, catching one of the cardinals stupid enough to ignore Cesare’s orders to burn her letter; Lucrezia got rid of the King of Naples, but found there are two others in line before her husband; Cesare and the French army marched into Milan, only to find Ludovico Sforza gone and the place empty.
Previously on The Borgias: Cesare headed to France, got married, and was given an army; Micheletto talked Lucrezia out of killing Ferdinand of Naples and then took care of the job for her; Caterina kept gathering her new allies.
Ruffio has arrived at a village that’s been hit hard by the plague. Diseased bodies lie strewn on the ground and a cross burns atop a mound of ashy skeletons. He pauses beside one dead man and uses his sword to remove a scrap of cloth. A woman sitting nearby, defeated, manages to give him a WTF face. He leaves her some coins, like she’s got any use for those.
Previously on The Borgias: Lucrezia was forced to screw her new husband in front of his cousin and her brother, who shortly after departed for France to find a wife. Giulia got on Alexander’s bad side for helping her brother attempt to balance the books, and in order to get back on his good side, she came up with a brilliant (and effective) plan to keep all the cardinals loyal. Bianca Gonzaga found her way back into Alexander’s bed, prompting her husband to publicly call Alexander out for sleeping with her.
Previously on The Borgias: Lucrezia got married and promptly slept with her brother, because why not? (No, seriously, that was her actual reason). One of the disgraced Cardinals set fire to the treasury before hitting the road, and Caterina Sforza started gathering an army of discontents.
Giulia’s brother, Alessandro Farnese, gets his Cardinal’s hat, as per Alexander’s deal with Giulia. He’s a young pup, so young one of the other cardinals has no idea who he is.
Previously on The Borgias: At Alexander’s behest, Cesare and Cardinal Sforza started purging the Vatican. One of the disgraced cardinals decided to take things into his own hands and attacked Alexander while confessing, only to get his own knife in his throat.
A little disconcertingly, we don’t pick up with the fallout from Alexander being found covered with the blood of a cardinal—we start off with him enthroned, back to stripping disgraced churchmen of their offices and titles. One of them asks how much longer this is going to go on, and accuses him of doing this for personal gain (all the property being taken back goes directly to the church). Afterwards, Cesare warns his father that he’s running out of cardinals. Alexander doesn’t care, as long as the place is cleansed of enemies and he can use the money to do God’s work. I hope that means Giulia’s, Lucrezia’s, and Vannozza’s charitable endeavour from last season gets more funding. It’d be a way to keep Giulia around, at least.
Previously on The Borgias: Lucrezia’s quick thinking saved her father’s life, but it was up to Cesare and Micheletto to save the Borgia family from Caterina Sforza’s assassination plot. She tried to enlist the help of Cardinal Sforza, but at the last minute he threw in his lot with Rome and told Cesare they have a serious new enemy: Caterina’s henchman Ruffio, who’s being sent out to round up disgruntled nobles and rally them to the anti-Borgia cause.
Previously on The Borgias: Well, let’s see. Juan got so out of control that even Lucrezia wanted him dead, but it was Cesare who finally succeeded in offing him, mostly to save his own family. Caterina Sforza refused to knuckle under, and has sworn to bring down the Borgias. Micheletto’s gay, and just as badass as ever; Lucrezia chose a new fiancé; and last but not least, Della Rovere hatched a plot to poison Alexander that may have succeeded.