The Borgias: Lovers and Enemies

Previously on The Borgias: Cesare and Micheletto went rogue and formed the Band of Badass, which managed to finally drive the French out of Italy while Alexander was busy praying for rain and screwing a duchess. Back in Rome, Lucrezia and Giulia joined forces with Vannozza to start getting some actual public works finished.

Churchtime! At St. Peter’s, a mass is underway, watched by Lucrezia, Giulia, and Vannozza. Lucrezia observes the crowd and likens the church to both a bank and a theater, noting that the greater the spectacle the more the penitents seem to pay into the offering plates. Giulia wonders if the cardinals can be made to see the light and Vannozza says they all have their secrets, they just have to find them. Oh, and they shall. I need to come up with a cool name for this trio of great ladies. Any suggestions?

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The Borgias: Rainmakers

Previously on The Borgias: Well, I actually missed almost all of last week’s episode, but from what I can gather, Cesare and Victor/Vittoria managed to fake out the entire French army with paper mâché cannon. And that’s pretty damn cool.

Alexander congratulates Cesare and Victor/Vittoria on their subterfuge, but Cesare doesn’t get to celebrate long: Micheletto appears and tells him the French came up by a road that took them past the convent where Ursula was living. The two men race there, but the place has been pretty much laid waste. The nuns have been slaughtered, and their bodies left underneath that recently completed ceiling fresco. Cesare moves past them until he finds Ursula at last and realizes her ear’s been cut off, as have those of many of the other nuns. And now Cesare’s really, really pissed. Man, I wished for an end to this subplot, but I didn’t want this for her. That sucks. Cesare vows vengeance on the French. Micheletto agrees with that because that’s the kind of thing he lives for, and he finds a French flag left carelessly nearby. Cesare tells Micheletto to start gathering up some stray condottieri that they can use to unleash some sweet, sweet asskicking on the French.

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Brother Borgia

He’s not English, but he’s heavily featured on this blog, so happy birthday, Cesare Borgia! One of the most ruthless and successful members of the Borgia family was born in Rome on September 13, 1475 (possibly. He may also have been born in April 1476). Cesare was the son (either the eldest or the second-born) of Carinal Rodrigo Borgia, who would become Pope Alexander VI. … Continue reading Brother Borgia

The Borgias: New Beginnings

Previously on The Borgias: King Charles of France slaughtered his way across Italy, and nobody, particularly not Juan, was able to stop him. Except Lucrezia, who brokered a deal on the fly that would allow Charles to make a bloodless entry into Rome. I’m expecting her to become fully awesome in season 2.

The French pack up and get on the road to Rome. Della Rovere immediately tells Charles he should demand a convocation of the College of Cardinals as soon as they arrive, so they can get on with deposing Alexander. He says this right in front of Giulia and Lucrezia too, which seems unwise, since he’s just witnessed how good these ladies are at wheeling and dealing. Giulia coolly points out that there probably won’t be too many cardinals hanging around in Rome when they get there.

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The Borgias: Family Ties

Previously on The Borgias: Lucrezia was married off to Giovanni Sforza, who turned out to be, well, ungallant. Cesare met a beautiful woman at the reception who begged him to free her from her brutish husband.

Lucrezia lies dead, drowned in the bottom of a tub. Very Ophelia. Alexander reaches into the tub and pulls her out, begging for her forgiveness. Dead Lucrezia floats toward the ceiling, intoning: “God may forgive you, father, but I never will.” She takes a position in the roundel painted on the ceiling, and Alexander wakes himself from the nightmare, shouting her name.

Lucrezia, meanwhile, is not dead, but I’m guessing she wishes she were. She’s lying curled up in bed as her husband says she didn’t snore, but she cried all damn night, and that simply has to stop. She’ll probably stop crying when you stop raping her, jackass. Sforza rolls out of bed and tells her they won’t have to see each other much, so no worries. He leaves and she starts crying again.

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The Borgias: Nice Day for a Spite Wedding

Previously on The Borgias: Della Rovere ran around Italy, trying to drum up support for his deposition of Alexander. In Rome, the pope started interviewing prospective husbands for Lucrezia and secured her dowry by having his houseguest, the brother of the Sultan of Constantinople, killed by his sons.

Della Rovere arrives in Florence, where he goes to hear Savonarola speak hellfire and brimstone to a crowd in a church. He seems to like what he’s hearing.

Meanwhile, in Rome, Lucrezia’s in bed, sick with a fever, being tenderly attended by Cesare. She starts to talk about her dead crush, poor Djem, whom she’s heard died of a sudden fever. She’s also heard that his death paid for her dowry, which bothers her. Cesare manages to put off her questions and they chat a bit about her future husband, Giovanni Sforza. Cesare bathes her face and kisses her forehead, and it’s actually quite sweet and touching.

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The Borgias: Poison in Every Cup and an Assassin on Every Corner

Those of you who read my Tudors recaps knows how I feel about the work Michael Hirst chooses to produce, so when I heard he was taking on the Borgia family, I was a bit wary, and the bodice ripping early previews didn’t help. Still, I tried to be optimistic. After all, The Borgias stars much-lauded actor Jeremy Irons. Now, Irons has made some pretty poor choices in the past when it came to his roles (he did, after all, voluntarily do both Eragorn and Dungeons and Dragons), but he’s still a fine actor, and as much as I’m sure I’ll get outraged comments about this, I think he’s a much better and stronger actor than Jonathan Rhys Myers, who in my opinion didn’t have what it took to carry The Tudors. The supporting cast looked good too—Derek Jacobi, Joanne Whalley, Colm Feore. So, like I said, I tried to be optimistic. And judging by the first episode, I was kind of right to be. If the show continues the way it started, it’s going to be a fun ride. Let’s get started, shall we?

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