The Borgias: Apocalypse Now

Previously on The Borgias: Della Rovere went to France and asked King Charles to invade Italy. Charles agreed, as long as he got to conduct the fighting his way. Lucrezia’s affair with Paulo continued, while Cesare’s affair with Ursula fizzled. Jofre got married to a woman who started sleeping with his brother, Juan.

The French are packing up their cannons and getting ready to invade Italy. A French commander asks della Rovere what the Italian words for cannonfire, recoil, and gunpowder are. DR says there are no such words that he knows of. Frenchie seems glad to hear it.

Meanwhile, down south, Juan and Sancia are in bed together. Even though they’re having a pretty enthusiastic time of it, Sancia pauses to glance out the window at her little husband, who’s playing with the doves in the courtyard. She tells Juan that Jofre’s sweet, but lacks his older brother’s vigor. Give the poor kid a chance, lady, he’s only 13!

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South Riding: So Sorry

Previously on South Riding: Sarah Burton showed up and got the job of new headmistress at the school. She wasn’t in town five minutes before butting heads with Robert, a local landowner with plenty of problems. Also, the town’s trying to clean up their slums, and some hellfire and brimstone-preaching type is being blackmailed by the local prostitute.

Sarah wanders the school and finds Lydia in one of the classrooms, bent over a book. She asks Lydia what she’s doing there and Lydia explains she’s doing her homework, because it’s too loud and crowded at home. Sarah invites her to her office and hands her a new coat to replace the one she’s wearing, which is too small. She also offers to let Lydia study in her office and suggests the girl could try for Oxford someday. The teacher who was being pushed around by her class last week shows up and asks for a word, so Sarah sends Lydia away. The teacher closes the door after her and says there’s a problem with Midge.

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Upstairs Downstairs vs. Downton Abbey

For some bizarre reason, Upstairs Downstairs co-creator Jean Marsh (who also played Rose) found it necessary to kick out at Downton Abbey, hinting (actually, pretty much flat-out saying) that it was a copy of UD: “I think we were all surprised. The new Upstairs Downstairs had been in the works for about three years. We were trying to sort out…40 years of rights and then … Continue reading Upstairs Downstairs vs. Downton Abbey

Camelot: Road Trip

Previously on Camelot: Arthur started spreading his influence and established a court of justice at Camelot. Morgan did pretty much the same thing at Magical Manse.

Guen dreams of her father telling her a story about Artemis asking her own father, Zeus, to allow her to remain single her whole life. She wakes with a smile as someone arrives with a message for her.

Meanwhile, the Camelot Crew is out planting flags everywhere. That’s how you know Arthur owns the place. It’s all about the clever use of flags. Merlin swings by and tells the boys to mount up, because they’re going on a road trip to Kay’s and Arthur’s childhood home, to fetch Sir Hector’s famous library. Apparently Camelot needs a library. You guys might want to look into a roof first. Kay’s not too excited to be going home, but he and Gawain and Leo join Merlin on his quest. Safety in numbers—maybe this time Merlin will manage not to kill anyone.

Back at Camelot, Arthur strides around giving orders to strip out the plants and repair the rooms and replace the roof (ah ha!) Guen’s cousin catches up with him and tells him that Guen’s taken off. Arthur finds the messenger who visited Guen that morning and learns that her father’s on his deathbed. Arthur grabs his horse and goes after her.

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South Riding: The Schoolmarm Cometh

Laura Linney starts off telling us all about how the deaths of so many men in the First World War left lots of women with nobody to marry (as one would imagine), and the author of the novel this is based on was one such woman. Write what you know.

As a man gallops a horse along a beach and through the countryside, a young woman in bright red sits on a train, smoking and writing in a journal. She hops off the train at a station and hauls ass to wherever she’s going, leaping onto a moving bus and everything. Meanwhile, the horseman dismounts (presumably at home) and Isobel Crawley calls ladies in to an interview. Red Dress finally arrives at the interview spot, and soon our unnamed horseman arrives as well. Isobel (that’s what I’m calling her until she gets a real name) ribs him for arriving just in time for the finish.

Red Dress (and I must ask—is a scarlet red dress really appropriate attire for a job interview? As a schoolteacher?) is in for her interview with a panel of mostly men, plus Isobel. One of them notes her empire experience—she taught in the Transvaal before going to London. Isobel informs her that this isn’t a fancy school, like they have in London, and Red Dress (oh, hell, her name’s Sarah Burton) counters that if one has high expectations, the girls will rise to meet them. Some will. Isobel’s not sure Sarah knows what she’s in for, in this far northern town, but Sarah zings them all by saying she does, actually, because she grew up nearby. Horseman doesn’t seen so keen on her, so now we know they’re totally going to hook up by the end of this. We’ve all seen this situation before. He’s totally the Mr. Darcy of this film.

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Game of Thrones: First Kill

Previously on Game of Thrones: Daenerys got some sex tips from her slave and started making her marriage work; Ned and his daughters headed south with the king and court, and Prince Joffrey proved himself to be a sniveling little jerk. Cate realized the Lannisters were behind Bran’s big fall and headed out to King’s Landing to tell Ned.

The royal entourage, now two direwolves short, arrives at King’s Landing and rolls up to the fairytale castle, where Stark dismounts and is immediately asked to attend a meeting of the high council. Ned tells the nanny to get the girls settled in, ignores the suggestion he change into something fancier, and heads inside.

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The Borgias: Sexy Time!

Previously on The Borgias: Lucrezia’s new crush messed with her husband’s saddle, so Sforza took a fall and has been laid up with a broken leg. Della Rovere continued to hop all over Italy, trying to ensure safe passage for a French army intent on taking over Naples. Cesare got a crush of his own, and obligingly killed the woman’s jerky husband. Alexander decided it was time for little Jofre to get married.

Pesaro Castle, home of Sforza and Lucrezia. Lucrezia’s attending her still bedridden husband, smearing a painful ointment on the wound on his leg, and being much sweeter about it than he deserves. Sforza realizes it too and thanks her, kind of, for taking such good care of him. He sort of apologizes for having been a dick too, and offers to overlook the “accident of [her] family name.” He also asks her to take his horse out for a ride, since he gets restless when he doesn’t get his exercise. She promises to do so.

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Camelot: Justice

Previously on Camelot: Merlin set out to score Arthur a great sword, but made a huge mess of things and wound up killing a girl named Excalibur. The nun who taught Morgan shows up at Magical Manse just as Morgan’s starting to randomly turn into Igraine, and together they manage to get Morgan through a near death experience. Or maybe a real death experience, it wasn’t really all that clear.

Excalibur (the girl) is haunting Merlin’s dreams. Merlin’s apparently taken to hiding himself away, as Kay helpfully informs us as he, Arthur, and a few guards ride through the forest in the rain. As they ride along, we cut back and forth between them and two men having a knock-down, drag-out fight. Arthur, wimpy as always, suggests stopping until the rain ceases, but Kay sniffs at that and they keep going. Good thing, too, because a little further down the road a young girl runs out of the woods and waves for them to stop, because “he’s going to kill him.” Meanwhile, one of the guys in the fight gets the upper hand and bashes his opponent’s head in with a rock. A bunch of villagers show up just in time to see him deliver the killing blow, and they immediately start to string up the murderer, just as Arthur and his entourage gallop in. The girl addresses the killer as “father,” so it looks like things are about to get complicated.

Arthur orders the villagers to take the men down, and they comply, but the leader points out that the man is a murderer and they were dispensing justice. Arthur won’t hear this and asks what happened. The leader says they saw him kill leader’s brother. Arthur turns to the young girl and asks her what her name is. It’s Katelyn, and she begs Arthur not to allow the men to hang her father. Leader introduces himself as Euan, and he’s head man now his brother’s dead. Arthur tells them they’re all to present themselves at Camelot for a trial. Euan protests, but when Arthur tells him that’s the way it’s going to be, he folds like a cheap suit. To Camelot, then!

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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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