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: 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’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: Lucrezia’s sometime lover and babydaddy Paolo came to town and got to see her and the baby before Juan got pissed and killed him, disguising the death as a suicide.
Poor Paolo is still hanging in the square, attracting some attention, including that of Cesare, who tries to hustle his sister out of there. She notices the crowd, however, and then sees its cause and completely falls to pieces in her grief. So I guess we know what the gossip in the square’s going to be for the next week or so. Cesare finds a suicide note that Juan planted on the body, because he’s both a moron and an asshole. Moron because most people of Paolo’s class at the time (including Paolo, as we know) were illiterate and asshole because suicide was (and still is) taken very seriously by the Catholic church and meant you couldn’t have a Christian burial. It basically meant you were consigned to hell for all eternity. Juan, you are such a douche. None of us are going to be sorry to see you die in the season finale (sorry, historical spoiler!). Now, Lucrezia knows Paolo couldn’t read or write, so the note clues her in to the fact that something is seriously amiss here. She gets up and starts to move away from the body, but then faints. Cesare picks her up and carries her home, telling one of their guards to take care of the body.
Previously on The Borgias: Alexander brokered peace between his two sons, which lasted all of 10 minutes; then decided to return Rome to its glorious, Imperial, hedonistic past by throwing a huge party for the whole city. King Charles of France managed to track down Alfonso of Naples and tortured him to death.
Paolo, Lucrezia’s former lover and father of her child, is making his way to Rome on a donkey. He stops to ask some peasants for directions, and they point him in the right direction, talking the whole time about how awful Rome is.
Previously on The Borgias: Rodrigo Borgia became Pope Alexander, caused some scandals, elevated his children, had some people killed, saw off a threat from France and from Cardinal della Rovere, and collected one awesome sidekick (or, rather, Cesare did).
We open on an altar boy surreptitiously adding something to the communion wine before mass. The priest—best known to us as Cardinal della Rovere—calls him out so they can get the mass started, and when they reach the communion part, he raises the chalice with the tainted wine in it and drinks. The kid watches apprehensively, but nothing happens. Not right away, anyway. He gets about halfway through communion before he starts to collapse. He forces himself along, but then the next man up to receive communion is Cesare. DR hits the floor.
DR’s in bed, being tended by nuns. Cesare comes in and shoos the ladies away. He reassures DR he’s not going to die, but his tongue’s going to be pretty swollen for a few days. It seems DR’s been hiding out at this little congregation, and Cesare wants him to know that they can find him anywhere. Message received, I think. He engages in some brief water torture and urges DR to work with them, not against them.
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