“The Borgias In Love”
Cesare pursues Baroness Ursula, while Lucrezia falls in love with the stable boy and plots against her brutish husband. Political plots thicken as Cardinal Della Rovere takes his cause to the Duke of Milan, Cesare courts Niccolo Machiavelli for an alliance and Rodrigo makes plans to marry off Juan and Gioffre.
“Good, then we need hardly see each other except when marital duties call and then I’ll keep them brief, and business like. ” ~ Giovanni Sforza
OUCH! Lucrezia ia absolutely miserable with her new husband who is mean, violent and brutal towards her. She cries every night and prays that he just leaves her alone. Rodrigo has nightmare’s about Lucrezia where she drowns and rises up to heaven uttering “God may forgive you father, but I never will”. He has no idea what she is going through but these dreams bother Rodrigo enough to have him get his Vice Chancellor, Cardinal Sforza to check in on his cousin and get assurance that Lucrezia is being treated well.
Lucrezia talks to her maid, Francesca, about men and marriage advice as she’s washing the brusies and marks on her body and she tells Lucrezia that ‘marriage should not be thus’. No shit, Francesca. He has sex with her like a battering ram and it leaves her in pain. She also shares with Lucrezia a way to make the rough sex end more quickly. If she pleases her husband, he won’t last as long ;) Also, she tells her to count the thrusts like you would count sheep to fall asleep. Currently, it takes him 27-32 thrusts to ‘get ‘er done’; that way she knows how long it takes and can bring it down to single digits! OMG! The things people did before marriage counseling was an option ;)
Fortunately for Lucrezia, her brutish husband hunts a lot and she spends her time flirting with the stable boy, Paolo. He and Francesca feel terrible for her plight and Paolo plots with Lucrezia to cause Sforza to have an accident so that he can leave her alone for a while. He rigs his master’s saddle so that it’s not secured and he falls off while hunting and breaks his leg. *high fives!* Broken leg = no sex for Lucrezia :)
“Will you never stop?…You are going to ensnare the whole of Europe in your progeny ” ~ Giulia Farnese
From one miserable marriage onto the next, Rodrigo is already plotting to betroth Juan to another important Italian family. It’s a rather humourous scene as an extremely ugly girl’s portrait is paraded in front of Juan and Rodrigo tries to contain his mutual distaste for her as well. All the girls who are being offered to Juan are cousins and distant relations to Kings, which Juan aptly calls “second rate royalty” :) Juan is picky and wants a true princess or nothing at all. He has this sense of entitlement because he is the Pope’s son. No luck this episode for Juan.
So…with Juan being difficult, he moves onto little Gioffre! Rodrigo will betroth a little boy to make an alliance with Naples. He’s on a match-making rampage. In some ways, as miserable as Chezzy is in his clerical robes, he’s at least safe from his father’s dreadful mismatches.
“There are many things that please me about you, Cardinal, among them, the fact that you are a Cardinal…your priestly collar makes me hope my heart is safe because I am not fully in command of it” ~ Ursula Bonadeo
Baroness Ursula Bonadeo goes to confession to speak to Cesare and confesses she has nothing to confess – she just wanted to see him. Ursula and Cesare admit their feelings for one another – their infatuation for each other. Cesare wants to kiss her and would if it weren’t for the confession barrier. Ursula begs Cesare not topursue a fight with her husband to avenge his mother’s honour because her husband is a fighter and she fears for Cesare’s life, not knowing that he’s actually good with a sword – better than his half-assed, pompous brother Juan. She cares for him deeply andcannot bear to see him hurt. He tells her that she doesn’t know him well and that he doesn’t forget such insults, he must avenge his mother. Ya, our boy Chezzy is definitely not the type to just let things go ;)
Later, as they go on a horseback ride together in the woods, she admits she can’t control her feelings and fears he would break her heart – Cesare assures her that he would put it in mortal danger, but never hurt her. Awwwww, Socio-path love…isn’t that sweet? ;)
“Can you do nothing right?! Blink once and you will be eyeless!” ~ Cesare Borgia
Cesare finds out from Michelotto that Giancarlo, the #SpyFAIL was murdered by Della Rovere. Della Rovere has fled Florence and is now in Milan. Cesare fears he will go to France and the French will march through Florence by arranging safe passage with the Florentines and invade Rome. The French King would depose his father, and this would be easily accomplished because the French are hardened by one hundred years of war with England – Italy has nothing to match that. Rodrigo sends Cesare to Florence to speak with the Medici and sends Cardinal Sforza to Milan .He must tell the Duke that if he acts against the Pope’s wishes, he will see the justice of his imprisoned nephew’s cause.
Della Rovere is indeed stirring the pot with Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, who is also known as ‘il Moro” due to his cruelty and cunning. We get a peak at this with his nephew, the true Duke of Milan, sitting in chains below the floor. There is a grate in his prison in which Ludovico pisses on him. He speaks to him about exactly what Cesare feared: allowing the French to pass through Milan unmolested.
Cardinal Sforza finally speaks to the Duke of Milan, who also happens to be a cousin and a Sforza. These Sforza’s sure do get around! My word! You can’t turn around without hitting a Sforza on this show!
The Duke of Milan is enraged but frees his nephew….only to poison him and to tell Cardinal Sforza that he will welcome the French army. #VeiledThreatFAIL. Rodrigo’s plans fall flat since he now has no one to leverage against the Duke of Milan and he’s also managed to piss him off. Good one. This is where Rodrigo and Cesare differ – Cesare’s plans seem to be well thought out and he manages to get “buy in” from people. Rodrigo didn’t offer anything to the Duke he, just threatened him. Cesare offered Florence something they wanted in exchange for something he wanted – Savanarola out of their hair, for stopping the French march through Florence. Cesare didn’t come to Florence and threaten Machiavelli. Della Rovere also didn’t get the Florentines on his side because he didn’t give them something that they wanted. The longer this show goes on, the more I see Cesare as the true mastermind behind the Borgia family and Rodrigo as a washed up has been who pales in comparison to his son’s brilliance.
“You have lived in usury Florence, like pigs in heat! The riches of your banking may astound the world but one day, they will be your undoing!”~ Girolamo Savanarola
While Cesare is watching his father’s nemesis, Savanarola, preach against the Florentine bankers, he is approached discretely by Niccolo Machiavelli, Ambassador to the House of Medici. Cesare asks about Machiavelli’s meeting with Cardinal Della Rovere. Machiavelli is surprised that Cesare knows about their meeting and knows that Florence did not agree to Della Rovere’s offer, so…Cesare sweetens one of his own. He offers Machiavelli Savanarola in exchange for Florence not permitting the French to pass through their territory. Savanarola has been a thorn in the side of the Florentine bankers because he is constantly railing against them…his father could be convinced to have him burned as an exchange for their cooperation. Machiavelli is impressed with Cesare’s political shrewdness and compliments him on it.
“Where is the valour in that? Or the pleasure…No, I shall do this alone.” ~ Cesare Borgia
The ending scenes are some of my favourites in this episode. Cesare finds Ursula in the marketplace distributing alms and notices marks on the side of her face from her husband. She tells Cesare to forget her and kisses him secretly in the alley. Cesare is pretty pissed now and goes to Michelotto to sharpen his sword-fighting skills. He asks him to ‘put me in harm’s way’ so that he can fight the Baron and win. He feels he’s become soft since he’s become a cardinal and he practices so that he can duel Ursula’s husband properly. Cesare wants to avenge his mother’s honour after Ursula’s husband called her a whore at Lucrezia’s wedding and liberate Ursula from him. Cesare finally confronts Ursula’s husband, they duel in the pouring rain and he slays him. Now Ursula is free, Cesare can pursue her without hindrance, and he has also avenged his mother’s honour.
The fight in the pouring rain was awesome. It wasn’t a long scene but it was just cool to watch. It must have been difficult to fight in the pouring rain but they made it look really good:) This episode was enjoyable to watch and it is building towards Lucrezia and Cesare coming closer to their beloveds in next week’s episode. I can’t wait! This show is like a fine wine, it gets better with age. Every episode is improving and culminating towards something that will be very exciting by the time the season finale rolls around. I am also thrilled to learn that The Borgias has been renewed for an exciting second season of intrigue, drama and murder :)