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The Borgias – Review of SE02 EP03: The Beautiful Deception

The Borgias
Review of Season 2 Episode 3
The Beautiful Deception

This week, on The Borgias, Lucrezia grows up and takes vengeance on Juan for his involvement in Paolo’s murder. It was nice to see her character progress and display some true Borgia nastiness. Lucrezia has often been portrayed as a naive and silly girl. As the show has evolved, we see she is quite capable of getting in touch with her Borgia roots and this latest installment really showcased her nasty side. It was nearly ‘death by chandelier’ for poor Juan who has obviously underestimated his little sister.

The look on his Juan’s face (as it drained of colour!) when he realised he was almost killed by Lucrezia was PRICELESS. Juan, usually full of bravado, strutting about like a peacock, gets capped at the knees by his delicate, sweet, and not-so-innocent sister. It seems Lucrezia has taken a page out of Cesare’s book! Paolo could not read or write so Juan gave himself away when he pinned a suicide note to Paolo’s body. It’s surprising but clearly shows Juan wasn’t thinking. What common stable boy had the ability to read and write then? Juan, REALLY?

As punishment, and drawing Rodrigo’s ire for refusing to initially admit to the murder, Juan is sent away to marry in Spain. One has to wonder, given Juan’s stupidity, if Rodrigo sent him away more for his safety than any other reason. Cesare and Lucrezia are certainly not sad to see him go and exchange a few choice lines as they watch their buffoon of a brother depart Rome.

Della Rovere, dressed incognito with a beard and rough Franciscan robes, spends his time drumming up support for a Borgia assassination. Meanwhile, the King of France, now fulyl recovered, decides it’s high time to make the Pope pay for his deceit and takes the angry Sforzas in tow to attack Rome.

The real show stopper this episode was Cesare’s incredible plan to stall the attack. Realizing his father has spent the papal coffers on the ill-received “Pagan Party”, and therefore has no money for cannons to protect Rome, Cesare devises a brilliant plan to save the city. Cesare gets help from the artisan Victoria to create fake cannons made of porcelain but painted to look like the real thing. He creates 100 of these and mounts them to the ramparts of the city. When the King of France and the Sforzas arrive, they see the cannons and and fall for his trickery. They leave quietly and Rome has been been saved once again with Cesare greeted as a hero in the streets. Did this actually happen? No, historically, it didn’t but it’s a great scene and storyline to build to the eventual attack by the French. It demonstrated Cesare’s adeptness and creativity as not only a sinister character (with heart), but a military mastermind. He is so many leagues above Juan in just about everything and Rodrigo must see it now – he chose the wrong son to take the cloth.

Tune in with us next week for another exciting episode of The Borgias, Sundays at 10pm.

Click here to see more episode reviews from The Borgias

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