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The Borgias – Review of SE02 EP06 “Day of Ashes”

“Trust me, my name is Borgia”. ~ Cesare

In Florence, Savonarola is rousing the city inhabitants against the Medici family. Flagellants whip themselves, a public spectacle is made of a woman cutting off her hair and renouncing the world, and the poor attack the wealthy and supposed sodomites openly in the streets while Cardinal Sforza watches it all unfold. Savonarola’s power and popularity is growing and he must be stopped before he topples Florence.

“Vengeance you see, can wait, a lifetime if necessary”. ~ Rodrigo

Cardinal Sforza makes Rodrigo’s offer of a Cardinal’s seat to Savonarola and he tells Cardinal Sforza that he will wipe his ass with the Cardinal’s cap. Cardinal Sforza reports back to Rodrigo about the chaos in Florence and Savonarola’s refusal. He also tells him that Della Rovere has been spotted in Rome. Savonarola claims to speak directly to God through Angels and this gives Rodrigo the idea that he may be able to nail him on heresy. He sends Cesare to silence him.

Cesare comes to confront Savonarola. He tells him to suspend his sermons and Savonarola tells Cesare that he will continue to do what he wants. Cesare makes a veiled threat about standing too close to the flame and stalks away. Savonarola is an over the top but interesting character. No scene with him in it is boring. His drama gives the show some comedic relief and change of pace from all the plotting and scheming.

“We have both sinned my son but whose sin will bring the greatest doom upon us, mine or yours?” ~ Rodrgio

Cesare confesses that he killed Giovanni Sforza and screwed Katerina Sforza. Rodrigo is irate – Cesare has managed in one fell swoop to cause a war with the Sforza family and now Rodrigo needs more allies to fend them off. Rodrigo tells Cesare that Lucrezia must now marry because of his folly.

“And how secure was the last alliance you sold me into? I will not marry!” ~ Lucrezia

Cesare tells Lucrezia about his murder of Giovanni Sforza and Rodrigo tells her about her future marriage. Rodrigo plans to marry her to Forli and she refuses because of her horrible marriage to Giovanni Sforza. Frustrated by her obstinance, Rodrigo asks Vanozza to convince Lucrezia and to vet the Doge’s nephew as a suitor. Vanozza goes to see her daughter and convinces her to at least look. Someone catches Lucrezia’s eye! She is attracted to one suitor, but it is the wrong one – she is attracted to the brother of the man courting her. It looks like a possible love affair might be in the works for the lovely Lucrezia.

“These robes have clung to my back for far too long….I will command the Papal army”. ~ Cesare.

Or so he hopes….Cesare plots to get out of the Church yet again and meets in secret with Machiavelli. He tells Cesare that the Vatican funds are gone and helps Cesare by telling him where the wagons carrying Medici gold are hidden. By presenting Rodrigo the Medici gold, he believes his father will release him from his vows.

“Would you have us make Juan a Cardinal?!” ~ Rodrigo

Cesare brings Rodrigo the Medici gold – enough for Forli. Unfortunately, after playing Robin Hood, Rodrigo doesn’t release him saying that Juan would be a poor substitute in the Church and he needs Cesare there to advise him. Cesare is pissed. He is obviously more competent than Juan and has shown this time and time again but he can’t convince Rodrigo to free him from being a Cardinal.

Lastly, Della Rovere is spending all of his time plotting against Rodrigo incognito. He prepares the Canterella poison for his man-child assassin. He gives it to the boy repeatedly to make him immune so he can taste the poison and survive. This scene was rather comical with Della Rovere re-poisoning the boy and healing him for this fantastical assassination attempt. It kill be interesting to see how this goes down.

Tune in Sundays at 10pm to watch The Borgias on Showtime in the US, and Bravo in Canada.

Click here to read more reviews of The Borgias

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