The Borgias – Review of Season 3 Episode 4: The Banquet of Chestnuts

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“So the King of Naples is to watch me in bed for the good of the family…the act may be done in a night, but I will have blood for this” ~ Lucrezia

On this week’s episode of the Borgias, Rodrigo has replenished his Cardinals with those who he knows will be loyal to him – like Julia Farnese’s brother. Rodrigo puts him in the treasury because he’s good with numbers and makes sure he only reports the Vatican finances to Rodrigo. When Julia comes to check up on him, she finds her brother overwhelmed by the work and she sets out to help him. Later on that night, she is dragged to Rodrigo’s chambers to explain why her hand writing is all over the Vatican accounts. He is angry because he thinks he is incompetent but she manages to assure him that her brother can do the job. Rodrigo is worried his efforts to expunge the bad Cardinals is all for naught and that he will be betrayed once again.

Borgias banquet of chestnuts

Meanwhile, Cardinal Versucci has escaped after the library fire he set and comes to a nunnery. He presents the nuns their former titles and lands in perpetuity that Rodrigo had taken from them. Cesare sends Michelotto to hunt him down and punish him.

Venetian emissaries comes to Rome to get aid against the Turks who are raiding Venice. Rodrigo decides to call a Crusade for Venice against the Turks.




“Maybe we can both work our way to heaven…” ~ Cesare

The King of Naples congratulates him on his marriage, he tries to get him to talk about their first night and Alfonso admits that they haven’t consummated the marriage. Alfonso comes to see Lucrezia and apologizes for his behaviour. She tries to get him to agree to a chaste marriage but the King of Naples won’t have it. The King of Naples broaches the issue with Rodrigo and Cesare and forces her to have sex while he watches to prove it is consummated. Lucrezia is furious about being put on display and makes Cesare watch as part of the punishment for not defending her honour. Cesare is obviously upset and enraged by this ordeal. Meanwhile, Lucrezia is very good to Alfonso during their “peep show” by trying to calm his nerves. However, while Alfonso is having sex with her, Lucrezia watches Cesare the entire time. It’s obvious she was picturing Cesare and not Alfonso in her bed. Cesare tries to tell her that their tryst was a one time affair and hopes that they can find their way to heaven. Not very likely, but we can always let them hope.

The Borgias – Review of Season 3 Episode 4: The Banquet of Chestnuts

Lastly, Katerina Sforza plots against the Borgias with Francesco, Duke of LaMancha, while Julia plans a night of festivities to reveal Rodrigo’s enemies. She manages to hire prostitutes to dress as nuns and ends up secretly recording a night of debauchery between the new Cardinals and the whores. This blackmail is read out to Rodrigo and now he has them in the palm of his hand. The Cardinals can’t betray him because they would risk their careers and reputation if this information ever leaked out. A brilliant move on Julia’s part.

Lastly, Rodrigo is deftly set up by Katerina via the Duke of LaMancha. He comes to Rome and asks Rodrigo for an annulment because his wife cheated on him with Rodrigo. What a blow! It seems the women of this show truly have the upper hand and really know how to play the political game well.

Tune in next Sunday at 10pm, on Bravo to enjoy another night of wheeling and dealing on The Borgias.

Sharan Newman