“We are in a new world, Cardinal” ~ Rodrigo
This week, Rodrigo has lost faith in everything, including God. He finally realizes he’s surrounded by a nest of vipers and his family is in danger. Rodrigo and Cesare put plans in place and are in a race against time to strike before being struck by their enemies. Caterina Sforza has rallied the great Roman families, The Orsini, Botelli, Bagleoni, Colognna, D’Estes to join together in their mutual hatred of the Borgias and bring them down.
“Think of Rome as a spiders web my son, each family has it’s silken three attached to an egg planted within these walls, but each one of those diaphanous threads go back to the tarantula of Forli…the great Arachne, Caterina Sforza …and every egg wears a cardinals hat..If you would have our love again, we would have your trace those threads back the families outside these walls”.~ Rodrigo.
Cesare and Micholetto try and figure out what other families are plotting against them with Caterina Sforza. One of their visits leads them to Cardinal Orsini and he threatens his family. Words are exchanged and daggers are drawn but no blood is spilled. The families realize that their “little secret” to eradicate the Borgias isn’t so secret.
Rodrigo wants to cleanse the Vatican by interrogating the Cardinals. To prove Cardinal Sforza’s loyalty, he asks him to become an Inquisitor and go through the entire college of Cardinals to root out the traitors by whatever means necessary. Although this is distasteful to Cardinal Sforza, he agrees ad puts the Cardinal DeLucca to torture in the dungeon so that he gives over the names of those who would betray the Borgias. Micholetto talks to Cardinal DeLucca about his experience on the rack and under torture and how to get out of it by being a better liar. Cardinal DeLucca gives Rodrigo the names and those Cardinals are stripped of their titles and properties, and exiled from Rome. Cardinal Orsini makes a last request to Rodrigo for a final confession…and it almost turns out to be just that for Rodrigo.
“Whoever gets in the way your happiness will feel my wrath…we are the unholy family” ~ Cesare
Lucrezia’s husband-to-be is a virgin and refuses to sleep with her before they are married. Her husbands’ uncle, the King of Naples, is displeased with the idea of Lucrezia’s illegitimate child being heir to Naples and asks to renegotiate her dowry. Lucrezia, alone and feeling discarded, makes advances on Cesare and their incestuous relationship begins. I had wondered when this would happen as this is a big part of the Borgia legend – the rumoured love affair between Cesare and Lucrezia.
Lastly, Julia Farnese is feeling Rodrigo pull away from her and comes to, of all people, her rival, Vanozza. She advises Julia to prepare an exit strategy so that if she is cast aside, she comes out of it with something. Rodrigo is still obviously in love with the mother of his children; he was attracted to Julia for her youth and beauty, but he always had a deep love and admiration for Vanozza. He confides in Vanozza in ways he doesn’t to Julia, and they rekindle their romance once again.
Tune in with us next Sunday, 10pm ET on Bravo for another fantastic episode of The Borgias!