Hello my fellow Borgias fans! First I must apologize for the late recap. I wish I could say I was doing something fun this weekend, but I was moving, and getting blank stares from the cable guy as I begged him to hurry so I could see who is crowned the King of Naples.
Let’s bitch it out…
As we find out in the final scene, ‘Lucrezia’s Gambit’ is a bust. In order to solidify her position in Naples, and that of her child, Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) meets with the two brothers in line for the crown to determine which would be most advantageous. She does this mostly on her own because the world’s most useless husband, Alfonzo (Sabastian de Souza), is once again just whining in the corner that he has no designs on power. Now I may be too harsh on poor Alfonzo, but the man is just not strong enough to survive being married to Lucrezia. She needs someone with ambition, drive, and a backbone. Ugh, just talking about him makes me angry.
Anyhow…Brother 1, Raphael, tells Lucrezia flat-out that if he were King he would banish her son and make sure she has no influence or power. Seriously Raphael? There are some cards you play close to your chest. Brother 2, Frederigo, is a bit more endearing. When he is seemingly poisoned by Raphael to assure his succession, Lucrezia makes her decision. She puts her weight, and the weight of the papal investiture, behind Frederigo. Of course, we learn at the end that he is in cahoots with Team Sforza. We find this out from a secret letter written by MICHELETTO’S NEW LOVER!
Sean Harris rocked this entire episode, which was a showcase of his talents to show Micheletto’s strength, skepticism, awkwardness, and vulnerability. He picks himself up a lover, Pascal (Charlie Carrick) in Milan. When Pascal inquires about the nature of their affection, Micheletto tells him, “there is no affection. Affection leads to weakness and I have no use for either.”
However, Pascal grows on Micheletto as he follows the assassin to Rome. When Micheletto has to leave on a mission, he says to Pascal, “If you were here when I return…I would like that” which is equivalent to “I love you” from pretty much any other man. Unfortunately for Micheletto, and for all of us screaming at the TV that he deserves to find love, Pascal is also working for the Sforzas (man, do these guys have a network or what?!). Word to the wise, when someone follows you to a new city, he’s a creeper…or working for your sworn enemy, as the case may be. Pascal genuinely seems to be falling for Micheletto though so it will be interesting to see where this goes in the future.
Over in Rome, Cesare (François Arnaud) is looking for Ludivico Sforza (Ivan Kaye), since he promised his head to the King of France. The Pope (Jeremy Irons) informs Cesare that Ludivico is willing to turn over Catherina’s son, and his own nephew, Benito (Noah Silver), in exchange for safe passage. Alexander authorizes Cesare to pursue Ludivico and bring both him and Benito back to Rome in chains. Cesare has other plans and kills both of the Sforza men. Dear Ludivico: A) You’re an idiot if you thought Cesare wasn’t going to kill you; B) You win the award for worst uncle of the year.
After learning that Cesare disobeyed him yet again, the Pope and his son are even further divided. When the Pope yells at Cesare “why should I trust you?” I so badly wanted “because I love you” to be the response, followed up by some serious father/son hugging. Alas, it’s not meant to be and the two men are still circling around each other, as tensions rise towards an inevitable coming confrontation…
- There’s a great throwaway scene that really showcases the primary conflict in this show. When the King of France says to Cesare, “Tell your father I will hold Milan in his name.” “Not mine?” Cesare replies. When the King says, “but, you share the same name,” the look of frustration on Cesare’s face is priceless.
- I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the unnecessary plot line of Pope Alexander vetting Guilia Farnese’s (Lotte Verbeek) new beau. Poor Guilia really can’t get a storyline to save her life…
Pope Alexander: “What’s his name, this suitor?”
Pope Alexander: “Terrible name.”
As we inch closer to the series finale, how are you feeling about the set-up? Do you think everything will come down to the father/son conflict? Is anyone not on Sforza’s payroll? And if you were writing for the show, what storyline would you like to give Guilia? Sound off below
The Borgias airs Sundays at 10pm EST on Showtime