I’ve just had the pleasure of watching the season 3 premiere of The Borgias, ‘The Face Of Death’.
The episode picks up directly where season 2 ended, with Cesare calling for help as his father is poisoned. Lucrezia comes up with a cure that the doctor hadn’t heard of, and it sort-of works, putting the Pope in a feverish coma with his life in the balance. Micholetto reveals to Cesare where the boy poisoner came from, and they make a trip there and wipe out the entire house of monks (Cesare looking very much like an avenging angel). Cardinal della Rovere waltzes back into the Vatican with the Pope on his death bed, expecting to win out in an election, but is shocked when Cardinal Sforze reveals the Pope is not yet dead.
Cesare returns, and threatens della Rovere. When the Pope awakens, and is recovering, Cesare has della Rovere arrested. Meanwhile, Cardinal Sforza is visited by a man sent from his cousin, Caterina Sforza, who asks for his help in a plot to kill all of the Borgias in their home. He agrees to go along with it, until the time of the plot. At the same time, another Cardinal arranges for della Rovere to be released. Cardinal Sforza considers killing the Pope himself, when Cesare walks in and he hides the blade. He reveals to Cesera what the plot for the night is, and Cesare rushes off to save his Mother and Sister.
At the Borgia villa, the serving girl who betrayed them is confronted by Micholetto (unfortunately for her). The 2 assassins break in, but one is ended in a fantastically brutal fashion by Micholetto. The other runs from Micholetto, but right into Cesare, who runs him through. The Borgia family is safe. Caterina Sforza is not pleased that her cousin betrayed her, and decides to rally the opposition to the Pope to her banner in an attempt to rid the world of the Borgias by force. The episode ends with the Borgia family reunited in the Vatican, and the Pope saying that they are at war.
It was a fantastic return for the show, with an episode that gripped from start to finish. The new characters all appear to be interesting, and could add some intrigue to the overall season, whilst the further development of the regular characters is also a joy to watch. Caterina Sforza (played superbly by Gina McKee) looks like she’s going to develop into an even better character, and it’ll be interesting to see how Micholetto develops, as we saw in this episode the potential for a slight falling out-of-love with the Borgias from him, when they didn’t thank him for saving the family, and just took the baby from him. Cesare is my favourite character in the series, and it was great to see how he’s changing still and continuing his growth as a dangerous man – Francois Arnaud playing him terrifyingly and terrifically, as ever. I can’t wait for more in the next episdoe.
Thanks for reading.