I’ve just had the pleasure of watching the latest episode of The Borgias, ‘Tears Of Blood’.
The episode opens with the Jubilee celebrations in Rome. The whole purpose is for the Pope to raise money for the war on the Turks, and does so by making pilgrims pay for their confessions, as well as showing off the Spear of Longinus. Caterina is reunited with the body of her dead son, and swears vengeance. To do so, she creates an even bigger spectacle – the Shroud of Constantinople. She displays it on Sforza land, and says people can view it for free, but must pay to travel on to Rome.
The Pope continues to make plans with the Jews regarding the Turkish fleet, and the Jews propose they will do this if the Pope lifts the taxes on Jews in Rome. The Shroud gains a miracle after it gets ‘tears of blood’. The Borgias hear of it, and the Pope tells Cesare to investigate, claim the Shroud, and eject Caterina. Micholetto’s lover continues to tip off Caterina, and Federico (King of Naples). Cesare and Micholetto arrive at the site, and discover it is false, and the tears of blood are actually paint. Caterina sets the Shroud to explode, but Micholetto notices just in time, and they barely manage to escape. This causes Cesare to declare that Jesus loves him, and Caterina walks away disgusted. Cesare informs the Pope, and tells him of Rufeo, the man working with Caterina.
The King of Naples, Federico, arrives to be invested by the Pope. Alfonso tells Cesare that it was Lucrezia who chose orchestrated it. Federico asks a favour of the Pope, that Lucrezia acts as ambassador between Rome and Naples. She gets to live in Naples with her family. Rufeo arrives to see Micholetto’s lover and leaves a note, but Micholetto discovers it in the morning. He copies it for Cesare, and the 2 work together to crack the code. Lucrezia arrives back in naples with her husband and child. Federico tells her that her allegiance must now be to Naples only, and Lucrezia highlights his new tone, to which he replies that he’s now King.
Micholetto confesses to Cesare how he came across the letter, and offers to let Cesare kill him, but he declines. He asks Micholetto to continue passing the notes on to him, so they can break their code and discover the enemy plans. Lucrezia and Alfonso are under constant watch and guard, and neither of them can figure out why. After more code breaking, Cesare and Micholetto discover that Naples is allied with Caterina Sforza, and that Lucrezia and her child are now prisoners for bargaining if they attack either. Cesare tells Micholetto to kill the boy. He confronts him, and offers mercy – he gets to choose the way that he dies. The boy says he wants to die in Micholetto’s arms.
Lucrezia confronts King Federico, who reveals that she is a prisoner, and that she chose the wrong brother. He petended to poison himself to set it up. She passes out in the room, and Alfonso later discusses with the physician whether she is pregnant or not, deciding it’s unlikely. She asks to see the woods witch. When the witch arrives, she identifies that Lucrezia is in love with someone else, who is very close to her. She says that she did not know what Federico planned to do, and apologises for helping him, especially as Lucrezia is now a prisoner. e offers a potion to make everyone sleep so that she can escape Naples. The episode ends with the Pope and the Jews signing a treaty, and the entire Turkish fleet burning in the harbour.
It was a fantastic episode, filled with plenty of twists, turns, action and politics. Secrets were unveiled, and more plots were thrown into the air. With war on several fronts, how will the Borgias get out of it all alive? I can’t wait for the next episode to find out more.
Thanks for reading.