I’ve just had the pleasure of watching the latest episode of The Borgias, ‘The Gunpowder Plot’.
The episode begins with Micholetto fulfilling Cesare’s wish to kill his lover. He slits his wrists, once Pascal has written ‘goodbye’ on the floor, and is covered in his blood (tears of blood). He embraces Pascal as he dies, and begins to actually cry. In Naples, Lucrezia has hosted a Festival Of Bacchus, and puts the sleeping powder from the wood witch in the wine. She ensures everyone has some, and then escapes with Alfonso and her child. Cesare is told that Micholetto has fled, and when they go to his place they find Pascal’s body, and the word ‘goodbye’ written in blood by Micholetto. Cesare says no one will find him unless he wants to be found, and starts to regret asking him to kill the boy when he realises no one can replace Micholetto. He sets off for Naples to retrieve his sister.
The Pope and Vanozza discuss Cesare, and she tells him that he needs to put whatever is between them in the past, as they are so much alike that their feuding could destroy the family. On Cesare’s trip to Naples, Lucrezia arrives in her carriage and the 2 embrace. Alfonso watches on, and begins to suspect that they are more than brother and sister. The leading Jew brings the Pope a gift from the flagship of the now-destroyed Turkish fleet. The Pope asks him to buy up the entire supply of sulphur, so that no one but he will have control of the guns. Lucrezia’s family is escorted home by Cesare, who leaves their protection in Orsini’s hands, now that Micholetto is gone. Alfonso hints to Lucrezia that he knows about her and Cesare.
The Jew buys up all of the sulphur and has it sent back to Rome, where it cannot be traced, and notes that the Pope’s aim is to sow confusion. Caterina thinks Cesare bought it all, and Cesare thinks Caterina bought it all. Cesare sends a spy to locate the sulphur. Lucrezia is given a palace and a guard, and once again feels like a prisoner, she even tells Cesare that she thinks Alfonso knows about them. She tells her mother that she wants to run away and take her family with her. Cesare and the Pope talk, and have conflicting views on Caterina. Cesare wants to act, the Pope wants to wait. The Pope says Cesare can inspect the Papal army, and when he does he sees that it is now fully equipped once more.
Cesare and Alfonso meet in the sparring yard, and have a spar together. They’re both good, but Cesare beats Alfonso once he starts going on about how Cesare loves Lucrezia more than a brother should. Cesare does not, however, murder Alfonso, and lets him leave with his life. Cesare’s spy finds the sulphur, but the Jew refuses to give him information. He goes to Berleoni and asks to split from Cesare and Caterina, and have their own alliance and control. Berleoni reluctantly agrees. Together, they find the sulphur again, but Berleoni has betrayed the spy, and Cesare appears. The spy tries to run, but Cesare captures him and covers him in sulphur. The Jew reveals himself, and says he bought the sulphur for someone else. Cesare takes the spy outside and ignites him, and he runs off on fire, because of the sulphur. The Jew tells Cesare he is cruel, and refuses to sell him any sulphur, as it belongs to the Pope.
The Jew meets with the Pope to confirm everything is in order, and the Pope says he trusts him, and ants more services. The Jew says he has someone else in mind for the job, and reveals Cesare. They argue over the French army, and how they’re equally scared of each other’s power. The Jew eventually loses his cool and shouts at them that they are family and should get along. He tells the Pope to give Cesare sanction, and to embrace him. The Pope says that Cesare is him but younger (full of rage, drive, and pitiless ambition). The Pope says he can’t love him, as he doesn’t love himself. This shocks Cesare, and the Pope tells him to look at what he’s done in his quest for power – he’s built a temple on rotten foundations. Cesare says that the only way is forward, and that if they work together they’ll have an empire, if they fall apart they will fail. The Pope finally gives Cesare his trust, and offers him forgiveness for his sins. The episode ends with the pair embracing.
It was a fantastic episode, really bringing the story along nicely in anticipation of the season finale. I can’t wait to see what happens with all of the storylines currently in play.
Thanks for reading.