I’ve just had the pleasure of watching the season, and series, finale of The Borgias, ‘The Prince’.
Cesare visits Florence to talk to Machiavelli, who reveals he suspects Cesare of killing his brother, but still offers him advice on how to attack Forli and distract Florence so he can pass through their lands. Cesare says that the French army is already in place around Forli. The Pope wants reassurance that his legacy lives on, and tells Cesare that he wants to make the Pope like a monarchy – passed from father to son – but to do this he needs and empire first. Cesare instructs his allies on travelling to Forli.
Cesare and Lucrezia talk about Alfonso, and Lucrezia feels guilty for shaming him. She is tired of life, and Cesare is the only thing keeping her going. Alfonso walks in drunk and challenges Cesare, who once again defeats him and says he will consider granting his freedom when he returns from Forli. Cesare then discusses with his mother how he is sad that Micholetto is gone, and that he misses him. She wants to go along, and Cesare admits he’s scared of his father’s ambition, and of harm coming to his family (especially Lucrezia).
Rufio warns Caterina about the incoming Papal army, and she makes battle plans to get all of the grain she can and prepare to outlast the seige. She also wants traps set and the forests around the walls cut back for clear lines of sight. That is until Rufio informs her that the French army is there, they are already under seige, and that winter is coming (nice Game of Thrones nod), and they are in trouble. The French begin their attack.
The Pope denies knowledge of this attack (he didn’t actually know), and says all questions must go to Cesare, who he then wakes and applauds, despite wanting to be kept in-the-know. Cesare then rides to join his army. In a ruin, he meets Machiavelli again, who says Florence is ignoring them, as planned. Cesare then asks him to help him and the French to take Naples, with Lucrezia ruling it for the French King. Cesare then joins his army. Caterina and Rufio talk, and she makes him promise not to let her get captured alive, and then tells him to serve Cesare instead of her if he is captured, as he will prosper.
Cesare is woken in the night by Micholetto. Cesare begs himto stay, but he says he will not. He came only to give Cesare one last piece of advice, as he grew up in Forli. He identifies a way to breach the 13-foot-thick walls. Cesare then enacts the plan, involving blowing up the ground in front of the wall that sits atop an old quarry. This plan works, and the tower and wall collapse. The army moves in, killing the soldiers of Forli. Caterina tries to kill herself in a spectacular way, but Cesare saves her life.
Cesare puts her in a golden cage, and also brings Rufio to Rome. The Pope tells Caterina that she will be kept hostage, but will live comfortably, as he is forgiving. Cesare then visits Rufio in the dungeon, and offers him work, provided he can help him to kill Alfonso, without any suspicion falling on Cesare. At the same time, Lucrezia seeks confession with her father, and asks if this is what Cesare plans. The Pope does not answer, and this is all that Lucrezia needs to know.
Cesare and Rufio head to Lucrezia’s home, but Alfonso drunkenly attacks Cesare. The altercation ends when Alfonso rushes Cesare, and runs right onto his sword. Lucrezia sees and calls for medics to help. Cesare tells Rufio to stick around, as he may yet need a professional. The medics can do nothing, and say he could be dying for days. Alfonso begs Lucrezia to murder him, and says she can do it because she’s a Borgia. She asks Cesare if that’s all she is, whilst she fills a water cup and adds cantarella (the Borgia’s favourite poison). Cesare then says she’s a professional. He walks into the room to find Alfonso dead, and Lucrezia covered in his blood. She says she will not wash it off, but Cesare does it for her, and the too share a romantic carress before the episode ends.
It was a brilliant final episode, that wrapped up most of the storyline sin the show, but keeping enough open for a series return (hopefully, please!) if anyone decides to grant it. There were homage’s to Game Of Thrones (“Winter Is Coming”) and Lord Of The Rings (the music, and the seige of Forli), which made the show even more special. Coupled with the incredible acting on display, it was a fitting send-off for a brilliant show.
Thanks for reading.