The Borgias 2.05 – The Choice

Wow. I had a rough evening and day and this got away from me. Sorry for the delay everyone. In better news, The Borgias has been renewed for a third season. Woo hoo! Hopefully that means more of what we got this week — the hot, the  sexy, and the  surprising. And there was some religious stuff too. So come on in and see who banged whom this week (with pictures).

We begin with mass at St. Peter’s Cathedral. Lucrezia, Baby Mama Vanozza, and Giulia are sitting together for the service and Lucrezia takes note of how the gathered people pay to be there. The collection plates are getting more than enough coins dropped in them.

Pope Daddy and Cesare are out of town with soldiers. They’re en route to Florence to meet with Medici bankers. Pope Daddy asks if Cesare is part of the army that was in effect last week. Cesare says he wears red silk, not armor. Cardinal Sforza is with them and his cousin Catherina is brought up. Pope Daddy wishes for her to come to Rome. They want her on their side. Cesare, being the generous sort that he is, volunteers to be the messenger.

So Cesare is off to see Catherina, while Pope Daddy and Cardinal Sforza continue on to Florence. Micheletto joins him and we learn that the town they’re heading to is where Micheletto is from. Cesare finds it hard to imagine a baby Mick, as do I, but I bet he drove his mama crazy.

In Florence Della Rovere rides in with the sounds of that raving anti-papacy  friar we saw last season. He’s ranting about the charity of people ending up in the Medici banks again. Inside the church, Pope Daddy and Cardinal Sforza are dressed in plain clothes with hoods pulled up. Della Rovere moves in behind them and they’re unaware of each other.

Micheletto’s mama is very happy to see her baby boy. It seems that Mama thinks Micheletto is studying to be a doctor and that Cesare is his teacher. Cesare finds it all very amusing, and speaks of how he’s the best student, he knows where all the organs are, and he has one ambition: to look after his mama. LOL. Micheletto is quiet and clearly embarrassed both by Cesare’s words and by the way his mama hovers over him.

And then in comes Augustino, who is getting married to the baker’s daughter with big, child-bearing hips. Augustino seems to be Micheletto’s brother, but it’s not exactly clear. Cesare says he must leave on business — healing the sick. Mama makes Micheletto promise to come back before they leave. As they leave Cesare teases and Micheletto asks him to forgive her fantasies. She believes her husband and his father died in the fields, but he was killed by his own son. For many unstated reasons.

Della Rovere meets with Crazy Friar who asks if Della Rovere has taken their vows. Crazy Friar has heard of the failed plans to depose Pope Daddy. Della Rovere says he has a new solution for the “sickness” in the Church — to remove Pope Daddy not just from St. Peter’s but from the Earth.

Crazy Friar challenges Della Rovere as the one to make it happen. Della Rovere seeks the friar’s blessing and htat of this order. Crazy Friar says he has the blessing of the Lord and tells him to “ride out like death on a pale horse.”

Pope Daddy and Cardinal Sforza enter the Medici Palace while looking around them. Machiavelli greets them inside and then they’re directed to Medici.

Meanwhile, Cesare has arrived at Forli Castle (Catherina Sforza’s home) and the music is just as ominous. Cesare leaves Micheletto outside the palace but asks him to stay close by. Inside Catherina and her son Benito greet Cesare. The message is that Pope Daddy would have Catherina kneel before him. But she doesn’t kneel for anybody. She’ll choose other forms of abeyance, however. And the eye-fucking going on here is intense.

She only kneels when she wants to. And when Cesare says he hopes she’ll join him by choice, she hushes him and says he can relay the full message to her tomorrow. For now, he’s their guest for dinner.

Back in Florence, Medici is explaining the Friar and his followers’ belief in the corruption of the Church by money and splendor. They’re also anti banking and he says they’d burn the bank to the ground if these people knew of the Pope’s personal accounts.  They can’t buy off the Dominican’s either, because they don’t do money. But Pope Daddy says you offer them what they cannot buy — heaven.

Benito sings and I’m creeped out wondering which Sforza will be going to bed with Cesare.

In a cemetery, Micheletto reclines against a tombstone and then Augustino joins him. Micheletto stands and the being STRIPPING OFF THEIR CLOTHES. We get to see the whip scars on Micheletto’s back before they step together, embrace and, KISSSSSSSSSSS. Naked in a cemetery, hot damn! We learn they’ve got a history with each other and I’m hoping Augustino is NOT his brother (not that I’ve really got an issue with fictional incest).

Hot hot hot!

Why can't the scene be in the daylight so we can see everything clearly?

After dinner, Catherina kneels before Cesare and then says her servant will show him to his rooms. He’s super on edge as they walk down the hall and only relaxes once he’s alone in his bedchamber. But he’s not alone, is he? He sets his knife on a table and then begins to undress when Catherina comes in wearing her nightgown, calling him an intruder.

There’s some great banter about him invading her space and she gives a whimpered “help” as her scream. Oh yeah, and Cesare has been holding the knife to her since she enters. It gets thrown against the wall above the bed and then hot damn, things get crazy. There’s teasing about grabbing the knife and can I just say that Catherina is NOT shy. She actually calls herself a “freak of nature” for being “a free woman in a man’s world” and there is no question that these two are taking advantage of one another. There’s no loser or winner here.

Can you handle this? I cannot. Her hand... in his pants. His pants... sliding down his hips. The curve of his back and his ass... *faints*

Forgive me Mother for I have sinned. I have objectified Cesare's body and I am glad of it.

Back in the cemetery Micheletto is on top of Augustino as they come to their climax and Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me now in my hour of need. They snuggle at the base of a tree. Then finally separate so Micheletto can dress. He mentions Augustino’s intention to marry and says he could have come to Rome instead. Augustino counters that he knows what Michelletto really does in Rome, that it’s not healing people. I guess Augustino doesn’t approve of his man’s career choices.

It’s morning and Catherina is up for another round. It doesn’t take long for Cesare to get ready too. She’s got a grip on him as she says she knows about the cannons. They shift position and she keeps talking about the cannons being plaster as he enters her from behind and I’m really starting to like this woman.

Pope Daddy and Cardinal Sforza are heading back to Rome, and stop to meet up with the pope mobile which was not taken into Florence. They’re discussing more of how to change the Crazy Friar’s position as well as how to bring Catherina into the fold, to hold her dear as Pope Daddy does for cousin/Cardinal.

The Pope Mobile’s caravan travels past Della Rovere who then, takes off past them heading quickly in the direction of Rome (I presume).

Speaking of Rome… Our trio of ladies is in a whorehouse. And well well well, there are Cardinals there. And Paolo’s friendly whore greets them, wondering who they are. Lucrezia introduces them as the Committee for the Betterment of the Roman Ladies of the Night. Paolo’s friend is amused until they say they come with the authority of the Pope. Her reaction of wide eyes and “Oh. Goodness.” is fabulous — I’m delighted to see this whore again and hope to see more of her. Then Lucrezia, Giulia, and Mama Vanozza are taken to see the madam.

The madam doesn’t consider her whores to be ladies. She and Vanozza have a little banter as Vanozza says she was a courtesan, NOT a streetwalker. There’s a difference. Our trio believes the conditions in the whorehouse to be vile, but offer their assistance given the clientele of Cardinals at the house. They will restore the house to cleanliness, comfort, and good health… in exchange for info on any Cardinal who comes in. Names, dates, activities. Our madam knows a good deal when she hears one.

Della Rovere has returned to the monastery with the unnamed Friar of a few weeks ago. In the dining hall, he speaks to Friar and the others about how they can kill Pope Daddy. He wants to use catarella — the poison used against him.

It’s the second evening at Forli Castle and Cesare is again trying to relay his message to Catherina who wishes for peace at the table. She does let him proceed with his message though, but then when she hears his “threat” (which he terms a “choice”) to go willingly or in chains. She leaves the dinner table, telling him he’ll have her answer in the morning. Then she walks him to his bedchamber.

They stop on the way because Cesare keeps pushing for an answer. She wants to know who would chain her and it’s more flirtation. She’d like to be chained, but doesn’t think Cesare could do it. Nor could Juan who is full of bluster, a fake, just like the cannons. She’s freaking awesome, can I just say? Because she pushes Cesare around and gets what she wants which is more sexy times. “The game is mine, the bed is mine, the choice is mine, and…” — she takes his dangly bits in hand — “for one more night at least, you may be mine.” Did I mention this happens at the bottom of the staircase, right around the corner from her teenage son? Yeah.

Back at the monastery Della Rovere explains how the poison works. He is challenged that the pope has tasters for his food and Della Rovere asks for a volunteer to get the job of taster. The man who chooses this will be sacrificing himself as he will have to taste the food and poison himself in order for the plan to work. One by one the brothers rise from the dining tables and leave the room.

Sexy times with biting and rough aggressive actions in front of a fireplace. Catherina says Cesare should throw away his Cardinal’s robes. (I am so in agreement.)

Outside Forli Castel, Micheletto has met again with Augustino. They’re redressing and Augustino says they cannot meet again because if found, he’d be disemboweled. “It’s a cruel world,” is Micheletto’s reply. (God I love this dude.) Then he takes Augustino down in a headlock right next to his father’s grave. He says he’s taken other men down with the same embrace and Augustino asks if he loved those men too. Micheletto let’s him go and tells him to marry. Oh baby, my heart is breaking. He needs Cesare to comfort him.

Ooohhh, it’s the ominous music again. Inside the castle Giovanni has arrived and Catherina steps out in robes and says, “You came.” Uh oh… I don’t think she’s planning to accompany Cesare back to Rome in the morning. The two walk away from the bedchamber to talk.

Della Rover is working outside the monastery when a young man arrives and offers himself for the job of taster/poisoner. He is an unknown priest, no one will recognize him. Della Rovere tells him the death will not be pretty, but the boy’s okay with that. Heaven is awaiting his soul. Della Rovere wants to roll his eyes as much as me, but he’ll take what he can get. As he walks away, the sky opens and rain falls on the young man.

Inside St. Peter’s it’s Mass again. Pope Daddy raises the Host and then rattles off some latin. There are altar boys (and a girl, which I didn’t know they had back then) off to the side and lots of people in the audience.

It’s morning and Cesare is breaking his fast alone. Well, he survived the night. A maid takes his plate and tells him the lady Sforza is awake before Giovanni walks in. Cesare asks if he has business there, if his presence was requested and why. Giovanni slanders Pope Daddy and then Lucrezia by calling her “that slattern I was tricked into marrying”. Cesare warns him to be careful what he says about his sister. Giovanni’s still pissed about the whole impotence humiliation.

At St. Peter’s, Pope Daddy moves down the altar to begin giving the Host to cardinals, starting with Sforza. It’s darker and you can tell there’s a storm in the background.

Catherina joins her cousin and Cesare and delivers her answer to Pope Daddy’s “invitation”. A resounding NO. Giovanni snickers, Catherina walks away, and Cesare clarifies that she refuses to go, but Giovanni speaks for her and Cesare gets pissed. He stabs Giovanni right there beside the table.

Oh crap! At St. Peters, there’s a crackle and boom and Pope Daddy looks up just as a section of ceiling comes crashing down. He and the cardinals present quickly move out of the way. More and more debris falls and people run. It’s chaos.

It’s also chaos as Cesare and Giovanni fight. Cesare says he promised his sister Giovanni’s heart on a dinner plate.

The scene shifts back and forth between people fleeing the church, Pope Daddy on the floor, and more of the ceiling falling in mixed with Cesare gutting Giovanni, trying to find his heart in his body. The maid comes in and then screams to get Catherina. Then it’s game on. Guards are called and Cesare’s on the run while Pope Daddy calls for help to lift wood beams off a crushed altar girl. He gets her out and she can’t feel her leg.

Cesare is running for his life, being pursued by guards and Catherina looks like she’s lost her lover, not her cousin. (Perhaps she has.) Micheletto is in the courtyard with Cesare’s horse and they start moving and Cesare does a running mount and that’s not holy water dampening my panties.

Pope Daddy carries the altar girl outside to a group of cardinals, nuns, and lay people asking for help. It’s pouring down rain and someone says the destruction is a sign. Back inside, Pope Daddy sits on the altar steps very upset about everything and surrounded by a mess. He asks Cardinal Sforza if it was a sign from God. Sforza says no, “It was a bolt of lightning.” Pope Daddy doesn’t fully believe it though and says they must atone for their sins. Sforza asks for how long — I think he doesn’t want his lifestyle interrupted.

“Until he smiles on us again,” is Pope Daddy’s answer.

Next week: A new potential husband for Lucrezia.

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