The Borgia Bulletin (Spoiling Paolo)

My show is back to perfection with 2×2 “Paolo”!  I knew it wouldn’t let me down after last week!

Lucrezia’s lover arrives in Rome.  This should be everyone’s first clue that he will die, and this being an excellent show, it is.  In the meantime, his tender, requited passion for Lucrezia is used to ask the question: “What is love like?”  Set against Giulia’s ploys to retain the Pope’s affections, prostitutes, and Cesare’s infatuation-withdrawal symptoms for Ursula, this query packs a punch for everyone this episode.  Especially the audience.

On more thematic lines, however, this episode began a very interesting turning point.  The Borgias are always seen to be crossing lines-upstart family to Pope of Rome, adultery, murder.  First season these were all crossed for various self-serving purposes; all shocking, scandalous infringements!  This episode displayed the Borgias’ willingness to cross boundary lines from motivations that are good.  Lucrezia doesn’t care for class lines in her love.  The Pope audaciously crosses class, convention, and most importantly, financial lines in his crusade to better Rome.  Giulia Farnese smacks down gender rules to help with this crusade.  It’s not just about their morals anymore, now it’s about circumstances and what anyone might be asked to do.  It might even be said that Colm Feore’s murder of his would-be assaulters is an unwitting endorsement of the Borgias in this episode.  I’m not crazy about the line “Sometimes goodness needs the help of a little badness,” but it does get the point across.

Other notes: I entirely feel Roderigo’s vexation at the pigeons.  I’ve gotten absurdly sick of pigeons myself at various points, and was highly pleased to see his hawking campaign.

Michiletto is still the most awesome!  No idea why he spent so much of his valuable time with that prostitute, though.

I’ve always been in favor of Cesare as the murderer of Juan, but after this episode I’d love to see Lucrezia behind it.

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