Borgia Bulletin 3×3 (SiblingSPOILERS)

It has arrived-hat inevitable incest scene!  I must say, I thought the show did an admirable job of making it believable and sympathetic that Lucrezia and Cesare end up turning to each other for this need as well as all others, rather than making it a symbolic roast of their characters or simply more gratuitous sex.  Well played, show-I appreciate it a lot.

 

Dear costume department: Have I told you how I love you lately?  I’m particularly drawn to Catherina Sforza’s hair today.  I don’t even understand those braids.  I was never particularly fond of that style of hat, but by God you went for it, which I don’t think I’ve really seen before, and I thank you.

Dear Alfonso: If a question mark is the worst people think of you, you are a lucky man in this show.  The middle is a good, safe place to be sometimes.  In any case, running off and sulking all night on your Wedding Night is unacceptable, even if you’re not trying to marry a Borgia.  Really.

Dear Vesucci: You very narrowly miss my wrath-at first I thought he was setting the library scrolls on fire, which is Never Okay.

Dear Micheletto: You did not get enough screentime.  Your response to someone accusing you of thievery is possibly my favorite thing of you ever.

Dear French Ambassador: This is great fun.  You have the best job ever, travel to luxurious locales and rag on your king’s wife.  I am pleased that you seem to appreciate this, as soon you’ll have to deal with less amusing topics.

Dear Cesare: I think it’s time to get another PANTHER and gift it to Catherina’s little wolf who decides this is the place to insult you.

 

This is clearly a winding-up episode, done well.  Enjoyed this course a lot, thank you, the garnish and crunchy toppings were particularly delicious.  Now bring on something even meatier!

 

 

The Borgia Bulletin (The spoilers at Forli)

Now, this episode was wonderfully balanced again!  Intense offset with seductive hijinks, action balanced with watching bits of history unfold.

On Juan: JUAN!  Oh, how nice it is to have Juan back with his Gob Bluth attitude.  He got it back-the confidence!  He pulled off the begetting-an-heir trick by sealing the deal with his wife and returned to his supportive father!  Then, of course…he lost it again.  He failed to notice that Catherina had an ally and fell away from his army into the pool of shame, losing the confidence along with the victory that would have exonerated his treatment of Catherina’s son.  His STD made me go ‘ouch’ for awhile whenever I saw him on a horse again, but honestly, it was only a matter of time.  On cigarros: everything was perfect.  The lesson, the presentation, the faces of every actor present.  On panther: every show needs a panther!  I kindof think he did it for revenge, knowing Lucrezia would get close and then injured.  The ultimate payback for murder attempts is via panther!  I want all my grudges to be pantherized.  Likewise, Lucrezia’s use of the panther in her marriage intrigues was awesome.  Also, in the Bluth family code, it announced Lucrezia has no intention of marrying the suitor.  No tricks at the wedding.  Is anyone allergic to cat hair?  Hup!  No tigers/panthers!  No panthers at the wedding=no wedding to Genoa dude.  In conclusion: PANTHER.

On Della Rovere: This is up here to get it over with. I’m glad you recognize the Borgia family plans, but I want someone to punch you in the face.  Someone please come up with something better for Colm Feore to do.

On Cesare: Perfect!  So I could, in fact, help my brother.  I’m torn.  My brother, you know.  I mean, Juan has created a lot of problems in this family and by coming back has made it impossible for me to become the  military commander I was born to be, but…maybe I’m not so torn.  Juan’s got my papal army-let him take care of himself.  (Am I the only one who wished he’d chosen ‘rock’ and thrown something at the “angel” kids below?  Who wanted all the guys on the balcony to start pelting the children? Eh?)

On Michiletto: Nevermind the Borgias and burning, Savonarola’s greatest danger, as far as I can see, is Michiletto getting pushed past his edge and taking him down.

On Machiavelli: It finally happened!  You and Cesare AND Michiletto all together!  I love it!  Also, pretty much everything you said.  “I don’t hear any knocking.”  “As you can see, with my face, I have no vanity.”  Here’s an owl.  The end.

On Catherina Sforza: She delivered her “means to produce ten more sons!” line brilliantly.  I had to watch it twice.  I cannot wait to see her actually commanding some fighting and getting reintroduced to Cesare.  I must say, though, in that situation I would’ve expected her to order the archers to kill her son so that he would not be tortured anymore.  Killing Juan wouldn’t have done that much.  Catherina of all people should know Cesare is the real brains of the family, besides which, the Pope would only send someone else.  In short-killing Juan would only have made the siege longer, allowed much of the army to retreat before being surprised by Ludovico, and would have earned her son worse no matter what.  This is not helpful.  I expected the order to shoot her son and put him out of his misery.  If they hadn’t included the historic line about the means to produce more sons, I would’ve been left most disappointed.  As it is, it works.

On Rafael: The costumes here are always marvelous, but something about his silver diamonds and gold and black stripes made his even more amazing this week.

I cannot wait to see how they end the season.  It looks like Juan might even die next week, so they will have to top that!  Aaah-no show climaxes like a Borgias show.

The Borgia Bulletin (The Day of Spoilers)

I regret to say, this episode seemed like filler, which is not what I expect from the Borgias.

I am glad both Roderigo and Cesare handled the aftermath of the last episode’s climax so well.  I’m glad the Pope’s penance wore out so…unremorsefully.  Jeremy Irons had me worried for a minute last week.  I also really enjoy seeing Cardinal Sforza get to be a player.  He knows what he’s doing and it’s good to see the Cardinals interacting with each other again.  After all, the Borgias are the head of this group, not yet Italy.  The interaction between Cesare and the Pope was perfect, from start to finish.  I love that they’re clearly becoming different forces now, instead of being such a cohesive team.  It is wonderful.

I’m sorry to say that it seems they’ve officially run out of things for Colm Feore to do.  I know it’s been hard to keep his story line interesting and, this being the Borgias, poison seems like a likely answer.  Unfortunately, it merely shows that he’s officially gone crazy, that he has no gratitude at all for actually getting a volunteer to be poisoned in the first place, and that he is no Obi Wan.  Terrible mentor, that guy.  I hope the volunteer kid died.

About Savonarola: you know what would be even more fun?  If the Pope threatened to excommunicate the whole city, thus making no one able to gain priestly services for marriages, baptisms, final rites, etc.  In effect, it would be threatening to send everyone to hell because of this heretic.  How much more satisfying that would be than simply knowing eventually the man will burn.  The sodomy issue could be so interesting, but they just sortof brought it up and left it hanging this episode.  I like the thought that Michiletto got to work off his vexation about witnessing the anti sodomy violence by killing those soldiers, though.

Ah, Machiavelli.  I have longed for your presence, but as I feared-it means there is less of Michiletto.  I’m not sure I can live with less Michiletto at this point.  So, nice to see you, lovely to work with you, but hold off just a little longer, ok?

Lucrezia seems hell bent on proving the theory that love can only exist outside of marriage.  I look forward to seeing the fallout, but again-there wasn’t enough to really get into this week.  Next week we shall get so many things: Juan!  Catherina besieged!  The proper amount of Lucrezia!  Why am I tortured with this filler?  I don’t want to wait for these things!  Oh, and my last thought before the end of the episode when the Pope is coaching Cesare about the return of Juan…you remember Lucrezia’s going to kill him, right?  Poor Cesare must be so  miserable to have forgotten even about that.

The Borgia Bulletin (Choice Spoilers)

This episode is indeed a choice entree!  Or rather, it took pieces of choice foods, and desserts, and savory bites, and threw them all together in a kind of gourmet sandwich.  So many things happen, most of them without the ties or thematic thrust that usually encompasses this show’s plots.

 

-Over here the dark-robed priests are still trying to be Obi Wan and work up the Borgias as the Sith Lords.  And yeah, they found some young guy to be their Luke (with similar hair even, methinks), but do we really want to see people trying to be Obi Wan?  No, we want them to be succeeding or dying, and they’re just taking forever about it.  Definitely the stalest part of the palate, and no tastier than bread.

 

-Inside there, the trio of ladies: Giulia, Vanozza, and Lucrezia, are visiting the brothels, where there’s surprisingly little sex compared to the rest of the episode.  There are cardinals instead, which…really, no one’s surprised.  There’s meat on the bone here, but it’ll need another episode to carve it into something ready to eat.  The only new information is that they know as well as the Godfather how to make an offer that can’t be refused.  I’m sure that corresponding heads will be cut off.

 

-Back in the main plot, Cesare is facing off with Catherina Sforza.  This is apparently “the choice” of the title, but it really shouldn’t be.  Everyone knows how it’ll go down, just like the madam’s choice of an offer she can’t refuse, and the friars’ choices about death that all lead to the same thing-death, and therefore are not really choices.  We are, however, treated to Cesare’s choice ass in these scenes, so there’s that.  So, I suppose the main thing here is the show’s makers finally choosing to show it to us again.  Tasty.

 

– Michiletto has a mother!  A home city-sure, an actual home where his mother WIPES HIS HANDS FOR HIM is quite another thing!  Its sweetness needs no words.  And then he is gay, and juicy, and indulging it with someone who may or may not be his brother on the grave of the father Michiletto killed, and it’s easy to see there is clearly a dearth of choices for him to be happy.  Why is this thing called ‘the choice’ again?

 

Aha!  It’s because Cesare decides to STAB GIOVANNI SFORZA TO DEATH.  An excellent choice.  That spiciness hit the spot, thank you!

 

However, this is juxtaposed with lightning falling in on St. Peter’s and killing small children, while making Pope Roderigo soulful and upset.  There are real choices here, too.  Roderigo chooses to risk his life saving children and atone through fasting in order to prevent further calamities.  The other Cardinals, etc. choose to stand around on the steps being useless.  Jeremy Irons performs brilliantly, and the festival of different tastes in this episode is complete. Did they go together?  Not really so much.  Are they explosive, and excellent, and memorable in your mouth?  Definitely.

The Borgia Bulletin (The Beautiful Spoilers)

Official revelations:

-Juan is the Gob of the Borgia family.

-Arrested Development is applicable everywhere.

Suffice it to say that this episode was glorious:  Lucrezia’s come into her own in the most scrumptious and satisfying of ways.  Finally, Cesare gets a chance to flex his military, manipulative muscles for the world.  Jeremy Iron’s surprise at the baby having a father is divine.  Catherina Sforza is making her mark at last.  And Juan….oh, Juan.  The first image is you.  The second is my main reaction.  (Although, I am so looking forward to the death awaiting you.  Hadn’t thought I could look forward to it more or be more curious, but I’ve been proven wrong.)

 

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