The Borgias Concluded With “The Prince,” but Did It Leave You Satisfied?

 
I wish I could’ve just written a recap of the third season finale of The Borgias.  However, with Showtime’s recent cancellation of the papal sudser, this post must deal with how effective “The Prince” served as a series finale.
 
First, let’s discuss the plot.  The episode finally saw Cesare (François Arnaud) ascend to the role of powerful military leader like he’d always wanted.  He received unofficial permission from Machiavelli allowing him to bring the Papal Army through Florence at night on their way to Forli. 

The Borgias Recap: “The Gunpowder Plot”


Micheletto (Sean Harris) tenderly killed his traitorous lover, and then fled Rome.  He left only Pascal’s body and “Goodbye” scrawled on the floor in his blood.  Cesare (François Arnaud) was deeply affected by abandonment of Micheletto, for personal and work-related reasons.  He knew he couldn’t trust any of his other generals like he did Micheletto, or expect them to be as efficient at their job. 
 
Rodrigo (Jeremy Irons) tasked Mattai with buying up all the sulfur in Rome, to prevent any army from manufacturing gunpowder, even Cesare’s.  When he and Caterina (Gina McKee) were both informed there was nothing left to power their guns, they each assumed the other was behind the plot. 

The Borgias Recap: “Tears of Blood”


King Federigo traveled to Rome so he could receive the Pope’s investiture.  As a show of continued peace between Naples and Rome (including Cesare’s French forces), Federigo asked that a special ambassador be appointed between their two lands: Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger).  Lucrezia was honored. 
 
When they returned to Naples, Federigo dropped his “nice guy” act and let Lucrezia know she’d been played.  In actuality, she was his prisoner, and security in case Cesare (François Arnaud) acted against Naples or Caterina Sforza (Gina McKee).  Devastated, a resolute Lucrezia set to secretly scheme with the old lady witch doctor from the woods, for the escape of her and her family from Naples.  

The Borgias Recap: “Lucrezia’s Gambit”


Annoyed by her husband’s lack of political ambition, Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) determined to have a say in the next King of Naples.  Prince Raphael was openly hostile, and made it known her bastard child would again be turned away from court.  This mutual hatred was a shame, since Raphael was really cute and had tons of chemistry with Lucrezia. 
 
Instead, she turned towards his half-brother, Prince Federigo.  Lucrezia bonded with the kind prince over dastardly brothers.  Lucrezia noticed obvious parallels between Raphael's demeanor and that of her brother Juan.

The Borgias Recap: “Relics”


When Rodrigo (Jeremy Irons) first heard the French army landed in Rome, he thought they were under attack due to Cesare (François Arnaud) causing some great offense during his visit.  Soon, a smug Cesare arrived and informed him the French army was there on his invitation, and under his command. 
 
Rodrigo was livid at how far Cesare had overreached.  Cesare insisted he did what was needed to ensure their safety.  His plan was to wipe out the Sforza dynasty by starting with Ludovico in Milan, which he’ll then turnover to France.  Rodrigo was not happy about having the French in Italy, but eventually gave Cesare his consent.

The Borgias Recap: “The Wolf and the Lamb”


Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) was heartbroken she had to leave Giovanni with her parents to join her husband in Naples.  The king still refused to accept her child at court.  She openly slighted the king over this during her "Welcome Home" feast, but he remained steadfast. 
 
Micheletto (Sean Harris) had accompanied Lucrezia, and was appalled the mother was separated from her child.  Lucrezia planned on killing the king with poison, after meeting a witchdoctor in the woods, who pointed out a deadly mushroom that grew nearby.  Micheletto realized her plans, and convinced Lucrezia to let him handle it.

The Borgias Recap: “The Banquet of Chestnuts”

 
Things were deliciously awkward when Cesare (François Arnaud) and Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) first bumped into each, following their night of passion.  It didn’t help that Rodrigo (Jeremy Irons) kept needling “blushing bride” Lucrezia about her wedding night. 
 
Alfonso’s cousin, the King of Naples, came by the next morning to get all the lurid details about what Lucrezia was like in bed, and quickly deduced his cousin was still a virgin.   Alfonso was even worse at lying about sex than Steve Carell’s character in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.  Defeated, Alfonso quickly admitted to his cousin nothing happened between them.