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The Borgias Recap: “Relics”

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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.

Honestly, you’d think Rodrigo would be happier.  I was with Cesare on this one.  The fact that Rodrigo’s always been so unconcerned with strengthening the Papal Army when they're often under threat was just plain ridiculous!

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Cesare visited his sister in Naples along the way.  He and Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) went to a carnival together where they lamented their spouses were the wrong people for them, and tried not to suck each other’s faces off.  Lucrezia was also unhappy her husband was unlikely to be the next king of Naples, since he was third in line for the throne.

Cesare and Micheletto (Sean Harris) approached the Get Borgia Gang with their army, and were able to convince them to join their side against Caterina Sforza (Gina McKee).  Meanwhile, the Countess of Forli turned to biological warfare to get the Borgias.  She had Rufio send a false token of peace, contaminated with plague, to the Vatican. 

Cesare ordered the gift be burned unopen, but Cardinal Constanzo had other ideas.  He took the package to his home, and soon all those inside were ill. 

Caterina’s son Benito spied Cesare’s army and was able to warn his cousin Ludovico, who fled.  Cesare and his 10,000 troops took Milan with no resistance, but it was an empty shell.  Cesare could keep his word to France, but he was angry Ludovico got away.  It also looked like Micheletto might have found a new friend in the helpful citizen who told them of Ludovico.


Rodrigo still sought a crusade.  In order to increase more tourism, he wanted a holy relic as an attraction.  He also planned on egregiously taxing the newly arrived Jewish refugees.  Their leader, Mattai, realized they could barter their admittance to the city if they produced the Spear of Longinus, which once struck Christ. 

Later, Cardinal Petrucci’s Spear of Longinus was proved an obvious forgery, which helped authenticate Mattai’s.  Regardless if the spear truly was the real deal, Rodrigo accepted it as such.  A friendship of mutual respect was born between Rodrigo and Mattai. 

Best line: “What has he done?!  Has he insulted the king?  Raped some poor princess?” – Rodrigo, on what Cesare could have done to cause a French invasion.

What did you think of the ep?  Were you as happy as I was to see Cesare and Lucrezia reconnect?  Is there anyway Rodrigo's new bromance can't end badly? 

Photo Credit:  Showtime