& the slipper still fits

The Borgias Season Sum Up (Part 5)

Episode 6: The French King

Giovanni, broken leg and all, begins to be charmed and tamed by his young wife. Meanwhile, his young wife is still charming the stable boy.** And let us not forget about Cesare and Ursula. With her husband “gone” for a few days, Ursula meets Cesare at the Borgia villa and falls into a days-long tryst. Later, Ursua discovers that Cesare has actually, liberated her, and – horrified that her dreams have come true—she joins a nunnery. ^

This is an act that is rather muddled in the show. On the surface, it looks like Ursula is horrified at the ease Cesar, a cardinal, was able to act; however Cesare explains his rationale and reasoning so beautifully, there is no way she could not love him. Here’s my take: Ursula flees to a nunnery because she has sinned; she wished her husband dead; she gave into Cesare. Ursula is repulsed by her own actions and takes the only action she can: she denies herself Cesare, the only thing she wants. It has nothing to do with Cesare other than he is her object of affection.

With the threat of France becoming real, Rodrigo and Juan look to find another suitable marriage alliance. Juan, clear to state he’ll marry a legitimate heir or no one, pawns all the prospective women on to his little brother Gioffre – who is younger than Lucrezia. Of course, this doesn’t stop Juan from sampling the finest of the candidates. Oh no, he makes a special visit to creeptastic Naples to visit Alphonso, his father, and his bastard sister Sancia. In short, and I won’t mince words, Juan and Sancia are sluts, and worse than that: they’re sluts in the stuff enemies room. In the end, there is another Borgia marriage and Gioffre becomes Duke of Naples. The only plus? Lucrezia gets to come home for the wedding. Oh, and Vannozza was invited to this one.

On a side note: now rejected by Rodrigo, Vannozza’s first husband—a goat farmer—returns (actually, he returned in episode 4) and they start their relationship up anew. Both Cesare and Juan question their paternity and their destinies when he shows up: Juan in his characteristically angry way, and Cesare in his more composed, thoughtful way.

Not to be outdone, della Rovere has finally met up with the French King, Charles VIII. In exchange for harles supporting della Rovere as Pope, Rovere promises clear and safe passage to French troops. Charles laughs in his face: France, with its CANNONS absolutely does not need della Rovere’s help, but now that Rovere is on this path, he has to see it through.

**Who is now not only called Paolo, but Narcissus too; to which he says he can’t read and so Lucrezia “schools him” in classic Greek mythology. I don’t really get the whole Narcissus thing, but I wasn’t much of a Paolo fan to begin with.
^In episode 5 we discover Ursula will have a few days alone as her husband travels away. Her and Cesare plot this as their tryst time; Cesare just plots a little more permanently.