Lucrezia is visiting home, and decides to rain on everyone's already mopey parade. Still very young, remember she's only 13, she questions Cesare on the reasons for her marriage (knowing very well the rationale has seemed to crumble before the family's eyes), stating she remembers it was for something important. After talking with Lucrezia who will soon be leaving again, Cesare searches for Ursula frantically, eventually finding her in his own nunnery (a nunnery he’s the benefactor of, not his personal nunnery…ew) and begs her to change her mind. She insists this new vocation is her path in life and refuses to even say his name.
All of Rome begins to fear as word of a French invasion travels throughout the city states and many of the cardinals and nobility begin to show their lack of loyalty for the Borgia Pope. This includes the Sforzas; all the Sforzas.##
Speaking of a Sforza, Giovanni is more than ready to get back in the saddle with his very young Borgia wife. And Lucrezia is absolutely not ready to give her freedom, and peaceful nights, up. She places a huge puddle of water between herself and her bedroom’s entrance and like clockwork Giovanni slips right on it. Not long after, Giulia comes to visit. Giovanni is clear he will not be supporting Rodrigo in the war against France (as he's already informed his wife), and Lucrezia is clearly pregnant—and of course it isn’t Giovanni’s baby. Giulia plans to take Lucrezia home to Rome before they both are unable to flee.
France is much closer. They are at the gates of Lucca. Still thinking they can withstand the French forces, Lucca refuses Charles VIII passage. And France is more than happy to take their passage if not welcomed. They use their cannons and destroy the walls of Lucca and then rape, pillage, and plunder the city. Della Rovere, horrified and repulsed, demands Charles stop the carnage. Charles, blatantly, refuses and continues on. (Meanwhile, the Duke of Naples, Alphonso’s already half-dead father, dies.)
After Rodrigo hears about Lucca, della Rovere’s connection, and the fact most of Rome will roll over quietly for France (Florence does only days later), he tries to have della Rovere excommunicated. It goes over like a lead balloon.* Out of options and fearing God has abandoned him as Pope, Rodrigo brings in his spiritual Spanish guide to sooth his soul.
##Yeah, they’re big jerks.
*Cesare tried to warn him the Cardinals will not approve, but Rodrigo's blind optimism out plays Cesare's caution.