& the slipper still fits

The Borgias Season Sum Up (Part 8)

We're at the season finale dear reader!

Episode 9: Nessuno

Lucrezia leads King Charles, della Rovere, Giulia, and the entire French army into Rome. Della Rovere takes advantage of his last ditch effort to call for the Pope’s deposition; Giulia promptly shuts him down. Charles is surprised to see the streets empty; della Rovere had promised Rome would welcome him with cheers and open arms to depose the Borgia Pope. Fed up with della Rovere’s foolish and seemingly misplaced idealism, Charles asks Lucrezia to take him to her father. Lucrezia agrees, walking the French king into the Sistine Chapel.

Charles is shocked to find Rodrigo dressed in simple friar’s clothing and praying in an empty cathedral. We quickly realize Charles has had a change of heart; indeed, it would seem like Charles had no intensions of deposing the Borgia Pope. He begs Rodrigo for guidance in his position as king and absolution for his war-loving soul. Rodrigo grants him this, and promises to reaffirm the French King’s right to the thrown by crowning him in the Sistine Chapel. For his support of the Borgia Papacy, Rodrigo promises Charles Naples (basically).

Meanwhile, Lucrezia is walking the empty halls of the Vatican. Cesare comes up behind her and we remember why there are shippers for these two. The brother and sister go for a walk and Lucrezia confides in Cesare she is pregnant, but not with her husband’s baby. Cesare, first and foremost, is furious that Giovanni Sforza proved exceedingly ungallant, and second is worried about Lucrezia’s health. Cesare then takes Lucrezia to his nunnery (the one he’s the benefactor of…not his nunnery…you remember) to finish out her pregnancy. Ursula will be watching over her. And might I say the scene with all three of them together is just—so amazingly awkward.
Rodrigo, his conviction now strengthened by his success over della Rovere’s deposition, plans to humiliate the cardinals who fled during the Papacy’s hour of need and make them pay—literally. After the college’s painful punishment, Rodrigo and Cesare have dinner with the French to highlight their good will. Charles demands a papal legate to join him in his quest for Naples and chooses Cesare for the position. While both Cesare and Rodrigo know this is a protection clause for the French King and Cesare will amount to nothing more than a hostage, Rodrigo agrees.

At Charles’ “papal coronation”, Cesare tries to extend an olive branch to della Rovere, but to no avail. Della Rovere says he will always hate all Borgias and refuses to act in any way beneficial to the current papacy.

Micheletto joins Ceasre on the road to Naples and its clearl both are hostages of France. As Rodrigo suggested, Cesare finds his way home—quickly and without much difficulty—and on his way, picks up Giovanni Sforza. For failing to support the Borgias, Rodrigo demands Giovanni’s marriage to Lucrezia be annulled. Giovanni, of course, refuses.

And when he does, Rodrigo smiles. With or without Giovanni’s consent, the Borgias will get what they want. Lucrezia, now super pregnant with Paolo’s child, testifies that her husband was unable to consummate their marriage because he is impotent. Its a good thing they put her behind a screen, but she is so pregant even the blind cardinals would have been able to tell. Giovanni denies this claim. The church then demands proof Giovanni is not impotent; they demand “proof of potency”. Really, it’s just a fancy way of saying Giovanni has to sleep with a whore, in front of all the cardinals, to prove he could consummate his marriage. Once in the room with the whore, and all the cardinals: Giovanni refuses to have sex in public and concedes. Lucrezia’s marriage is annulled and Giovanni leaves humiliated to all of Rome.

Finally reaching Naples, France gets a nasty surprise: plague has ravaged the city state. Alfonso is done, there are piles and piles of dead bodies everywhere, and France definitely feels betrayed.

The season ends with the entire family waiting in Cesare’s nunnery chapel, the screams of Lucrezia echoing throughout the halls. She has a blissfully cherubim little Paolo and all is right with the world. For now.