The Banquet Of Chestnuts


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THE BORGIAS SEASON 3, EPISODE 4
"The Banquet Of Chestnuts"
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Episode Title: The Banquet Of Chestnuts
The Borgias Episode #: 3.04
The Borgias Season: 3
Original Air Date: May 5, 2013
Writer: Guy Burt
Director(s): Jon Amiel
Guest Star(s): --

Newly appointed Cardinal Farnese (Cyron Melville) – promoted at the request of his sister Giulia (Lotte Verbeek) – is placed in the Treasury and quickly discovers Versucci’s theft. Micheletto (Sean Harris) is sent to find the wayward Cardinal. Meanwhile, upon hearing of Venice’s request for help against Turkish pirates, Alexander (Jeremy Irons), seeing this as an opportunity to replenish the coffers, dramatically calls for a Crusade. Concerned about the loyalty of his new Cardinals, Giulia arranges an orgy for them – the “banquet of chestnuts” – but it is a trap and details of the Cardinals’ sexual activities are recorded to extort their future loyalty. Elsewhere, King Ferdinand (Matias Varela) learns that Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) and Alfonso’s (Sebastian De Souza) marriage has not been consummated and demands a public display of their love-making. Lucrezia is humiliated, but the experience seems to increase the incestuous attraction between her and her brother.

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CHARACTERS IN THIS EPISODE
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EPISODE SYNOPSIS
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The Choice - THE  BORGIAS   wiki EPISODE RECAP
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To fill the College of Cardinals with his favourites, after having purged it from his enemies, Alexander appoints several new cardinals and among them is his mistress Giulia Farnese's brother Alessandro, who is tasked with finding out the extent of the former Cardinal Versucci's theft from the Vatican Treasury. Alessandro Farnese is warned by the Pope not to report back to the new head of the Treasury, Cardinal Grimani, nor the Vice-Chancellor, Cardinal Sforza, but straight to the Pope.

Cesare and Lucrezia deal with the aftermath of the fulfillment of their incestuous longing for each other at the expense of Lucrezia's wedding consummation and her husband Alfonso's furtiveness spurs King Ferdinand of Naples to demand a public display of their spousal lovemaking in fear of having the marriage eventually annulled just like it happened with Giovanni Sforza. Alexander VI and Cesare are furious but reluctantly agree and the latter informs Lucrezia of her difficult and embarassing duty: as a consequence, the livid Lucrezia asks Cesare to pay witness from their family's side as a means of exacting revenge for him not defending her honour.

Giulia Farnese helps her brother advance in the College by aiding him make sense of the labyrinthine Vatican finances but when Alessandro turns in his report and after Rodrigo orders Cesare to unleash Micheletto on the loose thief Versucci, the Pope spots his former mistress' handwriting and has her dragged in front of him in the middle of the night. Completely paranoid that his newly-appointed cardinal disobeyed him and that the vicious circle of betrayal is going to start once more, Giulia has to calm Rodrigo down by vowing that she'll find a way not only to earn back his favour but also ensure his new cardinals' loyalties.

Preparing for the shameful public consummation of her wedding, Lucrezia swears that she'll take measures of revenge against King Ferdinand at some point. During the actual consummation, Lucrezia plays a game of looks with Cesare meant both as a way to arouse her own self and torture him as he has to stand witness to her fornicating with another man. As soon as she reaches a climax, Ferdinand declares the consummation complete and leaves satisfied.

Giulia Farnese invents a trap to acquire the unquestioning loyalty of the entire consistory for the sake of Rodrigo: a banquet where all cardinals are to be invited is designed to end scandalously bacchic and be recorded by the Vatican's most prominent canon lawyer and official chronicler, Johannes Burchart. Rodrigo agrees with the idea, thinking that the falseness of men is their primary characteristic, but Giulia makes sure to keep her brother Alessandro away from the riotous and damning celebration.

Lucrezia and Cesare reconcile as Cesare prepares to journey to France to bargain with the French King in exchange for the annulment of his marriage. The two siblings decide to let one another at least attempt to live their own lives in a normal way but vow to meet again soon.

Micheletto uncovers Versucci hiding in a monastery after having redistributed Vatican wealth to their rightful owners. The old man commits suicide before Micheletto can kill him with his own hands but not before he can bid him goodbye with a disappointing piece of news: the assassin points out that the former cardinal's plots against the Pope were futile and didn't hurt him at all, given that he laughed when he was informed that Versucci was able to steal from him.

With Burchart concealed behind a woodscreen, Giulia Farnese initiates the Banquet of Chestnuts by auctioning the clothes and bodies of several Roman courtesans disguised as nuns and the festivities soon turn into an orgy documented in detail by Burchart. The next day, Rodrigo informs the framed cardinals that their iniquity, supported by written evidence, will not be disclosed unless they prove disloyal. But Rodrigo isn't aware that he'll soon fall prey to a similar plot: Caterina Sforza and Rufio are still in Rome and have enlisted Francesco Gonzaga to their cause, planning to take advantage of his rage after having been cuckolded by his wife Bianca's infidelity with the Pope. When Bianca resurfaces in the Pope's appartments and Gonzaga is assured of her insult against him, the Duke of Mantua officially requests a papal brief of annulment, citing the Pope's fornication with his wife as a case of infidelity, leaving Rodrigo speechless and weakened.



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The Choice - THE  BORGIAS   wiki DEATHS IN THIS EPISODE
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The Choice - THE  BORGIAS   wiki THE BORGIAS EPISODE BEST MOMENTS AND BIGGEST SHOCKERS
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The Choice - THE  BORGIAS   wiki THE BORGIAS EPISODE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
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The Choice - THE  BORGIAS   wiki THE BORGIAS EPISODE TRIVIA
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ON THE BORGIAS... IN HISTORY...
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