The Borgias in Love


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THE BORGIAS SEASON 1, EPISODE 5
"The Borgias in Love"
Characters - The Borgias Fan Wiki

Episode Title: The Borgias In Love
The Borgias Episode #: 5
The Borgias Season: 1
Original Air Date: 24 April 2011
Writer: Neil Jordan
Director(s): John Maybury
Guest Star(s): Steven Berkoff as Savonarola, Julian Bleach as Machiavelli, Ruta Gedmintas as Ursula, Ivan Kaye as Ludovico Sforza, Nicholas Rowe as Baron Bonadeo


Ultimately neglected and abused by her cruel husband, Lucrezia has an affair with Paolo, a handsome stable boy; Cesare strikes a bargain with Machiavelli: deny French troops passage across his masters' lands in exchange for suppression of Savonarola, a fiery preacher of anti-Medici sermons; in love with baroness Ursula, Cesare takes drastic action to get rid of her husband.






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CHARACTERS IN THIS EPISODE
[Untitled]


The Borgias in Love - THE  BORGIAS   wiki


Name: Cesare Borgia
Played by: Francois Arnaud
Plot connections:-- Pursues romance with married woman; travels to Florence and meets with Machiavelli

The Borgias in Love - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Ursula Bonadeo
Played by: Ruta Gedmintas
Plot connections:-- Cesare's new love interest

The Borgias in Love - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Lucrezia Borgia
Played by: Holliday Grainger
Plot connections:-- Seeks relief from her arranged marriage with Paolo the stable boy

The Borgias in Love - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Paolo
Played by: Luke Pasqualino
Plot connections:-- Willing object of pursuit by Lucrezia

The Borgias in Love - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Rodrigo Borgia
Played by: Jeremy Irons
Plot connections:-- Seeking new assurances and alliances to further secure his papacy and try to stem possible invasion

The Borgias in Love - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Niccolo Machiavelli
Played by: Julian Bleach
Plot connections:-- Converses with Cesare regarding della Rovere's visit



The Borgias in Love - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Micheletto
Played by: Sean Harris
Plot connections:--

Ludovico Sforza

Name: Ludovico Sforza
Played by: Ivan Kaye
Plot connections:--

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Supporting Cast

  • Mickey Sumner - Francesca
  • Keith Burke - Gian Galaezzo
  • James Woolley - Ambassador of Navarre
  • Emily Taaffe - Gabriella Visconti / Sforza
  • Frank Burke - Medic

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page logo EPISODE SYNOPSIS
[Untitled]

Lucrezia turns her attentions to a handsome young stable boy as a temporary escape from her loveless marriage. Meanwhile, Cesare has fallen in love with an influential baron's wife and takes drastic steps to ensure she will become his. On the political front, Cesare persuades Machiavelli to reconsider his pact with Della Rovere, which would allow French troops passage through Florence.
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page logo EPISODE RECAP
[Untitled]

A nightmare plagues Rodrigo’s mind. He dreams of a lifeless Lucrezia drowning under water in the Vatican. Remorseful he pulls his daughter out of the clear water and repeats: “What have I done?” begging his daughter for forgiveness. Cold a shallow-eyed pale Lucrezia ascends from the water taking her leave of the Pope without pardoning his sins: “God may forgive you, father. But I never will.” Her image takes its place at the centre of the depiction of angels in the Vatican Dome. Inconsolable Rodrigo wakes up from his dream calling for his daughter but finds himself back in his bedchamber.

Pesaro – It is the morning after Lucrezia’s rape by her husband and she has not slept the entire night, weeping at the discovery of the animosity of her new husband. Giovanni lies awake next to her calm and satisfied. With condescending words he insults her and the Borgia family: “And blood, thank God. A virgin. You must be… unique in your family.” With an indifferent air he admits that her dowry was indeed impressing and informs her that with her lack of interest in hunting, his preference of sport, they need hardly interact and can keep the marriage businesslike with the exception of “marital duties”, which he promises to keep brief. It is clear that Giovanni holds neither emotions nor respect for his wife and will only use her for his pleasure disregarding the abuse he causes his new wife.

Back in the Pope’s chamber, doctors are rejected by an irritated Rodrigo. The Pope confides in Cardinal Ascanio Sforza about his nightmares. Borgia subconsciously suspects his daughter suffers at the hands of her new husband, Cardinal’s cousin and he feels guilt seeking reassurance: “I need your assurance, of the welfare of my daughter. And the castle of your cousin Giovanni Sforza.” The cardinal comments soothing a remark, claiming that Giovanni “inherited the Sforza name, the Sforza wealth. But none of its vigour.” Rodrigo reassumes the talk of politics warning the Vice-Chancellor Ascanio against intrigue on his relatives’ behalf and mentions another Sforza cousin, the Duke of Milan.

Elsewhere, Ursula Bonadeo seeks confession with Cardinal Cesare Borgia in order to get him alone. Pleasantly surprised to see his latest infatuation the two exchange lovers’ sentiments. Ursula warns Cesare against perusing his vengeance for the insult of his mother. She tells the Cardinal of her husband’s brutal skills in battle, yet Cesare openly admits that he will avenge his mother nonetheless.

Borgia palazzo – It is late in the evening when Cesare confides his feelings for Ursula to his mother asking her whether she still care for his father despite the pain Rodrigo’s caused her. “Can it [love] be cures?” Vanozza admits that she may still love Rodrigo: “No, it can be endured, embraced and suffered.” Despite her support Cesare is reluctant to further his feelings for Ursula as they have no future. Vanozza suggests that her son may leave the church and go against his father’s wishes, unless he dares. Clearly still displeased with his lot in profession Cesare replies: “I fear nothing, mother.”

Inspired by Vanozza, Cesare finds his baroness the following morning in the woods, giving alms to a local monastery. Urusla is curious as to his methods but is not surprised when revealed to that the Cardinal has spies. She admits that she takes comfort in his “priestly collar” makes her hope her heart is safe. Cesare swears he would never harm it. At Pesaro Lucrezia has survived yet another night of terror with her husband with her new maid Francesca.

Back in Rome Cesare is furious at yet another failure by Micheletto, who revealed to his master that their monk-assassin was stabbed in the eye by Cardinal della Rovere and now their target has fled to the Duchy of Milan. Sharing this information with his father and brother, Cesare cleverly guesses della Rovere’s entire plot of invading Italy aided by the French army, which “is hardened by a hundred years of battle with England”, something Rome cannot match. The Borgia trio agree that the Sforza duke of Milan cannot be trusted despite Lucrezia’s marriage to the dukes relative and only threats can secure his political standing to their advantage. Meanwhile Cesare is sent to Florence to propose a deal to the Medici: an excommunication and public burning of a disturbing preacher in Florence in the Medici support the Borgia’s “just cause”.

Cardinal della Rovere has arrived to Milan, welcomed to a feast held by the beastly duke Sforza, who holds the rightful heir to the duchy under lock and key in a dungeon below, treating the boy like a dirty animal. Duke Ludovico agrees to consider supporting the Cardinal’s request of “safe passage of the French arms”.

Cesare, now in Florence, meets the famous Medici ambassador Niccolo Machiavelli and proposes a sort of inquisition between just the two, without the involvement of Machiavelli’s Medici master. Machiavelli admits that a Cardinal has visited them. He informs that this Cardinal asked Florence to do nothing “in the event of something” (the French invasion) and that Florence has promised nothing to the “nothing” proposed.

While Lucrezia acquaintances herself with her new home in Pesaro and the stable boy Paolo, the Pope seeks for a new marriage alliance for his son Juan, who wants nothing but the best and not “second grade royalty”. Juan suggests that his father marries off the youngest son Joffre Borgia to the King of Naples’ illegitimate daughter Sancia, a proposal Rodrigo takes into serious consideration.

Rodrigo sends his Vice-Chancellor Sforza, to the Duchy of Milan so that the cardinal talks sense into his cousin Ludovico Sforza. Later that night Rodrigo discusses with Giulia the idea of a union between Sancia and Joffre affirming her fears that he will never stop plotting and will ensnare the whole Europe in his scheme.

Pesaro – Giovanni forces his usual brutal intercourse on an already beaten Lucrezia. This time she takes the advice of her maid Francesca and counts sheep infuriating her husband even more. Meanwhile Francesca and Paolo stand outside the bedchamber and listen with horror to their mistress’ screams of pain unable to do anything.

Milan – Cardinal Ascanio Sforza visits duke Ludovico and tries to persuade him to take the Pope’s side against della Rovere’s rebelling schemes. The brutish duke demands the cardinal to release his imprisoned cousin and then allows him to eat. The food that the boy is served is poisoned and before the cardinal can stop it he dies with blood pouring out of his mouth.

In town Cesare continues his pursuit of baroness Ursula. He sees a mark on her cheekbone and tells her that she should not tolerate her husband’s abuse. His assurances lead her to set a meeting on the morrow’s night with her husband away. Cesare calls upon Micheletto to practice with swords in preparation for a fight with Ursula’s husband, unbeknown to her.

In the woods near Pesaro, Lucrezia spends more time with Paolo continuing the yet unconsummated affair. The stable boy is surprised to find out that the Pope does not know of the abuse of his daughter. Instead Paolo suggests a scheme that would lead to Giovanni’s handicap. Knowing much about horses and the gear, Paolo wants to “adjust” Giovanni’s saddle so that he would fall, thus being no longer physically capable of harming his wife.

Cesare finds out about his father’s plans of marrying Joffre to Sancia, not surprised at all.

Meanwhile Lucrezia is “counting sheep” with her husband “thrusting” in the bedchamber. It is night and hidden in the darkness inside the stables, Paolo sabotages lord Sforza’s riding saddle in time for his daily hunting trip on the morrow.

Lucrezia is not the only wife to suffer from her husband’s tyranny. The Baron commands that no visitors should be allowed to see his wife Ursula during his absence. Cesare is standing in waiting for a duel, rejecting Micheletto’s offer of aid as the cardinal wishes to avenge his mother’s honour himself, even if it will get blood on his hands.

Francesca comes into the ducal bedroom and informs Lucrezia that her husband has been injured during the hunt. The abused wife smiles smugly.

In a dark alley of the street of Rome Cesare intercepts the baron and the two start a combat. After struggling in the rain and dirt Cesare stabs the baron with Micheletto watching. This turns out to be Cesare’s first kill and the cardinal “felt the life go out of him” as he read a final prayer over the dead man’s body with the sword still in the baron’s throat. The cardinal and the assassin get rid of the body by dumping it into the flood created by the pouring rain.

In Pesaro Giovanni is handled by a doctor while Lucrezia watches with pleasure how her husband suffers, blood spilling out of his broken bones. “One, two… three!


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page logo BEST QUOTES
[Untitled]
  • Cesare: "You care so much for someone you hardly know."
    Ursula: "Yes it is a mystery."
  • Vanozza: "You could leave the church, and displease your father...if you dare."
  • Machiavelli: "There was a friar found murdered, but that Cardinal claimed to be a man of peace."
  • Cesare: "We all do, senor Machiavelli."
  • Machiavelli: "You are far too clever for a Cardinal."
  • Machiavelli: "And if these times have made you clever, the coming months may thrust genius upon you."
  • Giulia: "You are going to ensnare the whole of Europe in your progeny."
  • Rodrigo: "What else are families for?"
  • Cardinal Sforza: "Intrigue is no match for Borgia intelligence...as all Rome has discovered."
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page logo DEATHS IN THIS EPISODE
[Untitled]
Who died?
How did they die?
Baron Bonadeo
Lost the duel with Cesare Borgia









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page logo THE BORGIAS EPISODE BEST MOMENTS AND BIGGEST SHOCKERS
[Untitled]
  • Shock - Ludovico Sforza relieves himself on his nephew in chains, Gian Galeazzo.
  • Best - The look on Lucrezia's face when she says "3" while her husband has his leg reset.
  • Best - Entire scene of the presentation of Princess Silvia's portrait.


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page logo THE BORGIAS EPISODE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
[Untitled]
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page logo THE BORGIAS EPISODE TRIVIA
[Untitled]
  • Gian Galeazzo died mysteriously, and many accused his uncle Ludovico of the crime, though he was conveniently in Pavia when the young duke succumbed. At Gian Galeazzo's deathbed, however, he publicly declared his love and loyalty to his uncle, who he knew would be proclaimed duke by the nobles. But, this could have been propaganda created by the wily "fox" Ludovico Sforza.
  • Both Cardinal della Rovere and Ludovico Sforza allied with Charles VIII and supported his invasion of Naples (1494) Della Rovere in hopes that Charles would convene a council to depose Pope Alexander, and Sforza in hopes to see his rival weakened.
  • In the show Cesare points out to Rodrigo that the French army has had years of hardening during their wars with England. his is true, and that they had a new form of 'bombard' - the horse-drawn canon - that would soon render traditional siege warfare obsolete.
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page logo THE BORGIAS VS. HISTORY
[Untitled]
How did this episode differ from actual events? Compare the facts with the fiction below!
ON THE BORGIAS... IN HISTORY...

  • Ludovico "il Moro" Sforza, cruel usurper of Milan keeps his cousin Gian Galeazzo in chains under the floors of the castle, and later poisons him in front of his cousin Cardinal Ascanio Sforza.
  • Ludovico is described as Ascanio's cousin
  • 'Princess Silvia of Navarre' is put forward as a possible bride for Juan, but he doesn't like the look of her portrait...
  • Juan refuses to marry, despite the Pope's urgings, and suggests that one of the possible brides, Sancia of Naples, is engaged to his young brother Joffre instead
  • Cesare secretly travels to Florence and meets with the Medici's chief adviser, Niccolo Machiavelli, to gather intelligence about Cardinal della Rovere's proposals and persuade the Florentines to back the Pope instead

  • Ludovico was de facto duke, but never treated his nephew Gian Galeazzo barbarously. His "gilded chains" were metaphor for being barred from wielding his powers as duke. Gian Galeazzo was entirely under the Moor's thumb, and didn't seem to mind so much as it left him free to do as he pleased.
  • Ludovico was Ascanio's elder brother.
  • There was no 'Princess Silvia' - the only Navarrese princess of the time, Anne, was only a baby!
  • Juan was already engaged to a Spanish lady, Maria Enriquez, to further the Borgias' longstanding Spanish alliance, and would shortly leave for Valencia to marry her
  • Machiavelli did not take up a government post until 1498, after the fall of the Medici, and his first meeting with Cesare was in 1502



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