Truth and Lies


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THE BORGIAS SEASON 2, EPISODE 2.08
"Truth and Lies"
Characters - The Borgias Fan Wiki

Episode Title: Truth and Lies
The Borgias Episode #: 2.08
The Borgias Season: 2
Original Air Date: June 3, 2012
Writer: David Leland
Director(s): John Maybury
Guest Star(s):

Upon his return to Rome, Juan spins an elaborate yarn about how he received his "battle wounds," but Cesare is unconvinced and determined to learn the truth. Meanwhile, Lucrezia takes a lover, the younger brother of her intended; and Della Rovere recruits an accomplice for his assassination plot.

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EPISODE SNEAK PEEKS
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Page Symbol CHARACTERS IN THIS EPISODE
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Truth and Lies - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Pope Alexander VI/Rodrigo Borgia
Played by: Jeremy Irons
Plot connections: Devastated by the news of the defeat at Forli, he begins to realize Juan's flaws yet still moves to console and reassure him of his value
Truth and Lies - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Cesare Borgia
Played by: Francois Arnaud
Plot connections: Informed of Juan's dishonorable behavior at Forli, he harbors Benito Sforza and taunts his brother with this knowledge finally informing their father
Truth and Lies - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Juan Borgia
Played by: David Oakes
Plot connections: Desperate to garner sympathy, he plays up his 'war wound' and frets over whether the truth of his actions will be revealed
Truth and Lies - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Lucrezia Borgia
Played by: Holliday Grainger
Plot connections: Lucrezia finally makes her choice: to bed Raffaello and become betrothed to his brother Calvino
Truth and Lies - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Calvino
Played by: David Alpay
Plot connections: He continues to be charmed by Lucrezia and he is finally betrothed to her
Truth and Lies - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Vanozza dei Cattanei
Played by: Joanne Whalley
Plot connections: Pressured by the Pope, she finally drives Lucrezia to make her choice to marry
Truth and Lies - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Cardinal Ascanio Sforza
Played by: Peter Sullivan
Plot connections: Gleefully brings the news of the death of King Charles of France to the Pope
Truth and Lies - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Raffaello
Played by: Tom Austen
Plot connections: He is seduced by Lucrezia into a clandestine affair
Truth and Lies - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Benito Sforza
Played by: Noah Silver
Plot connections: Spirited away to Rome from Forli, he is held by Cesare but released by Pope Alexander after he tells of what he witnessed
Truth and Lies - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Don Hernando de Caballos
Played by: Robert Cavanah
Plot connections: Appalled by Juan's actions at the siege of Forli, he brings Benito to Rome and leaves him in Cesare's care
Truth and Lies - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere
Played by: Colm Feore
Plot connections: Feeling his assassin is ready, he briefs him on what to expect as the Pope's taster
Truth and Lies - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Micheletto
Played by: Sean Harris
Plot connections: From the start, he is ready to kill Benito Sforza convinced that no act of mercy will quell the boy's potential thirst for vengeance
Truth and Lies - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Antonello
Played by: Jesse Bostick
Plot connections: Ready to fulfill his duty as della Rovere's assassin, he dispatches with the current taster in order to take his place
Truth and Lies - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Name: Friar
Played by: Roger Lloyd-Pack
Plot connections: Continues his support of della Rovere's efforts to murder Pope Alexander
Additional Characters:


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Page Symbol EPISODE SYNOPSIS
[Untitled]
Back in Rome, Juan flaunts a wounded leg and spins a yarn about his valiant conduct at his army’s defeat at Forli. But Hernando brings the boy Benito back to Rome and Cesare is determined to have his father hear the truth of Juan’s cowardice. Juan, bitter and humiliated, is now dying from syphilis and the infected wound and turns to opium addiction to dull his pain. Lucrezia, Giulia and Vanozza discover that the improvements to an orphanage they demanded from the Cardinals have not been begun, so they turn to blackmail to finish the project. Lucrezia meanwhile, still prevaricates over marriage to Calvino while flirting with his brother; Vanozza gives her some homespun advice about taking lovers; and Lucrezia seduces Raffaello. Della Rovere’s assassination plan faces one last hurdle: how to replace the Pope’s taster with his own agent? While Della Rovere ponders the moral dilemma of killing a good man for a greater end, his accomplice Antonello takes matters into his own hands.
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Page Symbol EPISODE RECAP
[Untitled]
In this 8th episode of the season the plot thickens, so to speak.

The episode begins with Cardinal Sforza (Peter Sullivan) and Cardinal Piccolomini (Bosco Hogan) laughing as they approach Pope Alexander and try to tell him that King Charles of France is dead. Apparently King Charles died from hitting his head in a doorway after paying tennis. The cardinals are amused the Pope is not. After the Pope tells them why his enemy should be admired he then shames the two men and makes the two Cardinals recite the Rosary 3 dozen times.

Juan is a mess! We hear Juan before we see him in a wheelchair yelling to his servants to push him faster as they wheel him in the Vatican. They then stop at the stairs and Juan yells again for them to help him up the stairs as they stand helpless. A pale faced Juan hobbles to his father telling him that the Papal army was attacked on both sides by Il Moro, Ludovico Sforza. Rodrigo for all his wit seems to believe every word Juan says. Juan is dramatic as he tells his father that the papal Army fought "long and hard" and Juan fought like a tiger until an arrow took him down. While Juan was knocked out the battle raged on and as Juan recovered from passing out form his injury he escaped in the darkness. Rodrigo is proud of his bravery and commends Juan but the Pope is embarrassed over the defeat. Juan tells his father that Caterina Sforza's son, Benito, was killed during the battle. Juan immediately casts blame on Cesare who was in Florence and close enough to have been able to send word of Il Moro's forces gathering behind the Papal army. Rodrigo asks how would Cesare have known and Juan says Cesare was with Machiavelli who has spies everywhere. Rodrigo seems to have had a moment of doubt.

Cesare and Micheletto meet with Don Hernando who leads the men into a dungeon. Don Hernando tells Cesare that Juan thought the boy died in battle but Hernando sought to save the boy as he believes men should fight men and not boys.

Juan is in severe pain as he is being wheeled from visiting his father when he runs into Cesare and Micheletto.

The fires on Florence rage on.

It is still Lent and we see the Pope eating with the Cardinals as his loyal taster, Brother Bernadino, claims the food is fit for the Pope to eat.

Della Rovere is with a Friar watching the Antonello, who is in a state of "living death". Della Rovere explains to the friar what the boy told him he experienced during his life and death battles with the poison. They need to find a way to get rid of Brother Bernadino who is a good man. Both do not wish to kill such a good man but are at a loss as to how to get rid of him.

Juan visits his doctor and the doctor tells Juan he has madness, blindness and death to look forward to. On top of this Juan might lose his leg! But the doctor has someone come in who leads Juan into an opium den where Juan will only find friends who will be there and help him ease his pain.

Rodrigo confronts Vanozza about Lucrezia and urges Vanozza to tell their daughter to choose a husband.

Lucrezia watches Raffaello drawing in the Vatican and she walks over and leans into his ear to whisper "Beautiful".
Lucrezia visits the room of her potential husband and the panther. Her potential betrothed tells her he is only feeding the panther meat like she said. Lucrezia asks where his brother;s rooms are. As she walks away she pauses a Raffaello's door and smiles.

Rodrigo is with Cesare and Juan and he is fussing about Savonarola and Caterina Sforza. Cesare taunts Juan. Juan tells Cesare he could have sent a warning. Juan pulls his pants down and shows his wounded leg. Rodrigo breaks up the argument telling them "ridicule" is worse than losing a battle.

Della Rovere is in the market with the Antonello and they follow Rodrigo's taster as he buys food for the Pope. They are concerned on how to get rid of such a good man but della Rovere insists that God will show them they way. Antonello asks della Rovere about the Pope's taster and della Rovere tells him he is a good man a man of God but does he serve a man of God?

Cesare invites Don Hernando to stay as his guest but Hernando insists he has no interest in staying and playing the games they play. He is a man of honor He wants to leave Rome before someone finds his body"Floating in the Tiber"

Vanozza and Lucrezia are dining together and Vanozza asks Lucrezia to choose between two desserts. Lucrezia states she cannot choose because she likes them both. Vanozza asks Lucrezia "What's your name?" Lucrezia is a Borgia; she will find she can have both. She can have both desserts at one time, just like the brothers; marry one and love the other but eventually she will tire of them and choose a lover. Lucrezia takes a bite from each plate and says "Delicious".

Micheletto comes to take Benito out of the dungeon. For some reason Micheletto has an almost irrational hate towards the boy whom he may not have met before. Micheletto taunts and teases and laughs as he threatens Benito. Micheletto stares the boy down. He tells the boy that his mother is a wh*re. Benito asks if he is going to his death as Micheletto leads him out of the dungeon and Micheletto states" That remains to be seen". He leads Benito into St. Peters where Rodrigo is there alone.
Rodrigo hears a noise and calls out and walks to meet Benito as he falls down asking Benito what happened to him. Benito tells the Pope he is there to tell him what truly happened at Forli. Cesare stands hidden and watches and listens.

Rodrigo confronts Juan who looks worse and asks him what happened to Benito and Juan tells hm again that the boy died in battle. Rodrigo tells Juan perhaps someone should replace him as captain of the Papal forces and Juan becomes upset and pulls a dagger. He holds it to his own throat and tells Rodrigo that "If you take my honor then you must also take my life". Rodrigo has Juan put the dagger away urging Juan to get some rest.

Cesare and Micheletto are on horses getting ready to go back to Florence when Cardinal Sforza brings Benito out to Cesare telling him that the Pope orders Cesare to deliver the boy back to his mother. Benito is holding an olive branch to be taken to his mother from the Pope. Cesare has the boy get onto his horse behind him.

Lucrezia bumps into Raffaello in a crowded public hallway and drops a piece of paper as she stands talking to him and she waits for him to notice the paper on the floor. Finally, she points out to him that he must have dropped something and he says he did not. Lucrezia insists he did and as she turns to walk away urges him to read the paper. Later that night, Lucrezia meets him and he leads him to a secluded room. She pours him some wine and serves him the 2 desserts she shared with her mother earlier that day. Through a gauze backdrop, we can see Lucrezia and Rafaello making love.

Cesare and Micheletto sit by a creek as Benito sits below them and Micheletto urges Cesare to drown the boy. Micheletto tells Cesare that drowning is a peaceful death, "Like dreaming". Cesare says no as Benito carries an olive branch form his father. Micheletto rubs it in Benito's face that he was going to drown him but Cesare stopped him, thinking that the boy did not hear them. Benito interrupts Micheletto and tells him "drowning is like dreaming".

At a lavish public ceremony, Calvino presents Lucrezia with a gift of a ship in honor of what he hopes will become their engagement. Lucrezia peeps from behind the ship at her lover Raffaello and finally says yes she will marry Calvino. Rodrigo is happy.

Cesare and Micheletto release Benito outside Forli and Cesare tells the boy to remember this act of kindness. Micheletto tells Cesare it is a mistake to let the boy go. Cesare quotes Don Hernando and states simply he fights men not boys.

Della Rovere's potential taster for the Pope follows Brother Bernadino while he his on his errands. Bernadino fishes for food for the Pope and the boy taster makes his move and pushes Bernadino into the river. The taster confesses his murder to della Rovere who is shocked but happy.



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Page Symbol BEST QUOTES
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  • "There was more steel in that heroic king's diminished frame than can be found in both your bodies!" -- Pope Alexander to the cardinals bearing the news of King Charles' death
  • "I have often thought a fortune could be made by its export." -- Juan's doctor clairvoyantly referring to opium
  • "I do not wish to play this game I see you all play; you Borgias, the Sforzas, Orsini, Medici, all of you here in this beautiful land. God gives you riches and you kill for more." -- Don Hernando to Cesare
  • "Your father, he seeks truth he already knows." -- Don Hernando to Cesare
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Page Symbol DEATHS IN THIS EPISODE
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Who died?
How did they die?
Brother Bernadino
Drowning, pushed into the river by Antonello
King Charles VIII (unseen)
He struck his head, fell into a coma and died







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Page Symbol THE BORGIAS EPISODE BEST MOMENTS AND BIGGEST SHOCKERS
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  • SHOCK -- Brother Bernadino being pushed into the river
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Page Symbol THE BORGIAS EPISODE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
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  • Who was that little boy running errands with Brother Bernadino?


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Page Symbol THE BORGIAS EPISODE TRIVIA
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  • King Charles VIII supposedly died exactly as the show said he did; reports say he had a siezure several hours after his head injury. He was still very young and active at his death, though, and not suffering unduly from syphillis.
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Page Symbol THE BORGIAS VS. HISTORY
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How did this episode differ from actual events? Compare the facts with the fiction below!
ON THE BORGIAS... IN HISTORY...
  • Caterina Sforza's son taken prisoner and brought to Rome


  • Spanish General Don Hernando couldn't save Juan's siege from failure and told the pope the truth about Juan's ineptitude

  • Juan is increasingly ill with syphilis and suffering from the leg wound he received at the siege of Forli

  • Lucrezia lures her suitor's brother Raffaello into a secret affair
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  • There was no siege at Forli (this early in he saga), the battles fought under Juan's inept leaderhip were between the papal army and the Orsini barons who sided with the French
  • Character modeled after "El Capitan", Don Gonsalvo Fernandez de Cordoba (Spanish general), although the real Gonsalvo de Cordoba may well crop up later in the series as an adversary of Cesare
  • There is nothing to suggest that Juan was anything other than healthy right up to the time of his death

  • Raffaello is an invented character and Lucrezia's only rumoured lover at this time was Pedro Calderon, on whom Paolo was based
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Page Symbol BEHIND THE EPISODE FEATURE
[Untitled]


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