sherrilina: (Cesare/Lucrezia "My Love" (The Borgias))
[personal profile] sherrilina
So tonight is the night...the last night of The Borgias fandom while the show is still on the air with episodes left to see. :( I feel both sad and rather anxious with worry about whether the finale will be any good, whether C/L will end in a place I can handle...I'm just not ready yet for it all to end!



It's kind of unfortunate that the GoT season 3 finale is also tonight, since I'm kind of distracted by The Borgias, though I hope that ends well too, and I'm rather curious to see where they cut that off. In the meantime, however, I wanted to post my thoughts on the last few episodes of The Borgias through 3x08 (I didn't have time to type my 3x09 thoughts yet, though I have seen that epp and loved it as well!):

3x08:

I *loved* this episode! A lot more than the last couple of episodes, tbh; I think this is probably going to be one of my favorite episodes of the season. I enjoyed pretty much every storyline (even Rodrigo's--his pageantry at the beginning with that dramatic music was just so priceless and funny, and I loved his continuing plotting with the clever Jewish merchants--I'm glad they at least held up their end of the bargain!), and there were so many utterly fantastic and emotional highlight-of-the-season type moments and beautiful performances. The only thing missing was Giulia and Vanozza, although I'm not sure where they would have fit in.

First off, I liked all the C/L of course, like their BIG SCENE (which I naturally rewound and watched several times)--I thought it was perfect for where they have been lately; I think sex might have been too soon, and it was so sweet and tender and hot (finger-biting!) all at once, as their best scenes are. I actually now remember seeing this snippet of it in the trailers:



That SMIIIILE ugh, I love how HAPPY they look around each other, and their adorable banter about the ambassador thing, as well as his concern for her over the new king. Their confiding in one another too, HIS NECK GRIP (always that...and kissing it this time too!)...guh. These two. Also glad to see them continue to acknowledge that they yearn for the other. BUT I liked the other C/L parts too--him continuing to badger and grill Alfonso at the investiture (lol poor guy) and the exchanged glance with Lucrezia, then his distraught reaction to realizing that his fears were right and that Lucrezia is a hostage now. I love it when he says that word (like in s1 too). Although it broke my heart for Micheletto, I liked that Cesare's gut reaction was to lash out and want to kill the spy for this. Also Lucrezia's palm reading was great--don't need a witch to know that she loves her brother though! ;)

"I know this feeling all my life...all my life."
"I can hate and love."

And then Micheletto...poor Micheletto. :( Realizing that he had been played for a fool, that his love wasn't real, when he had been SO happy...*sob*



Sean Harris just killed it too--look at his face (seeing him cry was mind-blowing!):



Great material for him...and it was great to see more in-depth interactions with Cesare as well, even if I was sad to see the tension there. I wonder if this is the first time he has admitted to being gay in front of Cesare, or if Cesare suspected? :s The way he kind of swallowed in reaction...what do you guys think? I have definitely been wanting to see that addressed on the show, so I was overjoyed that it was to some extent. I'm glad it's out there now, and I liked that Cesare put his hands on Micheletto's and was like, "No of course I don't want you dead!" These two care for each other so much...<33



And all of the spy vs. spy decoding stuff was really interesting and exciting, it reminded me of The Americans, but way more old school.

Also Caterina continues to be a flawless and clever HBIC and worthy opponent to the Borgias. Her plan to divert pilgrims (and funds for war against her) from Rome was genius, and the whole escalating relic battle royale was pretty entertaining. ("What next in this competition of relics?" indeed!) And it gave us the intense scene of Cesare and Micheletto just barely avoiding getting blown up, followed by the lulziest "Cesare is a psycho, guys!" scene thus far:

"Jesus must love you, Cesare Borgia."


I have also been waiting for this line a long time, and it did not disappoint! ;) Caterina looked so disappointed. Rodrigo also sounded a bit disappointed when he heard the news, tbh. :p

Finally, the new King of Naples revealing his true intentions was well done. As if Lucrezia would betray her brother's intentions, though! I thought it was interesting how the King looked to Cardinal Sforza for a cue before kneeling during the investiture, like he thinks Sforza is on Caterina's team or something. (As if!) I loved Cardinal Sassypants' "dude, kneel already!" expression though--he says so much with no words. :p I was glad to see earlier that he was entrusted with important duties like holding the pillow for the ceremonial hammer during Jubilee, lol. Even though he didn't speak, just seeing him is ever a delight...

3x07:

I enjoyed this episode about as much as the previous week's: not a stand-out episode, but very solid. After so much focus on Cesare last week, it was great to have an episode devoted to Lucrezia and her political machinations--even if they turned out to be a bit misguided and less than subtle. :/




(Source)

It was still fun to see her playing the game and trying to be active in securing the future and safety of her family, rather than just sitting back and letting things happen. It's still part of her arc of evolving into the politically savvy woman of history over the course of the seasons. She was also quite the badass IMO in the chess scene (and on a shallow note, gorgeous in that dress) and later when the more transparent half-brother tried to threaten her by putting his hands on her throat and she doesn't even flinch:



Sick burn! Only Cesare is allowed to put his hands there, tyvm...so yeah, I was disappointed that Lucrezia actually miscaculated big time, because I had been so proud of her political maneuvers and successfully influencing political events to her own end...but hey, learning experience!

Other awesome things in this episode:

+ Machiavelli makes another appearance with his excellent facial expressions! <33 And Cesare kind of wants to protect him, aww. Loved seeing the BrOT3 reunited, even if only for a second!



+ Micheletto getting some and showing some peen! (Which was very refreshing after weeks of totally unequal nudity on GoT). I was a little confused about who Pascal was and how he knew Micheletto was gay (they must have had amazing 16th century gaydar) and how they were suddenly intimate so fast, but whatever, the end result was great even if they were a bit rushed getting there. Pascal was hot, and so was M/P, and it was nice that they didn't entirely forget about that part of M's character after last season. It was so sad when they revealed he was a spy though, poor Micheletto! :( So much for "There was no affection. Affection leads to weakness, and I have no use for either."

+ Rodrigo and Cesare's escalating tension--both to the point where he's suddenly all "your son" while speaking to Vanozza (lmao so typical), and to where he makes the best expression since the dying whale face in 2x10:



Loved Cesare's "Because you have no alternative" sick burn response to Rodrigo asking why he should trust him--I've been waiting for that line since the trailers! ;) Although once again they forget poor Gioffre

+ Cesare was also hilarious in the conversation with his mother about Lucrezia in Naples--I was dying at "she should wear a veil...to hide her true feelings" and "is it only me he disappoints?" regarding Alfonso. PROJECTING MUCH? :p I also liked how Vanozza was like, "Back off, Lucrezia wants to do this herself" and Cesare decides to trust in her ability. And even though it was inaccurate, I'm glad he finally killed Ludovico, so now only awesome (and not creepy-gross) Sforzas remain on the show...RIP Caterina's son, though! :/
+ A wild Giulia appears! I have been really missing her this season, so I was glad to see her again, and having found a new artsy beau for herself--good for her! I hope he made her happier than her first husband, and that she has been able to move on (though it was a little weird introducing him to her ex). I'm glad we had more closure with her character. I was also glad to see Vanozza intervening on her behalf with Rodrigo, showing that alliance is still intact. Speaking of, Vanozza with a bow-and-arrow is something that should be on my screen more often...:)

3x06:

Overall I quite enjoyed this episode--it wasn't outstanding, but it wasn't boring either, and there were no random stupid storylines to ruin it like the crazy suicidal mistress in 3x05.

-Rodrigo is always best when he sticks to politics and church pomp & circumstance (rather than sexual affairs), and he was delightful in this episode, IMO--loved his enthusiasm about JUBILEE GUYS, JUBILEE (and meanwhile all the cardinals are like, "Is he going to sit down at some point?"), and his scheme to get really awesome relics to draw in more pilgrims and encourage more donations was gr8--that's the politically savvy Rodrigo I like to see! ;) It was nice to see them incorporating that famous portrait of Alexander VI into the show as well. I also loved his interactions with the clever Jewish merchants--I think that Rodrigo does realize deep down that the spear is probably a fake, but recognizes the political usefulness of playing along with it. Loved Matthias (the head Jewish merchant) knowing how to give Rodrigo just what he wanted to ensure their safety without paying, and how he managed to turn the other cardinal's attempts to discredit his spear against him.

-Cardinal Sassypants Sforza was also as entertaining as ever--how funny was he in this epp, drily pointing out that the shroud was stuck in Constantinople as long as there is no Crusade (Rodrigo's response was just as priceless: "Well, there must be others..."), and gossiping with the other cardinals? I also loved his scene with Rodrigo when Rodrigo is talking about beekeeping in that ridonkulous hat and even giving Sforza ~honey samples~, lmao--Ascanio's a true Borgia now fo sho! ;) (Notice he also didn't leave at the first "out!" when Rodrigo was going to talk to Cesare--as if it doesn't apply to him.) I will miss his bitchfacing and sass so much! :(

-The Rodrigo and Cesare confrontation was also great, I love their relationship so much. I mean all the different family dynamics are great, but I've always found this one particularly compelling--and the growing friction and mistrust between them over Cesare's military ambitions is a nice new chapter in that. My favorite part was when Rodrigo tried to salvage the situation and maintain a semblance of control by commanding Cesare to march north for the benefit of those outside--good luck with that! He's wondering what he's gotten himself into...:p



-Micheletto's "a mother must not be separated from her child" stuff was a bit heavy handed, though he was cute as always with the baby--as much as I enjoyed seeing him interacting with Lucrezia, it was good to see him returning to his ~master's side~.

-I'm glad to see that Caterina doesn't miss a beat--when one plot fails, she just pulls out another one that's just as clever! And we got to see some totally plot-relevant, non-gratuitous male nudity from Rufio in the process...;) I'm glad Cesare instantly recognized that opening that letter would be a bad idea--if only that other cardinal had listened! (Sometimes you need to do things yourself, Cesare...).

-"Rome is no longer the Borgia pope alone. Rome is Cesare Borgia as well." YESSS it was good to see a bit of the rise of Il Valentino at last! (Especially since we aren't going to see much of that in the end. ;_;) I loved how he managed to turn Caterina's little wolf pack to his side with his show of strength, and that he finally got his fancy armor and stuff--that shot of him walking down the line of troops in slow mo was perfect, lmao:



-"If I married a thousand times, it would always be the wrong choice."

AND THEN OF COURSE THERE WAS THE CESARE/LUCREZIA SCENE, THE BEST PART!!! <333 I saw so many C/L-shippers angry about it, but I actually thought it was perfect--subtly acknowledging what passed between them (with each admitting they married the wrong person and wish they could marry each other) without hashing it out directly. I think that given Cesare's concerns in 3x04, Lucrezia knew better than to bring that all up again in a more direct manner. It was great to see them catching up with each other's lives (aww) and touching/standing entwined once more (especially after the jarring lack of affectionate touching in 3x04). It was clear that when Lucrezia talked about the French armies and such she was expressing her own hurt at him just going off to France and getting married--more doubletalk. The dialogue, gorgeous romantic visuals, and symbolism of the scene were just fantastic:



I love how when he says "love is not an issue between us...there is none other like you" (admitting that she is his romantic ideal and only real love! <333), the camera focuses in on the heart in the puppet show, which happens to be all about forbidden lovers ("This is a love our parents will never allow! Such is the tragedy of our love...")--mirroring their own situation nicely. (And the "not unlike my sister" bit just shows how they are two of a kind! ;)).

I've been on pins and needles all weekend wondering if the finale was going to leak, but I'm glad to see for once it hasn't! I don't have work tomorrow, so I can watch it at any time...if I can bring myself to do so. :/

 

Date: 2013-06-11 01:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] redfeu.livejournal.com
Haha I agree, GOT always comes after The Borgias. I just watched the GOT finale tonight to get away from drowning in Borgias feelings.

LOL at the "dying whale" comment, so true.

And Machiavelli ftw. And yes, the jubilee - I loved that too! And I agree, that C/L scene was adorable. :D

Have you watched the Borgias finale yet?!

Date: 2013-06-12 03:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sherrilina.livejournal.com
Lol yes of course I've watched the Borgias finale, lol--I thought you realized from my comment on your journal and such! ;) I actually could have watched it the very second it went live online (I had a minor panic attack when I refreshed Showtime Anytime at midnight on the dot and saw "The Prince" suddenly available), but I decided I wasn't ready yet and needed to get some sleep (and I still wanted to comment on the 3x08 posts first, etc). So I watched it yesterday afternoon (since I had the day off, as luck would have it) after sleeping in, eating breakfast, showering, etc. I wanted to hold off as long as I could, but I needed to see it ASAP because of spoilers.

This is one reason why I hate that Showtime released the epp early each week, as well as the leaks--it made this final season go by far quicker than it should have! :( I could have definitely used an extra week to prepare and celebrate the show before it was over...*sigh*

But yeah, instead I'm sitting here endlessly watching that final gif and internally screaming, "AND MINE!" over and over again...;). Omg...(hopefully I will get around to actually putting my thoughts in order for a review within the week).

I am glad that I was able to watch the GoT epp first (aside from it always being fun to livewatch that with house_ontd), so that I could get that over with (it was good at least!) and focus on The Borgias...I need to do that to properly mourn them. My Tumblr is all Borgias all the time for this week at least...:p

I agree, that C/L scene was adorable. :D

Lol which scene, the one in Relics or Tears of Blood? :)

Date: 2013-06-12 08:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] redfeu.livejournal.com
Yeah, I think I confused myself by reading your entry after that comment... or something. Anyway, I'm glad you've seen it!

Yay, C/L ending. :D I just want more now, though. :( It's so painful to give us a C/L ending and have no more of the show.

Well, tbh, both, but I was referring to the Relics one.

Date: 2013-06-12 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crowandfog.livejournal.com
It might have taken you awhile to get your thoughts together for these episodes, but you did a good job. Hopefully, when I'm able to look more closely at everything that happened this season, I'll be this coherent, too. :D

3.08 was SUCH a great, great episode. GUHHH. The FINGER-BITING, though. LOL, OMGGG. I can't get over it. That was just the hottest thing I've seen in a very long time. Like, why would he even DO that? How random but, also, AWESOME. It was just so animalistic and sexual and possessive, and he asks her if she really has, "Everything???" Because, he's like, 'hey, don't forget about your super sexy big bro!' So, now, I'm pretty sure I have a finger biting kink.

I really enjoyed 3.07 and 3.06 for several of the reasons you mentioned, but the episodes at the beginning and ending of this season have been total magic.
Edited Date: 2013-06-12 03:24 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-06-12 12:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sherrilina.livejournal.com
It might have taken you awhile to get your thoughts together for these episodes, but you did a good job. Hopefully, when I'm able to look more closely at everything that happened this season, I'll be this coherent, too. :D

Thanks, bb! :D  This is the first and I guess last, SOB season that I've more or less kept up with individual episode reviews for a season of The Borgias, which I always mean to do each year...glad I finally managed at least once! :/  I admit one advantage of watching almost all the epp on Showtime Anytime instead of live on TV was that I could constantly pause and rewind, which made it easier to take notes of my reactions and favorite quotes throughout the epps (and then in turn write my reviews...much as I was tempted to just copypasta my stream of reactions and leave it at that, as I used to do for TV...:p).

I look forward to reading your reviews when you finish them! :)

Because, he's like, 'hey, don't forget about your super sexy big bro!'

Lmao, died at this--but so true/accurate! ;) Super sexy big bro indeed...(even my one RL coworker who loves the show but isn't in fandom or anything was like, "I'd bang him if he were my brother.") I love best that he says that WHILE her finger is in his mouth, like wtf (but keep doing it, please!) This is Cesare saying he wants her to be MINE without saying it yet. And I love that for once she was the one to pull away and he resists a moment....I guess the moral of the story, Lucrezia, is that if you want sexytimes with Cesare you need to catch him when he's half-asleep/just woken up. :p

I really enjoyed 3.07 and 3.06 for several of the reasons you mentioned, but the episodes at the beginning and ending of this season have been total magic

IA, aside from 3x02, which I found to be really disappointing and actually may be my least favorite episode of the season (although in retrospect the big role of Cardinal Sassypants and others who were less prominent later in the season were great). Even with the C/L scenes in that epp, I just didn't enjoy them so much because they felt so off and out of place, especially in light of the more natural progression in 3x03 and his attitude later--it's jarring, and the only part of the C/L that felt rushed and not well done/really illogical. That being said, objectively they are hot scenes that I enjoy seeing in gifsets and fanvids. ;) (I think it didn't help that I had already seen them to death on Tumblr, so they weren't as exciting).

BUT ASIDE FROM THAT, YES! I think this was probably the best premiere yet, Siblings was amazing (bless Guy Burt), and the last 3 episodes were so epic (even if I still have a few reservations about the finale). I'm glad the show ended on a good note, even if not a conclusive one...

Date: 2013-06-14 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crowandfog.livejournal.com
IA, aside from 3x02, which I found to be really disappointing and actually may be my least favorite episode of the season

Ha! I tend to forget about that episode, tbh. I mean, it had moments I loved ("you look but don't touch" and the end with Rodrigo killing Cardinal Orsini), but overall it wasn't nearly as memorable and exciting as the others. So yeah, when I say beginning of the season, you can assume I mean 3.01, 3.03, and 3.04, LOL.

I'm glad the show ended on a good note, even if not a conclusive one...

SAME. The more I thoughts I read about C/L in the finale, the more I love the way the show ended. LBR, this show was never big on historical accuracy, so I love to think about all the wonderful C/L things that could have happened in the universe that Neil created. ;D

Date: 2013-07-14 02:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sherrilina.livejournal.com
Glad I wasn't the only one to not like 3x02 so much! (I was disappointed in how few voted it for their least fave epp in the season 3 poll I posted). Even with the "look but you don't touch" line I feel like it was ruined by the scene being so random and out of place, especially with the almost!kiss at the end...:/ Like everyone seems to hate Relics, but I actually enjoyed that C/L screen a lot more--it was more beautifully done and felt more true to the characters.
Edited Date: 2013-07-14 02:57 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-06-30 09:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rosaxx50.livejournal.com
\O/ I HAVE WATCHED EVERYTHING (Borgias-related)

Rodrigo is always best when he sticks to politics and church pomp & circumstance (rather than sexual affairs)
This x 10000
I did not know that the Rabbi had been named. Matthias it is.

I saw so many C/L-shippers angry about it, but I actually thought it was perfect--subtly acknowledging what passed between them (with each admitting they married the wrong person and wish they could marry each other) without hashing it out directly. I think that given Cesare's concerns in 3x04, Lucrezia knew better than to bring that all up again in a more direct manner.
Aww, all right then. I still feel a bit strange that they settled in so comfortably given the angst in 3x04, though.

the camera focuses in on the heart in the puppet show, which happens to be all about forbidden lovers ("This is a love our parents will never allow! Such is the tragedy of our love...")
Oh, I did not notice this. BUT THAT IS SO ADORABLE.

and later when the more transparent half-brother tried to threaten her by putting his hands on her throat and she doesn't even flinch:
Favourite scene! Her steel was incredibly.

I was a little confused about who Pascal was and how he knew Micheletto was gay (they must have had amazing 16th century gaydar) and how they were suddenly intimate so fast, but whatever, the end result was great even if they were a bit rushed getting there. Pascal was hot, and so was M/P, and it was nice that they didn't entirely forget about that part of M's character after last season.
Yes, this. I love how much pandering I feel like we get from the writers & cast. First C/L becoming canon, then the female gaze :D

Speaking of, Vanozza with a bow-and-arrow is something that should be on my screen more often...:)
Oh god, yes, I WAS SO EXCITED WITH THAT GLIMPSE. Vannozza has been supremely awesome the entire show, y/y?

I liked that Cesare's gut reaction was to lash out and want to kill the spy for this.
Hahaha, MTE. #stanning for serial killers.

Also Lucrezia's palm reading was great--don't need a witch to know that she loves her brother though! ;)
I really liked how this scene was played. What the old woman says could well be from those "rumours circling the country" about C/L, too, so it's not entirely pulled into mysticism. It walks a fine line.

"I know this feeling all my life...all my life."
"I can hate and love."

^those lines were superb.

Caterina is my favourite forever. I'm sure you know this already :D

JESUS MUST LOVE YOU, CESARE BORGIA. THAT LINE. THAT LINE.

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