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!):


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...


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. :/


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, 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 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...:)


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. :/

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May 2015


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