The Borgias Review: "The Moor"

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After what was a great start to the series in last week's premiere, "The Moor" was a bit complacent, and felt extremely similar to what we had already seen.

Maybe this is just what The Borgias is going to be. Each week there will be a new plan to have somebody killed, and they will either succeed or fail.

Pic From The Borgias

In "The Moor," the Borgia family recorded one success in three attempts. The first attempt by Juan to kill the Moor himself, Prince Djem, and his subsequent murder by pillow were much more interesting than Micheletto's adventure in Naples.

We saw very little of Juan in the premiere, so this was basically our first impression of the second son of the Pope. The character could prove to be very interesting as the family screw up in comparison to Cesare's golden boy mystique.

When Cesare refused to allow Juan the use of Micheletto as his assassin, the younger brother found an amateur who was extremely unsuccessful in killing Prince Djem.

The interaction between Cesare and Juan made it seem as if this was not something new. It was almost as if Cesare has been covering for his little bro for year, and that is why he made Juan go in the bedroom and finish the deed himself.

Watching Juan suffocate the Moor was fantastic, as he seemed to grow up in that moment, and took a few steps towards being seen as an equal to the elder Borgia son.

While Sean Harris continues to impress in the role of Micheletto, his story just seemed to similar to the premiere. I understand that he's an assassin, but won't he do anything else? And to see him so foolishly give up his cover and ruin the assassination, was disheartening to see in someone who both Cesare and I thought could be counted on under any circumstance.

Having said that, it was quite impressive that he made his way out of there without being murdered himself.

After the first three hours, I wonder if the series would not be better off having Micheletto as the main character in the story. Like HBO's Rome, where Vorenus and Pullo were the leading men surrounded by important historical figures, I'd be interested to see how The Borgias played out with Pope Alexander and Cesare Borgia popping in and out every once in a while as we followed the adventures of Micheletto the assassin.

While the plots of "The Moor" seemed a bit repetitive, there seemed to be room for longer arc story lines moving forward. Between Della Rovere's doings in Naples, and Pope Alexander allowing the Spanish Jews into Rome, there may be problems rising up all over the place in the future.

What did you think about "The Moor?" Sound off in the comments!


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (32 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Yes, not as good as the first 2. Lucrezia is a delight.


Great execution till now However, the all too famous story of the Borgias has been covered through many mediums.One which i liked the most was Mario Puzo's The Family, which deals exclusively with the borgias. Waiting to see the similarities/dissimilarities between the 2 takes


What a poor production. It could have been wonderful, with all the money obviously spent on outfits, sets and so on. Yet, this piece of nonsense has practically nothing to do with the real Borgias. Why couldn't they have hired at least one competent historian as a consultant so as to avoid the innumerable errors? Truly pathetic rubbish.


Agree - the third installment didn't live up to the grandeur, strangeness, and excitement of the first (two-part) premiere. Still, I am going to continue watching. As another commenter noted, storylines are being set up, and of course there's always Lucrezia to watch. Whoever that strange and irritating and gorgeous little actress is, she's compusively watchable. But we need MORE Jeremy Irons! More! More!


It was mud, nothing strange: in the hot spings it's normal being covered with mud, it's regarded as therapeutic. However, beyond this, the series it's quite boring, for the moment. I hope it will become more interesting with the development of the historical events. Concerning actors, well, nothing to say about Jeremy Irons, he's a great actor, we knew it, even if I agree with kittrasis: he is underutilized. Rodrigo Borgia is one of the most ambiguous and complicated character of Italian history, in this series, for the moment, he is dramatically flattened by a feeble and questionable script (very questionable indeed! The scene of the Zombie Last Supper at king Ferrante's court was shocking). Last remark: I really don't like the actor who plays Cesare Borgia, really, really I don't like him!


I'm very disappointed in this series. I looked forward to seeing
a costume drama starring Jeremy Irons but he's so underutilized.
All he does in stand around in wonderful costumes and look pained. Jeeze! I watched most of the second installment and
made the decision to stop watching. I don't want to waste more
of my time.


Well, I did think it was pretty funny when Juan said something about the Jews killing Christ and Rodrigo corrected him and said he thought he'd heard it was the Romans, or something like that...
I agree that the bath time murder scene was a bit odd, but what was that stuff he put all over himself before going in the water? Wouldn't everybody notice somebody covered head to toe in goop getting in with everybody else? Was it soap? Mud?


Tom Fontana's Borgia will be far more impressive


This series is already proving to be tedious, repetitive and depressing.;(


I thought an assassination attempt like that which Micheletto planned to do in the public baths made absolutely no sense unless the assassin planned to die there himself.

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The Borgias Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

You are my eldest son. It is your destiny to follow in my foot steps.

Pope Alexander

What the Holy Church needs at this juncture is someone who can ensure its survival by whatever means necessary.

Pope Alexander