The Borgias Review: Sweet Him Into Submission
I originally thought that there was going to be 12 episodes of this first season, but upon further review it looks like next week's 10th hour will be the last, and it has kind of come up on us quickly.
Sneaking up on the Romans is quite the opposite of what King Charles of France did. This guy made some noise as he destroyed most of Italy on his way to Rome. Luckily for the Borgias and Pope Alexander himself, Giulia and Lucrezia happened to bump into him in the woods, which ended up being the best strategy for battle.
The "art of war." if you will, was most effectively demonstrated by the 14-year old Lucrezia in her woo-ing of King Charles. Thanks in part to the advice of Giulia, Lucrezia used her wit and her beauty to basically make the ugly monarch fall in love with her.
After flirting and complimenting the homely King, Lucrezia found herself staring her brother in the face, as his men were torn to pieces by Charles' cannon balls. And her strategy worked again, as riding out in front of the French forced the King to halt all cannon fire, and ultimately succomb to peacefully riding through Rome.
Whhiii-chhuuuhh...That is me making the sound of a whip. It works two-fold. Obviously it is the standard male chauvinist way of saying that King Charles is whipped by the young lady that has his eye. Secondly, it reminds me of how badly Paolo is still getting beaten by Sforza for letting the ladies escape.
While Lucrezia's art of war was successful for the time being, Juan was an utter disaster. How about this sequence for young Juan Borgia: He gets woken up in a drunken stupor at a whore house by his brother, then looks like an idiot when he says he has a plan to fight the French but can't explain it to his father. When he finally does come up with a plan, it is impossible to execute and his young sister ends up saving his ass. Pretty embarrassing.
It continues to be surprising how little Jeremy Irons has to do in the show. It seems that all of the other characters are involved in the main stories, while Pope Alexander sits back and waits to react to what has happened around him. It's not a bad strategy by any means, as I would also dress myself in a common tunic if I were in his situation, but it's still not what was expected before the series began.
With the season finale just around the corner, the Della Rovere plot needs to come to a conclusion. He has been on a war path to take down Rodrigo since the very first episode, and if it goes on past the first season, it will become extremely tiresome. He has to get killed, right? There is no other way to end this thing. He's not going to expose the Pope and take his crown away, so what other way does it conclude?
The Borgias: "The Art of War"
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.