The Borgias Review: Sure, I Like Dags

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Not only have the brothers Borgia been literally fighting over the past couple of weeks, but Cesare and Juan have now begun coming to figurative blows about who is going to have the more interesting start to season two of The Borgias.

Thanks to the absence of the latter, and a superb performance by Francois Arnaud, "Stray Dogs" swayed things back in favor of Cesare as being the brother all viewers should have their eyes glued to while watching this captivating Showtime series.

Cesare and Rodrigo

As soon as his nun was found murdered, and he announced that he had lost all emotions but vengeance, we should have all known what kind of thrill ride Cesare was about to embark on. Unsurprisingly, the ride began in style with Micheletto gathering up the rest of Rome's stray dogs, and Cesare rallying them to get revenge on the French through whatever means necessary.

Unlike the Duke of Mantua, Cesare didn't care about fighting with honor. Cannon was too barbaric for the good Duke, so I wonder what he would have thought of our favorite Cardinal's torture techniques... or the way he said he would let the man go after getting information from him, and then just had Micheletto stab in the gut.

Before Cesare and the stray dogs completed the final blow on the French, they connected on my favorite war tactic yet. Leaving behind a great wedding feast of food and wine was such a perfect way to lure the men into letting their guard down. Those dishonorable weapons we were introduced to earlier in the episode, they came in handy as well. The man of the cloth continues to impress me in his ways of war.

Although his father warned him to be patient, and to not be seen or heard in vengeance, Cesare kept on keeping on in his fight, all but destroying the French in the middle of the night as they limped their way back home. It all worked out for Rodrigo in the end, though. He and the church reaped the benefits of the war, since the Duke is so grateful to the Romans who helped him win the battle... and he got to screw the Duke's wife all night long! Win, win.

The best thing that came out of all of Cesare's adventures this week was how it all ended. In his final confrontation with his father, Cesare was pretty much like, "I know I'm going rogue over here, but you're cheating on your mistress with a woman married to the man fighting this battle... so what are you going to do about it?" He didn't use so many words, which made the scene that much better.

While the boys were out fighting the war, Lucrezia was doing man's work back home. Rodrigo allowed her to take the chair of St. Peter while he was away, and the daughter Borgia quickly was able to convince the Cardinals to get water to the poor. She was very convincing in her cooking metaphor, but my favorite part of that storyline was Rodrigo's response to the Cardinals' disdain.

When one asked if a woman can actually occupy the chair of St. Peter, the Pope simply replied with the fact that one does. Lucrezia was sitting in the chair, right in front of him.

"Stray Dogs" was another exciting installment of The Borgias' second season, and I really can't wait to see what happens next. What did you all think of the episode? Were you rooting for Cesare to find his revenge? And how much would you pay for cake-cooking lessons from Lucrezia Borgia?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

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


Lucrezia as papal regent is the best. I like the storyline of Cesare and Rodrigo growing apart.


Bad choice of words. Lucrezia could not have watched over rome anymore than michelle obama could watch over washington. Lucrezia could watch over borgias posetions though. Ironically, in the future cesare would be a french ally.


rip roarin' good fun, it's just too bad the show is getting so far away from the story of the Borgias for the sake of entertainment. This story did not really advance the story, but it was fun. How could it not be. But Rodrigo and Cesare should be showing who they really were, vicious bad guys who did it all for power, not for vengeance or things like that. Great show anyway with great production values. And Jeremy Irons is fantastic. The best actor of them all.


Oh - and great review title. Dags and caravans. How long 'til the gypsies show up, d'you reckon?


I loved this episode, though I seem to be saying that about EVERY episode this season. It's possible I may have a bit of a vindictive streak in addition to my tendency to over-identify with my favourite characters - I never thought I'd catch myself grinning from ear to ear during a torture scene! Regardless, the entire cast is fecking brilliant. As per usual. (@Jc - Rodrigo didn't make Lucrezia pope; she was just keeping an eye on things for him.)


first I thought making lucrezia pope was absurd. Obamma couldnt make michelle president on a whim. but what really irritated me about the episode was its cynisism. pope blessing an army that is about to die for him just for money. the notion of dying for honor as stupid. it might be true but I wonder if this would have been the same thing if it was anenglish battle against a french. Oh and the french cannon were made useless by the rain because the ground was too soft. Still borgias is the best historical drama on tv. Jeremy irons is great, but I am sorry even lusting for revenge cesare is too soft. Maybe historians got cesare mixed up with rigaletto, now he is the man in the prince.

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The Borgias Season 2 Episode 4 Quotes

Cesare: You have bad news?
Micheletto: Is there any other kind, your eminence?

She chose God, Micheletto, and God repaid her with mutilation.