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