The Borgias Review: Do You Perhaps Take Gold?

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Similar to Sons of Anarchy at its best moments, the second season of The Borgias has done a fine job at showcasing both the outside and inside threats to its protagonistic family in concert.

While those coming from elsewhere - such as the Sforza forces or the Friar Savonarola - have been pushing the story of the season along, it is those issues close to the heart of the Borgias that has interested me most since the premiere.

Cesare Borgia and Rodrigo Borgia

The epicenter of the series' success continued to be Francois Arnaud's work as Cesare Borgia during "Day of Ashes." The eldest son of Pope Alexander kept striving towards earning the armor fit for the leader of the Papal Army, but per the usual, Rodrigo still didn't agree.

Watching Cesare use his "stray dogs" to take out the caravan, and steal all of the Medici gold, was fun, but it wasn't enough to change the Pope's mind. At the end of the day, that was all that Cesare was looking for. He wants to be the "one son in amour."

We all know that the Pope wants one in armor and one son of the cloth, but what Cesare doesn't understand is that it isn't his lack of skills in battle that is preventing him from taking control of the armies. Rather, it is Rodrigo's complete lack of faith in Juan to help in any other way than in a suit of armor.

I am hoping that this idea comes into play when Juan finally returns home. It feels like it has been forever since we have seen him.

The other main issue inside the family Borgia that has me most intrigued is the increased level of power that Lucrezia is showing over her parents. She is growing older, and in doing so, she seems to be able to do whatever she wants.

In season one we saw her placed into a marriage that absolutely ruined her for a good amount of time. Whether that experience got to Rodrigo as much as it did everyone else, and that's why he is cutting Lucrezia some slack, or the growing child is actually taking control of the family, I liked watching it happen.

All of that isn't to say that the forces from outside the Borgia home weren't also great during "Day of Ashes." Rodrigo honestly thinking the lightning bolt was God's disappointment made for some hilarious moments of Lent. My personal favorite moment was when the Pope admitted a poisoning would brighten the gloomy day they were having.

Speaking of poisoning, Della Rovere's attempts to strengthen his pupil by giving him the poison time and time again is certainly leading up to something good... or bad, depending on the outcome.

Cesare's takedown of the caravan, the Friar turning down the offer to be a Cardinal, and the ladies continuing to make strides for the poor, all made for an interesting sixth installment of The Borgias second season.

What did you think of the hour? Was it one of the better outings of the year? Sound off in the comments!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (16 Votes)

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


Brilliant stuff. was always god but some of season 2 has really took things up a notch in the entertainment stakes. Extra fun for me as being a history buff its cool seeing these people who id read about up on the screen. I suggest finding and reading a copy of machavellis 'the prince'. Its only a small book, but its basically a guide on how to seize, and keep power. Some of it uses Cesare as inspiration. A good read even now. Irons is superb, as are the rest of them (i had initial doubts over the casting of Cesare, but i was won over after a couple of episodes). Unfortunately from what I can tell it doesnt seem to have a big following and hence im scared we wont get a third season. We need more telly like this,i pray to his holy father the pope of rome for another season of this delightfull family of arch schemers.


It is interesting that as villainous as this show makes Savanarola to be that the Catholic Church in considering him for beatification - the first step toward sainthood. It doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the show but it does mean there are other sides to this man than perhaps we are not seeing.


This show does a great job bringing to life a land almost as alien as game of thrones, renesaince italy. The use of the scurgers was eerie, although corrupt politicians seem to be nothing new. I like that the show uses real life people like machiaveli, but he did not come to power until after the fall of the medici. I also like to see how modern causes can influence writing. In the past savonavola would have been depicted as antisemetic but since gay rights is the new cause celeb, he is seen as persecuting soddomites. Jeremy irons still does a great job depicting roderigo's two natures holy and earthly. Hilarious how he lusted over his ex and she had to remind him it is lent. Best historical drama since I claudius.


I think the second season has been better than the first. I like that there are a lot of enemies within Italy who want to take down the Pope and his family. And Della Rovere is pretty ruthless himself if he thinks poisoning an innocent monk a little bit every day is a reasonable way to get rid of Pope Alexander. The Sforzas are also a force to be reckoned with! Even though Lucrezia was acting like a spoiled brat, it's understandable that she wouldn't want to re-marry right after her bother kills her abusive ex-husband. It's important to note that Lucrezia is showing her dark side now; she was very pleased that Cesare killed Giovanni Sforza as payback. She should not have been surprised that her father wanted to her to marry again, since Rodrigo forced Gioffrey to marry Sancia when he was 13 years old, and forced Juan to marry to forge an alliance with Spain. And the previews look really good for next week. Plenty of screen time for Juan, and he brings home a black panther from the New World. I think Cesare is going to be extremely jealous when Rodrigo shows his favoritism towards Juan again.

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The Borgias Season 2 Episode 6 Quotes

I was poisoned with cantarella, and I am now the stronger for it.

Della Rovere

Rodrigo: Save your thoughts. Say nothing.
Cesare: I haven't uttered a word.
Rodrigo: No, but we can hear you thinking.