The Borgias s03e03 Episode Script


NARRATOR: Previously on The Borgias: We are in a snake pit surrounded by venom.
We shall cleanse the College of Cardinals.
Vitelli, Orsini.
Let us gather them to us.
RUFIO: Catherina Sforza invites you all to join her in a confederacy of hatred until the Borgia snake is lanced.
CESARE: Catherina Sforza seeks out allies.
Give her a lesson in revenge.
ASCANIO: There was a plot to rid the Earth of the Borgia family.
So tell me, what must I do? Confess.
To a crime I would never even dream of committing.
Then name those who would.
DE LUCA: Cardinal Sforza! ALFONSO: My uncle has expressed his disquiet at the thought of a child without legitimacy.
You are to negotiate my dowry, brother.
If Naples dares to take your son, it will never know peace again.
LUCREZIA: My betrothed will not bed me.
He is a virgin.
I am a Borgia, and I feel unloved.
[KNOCK ON DOOR] DE LUCA: Why am I here? To learn to lie.
To say whatever is needed.
Cardinal Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini.
Liar! Cardinal Giovanni Battista Orsini.
These are false accusations coming from-- [CARDINALS CHATTERING] I have been party to no conspiracy, Your Holiness! RODRIGO: Those cardinals will be stripped of their offices and titles.
They will be forbidden entry through the gates of Rome.
My sins are many.
But the greatest of them is this murder.
[] [BOTH GRUNTING] God must want us to live.
[] Your lies should make you choke, De Luca.
The sentence is banishment.
Cardinal Versucci will be stripped of his position as procurator of the Office of Public Works forthwith and his property will be donated to our Holy Mother Church.
[] [CARDINALS MURMURING] How many more, Your Holiness, until your coffers are adequately lined? Take him from our sight.
You're running out of cardinals.
What use is an empty consistory? An empty consistory is at least free of traitors and assassins.
We will cleanse our house, and get rid of this deceit.
With our own hands, if that be God's will.
And the fruits of their degeneracy will be put to God's use.
MAN: Your Grace.
Out of the way.
No, no, not now.
A summary of the state of the papal armies.
This your work? The articles of war demand the papal army at full strength number 10,000 men-at-arms.
Mm? You have less than half that.
Of horses, wagonry and transportation, six-tenths.
Of supplies, provisions, medicines, foodstuffs and general equipment, half.
Half? [] What good are our men-at-arms if we can only equip them with one sword between two? Are they supposed to share? Well, what do you expect me to do? What of your cardinal's fortunes? There were debts.
The treasury is filling, but not to the extent of equipping an army.
Well, we must find a way.
Because Catherina Sforza gathers allies to her daily like flies to a corpse.
And we are weak.
We are not yet at war, Cesare.
Father, we're already seeing the first gambits on the chessboard.
Plot, intrigue, assassination.
But the endgame will be war.
And it will engulf all Italy.
Am I wrong? No, you're not wrong.
Then give me command.
In time, Cesare.
[] Fire! Fire! Fire! RODRIGO: You go to Naples to discuss the terms of your sister's wedding, do you not? CESARE: Yes.
RODRIGO: When do you arrive? Tomorrow.
We offer Naples a chance to strengthen our kinship with them in a bond of blood and family.
It is a joyous visit.
But you might take the opportunity to judge how our friends and cousins in the south fare in terms of men, arms, horses, wagonry, supplies, general equipment and the like.
So that kinship may not be the only thing strengthened by this joyous marriage.
Is that smoke? Do you smell smoke? MAN 1: The treasury's on fire! MAN 2: Fire in the treasury! MAN 3: The account books! Hurry! MAN 4: Come on, come quickly! MAN 5: Help! Help! [COUGHING] RODRIGO: My God.
How did this happen? Your Holiness, it seems Cardinal Versucci was the last person in the room.
Whether this is by negligence or by design, I can't tell.
Unfortunately, no one can find him to ask him.
[] NUN: God be with you.
Good day, Brother.
[CROWD CLAMOURING] REFEREE: Move back, I say! Give the swordsmen room! MAN: Finish him! Ready.
I've won.
I won.
I'm telling you.
I had you.
I think not.
I had you, Baglioni.
If this were for real-- If this were for real, you'd be dead.
I have a hundred ducats that say I get first blood.
REFEREE: Once more.
On my mark.
My lords.
Hah! Nothing either way.
You're not so fast as you think, huh, Gian Paolo Baglioni? Huh? Let's do that again.
Look at your neck.
REFEREE: Baglioni! MAN 1: He's cut him! MAN 2: Baglioni is untouchable! [CROWD CHEERING AND CHATTERING] MAN 1: Faster than the other! Think you could do better? Against Gian Paolo Baglioni, Lord of Perugia, the most renowned blade in all Umbria? I value my own shirt too highly.
Blood is the very devil to get out.
I know who you are.
You're Catherina Sforza's man.
[BELL TOLLING] Alfonso wishes me to ask you if he may accompany you to Naples.
Alfonso cannot ask me himself? I think he finds you a little, um What? Frightening.
[BOTH CHUCKLE] Take him.
He wants to see his family.
[GROANS THEN CHUCKLES] Well, if you insist.
How long will you be away? It's difficult to know.
To negotiate the harmony of two households-- Harmony of households be damned.
You know what I want.
You wish your son to be acknowledged.
As much as I am, you are.
As much as any other bastard child in Italy.
I give you my word.
I will do my utmost for Giovanni and for you.
Come back soon.
Why do you say that? I don't feel safe unless I know you're nearby.
[LAUGHS] What brings you to Florence? I am on my way home from visiting friends.
Which friends would those be? Prospero Colonna.
Roberto and Paulo Orsini.
Vitelezzo Vitelli.
A miracle even to get them in the same room together.
We share a common interest.
And these are now your friends? We hoped that they will be, yes.
I see.
Your lady does not lack for ambition.
You have done well suppressing the uprising in Umbria.
The Florentines speak highly of you.
But your contract with them is over.
Perhaps it's time to consider where you go next.
ALFONSO: Naples.
I haven't seen her in too long a time.
We're to be brothers.
And, mindful of that honour, I should like to show you around the city.
CAPTAIN: Stay in line there! Its beauties are modest in comparison to Rome, but it is my city, so Impress me not with your love for your native city, but your love for my sister.
I could not love her more, my lord.
Will your more be enough? You are marrying Lucrezia Borgia.
Your sole allegiance is to her now.
And to Rome.
Never forget that.
CAPTAIN: Keep that wagon moving! [CHILD COUGHING] [BOTH MUMBLING] [WOMAN COUGHING] Palace is this way, my lord.
Our allies.
My Lord Borgia.
We welcome you in the name of the fair and ancient city of Naples.
Rather more ancient than fair, from what I've glimpsed.
It seems the French army were not exactly considerate tenants.
Tonight we dine to honour the union between our own Alfonso and the most gracious Lady Lucrezia.
A union not only of man and wife, but of Naples and Rome.
We beg you, you will grace us with your presence.
I would be glad.
IL CEREMONIERE: Presenting His Excellency, the Duke of Aquitaine.
Ambassador of the Court of his Highness Louis XII of France.
We are honoured to receive the ambassador.
And France is most deeply honoured to be so received.
Your new king, Louis the XII, sends his ambassador.
Tell me, does he bring murmurings of peace or of war? Peace, Your Holiness.
Tell us more of this considerate young man.
He has the energy of youth, but the wisdom of age.
He is attentive to counsel, but decisive in his own authority.
And most of all, he wishes no discord with Rome or with her pope.
Are we to believe he is without fault? Well, you could perhaps were you not to meet his wife.
His wife? [] It is the most unfortunate match.
The shame of France.
Arranged, of course, when he was only a child.
Back then no one knew how she would develop.
And now we know.
All we can do is wish.
Wish for an act of God.
My apologies, Your Holiness.
I have entirely forgotten myself.
Please forgive me.
Oh, no, you have our forgiveness.
Let us talk further, if you so desire of, uh, the shame of France.
FERDINAND: The royal guard.
Here lies the true worth of Naples, my Lord Borgia.
Not in its buildings nor its peasants, but here.
And yet merely the razor tip of the great spear that is the Neapolitan army.
If I may ask, how many men does Naples have under arms? Hmm, ten thousand men.
One might almost say incredible.
[] [GRUNTS] Put that down.
No more fucking thieving, do you hear me? You're telling me that people would wish to steal such shit? [SCOFFS] That's good armour, that.
Just needs shaking in sand for 10 minutes, it will come up good.
You shake this in sand for 10 minutes and all you'll end up with is rust.
[CHUCKLES] Now as to residence, on her marriage, your sister will become the Duchess of Bisceglie.
We had-- Some attendance at the court would be in order.
We had already discussed it.
She's happy to undertake any duties that are expected.
Very well, then I think our business here is concluded.
There is one other thing.
The child.
The bastard son? Yes.
My feelings on that matter have already been made abundantly clear.
I do not ask you parade him in public.
I do not ask that you make any statement, any commitment.
To separate a mother from her child-- A bastard child.
A child that she loves.
A bastard child nevertheless.
All I ask is that Giovanni should accompany his mother.
Quietly, if you wish.
In the company of a nursemaid.
Out of the public eye, but in the bosom of his family.
His family is to be my family.
A family that traces back its lineage to Aragon and Castile, the kings and queens of Spain and Portugal.
And I can assure you, my Lord Borgia, my family has never encompassed the offspring of stable boys.
[] You'd risk an open breach over this? An open breach with me? Do not parade your empty threats around here, Cesare Borgia.
Rome needs Naples, you know this as well as I do.
Your father sent you here to consolidate an alliance, not to treat favours for an infant.
I'm not here to consolidate but to consider.
And I will consider one elsewhere if the need arises.
Do not be hasty, Your Highness.
Turn the matter over in your mind.
Come to my sister's wedding and let us have your answer then.
MAN: Your Highness.
Why did you say nothing? What? You sat there, meek as a girl, and said not one word.
Your wife.
Your family.
Have you nothing to say? Back to Rome, then.
[INDISTINCT CHATTER] There's a report.
A report in what? The state of the army.
Stores, powder, shots for the cannon, readiness of the men.
Commissioned for the pope himself.
In preparation for war? What else? I should very much like to see it.
[BELL TOLLING] [LUCREZIA LAUGHING] [LAUGHING] Was it pleasant to see your home? Yes.
You and I should speak together.
LUCREZIA: He refused? When he finally comes to his senses, he'll realise one child's happiness is a small price for the goodwill of Rome.
Yes, one child's happiness.
And that of his mother.
Is that so much to ask that threats must be made, alliances held in jeopardy? Am I so hard to love? No.
No, my love.
Rome is the peak of the world, and we are at its pinnacle.
And yet, still, no matter which way I turn, I still can't seem to find that which will make me truly happy.
Why can I not be happy? I will make you happy.
I promise.
Forgive my prurience.
Am I to understand she is so uncomely she is unbeddable? In all honesty, then-- Yeah, honesty is always good.
She is what we must call a two-sack woman.
What? There's women one might take to bed, only if they were to wear a sack over their heads.
And then there are others where you too must wear a sack lest theirs fall off.
[LAUGHS] Sadly, she is more than likely barren.
Well, King Louis has our every sympathy.
I am most encouraged to hear you say so, Your Holiness.
Now, we should bid you good night.
It could hardly have been clearer.
He wants an annulment.
You're the only person in Christendom who can give it to him.
This is it.
This is where the game turns.
Everyone fears the French and we hold their royal succession in our hands.
Everyone fears the French, especially those who have felt her sword.
Like Naples.
I've seen Naples, Father.
There is nothing there.
Nothing but a king whose throat I would joyfully slit.
A warehouse full of rust and spiderwebs.
No army, no will, just a leper with his hand out begging Rome for coin.
[] Your sister marries Naples.
Why don't you marry France? And you would hold two states in the palm of your hand.
France and Naples.
Cesare to France, Lucrezia to Naples.
Two states, one who desires the other.
A desire that is destined to be frustrated.
Once your sister is married to Naples, you will take ship to France.
You will take with you a papal brief granting an annulment to the king's marriage.
But you will not grant this gift lightly.
You will use every advantage you can.
Hmm? As you said yourself, everybody fears France.
Well, let it be everybody but us.
Huh? And while you're there find yourself a bride.
[CESARE SIGHS] Your cousin banished Vitelli.
Your family, dispossessed.
Your cousin, Cardinal Orsini, dead at the pope's own hand.
What more convincing do you need to come to my lady's side? Your mistress deludes herself if she believes she can be victor over a pope.
My mistress alone, perhaps.
The assassinations failed.
He lives.
The alternative you would bring us is open warfare against the papal armies.
That is much more of a risk than a blade in the dark.
And the blade in the dark failed miserably.
What if it was less of a risk? What if it was more of a certainty? [] VITELLI: Dear God.
Is this information accurate? RUFIO: This is an exact copy of the report commissioned by Cesare Borgia himself.
It's accurate.
The papal armies of Rome barely exist.
SERVANT: I was told to deliver these.
Shall I take them through? VANOZZA: Yes, take that one.
And over there.
SERVANT: Where would you like them? Over there.
Should we arrange King Ferdinand's retinue and family on the one hand, and ours on the other or should we take the fashionable route and let the guests intermingle? What is it? Cesare is to go to France.
Well, what of it? Straight after my wedding, the wedding that shackles me to Naples, my brother sets sail to court Naples' greatest enemy.
He said as much? No, but it was in his eyes.
He can't hide things from me.
Why are you so upset? This makes no odds between Alfonso and you.
What rules this family, Mother? Love.
Ambition rules this family.
My father's.
My brother's.
And I will have to add to that my own if I don't want to live in a garden of weeds.
It was you who purged the poison from your father's veins.
In that hour, you saved Rome.
I believe you are the equal to any task, least of all that of taking care of your family.
Do you hear? Have more faith in yourself.
I shall.
There's no one else to have faith in.
He's done what? Invited her to the wedding.
He would invite that bitch whore into our house? Not alone.
"Gian Paulo Baglioni.
Prospero Colonna.
The Orsini brothers.
Vitelezzo Vitelli.
" Half the Lords of the Romagna.
And Catherina Sforza.
And Catherina Sforza.
As honoured guests of King Ferdinand of Naples.
Why is he doing this? I don't know.
To show strength? To show that Naples does not stand alone? To throw my words in my face, show the alliance with Rome is only one of any number he would consider.
You'll forbid it, of course.
What, and insult him publicly? Humiliate him? Yes.
Yes, why not? Because the whole of Italy is watching.
Would you have them see us divided even amongst our own family? Bickering like peasants? Do you not see that even the impression of weakness begets weakness? No.
We are the pope of Rome, the vicar of Christ.
Let her come.
My lord.
My lord.
I placed you here, as you see.
At my side.
Oh, I see it.
Are you? Of course, at your side? Whatever happens.
France, Spain, Naples, they can crumble to dust for all I care.
As long as you-- [] Forgive me.
You are welcome in the name of Christ.
Peace be upon you.
Naples thanks you.
[CROWD CHEERING] [] IL CEREMONIERE: Catherina Sforza Riario, Countess of Forli and Lady of Imola.
We had almost lost hope of having you kneel before us.
I bend my knee to no man.
Unless I choose to.
We should have prepared her apartments in the Castel Sant Angelo.
I knew she was clever, but I never realised how clever until today.
Well, put her from your mind.
The die is cast and we must hazard everything or leave the game.
Have you lost your mind? What have you done, you fool? You invite her here? Into the heart of Rome, onto the steps of the Vatican for the whole world to see? You're insane.
And you're naive.
My invitation of Catherina Sforza is a move in the game as is your marriage to the pope's daughter.
My marriage is no game.
Don't be a child.
I love Lucrezia, maybe you can't understand.
Whether you love her, hate her, or are repulsed by her, you marry her, and you secure our claim to the friendship of Rome.
Why else do you think I put you forward to be her suitor? And therefore also choose to remind His Holiness that Naples has friends, friends beyond Rome.
And if Rome wishes the friendship of Naples, that friendship needs to be cultivated, nurtured-- She tried to kill his children.
His grandchild.
That too, is the game.
A game in which you are new and uninstructed.
Now, play your part.
Get married, fuck the pope's daughter, and leave the serious matters for your elders.
Now go.
May I take the opportunity to offer your sister my congratulations on the occasion of her marriage.
I shall be sure to tell her.
Should I also offer my father your congratulations on his recovery from poison? My family your congratulations on their escape from assassination? If it pleases you to do so.
You risk everything, my lady.
Do you think me ignorant of that? You have your blade there.
No one would stop you.
I know what I risk.
You could sink your steel into me.
To the hilt, if you wished.
[GASPS] My lady.
[GRUNTS] MAN: His Holiness, Your Majesty, my lords.
Ladies and gentlemen, pray, open the dance.
Your sister looks quite entrancing, does she not? She does.
Would you take a drink with me? Marriage can be such a blessing.
A man and wife united in the sight of God.
It is a beautiful thing.
It should be.
It can be.
Even for the King of France.
Do you cry at weddings? I always find my eyes a little moist.
I would cry at my own, perhaps.
And why so, my Lord Borgia? Because it would mean the end of a certain life for me.
Your father has mentioned the possibility of a French bride.
What would France say to that? One marriage for another.
Beauty and blessings all round.
[CROWD APPLAUDING] Our little pack of wolves.
What is their price? Land.
The restoration of what has been taken from them.
Tell them if they pledge their swords to me, they shall have all they had before and the Borgia estates I will divide among them.
I will.
So we are done in Rome? Very far from it.
Those who we would overcome we must first confound.
I would confound this pope.
More than you have already? [CHUCKLES] Considerably more.
And who are you? Do you not know? You are no cardinal.
You have no robes.
And you are no soldier.
You have no army.
You're not even anyone's legitimate son.
PAULO: Roberto.
So I ask again.
Who are you? Oh, take a breath, Roberto.
Have some more wine, my wine.
Take a dance in the garden, my garden.
The pretty young noblewomen of Rome would delight to have you paw at them.
I care nothing for your pretty young noblewomen.
Then I will introduce you to some pretty young noblemen instead.
[CHUCKLES] MAN: Calm down.
Calm down.
PAULO: Brother.
Take a walk.
[CROWD APPLAUDING] So are you, um? Tsk.
Are you still a virgin? You know I am.
Saving yourself for marriage.
I told you as much, didn't I? And are we now married? I believe so.
I seem to remember a ceremony.
I also.
[LAUGHING] [CHUCKLES THEN MOANS] What's this? This board? It's nothing.
It's seating arrangements for the wedding.
Fuck me.
This isn't the wedding.
This is ally on the one hand, enemy on the other.
Who did this? Oh.
Only my brother would have-- [] Uh Is this what I am to your brother? A question mark.
A question mark.
A question mark? Is this what I am to your family? [PIN CLATTERING] [DOOR SLAMS] What on God's Earth? Am I so hard to love? No, Lucrezia, you cannot.
But I must.
Only a Borgia, it seems, can truly love a Borgia.
They already whisper it of us, throughout the whole of Italy.
Why deny ourselves the pleasure of which we're already accused? Your husband.
You will be my husband tonight.