The Borgias s03e04 Episode Script

The Banquet Of Chestnuts

NARRATOR: Previously on The Borgias: The sentence is banishment.
Cardinal Versucci will be stripped and his property will be donated to our Holy Mother Church.
ASCANIO: Cardinal Versucci was the last person in the room.
No one can find him.
LUDOVICO: May I introduce Francesco Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua and his bride, the lovely Bianca.
Divine indeed.
You know what I want.
Your son to be acknowledged.
To separate a mother from her child-- A bastard child.
My feelings on that matter have already been made abundantly clear.
You sat there meek as a girl and said not one word.
IL CEREMONIERE: Catherina Sforza Riario, Countess of Forli.
We had almost lost hope of having you kneel before us.
ALFONSO: You invite her here, into the heart of Rome, onto the steps of the Vatican for the whole world to see? My invitation of Catherina Sforza is a move in the game, as is your marriage to the pope's daughter.
ALFONSO: My marriage is no game.
I love Lucrezia.
Who did this? Oh.
Only my brother would've-- Is this what I am to your brother, a question mark? Is this what I am to your family? I would confound this pope.
Our little pack of wolves, if they pledge their swords to me and the Borgia estates, I will divide among them.
[] What on God's earth? Am I so hard to love? Only a Borgia, it seems, can truly love a Borgia.
Why deny ourselves the pleasure of which we're already accused? [] [CHOIR SINGING IN LATIN] We hereby invest you, Alessandro Farnese with the dignity of cardinal of the Holy Roman Church.
Receive this ring from the hand of Peter and know that through the love of the prince of the apostles, Who is he? your love towards the Church is strengthened.
Remember the pope's whore, Giulia Farnese? That's the brother.
God help us all.
You report to Cardinal Grimani who is in charge of the treasury.
We need an account of funds and outlays.
Each transaction recorded twice.
You are aware of the principle of double entry? Taxes are garnered in the treasury and deposited here.
Dockets record the amounts of various funds, sub-funds, sub-funds of sub-funds to which the accounts are due.
You will make two books: one of credit, one of debit.
This is your desk.
I'm sure your sister impressed on you the importance of counting the money before the client has rinsed off and walked away.
What happened here? Cardinal Versucci happened here.
[] Sister, more water.
There, Brother.
The title deeds to the alum mines so graciously transferred to the Office of Public Works are now restored in perpetuity to the Little Sisters of the Poor with all the income resultant.
You're a strange messenger to bring such good tidings.
You look like a man in a hurry.
What is it you're hurrying from, Father? Oh, at first I thought I was hurrying from, but now I rather think I am hurrying towards.
Towards God? Towards whatever destiny I have wrought for myself.
CESARE: So Rome is well-stocked with cardinals once more.
With loyal cardinals.
When the garden is overcome with weeds, it's sometimes best to burn it down and sow again.
Are they competent? Do they know their duties? Their only duty is loyalty to us.
The rest they can learn as they go along.
Father, the envoy from Venice.
What does Venice want? An audience.
He's been waiting three days.
The new bride finally appears.
How are you, my dear? Are you well? Yes, Father.
Married life suits you? Last night brought you everything you could desire? [CHUCKLES] [RODRIGO LAUGHING] RODRIGO: We brought a blush to your cheeks.
Look, Cesare, your sister, the blushing bride.
[RODRIGO LAUGHING] Well, there we are.
[] So what brings Venice so far south? The price of indigo? The illiberal duties charged on imports from the Baltic states? Or are mosquitoes in the lagoon getting too much to bear? [CHUCKLES] It is the Turks, Your Holiness.
The Turks? We have lost three trade convoys this year.
Innumerable smaller merchant vessels.
The price of doing business.
This past month they've been raiding the coastal towns along the province.
They've not done that before.
If trade suffers, we all suffer.
Rome as well.
So Venice's suffering is Rome's suffering.
Exactly so, Holiness.
Except with rather more mosquitoes.
Well, we thank you for bringing our suffering to our attention.
We were not aware.
We will give this matter the consideration that it merits.
So our cousin has married the woman all of Italy talks about.
Who would have thought, out of all those suitors, she would choose our little Alfonsito? You've done well, for our family and yourself.
Very, very well, I might say.
Lucrezia Borgia.
Even a king hears tales, so tell me, what's she like? She is, uh, kind and gentle.
She-- Ha-ha-ha.
You idiot, not like that.
I mean in bed.
What's she like in bed? She's everything you could wish for, I suppose.
You suppose? Cousin, we're men talking here.
I mean, how does she like it? Dog style? Up the back alley? How? The usual way.
The usual way? What is it you're not telling me? What happened on your wedding night? Nothing.
Nothing? What do you mean, nothing? Nothing happened.
The marriage wasn't consummated? Nothing happened.
Nothing happened? Nothing at all? But it must happen.
For the sake of both our families, it must happen.
And it will.
Yes, it most certainly will.
[] MAN 1: Holy Father.
MAN 2: Your Holiness.
MAN 3: Your Holiness.
MAN 4: Your Grace.
Cardinal Farnese.
Your Holiness.
Hard at work, I see.
ALESSANDRO: Yes, Holiness.
I am reconciling dockets, Holiness.
Ascertaining the true level of Vatican funds.
Please, don't let me stop you.
Your sister Giulia requested that you be created a cardinal.
Yes, Holiness.
You did not put yourself forward.
No, Holiness.
Not even to her? A suggestion? The merest hint? No, Holiness, it was her idea.
So you are not like the others.
No ambition.
I am deeply honoured by the trust-- Yes, yes, yes.
She told me that you have a felicity for numbers, for accounts, which is why we have placed you in a position in our treasury.
Now, listen to me very carefully.
Yes, Holiness.
You'll not report to Cardinal Grimani.
You will not report to Cardinal Sforza.
To none of them.
You will detail the full extent of Vatican finances and your report you will place in our hands and our hands alone.
[] Am I clear? Yes, Holiness.
[GASPS] Giulia.
What brings you here? A sister's devotion.
[SIGHS] Is your head above the water still? In truth, I fear the waves closed over me long ago.
What is this? I no longer know.
Lies and confusion.
Would sisterly devotion go so far as to help me make sense of it? Are you awake? Yes.
I wanted to say I'm sorry for last night.
I wish it never happened.
Can we pretend it never happened and start anew? I'm sorry.
I cannot.
We're married now.
We're married.
[GRUNTS] Last night [] something more happened than just a question mark on a place setting.
What happened? I don't understand.
What else happened? A cloud descended on me my heart.
Let me lift it, then.
Can you feel nothing? I feel your hand.
Help me to love you.
Please, just-- [BOTH GRUNT] Maybe Maybe our love has to be more of the soul.
Like brother and sister? No, not like that.
We've been stripped bare.
Extraordinary, isn't it? With such ease.
[LAUGHING] You're laughing? Where is the outrage, the fury? Because we never would have thought he had it in him.
[SCOFFS] Oh, we'll replenish the coffers.
Meanwhile, seek him out, the old goat.
Hmm? Teach him the error of his ways.
[] Find him.
[GROANING] [] [GIULIA GRUNTS] [] Leave us.
Holy Father, if you wish me to visit you, you have but to say the word.
There is no need for Vatican guards in the night.
Your handwriting on Vatican accounts.
Your notes.
Here and here.
Don't try and deny it.
I was helping Alessandro make sense-- You told us he was capable, that he had a felicity for numbers.
We took your word.
He does.
That nest of figures would make a saint weep.
You lied to gain your brother a position.
He is capable.
Moreover, we ordered him explicitly to answer to no one but us, and he runs straight to you.
I was merely helping him.
As I once helped you.
Give me one reason why we should not have him defrocked this instant.
There is nothing underhand here.
He could not understand the numbers.
Could not understand-- That is all.
I helped him.
No one else, nothing more.
Just a sister helping a brother to serve his pope.
But he is a man, is he not? What do you mean? Men are false.
We had thought to purge our Vatican.
As though the fresh blood of new cardinals would wash it clean.
But it will not.
New cardinals become old cardinals and it will all begin again.
The plotting, the scheming.
We can see it all, as inevitable as the tide.
You are not yourself, Holiness.
But we are not mistaken either.
[] We are so utterly alone.
You are not alone, Holiness.
How can I prove it? You can't unless you can ensure the loyalty of an entire consistory.
If that will bring me your forgiveness and you some peace of mind, then I shall find a way.
[] MAN: It does require your attention.
[FERDINAND CLEARS THROAT] You wished to speak to us? In private? It's a matter of delicacy, Holiness, but a matter that can no longer go unattended.
Then speak.
The marriage of your daughter to our cousin.
It has come to my attention that it is a marriage in name only.
Hmm? It is unfulfilled.
What? [LAUGHS] It's only been a few days.
Still, a few days become a few weeks.
And then come the lovers and-- RODRIGO: Do not speak of our daughter thus.
You are a guest here.
FERDINAND: Forgive me, Holiness, but God himself tells us, "Thou shalt enter unto her Do not preach to us about God.
and thou shalt know her, and she shall be to thee for a woman.
" Now, unless this is done, this marriage is a sham.
If it is unconsummated, then whose fault is that? How am I to tell? You tell me.
You seem to know everything else! I will tell you what I know.
[] I know your daughter is married to my kinsman.
Now, he's an honourable man.
Meanwhile, your daughter You-- has a son already whose father is unknown.
You tread carefully, sir.
I am careful, my lord.
I'm careful of myself and my family.
Now, I will see this marriage consummated lest there be any doubt, any confusion, weeks or months hence.
Just tell your cousin to get on with it.
I will take no one's word on this matter, do you understand? There must be proof.
What do you mean, proof? It is a petty revenge for the slight you gave him.
It is an insult to Lucrezia.
It is an insult to us! Now, look, quieten yourself.
On how many fronts would you have us fight? And besides, there is a precedent.
I will see him burn for this.
There is a precedent.
It may stick in your gullet as it sticks in mine but when all is said and done, he is in the right.
Do you think it matters one jot to me? Well, it should.
It must.
Would you have this alliance soured with Naples the moment it is struck? Hmm? [OBJECTS CLATTERING] Naples was, and always will be, an infected swamp.
What about Lucrezia? Tsk.
She must be told.
I will tell her.
[] No, no.
I will.
What perversion is this? You would put me on display for every vile, lecherous creature to fondle himself to? We had no choice.
You weak, shameless, pitiful excuse.
If I was a man, I would have run him through.
I would have cut out his tongue before I let him speak about my own sister in this way.
It was for the family.
We had no choice.
You had every choice! Where is your honour?! Where is your strength?! Where is your love for me?! [SOBBING] I love you! I would have killed him where he stood.
I would have cut his heart out of his body.
But I stayed my hand for the good of the family.
So the king of Naples is to watch me in bed for the good of the family.
Very well.
Very well.
When is it to be? Tonight.
And from our family, who is to bear witness? Whomever you wish.
Then I want you.
[WHIMPERS] [CHATTERING & MUSIC PLAYING] Just tell us who is who.
Bankers, guilds, merchants.
[CROWD APPLAUDING] Dear friends, we have invited you to break bread with us tonight because the news we bring affects you most of all.
God is our guide, but trade is our lifeblood.
CROWD: Hear, hear.
As bankers, as merchants, you know this best of all.
But a dusky menace shadows our prosperity.
The Turk threatens our shipping.
Our cousins in Venice find their storehouses raided, their cargoes stolen, their lifeblood seeping into the sand.
But Venice is suffering.
And I ask you, if Venice suffers, does not Rome suffer also? MAN: Yes, indeed.
We must meet this menace head-on.
With God's help, we will raise a mighty crusade to drive the Turk back into the desert whence he came.
Back to the desert! And protect our homeland.
And to sweep the seas clean once more.
Christ walked upon the water.
If the infidel would prevent us, then we will consign him to the gates of hell.
CROWD: Yes! Yes! [CROWD CHATTERING & APPLAUDING] Venice will do everything in its power to be behind this crusade, Holiness.
We could not have asked for more.
Then it is agreed.
In the name of Christ, we thank you for your unhesitating and unstinting support for this, our Holy War.
[CROWD APPLAUDING] [] In order to fund the Holy Crusade against the Turk, the following papal levies are enacted upon goods outgoing from Rome to Venice, and incoming from Venice to Rome.
MAN: More taxes? And also on assets in coin, note of hand, draughts upon banking houses, promissory notes, gold, silver, precious metals, and stones.
The matter of which we spoke before needs to be set in motion.
Is he ready to join our cause? He is.
He has many reasons to hate Rome.
And does he fully understand what will be required? More than that.
He relishes it.
I believe I have found a way, Holy Father, to bring you some peace of mind.
Go on.
You fear treachery.
Now, a compromised man cannot plan treason.
The sword hangs above his head day and night.
He never knows when it may fall.
[] But if he's compromised and weak, that's when he's loyal.
Go on.
We are listening.
Let me ask you this.
What compromises a man more than anything else? His prick.
And the horns of a cuckold are only sharpened by time.
My Lord Gonzaga.
My lady.
Please, join us.
GIULIA: They are men, Holy Father.
And as you said, all men are false.
And because they are also weak, I propose a night's festivities that might expose just how weak they are.
It would need to be chronicled.
Why? For posterity's sake.
Well, Master Burchard would enjoy that.
Now, if all goes according to plan, that chronicle would, I believe, ensure the loyalty of the entire consistory.
If this succeeds, we will grant you a cardinal's hat.
Now, leave us, if you please.
Our daughter's ordeal approaches.
Do I look pleasing? You look beautiful.
Beautiful enough to satisfy a king of Naples? One night, and it will be done.
It will soon be behind you.
The act may be done in a night, but I will have blood for this.
[BELL TOLLING] It is time.
God's sake.
My eyes.
[BOTH MOANING] LUCREZIA: Hey, hey, here with me.
Here with me.
Just me.
Just me.
Just me.
Your sister's a lucky woman to have a husband that can bring her to ecstasy on his very first time.
I didn't know the boy had it in him.
Now you may tell your father the matter has been dealt with to my satisfaction.
And you may get out of my house.
[] [KNOCKS] Father, a man has come for you.
I have been expecting him.
Tell him he will find me at the old Roman baths at dusk.
Any French princess of your choosing? I believe that was the ambassador's suggestion.
The French king must truly desire to be rid of his wife.
Look at me.
What happened before, what all but happened again last night, it belongs in the past.
It has no place in your future, nor in mine.
All is done now.
You can go off and love your husband, and I can go off and find myself a bride.
Maybe we both can work our way to happiness.
Come back soon.
Listen now.
There will be a dinner tonight here in the Vatican.
All the cardinals are to be invited.
You will not attend.
Why not? Because your sister tells you so.
Become ill, stay at home.
Don't come to the Vatican.
[] Francesco Gonzaga, the Duke of Mantua, requests an audience.
Has he brought the duchessa with him? Oh, well, fit him in.
RODRIGO: So all set for France? Now, before you give Louis his annulment, look to our advantage.
Hmm? Get him to renounce his claim on Naples, and beyond that, whatever else you can to strengthen our position.
I understand.
You hold the fate of Rome in your hands.
Go on, then.
[] MAN: Rider! So you have found me.
Yes, I have found you.
Now I would find the money you have stolen from His Holiness.
How could I steal that which was already stolen? [GRUNTS] From good men and bad, from rich and poor, the pope steals from all Italy, regardless.
I have merely redistributed.
- Where is it? - Gone.
- Where? - Gone.
All gone.
I have wiped him clean away.
Did I hurt His Holiness where it hurts most, in his pocket? - You wish to know the truth? - Yes.
He laughed.
[LAUGHS] Be seated.
Eminencies, Sisters.
Now, the Holy Father calls upon us all to give what we can to support his endeavours.
Sister, please, stand up.
Your name, please.
Sister Angela, my lady.
Step to the front now.
Don't be shy.
Come on.
[] May I ask you to begin? But, my lady, we have sworn a vow of poverty.
I have nothing to give.
All I own is the clothes I wear.
Then they will have to do.
Who will give 10 ducats to the Crusade for Sister Angela's veil? Cardinals, this is your night.
Do not be shy.
I know you have gold.
Sister Angela only has her clothes.
Now let's exchange the one for the other.
Ten ducats.
Cardinal Grimani.
Please, Sister Angela, show us what you have.
There we go.
Look at that, Sister Angela.
Eminencies, how much for Sister Angela's habit? Fifty ducats.
Fifty ducats.
Anyone? Sixty.
GIULIA: Sixty ducats.
CARDINAL: Eighty ducats! GIULIA: Eighty ducats.
BURCHARD: Item: 21 nuns' habits from the Carmelite convent in Trastevere.
Item: 21 decent prostitutes from the best Roman establishments.
And as chronicler to our beloved Vatican, it is my sad duty to report that the said habits did not remain on the comely maidens long beyond the first course.
GIULIA: Sister Angela.
BURCHARD: They divested themselves for gold and silver of garment after garment till they were naked as the day they were born.
They flaunted their nakedness for the cardinals with the abandon for which Roman prostitutes are renowned.
And as they auctioned their clothes, soon they auctioned their bodies to the considerable delight of the cardinals assembled.
Who's there? SERVANT: Guards! Guards! It is a friend, Your Holiness, who means you no harm.
Leave us! How did you get past the guards? They know me well enough by now.
My Lord Gonzaga had business in Rome.
I know.
He requested an audience.
As do I.
[] Knowing this pope, I'd say he's entering your wife just about now.
Consider the bitch's insanity my contribution to your lady's war on Rome.
BURCHARD: Item: 200 candied chestnuts.
GIULIA: Dear Sisters, Eminences, please, follow me.
BURCHARD: The festivities began at 10 and descended into debauchery around midnight.
Go at it! [ALL CLAMOURING] BURCHARD: La Farnese distributed the chestnuts on the floor and challenged the valiant damsels to pick them up using only their nether regions in which enterprise they showed considerable invention.
Prizes were offered for those cardinals most successful with the prostitutes.
Cardinal Constanzo was awarded six silken doublets.
Dear Lord.
Who would have thought that youngster had it in him? Cardinal Pertucci, Oh.
seven pairs of shoes.
Seven? Enough for a lifetime.
Cardinal Grimani, three feathered hats.
Master Burchard, we will spare you further elucidation.
We will keep this record under lock and key for posterity.
BURCHARD: For history, Your Holiness? You think future generations will be interested in such shameful antics? No, no, no.
This will be for our eyes alone.
[] You request from us a decree of annulment.
You heard me, Holiness.
But annulment can only be granted with a papal brief in the gravest of circumstances.
GONZAGA: The circumstances are grave and gross and constant.
With whom? With His Holiness, the Pope of Rome.
[CROWD MURMURING] GONZAGA: The night before the Battle of Fornovo where I spilled my blood for our Holy Mother Church and subsequently.
The very implication is outrageous.
GONZAGA: Indeed it is.
It would scandalise the whole of Italy.
Where is this wife of whom you speak? Your Holiness, I presume, has no idea? No, no idea.
Well, if you happen upon her, please inform her of my desire.
And of your decision.