The Borgias s03e10 Episode Script

The Prince

NARRATOR: Previously on The Borgias: You are the joy of my life.
You know I know that isn't true.
How long can we last like this? Rumour has it that there are three in this marriage, not two.
Do not provoke me, my lord.
He could cause public scandal if he intimates any impropriety between us.
We are family, we love each other.
Where is the scandal? I would confound this pope.
RUFIO: More than you have already? CATHERINA: I have the arms, the cannon and the castle.
This is our moment.
Catherina Sforza plots with Naples.
She reinforces her stronghold.
She requisitions cannon.
She will soon be impregnable.
You are charged with my sister's protection.
I would know where she is, where her husband is at every hour of every day.
I was prisoner in Naples, and now I'm prisoner in Rome.
VANOZZA: Cesare Borgia comes and goes like a ghost in the night.
He has the French king in his pocket, French army at his beck and call.
Nobody knows what he's gonna do next.
You hate him, don't you? I love my hide more than I hate him.
[SCREAMING] CESARE: Let this be a lesson to those who would betray me.
As Catherina Sforza gathers allies to her daily, the end game will be war.
Give me command.
We share the same aims, Father.
But what are your aims? You do not share them with us.
If we weaken now, they destroy us.
I will carve you out an empire.
Trust me.
VITELLI: Rome is no longer the Borgia pope alone.
Rome is Cesare Borgia also.
[] [ALL SHOUTING] [] [CHOIR SINGING IN LATIN] MACHIAVELLI: I have no servants when here in Rome, my lord.
Florence can no longer afford them.
CESARE: Democracy, Senor Machiavelli.
They say it has its merits.
What would you say is the perfect crime, my lord? The one without a victim? No.
The one without a suspect.
And I have often thought that whoever killed your brother remained unsuspected but made a suspect of everybody.
Such a one has committed the perfect crime.
And such a one may, one day, make the perfect prince.
[] How can one be a prince without a principality? One cannot.
Which is why, I presume, you came to talk to me of Forlì.
If Rome moves on Forlì, what would Florence do? You know well what Florence will do.
What we always do.
We must cross the borders of Florence to get there.
Do so then at night.
But armies make noise.
I'll make sure they move quietly.
No disturbance, no pillage.
Two armies, I have heard, double the noise.
Can you keep a secret? The French army is already there in the Romagna forests.
Well beyond Florentine borders.
[] [MAN SHOUTING IN FRENCH] I will send the papal army ahead of me under cover of night.
What, no grand departure? No cheering crowd? No.
Nothing like that.
And it is better if you know nothing of my progress.
I will have them at the borders of Florence before Florence awakes.
We cannot justify to the Florentine ambassador-- You will not have to.
I have his assurance we can skirt their territories and move on.
Well, as Socrates said: "True wisdom is knowing that you know nothing.
" I will carve you out an empire, Father.
But who will rule it after we are gone, huh? All this rancour, this discord.
Votes in conclave bought and sold.
Families and factions, blade against blade.
Would it not be simpler just to hand on the keys of St.
Peter's from father to son? Primogeniture.
It's the simplest and most efficient transfer of power known to man.
[] Like? Like a monarchy? Hmm.
God's true kingdom, here on earth.
Handed from father to son? Is God served well by the papal elections? Is the College of Cardinals mentioned in the gospels? No.
That is the past.
Primogeniture is the future.
Simple, preordained.
The world would not tolerate-- Not yet, but We have the power to make and unmake monarchies but we have no kingdom of our own.
Now, if you create for us a kingdom, we will write the book of our future.
The future of the Church, of the world we live in will be ours, yours, and your children's.
[] You say nothing? I am stunned into silence.
Why do you think we wished you a cardinal? So you would be pope one day.
Carve us out a kingdom, Cesare, and be both king and pope.
[] CESARE: You saw what happened to Colonna, so you know the rules.
We knew them already, my lord.
Never presume that I will not act on my worst instincts.
Or that it is not in your best interests to stay loyal to me.
We have an army here.
It is well stocked, powdered at last.
It has generals.
They imagine they rule.
They don't.
You rule.
Armies act like locusts on the lands that they move through.
You will prevent these armies from doing so.
You will attack one citadel, and one citadel only.
The Citadel of Forlì.
And now, my friends, meet your troops.
What does this sword read? [ALL SPEAKING IN LATIN] ORSINI: So we are with him now.
I would not be against him.
CESARE: What does this sword read? [ALL SHOUTING IN LATIN] Either Cesare or nothing.
[] We have shamed him, brother.
I have? In more ways than I can count.
MAN: My lady.
My lord.
He knows.
Somewhere he knows.
Ah, hmm.
Why is it your touch is the only one that soothes me? You have spent a lifetime pulling away from me.
I'm tired of that.
[SIGHS] I'm tired of my husband.
I'm tired of life.
The only thing that never tires me is you.
Can you tell me why? Why? Why we're cursed with this feeling that feels so natural and good? Why, when we're together, God seems to sit in the room with us? And when you're away, I manage to forget you, and then one touch of your hand and God comes rushing back.
God or the devil.
Whatever it is, it overwhelms.
I have to leave soon.
Yes, I know.
You have your army at last.
You have castles to knock down.
[] Will you think of me a little? And will you promise to protect yourself? What could console you, sis? The one thing that could, I think, is another child.
My husband seems only capable when he's in his cups.
As he is now.
MAN: In formation.
ALFONSO: Oh, brother.
CESARE: Alfonso.
Or is it II Duce? That too.
Have you met my shadows? MAN: Carry on.
They watch me drink, they watch me fuck.
I had a brother who smelt like that.
Like what? Wine.
Too much.
Oh, but he died.
Yes, of the same.
Of what? Indulgence.
Stop, my love.
Can't you hear? His army's on the march.
Can I join them? Alfonso.
Oh, no, I think we can all agree I'm useless here but I can wield a sword.
Put it down, my love.
I can even draw blood.
I'd welcome a challenge.
A conquest of any kind.
Am I hired then? When I return, I will consider a commission.
Until then, rest your blade.
[] MAN 1: Steady on, men.
Guards, to the battlements.
MAN 2: Yes, captain.
Hold your lines.
MAN 1: Rear guard to the battlements.
Remain in cohorts.
Hold the pennants high! Keep formation at the front, there.
Would that you could fight, Mother.
I can scratch.
Like a cat.
I've lost my henchman.
I miss his counsel.
I could counsel if I cannot fight.
He could read me like a book.
He knew how to move, without a sentence, without a word.
Armies need whores, don't they? I used to be a whore.
The truth hurts? You were a courtesan.
I would not be the son of a whore.
It made you what you are.
So we came from nothing.
Not if your father has his way.
He has ambitions.
More than even I could have dreamed.
Tell me.
I can't.
I fear to even think of them.
Fear? You? I haven't heard that before.
I have many fears.
Most of them about Lucrezia.
Keep her safe.
She can hardly move with the guard that minds her.
It minds her husband.
You don't trust him? To keep her out of harm's way? No, I don't trust him.
Rome is about to change, Mother.
Not again.
[] MAN: Rider! Open the gates! CATHERINA: Tell me.
What do you think? It's begun.
His army marching at night from Rome.
Ten days away.
You can count, good.
You will need to.
They are in the thousands, equipped for a siege.
Well, we have ten days, at least, to prepare.
[] [MAN SHOUTING IN FRENCH] Our plan, unless someone has a better one, is to stock up on enough supplies to outlast any siege.
I want every ounce of grain, all poultry, livestock brought to the city.
MAN 1: Captain.
There's movement.
MAN 2: Look.
I want to cut all the forests around Forlì, every tree, every bush, every hiding place.
I want an open plain below these battlements, a clear field of fire where everything that moves is a target.
Dig trenches along these borders here, here and here, with a covering of wattle, and ditches, dykes, sharpened spikes below.
My lady.
We will engage the enemy on their approach, draw them toward the trenches.
My lady, forgive me, but-- Our cavalry leap the trenches, draws their infantry in, My lady, you must-- and their cannon cannot cross.
What is it? You must see this.
Can't it wait? No.
Cesare Borgia does not wait.
[] MAN 1: Close the gates! MAN 2: Close the gates! MAN 1: Quickly! To arms! You saw his army leave Rome, He had a second army from France that he managed to hide somewhere, somehow.
We're under siege.
We're under siege already, and winter is coming.
But as Christian merchants, they must also contribute a tithe to the Church.
They have heard rumours that The siege at Forlì has begun.
Oh, well, that's a surprise.
The papal armies have barely left Rome.
Your son hides armies the way a juggler hides carnations.
The forests at Forlì are sprouting cannon as we speak.
The Venetian ambassador demands an audience, as do the ambassadors of Umbria, Ferrara, Bologna, and the Holy Roman Empire.
It's gonna be a busy morning.
Get them to address their questions to our son, the gonfaloniere of the papal armies, Duke Valentino.
And where might we find him? Well, with his armies, we presume.
Wherever they may be.
You have raised a hornets' nest, and it's not yet noon.
Let surprise be our secret weapon.
One army in place, another one lumbering along in full public view.
We would have appreciated being told.
Is it better to know or not to know when you must plead ignorance? We would rather speak the truth, if truth be told.
Then I must leave you in ignorance.
There will be a price to pay for your French involvement.
The French ambassador will be seeking an audience.
Well, we would happily send Naples to the dogs if your sister could be spared any further discomfiture.
I wasn't here.
What? You haven't seen me or spoken to me.
Oh, no.
We address an empty bed.
We had never realised it would provide such sport.
[CHUCKLES] So remain invisible.
[] To everyone but us.
MAN: Papal guard, forward.
Make way.
The gonfaloniere.
Tell me your worst.
Florence was so surprised by your siege at Forlì, she hardly notices the army moving past her hinterland.
CESARE: Can I impose on you once more, then? MACHIAVELLI: Does it involve the security of my homeland? CESARE: Perhaps.
King Louis of France is at present in Milan.
And he will not long remain there.
He wants his beloved Naples back.
And how can I be of help with such a terrifying prospect? You could advise him that once I have taken Forlì, I will deal with Naples.
My sister, Lucrezia, will act as his regent, and will rule it in his name.
Does your sister know of her intended destiny? She is the most capable person I know.
And her husband, will he have a role to play? I shouldn't have asked that, should I? [] MAN 1: Hold your post.
Take cover.
MAN 2: Hold your positions.
Positions! Take cover! MAN 3: Bring it forth! MAN 1: Watch out! MAN 2: Hold your positions! [] MAN 1: I need more men.
Why the need for siege towers? Don't you trust your cannon? Those walls are 12 feet thick.
They've never yet been breached.
So we may need other options.
You must eat, my lady.
[GRUNTS] What is on offer? Trapped pigeon? Boiled rat? The usual broth of whatever remains.
What if this is the end? I cannot believe you say that.
I've lost my son.
My people starve and freeze.
Something will come.
CATHERINA: Some deus ex machina? And you've no option but to fight.
You've nothing to negotiate with.
My body? It is no longer young.
But it teased him once.
I have heard the rumours.
My legend? You cannot negotiate with that.
And my legend demands I go down in flames or die on some blade.
Or live in triumph.
But I do not see a triumphant outcome, unless I am missing something.
Am I? It is not yet the end.
No, these walls are 12 foot thick.
No cannon can fell them.
So our choice is to starve slowly or surrender.
And I will never surrender.
Promise me one thing.
Whatever happens, [] do not let him take me alive.
I will do my utmost.
And if you survive, you should consider your future.
What future? Hmm.
Cesare Borgia.
He may be the future.
[] Micheletto.
Where have you been? Talking to God.
And what did he say? Nothing.
So you're with me once more? You can batter those walls for weeks.
You'll have no effect.
You just came to tell me that? I was born in Forlì, do you forget? Come.
[] There is an old Roman quarry that runs beneath the north tower, next to the gate.
If you measure your distance, triangulate a path, put down a marker above, bombard that spot, that tower will fall.
You can't just leave like that.
Who's to stop me? You? I'm dead.
Follow the old river bed.
There are some overhanging vines.
You'll find an entrance.
Goodbye, Cesare Borgia.
[] What is this place? It's an old Roman quarry.
If my informant is right, the north tower is above us.
And the gates are there.
And if he's wrong? Well, if he's wrong, he's wrong.
Let's assume he's right.
How do we measure it? We would have to pace it out, figure out north by northwest.
And then triangulate.
Let's get to work, then.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
OVERSEER: This can work, but we have to be exact.
It's 248 steps northwest.
BAGLIONI: Never going to work.
No, it can work.
It can work.
BAGLIONI: How can you be so sure? If you don't believe, just sit back and watch.
I never thought I'd see you holding this.
Not for long.
MAN: Here, my lady.
Five, six, seven.
One hundred and 20, 21.
CATHERINA: I should kill you now.
You can.
But I bear a white flag.
You could also talk.
Not with a Borgia.
I've had duplicity enough for a lifetime.
I am not my brother, Catherina.
You do not torture boys, you kill them.
He was under arms.
There are many, thousands within these walls who are not.
There are boundaries you draw.
Don't you even want to hear my terms? CATHERINA: I think I know them.
But refresh my memory.
You, your arms, your castle, and I will spare the populace.
As I told your dead brother, I will never bow to the whoremaster of Rome.
[] MAN 1: Shields! MAN 2: Get back! MAN 3: To the line! MAN 4: Get out of range! Out of range! Ready ranks! Open the line.
MAN 2: Open.
OVERSEER: My lord.
CESARE: Did I pace it right? I counted.
Two hundred forty-eight.
MAN 1: Close ranks.
And the direction? I checked.
VITELLI: Let me be clear on this.
You want to strike the ground beneath the wall, not the wall itself? The white flag.
VITELLI: Be prepared for laughter.
I'd welcome it.
[] Load it up.
MAN 1: Bring the cannonball.
MAN 2: Ready, my lord.
MAN 3: Fire! MAN 1: It's too short.
MAN 2: Out of range.
Got to change the range.
[SOLDIERS LAUGHING] It's target practise.
Couldn't even hit that.
Once more.
Fire! [SOLDIERS LAUGHING] MAN 1: Well done.
MAN 2: Bull's-eye! Give him a prize! Ha-ha-ha.
MAN 2: Is this not big enough for you? VITELLI: Again.
MAN: Reload.
Again, again.
MAN 1: Again.
MAN 2: Fire! Again! Fire.
Light it up.
MAN: Fire! [RUMBLING] MAN 1: Reload.
MAN 2: Reload.
[RUMBLING CONTINUES] MAN 1: What's happened? MAN 2: Captain, we're moving.
MAN 1: Take a look.
MAN 2: What's that sound? MAN 1: I don't know.
[RUMBLING CONTINUES] MAN 1: The ground's opening up.
MAN 2: Get away.
It's opening up.
MAN 1: Drop back.
[ALL SCREAMING] MAN 1: Move! Move! Move it! [ALL CHEERING] MAN: The wall is down! CESARE: Oh, ye of little faith.
Get the armies in line.
Now it begins.
[] Move! MAN 2: Off the battlements! [SCREAMING] [] MAN 1: Form up.
Prepare the attack.
Now! Present arms.
Charge! MAN 1: Attack! [ALL SHOUTING] [PEOPLE SCREAMING] MAN 1: Ride them down! MAN 2: Come along, hurry.
[ALL SCREAMING] Attack! [ALL SCREAMING] CESARE: Stop! Stop! MAN: Slow down.
CESARE: Stop! MAN: Hold your arms.
I don't want a massacre.
You want me? You want me? Have me.
Blow me into a thousand pieces.
Come on, aim your bows, every one of them.
I want to sprout a hundred arrows.
Like a porcupine.
Aim for the rope.
CESARE: You can have your life, Catherina.
No, but I don't want it anymore.
Come on, give me a legendary death.
[LAUGHS] Does it take a Catherina Sforza to kill a Catherina Sforza? [CATHERINA & CESARE GRUNT] Damn you, Spanish half-breed.
You will live.
I insist.
Why? Because I want you to.
[] [GRUNTING] The key.
I should have stabbed you on this bed.
We both know that.
But you didn't.
Do not touch my dresses.
Forgive me.
But I would not have you seen in public like that.
Why do you care? I have tamed a legend.
The Tigress of Forlì.
I would have you dress to the occasion.
Yellow and black.
Tiger stripes.
MAN: Forward.
CESARE: Make her a cage.
A golden one.
Line it with ermine and black satin like a hearse.
Have it pulled by liveried, feathered horses.
I want her entry to Rome to be spectacular.
We've captured a legend.
She should be seen as one.
And then? I will prepare premises in the Castel Sant'Angelo.
Her prison can become her castle.
She deserves nothing less.
She had an assassin, didn't she? BAGLIONI: Rufio.
A master of the art of death.
Is he among this sorry lot? BAGLIONI: Yes.
Then see this Rufio is sent to Rome as well.
MAN: Hold the line! CESARE: Come, but don't claw me.
I have no claws left.
Then take my hand.
Take my arm.
This is my wake, not my wedding.
Still, take it.
Why? You took it once.
[] [] My lady.
[CROWD SHOUTING] MAN: Welcome to Rome.
MAN 2: Good day, my lady.
Would it not have been simpler, my lady, to have come of your own free will? I'm sure in the end it would've been the same.
Am I to be put to the rack? No.
We have rooms prepared for you above.
Fit for your station.
With a beautiful view of St.
Don't be so rash, Your Holiness.
I still have teeth.
[DOOR THUDS] Release him from the wall.
Have they abused you, Rufio? I had a man like you once.
Capable of any task.
Beyond virtue.
Beyond good and evil.
Beyond everything but loyalty.
LUCREZIA: I asked you to meet me in confession, Father.
Because you have sinned? No, because it is the only place I cannot be overheard.
My brother has his spies everywhere.
Should I put myself forward? You seem unbreakable.
I like that.
Is this an offer of employment? I could set you a task, see how you perform.
Tell me.
I've been a bad wife.
You have strayed? As I said, Father, this confession is false.
As everything around us is false.
But I asked you here to meet with me to tell me, privately, just one true thing.
I need someone done away with.
In such a way that suspicion can never rest on me, my family, anyone to do with me.
Do you have a name? It is rumoured that Cesare has designs on Naples.
I know that you have had some dealings with the French king.
If all of this is true, then my husband is as good as dead.
Alfonso of Naples, Prince of Bisceglie.
Husband to your sister.
And you want to use me.
That's clever.
And if I'm caught at the task? Will you be? What do you think? You should not listen to rumour.
I have no other confidante.
And this is a simple enquiry from a daughter to a father, who once believed she was close to his heart.
There is no one closer.
Oh, don't lie to me, Father.
Now that your ambition is at one with my brother's then that ambition is multiplied tenfold.
So I ask again about Naples.
[] That silence is my answer.
Time to go home.
My lord.
Lucrezia? Lucrezia? Lucrezia? Lucrezia? ALFONSO: She's indisposed.
I told her I would be coming here tonight.
ALFONSO: Come to release us? Is that it? To release me, finally.
Yes, you're free to go.
Free? The city is yours.
Without shadow? Go wherever you want alone.
[] The way your brother went? I warn you.
An anonymous blade, a splash in the Tiber, or was the blade your own? Brother.
Prince to you, not brother! Husband to your sister! CESARE: Enough! Of course you love your sister.
Too much.
CESARE: Stop! Unh! Oh, God.
Oh, God.
It's not what you think.
Brother, no.
No! He challenged me.
Tried to run me through, fell on my blade.
No, let me go! Call a medic.
Call a medic! No.
ALFONSO: He's killed me.
[ALFONSO GROANS] He's killed me, love.
He's killed me.
Just as you both wanted.
I should never have loved you.
I should never have loved you.
I should never have loved you.
ALFONSO: I can't feel my hands! My side's burning! Give me-- [GROANING] Give me something, anything.
Chew, chew.
LUCREZIA: For the pain, my love.
For the pain.
For the pain.
Hold still.
Hold still.
[ALFONSO SCREAMS] Wait here, I may yet need a professional.
What can you do? Nothing.
Let it run its course.
It could take days.
LUCREZIA: Calm, my love.
Leave him with his family, then.
[LUCREZIA CRYING] I know you have the means to end this agony.
So if you ever loved me, you'll do me this one last favour.
I cannot.
Yes, you can.
You're a Borgia.
[] Is that all I am now, brother? A Borgia? A professional.
[] CESARE: Lucrezia? Lucrezia.
LUCREZIA: I will never wash this blood away.
Then I must.
You will be naked and clean and bloodless again.
And mine.
[] []