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10 June 2014 @ 08:49 pm
One Year Later: The Borgias 3x09 and 3x10 + Reminiscing  
On this tragic date last year, the series finale of The Borgias was released on Showtime's videoplayer. ;_; I can't believe it's already been a year since we had the last new material from The Borgias (Jordan's awful fanfiction doesn't count), and the fandom came to a close. Watching GoT especially makes me miss this superior show.

In any case, I still haven't formally posted my reactions/thoughts on the last two episodes of the show, so I think I will mark this anniversary with those:

3x09:

What a fantastic episode! Definitely one of the highlights of the season. So much satisfying emotion and drama and storylines going in directions I've wanted for ages. AND THE EPIC C/L SCENES! ♥

+ Like SO much wonderful Cesare/Lucrezia! :D That first reunion scene with the MUSIC and the way she screamed his name and HIM RUNNING FULL TILT TO HER and THEM TOTALLY MAKING OUT DESPERATELY RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS TROOPS AND HER HUSBAND, STARS IN MY EYES! <333




Like, were kisses on the lips normal for siblings back then, or did they think the dark was hiding them...? :s Lol. It made for quite the sweeping romantic reunion, and it was great to finally see them kissing passionately again "at last" (to quote Cesare)--it's been far too long! The way he kissed every inch of her face and the way they clung to each other, looking so happyyy...gah. How lucky they happened to meet on the road and Alfonso happened to recognize Cesare lusting after his wife! (Lmao at "I don't want Naples yet, I want my sister!"--YES, we all know! ;)) The snarky commentary from Cesare's soldier was also priceless...

Then there was the scene where he makes her laugh about Alfonso (he always can make her smile, I love their shared sense of humor!), and this gorgeous, UST-filled scene:





Lol Cesare, your logic about Spanish people embracing is a bit weak..:p Stop trying to play dumb, you were just making out with your sister in public a few hours ago! I really liked them referencing the rumors and public talk about C/L though, we have never had enough of that on the show.... /cue "Rumor Has It" by Adele. It was also cute seeing Cesare with Lucrezia's baby, although lawd how is he still a baby? :p The one thing that put a damper on my shippy enthusiasm for the episode was how his protection of her was making her feel caged and upset, to the point where she tells her mother she thinks "Love can be another chain, in this Borgia family." and wishes she could run away...:( DNW him making her that unhappy! :/ Anyone else bothered by that part? (I did laugh though at "And my husband..." "What of him?" though, story of their life!)

+ Glad it began to finally dawn on Alfonso, I've been waiting for him to remark on their inappropriate closeness since his was side-eyeing their Dance of Incestuous Forehead Touching in 2x10! His comments to Lucrezia on the bed about her knowing he knows that he's not really "the joy of [her] life, the light of [her] days" (that would be Cesare, obvs), as well as the swordfighting confrontation with Cesare about the rumor that "there are three in this marriage, not two" were PERFECT! Don't tempt him, Alfonso--do you know what happened to Lucrezia's last husband?! (Apparently you did hear the rumor about him murdering Juan!) Although it's a bit random that Alfonso has only now finally begun to grow a backbone...but yes, give me all the Jealous!Alfonso, please! Lol at Cesare's "I would not harm that which my sister loves"...not yet at least!

+ Lucrezia's escape at the beginning was awesome, you go gurl! "We are in a fairytale...and the witch is me." was such a great line...and I'm glad they explained the old woman's help by her stealing from the guests. Well done Lucrezia, this time your plotting worked. You didn't even need Cesare to come rescue you, you managed on your own...

+ Cesare missing Micheletto so much (that he was even randomly quoting him on the roadside!) was so touching, it's good to see he does care for his dear ginger assassin, and doesn't think anyone can replace him. <3 I hope Micheletto comes back soon! The bloody "good bye" was certainly striking, although lol at it being in English. The scene in which Micheletto murdered Pascal was a bit cheesy, but still very sad. I'm a little surprised Pascal took it so well.

ALSO CESARE LIGHTING A GUY ON FIRE HOLY SHIT--I only wish I could have seen Micheletto's reaction. Would he say he's in awe of Cesare like with Juan's murder in 2x09? It was great seeing even more of the cray cray sociopath coming out in Cesare this episode, following last week's "JESUS LOVES ME!" "And let this be a lesson to those who would betray me!", oh snap! It's getting real. No wonder his dad fears him!

+

Loved every minute of Cesare & Rodrigo's final confrontation/therapy session--François and Jeremy acted the hell out of it, and it was such a beautiful culmination of their complication relationship/resolution to the "please forgive me for murdering my brother" storyline from the end of 2x10--I wanted to cry when Rodrigo finally did absolve him and told Cesare he had his trust from now on. That final embrace too! His comments about Cesare being too much like him were a nice mirror of what he said in 2x10 as well. I only wish we knew what they were saying at the very end there. Cesare vs. Rodrigo angst is my favorite. (Well after C/L, etc...)

+ Rodrigo was also very smart this episode for a change with the sulphur plot; it was good to see him with his game on, being the savvy, clever politician that got him to the papacy! His scheming with the Jewish merchant was fun, and that plan was brilliant. I thought it was interesting him contemplating death with that little model of a family crypt (morbid much?), and loved Vanozza teasing him, lol ("Do you expect to die soon, my dear?". It's been nice to see these two interacting regularly again. I liked them discussing Cesare too, and Rodrigo admitting he misses him. As always, Vanozza knows what's what: "The trouble is you too are too much alike." On a shallow note, her hair was fabulous in this scene.

Finally, I loved the flashbacks to season 1 in the promo for the finale next week; it makes it feel more like the series finale it is.

3x10:

I'm a little torn on this episode. On the one hand it was very epic and well done for the most part, and I thoroughly enjoyed it while watching, consumed by feeeeeels. It was an excellent SEASON finale, with some great performances and writing, and beautiful music and production values/cinematography. But while it wasn't as inconclusive as it could have been for a season-finale-turned-series-finale (at least it ended with an important turning point in story of the family and the individual characters), it still didn't give enough closure to be a true SERIES finale, which is unfortunate; although I much prefer being left hanging and wanting more than for the show to have been run into the ground and ruined, which would have happened if Showtime had given Neil his awful movie (or like what has happened on so many other shows of mine). But I would have liked to have seen more of certain main characters than we did (like Cardinal Sassypants Sforza, Giulia, Vanozza), and I wish they had at least added on an epilogue once they knew it was over--showing each of the characters with words over the screen saying what happened to them, a bit like with The Tudors. It wouldn't have even required any more filming.

So much to love about this episode though:

+HBIC Tigress of Forli's Last Stand: I loved the focus on Caterina Sforza in this episode, even if it ended in her defeat; at least we got a lot of great scenes with her before the end. She was fantastic...loved loved LOVED seeing her at the table planning out their defensive battle strategy like the badass military leader she was (she's everything Cersei Lannister wishes she could be...), even if it came too late (it sounded like a good plan at least). Lol at her "winter is coming" line, speaking of GoT. I'm glad we got to see her with her awesome pet hawk as well once more, lol. Her swordfighting scene, her overall defiance and refusal to be taken prisoner...gah. <33 "Does it take a Caterina Sforza to kill a Caterina Sforza?" is the best line. Her interactions with Cesare and Rodrigo were pure gold ("Come, but don't claw me.", "Don't be so rash, your holiness...I still have teeth!")--a tigress to the end! ♥ I also love her refusing to go along with Cesare's game:



I will miss their sparring, and this wonderfully written female character. (Also in light of this past season of GoT, I am super glad we never saw her raped. :/)

+ Cesare and Machiavelli meeting and scheming! <33 Loved Machiavelli's fanboyism as usual, talking about committing the perfect crime and how Cesare "may one day make the perfect prince." CHILLS, man, and a nice reference to the title of the episode; I'm glad that we finally got Cesare to that point, or the beginning at least. Their second night time rendezvous was also great, lol at Machiavelli's "I should have not asked that" re: where Alfonso is going to fit into Cesare's plans. Oop. (Also aww at Cesare saying Lucrezia "is the most capable person I know" in this scene, showing his love and respect for her). I miss Machiavelli and their relationship so much...look at this bitchface:



+ Micheletto's farewell! :( I'm so grateful that we did get to see him again, helping Cesare one last time, and giving the audience a touching farewell between them (and a chance to say goodbye to our favorite ginger assassin). So slashy too, omg, with him creeping on him while he was sleeping, lol (Cesare's faaace though when he sees who it is! <3):



And then putting Cesare's hand onto his heart. ♥




(the rest)

I wish Cesare could have stopped him though, "You can't just leave like that" summarizes my feelings about both Micheletto and the show in general...*sigh*



It's also still too bad we never got a Micheletto-Rufio confrontation.

+ Speaking of Cesare, it was awesome to see him reach his climax as Il Valentino at last in this episode. "AUT CAESAR AUT NIHIL!" <3 I felt a lot of feels during this scene:



Even though the siege scenes lasted a bit too long (like we didn't need to keep cutting to the vaults underneath so many times before it finally began crumbling, especially in an episode wrapping so much up), overall it was still pretty neat and well done, and a clever plan. It was funny though, feeling invested in and rooting for both sides at the same time. The part when he planted the stake was especially funny. It all felt very epic in scale (THIS is how you do a proper battle scene, GoT 4x09 writers), especially when you also had these beautiful, artsy slow-mo shots of Cesare riding through the beautiful misty woods on horseback:




There was some fine Loreal realness going on here as well with his hair:



I also loved his line, "Never presume that I won't act on my worst instincts." Let's not forget it was a sociopath we were dealing with here...;) Oh how I miss Cesare as well...

+ While I wish we could have gotten more of Cardinal Sassypants, I'm still grateful we got at least one more sassy remark and bitchface for the road:



A+ messenger skills there, Ascanio! "It's going to be a busy morning" indeed.

+ I appreciated that last scene between Vanozza and Cesare, and hearing her talk a little more about her background. It was sweet how Cesare, sociopath that he is, still seeks comfort from him mom as he mourns his boyfriend Micheletto and worries about his sister-lover Lucrezia ("I have many fears...most of them about Lucrezia." OF COURSE). Vanozza had some great lines too: "I can scratch, like a cat!" (mini-tigress?) and "I can counsel if I cannot fight." Another well done female character I will miss, even if she didn't always get as much focus as I would have liked.

+ And finally, of course, there was the Cesare/Lucrezia shippiness!!! (Even with the scene they cut after teasing us with promo images, boo). I had somewhat mixed feelings about this episode, on the shipping front. On the one hand they did get two major scenes between them with great lines and beautiful touching, etc, but on the other Lucrezia was so unhappy throughout the episode that it made me a little unhappy too. :/ I don't want her to feel trapped by Cesare, or like he doesn't think/care about her, or feel tired of life, forget Cesare when he's away, etc. The scene with her father was also very sad, but well done--my heart broke a little at "one who once believed she was close to his heart" ("This confession is false, as everything around me is false." was another great line).

Buuuut also OTP FEELS. That whole scene before he leaves for battle, omg. So many fantastic lines that really sum up their relationship...HIS IS THE ONLY TOUCH SHE WANTS, THEIR LOVE IS SO EPIC HIS TOUCH MAKES HER REMEMBER GOD! GOD EVEN SITS IN THE ROOM WITH THEM TO WATCH THEM INCEST!







(src1 & src2)

This is why "Bedroom Hymns" is indeed such a great song for them, crowandfog--they are each other's religion, such as it is, as this entire conversation underscores. God I wanted to smack Cesare in this scene though--stop pulling away from her, just give in! :( Forehead touching is good but not enough:




And why wouldn't you promise to protect yourself?! The wanting another child part was a little silly though, I mean you still have your other one who remains a baby eternally! ;) Although lol if she was basically asking for Cesare's babies, because yessss. It was good to hear that for all his BS, she still never tires of him. <3 Both Holliday and François acted the hell out of this scene.

THEN THERE WAS THAT LAST SCENE. OMG THAT LAST SCENE, I CAN'T:




Man she scared me for a minute, just as she did Cesare. LOVE his frantic leaping onto the bed to check on her, and his panic...I was a bit unsure about that scene when I first watched, for the reasons I mentioned earlier; I wasn't sure about Lucrezia's feelings in this scene, and if it was too posessive. But after reading lots of meta about it in the episode discussion post on cesare_lucrezia and contemplating it more, I do think the scene works, especially coming after the previous scene, in which he was pulling away as usual and Lucrezia complained about it. Here he is now FINALLY accepting his love and desire for Lucrezia, no longer pulling away because it's ~wrong~ and she deserves better, etc. He is GOING FOR IT, all chips are in, and you can just see how relieved she is about it in the way she closes her eyes and arches in pleasure as his lips descend down her body; so for all her trauma over what happened with Alfonso, she is finally getting what she has wanted all along with Cesare, and is into it. They were totally about to have some incestuous corpse-side sex, and I only wish we could have seen it, lol. ;) Likewise there is something to be said for her fully embracing her identity as a Borgia, poison and all. Aww at Cesare calling her "a professional." I like François's quote about the scene:

"There was something dark in that last scene. They’re together. They’re badly, deeply hurt, but they still have a love and they’re still drawn to each other. That’s probably the most happy of the ways it could have ended. It came full circle, and I loved shooting that scene. It felt very much like the end of an era — there wasn’t one ounce of innocence left in that relationship."

The visual parallels between the first and last scene of C/L were cool, emphasizing again what a well-crafted show this was; but what a stark contrast too, light vs. dark in tone and physical lighting. You can see how far they have come, the innocence lost, but they are still ending the show, as they began it, together and loving one another, for better or worse. So beautiful. ;_; I do wish we could have seen more of them post-Cesare's acceptance (more incestuous sexytimes and touching and kisses!), BUT I also do love that the show ended on a shot of Cesare/Lucrezia together. <333 How appropriate, given how much I was watching for them...;) And after all my worries about how Alfonso's murder would affect Lucrezia and Cesare's relationship, I was especially glad that the show did end with them still together. Against all odds, my incestuous OTP was kind of not d00med, because it cut off before they were split. :p Endgame after all! \0/

BASICALLY I SPENT THE ENTIRE WEEK AFTER WATCHING THIS REPEATING "AND MINE! AND MINE!" LIKE THE SEAGULLS IN FINDING NEMO. For all my initial reservations about the scene, it gave me a lot of shipper excitement and squee from the get-go.

+ The only really stupid/WTF part was Rodrigo's ~grand plan~ to make the papacy an actual hereditary monarchy, because how the fuck would he ever get away with that?! Cesare isn't even a cardinal anymore. (Lol though at their scene when Cesare was like, "~I'm not really here" and Rodrigo replies, "We address an empty bed."). Oh and the whole Alfonso thing could have been done a little better as well, I suppose--he seemed to have really rapidly deteriorated between the last episode and this one, which was unfortunate but I suppose it is supposed to make us care a little less about his death (although it didn't work for Lucrezia in that regard). And I guess knowing your wife prefers to have sex with her own brother over you can take a toll. Not sure I liked them having his murder be an accident either, rather than Cesare consciously slaying him like he did his brother (although I guess Rufio was going to do that? Kind of strange he would trust this former enemy with such potentially damaging knowledge). But I suppose he didn't want to hurt Lucrezia, whereas he knew she wanted Juan's death. Anyway, that scene could have been better; the music was pretty epic though (Trevor Morris is a genius as always), I wish they would release a soundtrack for the last two seasons, dammit! :( Lol, however, at it being over Cesare's nighttime visits (why would creeping into your sister's quarters in the middle of the night be objectionable?! :p Reminds me a little though of his visit to check on her in the series premiere), and Alfonso thinking he could take in Cesare.

In short though, this episode brought be great enjoyment as well as pain and sadness at it being the end. I legit wanted to cry as I watched the opening credits for the last time, and I kept rewinding the beginning and other parts to prolong the experience and put off the end. This show wasn't perfect, but man it pretty close, especially as TV shows go.

Let us all have a moment of silence in memory of this wonderful show, RIP. Also let's start a prayer circle that François will get another project and return to our screens soon. I think I might need to do a full rewatch soon, since it's all on Netflix streaming now. Fittingly enough, I am in the middle of finally reading Christopher Hibbert's The Borgias and Their Enemies: 1431-1519 at this time, which is also making me miss the show. Like I just read past the part where it discusses how Cardinal Sassypants Sforza made an alliance with Rodrigo in exchange for the position of Vice Chancellor. How I wish I had his sass and epic expressions still in my life. I'm also feeling nostalgic about cesare_lucrezia, so here is my first post there, a discussion about when people started shipping C/L and if anyone thought they would actually ~go there. Pretty funny reading in retrospect, knowing that they did indeed do so! ;)

+ Speaking of GoT, there's not really much to say about 4x09 except that it was even more fucking boring than I expected...

since they cut it off before [ASOS spoilers]Stannis the Mannis came to the rescue, which was the only part I was actually looking forward to, since it was such a great, surprising moment in the book. I forgot that there were two battles with the Wildlings, but they really could have combined them, like they condense everything else, or included both in this episode instead of dragging things out. Although his decision to help has already lost impact given how long it has been since Davos read him that plea for help last season finale. I barely even watched, tbh, since 20-min sequences of mindless fighting and grunting done in an untineresting way and with no emotional investment or good character scenes never hold my interest (this is also why I hated The Avengers). They were trying so hard to be the Blackwater Bay again, and failing miserably. (That is an example of a battle that IS well done--the fighting sequences were kept short rather than dragging on, and with more time being spent on meaty character scenes inside and outside the castle. It made you care and actually worry about those inside, about the outcome of the battle). It felt like literally nothing happened except for the deaths of Pyp and Grenn (whose names I couldn't have really told you in a line-up anyway) and Ygritte--just an hour of fighting and shouting and mamoths. In the case of Ygritte, the bad writing for their relationship so far, like rushing the cave into only one quick scene anyway, lessened the impact of her dying line, "We should have stayed in that cave." (Although I was glad they included it). I felt it was more tragic when Jon thought he had shot her himself, but w/e, making it be the kid whose family she killed works too.

The few remaining scenes that weren't fighting were such boring and cheesy filler too--like they even made the most interesting character on the Wall (aside from Ghost, who was also underused), Maester Aemon, dull with that no1curr added love interest of the past--and that is quite and achievement! (So tired of them cutting out important back story that actually has a bearing on the current events and is interesting, and adding stupid back story instead). And omg the "Promise me, Jack!" Sam/Gilly stuff ("I have to go because I am a MAN!"), and Jon explaining sex to Sam (if only that were the only way Sam will ever know about it)...so bad.

In short, another low point in a terrible season. Next week looks like a mess as well, so I suspect we will only have 3-4 decent episodes this entire season.

RME too at what HBO submitted to the Emmys for GoT, particularly in terms of the actors nominated--Kit and Nikolaj but no Alfie, who was frankly the only actor who deserved any recognition? I sincerely hope they don't get any nods outside technical ones, that is all they deserve, and that they have ever deserved (but especially now after such a flop season). Whereas The Borgias deserved more. The nomination for prosthetics next epp though excites me--it must be [Spoiler (click to open)]LS, surely?!

 
 
 
Current Mood: morosemorose
Current Music: "Cesare and Lucrezia" by Trevor Morris
 
 
 
redfeu: Borgias - c/l sitting on groundredfeu on June 11th, 2014 01:56 pm (UTC)
All these Borgias gifs... mourning our show forever. :(
sherrilina: Cesare/Lucrezia sherrilina on June 15th, 2014 11:46 pm (UTC)
Indeed bb, indeed! :(

Pied: MOTHER OF DRAGONSwheatear on June 12th, 2014 10:29 pm (UTC)
They nominated Kit, for real? Virtually every other actor on the show is better than him.
sherrilina: Theon Greyjoy (ASOIAF/GoT)sherrilina on June 12th, 2014 10:51 pm (UTC)
HBO did at least submit him for a nomination; hopefully the Emmys won't actually give it to him. But they usually are nonsense (last year they nominated Emilia and like Mr. Bates and the Earl of Grantham from DA), so you never know...but it's so frustrating that they continue to ignore Alfie, who has been givinggiving some of the most standout performances...