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Monday, April 22, 2013

The Borgias 3.2: Going Both Ways

In terms of sheer licentiousness, The Borgias 3.2 intriguingly went both ways.

Lucrezia and Cesare, who have been partaking of an increasing sexual tension since almost the very first episode in the series, all but got into bed last night.  Or, to be more precise, there were in bed, and would have likely have made passionate, incestuous, mutually consensual love had they been interrupted by a voice at the door.  Not quite as culturally significant as the Person from Porlock whose unexpected knock on the door shattered Coleridge's writing of his Xanadu poem and left it forever a beautiful fragment, but important enough in the Borgias saga on Showtime, and giving us at least one more week of dramatic anticipation.   Same for the brief glimpses of Lucretia unclothed.

Equally compelling, but going in completely the opposite direction, is Rodrigo's lack of passion in bed with Giulia Farnese. The obvious reason is he's still getting over his near assassination by poison - still physically not fully recovered - but the problem turns out to be much more interesting.  Rodrigo, nearly murdered, no longer feels physically enough at ease with his mistress to make love to her.  In a nice twist, it turns out that he does feel at ease with his wife, with whom he has long had a mostly Platonic relationship.  So, as his children move towards sibling incest, Rodrigo goes back into the moral fold with a sexual relationship with his wife.

And he has ample reason to feel not at ease about his safety.  Not only were his family almost murdered last week, but he's almost murdered again this week by a Cardinal he's trying to divest of his robes and power.   This is part of an attempt to root out all of his opponents in the College of Cardinals, whether they actively worked for his death or just wanted it.

The method that Rodrigo used - getting Cardinal Sforza to pinpoint a likely Cardinal and get him to confess about himself and the others, whether this Cardinal really knew of a plot or not, seems strikingly familiar to what we saw in totalitarian regimes in the 20th century.  Sobering thought that these techniques were practiced as a high, evil art in the Vactican half a millenium earlier.

See also The Borgias Season 3 Premiere: "Blade's Breath"

And see also The Borgias Season 2 Sneak Preview

And see also The Borgias Sneak Preview Review ... The Borgias 1.5: Machiavellian Politics and Marriage ... The Borgias 1.6: Beds, Leg, Cannon ... Borgias  Season One Concludes

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