2,603 votes
The Borgias

The Borgias

Showtime 2011

Set in 15th century Italy at the height of the Renaissance, The Borgias chronicles the corrupt rise of patriarch Rodrigo Borgia to the papacy, where he proceeds to commit every sin in the book to amass and retain power, influence and enormous wealth for himself and his family.

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The 10 Best Episodes of The Borgias

The Borgias - S2E10

#1 - The Confession


Season 2 - Episode 10

Tragic news for the Borgia family is followed by a shocking revelation from Cesare; Lucrezia surprises herself by falling for a new suitor, Alfonso of Aragon, and accepts his proposal of marriage; Cesare tortures the rebel leader Savonarola but can't extract a confession, so he fakes one and burns the heretic; the assassin finally strikes with a poisoned chalice of wine.

The episode was rated from 272 votes.

The Borgias - S2E3

#2 - The Beautiful Deception


Season 2 - Episode 3

Alexander VI refuses to allow a Catholic burial for Paolo, despite his doubts about the stable boy’s suicide, causing Lucrezia to embark on a hunger strike that threatens the life of her infant son; the French army heads back to Rome, allied with Sforza; Della Rovere slips back into the city unnoticed to launch a plot against the Pope’s life.

The episode was rated from 275 votes.

The Borgias - S2E9

#3 - World of Wonders


Season 2 - Episode 9

It's Easter and Alexander makes plans for a celebration to end his pious fast even as Della Rovere's assassin ascends to the position of the Pope's taster; Lucrezia's lover asks for her hand in marriage but her father dismisses him and his request; Juan's wild behavior threatens the life of Lucrezia's child, forcing Cesare to make a chilling decision about his brother.

The episode was rated from 260 votes.

The Borgias - S3E10

#4 - The Prince


Season 3 - Episode 10

Alexander and Cesare are reconciled at last. The Papal Armies have been fortified with the money saved from the Crusade and the proceeds of the Jubilee. Cesare marches his fearsome army to finish what Juan started - lay siege to Forli. Micheletto reappears. Following a scuffle with Cesare, a drunken Alfonso is near death and Lucrezia turns to her potions to end his life painlessly. Cesare vows that Lucrezia will now be his for good.

The episode was rated from 365 votes.

The Borgias - S3E9

#5 - The Gunpowder Plot


Season 3 - Episode 9

Devastated by his betrayal, Micheletto kills his lover and disappears. Cesare races to Naples to rescue Lucrezia. Brother and sister are eventually reunited and are so overjoyed to see one another that Alfonso begins to suspect that their relationship seems more than that of ordinary siblings. Alexander schemes to corner the market in Italian sulfur - the key ingredient to gunpowder.

The episode was rated from 337 votes.

The Borgias - S2E5
#6 - The Choice
Season 2 - Episode 5

Cesare deals with the cunning Sforzas decisively; Alexander disguises himself and travels to Florence to hear the fiery preacher Savonarola, not realizing that Della Rovere is trying to recruit the rebellious holy man to his cause.

The episode was rated from 274 votes.
The Borgias - S2E4
#7 - Stray Dogs
Season 2 - Episode 4

Cesare recruits a band of mercenaries with the help of Micheletto to seek revenge on the retreating French troops for burning the nunnery where his beloved Ursula lived; the Pope forges more strategic alliances and enriches himself in the bargain; Lucrezia joins Giulia's quest to aid Rome's poor.

The episode was rated from 265 votes.
The Borgias - S3E1
#8 - The Face of Death
Season 3 - Episode 1

Pope Alexander fights for his life; the cardinals fight for control of the papacy; Cesare and Micheletto track the assassin; Della Rovere prepares to make his move.

The episode was rated from 389 votes.
The Borgias - S2E8
#9 - Truth and Lies
Season 2 - Episode 8

Juan returns to Rome trying to spin his combat injury as proof of his valor, but Cesare exposes his brother's ignoble behavior; Lucrezia takes a lover in her intended husband's younger brother; Della Rovere has recruited an angel-faced young friar as his suicide assassin, and the young man advances their agenda with a bold move against the Pope's food taster.

The episode was rated from 242 votes.
The Borgias - S3E2
#10 - The Purge
Season 3 - Episode 2

Pope Alexander tasks Cardinal Sforza with initiating an inquisition among the Cardinals who were politicking against him. With the evidence he needs, Alexander dismisses and banishes all the Cardinals he does not trust. Meanwhile, Catherina Sforza orders Rufio to seek support from the mercenary warlords of the Romagna families. Lucrezia is annoyed with her in-laws to be and her situation is complicated further as she realizes her feelings for Cesare are becoming something more than sisterly.

The episode was rated from 349 votes.

Last updated: may 18, 2021



I liked it at first. :-/


Based upon the "true" accounts of the Spanish Borgia family and it's head Pope Alexander VI who had an enormous ambition and an even bigger sexual appetite. Jeremy Irons was surprising casting at that time (when few film actors turned to TV) as the pope and the ensemble around him is filled with exceptional European and Canadian actors. The series look and sounds great and had a fascinating backdrop but sometimes it go "overkill" on shock value and gory moments which seems unnecessary and makes the series seem more like exploitation than as "true drama". The show was never completed as the series tell about the pope family from Alexander got the papal job up to the height of his power when he had removed all his enemies, but doesn't show the downfall and "poetic ending" of him or give his son (the true villain of the piece) the fate he deserves. That is probably a shame as the series seem to finish with the last 10% of the story left untold. Still, it is a solid series and it may make people interested in reading up on a part of Vatican history that one did not knew existed and that the Catholic Church would most hope would remain buried.


Simply MAGNIFICENT, incredible cast, Jeremy Irons at his best


So surprised that this series is so much better than I expected. The lines are so good and elegant. The cast, the costume and the set of scene are so good. The last season is a little bit plainer compared to the first two seasons. The pace and the story are quite with haste as well.


I like period shows. I like them for the entertainment and I´m not looking for airtight historical accuracy. This is far from accurate but one can easily imagine it could have happened somewhat like this. In that regard it is believable writing under the specification of a TV show. Yet, I found this to be not quite as good as other historical fiction shows. Because it is hard to find sympathy for any of the characters. The way they are written makes it hard to like them, you could easily understand why everyone wants the Borgias dead and gone. Technically there is nothing wrong with the show. Sets, costumes and the performance of the actors are great. Since they were probably surprised by the cancellation the shows ending is open with an unsolved plot. Whatever I think of the show it would have deserved a conclusive ending.


Best show but too bad it ended soon.


WHAT THE HELL happened in the last season of this show? The first two were BRILLIANT. And then it slammed into the ground in terms of story line and continuity. Prince Alfonso with the strange voice and the room of corpses was supposed to be Lucrezia's second husband, not the boring kid with the curly hair. Her baby, Giovanni, was a year old for two years. The show completely dropped/denied the existence of Joffrey Boriga and his pregnant wife, likely carrying Juan's child. Oh, we only got a mention of Juan's wife, as well as her pregnancy. And what of Machiavelli, Ascanio Sforza, and Giulia Farnese? The three best characters who weren't Borgias - and the show just relegated them to a few minutes an episode - if any. This show didn't deserve the writing it got in the end, and I would have loved to have seen more of Cesare and Lucrezia's antics.


Best show ever!


Not historically accurate, but very entertaining! Micheletto is endlessly fascinating.



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