2,153 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 8.41 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 8.33 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 8.25 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 8.17 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 8.14 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 8.12 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 8.11 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 8.11 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 8.10 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 8.08 from 349 votes.

The Borgias - S2E7
#11 - The Siege at Forli
Season 2 - Episode 7

Juan's triumphant return from Spain is marred by his unsuccessful siege of the Sforza castle; Lucrezia purposely scuttles a scheme to marry her off to a rich Genovese merchant; Savonarola's forces conduct the infamous "Bonfire of the Vanities."

The episode was rated from 266 votes.
The Borgias - S1E9
#12 - Nessuno (Nobody)
Season 1 - Episode 9

Abandoned by even his cardinals, Alexander meets King Charles with humility and saves his throne, even eliciting a confession from the conqueror he crowns as the new "King of France and Naples;" Della Rovere despairs as Charles abandons him; Lucrezia safely gives birth to a son in a convent as the Borgias secure an annulment of her marriage and plot revenge on their enemies.

The episode was rated from 266 votes.
The Borgias - S3E4
#13 - The Banquet of Chestnuts
Season 3 - Episode 4

Newly appointed Cardinal Farnese is placed in the Treasury and quickly discovers Versucci's theft. Micheletto is sent to find the wayward Cardinal. Meanwhile, upon hearing of Venice's request for help, Alexander, seeing this as an opportunity to replenish the coffers, dramatically calls for a Crusade. The Cardinals participate in the "banquet of chestnuts". Elsewhere, King Ferdinand learns that Lucrezia and Alfonso's marriage has not been consummated.

The episode was rated from 319 votes.
The Borgias - S3E5
#14 - The Wolf and the Lamb
Season 3 - Episode 5

Cesare's diplomatic mission to France is a success, with the help of his old advisor Machiavelli. Back in Rome, the seductive and dangerously insane Bianca makes a drastic statement. Lucrezia travels to Naples accompanied by her husband and Micheletto. King Ferdinand remains steadfast in his determination that little Giovanni will not be recognized at court. Upon learning this, Lucrezia plots against him.

The episode was rated from 327 votes.
The Borgias - S2E2
#15 - Paolo
Season 2 - Episode 2

The stable boy who fathered Lucrezia's child travels to Rome to rendezvous with her but suffers an unfortunate fate at the hands of Juan; the Pope's lovers Giulia and Vittoria take him in disguise on a revelatory tour of Rome's indigent.

The episode was rated from 279 votes.
The Borgias - S3E8
#16 - Tears of Blood
Season 3 - Episode 8

Pilgrims are flooding to Rome for the Jubilee year celebration, but Catherina Sforza has a plan to ruin Alexander's lucrative festival. Meanwhile, Lucrezia senses a change in newly crowned Frederigo and realizes that she is under constant watch from the royal guard. A plot to deceive the Borgia family is uncovered by Lucrezia, Cesare and Micheletto.

The episode was rated from 333 votes.
The Borgias - S3E3
#17 - Siblings
Season 3 - Episode 3

As the purged Cardinals are dismissed and stripped of their titles and wealth, one of them angrily sets the Vatican treasury ablaze. Incensed by the new King Ferdinand’s arrogant refusal to accept Giovanni as Lucrezia’s child, Cesare travels to Naples to fix the problem. After Lucrezia and Alfonso’s wedding, Alfonso realizes that the political sands are shifting - and not in his favor. Upset, he abandons Lucrezia alone on their wedding night, driving her into the arms of someone else.

The episode was rated from 358 votes.
The Borgias - S1E5
#18 - The Borgias in Love
Season 1 - Episode 5

Alternately neglected and abused by her cruel husband, Lucrezia has an affair with Paolo, a handsome stable boy; Cesare strikes a bargain with Machiavelli: deny French troops passage across his masters' lands in exchange for suppression of Savonarola, a fiery preacher of anti-Medici sermons; in love with baroness Ursula, Cesare takes drastic action to get rid of her husband.

The episode was rated from 309 votes.
The Borgias - S1E8
#19 - The Art of War
Season 1 - Episode 8

The invaders capture a fleeing and pregnant Lucrezia as they march on Rome, but she charms King Charles and is allowed to persuade her brother Juan to withdraw his hopelessly outmatched defensive troops; Pope Alexander VI awaits to learn of his fate as Charles enters the city and makes his way to the Vatican.

The episode was rated from 270 votes.
The Borgias - S2E6
#20 - Day of Ashes
Season 2 - Episode 6

Alexander is convinced that a lightning strike on St. Peter's Basilica during mass was a sign of God's disapproval; Cesare tries to prove his worth as a military commander; the Pope pressures the reluctant Lucrezia to enter another political marriage.

The episode was rated from 251 votes.

Last updated: dec 04, 2022



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


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