The Borgias Recap: “Tears of Blood”
King Federigo traveled to Rome so he could receive the Pope’s investiture. As a show of continued peace between Naples and Rome (including Cesare’s French forces), Federigo asked that a special ambassador be appointed between their two lands: Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger). Lucrezia was honored.
When they returned to Naples, Federigo dropped his “nice guy” act and let Lucrezia know she’d been played. In actuality, she was his prisoner, and security in case Cesare (François Arnaud) acted against Naples or Caterina Sforza (Gina McKee). Devastated, a resolute Lucrezia set to secretly scheme with the old lady witch doctor from the woods, for the escape of her and her family from Naples.
While in Rome, Lucrezia also paid a visit to her brother’s bedchamber. The encounter was wrought with sexual tension, although things never progressed as far as they had on Lucrezia’s wedding night.
Lucrezia was proud of herself for making things safe for her family, while Cesare was still wary about Federigo. Lucrezia reiterated she wished they could be together, then returned to her husband before anything too untoward happened.
Rodrigo (Jeremy Irons), as Pope, started creating a lot of pomp, as it’s tourist season! He put on a big show for the pilgrims, and charged lots in indulgences to cleanse their souls. The money was to be diverted into a special fund, to fight his crusade in Constantinople.
However, Rodrigo’s bromance with Mattai was still going strong. Mattai promised to neutralize the Turks by having his syndicate of Jews destroy the Turkish fleet, in exchange for the Jews of Rome being exempt from all taxes. Rodrigo agreed, and then came the coolest action sequence of the season: the docked Turkish fleet being lit afire and exploding. Now, the money from the pilgrimage could be used to bolster the Papal forces.
Caterina was heartbroken about the murder of her son Benito (because apparently she can’t just have “ten more” so easily). She decided to hit the Borgias where it really hurt—their pocketbook. She manufactured a false relic to divert the gullible pilgrims from Rome.