List of The Borgias episodes

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The Borgias is a historical drama created by Neil Jordan based upon the life of Rodrigo Borgia, later Pope Alexander VI, and his family. The series takes place in Rome at the end of the 15th century and depicts Borgia's ruthless efforts to win the papal election, his eventual rise to the position of Pope and his family's struggle to maintain and increase their political power. The series premiered on Showtime on April 3, 2011, with the Canadian premiere happening one hour later on Bravo!.[1] The two-hour premiere was the most-watched original Canadian series premiere on Bravo! and the fourth-most-watched-overall program in the channel's history with 575,000 viewers.[2]

As of June 17, 2012 (2012 -06-17), nineteen episodes of The Borgias have aired, concluding the second season.


Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedDVD release date
Season premiereSeason finaleRegion 1Region 2Region 4
19April 3, 2011 (2011-04-03)May 22, 2011 (2011-05-22)August 30, 2011 (2011-08-30)[3]December 5, 2011 (2011-12-05)[4]June 20, 2012 (2012-06-20)[5]
210April 8, 2012 (2012-04-08)June 17, 2012 (2012-06-17)September 4, 2012 (2012-09-04)[6]November 5, 2012 (2012-11-05)[7]October 17, 2012 (2012-10-17)[8]
310[1]2013 (2013)[1]N/AN/AN/AN/A


Season 1 (2011)

No.#TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
11"The Poisoned Chalice"Neil JordanNeil JordanApril 3, 2011 (2011-04-03)1.06[9]
After the death of Pope Innocent VIII, Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, with the help of his sons, bribes and cajoles other cardinals to vote for him in the conclave to elect the new pontiff. He succeeds, and assumes the papal throne as Alexander VI. Two other ambitious cardinals, Orsini and Della Rovere, immediately begin plotting against him. When Orsini hosts a dinner for the pope and the cardinals, Rodrigo's son Cesare catches a servant, Micheletto, in the kitchen preparing to poison the Borgias' wine. Offering the assassin better pay if he works for his family, Cesare has Orsini poisoned instead. 
22"The Assassin"Neil JordanNeil JordanApril 3, 2011 (2011-04-03)1.06[9]
Cesare enlists Micheletto to spy on Cardinal della Rovere, who seeks to find a legal way to depose Rodrigo as pope. He is advised by scholar Johannes Burchard that a pope who engages in "public and notorious lechery" could be deposed. Rodrigo begins an affair with Giulia Farnese, provoking the outrage of his former mistress, Vanozza, and threatening to provide della Rovere with just the evidence he needs. On Micheletto's information, the pope corners Burchard and demands his support in expanding the College of Cardinals to shore up his position. Cesare sets Micheletto to work preventing della Rovere and a witness from presenting evidence against the pope. 
33"The Moor"Simon Cellan JonesNeil JordanApril 10, 2011 (2011-04-10)0.68[10]
Djem, brother and potential threat to the new Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, arrives at Rome. The Sultan is paying the Holy See handsomely to keep Djem there as a "guest", but he will pay a lot more if Djem somehow dies. Cesare declines his brothers' request of using Michelotto. The Pope tries to decide who is to marry his daughter. Djem is murdered, and the grateful Sultan's gold is used as Lucrezia's dowry. 
44"Lucrezia's Wedding"Simon Cellan JonesNeil JordanApril 17, 2011 (2011-04-17)N/A
Rodrigo betroths his daughter Lucrezia to Giovanni Sforza. In order not to bring a perception of disrepute to his daughter's lineage, he forbids the girl's mother from attending the wedding, much to the chagrin of both Lucrezia and Cesare. Cardinal Della Rovere courts Neapolitan and French authorities, promising to support France's claim on Naples if he gets their aid in deposing Pope Alexander VI. The wedding proceeds as planned, without Vannozza. After the ceremony, however, Cesare brings her to the reception, to the shock of many of the guests. It quickly causes the marriage to go sour. The following night, Lucrezia is brought to Giovanni's home. 
55"The Borgias in Love"John MayburyNeil JordanApril 24, 2011 (2011-04-24)0.78[11]
Lucrezia is very unhappy with her brutish husband, and the pope is tormented by nightmares about her. After Florence, Della Rovere tries to secure safe passage for French troops from Sforza, the Duke of Milan. Cesare follows to Florence, offering the Medici an inquisition against the preacher Savonarola, in exchange for denying free passage to the French. Lucrezia flirts with a handsome young servant and entices him to sabotage her husband's saddle so that he will have a riding accident, which he does. The Borgias are soliciting suitable brides for Juan. Cesare kills Ursula Bonadeo's husband. 
66"The French King"John MayburyNeil JordanMay 1, 2011 (2011-05-01)0.82[12]
Lucrezia nurses her wounded husband, and takes the servant as her lover. The King of Naples offers a daughter of his as a bride for Juan Borgia. Juan goes to Naples to sound out a possible marriage with his under-age brother Joffre instead. Della Rovere, now in France, tries to win the favor of the French king. Cesare takes Ursula as a mistress, but she is overwhelmed by scruples and flees to a nunnery. Joffre Borgia marries Sancia of Naples, who is having an affair with Juan. 
77"Death, on a Pale Horse"Jeremy PodeswaNeil JordanMay 8, 2011 (2011-05-08)0.86[13]
The aged King Ferdinand of Naples dies and is succeeded by his son Alfonso. King Charles VIII of France, with Cardinal Della Rovere in his train, invades Italy and is given free passage by the Sforza Duke of Milan. Victory seems inevitable as the French sack the city of Lucca. In fear of a similar fate, Florence capitulates to the French king's harsh terms. Rodrigo sends Giulia Farnese to Giovanni Sforza to confirm his loyalty in arms. Once there, she discovers the House of Sforza will do nothing should the invasion continue into Rome. Giulia also realizes that Lucrezia is pregnant, albeit not by her husband, and advises they both flee in secret. 
88"The Art of War"Jeremy PodeswaNeil JordanMay 15, 2011 (2011-05-15)0.76[14]
Giulia and Lucrezia escape Pesaro on horseback at dawn. The pope musters his forces to meet the French challenge. While Giovanni Sforza is torturing the page, the two ladies ride into the French army and are taken into the king's custody. Lucrezia charms the king, and when a battle is about to commence, she engineers a truce between him and her brother Juan, the general of the Papal forces. As the French approach Rome, the cardinals flee to safety. 
99"Nessuno (Nobody)"Jeremy PodeswaNeil JordanMay 22, 2011 (2011-05-22)0.81[15]
The French army marches into a deserted Rome. Cardinal Della Rovere expects a convening of the College of Cardinals to depose the pope, but the pope strikes a deal with King Charles of France to recognize him as ruler of Naples. Charles is crowned King of France and Naples in a pompous affair in Rome. Meanwhile, Cesare and Micheletto travel to Pesaro and kidnap Giovanni Sforza in a scheme to have his marriage with Lucrezia annulled. They frame Sforza for being unable to consummate the marriage, by obliging him to prove his potency in front of the college of cardinals. Sforza is unable to endure such ridicule and declares that he is impotent; the marriage is annulled in a humiliating ordeal for Sforza. The French army reaches Naples, where they find the city ravaged by the plague and full of corpses. Lucrezia gives birth to a baby boy, after which she is joined by the rest of the Borgias. 

Season 2 (2012)

No.#TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
101"The Borgia Bull"Neil JordanNeil JordanApril 8, 2012 (2012-04-08)0.61[16]
The Pope, pleased with the current standing of his family and their successes, decides to hold a pagan celebration in Rome for the common people. Whilst hunting he and Giulia discover a hidden alcove of art dedicated to pleasure, that he has removed and placed in the Vatican. Here he meets a young art apprentice, Vittoria, a lady disguising herself as man whom he is attracted to. Giulia, knowing that her lover has strayed whilst she was away, fears she will lose him and also befriends Vittoria. Meanwhile the King of France is suffering from the plague in Naples and captures Prince Alfonso, proceeding to torture him with the devices used by his own father on those who displeased him. 
112"Paolo"Neil JordanNeil JordanApril 15, 2012 (2012-04-15)0.53[17]
The Pope decides to see for himself the conditions in the streets of Rome and after realising the extreme poverty enlists Giulia to try and tackle the issue. Paolo, the father of Lucrezia's child, arrives in Rome seeking her. With the help of a prostitute he manages to meet Lucrezia again but they are seen by Juan who is angry that his sister would love a commoner. Cesare and his mother organise one night for Paolo and Lucrezia to be together again so that he can meet his child, on the condition he leaves Rome immediately after. This he does only to be caught and killed by Juan. 
123"The Beautiful Deception"Jon AmielNeil JordanApril 22, 2012 (2012-04-22)0.51[18]
The effects of the murder of Lucrezia's lover Paolo, father of her child, are played out. Cardinal Della Rovere begins to scheme to depose the Pope, attempting to enlist several houses of religious along the way. King Charles, still sick with the "Neapolitan fever", returns from Naples and attempts to sack Rome, at while scheming with the Sforza family, intending to breach her walls by the use of his cannons. Pope Alexander VI attempts to have cannons cast to repel the assault, only to learn that all of the foundries in Rome could cast only one or two in the several days required for King Charles's host to reach Rome. Cardinal Cesare Borgia, attempts "The Beautiful Deception": enlisting city artisans, he has plaster mock-ups of cannons cast, which are then used to successfully bluff the King of France into riding past the Eternal City. 
134"Stray Dogs"Jon AmielNeil JordanApril 29, 2012 (2012-04-29)0.58[19]
During the celebrations of the retreat of the French, Cesare finds the nuns of the Convent of St. Cecilia raped and slaughtered, including Ursula Bonadeo. Pledging vengeance he sends Micheletto out to the streets to gather men to strike those responsible. A captured scouting party reveals Giovanni Sforza's involvement as well as secrets of the French army. Ludivico Sforza petitions the Pope to sanction a League to repel the French forces from Italy, with which he agrees. The Pope, Cesare and Cardinal Sforza ride north leaving Lucrezia in charge of Rome. Lucrezia takes this time to address the needs of the poor and the orphans of Rome to the Consistory. On the eve of battle Cesare and his men infiltrate the French camp and destroy their gunpowder, rendering their cannon useless. 
145"The Choice"Kari SkoglandNeil JordanMay 6, 2012 (2012-05-06)0.57[20]
With the French defeated, the Pope rides to Florence to silence Savonarola while Cesare departs for Forli to deal with Caterina Sforza. While in Florence, the Pope meets with Piero de Medici and Machievelli to discuss ways to get rid of Savonarola. After returning to Rome the roof of the church collapses during Communion and is interpreted as a sign of God's displeasure. Cesare delivers a message to Caterina to either come to Rome and bow to the Pope willingly or in chains. After deliberating with Giovanni Sforza, she refuses. Cesare makes good his promise and kills Giovanni and barely escapes Forli. Della Rovere meets with Savonarola again to receive his blessing for the murder of the Pope. Receiving such he returns to the Abbey where he recruits a young monk named Antonello to become the Pope's taster and poison him. Micheletto returns to his ancestral home and reconnects intimately with a man from his past. 
156"Day of Ashes"John MayburyDavid LelandMay 13, 2012 (2012-05-13)0.69[21]
Cesare returns to Rome and confesses to his father he murdered Giovanni Sforza and slept with Caterina. This pushes the Pope to reveal that to secure the papacy he must now marry off Lucrezia again, much to her displeasure. Savonarola continues to gain ferver in Florence. Cardinal Sforza presents the Pope's offer of cardinal to Savonarola, which he refuses. Cesare is tasked with delivering a doomed message to Savonarola to cease preaching or face excommunication and execution. Della Rovere begins to train Antonello in the task of poisoning the Pope by strengthening his reaction to cantarella. Machiavelli comes to Rome and informs Cesare of routes taken by wagons filled with gold from the Medici bank. Cesare and his men attack the caravans and bring the gold back to Rome. With the new gold, a siege of Forli is planned but Cesare is denied his wish of commanding the Papal Army as Juan is soon to return from Spain. 
167"The Siege at Forli"Kari SkoglandDavid LelandMay 20, 2012 (2012-05-20)0.55[22]
Juan Borgia returns to Rome with Conquistadors bearing gifts from the New World including a panther for Lucrezia and cigars for his father, who confuses them for "turds". In private Juan reveals he is to be a father and is given the task of taking Forli. Juan seeks the help of a doctor who diagnoses him with syphilis. The army advances to Forli to discover her recent armament of French cannon put to good use. While discussing terms Caterina's son is abducted by Juan and is tortured in view of his mother. Ludovico Sforza marches his army to Forli to break the siege and decimates the Papal army with hand cannons. Caterina's son is saved from execution and Juan escapes into the woods. In Florence Cesare observes Savonarola who continues to preach against vanity. They witness the Bonfire of the Vanities. Lucrezia agrees to meet with her suitor Calvino de Genova after his brother Raffaelo catches her eye. 
178"Truth and Lies"John MayburyDavid LelandJune 3, 2012 (2012-06-03)0.57[23]
Lucrezia accepts Calvino's marriage proposal so she may carry on her affair with Raffaelo. Juan returns to Rome and claims his injuries are proof of his courage and valor on the battlefield of Forli. Juan's health worsens and he is introduced to opium to treat the pain. Cesare suspects that his brother is lying, which is confirmed by Caterina Sforza's son. Cesare arranges a meeting between the boy and the Pope to reveal the truth about the siege. Della Rovere sends Antonello to Rome who in turn drowns Bernardino. Cesare is given a declaration charging Savonarola with heresy. 
189"World of Wonders"David LelandDavid LelandJune 10, 2012 (2012-06-10)0.62[24]
Calvino tells the Pope he cannot marry Lucrezia because his brother Raffaelo wishes to marry her instead. He is refused and the brothers leave Rome. With the assistance of Machiavelli, Cesare challenges Savonarola to a trial by fire. He fails the trial and loses favor in Florence. Cesare brings him to Rome for a confession under torture. Antonello is appointed as the Pope's taster. Upon the baptism of Giovanni, Antonello poisons the Pope's water but wine is chosen instead. Juan continues to deteriorate and puts Giovanni's life in danger. Cesare and Micheletto track him down to an opium den, lure him to a bridge and kill him. 
1910"The Confession"David LelandGuy BertJune 17, 2012 (2012-06-17)0.52[25]
Savonarola is tortured for a confession of heresy. After a confession is forged, Savonarola is burned at the stake. Juan's body is discovered and the pope refuses to have a funeral until his killer is found, leading Cesare admits his guilt to his grief-stricken father. Cesare is finally absolved of his vows after his father realizes the mistakes he made with Juan. Lucrezia chooses a suitor to marry. Antonello makes his next move: the Pope is poisoned, leaving the season with a cliff-hanger. 

Season 3 (2013)

On May 4, 2012, Showtime renewed The Borgias for a ten-episode third season, which will be broadcast in 2013.[26]


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  20. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 8, 2012). "Sunday Cable Ratings: NBA Playoffs + 'Game of Thrones', 'The Client List', 'Army Wives,' 'Khloe & Lamar', 'Mad Men' + More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 
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External links