Recap: The Borgias S 1 E 1 The Poisoned Chalice
Spoilers for the whole episode, just to be clear.
- Rome 1492. The centre of the Christian world. The seat of the Papacy. The Pope had the power to crown and un-crown kings, to change the course of empires. The Church was mired in corruption. Pope Innocent VIII was dying. And the Papal throne was the prize desired by all.
- Lucrezia: But what do we call him?Cesare: Holy Father.Lucrezia: What am I called? Holy Daughter?Cesare: You are Lucrezia Borgia. You won't change your name until you're married.Lucrezia: And when will that be?Cesare: Never, if I can help it.Lucrezia: Perhaps I shall do as you have done, and take holy orders.Cesare: That might be the safer option.
Tropes in this episode:
- Amicably Divorced: Vannozza, while upset at being dumped, goes straight into negotiation over whether Rodrigo's still going to look after the kids (which he is, of course), and their affection for each other seems little changed.
- Badass Boast: "You'll never meet another assassin like me."
- Because You Can Cope: One of Rodrigo's reasons for having Cesare in the Church rather than the army - the political infighting is so much more vicious than war.
- Birds of a Feather: "I do not have a kind...and I suspect neither do you."
- But He Sounds Handsome: "How would you describe the qualities of a good Vicechancellor?"
- Co-Dragons: Cesare and Juan act as this for Rodrigo, helping him become pope by buying off the votes.
- Daddy's Girl: Lucrezia.
- Exact Words: "I hope I shall prove worthy." "I hope so, too."
- Follow in My Footsteps: This is more or less how Rodrigo feels about Cesare being a cleric.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Orsini may think Rodrigo promised him the job for his silence, but Rodrigo has just, under pressure from Orsini, banned simony...
- Humiliation Conga: Orsini. First he embarrasses himself in Consistory, then a monkey pees itself at his table, then his assassin abandons him, then he gets poisoned...it's not a very good week.
- Hypocritical Humor: No expectation of advancement, right.
- Insistent Terminology: "Whoever wins this contest..." "Election."
- Knight Templar Big Brother: Cesare to Lucrezia.
- Mexican Standoff: Micheletto and Cesare.
- Not So Different: "Someone as pitiless as you needs someone as pitiless as me."
- Obvious Trap: Orsini's invitation.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: Often.
- Pet the Dog: Cesare whispering to little Gioffre which cards to play.
- Professional Killer: Micheletto, ladies and gentlement. You'll never meet another assassin like him, and he means it!
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Cesare. "And what if I did kill you? God will forgive me, the Pope is my confessor."
- Take-That Kiss: Rodrigo with della Rovere and Orsini. Apparently, that wasn't scripted, Jeremy Irons improvised that on the fly. Orsini and della Rovere's faces are sincerely befuddled, and hilarious.
- We Can Rule Together: Subverted - della Rovere talks somewhat wistfully about how good Rodrigo is at his job, but notes that he despises him so much that he would never work with him.
- What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Subverted - the monkey is adorable. And dies.