Aug 12 2013 5:44pm

The Borgia Apocalypse: A Recap of The Borgias Series Finale Screenplay (SPOILERS)

Today, Showtime and Neil Jordan released as an e-book the script that The Borgias series creator Jordan wrote to wrap up all the show's story lines—The Borgia Apocalypse. While Jordan had originally intended to film the series finale for television (and says he'd still be happy to film if Showtime ever changes its mind), The Borgias was canceled just before the Season 3 finale aired, making that episode, “The Prince,” the last that fans would see on screen. After much protesting by disappointed viewers, however, Showtime and Jordan apparently decided to give them more closure by publishing the screenplay for that aborted grand finale today.

So. What did The Borgia Apocalypse have in store for the (Un)Holy family, and particularly for the fan-favorite/super controversial pairing Cesare/Lucrezia? Keep reading for a full run-down, but if you plan to read it for yourself, beware of MAJOR SPOILERS for the script.

(Also ask yourself: Do I really WANT to know? Or am I OK with how things ended on screen? No, really, you should consider this before reading any further...)

Still with me? OK. Below are my notes on/reaction to The Borgia Apocalypse: The Screenplay.

********MAJOR SPOILERS********

I have to say, as a Cesare/Lucrezia fan? Overall I am now really glad I did not see this on screen, but more on that later. First, here is a detailed list of what went down in the episode. Forgive the info-dump format, and do let me know if I got anything wrong—I read this pretty quickly and wanted to start the discussion ASAP!

****Last chance: don't read if you don't want to know EVERYTHING goes down in the screenplay for The Borgia Apocalypse.****

—Lucrezia fears the one she loves most (she doesn't fear for herself but rather fears what he will do to others for her) and goes to a convent—with Micheletto's help—to do penance..and take a break/hide out from Cesare

—Cesare plans the disposal of Alfonso's body and the cover story is that he got into a brawl

—Micheletto returns to Cesare's service at the pope's request (and 'cause he misses Cesare, natch)

—Catherina almost gets her revenge on the pope via poisoned lip balm (sex was almost his undoing once again, shocker)

—Cesare interrupts her scheme, catches her, and cuts off her lips

—Rufio is captured for aiding the enemy, his former mistress, Catherina (“We all have our weaknesses; she was, and always will be, mine”)

—France's King Louis wants the pope to back his claim to Naples—France will hold the lands in the pope's name and share the spoils of conquest with Ferdinand and Isabella...and the French ambassador to the Holy See—Cardinal Guiliano Della Rovere! Della Rovere is to stay in Rome under France's protection, under full diplomatic immunity

—Della Rovere kisses Rodrigo's ring “gladly”, “humbly”

—Cesare and Alexander talk about their plans for succession and wonder if Della Rovere could be suspicious

—Cesare tells Della Rovere he should have killed him when he had the chance

—Cesare predicts he'll die in battle one day

—Micheletto and Rufio fight to the death (Rufio dies, because duh)

—Micheletto cannot tell Cesare where Lucrezia is but promises him she is safe

—Cesare tells Louis that he hates Naples because it humiliated his sister and her child

—Cesare wants poisoned water transported to Naples to poison their water; he succeeds and there are bodies all over Naples

—King Louis is horrified by what Cesare, who just says that war is monstrous, has done, saying: “This is beyond all the rules of war. All the laws of God.”

—While Micheletto sees fear in the eyes of people after what Cesare has done, Cesare sees betrayal

—Della Rovere conveys the king's upset about the deaths in Naples to the pope, who basically repeats what Cesare said, that this is war and Cesare spared French lives

—Sure enough, the sons of the great Roman families who've been working for Cesare are now considering betraying him—and bad news: they know where Lucrezia is and know that she is hiding from Cesare and that she is the only thing Cesare cares for in the world, so they plan to kidnap her

—Micheletto hears the plan and tells Cesare

—Micheletto rescues Lucrezia but lets the conspirators think he and Cesare are ignorant of the plot

—Cesare promises Orsini, Vitelli, Baglioni, et al. that he'll create a kingdom and they'll all get to rule a principality after one last campaign; they're not sure how they didn't get caught plotting to snatch Lucrezia, but they'll take it!

—There's blood everywhere in the convent (Micheletto killed the men who'd planned to take Lucrezia) and young nun Pia asks Lucrezia “What is this? This horror?” to which Lucrezia says, “It is my family...This horror has a name. It is called Borgia.”

—Cesare and Lucrezia talk about why Lucrezia was hiding from him; she admits she's afraid of herself, not of him; she can't resist him when he is near, and returns his touches

—Cesare says she could marry again for convenience and they could meet and love without scandal, but Lucrezia wants a love that will free her from this love. Knowing Lucrezia's weakness for children, Cesare says his wife is pregnant; Lucrezia is glad, a playmate for her child. Cesare seemingly gets Lucrezia's OK to marry her off to Ferrara for a marriage of convenience so that she can give Ferrara an heir but let Cesare keep her heart

—Cesare plans to kill Orsini, Vitelli, Baglioni, et al. but outside of Rome at his father's request

—Lucrezia asks Vanozza about Ferrara and agrees to marry the duke as long as 1) her mother negotiates the terms, 2) and moves there with her (I never saw Vanozza as being a great mother, as she always gave into whatever Rodrigo wanted, but whatevs)

—Lucrezia meets poet Pietro Bembo

—Cesare teaches Machiavelli a lesson in revenge

—Lucrezia tells Bembo she would marry anyone that would give her freedom from her family (my shipper feelings are really making me biased here, so I will leave this alone for now)

—Micheletto kills the men outside of Rome

—Cesare walks in on Lucrezia and Bembo kissing; Lucrezia tells Bembo that Cesare is jealous of any happiness she might have without him

—Cesare has Lucrezia invite Dell Rovere to dinner and names some of the reasons that she's the perfect person to extend the invitation (including an echo of his line in “The Prince” — “ are and always will be...mine”);

—Instead, Lucrezia warns Della Rovere not to accept the dinner invitation “if you value your health”

—Lucrezia tells Rodrigo and Cesare that Della Rovere said yes but only if he chooses the venue

—At dinner, the tasters are dismissed; Della Rovere promises that if the Borgias help him become pope, Cesare can keep his lands and they can all retire to an estate

—Rodrigo has been poisoned; Cesare has been poisoned too

—Rodrigo asks for a confessor and pleads for forgiveness; monk tells him it's impossible for him because he is already dead (oops!)

—Lucrezia sees her father breathe his last and goes to tell Cesare, also very ill but on the road to recovery; Lucrezia advises him to either cultivate Della Rovere's favor or leave, as she's planning to do

—Cesare asks her to help him avenge the death of their father but she tells him to just look at what the throne of St. Peters did to them (truth)

—Time jump and we see Cesare flung from a horse by a spear after his fortunes have changed so drastically after his father's death; Micheletto is killed while running back to a dying Cesare

—Lucrezia arrives at Ferrara

—Portraits of the various characters recap how the characters lived/died in history, including Della Rovere, who did indeed become pope

All right, so, let's discuss all this! What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

My two cents:

Maybe it's just because of how the actors always played all their scenes, but it was hard for me to swallow, as I read this, that Lucrezia would ever be so desperate to escape Cesare (and to turn to her mother, who at the end of the day always seemed to side with Rodrigo over Lucrezia!). After all, Lucrezia initiated so much of what was between them in Season 3 (she jumped in bed with him after all), and, I mean, she plotted to have people killed herself (including the king of Naples!) when things weren't going her way, so she wasn't an angel either. Why did she so often run back to him if she just wanted to run away from him? Girl was CONFLICTED, that's for sure, and apparently more so than I thought. I think the truth is that I just wanted her to embrace her Borgia nature before Cesare's downfall forced her to reconsider her situation, but that's totally on me. Clearly I was projecting my wishes into hopes for the show. Ah, well.

Anyway, Lucrezia definitely proved she was the smartest Borgia! And her ending stayed pretty true to history, even if I feel that Jordan's version of Lucrezia wasn't heading that way organically. (I just feel the chemistry between Cesare and Lucrezia should have been less intense, their scenes a bit less epic, Cesare's feelings less requited, if Jordan really wanted me to buy this. That's all!)

I am glad the end was bloody, 'cause that's just how it had to end. Bring on the Shakespearean tragedy!

And hey, we saw the return of Micheletto and Della Rovere, and Catherina Sforza got to be a crazy badass again. That was all pretty cool.

Final thoughts? I'm happiest with the ambiguous last episode I saw on screen and will probably let that be my head-canon ending.

How about you?


Heather Waters is the site manager of H&H, and a 24/7 fangirl. Find her on Twitter at @hwaters_

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1. jelek
My favorite historical family is the Borgias. Unfortunately they are not as popular as the Tudors or the Medicis. The Borgias just fascinates me...even Lucrezia who, if faithful to the history, was just a pawn and not a virago like Caterina Sforza.
Heather Waters
2. HeatherWaters
@jalek -- Other than seeing the Borgias mentioned alongside families like the Medicis, I was not very familiar with them, so I very much enjoyed watching this series (even if it wasn't always very historically accurate) and then looking up more info about them online (thanks, Wikipedia!). They are fascinating indeed.

From the way she lived her life after her family's downfall, you do get the impression that Lucrezia was freer after marrying the duke of Ferrara and escaping the Borgia men.

In Neil Jordan's series, though, Cesare and Lucrezia were both used as pawns by their father and I felt like Lucrezia (who attempted to kill her own brother and had Micheletto kill the king of Naples for her) was coming into her own as one of the wicked Borgias, so the events in the Borgia Apocalypse script took me by surprise.
3. Angel_M
If this E-book should ever make it to the screen, I hope Neil tweaks Lucrezia's outlook. Her bitterness toward Cesare does not become her. I agree, in other versions of The Borgias it might play okay but here it just does not fit what has come before. More fitting would have been Lucrezia tenderly indulging Cesare's ideas for being together even if in her heart she knew she had to, somehow, get away. That church scene between C&L needed to be about 10 pages longer and while it was interesting that Bembo was introduced, fans care about C&L not L&B so that the one romantic scene was between C&B sucked.

What didn't suck was Micheletto! Oh, Micheletto! I loved all his scenes, especially the arena-like fight with Rufio and before that, his return, surprisng Cesare in the bath. Good Lord! Even though everyone knows M. is tortured by DellaRov and Cesare dies alone in Vianna, I think the ending Neil chose worked as it captures M.'s undying loyalty in a very dramatic way. It is the same sentiment that made him resist the torture and keep all of Cesare's secrets from his enemies.

There was a lot of other fun stuf. The Pope slapping Cesare over Alphonso's death. Cesare cutting off Caterina's lips. The French King all apalled at Cesare's viciousness. The little captains, thinking they were going to get one over on Cesare and their grisly demise.

One thing, I didn't get who poisoned Cesare and Rodrigo....
Heather Waters
4. HeatherWaters
@Angel_M -- I believe we're supposed to assume Lucrezia poisoned Cesare and Rodrigo, actually, which is just...NO. But with the way she and Della Rovere were talking just before the dinner, I think Lucrezia is the only one it could have been.

I forgot about Rodrigo slapping Cesare; you know Irons and Arnaud would have played that beautifully. And I agree, I really liked the Cesare and Micheletto scenes. Theirs was a strange but lovely relationship, much like, clearly, Catherina and Rufio's.
More fitting would have been Lucrezia tenderly indulging Cesare's ideas for being together even if in her heart she knew she had to, somehow, get away.
Yes, agreed. Because you can't convince me she didn't love him just as much as he loved her, even if she could see more clearly than he could that they'd descended into utter darkness.
5. Dia
I understand Neil Jordan was in a hurry to wrap up a whole season into 2-hour-long script but everything happened so abruptly. It isn't just about how the table turned so suddenly, it's about the lack of character development, I guess. I mean I understand Lucrezia and Cesare's relationship would fall apart eventually but it's like a decade has passed between the last episode of 3rd season and The Borgia Apocalypse. As you said, Lucrezia was no angel and she obviously was a borgia herself even though she didn't seem to like it and it just seemed out of character for me that she would go all like 'my family is totally CRAZY!' as if she didn't know that before, duh. She even tried to kill her own brother while singing a lullaby to her baby! didn't she?
Cesare's fixation with butchering people up also bothered me . Not because I thought he was such a sweet, innocent character but he was always clever, smart though a little rash at times. His ambition wouldn't have achieved much if he didn't know what he was doing but his revenge and ambition seems senseless in The Borgia Apocalypse. It kinda demanded people to see how awful of a human being Cesare Borgia's supposed to be so that when he dies, we would think that he fully deserved it. The thing is, I wanted to see HOW he turns into this monster. Not how he dies a horrible death because he is one.
Well, since I loved this show a lot I'm sure I would have been heartbroken no matter how it ended though.
Heather Waters
6. HeatherWaters
@Dia -- You hit the nail on the head--lack of character development is the real issue here.

Yeah, Cesare suddenly acting as crazy (and thus as dumb) as Juan was a letdown. In the show he did awful things but as someone who believed that the end justified the means / that serving the greater good was more important than anything, making him basically the face of that eternal ethical debate. But he didn't plot and kill and torture for the sport of it.
it just seemed out of character for me that she would go all like 'my family is totally CRAZY!' as if she didn't know that before, duh
I totally agree. And yeah, her relationship with Cesare was bound to end tragically, but if there's anything I took from three seasons of the show it was that they (seemed to) love each other unconditionally. SO MANY of the bad things Cesare did were to protect her (as Francois Arnaud said in an interview I read, Cesare basically lives for Lucrezia and for protecting Lucrezia--that's it), and she never seemed to mind that before. She HATED being married and depended on Cesare to be there when her husbands screwed her over, but now you're telling me she's going to POISON Cesare to run to a new husband? Get right outta town.
7. A STB Fan
Fans are not placated by the release of this script. Feedback clearly is showing that many fans feel that the script was rushed in response to David Nevins' thoughtless canceling of a series that was so obviously supposed to last for at least another season. The introduction, written by Mr. Jordan, says so much when he writes that he was creating a "40-hour film". If Showtime and Mr. Nevins think that the release of this "ebook" will quell the series' fans, the network and he are sadly mistaken. Quite the contrary. It has only served to embolden fans and renew their dedication to work towards seeing a full season of The Borgias. SMGO.TV has joined forces with the Save The Borgias Fan Campaign and other fan groups to help fans reach their objective.

Fans can join and support the effort. More information can be found at:
8. Gilly Hynes
I agree with Redline above. The inconsistancies with the Cesare/Lucrezia theme in this script are hard to believe and so out of character for Lucrezia as written throughout Seasons 1-3. She only felt save when he was nearby after all and he only ever did eveything he could to love and protect her. It would have been better for NJ to write them as being in love, but agreeing she needed the cover of a compliant husband so they could continue their love affair together somewhere convenient to Imola in the Romagna near where Cesare was based with his army (how about Ferrara !!). When Cesare dies in battle in Viana the last words on his lips would be "Lucrezia" and she would somehow know by osmosis that he had died and would jump up and shout "Cesare! Cesare!" and that would be the end.
9. Alexx
Soo, I absolutely love the Borgias and I´m glad you wrote about The Apocalypse... Basic facts, but it´s enough information :)
Maybe I´m just too romantic, but I think Cesare and Lucrezia should get a chance at least in a serial, but that´s only my hope, I see...
Also, it´s pretty true in a historical way, so it´s okay with me. I´m a bit surprised about Lucrezia/Vannozza relationship. To me she was like a peacemaker in a family and she does choose Rodrigo over her children over and over again. Lucrezia is typical girl no matter a century. She doesn´t know what she wants. Loves her brother, desires him but runs away. The end which Gilly Hynes described woul be perfect, becouse they have very strong connection between themselfs indeed. I would like to see Micheletto in the serial, ´couse I missed him, he was great character, loyal a trustworthy. Not only servent, but friend. It was rarely for the Borgias to have someone who they really trust outside the family. I ´m also fan of his relationship with Lucrezia and that he chose her over Cesare and helped her hide in convent. It´s so shame that screenplay didn´t get a chance to be in proper tv serie.
10. PJS
Haven't read the e-book, just this synopsis and the main reaction....WTF??? Micheletto committed suicide after having to kill his is it feasible that he somehow was brought back to life?!?? That makes absolutely no sense to me....can someone explain how/why Micheletto was somehow resurrected?
11. JYSJ
@PJS what are you talking about.... He never committed suicide.... He only left and hid when he killed his lover. I think you should watch the last few episodes again...
12. Agnes Jeppesen
Oh my God, that would have been a terrifick conclution to this series. 'I'm personally so sorry for all the loose ends, the final episode in season three gave us.
I'm diffenatly a big Lucrezia and Cesare fan, and that's because of the chemistry between the two actors where so natural and that made me forget all about the controvercy and just ended me rooting for them both. i understand why they were so dawn to each other, with everybody betraying them with lies, others ambition and hatred for thier name, they probably couldn't find the right amount of understanding or compassion than with each other, so love between a brother and a sister tured to a love that forfilled every need they couldn't get from anyone els.
But I would have loved to see them pay the concequenses for thier actions, because as you saud(heather Walters) a 'Shakespearien ending with the moral of what happens when your ambiton takes over you, would have been dramatic and great final.
But does anyone of you actually know why Showtime agreed to cancel in the first place? what I understand of it is that it wasn't because of the fan-base, because we are many, but what els could it be then?
Sorry for my long comment, I am just so cross over the cancellation... I LOVED THIS SHOW SO MUCH!!!!
13. MjL
I loved this series purely for the entertainment. It satisfactorily fulfilled my chase for something Deadwood-ish; devilish but loveabe heroes who prevail against the odds. Being prepared to depart from fact from the beginning, I was not let down by the author's penchant for the main characters' success albeit with enough obstacles and disapointments along the way.
I guess you could say I'd be among those happy to not see the undoing of Rodrigo and Cesare, make up my own ending... especially at the hand of the one they let get away; Della Rovere, who history dictates, had to survive the Borgia ordeal.
14. zera
Normally I don't like incestuous relationships, but in this show - maybe it was thanks to the actors, the chemistry, the way they were written, I don't know - but it felt kind of right that they were so close that the lines between being siblings and being lovers blurred. As someone else here pointed out, I always felt like it was them against the rest of the world, each other being the only person the other could trust.
And Lucrezia turned out to be such a strong, cunning and self-confident woman, I could never picture her suddenly being afraid of Cesare or running away from him like that or trying to poison him.
Now I'm glad I didn't purchase the e-book. Thanks for posting the summary!
In a few weeks or so I'll try watching the other "Borgias".
15. Elle Smith Fagan
I was in the middle of a new life setup the past two years, and missed most tv entirely, so I finally enjoyed the entire story " alla prima" at Netflix - so the NOT finale infuriated me - just a bit!

Very unhealthy to do that to a faithful audience. I will never follow a production by this group again.

The production was grand except for that - actors and script really pulled me into the whole thing - not just the romance and not just the passion and not just the history- I bought the whole thing. Shame on you for not finishing up correctly. Quality all the way, then the failure? Yuk!

They had great good fun with values and morals - portraying, somehow, these characters as people with whom we could sympathize - quite a trick , to make evil seem good and even charming and just.

Still the show was great good fun - and thanksomuch!

We were entertained! Hugs all around .... elle
16. Adiel
The reason Lucrezia ran from Cesare, was because her husband found out about them. She was way to obsessed with him knowing in the last 2 episodes. He did die, but it not being a secret anymore was to much for her. She was afaid of being judged for what was happening between them.
I personally stuck around for those two to hook-up. I had to remind myself that they weren't really family, and that they are only actors. but would it have been so inticing if it wasn't so forbidden. I agree with the article, that I am happy with the ending that was shown on the screen.
It was beautiful, and intese, and made for good TV.
17. Corazones
Thank you so, so much for this post. I've just finished watching the series on netflix and devastated does not even begin to describe the way I felt when I found out it had been discontinued. I was painfully in love with the Cesare/Lucrezia dynamic and I've been having withdrawal symptoms for days! The chemistry between Arnaud and Grainger puts all other on-screen couples to shame. That said, reading your take on the screenplay ending has actually made me feel a lot better about the series ending. I'm in the same camp as you - I'd rather see the series end when the characters are at their most compelling than watch their personalities regress or decline in any way.
Heather Waters
18. HeatherWaters
Thanks for the fantastic comments, everyone!

@Corazones -- I completely understand the frustration with how the show ended, as I felt the same. But after reading the screenplay for Apocalypse and as time has gone on, I've just really grown to love the last episode we saw with that dark, tragic Shakespearean ending.
I'd rather see the series end when the characters are at their most compelling than watch their personalities regress or decline in any way.
EXACTLY. Same here.
19. Gradzi
Well, whatever we can think about how the plot had to be handled in this fourth season, it must be said that, for the most, in what I've read here and from what I saw during the three seasons of this remarkable series, The Borgias was for the most very faithfull of what we know of the history of Italian Renaissance in general and The Borgias family in particular. Some facts have of course been eluded, romanced, some characters don't appear in the fiction (There were two more Rodrigo Borgia's sons who also had a part in the rules of Rome) but overall it's remarkably faithfull to the real story. One thing anyway: some people were shocked about the incestuous affair between Cesare and Lucrezia but there were more than that: Giovanni, Lucrezia's baby, was said to have been The Pope's son for we have strong suspicions of an incestuous relationship between Borgia and her daughter...
21. C Moore
That this amazingly portrayed television show ended the way it did, so suddenly, leaving so much untold, was a travesty. It was anticlimactic, anemic even. Even the other show about this family (which doesn't even deserve to bear the family's name) was picked up by Netflix and completed. How I wish Netflix had been able to procure this version instead.
22. keira
I totally agree with C Moore. (What an appropriate nick name) I tried to see some parts of the other Borgias series but it failed Cesare so much that I couldn't bring myself to watch any more of it. Also tried the Pillars of the Earth, only to realise NOTHING comes even close to our beloved Showtime series: the Borgias. This cast and sets are so amazing that it is an utter shame not to give them a final season. However, I do wish the story to end before Cesare dies, a happy end. #savetheBorgias #FrançoisArnaud
23. L2016
Feels rushed. Lucrezia and Cesare had amazing chemistry. Do not like the storyline at all. I will live with my finale for season 3. Wished they would bring it back but not with the ending that felt rushed. Amazing, outstanding cast. My absolute favorite show of all times. Showtime made a huge mistake by canceling.QUENTIN5000
24. Cuevas
I like how it ends because gives you room to think that they will finally stay together although u know this got a story behind. I just saw it as a show that makes true love imposible and addicting and not fair . Glad did not purchase ebook because plezz lucrecia becoming a bin is not the solution
25. licoriceallsorts
Things I like:
- the suggestion that Michelleto's loyalty may have swerved from Cesare to Lucrezia
Things I don't like
- Cesare the psychopath
- Lucrezia being the one to want to break it up between them. She was always the force for moving the relationship forward; he was the one who seemed more aware of the danger it posed to them both. It would make more sense if, as "his", he chose to protect her by marrying her to a man who could love her properly. That would be more consistent with his previous actions.
Anyway I've never understood why he told Michelleto to kill Pascal, who would have been way more useful as a double agent. That was really when the series lost me. It just made no sense at all.
26. Ubik
I have only seen Borgias this week. How did it escape me I will never know. I can say that in my humble opinion this series beats any show I have seen in the past 10 years and that includes Game of Thrones, The Tudors, just to put out 2 big names.
I feel pretty sad that a show like this does not get the recognition it deserves. At the same time I don't get how such brilliant performances from the main protagonists can go unnoticed. The love scene between Cesare and Lucretia is the most authentic I have seen on screen period. And when I thought it could not get better the scene when Cesare has to watch Lucretia and her husband with a broken heart, just took my breath away.
If the show will never be brought back, I just hope all the young protagonists will get the recognition they deserve in the future with main, serious roles, I hope their talent will not be left to go to waste while we have to watch big names that act like wax puppets for the next 10 years.
27. Kez
Loved this program really wish season 4 was made , the intense relationship between cesare n Lucretia was amazing , didn't really know the Borgia story but now I'm constantly researching fascinating facts, will be watching again . Cesare my favourite badass but good intent for family
28. Eva Luna
It's 2016, and I spent probably less than two weeks watching the whole series. I began only by pure curiosity, in order to understand the historycal period, knowing beforehand that a production like this wouldn't be so accurate. I mean, I didn't expect it to follow the facts to the detail. In that aspect, I can't complaint at all.

Little I knew I was going to get sucked and completely mindblown by the story, how well written it was, the dialogues, how perfectly they were acted and the characters so well written and portrayed. I had to looked for Neil Jordan online and search everything he did, and now I admire him and believe him one of the finest writers of these times. While watching the show I felt like reading Stendhal's Red and Black, so well the dialogues captured the rythm and rhyme of those times, the way the spoke, at least in literature. The references to poetry and romances from previous times (Catullus poem and Abelard and Heloise love story) that I had to google... And all the technical and art aspects, the photography was superb! What I'm trying to say is that it took me by surprise. I didn't expect to find a show with such a high quality.

After only a few episodes in, I started reading about the show, so I knew it only had three seasons, and I knew it was cancelled before it was planned to end. When I finally watch the last episode I was completely satisfied. I ended at its finest, at its best, when the characters where at the climax of their journey, you could say. I was not dissapointed.

But then again, I felt like I need more. I couldn't let it go. I could not just stop watching the adventures, the fortune and misfortune of my beloved characters. I needed more. I came online, and after several reviews and interviews I found out there was a script that ended the story. I read the reviews. Most of them tearing apart the script, trashing it. So I tried not to read it, because I knew I wouldn't like it.

The trash is a little too exagerated. The thing is, we were used to a so much better writing and characterization that in comparison, this script is just a shadow of what the show was. We have to remember that this kind of scripts are only drafts. If they are to be made into film, they are completed with so much more information and detailed description of scenes, and performances. Nonetheless, it is NOT what I expected.

The only, and I mean it, the only frustration is that the Lucrezia I read in this last script is nothing like the one we separeted from in the last episode. I do believe that she could tried to scape her family destiny in the end, but there is no half way in between. We don't see that path, from being a Borgia, being in love with his brother, embracing her nature and her feelings to the one that could and try kill her brother. We saw point A, we then are shown point B, but we are never shown the journey this character had gone from one point to the other. No wonder we as fans can't accept the script as it is. Lucrezia might have been an angel once. She killed that girl the momento she tried to kill Juan. She showed no remorse, and she even toyed with words when Juan said he had no regrets, saying something along the lines "i might pop on you unexpected", almost confessing she left the candle to burn the rope so the chandellier would fall over Juan. She also accepted Cesare's gift, only highlighting the fact that what that act could say about them, that he would kill for her and she would accept the knife with his ex husband blood, and accepted it. If Cesare went as far as he went, it was only because she led him to do so. And besides, in The Borgias, Alfonso's death is not Cesare's fault. In the actual events, may be so (may be not, he might have been killed by some factions from the Colonna's or the Orsini's families) but in NJ's story Cesare was only defending himself. So, there was not extrem action that could make Lucrezia believe that she had to fear her brother's reaction. We know that he was planning to kill him, but she didn't, she only knew that if the french were granted Naples he would turned not only obsolete but a risk.

Well, all in all, I literally love this show, and is one of my all time favorites. I will be rewatching it like a thousand times!
Heather Waters
29. HeatherWaters
The thing is, we were used to a so much better writing and characterization that in comparison, this script is just a shadow of what the show was.

Agreed. And the actors play a big part in bringing the scripts to life as well, so without their body language and inflections, we're not getting the full story.

We saw point A, we then are shown point B, but we are never shown the journey this character had gone from one point to the other. ... If Cesare went as far as he went, it was only because she led him to do so.

YES. That is probably my biggest complaint with this script: It's too sudden of a 180 for Lucrezia, who--as you say--accepted that Cesare would kill for her. I'm with you that she wants to escape her family's legacy, though I'd argue that the Cesare we saw for most of the series felt the same. The show portrayed them as pretty in step with each other up to this point.

In fact, maybe my biggest problem with this ending is that Neil Jordan took the characters on such a journey and made the Cesare/Lucrezia relationship so strong that, by the end, they did not really fit with what history had in store for them. You know? Like the story Jordan ended up telling wasn't the same one that would lead to the same place it did for the actual Borgias. And that's why this final script feels like it just doesn't make sense.
30. Eva Luna
In fact, maybe my biggest problem with this ending is that Neil Jordan took the characters on such a journey and made the Cesare/Lucrezia relationship so strong that, by the end, they did not really fit with what history had in store for them. You know? Like the story Jordan ended up telling wasn't the same one that would lead to the same place it did for the actual Borgias. And that's why this final script feels like it just doesn't make sense.

This is why I think Neil Jordan is an amazing writer. History gave him these characters, already shaped and known. He took them under his pen, and he did not stop at retelling history, he re-shaped them. They came to life, and as very real people, they changed. Different things happened to them, different from history I mean, and they took other paths. They had to! If NJ's Cesare, Lucrezia or Pope Alexander hadn't been so well developed and characterized (is this a word in english? not my native language, sorry!), they would have stayed the same, following the steps of the actual people they represented. But they didn't, they couldn't. In the end they were other people, they were 3d characters, they had their own life, and well deserved if you ask me! As you rightly pointed out, this couldn't have been possible if it wasn't for the outstanding portrayals the actors constantly gave. They delivered every line of dialogue perfectly.

I forgot to mention before but there was another thing that I felt was not right: Pope Alexander ending. I'm no god to determine if the real Pope Alexander deserved going to hell or not. I don't even know if I truly believe in heaven and hell to begin with. But the character that was created for the series certainly didn't deserve such an end. He was not so different from any other cardenal or any other noblemen with power at that time, in the series context. Do I have to believe that Della Rovere deserved better, that he deserved to live while Alexander deserved to die? what's worst, poisoned by Lucrezia, his own daughter? Again, my biggest problem is still Lucrezia, but I don't think he deserved such a demise. He had enemies and treated them the same way they would have treated him had they been in his place. Probably I am too biased because as the seasons went on I got to love Jeremy Iron's Alexander. I understood why he was as he was, why we had to wait until the last to episodes to see a father accepting his son while accepting himself. The words still resonate in my head "how can I love him? HE IS ME!" showing that in fact he hated himself, not his son. He wasn't rejecting Cesare altogether, he was partially rejecting his own nature.

I could go on forever with this show, it is so extraordinarily written and performed that one could talk about it forever. I had to get a friend hooked with the show so I have a friend I could share this insanity with :)
Heather Waters
31. HeatherWaters
In the end they were other people, they were 3d characters, they had their own life, and well deserved if you ask me!

Well said, and I agree.

But the character that was created for the series certainly didn't deserve such an end.

That was a straaaange ending for him, yeah.
32. Laura Mitchell
The thing everyone seems to not be understanding is why he wrote their relationship like this, well because one he was short of time of course a slower change of heart by L would of been more becoming but he had 2 hours.
L the entire way through is his little sister, he adores her, he will do her bidding and she endulges in that. In such a evil world she has someone she can trust completely and who will always love her good or evil. L is still so young, and you watch after her first lover dies she becomes taken into a deep depression where she wont take care of her child nor leave her bed. Again when another love of hers dies at the hands of her family, she again is taken over by a feeling of depression. Even the way she speaks to to C when shes out of the nunnery its dull and without life - she pines over having another love - one to free her.
C has demonstrated madness similar to his brother, his stunt at napels and his flucutating temperment scares his sister. She will always love him, but i think she loves him for the way he loves her. She is quite insane she wants him to always save her and want her, and if he didnt want her so much i think she would pursue him.
L is a character like all of her family who can not find hapiness, once she has what she wants she no longer wants it.
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