The Borgias (2011–2013)
1 user 1 critic

The Confession 

Pope Alexander authorizes a search for missing son Juan as Savonarola continues to resist torture, and Lucrezia seduces her fiancé.


David Leland


Neil Jordan (creator), Guy Burt




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Irons ... Rodrigo Borgia
François Arnaud ... Cesare Borgia
Holliday Grainger ... Lucrezia Borgia
Joanne Whalley ... Vanozza Cattaneo
Lotte Verbeek ... Giulia Farnese
David Oakes ... Juan Borgia
Sean Harris ... Micheletto
Steven Berkoff ... Girolamo Savonarola
Julian Bleach ... Niccolo Machiavelli
Peter Sullivan ... Cardinal Ascanio Sforza
Colm Feore ... Giuliano Della Rovere
Edward de Souza ... Doctor
Sebastian De Souza ... Alfonso of Aragon
Jesse Bostick ... Antonello
Steven Hartley ... Captain of the Guard


The Pope is increasingly worried about the welfare of his son Juan, who has vanished and orders Cesare to find him. Cardinal Sforza tells his men to start looking in the city's morgues. When his body is found, the Pope is grief-stricken and orders that his son will not be buried until his killer is found. Cesare is also tasked with getting a confession from Brother Savonarola but that is also proving to be a difficult task. In the end, Cesare follows Machiavelli's advice. Lucrezia has a new suitor but toys with him pretending to be one of Lucrezia's servants. When the young man falls in love with her she decides to reveal her true identity and agrees to marry him. Meanwhile, Cardinal Della Rovere's assassin strikes. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Hungary | Ireland | Canada



Release Date:

17 June 2012 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Tata, Hungary See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Savonarola was burned in Florence, not Rome. See more »


Vanozza Cattaneo: [to Cesare] So tell me, Cesare, what exactly ae we celebrating... your sister's betrothal or the death of your younger brother?
See more »


The Borgias Main Titles (Instrumental)
Performed by Trevor Morris
See more »

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User Reviews

"This is not God's doing Father"
2 August 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Was incredibly fond of 'The Borgias' from the very beginning when first watching it. Did find on re-watches that Season 1 didn't hit its stride until halfway through and wasn't perfect in the writing and pacing but both improved drastically in the second half of the season. Never found either a problem really in my viewings of Season 2's episodes, apart from one dragged out subplot, and the many good things about before were even better. When it comes to second seasons for any show, for me that for 'The Borgias' is among the best and most consistent.

Have always loved all of Season 2's episodes and on an equal level, hence what was meant by the season being so consistent, for all the same main reasons and each episode's memorable scenes, quotes and such. For me, and there will be the odd spoiler enclosed, the season finale "The Confession" is not just the best episode of Season 2 but also the best episode of 'The Borgias' up to this point. And a contender for the best episode of the show. Just love everything about it, with the best assets being so amazingly done.

So much so that Rodrigo's seeming obliviousness as to why the rest of the family hated Juan so much and saw what he was really like being something of a not so buyable surprise didn't actually bother me that terribly.

"The Confession" is especially a must watch for one scene alone, a scene that is the individual highlight of the whole of 'The Borgias'. That is even, as far as previous episodes go, 'The Borgias' is a show full of great scenes like with Giulia's confessional scene, the geopolitics, Rodrigo's dressing down of Juan, the scene between Rodrigo and Charles, Lucrezia's cookery lesson, the climax of "The Choice" and the giving up your vanities scene. That highlight is Juan's burial, 'The Borgias' most perfect marriage of visuals, music (in the best scored scene of the show, never was this epic), emotion (absolutely heart-wrenching, a tissue box by your side is a requirement) and acting. Jeremy Irons' acting in this scene is some of his best of the whole show, without saying a single word pretty much, and some of my favourite acting of his overall because it plays to his strengths so well and does justice as to why many regard him so highly.

Savonarola's brutal exit, Rodrigo's reaction to Lucrezia's opening up her true feelings about Juan, all the chemistry between Rodrigo and Cesare (always one of the show's highlights) and the single most shocking ending of any episode of 'The Borgias' are also memorable moments. And the dance choreography, gorgeous as always. The dialogue shows how the writing has advanced so significantly, the above quote in the review summary is not even the best line. The best lines actually belong to Lucrezia and Vanozza.

Acting is extremely good across the board, especially Irons. With Francois Arnaud's intensity close behind and Holliday Grainger has also come on a long way the more interesting Lucrezia has become. Am going to somewhat miss Steven Berkoff's delicious Savonarola. The sumptuousness of the costumes and overall period detail never fails to amaze. Even more of a star here is the music, especially in that particular scene, the main theme and opening titles sequence still brings chills up the spine.

In summary, outstanding episode and 'The Borgias' at its best. 10/10

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