The Borgias (2011–2013)
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Lucrezia's Gambit 

After the French king occupies a deserted Milan, he tasks Cesare with killing Ludivico, and Lucretia becomes involved in Neapolitan palace intrigue.


David Leland


Neil Jordan (creator), Neil Jordan


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
Sean Harris ... Micheletto
Thure Lindhardt ... Rufio
Julian Bleach ... Niccolo Machiavelli
Peter Sullivan ... Cardinal Ascanio Sforza
Charlie Carrick ... Pascal
Sebastian De Souza ... Alfonso of Aragon
Prometheus Aleifer ... Roberto Orsini
Luke Allen-Gale ... Fredirigo
Pilou Asbæk ... Paolo Orsini
Leo Bill ... Cardinal Costanzo




Cesare and his French army have taken control of a defenseless Milan but he is upset that the Duke, Ludovico Sforza, is nowhere is nowhere to be found. The King of France arrives displeased that someone else still has a claim to the city. The Pope orders Cesare to bring the Duke of Milan to him in chains. Arrangements are soon made not only deal with Ludovico but with his charge, Caterina Sforza's son Venito. Micheletto visits the absent Leonardo da Vinci's studio and finds a new lover who is more than he appears. In Rome, the Pope learns that Giulia Farnese has a new suitor, Vincenzo Salvatore, who she wishes to present to him.In Naples, Lucrezia's husband is third in line for the throne after his cousins Frederico and Raphael. When Raphael tells that as king he will ban her son from his court, she begins to plot against him. Written by garykmcd

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Did You Know?


Pascal: Where does all this affection go?
Micheletto: Affection leads to weakness.
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The Borgias Main Titles
Written by Trevor Morris
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User Reviews

"Affection leads to weakness"
25 September 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

All the previous episodes of Season 3 of 'The Borgias' were very good to great, my favourite being "The Face of Death", with its immensely powerful beginning, and my least favourite (while still liking it very much) being "The Purge". Really like Season 3 on the whole, though Season 2 is my favourite of the show's three seasons, the quality was more consistent and all the episodes were great with the dragged out Della Rovere subplot being the only major debit.

"Lucrezia's Gambit" is another very good episode of the season, and of 'The Borgias' in general which to me is a show where it isn't a bad episode ("Lucrezia's Wedding" and "The Borgias in Love" being the weakest from personal view, and still liked both). It is another example of an episode that is not quite a great one but very nearly is, with all the ingredients to be. There are a lot of good things, and the best of them are more than good and pretty fantastic.

Its weakest component is the Giulia suitor subplot, loved how Rodrigo takes the news and the humour directed towards it but found it generally to be unnecessary and everything else is much more interesting.

Standing out much more is Micheletto's storyline, have loved seeing more of him and see him even more interesting and much more than a creepy assassin character. His storyline is beautifully done and Sean Harris gives Micheletto a lot of depth. As well as the tension between Cesare and Rodrigo, which really sears and sees a further division between father and son. Lucrezia being a cunning manipulator shows how much she has developed, and Rodrigo and Vanozza together is quite charming and a reminder of how Vanozza shines when she isn't being underused.

The episode looks wonderful again, especially the costumes and how the atmosphere feels like the viewer has stepped into a painting. The music is as beautiful and haunting as ever, if not quite as much in the silent scenes with Rufio in the previous episode "Relics", Juan's burial in "The Confession" and the whole beginning of "The Face of Death". The main theme sends a chill down the spine and the opening titles so cleverly and strikingly designed.

Writing has tension and emotion, as well as a dose of humour. Of the performances, while Jeremy Irons and Francois Arnaud are on top form (individually and together) the best performance comes from Sean Harris, very powerful performance here.

On the whole, despite not being taken by one subplot "Lucrezia's Gambit" is a very good episode. 8/10

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Canada | Ireland | Hungary



Release Date:

26 May 2013 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Korda Studios, Etyek, Hungary See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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