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Breaking down 'The Borgias' teaser: Are they going there?

Showtime released a preview for "The Borgias" a few days ago titled "Father, Son, Unholy Spirit." I can't believe I missed it until today. But damn! Neil Jordan looks to be ramping up the murders, the sex--and maybe even the incest.

Yes, it looks like the third season of the sizzling 15th Century Vatican thriller might finally go there when it begins April 14. The video shows Lucrezia Borgia (Holliday Grainger) lying suggestively nekkid in bed in front of her brother, Cesare (Francois Arnaud).

"What is this game, sister?" Cesare asks her.

"Tis a game of want, and wanting," she answers.

OK, at least that's what I think they say. The words are spoken over the bedroom scene, but they are not shown talking, so it's hard to say if the two go together. (Tricky teaser makers!) We do see them going in for a kiss later, but this could be a big ol' con as well.

History suggests Cesare killed Lu's second hubby, Alfonso of Aragon (Sebastian De Souza). An earlier bit in the clip shows Cesare watching Lu with someone, presumably her hubby on their wedding night. Maybe the later scene is simply Lu creating a diversion to protect Alfonso?

Hrmmm. We also see them fighting, but at the end of the clip, after we see a man with long hair not unlike Cesare's grabbing Lu suggestively, we hear her say, "It seems only a Borgia can love a Borgia."

Hrmmm, Part 2.

There's a whole lot of murder going on here, too. As the words "Some sins ... even God ... won't forgive" cross the screen early in the teaser at least four people killed by:

  • Someone who might be Battista Colonna (Giacomo Gonnella), one of Cesare's "Stray Dogs"
  • Cesare. He's ditched his cardinal robes, remember? (No that being a cardinal stopped him before.)
  • Cesare's his right-hand man, Micheletto (Sean Harris)
  • Pope Alexander VI, a ka Rodrigo Borgia (Jeremy Irons)

By the way, the Pope obviously survived that assassination attempt at the end of Season 2. (Read my chat with Arnaud about that here). In the teaser, Rodrigo stabs a cardinal I don't recognize in the chest as the priest falls on top of him. It's also possible the Pope is still haunted by the death of son Juan (David Oakes, you are missed). In one scene that might possibly be a dream sequence we see Rodrigo save a child looking a lot like a young Juan as he falls into a sinkhole of some sort.

Like I said, tricky teaser creators here. Other observations:

  • Vanozza dei Cattanei (Joanne Whalley) throws a blanket over something or someone as a soldier walks behind her. Is it another dead Borgia victim?
  • Cardinal Della Rovere (Colm Feore) has spent way to much time in the wilderness without a bath.
  • Caterina Sforza (Gina McKee) lives! And it looks like she's going to give the Borgias more trouble.
  • The Pope still loves those New World cigarros.
  • We see a dead woman in a cart. It could be the painter Vittoria (Jemima West), but she looks kind of like Sancia of Aragon (Emmanuelle Chriqui), who married young Joffre Borgia (Aiden Alexander). But history tells us she outlived most of the Borgias, so this one is anyone's guess as well.
  • A priest that might be Cardinal Ascanio Sforza (Peter Sullivan) pulls a woman onto his lap. Vatican orgy, or perhaps the historically accurate Banquet of Chestnuts? The Ballet of Chestnuts, as it is also called, was a dinner Cesare threw in his Vatican apartments that is said to have involved 50 courtesans who danced for guests. And possibly did more than that. Look it up.

What do you think of the teaser and my observations? How do you feel about a possible consummation of a Cesare/Lucrezia love affair? The new season premieres at 9 p.m. CT April 14 on Showtime.

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Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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