Hot on the heels of Showtime's announcement that "The Borgias" will return for a 10-episode Season 3 next year comes one of the best episodes of the much improved second season, titled "The Choice" and airing at 9 p.m. May 6.
Francois Arnaud, who plays warrior Cardinal Cesare Borgia, called it "the sexy episode."
"It's definitely a big power struggle between me and Catherina Sforza that, uh, gets a little sexy," he said, laughing. "Episode 5 last year, actually, was a sexy episode for me as well, yeah."
After Cesare's extracurricular warring in last week's "Stray Dogs," he certainly takes a different avenue to protect his family and father, Pope Alexander VI (Jeremy Irons), in "The Choice."
The pope wants two thorns in his side dealt with: the rebellious Sforza family and the defiant, bat-shit crazy Florentine friar Savonarola (Steven Berkoff).
While Rodrigo travels to Florence in disguise, he sends Cesare on a mission to the Forli castle of Catherina Sforza (Gina McKee), the undeniable master of the family. Cesare demands her allegiance to Rome, but she has other activities in mind, as you can see from the clip below.
The trip is a homecoming for Micheletto (Sean Harris), Cesare's main henchman. He grew up in Forli, and visits his mother and another, um, hotter loved one.
"['The Choice' is] a sexy episode for me, as well as for Micheletto," Arnaud told me, quickly adding when I sounded surprised. "Well, not together."
Enough said about that. Arnaud said Cesare, as well as viewers, will learn more about Micheletto, who I find to be one of the most fascinating characters in the series, and his past.
"Cesare and Micheletto's relationship is possible because it's more or less secret, hidden. They don't know too much about each other," Arnaud said. "...Cesare is very respectful of Micheletto being so secretive about himself and I don't think he really wants to know [those secrets]. When he ends up learning a bit more about Micheletto, he kind of chooses to ignore it in order to keep the relationship as it is."
New episodes of "The Borgias" air at 9 p.m. Sundays on Showtime.