The Borgias/Awesome | Tropedia | Fandom
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  • "The Poisoned Chalice" / "The Assassin" has several:
    • Cesare starts off with a couple in the pilot--in particular "wringing the neck" of the metaphorical monkey that wants to bite his father (you'll get it when you see it) and proving that he will do anything to protect his family.
    • Vannozza's thundering rage when she finds out Rodrigo lied to her about having to be chaste and taking up with Giulia Farnese. The woman marches into the Vatican and slaps the Pope.
  • In "The Art of War", when Lucrezia takes all of the things she's learned from her family and Giulia about manipulation and her innate power over men and plays King Charles of France like a Stradivarius. On the day that the massive French army meets the much-smaller and badly-trained forces of Rome, Lucrezia watches the French cannons cut apart Roman soldiers and orders Charles to stop. She rides across the field of battle to speak to Juan, telling him to allow the French bloodless entry into Rome. She rides back and informs Charles that since his "real" target is Naples, he has no reason to harm Lucrezia's home when it will allow him entry, does he?
    • And then there's the moment when she makes Della Rovere hold her horse. All that he has done to get this far, and she dismisses it with a smile and a proferred bridle.
  • Rodrigo gets three in "Nessuno":
    • First is his master manipulation of Charles. He greets the French king not in his full Papal regalia, but in the robes of a simple priest. Charles even mistakes him as such when he walks into St. Peter's. He uses Charles's own piety and dreams of recognition to get him to agree to abandon his war against Rodrigo and crowns him King of Naples to boot.
    • The second is his one-two punch of forcing all the cardinals who abandoned Rome to come back in sackcloth and ashes and "unburdening themselves" of their sins (and accepting huge amounts of money and property as "penitence"), followed by his Humiliation Conga to Giovanni Sforza (let's just say it involves kidnapping, public nudity, and Sforza declaring himself impotent in front of all of Rome).
    • The third is his Batman Gambit to the French forces - he sends them to Naples, where The Black Death is waiting.
  • Cesare beating his brother, the soldier, in a sword fight.
  • Della Rovere kills two highwaymen, both while lying prone in a cart and one of them at range. He even tops it off with a Bond One-Liner.

 Forgive me, sister. Sometimes goodness needs the help of a little badness.

  • The reveal of Rome's "cannons" is awesome from start to finish. Cesare's defiance, the pounding music, the synchronized falling-away of the banners unveiling them, and not least the actors' work--hardened political mavens and soldiers having subtle but uncontrollable flinches in the face of the sudden appearance of massed artillery, men ready to fire them, and their battle lines still forming up and well within range.
    • The best part of that? The cannons are all fake! When it was clear that Rodrigo's financial mismanagement made it impossible to cast real ones, Cesare had them made out of plaster instead. The part where he reveals this to his family is also brilliant, as it drives home to Rodrigo a) Cesare is someone he truly can rely on, and b) just what a house of cards their dynasty is.
  • Lucrezia's cooking lesson in "Stray Dogs". A young girl, barely much more than a child, able to give a lecture on morality, financial management, and responsibility to the entire College of Cardinals.
  • After lightning causes the roof of a church to collapse near the end of “The Choice,” killing several people, the uninjured clergymen make their ways outside. Rodrigo, having just accidentally caused harm (and soon after, death) to befall a young boy while trying to order him to safety, pleads with them to return back inside the unstable building and help those who are still alive but trapped. One of the clergy speaks up, claiming what happened is the judgment of God. Rodrigo throws it back in his face, saying God will judge them for what they do now and goes back inside.
  • It's pretty gory, but seeing the Complete Monster Giovanni Sforza get what he deserves in "The Choice" was pretty awesome.
  • Lucrezia effectively telling Rodrigo to piss off when he says he's planning to marry her off to someone else. Particularly the bit where Rodrigo tries to condemn her for her "ingratitude" and she very calmly lets him know what she thinks of that, and the last marriage he arranged for her.
  • Juan captures Caterina Sforza's son and tortures him while she watches from her city walls. Does she surrender? Even with her son's screams ringing in her ears and tears on her cheeks? Does she heck. "I will never, NEVER bend my knee to the whoremaster of Rome." Then she tells Juan that she can bear ten vengeful sons for every one he kills, and shows him just what she'd do it with. In other words, she lifts her skirt and flashes Juan and his army. And the best part is, it's based on an actual legend...that sadly has no real veracity, but it's still absolutely brilliant.
  • After Savanarola badgers Cesare and Machiavelli, mocking them and giving not-so-subtle threats, they leave the bonfire of the vanities. He turns around...and is face to face with Micheletto, whose expression is so like that which he wears when he kills someone, and who (as a gay man, if one who hides his nature) is threatened by Savonarola's policies, that the viewer might, for a moment, think that Savanarola is about to join Giovanni Sforza. And this firebrand, a man of absolute faith and confidence in God and his own unassailability in Florence, surrounded by his own, for a moment, terrified by nothing more than a look.
    • Cesare also deserves props for walking the streets of Florence without an armed escort and wearing his full cardinal's regalia so everyone knows who he is; he knows full well that the mob could turn on him at any moment, but walks among them anyway.