The Borgias The Wolf and the Lamb Review. The Borgias: Season 3, Episode 5: The Wolf and the Lamb‘s greatest aspect was the unexpected. Bianca (Melia Kreiling)’s story reminded me of Merle Dixon’s The Sorrowful Life episode in The Walking Dead.
The viewer probably thought Bianca was only a throw-away lover of the Rodrigo Borgia / Pope Alexander VI (Jeremy Irons): a pretty girl that would be naked in one scene and gone in the next. Not only was this a misinterpretation of her character arc, Bianca was given more depth than some of the key characters in this episode in the span of a few scenes.
When Bianca was diagnosed and smiling as the doctor told The Pope the results, it made the episode as did the scene following it when Bianca was eating, talking about the phantom child in her belly.
Other family issues emerged as The Wolf and the Lamb progressed.
Because of their family and the past, it seems to be an established Borgia predilection: when in doubt or faced with an obstacle, kill and destroy it. Lucrezia Borgia (Holliday Grainger) was no different. She would rather murder someone than not live with her son. In season 2 she wanted to murder her own brother for killing her lover yet has no qualms about killing for her own goals. Lucrezia didn’t even see the hypocrisy in her eventual scheme or in her personality. She is more like her deceased brother Juan Borgias than she realizes. In Juan’s defense, he killed for his family, not for himself.
Lucrezia’s newly minted husband Alfonso of Aragon (Sebastian De Souza) was shown to be extremely naive: he knows who Lucrezia is, has heard the rumors, yet never thought his brother (Matias Varela)’s life might be in danger over his stance on Lucrezia’s son.
The growing conspiracy against The Borgias was mere talk in this episode with clever symbolism: a feast out in public foreshadowing the bounty they may reap if they are successful against The Borgias and hawking, a predator activity (like the one they are about to engage in).
Cesare Borgia (François Arnaud)’s bridal adventure in France had its moments but lacked any real intrigue since everything was out in the open (except for the annulment). Would Cesare have chosen a different bride besides Charlotte D’Albret (Ana Ularu) if she had not been the only lady-in-waiting introduced to him by the French Queen? The viewer will never know. Cesare was never shown to interact with any of the other ladies-in-waiting. This portion of the episode would have been more interesting if he had.