Having waited ten months for the next and sadly final instalment of this superb drama we have, as usual, gobbled the whole season up in unseemly haste. This review contains slight spoilers for the end of season two so if you've not seen it then skip the following paragraph.
The action follows on immediately from the nail biting finale of Season two with our Borgia pope fighting for his life following Della Rovere's poisoning as the avaricious cardinals vie to become Alexander's successor.
The depth of political intrigue makes West Wing look like a kitten playing with string and it is impossible to describe any of the goings-on without completely spoiling the season. Suffice to say that Cesare continues to be unappreciated as he strives to further cement the papacy's hold over the squabbling family states while Lucrezia struggles with the consequences of her conflicted amorous feelings. Throughout the seemingly endless labyrinthine plotting, shifting allegiances and messy deaths, the splendidly reliable and implacable Michelotto continues to shine as the apparently only trustworthy person in the whole country.
With the same obsessive production values, huge cast and sumptuous costumes & locations it is sadly no surprise that again, the network bean-counters axed the show before the fourth and final planned season citing the financial cost as the main reason. Also, I somewhat cynically & perhaps pretentiously suspect that the writing and plot design were just too elegant and complex for the American mass audience. Whatever the reason, it is a shame that they wouldn't even finance a final two hour `wind-up' episode to satisfy the enthralled audience as the extant season three does end somewhat abruptly. Notwithstanding the ending, this season is a must for anyone gripped by the intricacies of 15th Century Italian politics.
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