In episode five of The Borgias, “The Borgias in Love,” we see many developments in love and politics. Lucrezia’s marriage to Giovanni Sforza turns out to be gravely unfortunate. She endures nightly beatings and violent sexual advances but her spirit remains unbroken. She visits with the young handsome stable boy Paolo to find some respite from her loveless marriage. They begin a close friendship which shows potential of evolving into a love affair.
Juan is offered some unwanted marriage proposals and decides only a legitimate princess is up to par with his standards. He does suggest to his father Pope Alexander that his younger brother Jofre would serves Rome’s political interests by marrying the King of Naples’ illegitimate daughter. Marriage is used to secure political gain and profit, even when the betrothed is merely a child.
Cesare pursues Rome’s interests with the Florentine ambassador Machiavelli and Vice Chancellor Sforza is sent off to Milan to try and secure the Duke of Milan’s allegiance to Pope Alexander. Both outcomes remain unresolved, although the Duke of Milan does kill his nephew, who was in line for his position, in response to the Vice Chancellor’s threats.
Cesare also pursues Baroness Ursula, with whom he is infatuated and hopes to find love. He disposes of her abusive husband in order to have Ursula and to avenge his mother who the baron had called a whore.