Beautiful blonde damsels in distress seemed to be the theme on cable series' last night. Game of Thrones' Daenerys was stuck in a boring routine with her husband and had to seek some marital advice. Luckily for her, it seems to have worked and a whole new marriage vista has opened for bride and groom. In the land of the Borgias, the ladies were not having it quite as easy.
When we last saw Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger), her husband Giovanni Sforza (Ronan Vibert) was using her body to punish his political adversaries — mainly his frustrations with her father the Pope (Jeremy Irons) and feeling that he had been forced into a marriage beneath him. So why not force himself on his bride, his chattel? His meanness extended to the morning after, "Do you hunt? No? Good, then we'll hardly see each other — until marital duties call and I'll keep them brief and business-like." Lucrezia may be relieved of his presence during the daytime, but her nights are full of the relentless poundings of her unloved husband.
We see her, bruised but not beaten, in the bath. Still so innocent, she asks her maid what she knows about marriage. "I know my lady it should not be thus." Lucrezia's only entertainment and relief seems to come by flirting with a hot stable boy. But ever the Borgia, even seemingly naive Lucrezia knows that he might be useful in some way. As she schemes, we see that the abuse goes on, as her husband's approaching footsteps towards their bedchamber each night are like a scene from a horror movie.
Lucrezia has finally had enough and convinces the groom to loosen Sforza's saddle, which will cause him to fall off his horse on one of his hunting expeditions. A dangerous prank — because her childishness still sees it mostly as a prank. Sforza isn't killed by his fall from his horse but he is sidelined, freeing up a delighted Lucrezia from her marital duties, at least for a while.