In Rome the Pope is beside himself. "Must we face this French apocalypse?" The Spanish ambassador is unwilling to help, as any support or Rome would be a declaration of war against France. The Pope still thinks his best chance is firstborn son Juan Borgia (David Oakes). But he doesn't have any illusions about his son's proclivities, as he tells middle son Cardinal Cesare Borgia (François Arnaud) to pull Juan out of "whatever whorehouse he sees fit to rest his head." Cardinal Cesare does just that, searching from room to room until he finds him. "You have a priest for a brother?" Cesare corrects the prostitute, "Cardinal." Cesare definitely suffers from second son syndrome.
The Pope wants Cesare to express his confidence in his brother before the congress of cardinals, who are talking about abandoning shipe (and the Borgias), especially Cardinal Sforza (Peter Sullivan), "Holy Father we should abandon Rome!" Cesare is forceful with the party line and seems to convince everyone but himself that they will be saved.
Cesare is concerned about the French use of cannons in warfare. And the fact that they are holding Lucrezia hostage. Juan claims to have a stratagem to fight the French. He believes if they meet them in an open field their cannons will be rendered ineffective as opposed to waiting for them to come and bombard the city. But he's not convincing Cesare. And neither Juan nor the Pope seem too worried about Lucrezia, or Giulia.
Juan and his troops ride out of the city in shiny armor and much fanfare. The Borgias gets the look of this scene exactly right — the troops marching through the city, the French army assembling on the hills outside of Rome. Juan may look all fancy, but he had no idea what he would be facing — tons and tons of French soldiers. "My God." He is completely out of his league. "Who gives the command to charge?" "You do, my lord."
Lucrezia, King Charles's new favorite, rides out with him to view the battle. She is horrified as he proudly explains they will not only be using their artillery, but the ammunition will be chained cannonballs — which completely decimate the Italian soldiers, butchering them on impact. The Renaissance battle is very graphically depicted, with body parts flying everywhere.