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Blu-ray Review: The Borgias: The Final Season

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the borgias the final seasonSkullduggery, power plays and the medieval papacy all come to an inevitable conclusion with “The Borgias: The Final Season.” It’s been an impressive ride so far, but how will it all end up? Our friends out at CBS Video sent out a copy for us to review, so let’s find out.

“The Borgias: The Final Season” once again joins us with Pope Alexander VI–or formerly, Rodrigo Borgia–and his family of sociopaths and assorted monsters. With Pope Alexander’s bid to turn the papacy into a hereditary monarchy throughout the Papal States, the Borgias will have their hands full. But threatening to be even worse for the family is that many of its individual members also have plots in the works, with his son Cesare turning guerilla and his daughter Lucrezia turning to marriage and seduction as potent weapons–oh, and it’s better not to ask what happened to son Juan–the Borgias won’t be going down without a fight in no uncertain terms. But will their quest for power take all of Rome with them?

What is absolutely terrific about both this and previous seasons is that there’s an incredible amount of twisting going on here. Things will be constantly happening as this plot resolves itself and a whole new plot emerges to take its place, all within the overarching umbrella of a major master plan or two–mostly depending on which faction’s being observed at the time. It’s almost dizzying how much is going on here, and following this will take some careful attention.

Yet at the same time, that careful attention is almost easy to provide, because the numerous overarching plots are presented by some patently magnificent actors. Jeremy Irons is at his mad-eyed best here as Pope Alexander, and the rest of the cast is perhaps only slightly less spectacular; it’s hard to be much more so than Irons, who is putting on an absolute clinic of how to play a paranoid lunatic who’s actually paranoid for a reason if one mainly of his making. While the ultimate ending on this may prove less than satisfactory, the buildup to get here was a true delight.

Special features include your choice of English or Spanish audio, English subtitles, a blooper reel, the entire first episode of “Ray Donovan,” and a general preview of what’s going on on Showtime.

“The Borgias: The Final Season” is a powerful work that’s put together so well and takes such advantage of its source material to present a whole that’s so fraught with intrigue and excitement that it’s hard to put down. Sure, it may not be everything historically-inclined viewers would want, but it’s certainly going to have more than enough to offer the casual historical drama viewer, and then some.

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