Medici: The Magnificent season 2, episode 3 recap: Obstacles and Opportunities


In episode 3 of Medici: The Magnificent (available on Netflix), love breaks down old barriers and establishes some new, highly divisive ones.

This Medici: The Magnificent episode is called “Obstacles and Opportunities” because one can come from the other. When Lorenzo the Magnificent (Daniel Sharman) learns that Pope Paul II (Manuel Cauchi) has died of heart failure, it sets off a unique chain of events. There’s a new Pope, and it may be good for Lorenzo. Before he was Pope Sixtus, Cardinal Della Rovere (Raul Bova), arranged for Lorenzo’s marriage to Clarice Orsini (Synnøve Karlsen). If Lorenzo plays his cards just right, he may be able to make Florence into a true republic (his oft-stated aim in the series).


In Milan, Lorenzo and his brother Giuliano (Bradley James) visit Duke Galeazzo Sforza (Tam Mutu). They catch him at an awkward time, as the Duke wants to execute a nobleman (Giulio Pampiglione) and his wife (Elena Rusconi), accused of plotting against him. Being generally good-natured, Lorenzo talks the Duke out of it, citing Christ’s warning that “there will be no mercy for those who do not show it.”

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However, Lorenzo didn’t stop by just to save lives. He’s there to discuss Duke Sforza’s outstanding debt. Lorenzo extends the loan repayment for a trade preference. The Duke agrees with little negotiation. However, Lorenzo has to get the Priori’s approval. As Lorenzo and Giuliano make their exit, they see that the Duke killed that nobleman anyway, to save face. His wife is now a grieving widow, but sometimes that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Meanwhile, the artist Sandro Botticelli (Sebastian De Souza) works to get commissioned for artwork depicting Simonetta Vespucci (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz).

The Pazzi family plan and wrangling with papal states

The Pazzi family finds “Medici The Magnificent” less than that, and routinely get in his way. Francesco Pazzi (Matteo Martari) and his uncle Jacopo (Sean Bean) are wary of Medici, not liking how their bank is dominating Florence. Of course, this is probably animated by jealousy of power, as opposed to high principles. In any case, Jacopo sends a message to Francesco Salviati (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd) in Rome that the Medici’s scheming “threatens the mother church.”

However, Francesco Pazzi is told by Salviati that Medici is an ally, so long as he’s not a threat to papal states. Meanwhile, because the Archbishop of Pisa has died, Lorenzo seeks to replace him with Gentile de’ Becchi. In contrast, Francesco Pazzi immodestly suggests himself as a replacement!

Love and stuff

This Medici: The Magnificent episode has lots of relationship stuff. Getting back to Sandro Botticelli’s offer to paint Simonetta Vespucci: She initially declines his offer, but he says he’ll make her immortal in painting. Appeals to vanity sometimes work! He later meets her, but it’s apparent that Giuliano Medici has the hots for her, too. He even steals her wedding ring, knowing she will later return for it! She does, and he used it as an opportunity to give her a kiss.

Meanwhile, Lorenzo’s sister Bianca (Aurora Ruffino) is unhappily married to Bastiano Soderini (Jacopo Olmo Antinori). Scandalously, she loves Guglielmo Pazzi (Charlie Vickers) instead, threatening to complicate the precious Medici and Pazzi family feud. Lorenzo says it cannot be, to which Bianca asks, “Do our desires count for nothing?” It’s proof that arranged marriages can go against a person’s true wishes. Meanwhile, Medici: The Magnificent occasionally gets his freak on with his mistress Lucrezia (Sarah Parish), defying his own marriage and risking scandal.

Not wanting a loveless marriage, Bianca tells Guglielmo they are free of obligation but to themselves. In contrast, Clarice refers to sex with Lorenzo as her duty as a wife! Throwing
caution to the wind, Bianca runs off with Guglielmo, prompting Lorenzo to send men out to find them (because, obviously, nosing into other’s private affairs is important to state business).
Meanwhile, Jacopo Pazzi comes around to the idea of Bianca and Guglielmo’s union, believing it will destroy the alliance between Medici and Soderini.

Bianca and Guglielmo

Negotiating the problem of Bianca and Guglielmo, Francesco Pazzi says Lorenzo must break the treaty with Milan, or the Pazzis will expose the scandal. Lorenzo re-emphasizes that he wants a republic, and wants to save Guglielmo and Bianca without putting the treaty at risk. Right around this time, Bianca is found and Guglielmo gets roughed up a little.

Shortly after that, Lorenzo meets with Jacopo Pazzi, demanding that he gives his blessing to Bianca and Guglielmo’s union. Jacopo agrees to the terms, for reasons already stated. However, he tells Guglielmo that, to him, he is no longer a Pazzi. Way to keep the bitter rivalry alive, Jacopo!

A new treaty, an unhappy Pazzi

Although Salviati is Pisa’s new Archbishop, he’s barred from entering the city of Pisa. The
Medici’s are interfering with his appointment! Even to a layman, it seems like a risky move. However, Lorenzo is negotiating the terms of the treaty with Milan. Lorenzo agrees that the Soderini family will get half the rights, but Soderini demands all rights!

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A vote is held. In defiance of Jacopo, Francesco votes for the treaty, and for Lorenzo. He tells his uncle, “If Guglielmo is not a Pazzi, then nor am I.” So, as Lorenzo’s treaty is ratified, Jacopo storms off. While Lorenzo (or Medici the Magnificent) sees this as a bold new era, Francesco still declines to shake the man’s hand.  Was this a well-played round?  What basis is this for the legitimate government anyway?

What are your thoughts on Medici: The Magnificent? Let us know in the comments!