Lucrezia, confined to a convent, confesses to Cesare (as a priest/cardinal) the identity of her unborn's father. A confrontation with the Pope results in Cesare's arranging the death of a scapegoat. Lucrezia's first husband is required to affirm his impotency to pave the way for her marriage to Alfonzo, with whom she falls in love. Cesare becomes part of an intrigue with Louis, the new king of France who has petitioned the Vatican for annulment of his marriage and a dispensation to marry his brother's widow. Cesare is released from holy orders and allowed to both marry and command an army to assist King Louis in his attempt to subdue Naples and Milan. Meanwhile, Lucrezia is pregnant again and her husband disappears in the night.