This past week on Da Vinci’s Demons, da Vinci plays Riario…literally, gets caught, fights a new ambidextrous baddie, loses, flees and plots revenge while the new ambidextrous baddie proves just how bad he is by raping a new slave, naming her “Toy” and proceeding to reign over his slave ship. Da Vinci’s new partner in crime sees just how crazy da Vinci can be while making some references to da Vinci’s and Zo’s relationship *wink wink* so he betrays him to the ambidextrous baddie and hangs out on the ship for a bit while Leonardo and Zo build a submersible contraption. They sink, they float, they pedal, it leaks and Zo manages to save Leonardo from oxygen depravation. The two emerge near the ambidextrous baddie’s ship and go on board thanks to their betraying friend, who hadn’t betrayed them, but was just part of the plot to get on the ship, free the slaves and take it over so Leonardo can get back on track and stop being annoyed by his Turkish hallucinations. Also, Toy got revenge and Zo speaks her language…or at least reads it. Back in Florence, Clarice and Lorenzo argue, Lorenzo gets upset about his whore and manhandles Clarice, but leaves her in charge while he goes on a journey to keep the investors investing. Boobies accosts Lupo, Lupo sneaks into the Pope’s secret prison and has a peek at the prisoner and the mystery is revealed – you know, if you hadn’t already figured out the evil-vs-good-twin switcheroo. The real Pope is Lucrezia’s prisoner papa and now Lupo’s on her side with the simple task of getting Lucrezia in to see her dad. Simple.
Given the events of “The Voyage of the Damned,” I have to say it was much improved from the prior two episodes – at least in my opinion, which has been, admittedly, pretty low. With Leonardo making headway on his quest, the show is finally moving forward instead of stagnating on the plot against Florence with Lorenzo whining and bitching at every turn and the new evil twin Pope Sixtus revealed. There’s always an evil twin, isn’t there? Aside from that whole shtick, which I’m not even going to bother to get into right now as it’s a little too cliché-Man-in-the-Iron-Mask territory here, I will say that da Vinci (Tom Riley) does a pretty good Riario impression. He was basically a cheap (because of the clothes) albeit somewhat accurate imitation of the real thing…as long as you don’t see his face, of course. If only the new baddie didn’t pop up with his awkward backpack swords and ruin it. Sitting in chairs must get really uncomfortable with that contraption. Fortunately, defeating him proved to be easier than earlier anticipated, but has only created another Riario-type enemy to contend with in the future, and being the son of the very King Lorenzo is on his way to woo, I sense bad things to come from it. On that note, I have to love the slight revenge “Toy” got on him…although, that’s not exactly what I was expecting when she grabbed that sword and approached him…
Also, I begrudgingly admit that boobies was not quite as annoying in this episode, but actually rather intriguing. Perhaps if she is capable of keeping her clothes on for more episodes, I may even come to like her. Emphasis on “may” as I may also continue to be annoyed at her seemingly flawlessly flawed abilities, connections, knowledge and guile. How exactly does she have such a skillful mute working for her anyway? If she had him all along, why didn’t she utilize him earlier? I’m sorry, I’m just not really buying that she’s some kind of mastermind with people working for her all over the place. If that were the case, I doubt she’d really be forced to do anything for Riario and her uncle. Let’s not forget that her father is a prisoner, but there has been no threat on his life (that I can remember, but I’m lucky I remember pants most days) and given the opportunity to walk, he chose to stay. How much danger could he really be in that would warrant Donati ever helping the fake Pope? Is there some kind of bigger plot afoot here? Also, with such obvious personality defects, how did no one even notice the switch? Basically Pope Number Two took Pope Number One prisoner and no one noticed, except for Donati and the prison keepers, not even his old, faithful buddy Lupo… who apparently isn’t as evil as I thought… Maybe they all just assumed the power went to his head. That happens, right?
Aside from some minor issues with Donati, I actually enjoyed seeing da Vinci’s submersible come to life as he used it to get to the ship and enact a mutiny. Although, I will say this: For a genius, Leonardo can be kind of stupid sometimes. Yes, I get that he doesn’t care for the authority of Duke Alfonso, the ambidextrous, sword-wielding new ass of the season nor does he like pedestrian art (no arrogance there at all), but to draw a better, clearer picture of himself for the wanted poster and then have it posted in the vicinity he intended to stay in while preparing to sneak onboard a ship, well, that was kind of stupid. Zo was smart enough to notice the merchant’s recognition of Leonardo and knock the guy out, but none of them were apparently smart enough to remove the poster…or not even put it up in the first place until after they finished up in the area. It’s fun to see a blatant disregard for annoying authority, but perhaps next time, they could make it a little easier on themselves and wait to post the better pictures until they were done in the market. Anyway, Leonardo uses his new invention, gets on the ship, fights the bad guy and wins this time, saves the slaves and then hallucinates the Turk. I originally liked the Turk and his mysteries last year, but now he’s just taken on the whiny, bitching role in Lorenzo’s absence from Leonardo. Shut up and let him get back on the right track already!
Speaking of whiny bitches, Lorenzo is clearly the whiny bitch of the season. Every scene of every episode he seems to have some new complaint to bitch about…and blame on someone else while he takes credit for the good stuff (because those mobs running amuck as they all patiently waited for something interesting to happen were nearly untamable!) From the start, he enters with false memories of his talents while blaming the hanging of Orsini and subsequent excommunication of Florence on Clarice. Correct me if I’m wrong, but although she had him arrested and perhaps initially chose the sentence, the day of the execution Lorenzo was the one to nod his head and go through with it. Technically, he hung Orsini, not Clarice and he took as much pleasure in it as anyone. But now that the shit has hit the fan, it’s Clarice’s fault. Oh yeah, it’s also her fault that his brother is dead, the Pazzis conspired against them, they have no heirs and it hurts whenever he stubs a toe. Damn that woman, she is the cause of all his problems! Even when she tells him, point blank, that Donati brought the anvil down on Florence with her nasty spying, Donati somehow still remains the innocent in this and Clarice the bad one. At least he has the good sense to leave Clarice in charge while he’s away, I will give him that much…no doubt, it’ll be a nice reprieve for Clarice to have him out of the way for a bit. Of course, now she’ll have to deal with Vanessa. Is anyone else sensing a bit of jealousy with that? Her treatment of Vanessa is, so far, the only real thing I have against The Woman…for now, at least.
Here’s hoping Da Vinci’s Demons continues to improve as the season moves forward! Remember to tune in this Saturday at 9 ET/PT for the next great-ish episode “The Ends of the Earth” on STARZ!