Leonardo, when you start licking paintings, I think it’s time to accept the devil is here.
Can I just say, aside from the lack of Zoroaster, I loved this episode of Da Vinci’s Demons. Like, I really loved it. I was glad to see more of Giuliano, we finally got to meet the pope, we got to see Clarice officially, Riario showed a different side to himself, and we saw some of those demons that people have been talking about in the title.
So let’s start it off with Riario and his prisoner. I’m speculating on his prisoner, but I have no actual ideas on who it is. I’m assuming it’s a Sons of Mithras, though it could just be someone he assumes will lead him to the Book of Leaves, however doesn’t seem like the Pope knows about it. He seems to have a relatively amicable relationship with the man, playing Go with him and chatting with him about strategy. I’m not really sure what’s going on with him, but I’m waiting for him to start saying “I’m the son of earth and starry heaven”.
We also get to see a chink in Riario evil armor. His kindness to his Abyssinian servant/slave was seemingly superficial to me in the first scene, but when prompted by his uncle, who wished to “have” her (if you know what I mean), he seemed angry if not completely unwilling. May be nothing, but I did enjoy that little facet of the character dynamic.
The main story, though, is the demons in the convent. That is the possessions that seem to be happening, making nuns turn crazy and start cutting themselves and raving mad before going homicidal. Of course, everyone assumes demons. Hell, I knew it wasn’t demons and assumed it. Giuliano, who is actually Giulino (according to IMDB, but I’m going to call him Giuliano because that’s what HISTORY CALLS HIM), has asked for the responsibility of taking on this task and solving the mystery, to gain some respect with Lorenzo and the city. He happens to meet up with Leonardo in this investigation. On the other end, Nico has witnessed what has happened to the women and initially goes to Leo with a plea for help but is basically rejected by a Mithras obsessed Leo. Later, when Vanessa turns up ill, Leo jumps into action and therein meets Giuliano at the scene.
The two investigate the case in a quite adorable way, siding with each other for once rather than against each other, especially when Lupo Mercuri, the keeper of the secret archives of Rome, comes in for an “official exorcism” which basically means that he’s come in to kill everyone who is infected. It’s obvious to Leo that there is some nastiness at work, something that is definitely not religious. As the most pious followers start falling, he realizes there must be a common thread, which is the altar of a saint that everyone kisses for good luck. He uncovers that it is Rome’s doing, and basically catches them red handed with some fireflies and a method that I need someone to prove to me actually works. Also no one catches fireflies that quickly. But yay! Giuliano gained some respect, but he also accidentally told the Romans how many guns they have… so now they need to build more.
Knowing the poison that the nuns have been struck with he gives them the antidote, but then promptly passes out into an attack as well. He kissed Vanessa’s lips and therefore contracted the illness. During this time, we get a look into his own demons. There are some twisted images of him cutting into himself, his cadavers standing up and speaking to him, Riario with the key and blood gushing from his lips, and of course, his mother. He manages to be healed, waking up to Giuliano and Nico at his side, which is adorable. It also gives him a little insight into his life, and hopefully will make him less obsessive with the Mithras and with himself. There’s also kind of a funny moment with the Pope who claims that the Book of Leaves must be in Florence, while Leonardo studies a map of South America. Oh Pope Sixtus IV, you simple summer child.
Oh, and remember how Lorenzo was searching for his traitor? Well, he should probably not tell people that. His uncle/whoever his advisor is (I keep hearing them call him something like Becky, but I’m pretty sure that’s not his name. Unless it is, which I don’t think is historically accurate) suspects Lorenzo’s wife, Clarice, played by the lovely Lara Pulver known most recently from Sherlock, because of her Roman origins as an Orsini, but is quickly rebuffed from Lorenzo. He, of course, tells Clarice, who agrees with Becky and tells him to do whatever needs to be done. She also has a talk with Lucrezia that basically ends with the lesson that she is Lorenzo’s wife, and Lucrezia is just a passing fancy.
Obviously it doesn’t sit well with Lucrezia, who comes to Lorenzo without being summoned and bangs him right in the stables. It lasts for the short part of a minute (bravo Lorenzo), and she pushes him to search everyone close to him. She is no where near subtle, especially with planting incriminating evidence in Becky’s bookshelves, but it gets the job done. Lorenzo’s men find the papers and he’s locked up. Lucrezia is free to roam and continue to betray the people and poison nuns (yup, she was the one who put the poison down and effectively made a whole convent, a dragonetti, and Leonardo suffer). Also, she gets a parrot! Yeah, Leo has one of his “I need to see things fly” moment and goes to the bird seller and buys his whole lot to be set free. The parrot, to his dismay, is fine in his cage, and he gives it to Lucrezia. Get it? Woman who likes her gilded cage, parrot who likes his. Also, there’s nothing to call, but Lucrezia’s husband is definitely gay.
Next week: Riario wears a fedora, Lorenzo wears a nipple metal shirt, Lucrezia uselessly goes to confessional, and a lot of people suffer apparently. HOPEFULLY WE GET SOME MORE ZOROASTER AND GIULIANO.