Sodomy might be allowed in High Garden, but sadly, in Renaissance Italy it’s a punishable offense. And as you will remember, Leonardo was arrested for sodomy last episode and in this one, was tried.
I have something to say, which is, I don’t know much about court proceedings, but I do feel like it is not THIS similar to our modern court system. But then again, what else would it be?
So since emissaries from Spain are visiting, Lorenzo has distanced himself away from Leonardo due to his accusation of sodomy. Since he is no longer the banker for Rome, Lorenzo needs to find someone for which his skills can be used, and Spain is on the top of his list. However, being the strong Catholics they are, Lorenzo can’t seem to catch a break. Clarice tells him to use Giuliano to host a show, something to charm the Spanish. Although he is hesitant to give his brother any responsibility, Lorenzo reluctantly agrees.
Giuliano takes to the artistas and they search for a play to present. With influence from Leonardo, despite being in jail, Giuliano chooses one of the raunchiest plays without looking closely at the script. Lorenzo is furious. He comes to yell at Giuliano, but leaves being beaten up by his younger brother. Sure that he is still right, they continue on with the play, and on opening night, he decides to take out all but the most sexual bits of the story.
The story is a success, both with the crowd as well as with the Spanish and Giuliano gets some of his credibility back. He also gets a kiss from Vanessa, which I am kind of hoping is going to be the start of some kind of romance, because I’m a shmuck for romance.
In jail, Leonardo seems to have blown a fuse. He gets into a fight with the other prisoners, and is put into solitary confinement. In solitary, he is visited by his father, Piero, who will defend him in the trial. The relationship between these two has so far been caustic. Piero broke Leonardo’s hand in the first episode, and the two have been at odds with each other, but in this episode, we saw into Piero and found something good. It occurs to Leo at one point that Piero may see more of Leo’s mother in Leo than he cares to admit and it hurts him.
Throughout the episode Piero struggles to name Leo as his son, but in the end calls him so and even leaves with a smile. However, during the trial, it’s all a wreck. The Pazzi family comes in and all but sentences Leo to his death, pulling the victim/witness of Jacapo Saltarelli. We aren’t given much about Jacopo, other than what we hear in the trial and what he hear from Leonardo, but it’s clear that there was a romance between the two. However, the romance seemed to have ended, after Jacopo was no longer his muse.
With the sodomy charges unwavering, Leo is forced to take drastic measures. In an elaborate switcheroo, Zo comes and fetches Leo out of jail and takes his place, while Leo, on the night of the play performance, catches his judge unawares. He ties the judge up naked, behind a pig, and puts him in… quite a precarious position. He has set up a camera obscura, which will both project the image of this bestiality into the sky like a bat signal, but also capture the image onto silver nitrate, giving him a little souvenir.
In this moment of blackmail, he tells the judge to sign off on his release, waiving him of all charges of sodomy, and also delivering 50 florens to Piero for his difficulties, and finally signing off on his act of bestiality in the case of Leonardo’s death. With everything in place, Leo is able to be sprung from jail. A freer man, he returns back to his studio, to look at his map when surprise! Al-Rahim appears.
He talks to Leo, and tells him that he returned because Leo had drank from the fountain of memory.Remembering his visions of his dreams while he was in jail, he realizes he sees bodies on the ground and above them is the body of a hanged man who is still alive. Upon closer inspection, he realizes that it is him!
Next week, we meet some familiar and unfamiliar faces. Do I hear mention of a famous count? No. Not the Count from Sesame Street, it’s Count Dracula!