Thoughts on Da Vinci’s Demons Season 1, Episode 2

WARNING: Spoilers for Da Vinci’s Demons Season 1, Episode 2

What a difference a week makes. After episode one which showed promise, but had moments where the seams showed, episode two is far more assured. The episode was well paced, funny and showed a lot of promise for the season.

Girolamo Riario arrives in Florence, played exceptionally by Blake Ritson. Girolamo is a bad guy with apparent depth. While he seems to have no moral qualms with death and destructions, he also tries to persuade Leonardo to change sides. He seems to be a very effective opponent for the Medicis and Leonardo.

The historical accuracy and sheer physics of the show are suspect, but if that bothers you, then this isn’t the series for you. At one stage, Verrocchio refers to saltpetre as Potassium Nitrate. He has no way of knowing about chemical elements. This is not a show for the pedant.

It is, however, a show for people who can set reality aside for an hour and enjoy the ride. Leonardo successfully tricks Riario, faking him out that he would change sides. I get the feeling, though, that this fake out is going to cost him dearly later on.

Each of the main characters leave me wanting an episode explaining more about them and that’s to all of the actors’ and writers’ credit.

Other things I’m looking forward to in the show include more of Leonardo’s inventions. I’ve always liked alternate history and it will be interesting to see just how far they’ll be willing to push it. For instance, the repeating cannon is a jump, but not an unthinkable one. However, Riario has seen it in action now, so it’s not going to be difficult to reproduce. It is, after all, just a lot of cannons strapped together on a rotating drum.

So what will the next step be? We’ve seen glimpses of tanks in Leonardo’s workbooks. I have to imagine that his sketches have now become a high priority acquisition for the Papal side. With them, the sides become level again and the superior numbers will win. The Papal forces don’t seem stupid and have plenty of spies, so stealing notebooks and papers would probably be the best strategy.

Da Vinci was famous for his mirror writing, so that also gives us an interesting code breaking side to the Papacy.

Overall, this series is shaping up to be one I’ll be watching for many seasons to come.


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