Warning: Spoilers for Da Vinci’s Demons season 1, episode 4
What an interesting episode. The forces of Rome were circling Florence, about to strike and only Leonardo’s cannons standing in the way. We got to see a very different side of Leonardo in this episode, where he acted frustrated and quite flighty. This is reflected in both his destroying the cannons in production, but also in burning one of his notebooks.
This is a new dimension to the character that I didn’t notice in earlier episodes. He seems to be a bit of a perfectionist. In earlier episodes, he has gotten bored easily, but here he also chooses to destroy anything that isn’t exactly right; even when he doesn’t have a ready alternative.
This is the second time Leonardo bluffed Riario; the potential betrayal of Florence being the first. The word of the fake crossbow will undoubtedly creep back to Riario, so Leonardo has at best delayed their fate. Lorenzo Medici even says as much.
The episode ended with Leonardo being arrested for buggery. The “interrogations” of the time didn’t end well for the person being questioned, with them dying either way, so this leads to an interesting quandary. We’ve seen Lucrezia Donati sneak into the prison in this episode. If she offers Leonardo an escape, to avoid certain painful death, will he change sides and join Rome?
The litmus test of a show for me is if, when the theme song starts, that I’m suddenly happy and excited to see the show. Game of Thrones has one of those themes. This show, in just four episodes, has managed to get the same reaction. From a shaky, but fun, start, this show has progressed to something I look forward to each week.
They are burning through plot in just the right way. Not saving things for season finales, but having major events happen in every episode.
The only tiny downside to this episode for me was the pomegranates. I doubt there were many people watching that didn’t think of cluster bombs as soon as Nico started shooting them against a statue. This is similar to last week’s foot poison. The audience there long before the characters. There was so much else to enjoy, though, that it was easy to overlook.
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