While it was great to see most of our cast reunited in Florence this week on Da Vinci's Demons Season 2 Episode 9, the excitement is short-lived.
Damn you Goyer and company, did you have to go and kill off that beloved character? I guess at some point our protagonist must be left to his own devices and what better time than heading into Season 3?
Leonardo and Riario come to an understanding that their alliance, however brief, is now over. I'd love to see them working together in the future though versus Riario just becoming a villain again.
Besides, the real villains have finally come out of the shadows. The Enemies of Man are our Season 3's antagonists, and they're bad news.
Upon arriving in Florence, da Vinci instinctively knows that something's not right. Of course, we learned in Da Vinci's Demons Season 2 Episode 8 that Pope Sixtus had called Duke Federico in to sack Florence. The one-eyed bastard did a fine job, the city looks awful and its citizens even worse.
When Leo throws his arms around his Maestro, I knew right away Verrocchio wasn't going to make it out alive. Such a shame, he was always an incredible comfort to da Vinci. In much the same way Luke Skywalker lost Obi-Wan Kenobi and was forced to become the master, that's where Leo finds himself now.
But I'm getting way ahead of myself, Leonardo must first save Florence (was there any doubt he would?) by defeating Duke Federico. Tell me Clarice in chains didn't give off a slave Leia vibe? Hence my Star Wars analogies this week.
Welcome home artista. I wondered when Florence's famed war engineer would turn up. Not quite the challenge I expected.Duke Federico
Naturally, because he's Leonardo da Vinci our hero is quickly taken to the torture chamber. There he meets up with Carlo de Medici, who quickly recognizes Leonardo. Sure, da Vinci's the talk of the town but Carlo has been away so long, how does he know Leo? We find out soon enough.
Zo and Amerigo, disguised as executioners free Leo and Carlo. Leonardo refuses to leave Florence and plans to take the city back by removing the Duke. Though there was no time to build the catapult Leo drew, he and Carlo sneak in via the furnace to save his friends as they had been captured.
While the Florentine rebels (Zo and Amerigo) are instructed to fight to the death, Leo's gas balloon does the trick and knocks everyone out. I'm not sure how Duke Federico was aware of Cosimo's secret tomb but he escapes into it.
Leonardo follows the Duke inside and an excellent sword fight takes place. I loved the fact that Leo used the Duke's one eye and lack of depth perception against him. Seriously, how brilliant is our MacGyver of the Renaissance?
It's no surprise Leo wins the duel but what did shock me was Clarice killing the Duke with a blade to his one good eye. Brutal my lady, but good riddance to a character I never particularly liked.
Lucrezia's story arc has been interesting this season and when she accidently reveals there are two Pope's and one is her father, her interrogators have the information they required. Either way, war is the only outcome. What's next for her? Will we find out this season?
The true Pope's rejection of Riario leaves him no where to go, so he decides to sacrifice himself in the name of redemption. Luckily (or perhaps not so luckily) for him there's a hooded figure watching.
With Florence liberated and the crowds celebrating, Verrocchio excitedly asks Leo to follow him. Da Vinci's Maestro has repaired the brazen head. I've got to say I'm pleased this was resolved quickly and we were able to hear the rest of the message. Though of course, things don't go according to plan.
In Naples, King Ferrante was about to strike a deal with Lorenzo who had promised to split his fortune with the King. However, his son turned out to be more vile than the King himself. Was anyone else surprised Alfonso killed his father? Historically the King died of cancer in Genoa, Italy.
Verrocchio explains to Leo how the brazen head works and it's much like a music box actually. So that's how the voice materializes! Leo's mother's message contains a warning...
You must beware of the labyrinth. Beware of the enemies of man, they are everywhere.Caterina da Vinci
When Leo says "that's all?" I have to admit I was also expecting more to the message. Andrea replays it and there are hidden musical tones included along with the voice. Bear McCreary's score brilliant incorporates these notes while Andrea and Leo discover their meaning.
My first thought when I saw Riario hanging upside down in the labyrinth of the enemies of man, was Leo's vision of himself as a boy. Could this be the connection? Did he witness himself captured by the enemies of man as a young boy? Will he heed the warning?
The musical notes in the message spell out Book, Home and Child. Leo deduces that his mother did indeed leave The Vault of Heaven with the book and took it to Vinci, his childhood home.
Unfortunately, everything goes to hell when Carlo de Medici appears and turns out to be one of the enemies of man. I never trusted the guy, but I'm glad to see he plays a larger role in all this than just bedding Clarice. There had to be more to Carlo right? Otherwise why show up when he did?
The bastard wounds Leo and informs him he knew Caterina da Vinci for years even traveling to the New World with her. The man in the cave painting wasn't The Abyssinian at all, but Carlo.
While poor Verrocchio lay dying, Leo promises to make things right. He will avenge his Maestro's death and finish off Carlo, but that probably won't happen until next season. History tells us that Andrea Verrocchio's cause death was unspecified, however we do know he died many years before King Ferrante of Naples. Then again, "time is a river" on Da Vinci's Demons so we're not supposed to sweat these details too much.
Did the Carlo reveal surprise you? Are you as devastated as I am to lose Andrea Verrocchio? With only one episode left this season, how will it all end? I can't wait to find out!
Is The Book of Leaves located in Vinci, Italy?