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Da Vinci's Demons Review: One Final Riddle

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As far as the New World story arc is concerned, we've now come full circle.

Da Vinci's Demons Season 2 Episode 8 begins in those opening moments of the season. Only this time, we witness the complete conversation between Leo and Riario.

I knew instantly this meant we'd be leaving the Inca and Machu Picchu behind by the end of the installment. Which is fine, because I'm ready to get back to Florence and have all our characters reunite.

Awaiting Death

"The Fall from Heaven" finally gives us a little more background into the relationship between Riario and the imposter, Pope Sixtus IV. As it turns out, Sixtus found an abandoned young Riario at a monastary and tasked him with becoming the sword of the church. In his supposed final moments on Earth, Riario regrets the terrible things he's done in the name of faith. He's definitely a changed man, I wonder how this new Riario will behave once he's back in Florence.

In Naples, Lorenzo is still waiting to meet with King Ferrante. Ippolita encourages him to keep fighting the good fight, and later steps in to further his cause. Apparently, she's much more clever than I gave her credit for. She's definitely had enough of that brute Alfonso and falls back into Lorenzo's arms. Who can blame her? Besides, Clarice is carrying on with her husband's half brother.

Speaking of Duke Alfonso, the bastard's been working with Pope Sixtus all along. He informs the Pope that Lorenzo lives, inspiring a change of plans. Duke Federico and his army of mercenaries, though not his first option, might be the way to go.

However, Bayezid (Heir to the Ottoman throne) soon arrives and as expected things don't go smoothly at all. Sixtus, not having sent Lucrezia to talk peace interprets this visit as a threat. A swordfight breaks out! Is it me or does Sixtus grow more freakin' evil with each episode? Bayezid is spared but only to send a clear message to the Sultan that Rome has no interest in negotiations.

A captive and very worried Lucrezia meets with the Sultan's Italian advisor who knows exactly who Lucrezia is but is curious why she's there. A woman in chains and markings on her hands is brought before Lucrezia. Will this woman get to the truth without laying a hand on her?

In the New World, Leo still has one mystery to solve before accessing the vault and The Book of Leaves. One problem though...

My visions foretell your deaths will please our Gods and they will reward us with The Book of Leaves.

Ima

Before sacrificing him, Leo is allowed to see that Zo and Nico are alright. Luckily they've been deemed unfit for sacrifice. Using a phrase only Zo would understand, Leo warns them to get themselves free. I was surprised for a second there that Nico turned on Zo but he simply created a distraction and took out the guard. Zo realizes that his time with Riario has changed Nico. "He taught me to survive," the young man tells him.

I wasn't sure if Riario did actually hear Leonardo's mother call out last week, but Leo confirms that he did. This means we're not dealing with a spirit that can only contact Leonardo right? Does my time travel theory still stand? Hmmm not so much.

The show has definitely become more graphic this season. Not that I mind it, but wasn't that young girl's sacrifice extremely up close and in our faces? Yeah, Goyer and company have seriously delivered the gore this season.

Anyway, while Zo and Nico work on their distraction to free everyone, Leo manages to get free and hold Topa Inca captive. By demanding Ima translate, he tells the Inca people they have survived the trials of the temple and must be allowed to return freely, otherwise they will all suffer the God's wrath.

Suddenly Zo's distraction kicks in, a massive explosion hits and Leo and Riario make a run for it. Leonardo does manage to get his key back from Ima. One last visit to the vault is required, plus they can escape through the vault using parachutes. That's right, parachutes!

Once back inside The Vault of Heaven, Leo and his allies make a dash to the cavern where he heard his mother's voice. Ima, Topa Inca and their warriors chase our heroes down. Was anyone else surprised that Topa Inca was the one crushed by the entrance to the Vault? I had to rewind that scene to make sure it was him. I certainly wasn't expecting the Inca leader to go out like that.

While Zo and Nico work to create the parachutes from a design of Leonardo's, the man himself and Riario attempt to solve the final riddle.

Remember those little gold sphere's on the floor in last week's episode? Well naturally they play an important role in opening the vault. Their magnetic properties allow them to adhere to the vault door but must be arranged in a specific order to gain entrance. These trials have been insane right? I think even Indiana Jones would be stumped by some of these tasks. Then again, he's not Leonardo da Vinci right?

Leo recalls his vision of the Mona Lisa. In the background was Machu Picchu and the answer to his current dilemma. The numbers 7 and 2 appeared within two shapes similar to the ones on the vault doors. Leo must arrange seven sphere's on one side and two in the other while Ima begs from outside for Leo's mercy.

The door opens! However, there's only a brass female statue inside. "This is the Lord's cruelest joke" says Riario. No kidding, wasn't what I was expecting that's for sure, but that's the beauty of this show... it's unpredictability.

Leo reaches inside and flips a switch, the brass statue comes alive and speaks his name (in his mother's voice). How creepy were its eyes though? They looked almost human, were they? And does the machine really allow you to hear the voice of someone that has passed over? After all this, is Leonardo's mother dead? Riario's not impressed, where's the effing book.

Leonardo my dearest, I was betrayed. I could not keep The Book of Leaves here. The only way you will find its location is if you give up your quest for me.

Leo's mother

I wonder if that arrow the Inca shot through the machine mean we will never hear the rest of the message? Leo plans to fix it upon his return to Florence, so maybe the damage is not so great.

Our heroes parachute to safety and has Riario got balls or what? He's the first to throw himself off that cliff. Ima pleads one last time for Leonardo not to take the book and he informs her there was no book before jumping himself. Will we ever hear from Ima again?

Riario brakes his leg upon landing, Leo sets the bone and refuses to leave the Count behind. "There's been enough death" he says.

While waiting at the shore for Vespucchi's ship to return to pick them up, Leo and Riario share another heart to heart. These two have really bonded this season haven't they? Riario informs Leo that Sixtus tested him by exacting revenge on a sinner, a Jewish prostitute who also happened to be his mother. The Count strangled her to death and proved himself to Sixtus. Now he feels terrible remorse and foolish for chasing after The Book of Leaves for some kind of redemption.

Leonardo remains confident the book exists, after all, how could that brazen head be built without it? Riario doesn't doubt its existence only if it's worth all the trouble.

For Leonardo it's absolutely worth it and as Vespucchi's ship returns our characters will finally be reunited in Florence next week. What did you think of Leo's adventure in the New World? Was the trip worth it after leaving without The Book of Leaves? Did that brazen head take you by surprise? Did you hear the good news that Da Vinci's Demons has been renewed for Season 3? There's still so much story left to tell, and I am absolutely thrilled we get to experience more of it next year.

Will Leo be able to fix the brazen head and listen to the rest of his mother's message?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (5 Votes)

Henry A. Otero is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Da Vinci's Demons Season 2 Episode 8 Quotes

My visions foretell your deaths will please our Gods and they will reward us with The Book of Leaves.

Ima

Leonardo my dearest, I was betrayed. I could not keep The Book of Leaves here. The only way you will find its location is if you give up your quest for me.

Leo's mother
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