One of the most amusing scenes in the entire series took place in Da Vinci's Demons Season 2 Episode 3.
Da Vinci doing his best imitation of Count Riario was absolutely brilliant. Tom has got Blake Ritson's voice and mannerisms down to a science.
I also love when Goyer and company bring one of Da Vinci's drawings to life, in this case his submarine.
We had a chance to see Duke Alfonso - the ambidextrous swordsman - in action, met a new de Medici and Lupo Mercuri learns the true identity of the Pope's prisoner. Let's jump right in, shall we?
"The Voyage of the Damned" begins with our heroes attempting to steal a ship. Leonardo expertly imitates Riario, bullying and threatening the captain to set a new course. He might have pulled it off too, only Duke Alfonso of Naples arrives and happens to know the real Riario. I cracked up when Alfonso tells Da Vinci he's not Riario and Leo says "Who?" in the Count's voice. "Sorry still in character" Leo says. Priceless bit of acting!
This episode gives us not one, but two incredible sword fighting sequences. In this first fight, Leo does his best but quickly realizes that Alfonso is exceptional. Zo and Amerigo jump ship and it's not long before Leo follows them into the water. I wondered why he threw his dagger below deck before jumping. Of course, this becomes perfectly clear later in the episode.
Meanwhile over in Rome, Pope Sixtus is informed that Lorenzo de Medici once again rules Florence. He becomes furious upon learning that not only are the Pazzis dead, but Cardinal Orsini was hanged. The Pope smiles wickedly and proclaims Florence excommunicated. James Faulkner plays such a great villain, doesn't he? The way he says "The death bell tolls for Florence" gave me chills.
This declaration from Rome is in essence an embargo, no one will do business with Florence now. Ultimately Rome will control all faith and knowledge, therefore something must be done immediately.
Lorenzo meets with the board members of the Medici Bank. Can these guys possibly be more irritating and uncooperative? He manages to shut the lot of them up rather quickly stating that as the head of the bank, Naples would not dare turn him away. Lorenzo seeks an alliance with King Ferrante of Naples against Rome. He informs the board that his wife, Clarice, will be the authority in his absence. "A woman?" one of them asks. Yes Clarice is a woman, and one that will kick your ass if you question her decisions you small minded fool.
Unfortunately, Lorenzo is unaware Pope Sixtus is already having discussions of his own with Naples. I'm afraid he's walking into a trap.
Lupo Mercuri and his entourage are attacked by a mysterious warrior that is somehow connected to Lucrezia. I didn't catch his name or how they know each other, perhaps all that will come later. She shares the secret of the prisoner but does not reveal his identity. When Lupo finds the man, he will want to meet her again she assures him.
Leonardo had not counted on Alfonso showing up on the ship, or the fact he knew Riario personally. They need to reach the ship somehow, free the slaves down below and seize control. So that's why he tossed the dagger below deck. A new plan begins to take shape.
Leonardo: It's a new invention, a mechanical fish.
Zo: Trout, Salmon, Cod?
Leonardo: Part trout, part turtle, part lamprey. Nature always produces ingenious hybrids and so shall we.
As I mentioned at the top, watching Da Vinici's drawings come to life is always a highlight for me. I was surprised there was no "Da Vinci Vision" this episode, that's another detail I look forward to weekly. Perhaps next episode I guess, but I'm not complaining... we got the frakin' sub!
As with much of this show, the audience is required to suspend disbelief and the scene with the submarine is no exception. Let's just accept that it works, they have plenty of air and the thing doesn't leak. It's a fantasy show guys, let's just go with it... Leo and Zo paddle toward the ship.
Lorenzo and Clarice argue over the fact she had arranged for Guiliano to marry a Pazzi. His brother might still be alive if he'd followed his gut. Clarice slaps him and proceeds to cut up Da Vinci's portrait of Lucrezia. This is how Lorenzo finally learns that his lover was a Roman spy. Your gut instinct is why your brother is dead Clarice says. Damn, not a subtle way to break it to the poor guy.
Dressed as peasants Lorenzo and Piero da Vinci ride off. What an interesting buddy road trip this is going to make, right? I'm looking forward to it.
Lupo makes his way to the prisoner's cell, and boy does he get the surprise of a lifetime.
The Prisoner: Good to see you again Lupo. How many years has it been?
Lupo: God in Heaven what are you?
The Prisoner: In your heart you know what I am. The one true Pope.
I'm sure at this point Lupo had no doubt the prisoner was indeed the real Pope. However, he later tests the impersonator asking why he took the name Sixtus and gets the wrong answer. The prisoner had already provided the correct answer. Lupo makes his way back to Lucrezia who tells him the prisoner is her father and she wants to see him. How will they bring down the false Pope? It's going to be interesting, that's for sure.
We briefly meet Carlo de Medici, the bastard son of Cosimo de Medici (Lorenzo's grandfather). It's too soon to know his intentions, but he appears to be exactly who he says he is. In fact, Carlo's image is quite clear in the de Medici family portrait.
Amerigo turning his back on Leo and Zo confused me a bit, but as it turns out he was helping them all along. The sub brushes up against a sunken ship and springs a leak. When they finally reach Alfonso's ship they attach themselves to the bottom (like a lamprey) and make their way up. Amerigo had caused a distraction by starting a fire.
Once aboard, Zo is left to free the slaves while Leo heads off to face Duke Alfonso one more time. Here's where we get our second kick ass sword fighting sequence. I've got to say the fight choreography was outstanding. According to David S. Goyer, actor Kieran Bew (Duke Alfonso) is a British sword champion that at one point trained for the Olympics and ranked number twenty in the world. Well, that certainly explains a lot but Tom Riley holds his own I must say.
The slaves are released by Zo and come to Leonardo's assistance. A female slave carves a symbol into Alfonso's chest. I could not make out what Zoroaster says it means. Did anyone manage to catch it?
Anyway, Leo offers the slaves their freedom and anyone that wants to leave is welcome to. However, he still needs a crew and promises those who stay half of any treasure they discover in the new world. Of course, the only treasure Leo is really interested in is the Book of Leaves.
The Turk visits Leo in the closing scene and scolds him for losing the astrolabe, map etc. "There is a price to be paid for straying from the path" the Turk warns Leonardo. It gets worse though... the price will be paid in the blood of Leo's friends.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but when Zoroaster catches Leo talking to himself that's the first time we understand clearly that the Turk is not real. He's been a figment of Leonardo's imagination the whole time.
That does it for another great episode and the Turk's ominous warning begs the question...
Which one of Da Vinci's friends will die this season?