On Saturday night, Starz Network and David S. Goyer returned us to Florence during the time of Leonardo Da Vinci, the reign of Lorenzo il Magnifico de Medici, and the bromance of the Artista and his patron.  We’d shown you the season trailers and the ‘Icarus’ teaser last month, but we had no idea they’d be redoing the entire  title sequence for season 2, which was a surprise to be sure.

Now let me preface this by saying how much I DO enjoy the series, as fantastical as it can be at times, it IS based in factual characters and happenings.  When not at conventions, I spent my weekends doing historical reenactments with a group that portrays a Renaissance Florentine ambassadorial group from the Medici family, and several of our ‘guild members’ play historical characters such as Juliano de Medici, the bastard son of one Giuliano de Medici (who is played by Tom Bateman on Demons).  There are several things within the show that followers of history will raise eyebrows and shake heads about, maybe going so far as to have twitter wars about specifics regarding  bad luck birds strutting about the palazzo.

The Emmy winning series (they won for Outstanding Main Title Design, and series composer Bear McCreary also won for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music) will be going places this season, no literally, Da Vinci vs the Inca is a thing, and we see flashes of it in the first few minutes of the episode.

That being said, let’s get into season 2 episode one, “The Blood of Man”.  The official synopsis from the Starz press rep is: “Chaos erupts as the Pazzis strike and Leonardo da Vinci is forced to gamble for the future of Florence. Meanwhile, Riario races ahead in his own quest for the Book of Leaves.”  If you recall the end of season one, we had Da Vinci and Lorenzo pinned down by the Pazzi/Papal army, an injured and bleeding Lorenzo discovering that his lover Lucrezia Donati (played by the beautiful Laura Haddock) and his resident genius Da Vinci had been…um…intimately acquainted, and possibly the reason for the sudden attack on the Medici family.  Things didn’t look too good for Il Magnifico after a slice to the neck, he was all but exsanguinated by the time Leo managed to skwirl his master to Verrocchio’s studios and performs the first blood transfusion (sorry, Van Helsing) and has opium swirled dreams with a newly pregnant Vanessa watchful over her friend.

And lets talk about poor Clarice Orsini-Medici (Lara Pulver) wife of Lorenzo; witnessing her brother in law get murdered in the middle of the Chapel on Easter Sunday, her husband possibly mortally wounded, and trying to protect her children and flee the murderous crowd rioting throughout the citystate of Florence.  She is lead on her dangerous trip towards the castle by Captain Dragonetti (played by Ian Pirie), who does some pretty awesome ass kicking on behalf of the ladies.  Things get a little tense when the youngest daughter Madelena gets separated and men on horse storm into the square, but the tiny Principessa makes it out of the dirt and into the safety of the bolted doors.

Camped outside the now smoldering semi-sacked city in the Papal pavillion, Senora Donati once again narrowly escapes being put to death/losing an eye by men she’s managed to double and even TRIPLE cross.   I can’t bring myself to forgive her for her blatant betrayal of both her men; the bathtub scene from “The Tower” where she flirts such a disastrously beautiful moment for her to redeem herself to Leo, but doesn’t, and her deal with Count Riario to giftwrap the Medici.  She appears to Da Vinci in one of his during-blood-transfusion dreams, and the use of her heartbreakingly beautiful theme brings the emotions from season one right back to the forefront.  The vision is fleeting however, and ultimately brings him back to consciousness just as Lorenzo straddles him to either revive or murder Leo.

And during this, Nico and Zoroaster have been doing their best to follow Leonardo’s instructions and gather his materials onto a ship bound for the undiscovered continent (spoiler, it’s South America) so the search for the fabled Book of Leaves can continue.  But, despite their careful and discrete escape from the city, Count Riario (and his TOTALLY PERIOD SUNGLASSES) is waiting for them on the Basilisk having already payed off the captain of the ship.

I’m very much looking forward to how this season progresses, and how Nico will eventually evolve into Machiavelli.  Da Vinci’s Demons is on Starz Network Saturday nights.

ABOUT >> Mary Anne Butler
  • BIO >> Mary Anne Butler (Mab) is a reporter and photographer from San Francisco California. She is a lifelong geek, huge music nerd, occasionally cosplays at conventions, does Renaissance Faires, and in general lives the life of a True Believer. She may be short, but she makes up for it with a loud voice.
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