When we last visited our historical Florentines, the Pazzi-Papal storm of riots had been quelled, Lorenzo il Magnifico returned to his piazza and wife, traitors hung from the gallows (which is an issue for me because historically, the Pazzi traitor Francesco and the Archbishop were thrown over the wall of the Bargello in a rather dramatic and bloody fashion; there is a section in the film Hannibal that goes into detail, and shows some of the pieces of art depicting the scene), a pregnant Vanessa is now living with the Medici, Zoroaster and Lucrezia are not in fact dead, Riario has Nico in a cage on the Basilisk, the King and Prince of Naples coming to the Pope’s aid (with TOTALLY PERIOD dual scimitar blades on the Prince’s back, I might add), Leonardo with the aid of explorer Amerigo Vespucci sets off to find a ship for the journey to the New World, and Lorenzo has given Leonardo half Cosimo de Medici’s special sword.  (Review of s2e2 is here.)

“Voyage of the Damned” starts at the dockside with “Riario” convincing a ship’s captain to let him take over the vessel under the banner of the Papal army.  As the camera shows us “Riario’s” trademark shades and slowly pans out, we see that it is in fact Leo in disguise.  I have to say, I enjoyed seeing how Tom Riley did a pretty damn believable job of imitating Blake Ritson.  Just as we think this ruse is going to work, Duke Alphonso the Prince of Naples shows up, and the jig is up for our hero.  “I didn’t expect Two Blades here to show up,” says Vespucci.  Alphonso and Leo exchange witty retorts as sharp as their swords, and Zoroaster jumps ship.  No, literally, you’d think he had enough of being tossed in the drink after the Lucrezia thing from s2e1.  Da Vinci loses his sword, and also jumps into the bay.

Back at the Vatican, his Holiness The Pope has decided that the only proper retaliation to the Medici (*cough* Clarice’s idea *cough*) hanging of one of the clergy (in his ROBES no less) is to excommunicate the city of Florence and shut them out of the trade industries of the highly Catholic neighboring countries.   The Signoria board of the Medici bank fears for the security of the Republic, disagreeing with Clarice’s course of action, but Lorenzo steps up and defends her actions.  He also goes so far as to suggest embarking on a journey to the court of Naples to treat with the Duke and his family, leaving Florence and the bank in his wife’s hands, much to the dismay of his partners.

Once alone, Lorenzo and Clarice finally manage to have the fight that’s been brewing since the mysterious disappearance of Lucrezia.  Clarice aptly ends the feud with the well timed line, “Fuck subtlely” and calmly questions her husband’s ‘gut instinct’ after she slashes the Da Vinci portrait of Lucrezia.  She then fills in the blanks of Lorenzo’s knowledge with the full measure of Senoria Donati’s betrayal.

High on the rooftops, Lucrezia’s new friend Quon Shan helps ensare Lupo Mercuri, curator of the Vatican’s secret archives and set him on a mission into the Castel Sant’angelo to discover the secret identity of the Pope’s prisoner.  It is revealed that Lucrezia’s father is in fact the REAL ordained Pope, and twin brother of the man currently presenting himself as the Holy Father.

Leonardo meanwhile has finished his blueprints for a ‘mechanical fish’, which is a proto submarine he and Zoroaster will pilot under the bay and out to the ship, attaching with grappling hooks and boarding under the cover of darkness, freeing the slaves and overthrowing Duke Alphonso to acquire the vessel.  (Which oddly enough, works.)  My favorite thing about this far fetched aquatical endeavour is the encorporated sound of something akin to modern sonar pings while our heroes manage to barely avoid striking a sunken wreck.  (Edit with quote from the Emmy winning composer Bear McCreary:  I’m fairly certain you’re hearing tines, which are essentially tuning forks. My percussionist has ones in a bunch of different pitches and they’re light enough that they can be swirled in the fingers after they’re struck, so the pitch does this cool wobbling thing. Throw up a stereo pair and wave them around the field while you’re doing that and you got yourself instant percussion magic.)

This episode we also meet Carlo de Medici, another bastard offshoot of ol’ Cosimo’s wild days, who joins Clarice for dinner one evening.  She is of course in a state of disbelief til he shows her a tapestry in one of the halls featuring his smiling face.  There is much chemistry between them, something you’ll have to wait to see develope.

Zoroaster (who I have to think is tired of the ocean by now) and Da Vinci’s plan works, and they sneak aboard the ship to release the cache of slaves, Leo has the chance to face Alphonso again, and they’ve made new superstitious Circassian friends.  As the ship begins it’s journey, the Turk makes an appearance to Leo, and professes the journey will be payed for with “the blood of those who follow you”, referring to the continuing search for the Book of Leaves, and leading everyone to either “further illumination, or to further darkness.”

Coming next week, LET’S MEET THE INCA.


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.
  • CONTACT >>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *