Riario grieves over Zita, his self-sacrificing slave of terrible tropes, with Nicco to pray along side him. Zoroaster, who has little sense of appropriate time or place, warns Leo that he can’t trust Riario because he’ll kill for the Leafy Book (and Leo won’t?) but Leo points out Riario is also willing to die for it (again, you lot sailed off to a possibly mythical continent – are you saying you won’t?). Zoroaster also wants to know what Leo saw on his visions, not realising the answer is “cryptic bullshit.”
Ina suggests she and Leo going into the vault with her alone but when Riario argues, Ina’s dad insists they all go in together.
To get into the Vault of Heaven needs them to go into a cave behind a waterfall, each of which has a “threshold” which, I think translates to “Leonardo Da Vinci and the Last Crusade”. Trap 1 involves pushing a very high button but anyone heavier than a 5 year old gets super-duper squished. Leo throws his genius at it and at least credits the Incan’s for their incredible engineering skill – and speed (Ina has a whole empire at her command – because no-one has anything better to do?) He creates a little cart to buzz across the floor and push the button. Priesty dude isn’t happy but Ima does ask why gods would create doors you aren’t meant to open? Personally I can think of a few from various pantheons who would but that’s an aside.
Next room is a chasm with a thin bridge over it.
Leo insert the key into one of 100 keyholes and turns it – which is a ridiculously bad idea and gets a red shirt killed when the bridge retracts. Ima grabs the key and jumps to safety, being intelligent but Leo is sure he can solve the puzzle (btw is there a reason no-one’s noticed the really blatant constellations around each hole?) in time. He finds the hidden lock he knows is there for GENIUS and they open the door and stop the bridge. But Ima & co have to go find something to help them bridge the gap – she asks them to wait.
Of course they don’t (it’s not like they’ll need any cultural clues to the puzzles or anything, is it?) and they come to a room with a disco ball in it and 2 keyholes. The key splits in 2, Riario is sure this will be easy. Riario can’t be that stupid. Zoroaster grabs him to stop activating the obvious trap and Riario pulls a knife (Zoroaster responds with an anti-gay slur, of course). Nico tries to talk Riario down, into trusting people. He gives the knife to Nico.
Zoroaster, as a thief and master of picking locks, examine the keys and tells Leo which goes in which hole (they don’t consider if they have to be turned at the same time, in a certain order etc etc. They’re bad at these deadly traps). Or the significance of the disco ball (is it there in case of emergency need to boogie on down?). Needless to say, merely turning the keys doesn’t work. Leo throws genius at it and, while they have to leave Zoroaster and Nico behind to hold the door open, they go forwards.
They find a hole in the side of the mountain they can jump to their sure deaths if they wish – and Leo hears a voice. Don’t pay any mind Riario, Leo makes a habit of hearing things. Ima has caught up with them and her guards and Zoro and Nico – badly beaten up. Ima’s pretty pissed they didn’t wait for her and her visions are clear – Leo leads them there and she leads her people to salvation. Leo doesn’t seem to feature much further.
Leo protests that they’re supposed to be joined as one, Ima isn’t a fool – it’s painfully obvious Leo is more interested in someone else. Then they all hear a woman call Leo’s name – Leo assumes it’s his mother.
In Florence it’s time for some Gratuitous Heterosexuality. Because gods know we couldn’t get through an episode without a straight couple getting it on. Carlo (fully dressed, of course) and Clarice (completely naked, also of course). They have an angst moment because he is falling for Clarice – but she has a reputation to maintain. All his life, his dad (Cosmo), his brother (Lorenzo) have all kept him at a distance because of their reputations. While he, a Black illegitimate son, has never had a reputation to protect. Big thinky thoughts – time for an assassination attempt.
He fights, she screams (she picks up a sword but doesn’t actually do anything with it). When he has dispatched their assassins they hear Vanessa scream – he runs through to rescue her.
Carlo criticises the guard captain and suggests telling Lorenzo, the captain isn’t having it and throws back telling Lorenzo about whose bedroom Carlo was in. The assassins also conveniently carried identifiable crests showing they’re from the Duke of Urbino (he the unpleasant man who shits in saunas).
Vanessa and Clarice have a moment in which Clarice teaches Vanessa about being waited on – it’s not about whether you can do it yourself, but by being waited on you send the message you are important, worthy of respect; even in Vanessa’s convent the Abbess has her prerogatives that established this. But Vanessa wants to leave the palace where she thinks she is a target and when Clarice pulls the “well you did sleep with Guiliano you slutjezebelhussy” Vanessa strikes back at the idea she is defined by who she sleeps with – and she will demand respect.
Carlo, meanwhile, is getting stuff done. He confronts the guy who will take over the bank without the Medicis as the real leader of the assassins, after all, Duke Urbino isn’t subtle enough for assassination. He demands a confession or he will slice and dice the man – the banker protests about the Pope (already damned them, what does Carlo care?) and how he wouldn’t with extra insults to Carlo’s ancestry. Carlo stabs him. That’s one way to deal with cheating, stealing bankers.
Later, over dinner Clarice isn’t even slightly subtle hiding her relationship with Carlo in front of the servants making Carlo all nervous. Clarice assumes the servants will know anyway, as they did about Lorenzo and Lucrezia; she’s doing whatever she pleases
Outside Constantinople, we have a brief scene where a noble sentences a thief stealing food to join the army and Lucrezia and Quon Shan cause a stir by Quon Shan fighting the guards when they don’t get an audience – which grants them an audience. Well one way to get to the front of the queue. The noble is Prince Bayezid, eldest son of the Sultan and Lucrezia approaches him and speaks in the Pope’s name.
She hands over the Sword of Osman (which his advisor says should be back in the palace – so one of them is a fake) to encourage him to speak to her. Speaking privately, Bayezid admits that the sword at the palace is a replica. She suggests a peace treaty between east and west, no more wars between the Catholic church and Ottoman empire – and maybe Bayezid supplanting his favoured half-brother as heir.
Then it all goes wrong for Lucrezia as Bayezid takes Quon Shan to be his guide to Rome and Lucrezia is left behind as hostage, under guard with no visitors.
In Rome, Fake Pope complains about Lupo researching again (he is head archivist, it’s kind of what he does). After Riario went off after the Leafy Book, the Fake Pope has become impatient – he’s now against all the superstition and wants more practical means to win his battles. He throws away Lupo’s notebook
Lupo goes to Real Pope to complain but Real Pope agrees with his brother – the Leafy Book is distraction. Lupo doubts it –because the one page they have is now been hidden from him by Fake Pope, so it must be some level of threat to him.
Lupo uses a smoke bomb to knock out the guards so he can enter the archive – and steals the page (which changes with every trial Leo passes)
There are about a bazillion storylines now. Leo’s is the least interesting. A series of traps he throws genius at (because he doesn’t even really follow logical procession, just GENIUS) and solves. Bing, done.
Clarice frustrates me, she isn’t doing anything except critique Vanessa (who is, at least, trying to assert some independence). She’s been left in charge of the bank but she kind of hangs around and hopes Carlo will fix everything – and him, being awesome and capable and knowledgeable but, most of all, being able to actually do shit, gets stuff done.
And Lucrezia? So many weeks of almost doing stuff and now she’s a prisoner.
That leaves Ima… who is now set against Leo so her defeat is rather inevitable. And, frankly, she’s apparently had the role of translator for some time.