Monday, October 26, 2015

Da Vinci's Demons, Season 3, Episode 1: Semper Infidelis

Da Vinci’s Demons is back for a last and final season to see if it can possibly redeem even a little of the nonsense of the last two seasons.

Which ended last season with the Ottoman Empire invading Naples and we open with Zoroaster trying to get into the city rather than turning around and running for the hills and then being allowed to run through all the battlements – wow their security at war is a really dedicated thing.

Leonardo is prepared to unleash invention death on the invading fleet when his dad, Piero, tells him he sees Leonardo’s mother on board. Just as Leonardo’s mother tells Bayezid, head of the fleet, that she sees Leo. Bayezid apparently cares. Piero begs Leo not to fire, but even he can’t put his epic mummy issues ahead of the war. His mother seems to agree since she encourages Bayezid to victory.

Lots of cannon fire unleashing carnage on the fleet for a whole lot of angst – especially since Bayezid decided to lead his fleet from the front and his ship was hit. Leo’s mother ends up in the water with big heavy chains on her

The cannons seemed to have worked, blocking the entrance to the Naples harbour. Alfonzo is now all for declaring victory and Leo a saviour – (presumably not worried about the Ottomans finding somewhere else to land their fleet or the fleet has been so devastated). Alfonzo and Lorenzo argue about who gets to pay Leo to make the shiniest biggest weapons

Of course, Leo is all angsty and not really thrilled to be responsible for the death of so many people – or any future deaths and certainly not the death of his mother. He storms out in a temper with Lorenzo convincing Alfonzo not to stab Leo for his insult.

Zoroaster goes after Leo to try and provide some level of comfort. It fails somewhat epicly.

As Leo angsts – he notices that the Ottoman flag ship is suddenly burning brighter and stronger hours after just smouldering. He reports this to the princes and Alfonzo is quick to deride whether “heathens” could manage the chemistry Leo is referencing – Lorenzo isn’t that quick to ignore the technological might of the Ottomans but Alfonzo is sure the arriving Napolese fleet will totally take down the remaining Ottomans.

Alfonzo, in case we missed it, is a damn fool.

The next day the Ottomans are making something as the Naploese fleet arrives – and is destroyed by Ottoman undersea mines. They also manage to get their ships past the blockade with Genius so now it’s back to war again with cannon fire going both ways and all is chaos and bad because the Ottoman have super duper cannon – which looks a lot like Leonardo’s cannon multiple barrel cannon.

The walls go down and it’s down to sword fighting. Alfonzo is killed and we get lots of fighting through the streets as the Ottoman flag is planted

The city is ruined and there’s only Zoroaster and Leo among the burning ruins and surrounded by the dead, both with their injuries. They manages to find a hiding place where Pierro and some men are hiding with Lorenzo. After delaying talking about his mother, they discuss plans. Lorenzo hopes to buy the Ottoman off and negotiate – the Napolese won’t go for that at all – instead hoping for a suicidal charge. Zoroaster just completely collapses and votes for running (why not? The Florentines don’t owe the Napolese?). Lorenzo also hopes Leo can fix it – hoping that his whole genius will fix it but Leo is horrified because they have his weapons, his work and designs. Including a nifty tank.

The nifty tank encourages Leo to fire up his genius and stop the tank. Or not – Leo asks the question “how can I fight myself?”

Clarice is in Rome and visits a house full of naked people, a brothel run by a Medici loyalist. The head of the place, Shebim, tries to be all polite and discreet while she’s clear that he knows Lorenzo kept a suite at the brothel so he could “fuck his whores.” He gives in and shows her the suite of rooms that was kept for Lorenzo. She needs help to find Cosimo since he ran off with all the Medici money (or a substantial chunk of it).

In Rome Riario goes to see the pope – who seems very distracted and lost. And in a prison cell. This is the fake!Pope (Riario’s father) in his cell rather than his twin brother Real!Pope (Lucrezia’s father) who was kept in prison forever. Yes, it’s all soap-y and convoluted, run with it. fake!Pope is still terrible especially to his son who is something of a wreck all torn with guilt and self-loathing because of what he’s been required to do by his evil daddy. (I also think he’s in the cell by choice because reasons – he has the key to it anyway). They pray and I don’t think Riario is quite as sad as he pretends.

He finds some nice secret ominous catacombs to explore (I wonder what they pay the guy to go around lighting the ominous braziers?) There he meets Cosimo and they discuss their plans to get the Pope to launch a crusade. Riario wants to meet the order’s boss – The Architect and either he or another boss man shows up to hear Riario tattling on Cosimo for taking all the Medici money and sleeping with her. The boss man is not impressed.

Riario finds a body brutally skinned and displayed – one of the fakel!pope’s right hand men. He reports to his fellow cultists including his belief that real!pope is behind it. They hope this is an excellent chance to manipulate fake!pope which may challenge Riario’s loyalty. To encourage him he asks for more “guidance” which means another session of them pouring nasty acidic hallucination liquid into his eyes.

Al Rahim and the Real!Pope are met by Lucrezia on the road and Lucrezia calls her dad out on his “suicide missions” and wants some answers. About damn time. She reports on the Ottomans invasion failing but Real!Pope is sure they’ll still succeed. Lucrezia really wants to know exactly what the real!Pope wants – and he gets all cryptic about the Sons of Mithras and how the whole invasion thing is a stepping stone for the Sons to take over or rule or survive or do whatever it is they want to do. He wants her on side

The next day she tries to leave so he throws lots of family guilt at her. She’s not moved by him waving her dead sister around like a flag. Al Rahim is sure she and Leo will both change sides in time.

Ok I get that Alfonzo is a damn racist fool and I appreciate everyone calling out the ridiculousness of the man assuming the Ottomans are beneath him because they’re “heathen”. But he’s still a king – I can’t imagine a Napolese king at this time being so utterly unaware of Mediterranean politics as to assume the Ottomans were such a negligible threat. Nor is anyone talking about any kind of wider alliance to face the Ottomans

I do give a nod that the inevitable naked-people-brothel scene was naked PEOPLE rather than just naked women.