Monday, November 16, 2015

Da Vinci's Demons, Season 3, Episode 4: The Labrys

Leo and Lucrezia and a young son Andrea living an idyllic life – vision, dream or hallucination? One of the three. Even then Leo and Lucrezia are worried about the Architect in Rome. He apparently did something 10 years ago and now wants to be left alone – which involves not attracting attention and taking their son to Rome. We also have an ominous cave.

And back to reality with Leo being all drugged and brainwashed to join the Labyrinth)

Riario meets up with the Architect who continues to be all calm about everything, Riario continues to suspect Carlo.

Carlo is leading the brainwashing while Leo loathes him and accuses him repeatedly of killing Clarice which makes Carlo all agitated because he loved Clarice.

More drugs, more visions of Leo’s idyllic life. He’s not very good at idyllic life though, with his son drawing disturbing crucifixions and difficult moral choices and apparently destroying the Book of Leaves as well as his ongoing conflict with the Labyrinth which controls hallucination world – and demands obedience and conformity.

Hallucination world also has a Vanessa and Zoroaster leading a resistance (against Leo’s knowledge, but helped by Vanessa). Nico’s dead – and Zoroaster blames Leo. Leo tries to get rid of them and they speak of the atrocities the Labyrinth commits to force their conformity. They also have a missing page of the Book of Leaves, they want Leo to use to destroy the Labyrinth.

Hallucination Carlo, Labyrinth bigwig also joins them to scrub in all the terribleness and how Leo destroyed the Book of Leaves and Florence. And the whole conflict over whether to make their son be a whole pro-Roman zealot. He also has visions in his vision. This is getting Inception-y here.

More conflict between the rebels and Labyrinth with Vanessa dying and telling Leo to Wake Up. More fighting more dying and Andrea is a good indoctrinated child of the Labyrinth and helps Carlo and kills Lucrezia – behold the power and evil of indoctrination

Seeing this, Leo grabs a book of leaves page, announces none of this is real – and….

In reality, Riario isn’t happy that the recruitment of Leo appears to be going badly – though everyone is pretty willing to accept his death as a result. Apparently most people can’t read the Book of Leaves – and Leo is one of the very few who can so him being dead is still a victory against the Sons of Mithras.

The Architect tells Riario that’s Leo’s resistance was very similar to his own. And the cure for this is to poison him, apparently. The Architect continues to demand complete obedience and conformity for the whole world and how Leo is such a threat because he’s an original thinker. He also fears the Book of Leaves which will cause the “death of his faith.”

Cut to… reality? And Riario delivers an unconscious Leo to Zoroaster and Lucrezia, claiming that Carlo captured Leo. He tells them to take Leo to Florence. Lucrezia finds Leo still has her ring – and she decides she has to redeem herself before she can return to Leo.

They ride off and Leo wakes and tells Zoroaster about his visions. It also seems Zoroaster has randomly grabbed a book off a dead Turk. Who is betting it’s the Book of Leaves?

I’m not sure what the point of this was? To illustrate what the drug does? Well, it’s not like Leo doesn’t have hallucinations left right and centre already.

Maybe to emphasise that Sons of Mithras vs The Labryinth is The Terrible vs The Awful and that Team Nobody is the way to go? The whole clumsy allegory of Science vs Religion?

Actually can we address that clear theme – here are the Sons who seem to represent “reason”. But they have all this faith in this mythical woo-woo book and deal in lots of vague prophecy and a genuine Chosen One. For that matter “science vs religion” comes with the siege of Atranto and the massacre of anyone who doesn’t convert to Islam (an actual historic event). All throughout the previous seasons the Sons were supposed to be against the religious restrictions of the church – but this presentation only works if your definition of “Religion” is “Catholicism”. A battle between Rome and the Ottoman Empire is one between political states. But if we were drawing it down to “philosophy” it would be Islam vs Catholicism. The whole allegory feels like it disregards that the Ottomans are a Muslim people – it wants a religion vs science conflict and to do so completely ignores a religion

And I’m not sure how necessary this was? This is what happens when the Labyrinth becomes an ultimate power? Couldn’t we guess? Wasn’t it already kind of inferred by the willingness to do anything to impose their philosophy, support of crusades and rejection of “heresy”?