Tuesday, May 07, 2013

My Review of DaVinci's Demons 1x04: "The Magician"

Written by David S. Goyer And Jami O’Brien
Directed by Jamie Payne

Lucrezia (to DaVinci): “I hope you kill that bastard, Riario.”

Now, now, Lucrezia – that’s not very nice. What did Riario ever do to you? Oh yeah, that’s right – made you into his little spy and assassin to Becchi. Well, I assume that Riario might have instructed Lucrezia to have bumped off the already framed Becchi but it’s more likely she did that one of her own volition to be honest.

For Lucrezia, stabbing the man with a poisonous blade from the Secret Archives was her attempts of being merciful to Becchi. I would imagine not framing the poor fellow in the first place would’ve been a lot more merciful but this episode did try to make us feel bad for Lucrezia with her act of treachery. The problem is that I don’t feel bad for her. I get why she’s doing the things she’s doing but my sympathy for her is beginning to wane a little.

Lucrezia didn’t need to kill Becchi in the first place. She could’ve tried to pin the spy in the Medici court on someone else or even confessed to Lorenzo herself that she’s the traitor and appeal to his better nature to spare her. It might not have worked but Becchi’s death is now on her conscience and she had better hope for her own sake that someone takes out Riario because she’s more likely to suffer than he is at the moment.

The scenes in the marketplace where she watched a man getting tortured for sport because he betrayed Lorenzo was surprisingly more graphic than I expected but it didn’t make me feel that sympathetic for her plight. And neither did her second sex scene with DaVinci but at least she wasn’t bullshitting she told him that she hoped he would kill Riario. Eventually that type of confrontation is going to happen between DaVinci and Riario but clearly not just yet though.

Instead this show finally decided to pull out the sodomy charges against DaVinci in his closing moments when he had finally won confidence with the Medici. I wasn’t surprised that the show decided to go down this route but I am surprised that they’ve done it rather early though. Surely it would’ve made a better cliff-hanger in the finale after we had actually seen DaVinci indulge in some guy on guy action.

Which leads me to my next point – sodomy charges aside, are we actually going to see that side of DaVinci dealt with onscreen? The side where he has male lovers and it’s not just sex scenes with Lucrezia or a past history with Vanessa or even a choice moment with the artist and Clarice? With a second season already confirmed, I do hope the show actually delivers on it’s promise to explore DaVinci’s sexuality truthfully, especially given that this one of the issues as to why the show itself has largely divided most viewers.

At least when DaVinci was arrested and Nico was trying to protest his friend’s innocence, there was a nice look that definitely implied DaVinci had been sleeping with men and I also quite liked that in spite of his frustrations with DaVinci in this episode, it was Lorenzo who really tried to prevent his military strategist from getting arrested.

Getting to the best part of this episode was seeing the faith and frustration that Lorenzo placed and expressed with DaVinci in this episode. Leonardo wrecked his head by damaging the muskets but amended the situation when he came up with the cluster bombs as an alternative, though even those were rather deceptive.

Similarly, Giuliano’s faith in Becchi was sad to watch as he tried in vain to get the man freed. I liked that Giuliano didn’t believe that Becchi could be a traitor and I liked the implication that Clarice felt similarly as well. Obviously what I didn’t like was the fact that Giuliano coming to Lucrezia for help resulted in Becchi being killed by her but sadly you can’t have everything, eh?

Also in “The Magician”

The title referred to Lorenzo and Giuliano’s grandfather, Cossimo who was revealed to be another member of the Sons Of Mithras. The statue that DaVinci kept seeing in previous episodes also stemmed from him.

DaVinci (to Lucrezia): “Painting. It’s, it’s about more than just strokes. It’s about perspective. I mean, do I paint you from below or do I paint you from above?”

We learned that in this episode Piero had sold DaVinci to Andrea for a cheap price when he realised Leonardo’s talents at 14. He was also less annoying in this episode but not by a great margin though.

Pope Sixtus IV: “This will requite more than funds. Resurrection requires death and in this case, the sacrifice for Rome’s rebirth will be Florence.”

Lorenzo: “I will show no mercy to those who betray the Medici name.”

Riario and Pope Sixtus IV definitely seemed to be upping their attempts of seizing Florence, especially given the open tortures/killings, issuing Lorenzo with demands and presumably setting DaVinci up for arrest as well.

Becchi (to Giuliano): “There is a traitor in our midst. After I’m dead and Lorenzo lowers his guard, the traitor will still be here.”

DaVinci (to Lorenzo): “When all your enemy knows is killing, a simple deception can suffice.”

Riario said something during his confrontation with DaVinci and Lorenzo (I think it was the second time) that kind of supports my theory about him having Al-Rahim as a prisoner.

Clarice (to DaVinci): “I didn’t come to Florence to be under Rome’s rule.”

Lucrezia: “You’re better than this, Leonardo.”
DaVinci: “I thought I could save Florence. I thought my talents could be enough but they’re not.”

Clarice seemed to be wearing a trouser suit when she was talking to DaVinci in this episode and the thing with the pomegranates having ‘magic’ – colourful dialogue or something more meaningful in future episodes?

Lorenzo: “You can’t keep on bluffing Rome forever.”
DaVinci: “Can’t we? Life’s precious, Lorenzo.”

Chronology: Still 1477 I presume.

Definitely a promising episode. “The Magician” might have split people with the sodomy charge debate and the lack of onscreen guy on guy action with DaVinci but at least his quest to find America/the Vault Of Heaven/Book Of Leaves continues apace and something tells me that what’s going to happen next week, it won’t result in Leonardo being burned.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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