Monday, April 07, 2014

My Review of DaVinci's Demons 2x03: "The Voyage Of The Damned"

Written by Brian Nelson
Directed by Peter Hoar

Alfonso: “Time to accept your fate, DaVinci.”
DaVinci: “I must confess I was distracted by the thought of your imminent defeat.”

When an episode of this show opens with a scene where DaVinci impersonates Count Riario in one of the most delightfully exaggerated performances, there are two things that will disappoint. One is the fact that the episode itself does not feature the fearsome count and the other would be that as a baddie, Ferrante’s son, Alfonso is somewhat lacking by comparison.

Granted I assume there are more appearances to come from Kieran Bew on the show but I have to admit that I wasn’t best impressed with Alfonso in this episode. He might have exposed DaVinci’s ploy and even defeated him in an opening sword battle by being ambidextrous as well but as a menace, I’m not really sure he’s menacing to be honest.

He also doesn’t seem to be particularly complex either and his presence somewhat made me miss Riario all the more because of that. His scenes where he terrorised slaves and threatened Yana did serve to prove that he was a nasty piece of work but one that was also rather easily bested in the end when DaVinci, Amerigo and Zoroaster invaded his ship and freed the slaves before getting rid of Alfonso for good measure.

Getting Alfonso’s ship in order to catch up with Riario did form a major part of this episode and the ‘invention’ of the submarine for this one was pretty daft but interesting nonetheless. While it did just about manage to work, I think it’s also something that DaVinci might want to develop a bit more. I know myself if I had been travelling in that thing I would’ve freaked out on a bigger scale than Zoroaster did when it sprang a leak.

Speaking of Zoroaster – I kind of liked Amerigo needling him about his friendship with Leonardo and in general, the banter with the two of them was rather fun to watch. This season has been hinting at some conflict with DaVinci and his friends and it does seem to be moving a subtle pace for the moment. Plus there’s also the issue of getting Nico back as well, which DaVinci almost seemed less focused on too.

As for the Medicis – this was something of a mixed bag for them. Pope Sixtus IV managed to get some kind of victory with the ex-communication tactic but it also seemed that Lorenzo and Clarice were mostly at loggerheads in this one too. I did like that she revealed Lucrezia’s role as a spy but I also think she could’ve handled things a lot better. As for Lorenzo’s plans to go to Naples – I’m not entirely sure how that one is going to pan out for him.

Last but not least – Lucrezia had storyline I actually enjoyed in this one. Not only did she manage to get her silent assassin to rough up Lupo a bit but she also managed to turn the idiot against the Pope when she revealed about a certain prisoner that the Pope was stashing away. I think this episode does actually prove that away from DaVinci and Lorenzo, Lucrezia can actually be a far better character to watch. I hope for more of this in the remaining episodes this season.

Also in “The Voyage Of The Damned”

I really hope now there’s a scene where Riario gets to impersonate DaVinci, even down to the clothing as well.

Alfonso: “Arrogant bastard, aren’t you?”
DaVinci: “Bastard, yes. It’s hardly arrogant to speak the truth.”

Remove one word and this episode is close to a title of a certain episode of Doctor Who – a series in which Tom Riley will also be making a guest appearance in this year.

Vanessa: “I think I should decide what’s best for my child. I think I am capable of that on my own.”
Clarice: “I don’t believe that.”

I have to admit that while I get it, I don’t enjoy seeing Clarice being horrible to Vanessa. I’m also intrigued by the sudden arrival of Carlo Medici as well.

Amerigo: “You must know you’re mad.”
DaVinci: “I’ve heard it said.”

Clarice: “You blame me for Giuliano’s death?”
Lorenzo: “I wasn’t making that exact point.”

DaVinci’s inspiration for the submarine seemed to come from a turtle, a lamprey and a trout. I can’t wait to see what he conjures up in the New World.

Lucrezia (to Lupo): “Now you have to choose – to serve the true Pope or a deceiver.”

Anyone notice that the music in the closing credits seems to have a darker tone? I quite like it myself.

DaVinci (to Al Rahim): “Everything I have achieved has been accomplished by fighting to exhaustion. I have no other way.”

Chronology: Not that long from where “The Blood Of Brothers” left off.

I think this season really has improved. “The Voyage Of The Damned”, while not as good as the previous episode certainly had it’s moments (DaVinci as Riario – stroke of genius) and overall the show has managed to make characters I previously didn’t care about (Pope Sixtus, Lupo) and those I’ve been hit and miss on (Lucrezia) a lot more engaging than last season. That itself is certainly a good sign.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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