Da Vinci's Demons Season 1 Finale Review: Florentine Psycho

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Da Vinci's Demons S01E08: "The Lovers"

Well, it's been a long, strange trip with Leonardo and his gang of merry... whatever we want to call them. Friends, I guess? Over the course of the eight episodes that've gotten us here, I've come to the conclusion that Leonardo Da Vinci would have been a difficult guy to be pals with, at least in this incarnation. His drive to accomplish whatever his project-of-the-moment happens to be is so strong that it tends to override every other aspect of his life. I'm not saying that this Leo is about to go murder some hookers with a renaissance chainsaw, but I wouldn't have been terribly surprised if he gave Lucrezia the Patrick Bateman/Evelyn treatment and finally just admitted, "You're just not terribly important to me." 

Except, well, he went back to Florence to save all of those silly nobles after all, which negates some of what I just said—but he didn't really want to, and if he misses that boat when Da Vinci's Demons returns for Season 2 (and c'mon, you know he's totally going to miss it) he's gonna be PISSED. 

Poor Lucrezia—finally winning my sympathy for, like, ten whole seconds—gave voice to the thing that I couldn't quite put my finger on when it came to Leo and why people bothered to try to hang out with him. It's not so much that he's a fun guy (though I'm sure he's a hoot when he's hammered), and it's not that he'll do anything for his friends because frankly, he probably won't, but Leo is the sun of enlightenment, knowledge, heroism, and the future, and everybody just wants to catch some of those rays. 

The idea of everything orbiting around Leonardo and Leonardo's mere presence, in turn, influencing the story was the simplest and more interesting visual of the Da Vinci's Demons finale—especially considering that, over the course of the season, I've consistently found the peripheral characters' arcs to be more compelling.

Vanessa is preggers with Guiliano's bastard spawn which I kind of saw coming, but whatever. Guilano didn't really die when Lucrezia shanked him, but I forced myself to curb my enthusiasm for his "resurrection" because I read the Wikipedia article about the Pazzi Conspiracy ahead of time. I'MMA MISS YOUR CHEEKINESS, BOO. 

But kudos to Pazzi for not trying to fumble his way through an excuse when Guiliano crashed mass to blab about the vast conspiracy. Nope, he just went right for the DIE YUPPIE SCUM part of the routine and kickstarted our swashbuckling Leo action. 

Meanwhile, the Pope met with Lucrezia's dad for a chat and a game and we learned that they're twins and that Papa Lucrezia has been working with his Holiness the entire time. OH. EEW. So Lucrezia has the worst family ever and I'm not sure if the revelation that she and Riario are cousins makes his constant referrals to her as a whooooooore more or less creepy. He didn't hesitate to take her hostage and smack her around when he learned that she hadn't been assassinated by his men after all. Wow. And I thought my family was effed up. 

Lucrezia saved Clarice, but failed to save herself, and Leo was getting there, but Lorenzo suddenly sucked at sword fighting, so he got distracted. Lorenzo was eternally grateful for the save until he saw Lucrezia's ring around Leo's neck, and then it was all, "If we survive this, I'mma kill you both so hard." Rude, Lorenzo. Just rude. 

Aaaand then boom. Credits. For a second there, I thought my screener was malfunctioning because while Da Vinci's Demons has often ended with cliffhangers, they haven't been quite so sheer, dropping off right there in the middle of all the action. It was a good move for keeping the excitement going into the upcoming second season, particularly since—for me, at least—the series never quite grabbed me the way its network siblings Spartacus or Magic City have. 

Da Vinci's Demons is a good show, but I have to stop short of calling it a "great" show because sometimes, tuning in was a real chore. I never grew to care about Leonardo the way I cared about pretty much everyone except Leonardo (and Lucrezia, but even she managed to make me emote by the end of this finale). Admittedly, that could very much just be a "me" problem; as with every TV series, fans attach themselves to the characters who appeal to them for reasons that are unique and diverse. On Series X, I like Character A the best and you like Character B the best and while neither of us is wrong, our allegiances will affect our enjoyment of that series. Go check out any active Supernatural community and you'll find that opinions of this past season vary sharply, depending on whether you're talking to a Sam fan or a Castiel fan. That's the most obvious (and oh so vocal) fanbase I can think of, but the basic concept applies. 

Still, "The Lovers" was a fast-paced and exciting finale with an ending that even has moi—someone who's admittedly become a pretty passive Da Vinci's Demons fan—eager to see the resolution. And that's one of the best things a season finale can do, keeping the excitement going for fans who'd never lost it while roping those who'd wandered astray back in. As part of the latter group, it's a place where I'm very happy to be. 

QUESTIONS:

– Do you think el capitan was undercover with Riaro and the Pazzis the entire time, or was his decision to switch sides a spur-of-the-moment thing? 

– Will you be tuning in when Da Vinci's Demons returns for its second season? If so, what do you hope to see?

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