Da Vinci's Demons "The Devil" Review: Leonardo Da Vinci, Vampire Hunter

Da Vinci's Demons S01E06: "The Devil"

Actually, not so much with the vampires, because Da Vinci's Demons went more Vlad the Impaler in its interpretation of Vlad III than his other name: Dracula, but there was lots of talk about being soulless and making nice with Lucifer, and then Vlad apparently just got up and walked away from falling out of a tower window, so the more sinister supernatural elements that eventually inspired Bram Stoker were definitely present in "The Devil," or rather "The One Where Leo Sleepwalked to Wallachia and Dragged Nico and Zoroaster Along for Reluctant Company." 

I've found that my favorite flavor of Da Vinci's Demons is when it's completely batshit and readily embraces its weirdness, blatantly refusing to take itself too seriously. That's not to say that "The Devil" didn't have its serious moments. It actually had quite a few—but then it also had the pope's naked temper tantrum.

With Leo fresh out of prison and their conflict with the Vatican far from being resolved, the Medicis went shopping for mercenaries to bulk up their ranks and attempted to forge a binding alliance with the powerful Pazzi family by marrying Guiliano to one of their ladies. The Pazzis didn't seem too enamored with the idea, and we know that they've been working with Riario since pretty much his first appearance, so with two episodes to go in Da Vinci's Demons' first season, I think the Pazzi Conspiracy (Spoilers! Kinda!) might just be kicking off soon. 

Da Vinci, pointed in the direction of a Sons of Mithras mapmaker named Solomon, ventured to the castle of Vlad the Impaler to rescue Solomon because he was told Solomon could decipher the map of South America discovered in the first episode. Unfortunately, Solomon didn't survive his rescue from Dracula's castle, but he stuck around long enough to confirm that he totally could've decoded the map for Leo if he wasn't in the process of croaking—but fortunately, the key to the map was tattooed on his person, so once he was good and dead, Leo and the gang could feel free to skin him and head back to Florence. Solomon also revealed that Leonardo's mom was very much alive and babysitting the Book of Leaves for the Sons of Mithras in South America.  


It was another Lucrezia-lite week, but at least her scenes served more purpose than just reminding us of what lovely breasts Laura Haddock has. While Lorenzo was padding his army's ranks and Leonardo was slaying future literary vampires, Lucrezia was reporting all of it to Riario and his Uncle Pope. Riario had a brief moment of non-douchebaggery when he stopped Sixtus from drowning a dude, then immediately squandered it by ordering a hit on Lucrezia because "she saw too much," which I'm taking to mean she saw Riario getting punched in the face by the pope and his manliness couldn't handle having a witness around. After all, the Pope didn't order her death, and she's shown her loyalty to Riario and the Vatican time and time again, even while nursing her crush on Da Vinci. As long as Lorenzo keeps banging her, she's the best inside source the Vatican has. It honestly doesn't make a huge amount of sense to off her just yet. 

However, I've been waiting all season for Lucrezia to get a real excuse to ditch the snitching-for-the-Pope routine, and if it takes almost getting a pair of spears to the eyes to drive her away from the pope squad, then bring it on. Isn't she like, half-ninja anyway? She'll be fiiiiine. 


So, going into next's week's penultimate episode of Season 1, here's where everybody in this vast land of conspiracy stands so far...

Da Vinci: Doing the kooky artist thing, which generally means doing whatever he wants, and right now he wants to go find his long-lost mama and the fabled Book of Leaves which both conveniently happen to be in the same place. Unfortunately, that place hasn't officially been discovered yet.

The Medicis: Lorenzo ants to be a baby daddy to a male heir and get the Vatican to lay off. Striking out on both counts. Still throwing money at Da Vinci, but hasn't threatened to kill him in about a month. Guiliano's marrying a Pazzi woman to bring the families together-- except probably not.

Count Riario: Shilling for Uncle Pope, but starting to show signs of going rogue—still not siding with the Medicis, though.

Lucrezia: You in danger, girl. Watch your back... um... eyes. 



NOTES

– Tongue-tied Lorenzo was cute. 

– "Fuck. Me." Always an appropriate response, Leo. Always. 

– Clarice and Lorenzo's utilitarian sex was so awkward to watch. More awkward than watching Pope Sixtus IV try to drown a dude in his birthday suit. 

– Not okay with Vlady feeding the Turk to his dogs. Nope. 

– What did you think of Vlad the Impaler / the episode as a whole? How about the season in general so far? 

Comments (30)
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I saw the first episode... Didn't quite like it... I don't get the point of the whole paraphernalia behind Da Vinci in this series.
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Vlad was such a good character. A really good interpretation I felt. On one hand completely ridiculous, but on the other....absolutely terrifying. I agree that this show (and many others) are best when they don't take themselves too seriously.
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This really seemed like a filler episode for me...which, when you only have 8 episodes, can you really afford any filler?
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I'm glad you like the "fuck me" line too MaryAnn. I almost choked on my soda when he said that. That would've been my exact response to seeing him perched up there as well. The whole Vlad/Leo interaction was great.
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Has no one else picked up on that:

1. Riario isn't the Pope's "nephew" but his illegitimate son. In the "Serpent" Lucrezia calls Riario "...a bastard.", to which he responds "Yes... and the architect of my pedigree is the Holy Father himself." In a later episode Riario slips and calls the Pope "Father". The Pope then corrects him by saying "Holy Father." Just like Da Vinci he is trying to prove himself to a Father that can't officially acknowledge him, but rather ridicules and uses him for his own purposes. Sure would give Riario an extra incentive to want to kill off Lucrezia, who happened to witness his humiliation when getting beat down by Papa Pope.

2. Lucrezia is always super sad and depressed, because she's FORCED to betray Florens and spy on family and friends, on account of Rome having something on her. I would bet anything that that something actually is a someONE: the anonymous prisoner who sits in Riario's prison and plays Othello with him.

Am I right or am I right?
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Getting Lorenzo outside of Florence was a nice touch for a change.

I think the thing with the nude pope was supposed to show his power, but also his arrogance and entiteldness. Along the lines of: A pope doesn't need to break up his leisure-time for a meeting with aides.
Also it showed that this pope will behave erratic and turn on his own people / family. And nobody can even hit back, because that would condem them to death. I bet Count Riario could have defended himself, with having a sword and beeing a warrior. But he didn't and that tells us a lot about the loyalties towards the pope: motivated by fear, up to the highest echelons of power in Rome. Quiet the opposite from Florence, just like Lorenzo explained to the Spanish crown in a past episode.

I'm ok with the dog-feeding. But the guy falling out of a tower and dissapearing? Well, als long as they don't turn this show into another vampire-ting i'm fine with it as well..
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Naked pope beating people up. Brilliant.
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I still say this show has too much naked pope...which, by my definition, is any naked pope.
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I'll never object object to face close-ups of lovely Laura Haddock as well as nudity scenes with her wonderful body, as long as the stories keep being interesting, and they sure have been. But I could use less angry nude Pope, preferably none. I mean, he can stay angry! My problem with all that is that I usually watch a Friday show at lunch in a restaurant after work on Saturday, and sometimes I feel I have to cover my tablet because I feel afraid someone will look at my tablet and wonder if I'm watching something X-rated. Like today, during Lorenzo's "practical" sex scene, there was a mother and two children sitting at a table behind me, and I had to cover it and later watched the scene at home. It's easy to forget cable shows are better watched in private and network shows don't have to when you download all your shows from the same place.
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And why is the pope always naked, even when he is beating dudes up? Writer's got some anti-religous issues or something.
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It does make him more ridiculous and inappropriate, definitely a criticism to the institution. Actually most of the Popes they show on TV are very corrupt, while most protestant ministers are honorable people.
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On Vlad Tepes:

- really liked some details, like "tuica", the legend about people not stealing during his reign, and the fact that they where accurate in regards to Vlad's brother (Radu the Handsome)

- on the downside, I didn't like the whole "Lucifer worship thing", Vlad was a christian and him and his brother never where imprisoned, but rather benefited from a "preferential entrapment", they where actually treated as the adopted children of the sultan, they received proper education in politics, economics and trade.

- It is clear that the writer did his research on Vlad, so fall into the vampire cliche?
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I agree with you except for one bit. I'm a bit confused because everything I've ever read on Vlad III states though he and his brother were educated while imprisoned, Vlad was tortured and punished, mostly because of his attitude. Thus, his hatred and revenge grew.

LOVED the episode. Rhys was exceptional and creepy. I'd definitely watch a spin-off, too!
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There sure were lots of penises, lol.

The guy playing Vlad chewed up the scenery a bit, but it was a fun episode.
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At least the pope at the time had some balls, not like the already half dead ones we have now pretty much keeping the church a few centuries behind as usual
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I'm glad that the pope has balls, but do we have to keep seeing them?
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I would have liked more action and less talking between Vlad and Leonardo but I enjoyed Vlad's cruelty, the castle and its rats and the thing Solomon was in... Hope to see Vlad back next season, he makes a great villain !
It makes a nice change to see male nudity, even if I don't particulary enjoy gratuitous nudity, from male or female ... I also think the sex scene at the end was unnecessary.
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Gratuitous nudity grates on me too. It always pulls me out of the story, particularly on premium cable where I KNOW it's all boobs and peens purely because they CAN, and sometimes it's so obvious when a scene is tacked on just to get some obligatory premium cable action.

Vlad was a lot of fun. I wouldn't mind seeing him again in some capacity.
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No comment on that dude's incredibly massive penis in the bath-house scene? For shame! :P

Anyways I too enjoy the show most when it goes all wild and gives hints to something magical and deep.
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Lol, I thought about it! :p

Crazypants and magic works really well for this show. I like that the magical elements are just kind of accepted and no one tries to rationalize them even though the series ostensibly takes place in the "real world" past.
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Vlad should be in the next season or something, because he was an awesome villain. seriously, props.
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Best episode yet especially with the whole Vlad aspect. Telling the Turk that he would give him a fighting chance and than throwing that butter knife made my day.
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Probably my favorite so far despite all of the full frontal male nudity. I know it can't be the women the whole time but come on that was gratuitous. But the story with Dracula was fantastic, I almost wish the whole story was about Da Vinci and him all the time because that was great.

The only gripe is clearly they are not going to kill of Lucrezia, so why even speculate about it. Overall it was great. But more Dracula, or at least give him a spin off.
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Yeah I like to think I'm a grown adult who can look at naughty bits without giggling but when it's every other scene and bares little to no point except to say "LOOK AT THESE NAUGHTY BITS" I can't help it.

Da Vinci and Vlad were a lot of fun. The silly part of my brain kept thinking it was like an adult Scooby Doo Meets Dracula. I'd totally watch a Vlad spinoff. I'm excited for Lucretia's impending not-murder because I hope she ends up being a badass and maybe I can stop groaning every time she's on the screen.
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Well we have seen Lucrezia as a badass a little bit. She did kill the guy in the cell. And she has thus far remained inconspicuous in regards to being outed as a spy. Even if she does get suspected she can fall back on the affair with Da Vinci as reason for her breaking curfew. But I have to wonder if she truly served her purpose for Riario or he is just pissed that she saw the Pope manhandle him. It seems like an odd time for her use to be over. Especially with new alliances and a possible marriage between the Medici's and the Patzi's.
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Although much of it is not true.I Love it sooo much!
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So after watching pretty much every Da Vinci documentary I could find on the internet, it is interesting to go back and see that the show is pretty accurate in a lot of the 'facts'. The weapon designs, the behavior of not completing things and moving on to the next interest, the releasing of birds from cages, a good deal of direct quotes, actual sketches, being arrested, etcetcetc. Of course theres a good deal of make believe but I have a new respect for the writers and their character
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Love the show, its of fun and quite different from most other television.
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