Da Vinci's Demons

Season 1 Episode 4

The Magician

Aired Saturday 9:00 PM May 03, 2013 on Starz
out of 10
User Rating
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  • Episode Summary

    Leonardo reveals his latest weapon to Rome's army, but is later arrested. Meanwhile, Becchi awaits his punishment after being accused of spying for Rome.

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    • The Magician

      The Magician was an exciting episode of Da Vinci's Demons as many paths converged. I liked seeing Lucrezia witness what happens to traitors and she makes a bold decision. Lorenzo and Leonardo have a few ups and downs. Leonardo is starting to see a larger picture at play. I liked how Riario and Leonardo both made their points. There was a lot of character growth and plot development along with drama, intrigue and action. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!

    Tom Riley

    Tom Riley

    Leonardo da Vinci

    Laura Haddock

    Laura Haddock

    Lucrezia Donati

    Blake Ritson

    Blake Ritson

    Count Girolamo Riario

    Elliot Cowan

    Elliot Cowan

    Lorenzo de' Medici

    Lara Pulver

    Lara Pulver

    Clarice Orsini

    Michael Elwyn

    Michael Elwyn

    Gentile Becchi

    Guest Star

    Ted Allpress

    Ted Allpress

    Young Leonardo da Vinci

    Guest Star

    Iain Mitchell

    Iain Mitchell


    Guest Star

    James Faulkner

    James Faulkner

    Pope Sixtus IV

    Recurring Role

    David Schofield

    David Schofield

    Piero da Vinci

    Recurring Role

    Tom Bateman

    Tom Bateman

    Giuliano de' Medici

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (6)

      • The Pope says he will build a gleaming chapel with the stories of Christ and Moses frescoed on the ceiling. This will be the Sistine Chapel, which took its name from Sixtus IV.

      • Lorenzo tells Giuliano that their grandfather made friends with lunatics such as Brunelleschi. Filippo Brunelleschi was a great architect and engineer of the Italian Renaissance, his most famous work being the dome of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence's cathedral.

      • At the execution, Zoroaster tries to sell relics: the shattered ankle-bone of Saint Albinus and the fingers of Saint Bessus.  He says the former is guaranteed to protect against all pirates and all ruffians.  Saint Albinus of Angers was a french bishop who is said to have bought back parishioners who had been taken captive by pirates sailing up the Loire river.

      • Becchi tells Giuliano that he is reading a Book of Hours. This is an illuminated Christian devotional book, usually written in Latin.

      • When giving Lorenzo his terms for surrender, Count Riario lists two artists other that Leonardo that Lorenzo must release from their contractual obligations so that they might employ their gifts in service of the greater glory of His Holiness' new chapel. These are Pietro Perugino and Sandro Botticelli; both would go on to paint frescos in the Sistine Chapel.  Leonardo would not.

      • The knife that Lucrezia stabbed Becchi with was a misericorde, a needle-then blade used to deliver the 'mercy stroke' to seriously wounded knights.

    • QUOTES (5)

      • Giuliano: (To Lorenzo) I think I have a cat in my bag. Would you like to kick that, too?

      • Leonardo: (To Dragonetti) Il Capitano. I didn't take you for a religious zealot. A bully and an arse-hole, yes..a zealot?

      • Lorenzo: Leonardo! Leonardo! Leonaa...Oh so you have the gall to remain in Florence. You're either brave or unimaginably stupid.
        Leonardo: It's a bit of both.

      • Becchi: Whatever promise they made, they will not honor it.
        Lucrezia: You have no idea of my circumstances. There's more to this than Florence or Rome or my life.

      • Lucrezia: Consider it mercy. This is the fastest, most painless death I can offer and I will see that it takes.
        Becchi: This isn't mercy. This is you tying off loose ends.

    • NOTES (7)

      • The tale that Verrochio told the artists about Leonardo creating a Medusa shield for Piero was reported by Giorgio Vasari in his Vita di Leonardo (Life of Leonardo) in 1568.

      • In truth, Gentile Becchi was not murdered. He played an important part in the Medici court and not only served Lorenzo, but also his son, Piero. He died in Arezzo in 1497, approximately twenty years after the period depicted here.

      • Leonardo tells Lucrezia about how Hades tricked Persephone into eating pomegranates before she left the underworld.

        According to Greek Mythology, it was actually only a number of pomegranate seeds which Persephone consumed, after Hades (the god of the underworld) slipped them into her mouth.  If you eat something in the underworld, you must stay there forever.

        Demeter/Ceres, the goddess of agriculture and Persephone's mother, decided that nothing would grow on Earth while her daughter with Hades. Eventually, a compromise was reached so that Persephone only needed to spend part of the year in the underworld.  Therefore, the Earth would only be barren for only part of the year - creating seasons.

      • Leonardo da Vinci's Inventions

        The inventions featured in this episode are:
        - Giant Crossbow
        - Cluster Bombard

        Designs for both of these inventions appear in what is now called the 'Codex Atlanticus'. It can be accessed on-line here.

        Giant Crossbow / Ballista
        Leonardo unveils a mock-up of a giant crossbow to scare Rome's army. The original design can be found on page 149r of the codex.
        The designs show that it was intended to be 42 braccia (approx 27 yards) wide and would have six wheels.  Instead of giant arrows, the plans seemed to indicate that it would fire large stones or similar.
        It is clear that was seen as a weapon of intimidation, to deter enemies from even starting a battle.
        A recreation of his design was completed for the show "Doing Da Vinci", in 2010.

        Cluster Bombard / Cluster Bombs
        In the episode, after studying a pomegranate, Leonardo come up with the idea of backaging up multiple cannon balls that dispurse. The original drawings for these cluster bombs can be found on pages 31r/33r of the codex.
        Leonardo' design comprises round shells fitted around iron spacers and stitched inside a pliable casing. Once fired, this invention exploded into many fragments with that had greater range and impact than a single cannon-ball.

      • The Season 1 DVD release includes a deleted scene from this episode.

        It features Leonardo and Andrea del Verrocchio; Leonardo worries that he does not have enough cannons, but his mentor tells him that he is actually worrying that he has any cannons at all.  To emphasise this, Andrea tells a story about when he was an apprentice and a game resulted in him being responsible for the death of a friend.

        At the end of the scene, Verrocchio gives Leonardo a pomegranate.

        It appears that this scene immediately followed Lorenzo and Leonardo meeting Riario.  The last line in that scene was Lorenzo saying "We need more guns, Da Vinci.  Our lives depend on it".  The subsequent scene opens with Nico firing pomegranates against a statue.

      • The Magician is the first trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks.

      • Original International Air Dates:
        UK: May 10, 2013 on Fox

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • Riario asked the miners "How many righteous people did Abraham initially promise he would find in those blighted cities?"; the correct answer was 50. 
        This is from The Bible, the book of Genesis, 18:26: If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.