Da Vinci's Demons

Season 1 Episode 5

The Tower

Aired Saturday 9:00 PM May 10, 2013 on Starz
out of 10
User Rating
71 votes

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    Da Vinci's Demons "The Tower" Review: Special Victims Unit

    Gold star, Da Vinci's Demons. I enjoyed this this one immensely.

  • Episode Summary


    Piero represents Leonardo when he faces trial for the accusations against him. Meanwhile, Lorenzo tries to impress some prospective royal clients and The Turk returns to Florence.

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    • The Tower

      The Tower was an exceptional and entertaining episode of Da Vinci's Demons. It was great to see the trial unfold. Da Vinci seemed to be going mad in prison but he came up with a genius plan to save himself. I liked seeing how everyone hade a stake in the trials outcome. The bat bombs were crazy and gives a dose of comedic relief. I like the tone of the series so far. It was cool to see Lorenzo host Spanish Royals and try to secure their business. Many relationships went through something. I liked the ending and seeing the Turk. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!

    Ted Allpress

    Ted Allpress

    Young Leonardo da Vinci

    Guest Star

    Hywel Morgan

    Hywel Morgan

    Prison Bully

    Guest Star

    Philip Arditti

    Philip Arditti

    King Ferdinand II of Aragon

    Guest Star

    David Schofield

    David Schofield

    Piero da Vinci

    Recurring Role

    Alexander Siddig

    Alexander Siddig

    Aslan Al-Rahim ('The Turk')

    Recurring Role

    Tom Bateman

    Tom Bateman

    Giuliano de' Medici

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (5)

      • When discussing which play to perform, Verrochio's first suggestion is a Passion Play. These are dramatic representations of the life of Jesus Christ.
        He next suggests Oedipus Rex, a tragedy by Sophocles from around 429 BC. It chronicles the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes the king of Thebes and was destined to murder his father and marry his mother.
        Vanessa then mentions that she has always loved Lysistrata. Dating from 411 BC, Aristophanes' comedy tells how the women of Greece withheld sex from their men as a means of forcing an end to The Peloponnesian War.
        Verrochio finally suggests The Birds, which is another Aristophanes comedy. Dating from 414 BC, it is noted for its mimicry of birds and for its songs.

      • The play which Giuliano puts on is from The Decameròn by Giovanni Boccaccio and dates from around 1350. It is a Frame Story, in which a group of ten young people tell each other one story per day, for ten days; there are therefore 100 stories in total.
        The 'stolen pig story' is the sixth tale from the eighth day.

      • Lorenzo tells Lucrezia that Botticelli or Ghirlandaio can finish her portrait if Leonardo is not able.  Domenico Ghirlandaio was an Italian renaissance painter who was one of Verrocchio's apprentices at around this time.  He would be summoned to Rome to work on the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel; he was responsible for the Vocation of the Apostles and the Resurrection.

      • Leonardo tells Marino that the shroud should be treated with silver nitrate using the methods of Albertus Magnus. He is a Catholic saint and was a German Dominican friar and bishop. He is credited with the discovery of arsenic and experimented with photosensitive chemicals, including silver nitrate.

      • The drawing that Jacopo Sartarelli has at the end is what is known today as Angelo Incarnato (Angel Made Flesh). However, in this case, it has been given Jacopo's face.
        This is the only surviving erotic drawing by Leonardo and was uncovered in 1990 as part of a private collection.

    • QUOTES (12)

      • Lorenzo: (About Isabella) That pan-faced wench wouldn't know art if it sat on her face, which her Friar clearly longs to do.

      • Leonardo: At worst, it speaks of political chicanery to question anyone's intimate relations in this manner, 'cos I have nothing to be ashamed of and I have nothing to defend.
        Vanessa: I can vouch for that. They should put me on the stand.
        Zoroaster: Hearing how he deflowered a nun won't help.

      • Zoroaster: (About Torquemada) Who shat in his wine sack?

      • Piero: The defense must be allowed to pursue all aspects of the case.
        Podestà Marino: Your son is guilty.
        Piero: How can you..? The case is not complete...
        Podestà Marino: This trial is a performance, you oaf.

      • Podestà Marino: If the people believe [Jacopo Sartarelli] amoral, I can't pass a guilty verdict without appearing corrupt myself.
        Francesco Pazzi: You'll do as instructed.
        Podestà Marino: I'm an elected official. I'll do as someone pays me to do.

      • Lorenzo: They are devoted Catholics. How do you think they will respond to a play that's wall-to-wall nun-sluts and horny priests?

      • Verrochio: And have you given the same amount of thought to what would happen if it doesn't work?
        Leonardo: None whatsoever.

      • Leonardo: This is how history will remember you. Lies, truth, it's irrelevant. The best story wins.

      • Zoroaster: Well, I'm a genius.
        Vanessa: You still smell like bat shit.

      • Leonardo: (To Jacopo Sartarelli) But trust me, trust me, no one defines me. Not Florence's outdated laws and certainly, and certainly not you.

      • Leonardo: (To Jacopo Sartarelli) Every kiss sends a message....that one was goodbye.

      • Leonardo: D'you know I've never heard that tune from anyone except you.
        Lucrezia: My father used to hum it to me when I was a child.
        Leonardo: Where is he now?
        Lucrezia: I...cannot say.

    • NOTES (7)

      • Leonardo's Sodomy Charge

        An anonymous charge was made on 9th April, 1476, alleging that Jacopo Saltarelli was "party to many wretched affairs and consents to please those persons who request such wickedness of him".  Four people were accused of sodomizing him: Bartolomeo di Pasquino , a tailor named Baccino, Leonardo Tornabuoni, an aristocrat and Leonardo da Vinci.  Another man had been convicted of sodomy with Jacopo Saltarelli, earlier that year.  In order for a prosecution for sodomy to be made, the accusation had to be signed; as this accusation was anonymous, the charges were dropped.

      • Between them, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella ruled what would become the Kingdom of Spain. In fact, Ferdinand did not actually become King until 1479, a year or so after the events shown in this episode.

      • A described by Leonardo, the marcgravia evenia plant has bowl shaped leaves which act as reflectors for a bat's biosonar. This helps the bats find the plants with greater ease and hence pollinate them more frequently. The shape of the leaves also helps guide the bats in locating the hidden feeders.

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

        It features Piero da Vinci,  Dragonetti and Black Martin.  When Piero comes to visit his son in prison, he is subjected to a thorough and humiliating cavity search by Black Martin.  Dragonetti explains that this is due to Gentile Becchi having previously smuggled in poison.

        This scene immediately followed Leonardo being thrown in solitary.  The subsequent scene begins with Black Martin letting an unhappy Piero into the cell.

      • The Tower is the sixteenth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks.

      • In the UK, this episode was titled The Judgement.

      • Original International Air Dates:
        UK: May 17, 2013 on Fox

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • Lorenzo says of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, "And what exactly what do you think would amuse them?  A bonfire of Jews?"
        This is a reference to their strong Roman Catholic faith and their part in the creation of The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, also known as the Spanish Inquisition.
        The royal couple pressured Pope Sixtus IV to agree to form an Inquision that would report directly to the Monarchy, rather than to Rome. This was enacted on 1st November, 1478.
        Tomás de Torquemada, a Dominican friar who is shown accompanying Isabella to Florence as her Confessor, would become the first Grand Inquisitor.