Da Vinci’s Demons Season 2 Finale Review: The Sins of Daedalus

As they all should, the Da Vinci's Demons season 2 finale leaves fans with a serious cliffhanger. Here's Marc's review...

This Da Vinci’s Demons review contains spoilers.

It’s time to wrap things up for this season of Da Vinci’s Demons, a season that at times seemed a bit disjointed with juggling subplots. David Goyer and his team of writers ran the risk of having too many plates spinning at once, but boy, did the final episode tie everything together. As all the cards turned over, by episode’s end, viewers were left with a very different world with higher stakes than ever. So let us bid farewell to our cast until 2015 and close the history books on another season.

Farewell Leonardo Da Vinci. This season took him to the ends of the Earth, to Mesoamerica, and back in the search for the Book of Leaves and more importantly, his mother. He freed Florence this season (twice) and now Da Vinci found his heart darkened by vengeance. With the betrayal of Carlo Medici and the death of Andrea, Da Vinci has never been more focused. Or more cruel.

“I will make this right.” These are the words Leonardo Da Vinci uttered as he held the lifeless body of his maestro Andrea after his mentor was cut down by the bastard born Carlo Medici. As if Da Vinci wasn’t dedicated enough to finding the Book of Leaves, now, he knows that Carlo is on the trail of the mystic tome as well, and there is nothing that Da Vinci wants more than to spill Carlo’s blood.

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In the finale, we get to see just what Andrea meant to Da Vinci. Andrea was the man who encouraged Da Vinci to “Be bold and fearless,” a man who was more of a father to Da Vinci than his real father. Now with the blood of Andrea still warm on his hands, Da Vinci no longer hesitates to kill, as he seems to take a tragic pleasure in the killing of Carlo’s men.  

Before his quest for vengeance and the Book couldn continue, Da Vinci had to face the newest threat to his beloved land, a threat that we will discuss as we bid farewell to Lucrezia Donati. Well, at least we now know what the heck Lucrezia’s story arc was for this season.

Remember when Pope Sixtus insulted and assaulted the Prince of the Ottoman throne? Well, the Ottomans didn’t take that lightly and invaded Italy in this climactic episode. Lucrezia’s quest was to bring down the Pope, the man who stole her father’s position as head of the Church and the man who ordered the murder of Lucrezia’s sister. Lucrezia came to take the papal seat away from Sixtus, and she brought an army with her. With Lucrezia was a chained soothsayer, a woman who serves the Turks by deciphering the future…more on her later. As for Lucrezia, the whole Ottoman subplot for awhile seemed extraneous, and boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong because Lucrezia bringing the Turks into the fold seems to have changed the direction of the show.

The arrival of the Ottoman’s could spell dome for Sixtus’ rule, so we bid farewell to the Pope, a man who must now unify his power with Naples and Florence, a move that lifts the excommunication from the Medici city. Sixtus’ sins have all come to his shore as Lucrezia brought the Pope reviling Turks in the name of vengeance for her family and for the insult the Turks suffered. As his twin brother plots from his cell, with Lorenzo back in power, and with hordes of angry Turks at the gates, it seems Sixtus won’t be long as the head of God’s Church.

We bid farewell to Riario, a man who lost everything and spent this episode having some kind of brackish liquid dripped into his eyes by the Lovecraftian Enemies of Man. The purpose of the Enemies of Man stood revealed as the shadowy cabal is sworn to keep mortal man away from the Book of Leaves, lest the infantile mankind be destroyed by the power the book reveals.

As Riario now could see the truth thanks to having his eyes literally seared, he united with Carlo Medici, an alliance of evil that should truly make season 3 a frightening place to visit. Riario’s story arc this season was one of tragedy as it was revealed he has an altruistic side, but the sins of his past, including matricide, weighed too heavily on his staunch shoulders and Riario, a warrior who could have been a hero, stands as an Enemy of Man.

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Riario’s influence spread this season to not only Da Vinci, but to the impressionable Nico as well, and this finale had a doozy of a reveal in regards to Nico. Young Nico, the boy who learned to be a man while Riario’s prisoner was revealed to be none other than…Niccolo Machiavelli. WELL, HOLY SHIT. So all this time, as Nico learned to”Be Bold and Fearless” at the knee of Da Vinci and learned ruthlessness while he was a prisoner of Riario, the two forged the spirit of Machiavelli. Now that right there, that kind of hidden in plain sight storytelling, that’s artistry.

Machiavelli’s political acumen, even at that young an age, won’t be wasted, as Nico found himself as the adviser to the newly minted most powerful woman in Florence. No, not Clarice Medici, but Vanessa, mother to the heir of the Medici fortune who she gave birth to this episode. Vanessa, the free spirit, the fiery spoil whose passions cannot be contained, balked at courtly life, and at being contained within a palace while Clarice controlled her child.

Vanessa refuses to sign her son’s life away, but Machiavelli understood the ramifications of Vanessa not signing the document. Well, it’s good to have Machiavelli in your corner, and Nico forges Vanessa’s signature, an action that led her to becoming the ruler of the House of Medici in Lorenzo and Clarice’s absence. From a whore to the ruler of Florence thanks to the political machinations of Machiavelli. Not bad for Vanessa who will clearly have an enhanced role in the political doings of Italy next season.

As a former whore sits as the head of his house, we bid farewell to Lorenzo Medici. This episode, Lorenzo bitch slapped the punk ass of the King of Naples and formed an unlikely alliance with the Pope to stem the tide of the Ottoman invaders. But it is the emotional catharsis Lorenzo has with Lucrezia that will stay with us during the long year until season 3. Lorenzo, the man who has everything, learns the one woman he truly loves does not reciprocate his feelings. Instead, the woman who led the Turks to Europe’s shores declares her love for Da Vinci. Lorenzo does not like to lose, but does it matter with the enemy at the gates?

From Lorenzo, we bid farewell to Clarice. Carlo’s betrayal was not only brutal to Da Vinci, but Clarice Medici as well. The usually pragmatic woman who sheltered Carlo and allowed him into her bed now must feel the sting of betrayal to herself and to her city, the city that she dedicates her life to protect. Clarice was violated in an even deeper way by Carlo than Da Vinci, and she leaves her hearth and home to deal with that betrayal. While her husband is driven by duty and unrequited love, Clarice is driven by vengeance for the man that made her a patsy.

Farewell to Zoroaster, you whoring, thieving rake, may you always stay loyal to Da Vinci.

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Farewell, Dragonetti. You didn’t really do much this season, but you are still awesome.

Farewell, Lucrezia’s ninja. Where the heck did you go anyway?

Before we go, it is only right that we say farewell to Da Vinci one more time. A man who built a giant four-pronged cannon to blow up the lead Turk ship. A man who defeated Incan warriors to find his the Book of Leaves. A man who defeated an invasion of Florence with a balloon. Farewell master, as you light your cannon and blaze your way into history.

Farewell to you and the imprisoned soothsayer who was chained to the lead Turkish ship, the woman who was revealed to be Da Vinci’s mother just as Da Vinci’s cannon was ready to fire.

Now, that’s a cliffhanger.

It’s been a pleasure to be a small part of one of the most exciting, daring, sexually liberating, and surprising shows on television. See you all next year…we’re history until 2015!

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What I learned:

The newly crowned King of Naples is a little bitch.

Nothing is as terrible to behold as a vengeance fueled painter.

All Hell is coming for Sixtus.

I want to see Carlo Medici get his like it’s my religion.

Even when channeling Game of Thrones’ Battle of the Blackwater, Da Vinci’s Demons still feels fresh.

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Rating:

4 out of 5