Last night's Da Vinci's Demons took us away from mad nuns and brought us back to the battle of wits and wills between Leonardo and Count Riorio. Leonardo's latest move in the defense of Florence involves a pomegranate and some pretty fireworks. As always, spoilers within.
Lorenzo Medici is feeling the paranoia after arresting his trusted advisor last week, and he wants to make sure his citizens know the price for betrayal and leaking information: a brutal and public death. Witnessing the beating of an errand boy who spread around word of Riorio's attack on a Florentine mine was enough to send Lucrezia, the real spy for Rome, to mercy murder Lorenzo's beloved advisor (though she made it look like a suicide). What's interesting there is Lucrezia's claim that there is far more to this conflict—and her role in it—than Florence and Rome. How will Lucrezia ultimately connect with the Sons of Mithras.
Meanwhile, Leonardo is still pondering the mysteries of the Sons of Mithras (and finds a clue in a portrait of Lorenzo's grandfather, Cosimo). He also spends a great deal of time contemplating pomegranates, so we know that the fruit will quickly become significant. Although he delights in mocking Count Rioro and his horse (whose breed is prone to anal blockage), he's concerned about the arms war he's started with Rome and consequently blows up his guns. Lorenzo is naturally peeved, but miraculously doesn't strap Leonardo to the wheel immediately. Instead, Leonardo faces down Riorio and talks up the deadly virtues of his clustered bombard (based on a pomegranate, of course) and the giant crossbow launcher that threatens to rain fire and destruction on Rome.
Naturally, the giant crossbow is a fake and the clustered bombard showy fireworks. Leonardo, you're such a card.
Each week in the comments, there's a lot of discussion about why Leonardo isn't gay, and this week, Da Vinci's Demons reveals just how it's going to navigate around that pesky charge that Leonardo committed sodomy. At the end of the episode, Leonardo is hauled off for the crime, with the implication is that he's been falsely accused. Of course! Leonardo isn't gay! It's all just part of Rome's efforts to discredit him! I can't help but think that the story might be more interesting if the accusations were true, and Leonardo was dealing with his position as defender of the city while also being gay. But I guess then we'd see fewer boobs.
The cluster bombs were a cute trick, and Riorio continues to be an interesting character (hipster hat and all), but this episode felt a bit too close to the second episode, which also involved a confrontation out in the open with weaponry. (Although granted, this one ends in considerably less violence.) And Leonardo is frequently more irritating than he is charming. Perhaps being arrested will pull his cocky routine down a few notches?