It’s been a year since I sat down, and mainlined the first season of Da Vinci’s Demons thanks to the good people at Anchor Bay, so I was very excited to have a look at season two when it arrived, and it is available today! Series creator David S. Goyer continues to put the historical genius through his paces as new allies and enemies are revealed in this exciting season of the Starz series.
Before diving into the episodes I checked out the first special feature on the three disc set, a much-needed recap of season 1, which reminded me of all the characters, and their arcs from the first season, which was good, as apparently I had forgotten a lot except for how much I enjoyed it. It’s a very nice catch-up and geared me up nicely to dive right back into the world of Florence.
The series dives right into things, and after a brief, and rather troubling glimpse of where Leonardo (Tom Riley) and Riario (Blake Ritson) end up later in the season, the second season picks up right where the first ended, with the assault on the Medici family. From there, the series takes on a serialized air even more so than the previous season, as it sets the goals for Leonard and his allies, and then puts one obstacle after another in front of him. It’s almost comic book in its nature, meant as the highest compliment, as that seems to be one of the last refuges of cliffhangers and outrageous storytelling (unless you’re a Marvel movie). While the stakes are definitely higher this season, there is also an undeniable sense of fun permeating everything that seems to be happening on-screen.
Riley continues to make Da Vinci his own, by turns charming, brilliant, and laugh out loud funny, and the cast around him continue to hold their own. As Leo continues his search for the Book of Leaves, and the rumoured Vault of Heaven, he finds himself immersed in politics, conspiracies, creations, discoveries of the self and invention, and of course bawdy affairs.
All of it is set against a lush production that works within the confines of its budget, and still manages to put it all on the screen through enjoyable performances, gorgeous costumes, and an incredibly rapidly moving story, filled with blink and you’ve missed it asides and revelations.
The race is on to find the Book of Leaves, which looks to be somewhere in the yet to be discovered New World, specifically, South America, and Leo finds himself in a race against time as Riario is already well on his way, with Nico (Eros Vlahos) his prisoner aboard the Basilisk, the very ship Da Vinci was meant to set sail on. But Da Vinci is having his own problems, facing off against a swordsmen who may be more than his equal, the revelation that there may be something more ancient than Christianity trying to stop him, the Horns of Increate, and the always troubling appearance of Al-Rahim (Alexander Siddig).
Lucrezia (Laura Haddock) continues to beguile, and confuse trust, Zoraster (Gregg Chillin) provides lighter moments, and serves as a nice counterpoint to DaVinci, and all of them seem to be caught up in events that are bigger than they are, as Da Vinci continues not only to see what the future can hold, he creates it. But will it be enough when it reaches the shores of South America and faces those who live and worship there? Da Vinci’s genius, his inventions and his designs propel the story and himself forward as the threads of power and deception continue to weave around him.
All 10 episodes are here, as well as the special features of the season 1 recap, a tour of the new sets, and how the series creates the worlds we see. Starz continues to make the show incredibly fun, smart, sexy and engaging.
Da Vinci’s Demons: Season 2 is available today from Anchor Bay!