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'Da Vinci's Demons' recap: Vespucci? I hardly knew ye!

Season 2 | Episode 202 | “The Blood of Brothers” | Aired Mar 29, 2014

Comic book hero-version Leonardo Da Vinci’s first order of business is to break the news to befuddled and convincingly homicidal Lorenzo Medici that his brother is dead. But Lorenzo is sitting on his chest waving a knife around. Vanessa steps up to do the deed. He fought bravely, she says, but was slain. Lorenzo tumbles off of Leonardo, grasping at the artisan workbench to ease his fall. He wants to go home, but there’s an angry mob outside, the Pazzis’ support grows stronger and the Duke of Urbino’s forces are at the gate. The mob slays aristocrats, shopkeepers, dogcatchers — anyone in a position of authority. Lorenzo is ready to give in, but Vanessa divulges that she’s having his brother’s child. Enough said. Back to the palace!

Zoroaster and Lucrezia are alive. Huzzah! He makes lewd passes at her while they bob in the ocean. Not the time, dude.Da Vinci's Demons s2, ep 202: Nico (Starz)

Meanwhile, Riario is making passes at Nico, who is caged on the Basilisk, trying to lure his loyalty away from Leonardo. Nico is understandably skeptical.

The angry mob, led by Francesco and Jacopo, burn Lorenzo in effigy. “Infernal Pazzis,” Andrea swears to Leonardo on a rooftop looking down on the riot. Leonardo’s brain wheels turn. He’s inventing something as we watch!

Clarice chats about family ties with Captain Dragonetti. Bank representatives arrive to warn of a multinational bank collapse if Lorenzo is dead. They’ve got just the thing: Name one of them interim head of the bank to stabilize its reputation. Clarice: I think not. Dragonetti escorts them out.

Lorenzo and Leonardo skulk about the streets of Florence in caped disguises. Leonardo brings him up to the church bell tower and shows him some strategically placed brass panels, intended to reflect and amplify sound. Leonardo argues that Lorenzo needs to make a speech to prove that he’s alive. Lorenzo delivers a rousing of-the-people-by-the-people-for-the-people speech that crucifies the Pazzis. The crowd cheers, Clarice sends Dragonetti out to apprehend the Pazzi scum, Lorenzo takes a hero’s stroll, the angry mob sheaths a few knives in Jacopo’s belly, Dragonetti corners Francesco and another unfortunate conspirator gets axed in the face. Lorenzo then makes quite a public show in praising his wife’s courage.

His Holiness and the Duke of Urbino receive the Neapolitans: King Ferrante of Naples and his son, Alfonso, the Duke of Calabria, known for their ferocity (“the first line of defense against the Ottomans,” they boast). The Pope wants an alliance with the Neapolitans to bring Florence, and Lorenzo Medici and his war engineer Leonardo especially, to heel. Done.

Lorenzo summons Leonardo to discuss building more weapons, but Leo thinks he can end all wars if he finds the Book of Leaves. Lorenzo calls it all bedtime stories. Leonardo busts out what he thinks are the big guns: drawings of symbols of the Sons of Mithras, an “ancient brotherhood committed to humanism,” he explains, and Lorenzo’s grandfather Cosimo was a member. Leonardo asks for money and a ship to continue his pursuit of the book. Lorenzo shakes his head. Florence needs a war machine to defend itself. Fare thee well, Leonardo.

Not faring so well is Clarice’s brother — dirty, shackled and blubbering in the Medici cells. After divulging the future history of the Pazzi family to Francesco — “future generations will only remember that the meaning of the word ‘Pazzi’ is madmen” — she gives her brother his cardinal robes. Best line of the episode goes to Clarice: “You will put on those robes, and we will dangle you from the gibbet in your Sunday best.”

The adventures of Zoroaster and Lucrezia could be its own show with him the fool and her the straight woman. In this moment, they’re stealing clothes to travel back to Florence in disguise and generally being quite clever.

Da Vinci's Demons s2, ep 202: Riario (Starz)Back on the Basilisk, Riario is poring over the map-sketched skin. Did I not mention that one of Leonardo’s trinkets was a map tattooed on human flesh? Zita stops by to lend a hand…and a mouth…and a breast…Riario is all “I couldn’t possibly,” but naked Zita says (to paraphrase a long story about the Queen of Sheba), “Just go with it.” He does.

Leonardo puzzles over the sins of Daedalus, the craftsman in Greek mythology who creates the labyrinth that imprisons the Minotaur, builds wings to escape King Minos’ tower and is the father of Icarus, who flies too close to the sun. Andrea tells him to stop obsessing over a dream, but Leo just can’t let a thing go. Then Zoroaster shows up and all make merry — well, Zoroaster makes merry. Leonardo is more, “WTF?” about Zoroaster’s arrival, and he absolutely loses his mind when he finds out Riario has absconded with Nico and the Basilisk. Leonardo now has no ship, no blond sidekick, no Abyssinian skin-map, no nifty astrolabe star-navigation thingy. Zoroaster reminds the room that Leo can reproduce the map from memory, and he has a solution for the transportation problem, but Leonardo must promise to accept the help graciously. Lucrezia walks in. Zoroaster and Andrea exit stage left.

Lucrezia recommends: Amerigo Vespucci! You know, the guy they named a little land mass between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans after. He’s a sailor, a trader, has a map fetish. Leonardo and Lucrezia then tearfully express their mutual and ongoing admiration and regret that they must part.

Lorenzo hangs Pazzi and Cardinal Orsini. Done and done. Time for a sandwich…

Zoroaster thinks Amerigo is slimy and argues with Leonardo about their current circumstances. Zoroaster says he’s done after they retrieve Nico. Leonardo does that thing with his face like someone’s slapped him with a kitten.

Time to meet Amerigo, who’s not the lout Zoroaster made him out to be, but extremely jovial and resourceful. He and Leonardo get on like a house on fire, while Zo sulks off to the side. Amerigo wants to steal a Vatican ship — hilarious!

Clarice summons Vanessa and adopts her into the Medici home — for now. Dismay splays across free-spirited Vanessa’s face. Crap, she thinks. Da Vinci's Demons s2, ep 202: Vanessa  (Starz)Now I’m screwed twice over! — realizing that being pregnant with a Medici, even if half the household doesn’t believe it is a Medici, is going to be a kind of prison. Leonardo’s father, Piero, who’s not so great with bastards, will oversee her care. The first thing he does is banish Leonardo and Zoroaster from her company.

Lorenzo works on his eulogy for Giuliano. In his mourning, he studies a family heirloom, a sword, and notes some of the same symbols that Leonardo had been geeking out over earlier. He calls for Leo one last time, twists a knob on the sword and divides it in two. It was designed, he says, to be shared by brothers. He gives Leo half to assist him on his quest, but makes him promise to return to Florence.Da Vinci's Demons s2, ep 202: Leonardo, Lorenzo(Starz)

Initially concerned about Amerigo being introduced to the story, I now feel the character is an excellent addition with credit due to actor Lee Boardman for his animated portrayal of this historical (now “hysterical”) figure. Who’s your favorite so far? Tell us in the comments.

New episodes of Da Vinci’s Demons air Saturdays at 9 p.m. on Starz; rated TV-MA

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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