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'Da Vinci's Demons' recap: Excommunications for everybody

Season 2 | Ep. 203 | “The Blood of Man” | Aired Apr 5, 2014

Fish. Sardines. Dockside. Smelly people. Lots of smelly people.

Sunglasses. Facial hair. Soft, threatening words. Riario? No! It’s Leonardo impersonating Riario, trying to pull off Amerigo Vespucci’s plan to steal a Vatican ship and directing those threats to the captain. Amerigo and Zoroaster stand back, heads down, shrouded in monks’ robes. Alfonso, the Duke of Calabria and heir to the throne of Naples — fancy — arrives and declares that he knows Riario, and this guy is no Riario. Whom does he have the pleasure of cutting in two? Leonardo introduces himself, the men draw their swords and the dance begins. “I am an artist too, but I paint with steel,” Alfonso boasts. “Death by sea or sword?” Neither! Amerigo and Zoroaster jumped ship some time back — cowards — and now Leo follows them. But first, he throws his dagger so that it falls into the slave pen belowdecks. He could’ve put an eye out, but, fine, one of the slaves grabs it.

In Vatican City, His Holiness Pope Sixtus IV practically bounces on his heels describing all of the churches he’s going to build and the frescos — so many frescos. He’s ecstatic, not in a good way. Lupo Mercuri arrives with bad news: Lorenzo rules Florence once again, the Pazzis are dead and Cardinal Orsino is rotting in his cardinal robes. Good news, says the Pope. Wha? Pope logic: Florence has been inviting all sorts of decadent, hippy, do-what-you-feel behavior. Desecrating a cardinal will turn the Catholic world against Lorenzo and his flock of heathens, and free the Pope to react in any way he sees fit. Then he excommunicates the entire Republic of Florence.

Ah, Florence. People tote the mutilated body of Jacopo Pazzi through the streets, then use it as a battering ram on the door to the Pazzi family home. Francesco Pazzi and Cardinal Orsino are hanging out — meat for crows and target practice. Vanessa looks on from the window of the Medici home, and Clarice pops ’round to annoy her. The tug-of-war over Vanessa’s baby by the late Giuliano Medici has begun.

I didn’t know Leonardo was an ambidextrous swordsman. And he didn’t know Alfonso was, too. How bothersome. Zoroaster throws in a snide comment about Leonardo meeting someone who is better at something than he is. Leo needs to be on that ship. They have to catch up with Riario and Nico on the Basilisk. They have to get to the Book of Leaves first. The three contemplate their options. Leo leaves to meditate on it, but slave rebellion seems to be the best of their bad ideas.

Lorenzo consults with Piero and Clarice. We’re excommunicated, he informs them, and we’ll starve because this is a trade embargo. Piero considers who might help: Naples is out, Milan will wuss out and Spain is “too busy with their foul Inquisition.” They need to act fast or Rome will conquer them within a year and control all faith and knowledge. Shudders all around.

Leo contemplates several options to reach the boat, including walking on water (seriously). Amerigo shows him a wanted poster with a drawing of Leo’s face on it. He’s shocked at how bad the likeness is. Then he fingers every dead creature in the market, looking for inspiration. A lamprey provides it.

The bankers have gathered at the Medicis’ place to complain. Turns out being excommunicated is bad for business. Lorenzo announces to a room of 20 people — including the bankers, some guards, sycophants, and so on — that he will secretly ride to Naples in disguise. He leaves Clarice in charge and goes gangster on one banker who scoffs at answering to a woman. Hope that secret ride works out for him.

An assassin type makes signals reflecting sunlight off his cutlass from a rooftop. Then he busts out a crossbow and takes down the attendants carrying Lupo Mercuri’s litter through the streets. Lupo is tossed around inside as the litter falls to the ground, and he gets out to find the crossbow aimed at his face. Enter Lucrezia. Her friend Quon Shan subdues Lupo, who is the curator of the secret archives. She tells him that if he’s so interested in secrets, he’ll be interested to know about the mysterious prisoner being held in the Castel Sant’Angelo. Lupo sputters a few curses, and Lucrezia promises him that he’ll be singing another tune once he finds the prisoner.

Leonardo invents the submarine. Amerigo: “You’re mad! I’m leaving!” Zoroaster: “I hate that guy, but we need him.”

Clarice visits her husband and begs him not to carry out his plan. He blames Giuliano’s death on her bad idea to marry him to a Pazzi. She counters that Lorenzo was sleeping with the whore Roman spy who betrayed them all. No one had told him about Lucrezia’s role in the Easter Sunday massacre. Lorenzo nearly kills the messenger. Then he leaves for Naples.

Leonardo takes off with Zoroaster in his paddle-powered submarine.

Lupo finds the prisoner in Castel Sant’Angelo and recognition slowly sinks in …

Amerigo speaks with Alfonso on the ship. He’s willing to hand over Leonardo and collect the reward. He tells Alfonso that Leo is building a contraption. Alfonso says that if Amerigo is lying, he’ll be gutted like a fish. Also at issue: Leonardo’s missing dagger. Alfonso threatens to have the slave women raped to get them to turn it over. The prettiest of them lunges at him with it. He orders her taken to his quarters, for her new name is “Toy.”

Lupo arrives in the cells of Castel Sant’Angelo: “If you are Francesco della Rovere, who wears the Pope’s robes?” Francesco confirms that Allessandro is his twin, who, with Riario, imprisoned Francesco and took the Papacy. He challenges Lupo to test the pretender.

Zoroaster warns Leo that they’re heading for a wreck. After a narrow escape, they contemplate the various forms of death currently available to them.

Da Vinci's Demons: s2,ep 203 Carlo Medici (Starz)Carlo de Medici shows up for dinner, alarming Clarice. As the bastard son of grandpa Cosimo, he doesn’t have the Medicis’ usual fair complexion. He says he has been away on missionary work, but has returned to aid his family. Clarice is not having it. Then he pops open a secret door in the dining room as proof that he’s an insider. Carlo shows Clarice a painting in the secret room that includes him. Then he asks Fabrizio to bring up a bottle of grappa from the servants’ secret stash.

Lupo visits the imposter Pope, who fails the test.

Leonardo and Zoroaster battle time, lack of oxygen and a leaky submarine as they wait for dark to make their move. Leo starts dreaming about Lucrezia and Al-Rahim as he loses consciousness. Zoroaster saves Leo from the sinking sub. Amerigo lights a fire aboard the ship to divert attention away from him helping Leo and Zoroaster onto the vessel. They fight their way to the slave quarters and promise the slaves freedom in exchange for fighting with them to seize the ship. Leo goes to Alfonso’s quarters to get the keys, busting in on him raping the slave, Yana. Much sword fighting later, the slaves stop Alfonso before he kills Leo. The night is won! Yana carves “Toy” into Alfonso’s chest.

Lupo meets Lucrezia. Choose to serve the true Pope or the imposter, Lucrezia says. In any case, she wants to see her dad. Lupo: “Did you say dad?” Yep.

Back on the ship, Leonardo puts Alfonso on a pinnace back to Pisa, then turns to the slaves and says they are free people and can leave the ship at Cape Verde or come along to explore this New World. Leonardo runs into Al-Rahim on the ship. He asks where Leo’s astrolabe is and scolds him for straying from the plan. Zoroaster walks up: “Who are you talking to?” Leo: “Mmmm — myself!”

No Riario this episode, but he returns next week. His slimy ways were much missed.

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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