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'Da Vinci’s Demons' recap: Journey to the center of the Vault

Season 2 | Episode 207 | “The Vault of Heaven” | Aired May 3, 2014

“Wherever Riario goes, the corpses follow.” So says Zoroaster in the best line of the episode, explaining to Leonardo why Riario, now praying on bended knee at Zita’s grave, can’t be trusted: “He’s ready to kill for the Book of Leaves.”

“He’s ready to die for it, as well,” notes Leo. Good point.

Zo wants details about Leo’s Spirit Walk, but Leo’s more interested in getting the hell out of there than telling tales of dancing skeletons, chats with dead folk and a painting he may actually finish of some lady with a mystic smile.

Leo, Riario, Zo and Nico stand before Ima, who introduces Leonardo’s journey to come: Step this way, young man, and witness the marvels of the universe as we enter the Vault of Heaven … Riario’s miffed. Why can’t he enter the Vault of Heaven, too? He’s just as fabulous as Leonardo (nope — check yourself, Riario). This is so unfair! Topa puts an end to the squabbling by barking at them in that abrupt native tongue. They may not know what he’s saying, but they know Topa means business. Ima translates: Fine, fine! Everyone can enter the Vault of Heaven, but for God’s sake, stop bickering about who deserves to enter the Vault of Heaven. (It’s possible I made up the second part of that paraphrased translation.)

Road trip! The troupe strolls through the high mountains accompanied by a pan-flute serenade. The Sun and the Moon entered many years ago, looking for the Book of Leaves,and never returned, says Ima. Nico and Zo aren’t buying any of this malarkey.

Carlo need await Clarice’s pleasure no longer — she’s spent, thanks much. Carlo knows he’s going to pay for sleeping with her. Clarice worries about her reputation. Reputation? “What a luxury,” says bastard Carlo. Then ninjas fall from the roof and start swinging. No, really — ninjas. Carlo may look like a romance-novel hero with those broad shoulders and that impossible jawline, but he proves his awesomeness by taking out the ninjas, including one who found his way to Vanessa’s room. Clarice runs into the room and frets over Vanessa and the baby without asking if Carlo maybe, say, took a knife to the gut or anything. His feelings look hurt. Clarice is cold.

Trap No. 1: Leo and co. descend upon a hidden waterfall passage. Unfortunately, this is where the traps begin. Fortunately, Leonardo specializes in traps. Ima shows them the first, allowing a llama to be obliterated by walls that slam together. That’s a waste of a good llama, if you ask me, but I’ve never fully embraced this Ima character — I don’t trust her New World, granola ways. (Next time I’m uncertain about a tight spot, however, I will say, “Let’s throw a llama at it and see what happens.”) Ima shows them the not-so-magical, rather out-of-reach button that needs to be pressed in order to stop the walls from slamming together. Leonardo’s fingers start twitching and he gets to inventing.

Back at Camp Medici, Carlo surmises that the ninjas were out to end the Medici line. Capt. Dragonetti appears with evidence the ninjas dropped. He also goes eyeball-to-eyeball with Carlo, who dares to question his competency as commander of the palace guard. Carlo taunts that Dragonetti’s forces couldn’t keep intruders from Lorenzo’s windows; Dragonetti counters that the windows — and the bedrooms — do, yes, belong to Lorenzo. Each warns the other to “consider your station.” Evidence = Duke Urbino is responsible.

In the waterfall cave, Leonardo assembles a contraption out of hastily made gears, complementing Ima on her craftsmen’s swift work. Short story: Leonardo invents the world’s first drone. It slices, it dices, it pushes hard-to-reach buttons! The door on the opposite side of the llama killing field opens. “Well done, my dreamer,” Ima says. I think, Grrrr. I dislike this “my dreamer” bit, but haven’t yet figured out why it’s so damn annoying. Riario steps up to test whether the open door means that the weight-sensitive floor has been deactivated. Topa tells Ima to go on with the fellas; he’ll be sad when she doesn’t return. Way to be supportive, Topa.

Lucrezia, meanwhile, arrives in the camp of the sultan’s son, Bayezid, and is introduced to the congregation by Quon’s deadly moves. Bayezid stops the fighting and Lucrezia makes nice, saying she’s there on behalf of the Pope. Bayezid speaks their language — hooray!

Clarice to Vanessa: “One receives as much respect as one demands.” She’s schooling Vanessa in the ways of Medici. Vanessa doesn’t feel safe with ninjas dropping in. Clarice tells her she’s not safe anywhere with a Medici in her womb.

Faux Pope Sixtus rolls up on Cardinal Lupo Mercuri, who studies some books and papers. He is also seduced by the mysteries of the Book of Leaves. Sixtus closes in menacingly. He’s over this Book of Leaves and throws Lupo’s notebook into the fire.

Carlo accidentally on purpose meets Francesco Sassetti of the Medici Bank on the staircase. Sessetti manages to squeeze in a few insults before Carlo shoves a knife in his belly. Carlo’s theory is that Sessetti was part of the ninja plot so that he could be head of the bank after Clarice was killed.

Trap No. 2: Leonardo studies a pyramid in the wall that is covered in keyholes. He puts his key in one and turns. The bridge they’re standing on starts retracting, sending one of Ima’s guardsmen plummeting to his death. He chose poorly. Ima panics and jumps across the chasm, but Leo is sure he can figure it out. After a quick study, he deduces that the keyhole they seek is under the bridge they’re on, and starts feeling below for the keyhole while Riario and Zoroaster hold his feet. Key safely in hole, they advance. Ima says she’ll meet them later — she’s not chasm-jumping again.

Da Vinci's Demons, ep 207: Bayezid (Starz)Lucrezia works her charms (though she denies using charms) on the Ottoman Empire heir. She delivers the sword of the empire’s founder. Good thing Bayezid knows that the one in his father’s palace is a fake.

Lupo visits the real Pope in his jail cell. Lupo wants to know why the Pope is still hanging out in that jail cell. Francesco tells him to trust him and forget the Book of Leaves. He needs a man of action — is Lupo that guy, or does he need to pray for another? No need, says Lupo.

Carlo luxuriates with a glass of vino, but jumps when Clarice gets back. She’s changed her tune, now kissing and stroking him in front of the servants — Lorenzo played around openly, so why shouldn’t she? Carlo warns her about her reputation, which she couldn’t give a rat’s butt about at this point. She’s going to do what she likes.

Trap No. 3: A golden disco ball reflects light into two keyholes at random intervals. Leo figures out the keyholes must be lit when the keys are turned, but not before Riario has threatened Zo’s life one more time. Nico diffuses the situation this time. “Doors don’t have eyes,” Zo poses helpfully. But these might, Leo says.

Lucrezia’s powwow with Bayezid goes well, as most of her dealings with men do. She wants Bayezid to visit Rome. Make peace, she says, and the East is his.

Lupo busts up the guard at the the Vatican vaults. He’s after the page from the Book of Leaves again. He finds it and breathes a sigh of relief, but as Leo and his team enter the Vault, the images on Lupo’s page change and fade. He steals it anyway.

Leo and Riario move forward, telling Nico and Zo to hold the doors please. Riario: “This is God’s doing!” Leonardo: “Mmmm, could be. Let’s move!” Leo hears voices. Riario does not.

Bayezid imprisons Lucrezia while he goes for a visit to Rome.

Leonardo really hears a voice. Ima approaches with her entourage and beaten Nico and Zo in tow. Ima says it’s Leo’s fault; he shouldn’t have entered the Vault of Heaven without her. Riario starts an ill-advised fight. She’s known all this time that Leo didn’t love her.

“Leonardo!” says the voice.

‘That’s my mother! That’s my mother!” Leonardo pleads as Ima’s guards lead him away.

What do you think is cooking for next week? Revenge of the llama? Will Leo and Riario escape the bonds of a certain pissed-off High Priestess? Will Lucrezia remain imprisoned long? What’s in that Vault, damn it?

Da Vinci’s Demons airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on Starz.

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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