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'Da Vinci’s Demons' recap: Busting heads and breaking hearts

Season 2 | Episode 208 | “Fall From Heaven” | Aired May 10, 2014

Holed up in a Peruvian cave with blood running down its walls, presumably from human sacrifices taking place above, Riario asks Leonardo if he thought they’d end up facing their mortality together. Leo didn’t think he’d ever die. Riario thinks God’s laughing at him. Leonardo: “This is not our fate.” Riario: “One way or another, this is every man’s fate.” Riario opens up to his partner in ritual human sacrifice: He was abandoned and raised in a monastery. The Holy Father appeared and asked him “to be the sword of the Church …to do terrible things.”

Lorenzo complains about his wife hooking up with Carlo, while Ippolita hits on him. She wants to run away with him. She’d rather live anonymously as a peasant with Lorenzo than be a queen with Alfonso. “Our lives are not our own,” Lorenzo responds.

Alfonso briefs His Holiness: Lorenzo lives. Alfonso fears Lorenzo will manage to negotiate with his psychotic father. Duke Frederico surrounds Florence, and His Faux Holiness says: “Perhaps it is time to strike.”

Riario and Leonardo chat until warriors come to fetch them: Woe is us! We can’t go out like this! When Ima enters the room — “My dreamer …” Grrrr! — Leo bucks in his binds, spitting and swearing. What’s the use of that? Maybe for show, like the hiss of a cat cornered by a pit bull. Maybe he feels better, thinking he told her what for — if not in words, exactly. There’s still time, but all signs lead to Ima being an opportunistic, back-stabbing vixen — oh, why do men love them so? (Merkin flashback.) In any case, Ima’s visions have foretold that her gods will be pleased by the sacrifice of Leonardo and Riario. And, so this Incan priestess is not only bloodthirsty, but also totally crazy-pants — or crazy-no-pants, depending on the fickle nature of the voices in her head. (Love them, bleed them, drug them, kill them, love them, bleed them, drug them, kill them …) I hope she proves me wrong, because it’s such a drag when someone so beautiful turns out to be so venomous.

Da Vinci's Demons, ep 208: Riario (Starz)Anyway, she’s going to hang on to Lucrezia’s ring, while Leonardo gets to die wearing the large gold pin she gave him. She’s giving him a sharp object — could this be an attempt to help him? Riario eyeballs it hungrily. Leo has a last request: Spare Zoroaster and Nico. Done! They were deemed unfit sacrifices, Ima says. (Seems like a bit of an insult there.) They’re going to be slaves — isn’t that nice? When Leo sees the guys, they’re carving up an animal carcass. Leo: “Don’t worry about me. Just remember you’re a shovelful of sunlight and camel snot.” (What? I can’t have heard that right. I have no captioning right now, so I’m just going to move on.) The Incan muscle pushes Leo and Riario from the room.

Nico is completely baffled and frustrated, but Zoroaster deciphers Leo’s message: “He wants us to get out of here … Watch and learn.” Zoroaster tries to sneak off, but Nico alerts the guard. Aghast at Nico’s betrayal, Zoroaster: “What the fuck did Riario do to you on that ship?” Nico whips out a knife and plunges it into the guard: “He taught me to survive.” And so begins Nico’s transformation into a badass …

Piero meets with the Neapolitan king’s advisers, trying to gather gossip, but a French pirate arrives and kidnaps him.

Lorenzo: “Fucking Frenchmen!” Ippolita explains that these pirates have been a scourge on the city. Lorenzo doesn’t have the money to pay ransom. Ippolita’s solution: Fight him.

His Faux Holiness has a visitor. You won’t believe who, Rodrigo says with a little bounce.

Da Vinci's Demons, ep 208: Leonardo, Riario (Starz)Ima leads Leonardo and Riario to the slaughter. As they stand waiting for the first sacrifice to be done, Riario laments that they’ve failed, but Leo won’t give up so easily. “Would you let anything stand in your way if your mother was inside the Vault?” he asks. “Just be ready.” Ima’s a little too gleeful about Pachamama drinking Leo’s blood. She says repeatedly that the Book of Leaves will save her people, and I can’t help but think that history suggests that she never got her hands on it — and then I wonder who I should be rooting for here.

Zo and Nico are looking for animal fat that they can use as a sort of bomb.

Topa pulls Riario forward to get his throat slit. He prays while Ima continues trying to seduce Leo. Leo has other plans, pulls the big pin from his shirt, stabs it into his guard’s flesh, pushes Ima to the ground as he grabs his sword from her and puts it to Topa’s neck. She tells him he can’t escape the “wrath of the sky gods.” Shut up and translate, Ima (crazy person): We passed your tests, let us go back to the vault and you’ll be spared. Topa has something to say, but there really isn’t time to translate because Zo’s bomb explodes. Leo snatches Lucrezia’s ring from the cord on Ima’s neck and takes off with Riario.

Guess who’s come to dinner: It’s the heir to the Ottoman Empire, Bayezid! The Pope: Why? Bayezid: Your emissaries said you wanted to see me. Nope, says Fake Pope. This guy — Bayezid points to Quon Shan — and his little friend brought me the sword of fabulousness and said you sent for me. Nope, nope and nope. “If the sword is indeed missing,” says the Pope, “You come here not only as infidels, you come here as thieves.” Go check the vaults, Rodrigo. Swords are drawn all around.

Zoroaster and Nico launch over the hillside, running into Leo and Riario. Leo throws bolts of cloth at them and takes off up the hill. Where the [f-bomb] are you [f-bomb] going, Leo?! Are you out of your [f-bomb] mind? Riario calmly explains that they’re escaping through the Vault of Heaven, that they’d never outrun the Incans in their own land. Zoroaster’s face: How? Wha? No! This can’t be happening. “I have a plan,” Leo says. This is not comforting, as Leo’s plans are what got them into this mess.

Bayezid is at the center of a tense moment in the Pope’s chamber, with swords pointing in every direction. He tries threats: His men will report back to his dad. Rodrigo returns: The Sword of Osman Gazi is gone. This is all a big misunderstanding, says Bayezid, but since I’m here, let’s make a deal anyway. The Pope figures out that Bayezid didn’t tell his father he was coming — and oh, how he laughs. Kill them all, says the Pope, except for Bayezid, who fights Alfonso. Quon Shan escapes. Pope Sixtus then orders Bayezid stripped and put out on the street: “Christendom knows no boundaries.”

Da Vinci's Demons, ep 208: Lucrezia (Starz)Lucrezia has a visitor. It’s an Italian expat with a smarmy way about him. He calls her out on being Lucrezia, “the prize mistress of Lorenzo de Medici.” What did you want of Bayezid? Before she can tell some tall tale, he brings out a fortune-teller slave to exact the truth.

Lorenzo spits a few more insults about the French on his way to pay the ransom. The pirate has doubled it since discovering that Piero is Leonardo da Vinci’s father, and Leo has caused them much grief with his “diabolical cannons.” Ippolita steps forward and calls in her guards. The pirate reveals that she paid him to kidnap Piero. Lorenzo doesn’t understand. It’s an opportunity, she says, and hands Lorenzo his sword. Rid King Ferrante of this dread pirate and score some points with him. Lorenzo: Nice.

Leo and friends escape through the Vault’s chambers. Leo hits the hard-to-reach button with a sword and the door crushes an Incan warrior (one down …). Leo gives Zo and Nico blueprints for the world’s first parachutes. “We got this,” Zo says. “Go find your mother.” Leonardo solves the Vault riddle, remembering details of the “Mona Lisa” from his Spirit Walk. Ima pleads with him not to take the book. The Vault opens and a metal head is the only thing in the Vault. Disappointment all around! Riario freaks the hell out. The head speaks! It’s Leo’s mother’s voice. She has moved the book: “The only way you will find its location is if you give up your quest for me.”

Ima and crew have broken through. Leo tells the guys to throw the cloth high in the air and jump. Lots of “yeah, right!” looks are exchanged, but they do it anyway. Leo takes just enough time to tell Ima there was no book before he jumps. “We are doomed,” she says as he goes sailing through the air. A hard landing, but Riario has it worse, with a compound fracture that Leo sets. Zoroaster wants to leave him, of course, but Leo and Nico won’t.

Lorenzo repays Ippolita for her cleverness — with that tongue trick he mentioned to Alfonso. Their naked romp is interrupted by a message that the king will see him now.

Bayezid is shown the door, wearing just his PJ bottoms. From the rooftops, Quon Shan flashes a signal to the real Pope in his cell.

Ferrante congratulates Lorenzo on his kill, even calling him “il Magnifico,” like an old school chum. Alfonso busts in and just as Ferrante starts to give him a tongue lashing (the other kind), Alfonso introduces their honored guest: Pope Sixtus. So glad to see you, Lorenzo, oozes the Pope.

On the beach, Leo tells Zoroaster of his plans to return to Florence and continue his search for both his mother and the book — notably, exactly what her little voice box told him not to do. Riario would like a word. Leo’s being awfully nice, and it looks like it physically hurts Riario.

Time for true confessions: This is going to be bad. Riario looks like he killed someone — and he has! Frequently! His Holiness sent Riario to “exact vengeance on a sinner who had crossed our path: a Jewish prostitute in God’s holy city.” Riario confesses that he strangled his mom to death, and at first I feel bad for him, then I blame his monastic upbringing for making him a sin-busting automaton. Why am I giving him a pass? He’s a smart guy — he navigates the occasional pickle with finesse. I make a case for Stockholm syndrome, because his adopted father is the crazy Faux Pope. I need to get my priorities straight. Maybe it’s because Riario truly believes he’s lost (a credit to Blake Ritson, who so expertly portrays the character’s self-loathing). As Riario says, “How foolish I have been to follow the Book of Leaves to the ends of the world, thinking it could absolve me of my sins … It’s a fitting reward I should go home so very empty-handed.” Leo protests that the book exists. Riario knows, but is it worth the price they’ve paid thus far and would likely continue to pay if they keep pursuing it?

Man, this beach bonfire is a downer. But wait, what’s that on the horizon? Amerigo has returned! Looks like they’re hitching a ride back to Italia on party-boat Vespucci. Good times!

Riario’s emotional journey has always been engaging, but the highs and lows he’s endured in this episode alone have been profound. What do you think is in store for him? Is he on Team Leo now? Tell us in the comments!

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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