It’s amazing how “The Serpent” can have so many explosions without really making a bang.
That hung Jew (as in executed, get your mind out of the gutter) from last episode pops by Leonardo’s dreams for the same metaphysics lesson we saw in “The Hanged Man”. Apparently this genius needs constant reminders that time is like a river or he’ll forget.
Don’t worry about things getting redundant, because luckily Leonardo’s nap time gets interrupted for some full frontal male nudity. Even better, it’s corpse nudity! Wait, “better” isn’t the right word. Anyways, Zoroaster and Nico show up with the Jew’s dead body for some CSI: Renaissance autopsy antics. Leo discovers a fingernail and key inside the carcass’ stomach. God, what weird fad diet was this dude on?
Meanwhile Lucrezia and Lorenzo have just finished, like, totally boning each other. Pardon me, I feel a yawn coming on. It seems Mr. Medici’s idea of pillow talk is complaining about papal emissary Girolamo Riaro’s upcoming visit. Even though Florence’s first family sees Riario as a walking kidney stone, they’re throwing him a welcome party.
Side note: That’s two episodes in a row where the Medici host a shindig. Maybe this trend will last throughout DaVinci’s Demons. Next episode Lorenzo could develop dandruff and throw Flake Fest or something.
Anyways, next we see Leonardo doing his goddamn actual job for once painting Lucrezia. His flirtations with the saucy strumpet are interrupted by Lorenzo’s sudden entrance, forcing the artist to hide. Immediately after his boss exits, Leonardo pressures her to declare him the better lover. Guess it was cool to be a humongous clinger back in those days. She’s all like “ughhh I’ve known you for a week” and he’s all like “ughhh so?”
Next, we see Leonardo demonstrating some newfangled rapid fire musket doohickey for the Medici. The scene is actually a brilliantly constructed metaphor for what will happen when Lorenzo discovers his engineer’s philandering ways. That, or it was just a gun blowing up in everyone’s faces.
Know who’s not worried about relationships? Nico. Why? Because he’s too busy being kidnapped by Riario. The poor lad gets interrogated about his recent corpse snatching. Ensuring his truthfulness, Nico is tortured with the
Gom Jabbar from Dune The Widow’s Tear. It’s a nifty device which peels one layer of skin off at a time, perfect for all your exfoliating needs.
Nico finally breaks down and shows them to his master’s workshop. There, his assailants open Leonardo’s explode-y chest of explosions then promptly run away. Leonardo’s instructed by Lorenzo to hurry up on that musket or perish.
Naturally he does the opposite and sneaks out to learn about the key he discovered earlier. This sequence is obviously supposed to show Leonardo’s brilliance as he retraces the Jew’s steps, but that never really comes through. Instead it feels like a bunch of disjointed rambling about Hebrew and sacred numbers magically producing the necessary solution.
Said necessary solution is the location of some important book. After Leo gets his hands on it, Riario’s goons show up and chase him through the streets. Guess the show’s writers are big fans of Assassin’s Creed, because the way Leonardo escapes looks… familiar.
Riario and Lorenzo meet up and argue about who the next Bishop of Florence shall be. The Pope has someone in mind, but Lorenzo prefers keeping the church and his state separate. Their disagreement doesn’t get in the way of the following Garden of Eden themed party, featuring some lass doing her best “Britney Spears at the 2001 MTV Awards” impression with a snake. Taking this gala as an opportunity for some bad guy networking, Riario tries convincing Leonardo to betray the Medici.
Leo responds by killing Riario’s men with his now working magical musket of death. That’s after the party, though. Doing it there would have been so rude.
Things wrap up with Leonardo discovering the Jew’s tome contains a hidden map leading to the Book of Leaves. There’s some video game also featuring codex pages showing an artifact’s location, but it’s name escapes me.
Honestly, I didn’t particularly feel one way or the other about this episode. While DaVinci’s Demons premiere came on strong, “The Serpent” just didn’t hold my interest in the same way. It did leave me with one question:
Did It Get Gay?
What wasn’t gay?
- Lucrezia and Lorenzo having sex, probably in the missionary position.
- When Zoroaster proclaimed he’d marry Leonardo if he had breasts. Leo responds Zo-Zo has a hard path ahead if he wanted “the soul of a man but the body of a woman.” OBVIOUSLY someone hasn’t heard gender and sexuality can be perceived as fluid concepts rather than being arbitrarily placed on a binary GOSH.
What was gay?
- Riario obviously takes pride in his facial hair.
- There was some dead sexy man meat on display in the autopsy scene, if you find death sexy.