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Da Vinci’s Demons recap: “The Tower

After cleverly dispelling charges of sodomy, Da Vinci realizes his visions were more than just dreams and hallucinations brought on by captivity.

Da Vinci's Demons

Da Vinci’s crazy. Sure, he’s a genius, but he’s also insane. Tonight’s episode of Da Vinci’s Demons serves as hard proof that you don’t want to mess with Leonardo da Vinci (Tom Riley) — not that it will stop Rome from trying.

Lorenzo is entertaining King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in Florence. He wants Spain’s business in banking. Lorenzo no longer serves as Rome’s banker and needs the deal with Ferdinand. The king, however, seems skeptical and isn’t ready to commit. Lorenzo tries to charm the royals with Florentine art, but Isabella thinks it’s lewd.

Clarice recommends they provide a distraction for the royals in the form of a theatrical performance. She suggests Giuliano plan it because Lorenzo impresses and Giuliano charms.

Da Vinci’s father comes to the rescue

Leonardo is accused of sodomizing Jacopo Saltarelli, though the identity of Da Vinci’s accuser remains a secret. Leonardo’s father, Piero da Vinci, is acting as his lawyer. Piero recommends Leonardo plead guilty. Leonardo doesn’t have an alibi but tells Piero he wants the charges dropped. He will not plead guilty.

Da Vinci’s trial begins. Francesco Pazzi is acting for the prosecution.

Jacopo takes the stand. He says Da Vinci paid him four gold florins, quite the sum for an evening of painting. He says he was paid for his silence because Da Vinci raped him, but Piero points out that Jacopo was seen at The Barking Dog that evening, celebrating — hardly the behavior of a man who has been assaulted.

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The magistrate calls Piero to the stand and tells him to watch his tongue. The trial is just a performance — Rome’s mad dogs have already decided Da Vinci’s fate.

Da Vinci sends a coded note to Nico and Zoroaster. He wants them to pick up some supplies for him. Then Captain Dragonetti raids Verrocchio’s studio, and he presents to the court paintings he found there of animal heads on human forms. He says they are evidence of sorcery, and the prosecution asks for the death penalty.

After the trial that day, Lucrezia tells Pazzi he has gone too far. Riario has plans for Da Vinci, and Lucrezia threatens Pazzi with exposure of his own indiscretions. Pazzi is not disturbed by her threats, though.

Da Vinci's Demons

Bawdy theater lures Ferdinand

Da Vinci’s friends have collected the items he requested, but they make no sense.

Explosions begin at the prison. The guards are trying to deal with it. Zoroaster sneaks in to Da Vinci’s cell. He trades clothes with Da Vinci, and Da Vinci escapes. Meanwhile, Lorenzo tells the royals there is a new world order in Florence, one concerned with innovation and wealth.

Giuliano defies Lorenzo and asks his performers to make The Decameron bawdy. The play begins. Lorenzo is nervous, but Ferdinand laughs. The play is a success, and after the performance is finished, Vanessa and Giuliano kiss.

Ferdinand agrees to Lorenzo’s terms. The Medicis will be the bankers of a new Spain.

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Batman-style projection in the 15th century

Leonardo da Vinci has the magistrate tied naked behind a pig. Leonardo uses a projection instrument to display the image in the sky. He tells the magistrate nobody can see his face — yet.

Leonardo wants the magistrate to sign four documents: one exonerating Leonardo, another accusing the magistrate himself of crimes of bestiality, a third announcing a donation of 50 florins to Piero, and a fourth releasing to Leonardo the secret denunciation that keeps him in legal jeopardy. The magistrate threatens to tell the courts what Leonardo has done, but it is clear no one will believe him since everyone still thinks Leonardo is locked in a cell.

At the trial the next day, Da Vinci is exonerated. The magistrate dismisses all charges.

Da Vinci sees the hanging man

Lucrezia and Da Vinci are bathing together. Da Vinci wants to find his accuser, but Lucrezia wants to know what Da Vinci would do if he discovered his accuser didn’t mean for the trial to go as far as it did. She’s obviously the accuser, but Da Vinci is oblivious and says it wouldn’t matter.

Al-Rahim returns now that Da Vinci has sipped from the fountain of memory. Da Vinci’s flashbacks while in prison weren’t just dreams. Al-Rahim tells Da Vinci to return to the cave. Da Vinci focuses on the visions and sees bodies and a man hanging upside down. He thought the hanging man was dead, but he is alive. The hanging man begs Da Vinci for his freedom. The hanging man is Da Vinci.

Images courtesy of Starz

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