The second season of Starz’ “DaVinci’s Demons” is drawing to a close but it’s not too late to catch up on the sweeping adventure series.
The final episode will air on Saturday night at 9pm et, with a #DaVinciThon containing all of the previous episodes of season two beginning at 12pm et/9am pt.
Created by David S. Goyer, who wrote “The Dark Knight” trilogy as well as ABC’s time-travel series, “FlashForward,” the series is a whirlwind of travel as DaVinci, an artist, inventor, visionary, and decidedly free-thinker, whisks about the world on a quest for not only high adventure but self-discovery as well.
If you’re thinking that period pieces aren’t your thing, keep in mind that in this series DaVinci is a stunning looking twentysomething who’s a drinker, smoker and passionate lover. The flowing costumes and lush landscapes only add to the richness of the narrative, which is clearly about a man’s desire to entertain and enrich all of his senses at an extremely high level.
“We started out with a cocky, arrogant Leonardo,” explains DaVinci’s portrayer, Tom Riley, “Now, he’s learning that his all-consumming quest is going to take a toll on him as well as the people around him.”
That quest leads DaVinci and his band of mates through Florence, Naples, Constantipole, and Peru.
Joining him on the journey, and often experiencing perils of their own, are his friends and followers, Zorocaster and Nico. Zorocaster is a hustler in his own right, but uses his often conniving ways to help his friend achieve his goals, while Nico is inspired by DaVinci’s intellect and strives to please the man he considers to be a visionary.
“Nico believes that Leonardo is a great mentor to him,” says Eros Vhalos, Nico’s portrayer. “But, this puts Nico in constant danger. He’s in an out of a lot of jail cells.”
As for Zorocaster, “Leo is his best friend and he just loves him,” explains Gregg Chillin who plays the unnervingly charming character. “He gets his thrills via DaVinci, that’s clearly evident, but he also knows that without his friend, he would be lost.”
However, Chillin wants to be clear that while at times Nico and Zorocaster seem as though they’re just there to support their hero, the truth is “We’re not just sidekicks. We do go off without him at times and have our own adventures.”
Another factor in DaVinci’s quest is his involvement with ‘frienemy’ Count Girolamo Riario.
Blake Ritson who plays Riario describes the relationship as complex, to say the least. “Riaro believes he’s a hero. Leonardo and Riaro are essentially on the same quest and they’re forced to form a queasy alliance. There’s a dependence and respect between these two, but you really never know how much they’re playing each other to get what they want.”
All of these men must contend with two forces content to bring them down – Lorenzo de Medici and Pope Sixtus. As the de facto ruler of Florence, Medici feels he must defend the right of the Republic, while Sixtus’ mission is to expand the Roman Catholic Church. Both men will use any means necessary to accomplish their goals, even immoral and illegal ones.
Elliot Cowan, who brings Medici to life onscreen says that Lorenzo’s path has changed a bit as the series has progressed. “Lorenzo’s tendency has always been to flip out. He has a lot of pent up anger. He lets it out in key moments to get what he wants. He likes to be in control and never wants to show any weakness. In the first season, we saw this a lot with a lot of consequences.. In the second season he has to find other tactics. He’s more vulnerable. He’s trying to hang onto to everything he has any way he can.”
As for Pope Sixtus, his portrayer, James Faulkner, lights up when he talks about playing the role of such an evil man. “I’m fascinated by the politics of it. It’s so complicated. It’s a dream role, it’s just fantastic.”
While it may seem that the men in DaVinci’s world take center stage, the women featured in the series are just as complex and compelling.
Clarice Orsini, Lorenzo de Medici’s wife as a result of an arranged marriage, must step up as a leader when her husband is away from the Republic. She’s a formidable force in a time when women were not perceived as having the ability to command the respect needed to rule.
While known for her beauty, Lucrezia Donati, is clearly no shrinking violet when it comes to getting what she wants. Her past as Lorenzo de Medici’s mistress has certainly helped her gain the strength to tangle with anyone and anything that gets in her way.
Because all of these characters are so connected in various ways, all of the tragedies, triumphs and complications that each of these individual experiences intersect and intertwine throughout the narrative of “DaVinci’s Demons” in a highly satisfying manner.
The series has been renewed for season three so now is a certainly good time to get onboard with this show.
The "DaVinci's Demons" #DaVinciThon & Finale airs Saturday, May 31st beginning at 12 pm et, with the season finale at 9pm et.
Tweet live with the cast @DaVincis_Starz plus there will be trivia challenges, behind-the-scenes features and prize giveaways.
At the conclusion of the finale, series star Tom Riley (@thisisTomRiley) will be doing a question and answer session on Twitter. Use the hashtag #AskDaVinci to participate.