Da Vinci’s Demons S02 Ep06 – The Rope of the Dead

Da Vinci and Mona Lisa

This week’s Da Vinci’s Demons is very intense and it’s strongly related to the underworld. “The Rope of the Dead” challenges some of the characters: Leonardo, Riario, and Lorenzo have to face deadly trails in order to achieve their goals. The great things in one’s life don’t come easy, but at the time they were much more harder to achieve than nowadays.

Riario in the cornfieldLeonardo’s and Riario’s challenges are related. Leo is bitten by a snake and the one meant to save his life is none other than Riario himself. And when you think Riario has sought to kill him just until now…How ironic. Maybe it’s just all in my head, but I believe the writer makes some references to Greek mythology. Riario’s challenge resembles Theseus’s: the cornfield is the giant Labyrinth. However, this version of the Labyrinth comes with three Minotaurs instead of one: Girolamo must kill three Incas. Moreover, 3 is a magical number (remember Ima’s three tones too). He kills them, one by one, in the most gruesome way possible. He must take the antidote from an apparently random Inca guard, but Riario is in for a most unwelcome surprise: the guard is actually Zita (I didn’t see that coming!). Oh my God, this scene is heartbreaking! It’s excruciating for Riario, to say the least. It was painful to watch, really. He has to kill the one person that saw grace and goodness in him, to save the “artista”. Zita made Riario human and he loved her dearly. Even though I liked Riario from the start, this relationship made me like him even more.

While Riario must avoid being killed, Leo actually journeys into the realm of the dead under Ima’s guidance. After his descent to the underworld, Da Vinci is changed: no one stays the same after a journey to the afterworld. This is a recurring motif in Romanian literature (and surely in other cultures too). For instance, two fairytale characters change after going in an underground world of giants and in a well. These two places symbolize the underworld. In Da Vinci’s case, he returns with heightened knowledge. By the way, I’ve always thought how great it would be if we were able to go back in time and see what the artists really looked like, show them their masterpieces, and tell them how much we admired them. The scenes when Leonardo sees the Mona Lisa and himself as an old man are brilliant. I think we will find out more about them in the following episodes. By the way, I think he spotted something that looks like a number two in the painting’s background.

Lorenzo and GiulianoAfter being tortured, Lorenzo has to face the challenge. And when you think things can’t get worse for him, guess what the challenge is? Kill a horse with a single arrow before it snaps his neck. Absolutely great. Lorenzo is not even an average bowman and this challenge is damn hard. Fortunately, Giuliano shows himself to Lorenzo and helps him pass the test. To be honest, I didn’t expect Giuliano to be the one Lorenzo hated. By the way, this quote of Giuliano is so meaningful and thought-provoking: “No one ever wants to say it, but a part of us always hates the dead for leaving us.” Brilliant.

Lucrezia arrives in Constantinople not before she meets the Turk who brings Amelia back from the dead for a moment. She sees death in Lucrezia’s future and I wonder who will die. While Lucrezia is convinced that she and Leo took different paths in life, the Turk disagrees. This means the two of them will be together sometime, either in our world or not. Remember Da Vinci’s hallucinations during the transfusion when he sees him and Lucrezia in the threshold between worlds.

One more thing regarding Giuliano: awww he worries for Vanessa and asks Da Vinci to look after her. I really wish he didn’t die. He was one of my favourites.

To conclude, this is another great episode. Da Vinci’s Demons never fails to surprise me.

So, what do you think of “The Rope of the Dead”? Let us know in the comments!