We reach the halfway mark in Da Vinci’s Demons third and final season, and having faced the Labyrinth at the hands of Carlo (Ray Fearon) and Riario (Blake Ritson), Leonardo da Vinci (Tom Riley) finds himself returning to Florence a changed man. What comes of this is a narrative that is truly fascinating, as whilst exploring the shocking twists within recent episode, yet at the same time looking towards the show’s concluding arc, the creative team deliver something that is both gripping and entertaining.
One thing that this show has done beautifully over the course of its three seasons is explore the mind of Leonardo da Vinci, as despite clearly being a work of fiction, the character has proven to be just as fascinating as his real life counterpart. It is however within these last few episodes in which we’ve seen the most sizeable portion of this, and having faced a cruel alternative reality in last week’s “The Labrys,” Leonardo has a lot more demons to shoulder than he did before. This is also reflected wonderfully within the interaction between Leonardo and his closest friends, with Tom Riley, Gregg Chillin (Zoroaster) and Eros Vlahos (Niccolò Machiavelli) all given amazing performances.
“Anima Venator” would also see Lucrezia (Laura Haddock) attempt to make amends for her recent actions, going in search of the Book of Leaves, ultimately going to Lupo Mercuri (Nick Dunning) for information. Now if I’m being honest I haven’t been the biggest fan of Lucrezia’s developments over the course of the show, as despite her transition being a bold one, the self centred agenda of the character has been rather off putting. That said my mind has started to change a little following the events within this episode, with Laura Haddock giving us a strong performance that reflected the character she once was. Despite this I did find these sequence of events to be ill paced, feeling like background events rather than proper development.
The characters may be what makes this story so enthralling, but another element that has made Da Vinci’s Demons such an appealing show has been the mysterious elements behind it’s narrative. We may not get too much use of this within this latest episode, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no evidence whatsoever, as with the return of Aslan Al-Rahim (Alexander Siddig) and the real Pope Sixtus IV (James Faulkner) and their Turkish allies there is a foreboding sense of what’s to come da Vinci and Florence. What really made this development so intriguing was the performance of Elliot Cowan (Lorenzo de’ Medici) as despite appearing a broken man, the character retains signs of the leader he is.
Da Vinci’s Demons “Anima Venator” was yet another fabulous entry in the show’s final season. Giving us some wonderful twists as well as gripping character development the creators really start to heat things up, with the second half of this season looking to be intriguing.
(8.5 / 10)