Season 2 of the Starz original series Da Vinci’s Demons premiered this Saturday, and the sophomore season has wasted no time getting things moving. In the opening scene of Episode 201, “The Blood of Man,” the audience is catapulted six months into the future after the events of the Season 1 finale. There, we witness our hero, Leonardo da Vinci (played by Tom Riley), held captive alongside his nemesis Count Riario (Blake Ritson). The two are brought from the dungeon where they are being held to witness a ritualistic sacrifice of an exotic young woman. We, the audience, can only assume that da Vinci and Riario will be next. However, there is no resolution in sight, as we are brought back to present day in order to conclude the events of the Season 1 finale.
Da Vinci’s Demons is an interesting beast. On the one hand, it plays with a historical time period, has lots of over the top sex scenes, and there is some kind of magical element involved, so it sometimes feels like Game of Thrones. However, where Game of Thrones takes any opportunity to be cold and brutal, Da Vinci’s Demons has an element of fun to it. With the lighter tone, coupled with an almost wacky, savant leading man, Demons also seems to have a bit in common with Fox’s hit Sleepy Hollow (even though Demons came first, I’m just catching on to the series).
In any case, the good news is that Da Vinci’s Demons seems to have found its feet in Season 2. From this weekend’s premiere on, the show moves and moves fast. It also isn’t afraid to spread its wings (Da Vinci’s Demons humor!) and explore new locations, form strange alliances among characters, and feature epic battle scenes. I’m also enjoying the cast of side characters that round out the ensemble, including da Vinci’s best friend Zoroaster (Gregg Chillin), his protege Nico Machiavelli (Eros Vlahos), and his go-to-gal Vanessa (Hera Hilmar). While da Vinci is sometimes prone to big outbursts and Riario can be a bit mustache-twirly, the supporting trio of misfits at da Vinci’s side bring a lot to their roles and play their characters with the most authenticity and balance of the bunch.
Season 2 of Da Vinci’s Demons has a lot at stake for the city of Florence and the genius da Vinci himself. Fans of the series will undoubtedly enjoy the ride.
The Starz original series Da Vinci’s Demons airs Saturdays at 9/8c.