Friday, October 23, 2015

5 Questions For Season 3 of “Da Vinci’s Demons”

After a very long wait, the premier of Season 3 of Da Vinci’s Demons airs tomorrow. To me, it will be bittersweet because Starz has ended the series, making Season 3 the final season of one of my favorite shows. Even worse, the studio made the decision after filming wrapped, so it’s unlikely we’ll see a true series finale that resolves all the show’s storylines. But let’s hope for the best. Here are 5 questions I would like answered before the series ends.

1. Will Pope Sixtus Fail?

The evil Pope Sixtus has remained a major antagonist of Lorenzo and Leonardo since the series began. As one character noted, “a devil sits on the papal throne.” This becomes all the more true once we learn that he is not even the real pope! The real pope is his twin brother, whom he imprisoned in Castel Sant’Angelo. In Season 2 it is revealed that the true pope has a plan to take his rightful place at the appropriate time. But will his plan succeed before the series ends? I’d like to see what happens to the evil Pope Sixtus then.

2. Will Lucrezia End Up A Hero?

In Season 1 we learn that the beautiful Lucrezia Donati, the mistress of Lorenzo the Magnificent, is actually a spy for the evil pope, under the command of Count Riario. Her actions in the first season turn out to be seemingly villainous, although it’s suggested that Riario may be manipulating her into doing his bidding. We eventually learn, however, that everything Lucrezia has been doing is to help her father, who is the true pope (his brother, the false pope, even killed Lucrezia’s sister before her very eyes). This revelation changed everything I had thought about Lucrezia in the beginning, and I’m looking forward to seeing if she emerges as a hero by the series’ end.

3. Will Leonardo Meet His Past Self?

There has always been a time travel element to Da Vinci’s Demons. In the very first episode, the Turk, al-Rahim, tells Leonardo about a mysterious order called the Sons of Mithras. When Leonardo denies being a member of this order, al-Rahim says, “Are you sure?” This suggests that al-Rahim knows about Leonardo’s future. Later, it’s revealed in a flashback that what Leonardo witnessed in a cave as a young boy was actually his adult self dangling in the shape of The Hanged Man (you know, the card in the Tarot deck). And somehow, this is all connected to Leonardo’s mother, who disappeared when he was an infant and had some connection to the Sons of Mithras. Now, it turns out she is with the Ottoman fleet sailing upon Naples. This plot line has been built up from the beginning, so I really hope we see it come together in Season 3.

4. Is Riario Lost to the Dark Side? 

When we were first introduced to Count Riario in Season 1 he was the henchman of the evil Pope Sixtus. But by Season 2, after he and Leonardo are captured by the natives of Machu Picchu, Riario and Leonardo become allies, and, surprisingly, Riario becomes a somewhat likeable character (not Jamie Lannister likable, but much more likable than the snake that he was). We can also have pity for Riario after it’s revealed that the evil Pope Sixtus made Riario into the monster that he is. 

After Riario returns to Rome, he seeks absolution from the real pope in the dungeons of Castel Sant’Angelo. But the imprisoned pope would have none of it, deeming Riario beyond absolution. Condemned and broken, Riario has now been forcefully indoctrinated into the Enemies of Man, a group opposed to the Sons of Mithras. The Enemies of Man also seeks the Book of Leaves, the show’s central mystery. And, as al-Rahim warned Leonardo, “In the hands of the Enemies of Man, it will be greater than any army.” In the end, I expect a major conflict between the Sons of Mithras and the Enemies of Man. Although I wonder, when the dust settles, whether Riario will be saved or whether his soul will belong forever to the dark side.

5. What is the Book of Leaves?

This mysterious book has been a focal point for two seasons, ever since al-Rahim told Leonardo to seek it, and we learned that Pope Sixtus wants it too. The tome was supposed to lie hidden in a place called the Vault of Heaven, but when Leonardo and Riario enter the Vault, the book was missing. What they found instead, was a brazen head that played a recorded message left by Leonardo’s mother. This is the first time we learn that she may be alive – and that she might have the book. 

The evil Pope Sixtus believed the Book of Leaves was written by the Nephilim, the offspring of humans and angels spoken of in the book of Genesis. And indeed, when we saw a page of the book kept in the papal archives, the letters changed magically from every type of language, to astrological symbols, and even to strange hexagonal patterns. Count Riario, meanwhile, believed the book had Atlantean origins. But even he seemed to come around to the Enochian theory after witnessing a cave drawing inside the Vault of Heaven. The drawing depicted human-like beings with elongated heads (or helmets of some type) and strange haloes or circles behind them. When Riario sees them, he begins to quote from the book of Genesis: 
“There were giants on the earth in those days. Perhaps these were the Nephilim, the offspring of the Sons of God and the daughters of men, and they created this Vault.”
Leonardo has to find the Book of Leaves. After all, that’s been his quest since the first episode, and it would be a shame to end to the series if the book is never found.

Closing thoughts: The answers to all these questions will come sooner than expected since Starz is releasing the entire final season On Demand starting Saturday. I, however, will probably watch the episodes as they air. But for those who want to binge watch or skip ahead, the season finale to Da Vinci’s Demons is just a day away. My only hope is that we get a satisfying end to Leonardo’s tale and his quest for the Book of Leaves.

* Photos courtesy of Starz

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