Medici: The Magnificent season 2, episode 4 recap: Blood with Blood


Episode 204 of Netflix series Medici: The Magnificent reminds us that war is always possible, even if we do our best to avoid conflict.

It’s not necessarily easy being an Italian statesman on Medici: The Magnificent. At a young age, Lorenzo the Magnificent (Daniel Sharman) was advised never to pick a fight he couldn’t win. The problem is, some people won’t take “No” for an answer! While Lorenzo says there are moral lines he won’t cross, he says family enemy Jacopo de’ Pazzi (Sean Bean ) “has none of those.” Of course, Lorenzo does cross certain lines. Despite being married to Clarice Orsini (Synnøve Karlsen), he still is seeing his mistress, Lucrezia Donati (Alessandra Mastronardi). While this may seem a trivial detail, such matters are crucial to these powerful families.

Trade is also important. Stefano Maffei (Stefano Benassi) shows Lorenzo some alum crystals (used in cleaning wool, glass making, and tanning skins), revealing that they’ll make the city of Volterra rich. However, Lorenzo’s brother Giuliano (Bradley James) points out a possible danger: If the Pope loses business, he will likely invade and sort out the Volterrans. In other words, they must be warned about the risks.

When Lorenzo travels to warn Volterrans, a man named Vaccari (Simone Spinazze) insists that they will make their own decisions, rejecting Lorenzo’s offer of selling alum themselves through the Medici bank. They do reach an agreement, though, including that the price is no higher nor lower than the Pope’s. Drama isn’t avoided altogether, though. Jacopo de’ Pazzi is not happy about the deal, saying:

"“If the truth does not point in our direction then bend it so it does!”"

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Love in the air, confrontations on the ground

Medici: The Magnificent delves deeper into Clarice Orsini’s jealousy, and also her ability to control it. For example, she is capable of calling Lucrezia “very beautiful.” Lorenzo’s mother, also named Lucrezia (Sarah Parish) advises Clarice:

"“Give my son time and he’ll learn to deny himself his youthful pleasures.”"

Clarice, who was originally to be a nun, was already prepared for a life of restraint. However, the lack of respect is still a test. This also happens at the wedding of Bianca de’ Medici (Aurora Ruffino), which is another reason to exercise restraint. Later, Lorenzo explains to Clarice that Lucrezia Donati’s husband is an important ally, which is why he invited her!

Meanwhile, love is also in the air between Novella Foscari (Francesca Del Fa) and Jacopo Pazzi’s nephew, Francesco (Matteo Martari), after she awkwardly fires an arrow which narrowly misses him (like a deadly Cupid). Initially, in attempting a treaty with Venice, Lorenzo tries to arrange the marriage between Novella and his brother Giuliano. However, Giuliano easily declines to marry her, insisting he’ll be the one to decide his marriage. Another of Lorenzo’s ideas is rejected, too. Jacopo isn’t happy about a Medici marrying into his family, and also declines a peace offering from Lorenzo, calling it “scraps” off the table. Instead, he declares that the Pazzi’s are rightful masters of Florence.

Next, Medici: The Magnificent shows Clarice confronting Lucrezia Donati on the street, urging her to end their relationship. Lucrezia insists it’s not her problem, saying “Pushing him out of my bed will not be enough to bring him close to yours.” Later she confronts Lorenzo himself on the matter, emphasizing that she needs to be respected. While Lorenzo insists he does respect her, she’s just not buying it. Meanwhile, Simonetta Vespucci (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) is posing for Sandro Botticelli (Sebastian de Souza), alongside Giuliano who’s infatuated with her, despite her being married.

Peeving the Pope

Mindful of Medici’s deal with Volterra, Jacopo’s revealed that their alum’s been undercutting the Pope’s price. Thus, according to theory, the Pope will be forced to invade. To avert a crisis, it’s declared that Volterra is under Medici command. Lorenzo has two ideas: They may need to intimidate the traitorous seller who’s undercutting the Papacy, and also prove that Jacopo is manipulating this merchant. For this, Lorenzo turns to Francesco, who promptly finds proof of someone selling alum on his uncle’s orders.

However, according to Medici: The Magnificent, Lorenzo’s sleuthing was too late in the game. Maffei is stabbed in back, and the assassin says:

"“Tello Lorenzo [that] Volterra does not take orders from him!”"

As a result, Jacopo and Lorenzo argue, with Pazzi saying that Maffei’s blood is on Medici’s hands. Jacopo also wants war with Volterra. After this meeting’s adjourned, Lorenzo runs low on time to find evidence and testimony to Pazzi’s tricks. Meanwhile, Jacopo finds out someone’s been snooping through his books (we know it his nephew Francesco, who’s betrayed his uncle before already). In any case, war is not avoided; Battles break out and Guiliano tells Lorenzo it was a slaughter. On the decidedly brighter side, Simonetta kisses Giuliano again (even though he’s still is bloody from battle, and the blood may not even be his own).

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Love is in the air, take two

Initially, Novella’s father (Maurizio Lombardi) was fuming that Lorenzo couldn’t arrange a strategic marriage with Guliano. However, he is appeased when Clarice arranges her marriage to another Florentine banker ⁠— Francesco! Yes, the same Francesco she was heavily flirting with before. Learning of this, and perhaps actually understanding what respecting her means, Lorenzo tells Clarice, “I’m privileged to call you my wife.” The question is, why couldn’t these family problems simply be limited to arranged marriage drama, so the world could be spared bloodshed?

What are your thoughts on Medici: The Magnificent? Let us know in the comments!