Medici the Magnificent: Season Three (2020) 

Reviewer: Charity Bishop

Though an engaging drama of politics and art, Medici's third and final season missteps in its rapid forward momentum through history.

Florence still reels from the vicious murder of one of the Medici brothers inside the local cathedral. His brother Lorenzo (Daniel Sharman), once a man of compassion and peace, has decided to hunt down all their enemies and hang them. His artists paint frescos of his defeated adversaries in the public square to instill fear in the populace against anyone who turns against the infamous banking family. His drive for revenge at the cost of the faith he once held dear worries his wife, Clarice (Synnove Karlsen), who struggles to hold their family together in this time of turmoil.

Desperate to maintain his power, Lorenzo makes an ill-advised trip out of the city and becomes the prisoner of one of his enemies. There, he starts a flirtation that threatens to pull his strained marriage apart. Plus, Clarice has discovered inconsistencies in their books -- the Medicis are not as wealthy as she once believed, nor her mother-in-law honest about the shortfalls. If the public learns of her deceptions, they may turn against them, leaving her to do what she can to convince their rivals that the Medicis are still as powerful and affluent as they pretend to be. But how long will Lorenzo pursue revenge? Will he kill his brother's murders or destroy himself in the attempt?

The problem with this season is the same as the previous one -- each episode is a strong stand-alone, but when they leap forward in time with the next hour, it feels a little disjointed. I felt disappointed to be pulled so fast through time, to have the children ten years old and then twelve, fourteen, nineteen, adults. It felt like I was missing significant chunks of their lives in an attempt to cover too much in too few episodes. Even so, it's a good series that doesn't offend too much, with good acting, beautiful artwork and costumes, and a solid premise. It avoids the trap of being explicit that a lot of modern costume dramas fall into, but it's not for kids, either. Seeing Lorenzo lose his faith and make questionable choices is harrowing, but it's also uplifting to see him shift back into his older, wiser self over time. He also has a strong foil in one of his adversaries, a ruthless, intelligent, scheming man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants -- and who ought not abuse his wife.

It's not as good as it could have been with a little more time to breathe, but it's an engaging look into the past, and a memorable conclusion to a decent series.

Sexual Content
Though rated MA for nudity, I noticed none. A man sits in the bath, however, and his wife reaches down to massage his crotch (off-screen). She appears to pleasure him. Various married couples kiss and start to undress, but we see nothing after that. A married man pretends to take a mistress, but they only kiss. Some nudity in artwork.
 
Language:
A handful of abuses of Jesus' name. Scattered profanities.
 
Violence:
Nothing explicit. Men are hanged, shot with arrows, and stabbed. Various assassination attempts, including a man shoved out a window to his death. A mob drags a man away to kill him.

Other:
Lorenzo renounces God and his faith, but finds his way back later in his life.