Saturday, 18 April 2015

Vikings: S03E09: "Breaking Point"

Rating: 7

In A Nutshell

The Vikings perform a second siege of Paris, leading to the French wishing to discuss terms with them due to the suffering on the city's citizens without food and falling ill. King Ragnor, ailing with an internal injury, agrees to meet the French to discuss terms, asking only to baptized. In Wessex, King Ecbert makes his son's wife his mistress in return for protecting her. Meanwhile, back in Kattegat, a Christian Wonderer arrives, fails a test, and is ordered to be killed.

What I liked

Limited action here this episode. We do get a good 10 minutes though of Round Two of the Vikings trying but failing to siege the city. Some truly gruesome deaths suffered by the Vikings by another ingenious French defence weapon; the barrel of spikes! I really should not have been eating my lunch whilst watching this week, especially with Ragnor coughing and urinating blood. I can stomach people being stabbed by swords etc, but coughing up blood etc really makes me cringe.

You can't help but still feel the bro-mance of Ragnor and Athelstan in this show, even with the latter gone. True to form, it was no great surprise to see him return in a vision.

What I Didn't Like

In case we were in no doubt, Christianity is coming to the Vikings, and indeed they don't like it. I imagine this was the reason for the scene back home with the wonderer. Likewise, as much as I love King Ecbert, it feels a little like a sideshow when you've got Paris as the main action. I didn't mind these Ecbert scenes as he's an amazing character, and one can be sure that we're hanging around there to see Alfred become the great.


It's all over as the Viking tricks the guard. Gotta hand it to him ...

Slightly obnoxious French King yes? He's undoubtedly not very brave. Sort of confused why he didn't just have his daughter (I think she is?) go back out to inspire the troops instead of making himself look the coward.

And Finally

With Season 4 confirmed, will we be Ragnor-less when it starts? He believes the end is nigh and he might well be right, but will they do a fourth season without him? We've got Rollo's story still to tell, as well as Alfred in Wessex, but Vikings has always been about Ragnor. Given his story is the mythical one, it's hard to tell which direction the show will take with him.

Rating: 7 out of 10 (Little action, but there's a sense that it's nevertheless building to something in Wessex, Kattegat and in Paris. The intrigue and suspense holds this episode up).

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