Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The Last Kingdom: Episode 3

The Last Kingdom
Episode 3
Rating: 4 out of 10 (Not OK)

In A Nutshell

It's all rather dull and as bleak as the English countryside on a winter's day. And, still, the conversations and reasoning behind anything Uhtred and Brida discuss just feels loose and hard to fathom. It's not good viewing this week ...

Uhtred and Brida are still locked up as Alfred returns victorious and with the king as good as dead. Aethelwold comically moans, as he does throughout episode, like an annoying fly, although you'd guess he'd become more of a pest at some point if he doesn't get swatted soon. He missed out on the action, but that's just as well, as he'd also probably be dead if he did. When Uhtred and Brida are eventually released, they discuss terms with the (almost) King Alfred with Uhtred is determined to get his land and status back (although don't they have the deeds in the vault anyway?). Alfred dispatches Aethelwold to a monastery and is anointed King as, for some reason, we see Uhtred having sex with Brida through one of the windows.

Ubba is unhappy that Guthrum led the battle with the Wessex army without him, but nevertheless, the king is dead, so it's sort of not so bad. They eventually go to negotiations with King Alfred which are not really easy to follow in terms of who is getting what and who wants what, but at least it was a little amusing. The negotiations though sort of just end, and one is left to guess that no decision was made? I didn't see any agreement. Anyhow, Alfred assumes they'll be back and so has Uhtred agree to an oath to help train his army for a year. We don't see him agree to it, but it's said later that he did.

A while later, Brida is approached by a messenger whilst collecting up Ragnor Senior's silver in the woods, and we later find out that Ragnor Junior is in town and wants to meet. A rather unconvincing "do I believe them?" dialogue from Ragnor Jnr later and everyone is hugging, with Brida agreeing to join Ragnor on the ship heading home, but Uhtred staying to honour the oath that he made with Alfred, of which everyone is very accepting, given it means he's training the enemy to kill vikings. All very odd and a pleasant atmosphere for such a screwed up set of logic.

What I liked

Just about the only thing that's positive and consistent with this show is that the scenery, atmosphere and costumes which are top notch.

Alfred continues to be just about the only person in the show with great presence.

The negotiations were entertaining.

Aethelwold is at least entertaining with his stupidity.

What I Didn't Like

Quite simply, it's all a bit dull. It's hard to gauge the direction the show is going in and the wishy washy decision making between Uhtred and Brida is now so flakey and odd, that I'm beyond caring what either of these two really think.

The Athelwold and Uhtred conversation at what must be a pub was just odd, but I guess it was there to fuel Athelwold's annoyance at Alfred and maybe as a tempter for Uhtred later.

The Ragnor Jnr meetup with Uhtred and Brida was ridiculously not tense, contrary to what they wanted to us to believe, as well as all very amicable despite Uhtred's oath to Alfred.


Aside from the dullness of this episode, Brida's miscarriage is the most disturbing part this week.

Mushroom risotto this is clearly not.

Althelwold is the comedy relief in this show. That's a pig on the left btw.

And Finally

Well, last week showed a little promise but this week it was very lifelike of the dull, cloudy and sodden winters in England. Uhtred and Brida don't show enough cohesive logic and belief behind their words, with all the other characters except Beocca and Alfred really feeling much like they are fillers without any substanance. Aethelwold at least provides some comedy but it's all rather bland this week with little of any quality or note to recommend viewing.

Rating: 4 out of 10 (Awful, and just below even average viewing. As wooden as the scenery.)

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