Saturday, 12 March 2016

Vikings S04E02 "Kill The Queen"


"As Ragnar and Floki remain at odds in Kattegat, Rollo makes great efforts in Paris to win over his new bride, Princess Gisla. Bjorn's survival skills are put to the test in the wilderness, while King Ecbert sets the task for his son Aethelwulf to rescue Queen Kwenthrith from opposing forces in Mercia."

What I thought?

And welcome back Wessex and King Ecbert; the current most interesting Englishman in the show. His promise to his son's wife that she will be "free" seems far too good to be true. Almost every time in the past that he's promised anything, it's always either been some sort of trick or a cunning plan. He's delivered her a monk to teach her how to read and write, but what his real reasons are behind this are still to be played out. You just know this will not end well for her or his son, or both. Speaking of his son, the rescue of Queen Kwenthrith from "the tower" (which seemed to be a random tower in the middle of nowhere), was straight out of Rapunzel and pretty awesome to watch. Aethelwulf instigated quite clever tactics to capture the tower, with an almighty struggle with one solider that really took you into the blood and sweat of a life and death fight. This was the undoubted highlight of the episode.

Back in Ragnor's town, Floki has escaped and is being hunted. It's brilliantly gorgeous scenery as he legs it up this little stream coming down the mountains, but ultimately not really that exciting. The whole Floki thing already seems to have dragged on too long and we're only in episode two! He is alas captured and strung up in a cave like a bat half naked. Presumably it's more secure than chains in the middle of the town? Who knows the logic here. Ragnor promises Floki the worst kind of punishment possible. So, later when he finds Floki's wife burying his daughter, you can't help but wonder if Ragnor instigated it when he earlier delivered the family some food for the winter. I'm guessing so, but if Floki finds out, this whole Ragnor and Floki thing could drag on even longer this season. It's really not as interesting as everything else. Not least that Floki has annoyed me for 4 seasons now. The only slight shock from this proceeding came when Ragnor slapped his wife to the ground twice very aggressively, giving her a lecture about trust and loyalty. I'm not sure violence will help Ragnor with her.

Back in Paris, for reasons only he will know, Rolo is helping the French protect Paris from his countrymen's expected future attack, Count Odo is in mini power struggle somewhat unknowingly to him, and Rolo also gives his wife a good laugh when he gets all cleaned up and dressed like a Duke. Well, even I smirked at how ridiculous he looked!

So, slow simmering developments in Paris and with Ragnor/Floki, with the real focus for me being back in England with an impressive set piece attack on "the tower" and the curiosity of what King Ecbert's intentions are with Judith.

Rating 7/10 (GOOD STUFF)

Bjorn goes all Bear Grylls this week, only less interesting.
Ahh Paris, how beautiful you look in all your CGI glory.

All I could think about was that she looked like Mickey Mouse.

The predecessor of the umbrella looks awesome and as a concept it has legs.

Wasn't just Rolo who looked daft. All three did.

Floki was hung out to dry ... in a wet cave.

Aethelwulf had an awesome fist fight with the solider with the key.

It's a tower. In the middle of nowhere. As you do.

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