Vikings Review by John Keegan

Vikings 2.05: Answers in Blood

Vikings 2.05: Answers in Blood

Written By:
Michael Hirst
Directed By:
Jeff Woolnough

Vikings is a difficult show to review, not because it is in any way bad, but rather, because it is so deeply serialized.  It is also one of those near-perfect blends of history and fiction, to the point that the lines blur considerably.  Every episode is a film unto itself, even when battles are little more than glorified shaky-cam versions of those really low-budget History Channel reenactments we all know and love.



 

One of my favorite characters is Lagertha, and this is a huge episode for her.  Lagertha is that rare female character that is popular for more than her stunning looks; she is perhaps the most fierce character on the show and steals every scene.  Her reunion with Ragnar and the rest of the “family” at Kattegat is uncomfortable, to say the least, but her grace in dealing with Ragnar’s new wife Aslaug is remarkable.

 

Ragnar is infuriating, on the other hand, because he still seems to think that he can have his cake and eat it, too.  He has children with both wives, recognizes on some level why Lagertha chose to leave, but still wants to have both women in his life.  It may be something that is occasionally permissible within the culture, but it certainly doesn’t seem common.  Whatever the case, Lagertha will have nothing of it, and for good reason.  She ought to be more than enough for any man!



 

Ragnar fares better with his reunion with Bjorn.  While Ragnar’s historical existence is somewhat in doubt, that of Bjorn Ironside is not; it’s fun to see him at the beginning of what will be an adventurous and bloody career.  It also makes sense that Ragnar would chide Bjorn for his battlefield mistakes, if only out of concern and a desire to push his son to prepare himself better.

 

Meanwhile, back in Wessex, Athelstan is going through a particularly nasty bit of psychological trauma.  Granted, getting crucified is probably not good for one’s mental stability, especially when you are a former priest being punished for apostasy.  The question is whether or not his apparent slide back to Christianity is going to stick, and if that will destroy his close relationship with Ragnar when they are reunited.


Our Grade:
A-
The Good:
  • Strong material for Lagertha
  • Bjorn fights in his first battle
  • Athelstan’s journey of self-rediscovery
The Bad:
  • The battles are still a bit spare

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Vikings by - 3/27/2014 11:43 AM221 views

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