Vikings Review by John Keegan

Vikings 2.08: Boneless

Vikings 2.08: Boneless

Written By:
Michael Hirst
Directed By:
Kari Skogland

One of the best things about Vikings is that the shorter seasons force Michael Hirst to parse out the historical references and events in a way that keeps things interesting.  There’s really no such thing as a boring episode of Vikings if you’re at all interested in that point in history.


For example, in this episode, we get to see the birth of Ivar the Boneless.  There are a lot of interpretations of Ivar’s nickname, but Hirst goes for the one that maximizes the drama and the challenges that Ivar will ultimately face.  That the various sagas of Northern Europe all agree on the fact that Ivar grows to be a formidable warrior and one of the most intelligent advisors to his brothers adds flavor to the tale.


Similarly, it’s fairly well established that Horik I was not pleased with any raiders or “jarls” (earls) that were too successful and might grow to be a threat.  This episode certainly seems to be suggesting that Ragnar’s penchant for ignoring the chain of command and doing as he sees fit is rubbing Horik the wrong way.  Horik was playing Ragnar against Jarl Borg almost from the moment they were all in the same room, and it shouldn’t be forgotten that all of this started when Horik asked Ragnar to settle a dispute with Jarl Borg.


But Ragnar has been shown to be crafty and more perceptive than most realize, and I can’t imagine that he hasn’t figured out that Horik is trying to undermine him.  The lies about Athelstan’s fate have certainly put strain on their alliance, and I’m sure that Horik’s apparent decision to slaughter Ecbert’s men (save the messenger) was all about taking charge.  Ragnar had to see that coming, which is why I think that all those significant looks between Ragnar and Floki suggest that Floki is working undercover.


To add some spice to the episode, we have Bjorn saying a groping goodbye with Porunn, Lagertha shows off that amazing physique both in and out of her bath, and Princess Kwenthrith doing her best Lucretia Borgia impression (giving a new meaning to the term “insatiable” in the process).  Ecbert’s comment about lending some Northmen to Kwenthrith’s cause is perhaps telling; just which Northmen did Ecbert think he might have available?


Events are pushing towards a confrontation on the battlefield, but I suspect that will not be the biggest twist of the season.  That is likely to be straightforward.  It’s what will happen when the battle is over and the current allies return to Denmark and Norway that things will get interesting.
Our Grade:
The Good:
  • The strained alliance is fascinating to watch
  • Lagertha definitely has her groove back
The Bad:
  • The bits with Kwenthrith are sexy but a bit out of place

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 - 4/18/2014 12:27 PM328 views

Your Responses


Grade: B-
The show had me lost at certain points during the course of this season, it tends to catch up and and bring me back to speed. But nonetheless, I think we're heading for a straightforward "meh" season finale.

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