Vikings Review by John Keegan

Vikings 2.10: The Lord's Prayer

Vikings 2.10: The Lord's Prayer

Written By:
Michael Hirst
Directed By:
Ken Girotti


I don’t know that anyone was particularly shocked by the “revelation” that Floki was still working for Ragnar, but the real question was how the writers would deal with the not-so-small problem that King Horik is an actual historical figure.  As it turns out, Michael Hirst uses some of the confusion around the identity of the legendary Ragnar Lothbrock to make this work, even if that’s not apparent on-screen.



 

Dramatic license is a given with period dramas; even shows like Turn take the fairly well-established details of the American Revolutionary War and resequence them to allow for more gripping storytelling.  When the events are more shrouded by time and translation assumptions, it’s a bit easier.  Many believe that Ragnar Lothbrock’s legend was an amalgam of several people’s actions, a way to ensure that the very prominent sons of Ragnar would have an equally meaningful progenitor.

 

Some say that Ragnar’s actions, at least the ones not directly in opposition to Horik’s own goals, were actually done by Horik himself.  So how would that be, if Horik is killed in this season finale, and Ragnar lives on?  Well, setting aside that there were two King Horiks in roughly the same time period, but imagine a scenario where the confusion is created not because Horik did some of what Ragnar was supposed to have done, but because Ragnar did what was later attributed to Horik!



 

Regardless, this brings the season full circle, as Ragnar’s rise and independent decision-making come to a head.  Horik is ready to pull off an ambush that rivals Ragnar’s takedown of Jarl Borg, and for a little while, it’s not clear if Floki’s desire to protect Bjorn (which was pretty obvious) would be countered by Siggy’s desire for restored glory.  One was an obvious season-long ruse; the other, all too possible.  What Horik overlooked, in his blatant campaigning to eliminate a rival, was that his allies might very well see Ragnar as the more viable option.

 

Floki had to play along as long as possible, and that meant a gambit with mushrooms that was probably the most confusing thing seen on Vikings to date.  Here’s my take on it: Floki knew about two species of mushrooms that looked the same but had very different properties.  Either that, or Floki is really good about estimating effective vs. toxic dosages!  Regardless, he had to fake killing Torsten and sell the idea that he was doing the same to Rollo, I’m guessing.  Whatever the case, it was enough to convince Horik that Floki was ready to step up to the big leagues.

 



With so much else going on, so much so that Lagertha’s incredibly badass action scenes were more or less shunted to the background, I was a bit puzzled over the amount of time given to Bjorn’s courtship with Porunn.  I almost get the Klingon-esque foreplay; Porunn has been dealing with her sense of Bjorn’s highborn status and how she measures up from the start.  But their interactions leading up to the frolicking were irritating, to say the least.  Nothing is less attractive than outright mind games.

 

Ragnar is now effectively King Ragnar, even if the history books can’t verify him as such.  And since Horik was King of Denmark, this opens up most of western and northern Europe to Ragnar’s merry band of Vikings.  There are still unresolved issues back in Wessex, Mercia, and such, but there are other legendary feats of Viking incursions to Ragnar’s fame that should prove more than fertile enough ground for the third season!


Our Grade:
A-
The Good:
  • Horik gets what he had coming to him
  • Nice misdirection with Siggy’s true loyalties
  • Lots of open ground to cover in the third season!
The Bad:
  • Floki’s gambit with the mushrooms was a bit confusing
  • Viking courtship rituals are downright mind-boggling

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 - 5/5/2014 8:34 AM256 views

Your Responses

blooddrunk
blooddrunk
CONCURRING OPINION

Grade: A
Contrary to my past statement about the season heading towards a "meh" ending, I enjoyed it quite a bit. This last episode had a bit of everything a season finale should have. even though it was a confusing last couple of episodes it all cleared up at the end and set set a path for season 3. Horik definitely got what he deserved and there's nothing like punching each other in the face to say "i love you" while a creepy dude is watching from the bushes!

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