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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Vikings 2.9: Great Post-Apocalyptic Narrative

My favorite scene in Vikings 2.9 was at the very beginning, where Althestan reads Ecbert some Roman military strategy, and concludes with, and there "the fragment ends".  What a perfect picture of a post-apocalyptic culture, reliant on just shards of the previous civilization.  It's a scene that many a science fiction narrative has tried to present - like in the George Pal 1960 movie of H. G. Wells' The Time Machine - but none has done it better than Vikings, and its focus on a Britain struggling to recover some of the store of knowledge fleetingly left to it by the departed Romans.

My second favorite scene also features Ecbert, talking in Olde English which sounds so much like German, and actually, even more like Yiddish.   But these fine scenes by no means indicate that the rest of the episode didn't shine, and indeed 2.9 was one of the best episodes of the season and the series.

Especially compelling and vexing is Floki's growing antagonism towards Ragnar.   It was not justified in the first place, as I mentioned in my review of the episode a few weeks ago in which it first reared its ugly head, and now Horick, whom I'm liking even less than Jarl Borg and Haraldson (well, maybe about the same as Haraldson) is egging the deranged Floki on to kill Ragnar's children.  Floki seems to have a special fixation on Bjorn, and I wouldn't mind Bjorn sending Floki on to the after-life as Bjorn defends himself.

But the wily Floki is unlikely to challenge Bjorn face to face, so who will be watching his back? Ragnar can't be everywhere at once.  My guess/hope is that Lagertha will save Bjorn.   Althestan, who I'm glad to see is back with the Norse, could also come to Bjorn's aid (but if he dies doing this, that would be a shame and a waste of a pivotal character). Also, possibly, Floki could snap out of it.   In any case, I've grown tired of his whining, and the Norse obviously have enough to ships to get to England that they don't need his shipbuilding craft any longer.

Looking forward to next week's episode.

See also Vikings 2.1-2: Upping the Ante of Conquest ... Vikings 2.4: Wise King ... Vikings 2.5: Caught in the Middle ... Vikings 2.6: The Guardians ... Vikings 2.7: Volatile Mix

And see also Vikings ... Vikings 1.2: Lindisfarne ... Vikings 1.3: The Priest ... Vikings 1.4:  Twist and Testudo ... Vikings 1.5: Freud and Family ... Vikings 1.7: Religion and Battle ... Vikings 1.8: Sacrifice
... Vikings Season 1 Finale: Below the Ash

historical science fiction - a little further back in time

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