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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Vikings 4.8: Ships Up Cliff

Here's what I most loved about Vikings 4.8:  Ragnar is still a strategic military genius, and Floki can still implement Ragnar's visions.

That was refreshing to see, given what we've seen of both Ragnar's and Floki's deteriorations in so many ways.   And it was necessary - otherwise, Ragnar would be no match for Rollo, who already beat Ragnar in a first, disastrous encounter.

But hauling the ships up the cliff, so they can get at Paris from another vantage point, was sheer genius on Ragnar's part.   Bjorn understandably has doubts, but, significantly, obeys his father's instruction.   That's because Bjorn ultimately still has confidence in his father's prowess, despite what Bjorn has been seeing with his own eyes.

And speaking of witnessing, Ragnar's two younger sons witnessing his father's drowning of the Chinese emperor's daughter was a powerful scene, too.   What was their ultimate take-away from that?  Not that their father is a monster - I doubt that, though the two boys were certainly shaken by what they saw.  But more likely a recognition that this is what kings, maybe even husbands, sometimes do in their world.   And that might be more frightening than that their father is a monster.

Great acting by these two boys, by the way, especially the older one, who conveys the perfect mixture of slight horror and recognition into the camera.   The acting in this series is uniformly superb, by the way.   Gisla's almost a completely different character as a partner with Rollo this season, and Morgane Polanski carries this off just right.

As has been the case ever since season 3, I find the drama and action in Paris much more compelling than what's going on in England and Scandinavia, but that's ok, because even 30 minutes in or near Paris make this hour one of the very best on television.

See also Vikings 4.1: I'll Still Take Paris ... Vikings 4.2: Sacred Texts ...Vikings 4.4: Speaking the Language ... Vikings 4.5: Knives

And see also Vikings 3.1. Fighting and Farming ... Vikings 3.2: Leonard Nimoy ...Vikings 3.3: We'll Always Have Paris ... Vikings 3.4: They Call Me the Wanderer ... Vikings 3.5: Massacre ... Vikings 3.6: Athelstan and Floki ...Vikings 3.7: At the Gates ... Vikings 3.8: Battle for Paris ... Vikings 3.9: The Conquered ... Vikings Season 3 Finale: Normandy

And 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 ... Vikings 2.8: Great Post-Apocalyptic Narrative ... Vikings Season 2 Finale: Satisfying, Surprising, Superb

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

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