Review: Vikings (Season 5, Episode 9 & 10)

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80%
80
Middling

The first half of Season 5 doesn't quite meet the heights of earlier episodes of Vikings.

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After the battle between Lagertha and Bjorn against Ivar and Harald in Episode 8, the next episode slows down significantly and prepares viewers for the final huge battle that promises to decide the future of the Vikings’ series. Ivar receives big support from someone we wouldn’t expect and, to be honest, it hasn’t been explained why so far. We are only able to suspect why it happened and predict some consequences of this event. In the meantime, a new relationship between Lagertha and Heahmund can be seen, they are fascinated with the differences between them and how they understand each other.

Even though I’m sure many men would like to serve Lagertha and be close to her, I think that the new relation of Heahmund and the Vikings’ queen is too quick and unbelievable. They have just met and he is ready to declare loyalty to her? This new approach of the bishop to Lagertha should occur, at least, after a couple of episodes to be understandable and possible to happen in real life. Apart from the fact they hardly know each other, there are also significant differences between them where the religion, in which bishop Headmund believes a lot, plays an important role. I would say that the whole thread could turn out quite interestingly in the future, if I hadn’t seen the last episode already. There is one brief shot of Lagertha which may make you think that this character will appear for the last time in the final half of the season.

When it comes to the sons of Ragnar (except for Bjorn), I had been pretty optimistic that the creators would have finally developed them, but now I know how wrong I was. Ubbe and Hvitserk are still presented superficially, uninterestingly and bland. That is why it’s very difficult for viewers to build a strong, emotional relationship with them. I wish they were appropriately developed as it was with Ragnar, Lagertha, Rollo or Bjorn in the first two seasons because it made them really matter to us, viewers. Ivar, on the other hand, continues to disappoint me as he has been doing throughout the half of the season, but the creators and the actor tried to enrich this character. Unfortunately, they did it so unconvincingly and wrong that now Ivar is irritating, predictable and doesn’t seem crazy, but rather stupid. The actor who plays him also continues to pattern himself too much on Ragnar. I’m sure that if he didn’t do this, he would be better in the role.

While almost all the sons of Ragnar are a big disappointment, I need to say that the events in Wessex happen to be the most intriguing, and I’m really curious how it will all play out. Aethelwulf goes away and the throne has to be given to one of his sons – Aethelred or Alfred. The aristocrats want to choose Aethelred for their new king, but he refuses the crown. He proposes that his brother Alfred should have this honour and rule the country. However, during the coronation he behaves suspiciously what may suggest that he has some kind of plan and, in the other half of Season 5, we might get a good intrigue. We can also see that Judith will probably come out of the shadow and show what she’s capable of.

Perhaps the thread of Floki hasn’t been so interesting and enjoyable so far as the events in Wessex, but I still hope that everything that happens will eventually lead us to the creation of a new Viking kingdom in the land Floki discovered. I would say even more, the participation of this new kingdom in conquering new territories or fighting with their brothers in Scandinavia. However, if this story will only serve to kill one of the main characters then, in my opinion, it’ll be such a waste of an opportunity. At the moment, the action is quite predictable and just boring. Besides, Floki behaves in a really strange way. He sees the conflict between people, but he doesn’t act like he would be awaiting purposely for the bad to happen.

All right, but does the final battle work out at least? Well, I think that the director of the episode 10 had to forget that he was filming the episode of the entertainment show, not an art show. He wanted to be too original and present the battle in a very different way than ever before, but he only hurt the reception of it. The last episode is pretty difficult to watch because of the unnecessary artistic ways of telling the story which means we aren’t affected by the atmosphere of the fight and the weight of it. The decision to make a more artistic than an entertainingepisode 10 was one of the worst ones I’ve ever seen in Vikings so far.

Although the first half of the Season 5 wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, I’ll probably continue watching the show in the hope of finally getting something so well done as the very first seasons of it. But maybe it is too late? The old times passed, and will they ever return? The last time I said: let’s hope for the best, nonetheless, now I don’t know if I should repeat it.

Vikings Season 5 continues on History.

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A Film student. Not only a big movie buff, but also a huge fan of The Witcher book series and other fantasy books. Also a big fan of a video game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and a Total War game series. In spare time, he likes to listen to some good folk/folk metal music and film music.

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