You know, back when I was being impressed by the first season of this show, I was happy that there wasn’t quite so much gratuitous sex as there was in other historical shows. Flash forward to Season 4 and it’s just Crossbows and Knobbing. It’s still a lot of fun, but the structure of Generic Historical Drama is creeping in, and not to the show’s benefit.
Take Yidu, for example. I was really happy when it seemed that she and Ragnar were just going to be Drug Bros, but it was not to be. Given the glacial pace that this program sometimes moves at, were two scenes of Travis Fimmel taking a bath really necessary?
Anyway, it’s not all me complaining about TV sex scenes. There’s also Ivarr doing his Egil’s Saga impression, with the scene where he kills another kid with an axe — a great little moment. I think Ivarr and the kids are currently my favourite thing about this show, which is a shame because they’re not in it very much. And there’s yet another massacre, with Kalf getting shanked up by Lagertha, who takes power backed by her shieldmaiden squad. Which is OK, but …
… I think this show has kind of a funny idea of how politics works in early medieval societies. This is the third scene this season in which someone has set up a meeting, negotiation or other way to resolve a dispute peacefully and then just killed everyone. Kalf did it to whatsisname, Rollo did it to his dudes and Lagertha did it to Kalf. Why does anyone negotiate with anyone? And how are they going to replace all these dead guys? It’s just … it’s like they saw that the Red Wedding was really shocking and dramatic and now that’s all they know how to do. “… but he kills ’em!”
I am still watching this show. And what’s more, I’m still enjoying it. There are lots of fun little moments. I like the way the characters age. But damn it is dumb sometimes.