Season 2, Episode 8
Air date: Thursday, April 17, 2014, 10/9c on History
“One cannot be more equal than the others.” – King Horik
Can the gods stop offering their blessings to Ragnar (Travis Fimmel)? That is one theory poisoning the minds of many in Kattegat, including those close to him. Will Ragnar’s inner circle remain fair and just or will they succumb to the manipulations of the self-centered King Horik (Donal Logue)?
Thirsty for vengeance from King Ecbert (Linus Roache), King Horik is doing everything in his power to get the Northmen back to Wessex. I’m scratching my head wondering why the Northmen can’t smell something foul in Horik’s account of the Wessex massacre and his insistent need to go back west right away? Moreover, the manner in which Horik unfoundedly accuses Athelstan (George Blagden) of being a traitor after pleading for him to stay in England with him is a suspicious turnaround. Although King Horik has some believers, there is also a strong indication throughout “Boneless” that more than a few are catching up to his game.
Siggy (Jessalyn Gilsig) earns brownie points for using psychology to basically save the lives of Auslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) and her baby. I think it comes naturally to Siggy because she’s a survivor herself. However, although she has Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) fooled, Siggy has a long way to go before I consider her a loyal individual. She should be happy Rollo (Clive Standen) decides she’s worth giving another chance. Considering how close the Lothbrok brothers are now, I hope this is truly a decision Rollo doesn’t come to regret.
Floki’s Dark Gods
Although he’s been a good partner and loyal friend to Ragnar, Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) is seriously contemplating a move to the dark side. Money isn’t a motivator for him; he has an attraction to what he calls the “real gods, the darker gods.” King Horik picks up on this and tests Floki every opportunity he has. What Horik doesn’t take into consideration is although Floki has the ideas and is the shipbuilder, Ragnar is the navigator and the one who has the guts to carry out the ideas.
The true reasons for Floki’s change of allegiance are still unknown for sure, but I would say Ragnar’s close friendship with Athelstan is a big factor. It’s interesting how Floki intuitively knows what he’s doing is questionable, especially when he admits being “crazy and cracked” and “there is something wrong with me.”
In addition to the personal intrigues surrounding Ragnar, drama is also happening in Wessex. King Ecbert continues with his grand plans of solidifying his power. He’s forged a political alliance and marriage with the Kingdom of Northumbria, and he plans on influencing power in the Kingdom of Mercia. If he has his way, this is a ploy for the Vikings to be useful to him. This storyline introduces us to English Princess Kwenthrith (Amy Bailey), who is a strong-willed, bloodthirsty woman who may literally “open her gates” to just about any male. Seeing her wear out Ecbert in bed is rather comical until I began fearing for Athelstan! Luckily for him, Ecbert redirects Kwenthrith’s attention away from the monk. I haven’t decided yet whether I like her character, She starts strong as an extroverted, confident woman but as the episode progresses, Kwenthrith becomes more of a familiar stereotype. I would say the contrast between Kwenthrith and Aethelwulf’s (Moe Dunford) wife offers fertile ground to explore the notion of the Viking women having more rights and better living conditions than their Christian counterparts.
Isn’t it beyond cool to see Lagertha ride alongside her shield maidens and arrive at Kattegat like a rock star?
Someone at her new home has certainly missed Lagertha but while she has the hound under control at the moment, how much longer will that last? Will her absence stir trouble? Furthermore, it is impossible not to notice Lagertha’s reaction to the birth of yet another one of Ragnar’s sons. The million dollar question is how long will she be able to hide the fact she’s still in love with Ragnar?
In spite of the political power plays going on, Ragnar isn’t feeling extremely blessed by the gods in “Boneless.” Another one of Auslaug’s prophecies comes true, leaving Ragnar broken-hearted. It is a dark reminder of the ill fate children with disabilities endured in alpha male societies. Ultimately, Ragnar must make a heart wrenching decision about his son.
The anxiety and excitement of the men as they prepare to travel – except for Ragnar who looks unenthused to leave Kattegat – shows an interesting perspective. Oh, and to the Auslaug haters, call her a home wrecker all you want but she’s a good mother. She may not be fearless in battle but she’s been brave in heading into uncharted territory by sticking up for her baby.
“Boneless” is a huge build up for the remaining two episodes of Vikings, including the very critical raid out west – wait, did I just say only TWO episodes left?!
As the men sail, we are gifted with beautiful cinematography. Ultimately, the men make it to Wessex and as they set camp, the tensions escalate between Ragnar and King Horik as the latter is solely focused on vengeance. Ragnar continues to find himself stuck in the middle of two Kings’ agendas. In spite of a safe passage guarantee by King Ecbert, will a dirty move by Horik jeopardize the possibility of negotiating the acquisition of Saxon land for the Vikings, and the possibility of Ragnar ever reconnecting with his dear friend Athelstan?
At least Ragnar is now aware Horik lied to him. Let’s hope this information allows Ragnar to make the necessary adjustments to watch his back and those he loves. Horik does not consider Ragnar an equal and cannot be trusted.
What did you think of “Boneless?” Leave me a comment below or tweet me @LutzElle to discuss.
For more on the show, go to http://www.history.com/shows/vikings.
All photos © 2014 HISTORY®, an affiliate of A&E Television Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
© 2014, elleL. All rights reserved.
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