All Paris, all the time. Well, except for Porunn leaving Kattegat. Not a single sighting of England.
There was no warm-up. We went right into battle. The breadth and quality of the battle scenes was impeccable. Cross-bows, battering rams, water-borne siege towers, hot oil. The action was epic. But as a whole Episode 8 came up short for me.
As well done as the battle scenes were, I think this is a case where less would have been more. I could have done with a few less scaling the wall scenes in favor of a scene where Ragnar is challenged during the battle or after the battle for allowing the carnage to continue for so long.
It was baffling to me why would Ragnar allow his forces to suffer such carnage just to discredit Floki. It seemed that only Bjorn charging up the siege tower brought Ragnar out of his strange reverie. Of course, once Ragnar decided to fight, he was hands down the best warrior on the walls.
Not to be too picayune, but Lagertha’s and Kalf’s and Sigfried’s attack on the gate had me asking why the Franks didn’t start hurling boulders immediately.
One of my favorite scenes was Earl (“Who is this chunk of meat”) Sigfried pulling the gates of Paris open when the horses were unable to. OK, so he had help from the horses.
And I thoroughly enjoyed watching Rollo going berserk and seemingly taking on the entire Frank army (again, not to be picayune but where the hell were all the other Vikings) before he became transfixed by Princess Gisla allowing the Franks to hurl him into the river.
Great harangue by Princess Gisla –Soldiers show no mercy. Fight on. Fight to the death.
And great line by Lagertha to Kalf, paraphrasing – as long as you’re OK with my intending to kill you and reclaim my Earldom, let’s have at it.
But I guess Kalf wasn’t kidding when he told Lagertha that he desired her. He could have let her advance into the Franks’ second line of defense on the bridge and not have to worry about her u-usurping the earldom. I didn’t understand though why Kalf didn’t attack when the Franks were reloading. Maybe he doesn’t want Ragnar to succeed?
Floki going off the deep end in the burning siege tower was riveting. And equally riveting was how pitiful he was when Helga left him.
But Episode 8 didn’t really develop any of the plot lines any further. Is Ragnar’s objective just to sack Paris and take revenge on Floki for Athelstan? Does Kalf have designs on Ragnar’s crown?
Episode 8 concludes with Ragnar talking to Athelstan — I hope you can hear me, Athelstan and I’m not just talking to myself.
As usual Travis Fimmel was captivating.