How Low Can You Go – Vikings Mid-Season Finale

The mid-season finale to Vikings, “Moments of Vision,” was incoherent.  The high point of the show was the very beginning when Halfdan and Harald sang to each other.  From there it was straight downhill.

Like the finale to Black Sails’ Season 3, “Moments of Vision” interspersed the climatic final battle with flashbacks.  But “Moments of Vision” also interspersed musings of the various main characters during the battle.  This made for a very disjointed presentation as the show jumped from real time, to what characters were thinking in real time, to the past.  And would you really have time during the type of melee presented to have a flashback to when you were a young child, as Lagertha did, and not be cut to pieces?

Like the first battle, the Sami and Ivar’s forces fought in the forest.  At least in the first battle we were given an explanation why – Ivar sent Hvitserk to outflank Lagertha’s forces.  Why would he make the same mistake twice?  And what the hell was the point of bringing the Sami into the show at all, except as a pretext for the bondage scene between Bjorn and his new wife?

And like the first battle, Ivar just threw his forces against Lagertha’s in a frontal attack.  I suppose he could afford to do so, given that he had “a large force of Franks” fighting with him.  But as I noted in my prior post, just gong berserker is totally inconsistent with the cerebral Ivar who defeated the Saxons.

And speaking of the Franks, we still have no idea why Rollo would have sent his forces to help Hvitserk.  He had no relationship with Hvitserk as opposed to the long and deep relationship he had with Bjorn.  And Hvitserk dissed him as much as Bjorn did when he invited them to colonize his new lands.  Apparently, Rollo will reemerge in the season’s second half as he makes an appearance at the very end of the show.

The scene where Ivar imagined skeletons fighting with Lagertha looked cheap.  I’m sure it was intended to have some deep meaning, but I have no idea what.

I really would have preferred to see Hvitserk killed by Ubbe than Halfdan killed by Harald.  The writers have made Hvitserk into such a servile and unsympathetic character.

What was with Lagertha suddenly having all white hair at the end?  She went into battle expecting to die, yet the shock of losing the battle aged her?  All it did for me was underscore how silly it was that she didn’t age while her contemporaries -Ragnar and Rollo- did.

On to the second half of Season 5.  And nowhere to go but up … I hope.