Skip to main content

Vikings Review (S3E8): 'To The Gates'


It was full speed ahead on the attack on Paris. Within Paris' walls, Count Odo assembled the troops while the Emperor whimpered behind an iron mask. It seemed the only people ready for war were the Vikings and the Emperor's take-charge daughter, Gisla. The Viking fleet landed, Lagertha and Kalf led their group to the gate while Ragnar, Rollo, Floki and Bjorn attacked the walls. The siege on Paris had begun.

In the most ambitious and sweeping action scene of the series, Vikings used a combination of CG and practical stunts to execute an epic raid on par with anything that Game of Thrones has done at probably a fraction of the price. In fact, the action doesn't let up for 2/3 of the episode. 

It begins with Lagertha leading the charge at Paris' gate along with Kalf as they attempt to break through with a battering ram. When that fails, Kalf takes command, much to the chagrin of Lagertha. Meanwhile, Ragnar and company are having a hell of a time getting over the walls as their men keep cascading down from the top of the towers riddled with arrows.

Rollo takes it upon himself to get to the top and get over. Enraged and determined, he does reach the top and fights like a man possessed even looking at Gisla in defiance from afar. Yet it was not enough as he too soon fell into the River Siene. Ragnar, as he's done much this season, looked on as Bjorn encouraged his men to climb the ladder. He too would finally go up when Bjorn did but he too was pushed back and took a dangerous fall himself. 

Lagertha's troops didn't fare much better as they finally breached the gate to find an empty corridor and walked right into a trap. It was exciting to see Lagertha lead the initial attack, her troops at her command. Katheryn Winnick projecting such fierce resilience amid falling stones, speeding arrows and a stubborn gate. You just got to love a woman you have to fight to save as Kalf found out when he tried to pull her away from an impending attack in that corridor. It was still a disappointing retreat.

It was a strange sight to see Ragnar finally face defeat. The usual architect of these raids has come up the victor time and time again. But he wasn't the architect this time, was he? He made Floki the point man this time. The most important raid thus far and he puts Floki, the most unstable ship maker in all the land, responsible for attacking the "impregnable" fortress?

In the end, as Ragnar licks his wounds he speaks to Athelstan in the sky. We learn he always knew it was Floki that killed his precious priest. 
Do you think I went too far with Floki? He actually thought I would let him lead without my having an agenda. If I were him I would worry less about the gods and more about the fury of a patient man. As you know I can be very patient. I wish you were here. Paris is everything you told me it would be, and I am bound and determined to conquer it.
 Floki did breakdown in the middle of the siege, hiding within one of those fiery towers after they had been doused with oil and lit afire by the Parisians. Gustaf Skarsgard at his very best, showing wild-eyed incredulity and desperate, paralyzing despair. His faith tested to the point of self-destruction only to be dissuaded by a falling, burning body tumbling right in front of him. 

Was this part of Ragnar's plan? Ragnar has always seen the big picture and planned accordingly. Like King Ecbert, he bides his time while making small moves before finally springing the big reveal but was putting Floki in charge of the raid a blunder? After expressing so much desire and passion for the place Athelstan described how could he risk it failing? It did fail make no mistake about that but to sacrifice so many lives to punish one man is irresponsible. Sure, the Vikings will inevitably succeed but this latest development questions Ragnar's priorities. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

KICKSTARTER SPOTLIGHT: Tyler & Wendy Chin-Tanner's 'Dead Beats' Music Themed Horror Anthology

Dead Beats is a 160-page full-color anthology of music-themed horror comics centered around the curiosities for sale at one peculiar record store by its enigmatic Shoppe Keeper.

..if you're looking for new or used vinyl, cassettes, CDs, gear, or merch, Dead Beats has the best selection in town. Of course, everything we sell has a story and our friendly Shoppe Keeper is happy to tell you all about it. All sales final Edited by Joseph Corallo (Oh S#!t, It's Kim & Kim, Mine!) and Eric Palicki (This Nightmare Kills Fascists, All We Ever Wanted), Dead Beats features more than twenty comics stories and more than forty up-and-coming creators and industry veterans, as well as cover art and interstitial narrative illustrations by Lisa Sterle (Long Lost, Submerged).




From the Dead Beats introduction, illustrated by Lisa Sterle



From "Vanishing." Illustrations by Sally Cantirino from a script by Matthew Erman.

From "The Cursed Saxophone of Skasferatu." Illustrations by…

Poison Ivy's Rebirth From Child to Sexed-Up Adult on 'Gotham' Covered in New Featurette

The wacky world of Fox's Gotham has long embraced its brand of crazy. "Anything goes," seems to be the motto as the show has tried to fill in the blanks of a pre-Batman Gotham City. Besides making the future Commissioner Gordon an erratic hot-head, his future wife a sociopath, and brought back a villain from the dead, the latest stunt involves aging-up a teen Ivy Pepper magically into an adult to use her powers as a seductress.
Executive producer Ken Woodruff explained this creepy premise to THR: We made the change for two reasons: The character Ivy in the comics, one of her greatest powers is the power of seduction. Everyone was much more comfortable with that with an older actress as opposed to a teenager. We want to explore that classic, canonical power of Ivy. And we didn't just make her older with that attack. When she's changed and transformed, there's a real character change as well. She'll still have some of the same traits, but she'll be much d…

An Artist Will Get His Revenge in The Post-WWII Original Graphic Novel SIMON SAYS

Image Comics announces an all-new, original graphic novel Simon Says by Andre R. Frattino and Jesse Lee which will paint a post-World War II Europe in a scarlet shade of revenge this September.


Simon Says is a drama-filled, crime noir story that follows a former artist to the Führer who hunts down and seeks justice upon the Nazis he witnessed murder his friends and loved ones during the war. It is an original graphic novel inspired by true events and by a real-world Holocaust survivor, Simon Wiesenthal, an artist who lost his family and took justice into his own hands.
"Simon Says is about an innocent and gentleman, an artist, whose family and life are destroyed by a real-world event. Not something sci-fi or fanciful, but something that has happened and could happen again. In that way, it's the story of any of us, and how we would respond if who we were and what we had were lost,” said Frattino. "The real-life, famed Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, was quoted as once sayin…