A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×01 (We’re back, in outer space!)

Dark Matter 3x01

 

SUMMARY

As the station nears destruction from last season, Six finds two and helps her get to the Marauder. They survive the explosion but are left adrift with minimal power and communications. Meanwhile, Truffault helps Five get off the station and back on board the Raza while Three is taken by Anders to an abandoned facility on a rogue planet. On Zairon, Four (Ishida) releases his old teacher from imprisonment and offers him an advisory role much to the dismay of Misaki who distrusts him. As the android makes contact with Two and Six, they are attacked and boarded by a Ferrous Corp ship. With the help of Trufaullt, the Ferrous Corp intruders are all killed while Three helps Anders deal with a drone threat and explains he’s the lesser of two evils amidst a Corporation war bound for greater problems. Anders allows Three to escape when the Galactic Authority arrives. Just before the Raza finds the Maurauder with draining life-support, Two has a hallucination of Nyx who suffered poisonous wounds inflicted by Misaki, an act Two believes Four perpetrated himself. After the crew are reunited, Truffault expresses she will remain neutral until they’re ready to strike, leaving the crew of the Raza to deal with Four and getting the blink drive back.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

A split crew and a race to save two of them defines our return to Dark Matter and its ragtag group of space-faring bad guys. Our ability to perceive every main character’s survival left our plot as much a formality than a driving focus on new territory, but nevertheless, each member of the Raza dealt with their own personal growths including a trust game with Anders and Two’s guilt toward Nyx’s death. Our corporate war has been kicked off, but for now there’s no telling how much of it the crew will experience as Emperor Ishida on directly on the Raza’s path. I’d like to highlight Three’s ability to stay level-headed while a gun-toting Five ups her A-game, no longer a member of the crew who needs to hide all the time. The team is back for more sci-fi ass-kicking!

 

THE GOOD

It’s an aftermath where the pieces must be picked up before everyone can successfully move on. Each crew member had a concern and a moment to flesh out their personalities for the season and I think they did it well. Two faced her guilt in the form or Nyx who showcased an interesting action by kissing Two goodbye. Six remained the voice of his own regret in reflecting on his treatment of the crew last season. It’s not necessarily tired, but I’d wager this is the last time he has to confront his betrayal and should be able to move on from there. Three was more cavalier with Anders during his capture, but somehow he’s adopted a more cool-minded approach and actually helped barter his freedom. Is Anders the new Kierkan of the season? I’m thinking no, but we’re still not sure what Anders is all about. Five showed a fiery spirit by helping dispose of the Ferrous Corp henchmen. She’s going to continue growing in confidence and ability, and that path is already starting. Our resident Android maintains her illustrious wit and now apparently she’s an expert chef who seems more than happy to make the meals. Four is a little tricky because he’s showing patience and trust while trying not to lose sight of his position and what it means to be Emperor. We know he’s not a “villain” but right now it’s important we see him continue to be benevolent to an extent so we don’t immediately side with the Raza crew when they inevitably clash.

 

THE BAD

My investment in the corporation war isn’t quite there yet. It was basically prophesized that it was coming and it’s essentially started, but it feels very much like an epic war poised forever in the backdrop of a mission by mission storyline for the Raza crew. We don’t have enough villainous faces to really see who they’re up against except for specific self-serving bad guys who already have personal vendettas from the crew. I want to see more of the corporations influence and how much space they really occupy. With the station destroyed, the chaos will no doubt be rampant, but I’d still like to see how many total we’re dealing with and where they fit on the alignment scale.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Quick and to the point, when the android popped up and merc’d the remaining Ferrous Corp team. Her exhale on the smoke trails from the barrels was an interesting feather in the cap as we’re seeing more and more attributes assimilated by the android even when others aren’t around to witness her. She’ll continue to showcase moments like these I’m certain.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Everyone had an equal amount of screen time, but I’d like to give it to the unlikely Trufaullt. She didn’t betray the Raza crew which actually says a lot and even helped Five get back as well as help defend the ship showcasing she’s a decent threat when her survival is threatened. She understands the pros with staying out of the main fight and isn’t hindering Two from staying on their own course. I’m beginning to like her more and more and maybe in the future if she continues to make these kinds of decisions, things will work out for her, unless she pulls the ultimate betrayal card at the end, then her life is forfeit.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Did Three tell Six that Anders was still alive? Would that make much of a difference to Six either way? I’d like to think it will, but what influence will Anders have on Three or Six in the future when they cross paths again? He’s their only “ally” in the Galactic Authority but even now we’re not sure what that even means. The next move will be on Anders himself.

 

It will be interesting to see how news of the stations destruct will affect the lives of the crew. If Ferrous Corp or anyone else spin the disaster into an attack perpetrated by the Raza, then they’re in for some serious setbacks in the near future, otherwise we may not hear much about it except that the destruction indeed led to some fierce corp. war that will seemingly be in the background for the immediate time.

 

I realize Two would probably keep all this grief to herself, but it would have been nice to see some kind of funeral send-off for Nyx considering the effect she had on Two. It’s almost funny that no one else really batted an eye-lash with the exception of Six, but we all know his reactions are over the top emotionally driven.

 

I’m not expecting Four’s teacher to last very long on this season. In fact, I’d wager Misaki finds a way to kill or exile him within the next 4-6 episodes. He’s the only new supporting character on the show and since they’re not likely killing any more main characters, he’s very high on my list for the next big death.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. After a lengthy break, Dark Matter returns with a strong foothold in the height of its cliffhanger madness. The crew of the Raza survived with the exception of Nyx and now the race is on to reclaim their stolen device and exact a comeuppance for one of their own. There were very little loose ends taken care of from last season giving us a bit of time to let our characters breathe and deal with the next onslaught of episodes we’re getting for the next several weeks. We’ve caught a glimpse into their role as a family onboard a space-ship and now time will tell if this family can pull together and save the galaxy from all the corporate fallout happening in their very midst. One thing is for certain, the more whacky tech they find, the brighter the bulls-eye will be on their exhaust ports. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 3×01 (Klaus was right, that really was bad poetry)

TO 3x01

No city is ever safe when the eldest vampires lay to haven. On their struggles to maintain family order, there exists the possibility of a sire war, three factions loyal to only their original maker. That alone makes for compelling vampire storytelling. This season’s premiere of The Originals returns Klaus, Elijah, and a distant Rebekah to the forefront of a new threat based on the frantic stories of an old ally of Klaus’s, Lucien. The witches sow the seeds of mutiny against their regent, Davina, who is forced to use Hayley as an instrument against her kind. And somewhere across the world, another vampire really doesn’t like getting Dear John letters sent to her. All this and a fighting pit serves as season three’s era for the New Orleans Supernatural.

There was a lot of good done in this premiere, with a mixed bag misses and near fatal moments and I’m not talking about what happened to the sniveling art critique. What was good was both the flashback and the vision of future events combined with a sire war that Klaus’s kin, Lucien swears is a thing. I really do hope it’s a thing because that would be an amazing season’s worth of bloodshed between family. I’ll run on a theory I have on that in a bit. The misses include that horrendous display of aweful prophetic speaking by the witch-seer, Alexis as well as Lucien himself. He is just a ham and a half of stupendously bad over-acting. That and his wig was the worst out of the whole lot. Still, I found this premiere enjoyable with promises of a major war to come.

We’re given a brief summary of events leading to Klaus and Elijah still at odds with eachother. Freya writes to Rebekah while babysitting Hope. Marcel opened a fighting ring to train recruits and Davina attempts to lead the witches with some openly defying her. Vincent and Camille are privy to a string of murders done ala “joker” style that are tied to the arrival of a vampire named Lucien who was turned long ago when the Mikaelson family began their feeding massacre across the countryside. Lucien takes them to the local castle and introduces them to the upper class. In the present he reunites with Klaus informing him of a sire war secretly brewing between each remaining line of vampires and also shows him a seer who reveals signs leading to the destruction of the family line and the arrival of a powerful enemy. Meanwhile, Elijah contends with independent hunters contracted to remove the crescent moon wolves from the bayou. He dispatches the hunters but Hayley is missing. She wakens in human form at the cemetery where Davina reveals her plans to use her. After a brief scene showing a disgruntled woman from Lucien’s era having been turned as well, we find that Lucian is likely responsible for the strange murders in town.

There’s a lot being juggled in this first episode, but that’s okay. Every mainstay character is dealing with a subplot that will hopefully tie everyone together like a nice bow. The most rewarding is for me the idea of a sire war brewing. I think it’s a logical next step in the storyline of the Originals, but there unfortunately a tiny flaw. It was told from one person and he acts like a doltish crybaby. Yes, I refer to Lucien. I in no way like his character and he comes off as near borderline fanboy syndrome. But here’s where I believe things could get interesting. Say Lucien is right about the war and he’s in fact on Klaus’s side because Klaus is his sire. Is it possible that the other sides could have their own “commander” for lack of a better word leading their war and those other two being Aurora and her brother, Tristan. Hear me out. What if they both became vampires from Elijah and Rebekah and have rallied their sire line independently of the other. Of course that’s just wishful thinking. One reason why this sire war could be bogus is because it’s impossible to tell who’s sired from who. TVD tried doing this once and the Salvatore’s still don’t know which Original they came from. To me, that means this war may be a red herring, but I really hope it’s not. It sounds interesting.

Davina’s angle is fleeting at best. I didn’t expect an uprising to occur so quickly and though it’s just started, she’s already against a wall. Choosing to involve Hayley though is interesting. I reason that Davina will find a way to undo the curse in exchange for Hayley’s help. Maybe that’s too steep a price or maybe Davina can’t uphold that bargain, but I still think it should be made regardless, otherwise Hayley will deal with a once a month appearance. Maybe Davina can fix only her. But that also begs the question, how many crescent moon wolves are left and is Jackson among them? (He’s still alive, right?)

As aristocratic and violent as Elijah can be, I have to admire his ingenuity with killing humans. The rifle that became a spear was a priceless moment have to give Elijah credit for that creative kill. But this also feels like the lowest of the subplots. It was a means to keep him away from Klaus while Lucien went through the motions of convincing him of the impending war. Moving forward, I wonder how he’ll treat Lucien’s reappearance and whether he or Rebekah were responsible for Aurora’s turning. I still think it was one of them.

The Klaus and Camille therapy sessions, which tend to be background noise, are an interesting means in keeping relevance with those two. Again, Klaus is toying with her in a very honest way because his feelings are somehow genuine this time around. Yet, Camille isn’t putting up with is crap, nor should she after the way he continually treats her. This is quickly becoming routine though and it’s as follows:

Klaus opens up

Camille analyzes

Klaus denies and stalks

Camille calls him a jerk-face (or something creative)

Klaus is hurt and wanders off to sulk (Or kill)

Repeat

It’s going to be a trend, I can feel it.

The near final scene shows a meditating Aurora who kills a monk after reading a letter. Now because we have no context to anything here, I’m just going to tuck this scene away and store it for a rainy day. It’s too hard to speculate what set her off in the letter and whether the contents are related to Klaus or the Mikaelson’s at all. The only speculating I can even fathom at this point is maybe she found out that Lucien is already in New Orleans seeking Klaus’s help and that gives him a leg up on the war. I’m reaching, I know.

FAVORITE MOMENT

I actually really enjoyed all the flashback scenes mainly because it cameo’d the entire Original cast of Finn, Kol, Elijah, Rebekah, and Klaus. I like it when they can do that instead of using other actors to play those roles. The flashbacks suggest this will be a mullti-episode arc in dealing with their rise as vampires adopting a rich society and possibly learning compulsion along the way. Good stuff but bad wigs. Really really bad wigs.

CHARACTER MVP

Screen time was very well balanced between most everyone, but I believe Klaus gets the edge this time, mainly because he had to deal with Lucien the most and deal with him he did. I particularly liked Klaus’s delivery of not trusting anyone to Lucien, something that on paper sounds very cliché, but I think he pulled it off quite nicely this time.

ENDING THOUGHTS

I wonder if a few hanging bodies with slashes on their mouths trump an art critic whose body will be found torn literally limb from limb. Or maybe they’ll just blame that one on the wolves.

I also want to give a shout out to the director for having Marcel and Vincent fight in the octagon while exploring their issue with helping Davina. Normally, a scene like this would happen with both characters in a room where there was wine or alcohol. One character would pour a glass or two and then they’d non-chalantly discuss the issue at hand without ever drinking their drinks. This monotony happens way too often and I appreciate the mix up by having them spar. Break up the dialogue scenes more, this is good.

I may be blanking, but does this make Lucien the first human that Klaus sired as a vampire? If so that would make him an original progeny much like Aurora and I assume Tristan too. Hmm, I doubt it but what if the king became a vampire too. Just a thought.

Lucien’s party if you really look at it for the content of people and what they do, is actually relatively mundane and transparent. So, Lucien opens the door like he’s unveiling the mother of all rich-people parties and we see two bored girls on the left barely reacting to what I can only describe as weak rave-trance music. One couple make out in plain sight like you do, and the remaining clientele passively converse with martini glasses while they ignore the obvious vampire feeding going on. Maybe they’re there by choice or maybe they were compelled. It wasn’t a very convincingly good party. Lucien is high class, we get it, but does he actually control a consortium of vampires that are linked to Klaus or is he just boasting it? And apparently he’s a serial killer. Who knew?

Did anyone else get the impression that the “new bad” vampire in the vision with the big fangs was actually Marcel? Pay attention to the stubble on his face, they’re very similar.

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. It was a solid episode with some moments of weight. The flashbacks gave insight into their rise into power and I’m interested in knowing where that storyline goes. There’s a threat of a sire war which completely has me hooked, but I also feel I’m being too hopeful that it’ll happen in the way my mind is picturing it. Lucien isn’t a very convincing character. I think he belongs in the nineties or in a Blade sequel of some sort. All in all, I’d say the season is off to a bloody pleasant start. Klaus isn’t afraid to dig deeper into his pain to prove he’s the king of villainy, but is he truly the master of cruelty? We’ll find out soon. Thanks for reading.

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A Sashurai’s Review: Hannibal – Season 3×01 (Observe or participate. There’s never a third option)

Hanni 3x01

A dash of sophisticated present, and a sprinkle of two flashbacks make for a seasoned return of one of the most artistic and intellectually-driven shows on the market. Food metaphors aside, it’s a real treat to see Hannibal weave his delightful evil into the realm of Paris and Italy now that he’s cast aside Will and those who he bludgeoned at the end of last season. Who survived? Well that’s not for tonight’s premiere to reveal. Instead, we’re given an opportunity to see how Hannibal lives his life when there are no constraints at all. The meal is the delicacy as is the murder so fanciful and deadly.

There’s surely no shortage of crisp imagery, authentic landscapes, and the atmosphere of tempered cinematography that make the series so engaging and consuming. Season 3’s premiere breathes us in gently yet makes us not forget that there’s a hidden monster under the suit and only a ‘blind optimist’ can see the road ahead and never what awaits. Without the aid of his antagonists, there’s a certain doom and gloom feel that is certainly weighted by Hannibal’s only ally, the docile yet cautious Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, who we last saw willingly leave with Hannibal out of the country. What worked well was the fascinating relationship these two carried, yet I find myself still missing the layered banter between cop and killer that so eloquently brought us to another level of villainy.

In Paris, Hannibal meets an admirer, Anthony Dimmond while following Dr. Fell, a man who he later kills and absorbs his identity. Later, in Italy, Hannibal and Bedelia are posing as a married couple with the latter quietly suffering the decision she made to aid Hannibal in escaping America. Hannibal and Bedelia later encounter Sogliato at a rich gathering who is skeptical of Hannibal being selected as a lecturer and challenges him to speak of Dante’s Inferno at a lecture. Hannibal agrees. During the episode, there are two distinct flashbacks, one from Bedela’s viewpoint that further explains how Hannibal helped her when she killed a patient who attacked her. The second flashback showcases Hannibal continually feeding the single-limbed Abel Gideon his own limbs while listening to Abel prattle on about how the same thing will eventually happen to Hannibal. In the present, Anthony runs into Hannibal and joins him and Bedelia for dinner. He also observes Hannibal’s lecture before revealing that he knows Hannibal is not Dr. Fell but offers to aid any entanglements for mutual benefit. That night, Hannibal brings Anthony to his home and kills him in front of Bedelia who had attempted to flee before being caught. She watches as Hannibal snaps Anthony’s neck. A bloody torso is later seen in a museum, likely Anthony’s.

I enjoyed the fascinating structure that weaved in both flashbacks and seeing Bedelia’s perspective helped the viewer to understand a bit more with how she coped with her attack and more importantly how Hannibal helped with that. Still, there’s fear in her eyes and more so in how she acts under the pressure of third parties attempting to gain insight into their lives. Her fear is so translucent that even her meals betrays her natural state of mind. The single most effective moment, aside from looking at the bloody rabbit and thinking it might soon be her, was her sitting in front of the train station and looking directly at the camera. Was that in fact a plan to be purposefully spotted so that someone somewhere will discover her and lead straight to Hannibal. It’s easy to say yes, but for now we’ll stick with the easy knowledge that she did tried to escape and was caught red-handed. Hannibal is still toying with her, but is this a long con or does he in fact feel a connection that wasn’t capable with Will? That’s the layers in effect.

Hannibal’s role remains the same. Cordial, intelligent, but always hungry. He won’t allows others to join his party unless there’s real kinship and curiosity must evolve even for that to happen. Anthony didn’t fit the bill and died in the effort. It’s a clear and solid indicator that Hannibal isn’t killing good nor evil individuals, just those that threaten him in any way. He’ll speak in metaphor while dancing the obvious in front of their face as he did with Sogliato who had a disdain for Hannibal pointing toward a lack of being Italian. His days are indeed numbered, but for now, Hannibal is playing the cool killer planning at least one perpetual meal out of the man.

Even though it’s been years since I read the original trilogy, I still anticipate some exciting parallels that will incorporate both the movies and the books into this show. Lines such as “Have you given serious thought to eating…” ring true as well as the carousel in Florence. There’s snippets forming and the countdown to the Red Dragon has officially begun. But where and how will all this fit is the harsh waiting period while we continue to guess how Will, Jack, and Abigail ended up, oh, and Dr. Bloom too.

The surreal imagery and fast-forwarding landscapes are ever apparent, yet I feel they were more glossy shine than drowned in a coat of eerie nightmares. Bedelia’s dark descent into a pool of blackness was the most radical of moments that stood out. I just feel there was a missing man-sized deer creature that’s usually saved for Will’s vision of the evil itself. Perhaps we’ll get to that in the coming weeks.

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Hannibal demonstrated to Sogliato how knowledgeable and formidable he could be at the dance. The best Hannibal moments are when he holds his own and beyond against foes who come across as snide, rude, and conceded. That’s Hannibal’s turf and only he may act accordingly. Whether he pretends every second or whether his endless stare carries a sliver of annoyance, he translates in the rich decor of the refined mind. It was a great moment to witness.

CHARACTER MVP

This could turn into a moot section for this show specifically as Hannibal tends to steal the spotlight in almost every way. Tonight, he expectedly claims the top spot from his motorcycle driving entrance, to his origami folding of the Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. He commands respect and trains his cohorts with the breadth of his wicked schemes. Tonight and many more to come, Hannibal is the master of his evil agenda.

ENDING THOUGHTS

I wouldn’t expect Bedelia trying to escape to become a reoccurring theme. We now know she isn’t truly in league with him and Hannibal has known from the start, yet he compels a strange obedience that she relents to for basic fear of being consumed. There was a snippet of sexual tension that quickly dissolved once we understand her position by his side. The future of her character is in peril regardless of the fact she’s in the title’s credits.

The threesome innuendo was rather comical and served as a morsel of comedic gold as those left out of the loop are drawn toward one end of the spectrum when faced with double-entendres. Poor Anthony and his pre-conceived notions of bonding.

When Hannibal went to Bedelia’s house to clean up, it didn’t look like he sustained any real noticeable damage caused by Jack in the last season. Just odd.

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Enjoyable and refreshing. This is no longer a tale of the serial killer of the week. The focus is more on Hannibal and his adjustments into a flourished country. He’s on the run, yet living as though he’s been properly elevated into a new era. His trail of death is forever constant. The cinematography was on point during the segment breaks and dream-filled moments. The only thing missing were the other side of the cast that were left out of the loop. Whether we get an entire Will-centric episode is unknown, but Hannibal is back and season 3 is geared for a wild ride. Anticipation for the Red Dragon is high and how he plays a part in this will be interesting to say the least. If in fact he appears.

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A Sashurai’s Review: Vikings – Season 3×01 (Eh, who needs a braided long lock of hair anyway?)

Vikings 01

The Vikings have returned to plunder, burn, rage, and wage war on familiar lands as the newly appointed king Ragnar Lodbrok takes his people back to Wessex, but this time as allies to King Ecbert. We left off at a new beginning for the people of Kattegat with Ragnar looking on from his glacial precipice. Now he intends on returning to Wessex and claiming the land Ecbert had promised him back when they made their fragile alliance. Ecbert convinces Ragnar to fight with his men against the self-appointed king of Mercia who is still in civil war with Princess Kwenthrith.

It’s hard not to compare this premiere with the capitalizing mayhem that was the premiere of season 2. While we weren’t given the bloodthirsty carnage of a fevered battle, instead we’re given the perception of normal life of Ragnar and his family as they wait for the snows to melt so they may return to the seas and raid. We’re given an informal passage of time, which was easier to discern once we saw Ragnar’s youngest son and Floki’s daughter at least two years, maybe three. Ragnar shed his long lock of hair, which no doubt will have some shaking their fists while Bjorn attempts to grow his. It was a pleasant beginning as characters we’ve known for the last two years are more or less handling their lives as expected. Even Floki manages to capture his neurotic attitude within moments of entering the screen. All is well except for Lagertha who doesn’t realize her closest consort back home is already plotting a coup against her.

Viking relationships shows that the men long for battle and forward momentum with their raids while the women align on both sides of that mentality. Some are eager to join the raids, while others take care of their children. There’s a balance that continues to show that these characters are passionate and full of life, even Rollo, who is shown relatively reserved for the most part.

While not everything is as it seems, the alliance with King Ecbert appears genuine, with him showing Lagertha the lands in Wessex that will be her people’s once the lands of Mercia are in his control. Is it too early to tell if there’s a double-cross in the works? Maybe not from Ecbert himself, but surely from others in his stead. Those seeds have already been planted Judith’s husband, Aethelwulf consorts with Bishop Edmund about his misgivings over trusting the Vikings. There won’t be an episode where someone isn’t plotting such betrayal. It’s the formula of the show and they like to move quickly on these matters, so I expect dissention in the ranks very soon.

The meat of battle comes with the crew traveling by boat to the lands of Mercia and finding two armies on opposite sides. Ragnar opts to go after the side with less men, where King Brihtwulf stands. Kwenthrith’s brother is forced to watch as Ragnar and the team dispatch all of Brihtwulf’s men including the man himself, by Floki’s hand. It was a bludgeoned and bloody one-sided battle, likely a warm up to the some truly epic encounters we’re likely to see down the road. I have to admit, I was imagining Brihtwulf’s forces to act a bit smarter, such as deceiving the sizes of the arms and fooling Ragnar to choose the wrong side, or even a hidden bridge that allowed the sides to join. Alas, it was about Ragnar’s quick thinking that led to an easy victory with no casualties of anyone notable.

We end with Kwenthirth looking on in both shock and awe as her uncle has now been slain. From our knowledge of her personality, you can tell there’s a deeper sense of strangeness going on with her and whether she’s truly enjoying the moment or is horrified, we’re not completely sure yet. One thing is certain, Ragnar is Ragnar, and he relishes the victory in his own passive way.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

As much as I enjoyed the battle I actually thought Flocki’s opening scene to be my favored moment. I haven’t been very supportive of his character mainly because his attitude toward Athelstan last season, but his worry about being happy and right with the world bothers him beyond normal and he continues to showcase his peculiar ways with cryptic words and a sense of gloom on the horizon. I also liked how he both praised and harped on Helga for being such a good and endearing wife.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Ragnar has to start out strong on his own show. While other characters are showing their temperaments and fixations, Ragnar remains stalwart and true to his senses. He had a lingering moment of doubt when Aslaug asked if he loved her while holding their youngest son, who unfortunately still suffers the burden of misshapen legs. We’re not given an answer by Ragnar which suggests that after several children, his mindset may already be moving on to other possibilities. What those are, we’re not quite certain. Could it be leading back to Lagertha or even toward Kwenthirth? His heart can be of the moment when he lets it. Something his son, Bjorn has yet to elicit.

 

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

Is Porunn with child? Even more so, will there be an unfortunate tragedy striking Bjorn’s love before they return to Kattegat? I like her character and hope she’s a mainstay of the season, but if there’s one thing the show has taught us is that like GOT, they’re not afraid to end a character’s run no matter how popular they are.

The Seer remains to be the only element on the show that suggests actual magic or “sorcery” takes place. Lagertha asks when she’ll die and the Seer offers a few cryptic responses, none of which she understands with any clarity. We should be paying attention because those signs are likely to happen in rapid fire if they occur this season.

In some ways Athelstan never catches a break. Judith shows an innocent affection to the man who still elicits signs of the stigmata and Aethelwulf is quick to realize it. It could spell a bit of trouble, some of which even coming from Ecbert himself, who subtly tempts Athelstan by returning an old cross necklace he once carried.

Will Lagertha be the one to tend the lands and rule while her own lands back home remain in the hands of her trusted second, Kalf? Tough to say, but at some point she’ll have to confront what’s being plotted under her knowledge.

Let’s hope nothing happens to Torstein this season. He’s one of the few crew left that’s lasted as long as he has and is remarkably staying fresh among the crew. Maybe we’ll get to know him a bit more.

 

OVERALL SCORE

While not as blood-soaked as last season’s premiere, it was an enjoyable return to the gritty and cold franchise. 7 out of 10. While Ragnar’s passive style continues to shield him against threats on all sides, his supporting cast are really coming into their own. Bjorn is showing his worth as the growing son, Lagertha maintains her status as a powerful woman, and Floki remains uncertain about his future and where he stands with the gods. This show is about deceit, betrayal, and the ability to rise above the odds, and I expect much more murder and chaos to form before we realize who Ragnar’s true enemies are this time. Good start. Let’s see where it goes.

 

 

No more words