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Blu-ray Review: “Vikings: Season 5 – Volume 1”

Vikings

“Vikings” transports us to the brutal and mysterious world of Ragnar Lothbrok, a Viking warrior and farmer who yearns to explore – and raid – the distant shores across the ocean.

While “Vikings” may lack the budget or the big names that other shows have, it nonetheless still engages and entertains the viewer. Why? Because of its simple grounded-in-history plotlines, bloody battles, and sexy moments that push the boundaries. Plus the fight scenes continue to be impressive. Simply put, that formula sells.

The History Channel’s “Vikings” start out season 5 with familiar characters and circumstances, but without Ragnar Lothbrok’s. Often it is tricky for a show to start a new season after having such a major death from the previous season. While “Vikings” is essentially the same show, viewers will get the feeling that the series has been rebooted. Viewers will recall that it still marched on after the Kings of the Vikings was executed (season 4). Yes, but that was mostly due to the sons avenging the death of their father. It was a natural reaction from the sons.

Ivar the Boneless asserts his leadership over the Great Heathen Army, while Lagertha reigns as Queen of Kattegat. Ivar’s murder of his brother Sigurd sets the stage for vicious battles to come as Ragnar’s sons plot their next moves after avenging their father’s death. Bjorn follows his destiny into the Mediterranean Sea and Floki, who is suffering from the loss of his wife Helga, takes to the seas submitting himself to the will of the Gods.

This season is full of startling alliances and unbelievable betrayals as the Vikings fight to rule the world. Jonathan Rhys Meyers (“The Tudors”) joins the cast in season five as “Bishop Heahmund,” along with series regulars Katheryn Winnick (Lagertha), Gustaf Skarsgard (Floki), Alexander Ludwig (Bjorn) and Alex Hogh Andersen (Ivar the Boneless).

Season 5: Volume 1 has 10 episodes and here is a quick overview of each:

The Departed: Part One
Part 1 of 2. Tensions mount between the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok’s as the Vikings continue to threaten the very heart of England
The Departed: Part Two
Part 2 of 2 Conclusion. As the Vikings establish their stronghold in York, Ivar is determined to lead the Great Army.
Homeland
Celebrations are cut short in the aftermath of the battle at York; Ragnar Lothbrok’s sons are pitted against each other as tensions reach an all-time high, and each is forced to choose a side.
The Plan
Guided by Bishop Heahmund’s visions, the Saxons devise a battle plan.
The Prisoner
Ivar meets his match in Bishop Heahmund, while Floki returns to Kattegat, and Bjorn receives a lavish welcome in North Africa.
The Message
Lagertha is betrayed, and Bjorn must find a way to support the distraught queen.
Full Moon
Bjorn returns to Kattegat to learn that an attack is to take place during the next full moon
The Joke
The battle for Kattegat begins, and as the two armies line up to fight, the Great Heathen Army must decide between a final plea for peace or all-out war.
A Simple Story
The army leaders consider their options in the aftermath of the battle.
Moments of Vision
A sense of doom looms over Kattegat as bloodshed ensues, but as the defeated army flees in the face of the victors, a legendary warrior makes his way home.
Overall, a good season, not the best compared to some of the earlier seasons but the story is still very engaging. Each episode is captivating and the storyline builds up extremely well. I highly recommend that you watch “Vikings: Season 5 – Volume 1” (of course, after watching the first four seasons). The scenes are passionately raw, mature, and politically fierce and above all, cutthroat Brutal! The actors portraying each one of the main characters is phenomenal by far, as is the fine production, intense script, gorgeous scenes, and in my opinion, intense action.

Now available on Blu-ray & DVDVikings

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