This week on Vikings, Bjorn and fleet cross into the Mediterranean and Ragnar crosses over into Valhalla. Lagertha is worried about ruling if Ragnar is dead. Aethelwulf knows Ragnar’s sons will come for Wessex. Ubbe and Sigurd are in Kattegat, being guarded by shield maidens while they bathe. They are waiting to make a play for power and hoping to keep Ivar under control (good luck with that). In Spain, the Vikings raid and Helga shops. Helga decides she wants a child and grabs a newly orphaned teenager – I hope this doesn’t turn out like when people buy a puppy on a whim. And everyone gets a message from the All Father that Ragnar really is dead.
Our Favorite Moments:
Ecbert still trusts Ragnar, thinking nothing of the threat from Ivar. But he also thinks it’s a good idea for Aethelwulf to build an army to protect themselves. Ecbert probably thinks he’ll use the army to invade Northumbria once the Vikings leave. Hopefully a few men will be left standing after Ragnar’s sons come for YOU, Ecbert, before Aelle. Ecbert has suddenly become a doddering old man. He just wants to teach Alfred. I said Ecbert probably taught Alfred how to play chess. And Alfred taught Ivar. Yup, it’s a good thing Aethelwulf is in charge of the army. I love Aethelwulf’s excitability over all this. It will be fun to see him and Ubbe in an eye-popping contest on the battlefield. I can’t judge Judith’s game. But she seemed a little scheme-ish in her two lines this week.
Lagertha is burdened with the thought of actually ruling. Did she only take Kattegat back in the hopes Ragnar would return to find her there? When was the last time he wanted to rule? This seems out of character for her. She is visited by a hallucination of Ragnar. One of her better, and strangely sexual lines is, “Don’t forget me. Haunt me.” Too little, too late, Lagertha. I seriously wonder if the vision was Ubbe from behind, looking like his dad. Wouldn’t it be fun if Ubbe and Sigurd had some fun freaking Lagertha out with Ragnar sightings at night? Maybe drive her mad?
We meet up with the Viking horde off the coast of Spain. Bjorn is still giving Rollo the stink-eye and questioning his loyalty. Possibly the only thing keeping him alive is Rollo’s knowledge of the people and the languages. (Is he our new Athelstan, torn between faiths? Please don’t go back, like Athelstan!)
All the fans are so happy to see Rollo raiding again. But what does Rollo think of it? He seems to like hanging out on the boat, seeing new places and sharing knowledge with Bjorn. The Vikings finally make it to a port near the Strait of Gibraltar. (It’s much easier to raid in Spain than England, because you can bring your longboat right up to an unguarded dock and walk through unguarded city gates. Someone hasn’t been ruling the caliphate very well. Maybe Lagertha’s idea of fortifying Kattegat is sound.) Rollo is all smiles as they disembark, then he skips and twirls into town.
Ok, he doesn’t skip, but he DOES twirl. Rollo even has a big ol’ smile on his face when he we see him punch an unarmed merchant and slice his throat. They find a harem, and the look on Rollo’s face is “Huh, women.” It isn’t known yet whether Rollo partook in the raping. But as they leave town, our berserker doesn’t seem so keen on the event as a whole. The look on his face is, “Huh, raiding.” Was it like looking back at college and thinking, “Why did I ever get this drunk?” It may have been more fun if they were up against armed men or killing for revenge.
Floki says he’s lost again. He doesn’t know why he went on the raid. (Because you promised to follow Bjorn, just like you always followed Ragnar. Bjorn’s not Ragnar, Floki. You need your own “thing” now.) He is questioning his life and the gods again. Once among the “Moos-el-men” (Rollo’s word, not mine), who worship a god called “Allah”, Floki seems at peace. He doesn’t draw a sword in the village. He’s intrigued by the call to prayer, the devotion of the faithful, and the workmanship in the wood decor. What gods inspired that beauty? He wonders why they have no images of their god in their temple. And I’m sure he noticed these people don’t stockpile gold in their temple, like the Christians do. That’s different. Floki won’t allow the Terror Twins to kill the faithful, but it is too soon to tell if he’ll convert. A far cry from when he killed the priest while sipping a goblet of wine.
Lagertha tells everyone her plans to fortify Kattegat. Aslaug left Kattegat woefully unprepared for a zombie apocalypse. (Well, if Aslaug was a witch, she may have had a protection spell over it, Lagertha. Did you ever think of that?) Ivar drags himself in to challenge Lagertha. That boy knows how to make an entrance, a loud, slow entrance. Everybody has to stop and wait, and wait, and well, it makes everyone forget what Lagertha was talking about.
I love this scene because Ivar comes so close to mimicking Lagertha’s every mannerism. He starts to talk in her cadence, with her overt enunciation and condescending raised eyebrows. Lagertha refuses to fight a son of Ragnar. She doesn’t want to kill him. Ivar laughs that off; fine, he’ll drop the challenge angle. But know this: “One day I will kill you, Lagertha.” I bet those words are echoing in Lagertha’s ears. They sound a whole lot like this old scene (only Ivar and Lagertha don’t sleep together afterwards.)
Ivar spends the rest of the episode forging a weapon to kill Lagertha. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Hephaestus, God of the Forge, was deformed, lame, and really pissy. Ivar imagines he’ll stab Lagertha in the eye.
Finally, Odin arrives with his eye missing. Ivar is focusing on avenging his mommy. I bet he’ll now shift his attention to avenging dad. Poor, sad Ivar. The one time he doesn’t scream this episode is while he’s staring into this freak’s empty eye socket. Shudder.
Here’s my final moment until next week: Lagertha visits the Seer and tells him she saw Ragnar. He admits he saw him too. “Yes, I saw Ragnar briefly on his way to Valhalla. He was so HAPPY!” The Seer’s dripping with sarcasm this week. Lagertha asks if a son of Ragnar will kill her. This time there are no ifs, ands or “You’ll die when the unicorn farts rainbows during the blue moon.” He flatly answers, “Yes.” Ragnarok is here folks, the Seer ain’t got time to screw around with riddles anymore.
Next week on Vikings, Ivar starts building the Great Heathen Army! I think he’s past the denial and depression stages of grief. He’s gonna go back to anger and sit there for awhile.
Image source: History.com and @TeamParmenter