By Leslie Gayle
Things are getting real on Vikings. I’m worried about our merry little band of thieves. They weren’t ready to go out into the big wide world. The ability to hack someone to bits will only get you so far. These English and Frankish don’t fight fair!
Ecbert has promised to squash rebels in Mercia and put Kwenthrith back on the throne. (She loses her throne a lot). Judith admits that she is married to Aethelwulf in name only and they are both able to do as they wish. Ecbert gives Judith a ring that belonged to his wife even though he won’t marry again. Will Aethelwulf go insane when he sees his mother’s ring?
Last week Bjorn took Torvi back to Kattegat after he took her from Erlendur. Lagertha says she is pregnant and agrees to marry Kalf. Rollo wants to take possession of his promised lands. Gisla tells him he has to wait and that he can’t play his Viking games anymore. And Ragnar is still down the rabbit hole.
The brothers Harald & Halfdan are the new kids in Kattegat, showing up from lands unknown. Will they have the same brotherly issues as Ragnar and Rollo? All we know for sure is that these two are hot to tell everyone they want to kill Christians and they have hardcore prison tats on their faces. (I think they are trying too hard to impress.) After being shunned, Floki sits at the cool kids’ table in the Great Hall and tries to impress them with his Christian-killing street cred. We’ll see if he’s truly playing their game, or Ragnar’s game, or plotting to see the whole lot of them catch fire.
Our Favorite Moments
Oops, I did it again!
We’ll call this picture “La Petite Mort.” Lagertha previously promised Kalf she would kill him one day for stealing her earldom. Vikings are nothing if not honest, so we all know she’ll do it. But when and how? First, she makes sure he understands that she’ll kill him one day. Then she sleeps with him at the end of last season. Did he really think he’d rock her world so hard that she’d change her mind? This season he goes Dutch with her on leadership. Finally she tells him she’s pregnant and agrees to marry him. You’ve never seen a happier groom. Then in the wedding tent, she guts him. It is such a tender scene. She even kisses him goodbye.
She DID promise. There was a moment of hesitation on her part when he proposed. Or maybe “Marry me” was the trigger phrase for her psychotic break after two failed marriages. NEVER AGAIN! She should have taken care of that weasel Erlendur first.
Ragnar’s relationship with Yidu goes further, but not further, if you know what I mean. He tells her he wants to share his secrets with her. We all know her secret. She’s a daughter to the Emperor of China. But Ragnar is obsessed with getting HER to admit it. He admits his darkest secrets to her before she owns up to anything. She only says it to him out of pity.
Yidu continues supplying Ragnar with “medicine.” He seems addicted already. Is the medicine what makes him all “Twelve Monkeys,” setting the new arrivals on edge with his crazy eyes and red lips? Ragnar admits he has no desire to attack Paris again. He has no fight left. He apparently doesn’t desire for much of anything, since he backs off from Yidu every chance he gets. Is the medicine chemically castrating him, like the eunuchs Yidu describes in the Emperor’s court? Is Yidu in cahoots with Alsaug to keep Ragnar drugged up and coax his secrets? Where’d she get the traditional Chinese garb and her “medicine”?
Ecbert goes to his altar to speak with God. Not to pray, mind you, but to tell God how he sees things. I’m sure he likes talking to God because God doesn’t interrupt him. “You have already decided to cast me out into the darkness as a fallen angel…Do I not dream… to return to your light? Am I not a man? Yet I would sup with the devil to achieve my earthly goals. Your kingdom, AS YOU SAID, is not of this world. But MY kingdom IS!” Ecbert’s tone is the same he takes when he convinces others that his decision is in their best interest.
Then, instead of lighting a candle at the altar, he snuffs one out with his bare hand. (Drop the mic!) Are you building up a tolerance for that heat, Ecbert? Are you not a man? Oh, you are THE man!
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
It is hard to joke about this moment. It’s a terrifying issue. Floki is looking more and more like a high priest. After aligning himself with the extremist newcomers, Harald and Halfdan, Floki starts Ivar’s education into the ways of the Vikings. He probably feels a kinship with this child because he has been on the fringe of society his whole life. When Ivar is frustrated with another child, he whips out his little axe and strikes the kid on the head, killing him. Not much to say here, except I told you so! Alsaug scoops Ivar up and tells him it is not his fault. Um, no, it’s your fault, Mom. Verdict is out on what Floki thinks of this.
Crazy Little Thing Called Love (The moment our jaw hit the floor again)
Roland approaches Emperor Charles about Count Odo’s ambitions. He offers Count Odo’s mistress, Therese, as a witness. She’s been letting Count Odo whip her in his private dungeon to gain intel. And then giving that information to Roland, who is also her lover. The Emperor wishes to know why he should trust Therese’s word. Here’s where things go south. (Like Deep South in the Bayou, where people have limited options for procreation.) Roland tells the Emperor that he trusts her because she is—his SISTER! What the what? Maybe she’s a step-sister, but I’m going to err on the side of them ALL being CRAZY.
Rollo is getting antsy about taking possession of his lands. Gisla reminds him they have to stay to defend Paris. (Won’t Paris always need defending?) She lets slip that it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if Odo died in battle. She has a fairly nonchalant attitude about killing people. Is Rollo playing to her whims or just playing her? The Seer said a princess would crown a bear. Rollo seems confident he knows the meaning. But have the Seer’s predictions EVER been that straightforward? “To crown” also means “to hit on the head.” Run, Rollo! Run! They’re all crazy!
Are Ragnar and Rollo both trapped on their own Odyssian fantasy with Circe and Calypso? Ragnar with drugs and Rollo with women and wine? Are the French worse than the English? Is Kattegat now a breeding ground for extremists? We may know next week. We may know this fall.