On this week’s rewind highlights, we move onto Season Three. The Vikings are desperate to get away from the boredom of family life and back to England. The clash of cultures this season makes for some fun bedfellows – the kind that actually get in bed together.
Our first moment is Lagertha asking Kalf if he’ll raid with her. He says no, and she puts him in charge of Hedeby in her absence. Then she asks him why he hasn’t asked her to marry him. He claims people will assume he’s being opportunistic. You have to give him credit for wanting to earn Lagertha and make his own way, but man, does he go about it ALL WRONG.
All the women in Kattegat are suffocating the men. Rollo and Siggy are at odds. Bjorn is arguing with Porunn. Torstein stomps into the great hall, desperate to shove off for England. He has gotten two women pregnant and he wants nothing to do with either. Bjorn doesn’t understand how Torstein could have gotten two women pregnant, proving that Ragnar is still neglecting his fatherly duties. Siggy is particular sick and tired of Rollo’s attitude about women.
Even Floki is chomping at the bit to get out of family life. He watches his beautiful daughter and is so happy that he can’t stand it. He wants to go raiding, but desperately needs an excuse to leave. I guess he has decided that the world will go nowhere but downhill from here – especially with Athelstan’s influence over Ragnar.
Ragnar’s past and present wives are both worried about their futures as the boats head out. The Seer has told Lagertha that he sees no more children in her future. And Aslaug, being a volva, can probably see that she and Ragnar will have no more children. Hindsight being 20-20, Aslaug has probably seen that Ragnar hooks up in England and has another child there.
A great one-liner comes unexpectedly from Kalf. I don’t know why I love this scene so much, probably because it’s Kalf. Kalf asks Einar to conspire with him against Lagertha. The reason? “Ragnar and Lagertha talk only of farming. Who wants to go places and farm? Where is the glorying in that, Einar? Where is the glory in that?” I hear you, Kalf. When I go new places, I like to raid Happy Hour, not check out the local produce.
OK, so he’s not exactly a forward thinker who gets the bigger concept of worldwide expansion. But he’s so cute! I hate to break it to Kalf and Einar, but neither of these guys is farming OR raiding right now. Where’s the glory in sitting on your ass, Kalf?
Upon the Viking arrival, Athelstan corrects Ecbert, who welcomes Earl Ragnar. “He’s a king now.” When asked what happened to Horik, Ragnar explains that Horik met with “an unfortunate accident”. Ragnar will need a little more than wit to impress Ecbert.
The Vikings head off to battle for Mercia again, while Lagertha and Athelstan check out the new settlement. Judith approaches Athelstan because she has heard the rumors of his crucifixion. She’s clearly into him. Aethelwulf, who’s never liked him, gives him the stink-eye. Poor Athelstan. He never goes looking for trouble. His God & Ragnar’s gods just love messing with him.
Here’s another poignant Ragnar moment. He seems to take pity on the helpless damsel that Kwen is playing, and wants to save her. But he also sees the complete depravity that comes with all the power of the English royals.
Like every man before him, Ecbert is immediately infatuated with Lagertha. He bends over backwards to impress her with jewelry and accompanies her to the settlement. Even though they don’t speak the same language, they understand each other just fine. She’s a wife, warrior, mother, farmer, and now politician. This relationship is bound to get messy.
Last up this week is a rare bit of gore. Despite it being a show about a culture known for raiding and pillaging, Vikings is sparing when it comes to the macabre. So when it gets gory, it’s effective. To psyche out the Mercian troops, they hang the heads from the first battle across the mast. Floki gleefully attends to his masterpiece.
Next week we’ll watch as all these new relationships implode!