In this week’s Season Two highlights, Bjorn gets to know his father and the Vikings prepare for yet *another* raid on England.
Ragnar wins his lands back from Borg by destroying Kattegat’s winter stores and attacking Borg with the help of Lagertha’s reinforcements. (Eye-rolls all around for not realizing that there would be no food for winter after kicking Borg out. Duh!) Rollo keeps watch over Bjorn, in the first battle Bjorn has ever seen. In the end, Uncle Rollo tells Bjorn he did a good job. Dad Ragnar tells Bjorn that he has a lot to learn. Far different from how Ragnar reacted to Athelstan after his first battle.
The villagers are happy to have Ragnar back in power. Almost everyone is happy to see Lagertha again. You’d think it was a return to Camelot. Aslaug, Ragnar’s current wife, is not so happy about it.
Kattegat sacrifices one of Borg’s men to thank the gods for their success. Ragnar reestablishes his dominance over Rollo and hands Bjorn the manly duty of making the sacrifice. Rollo gets no, “Thanks, Rollo, for saving my sons and preventing my blind rage from ruining our chances of success.” But Rollo doesn’t begrudge Bjorn this opportunity to please the gods.
Ragnar asks to be alone with Lagertha to discuss her future plans. (Read: Tries to sell her a time-share marriage again.) This prompts Siggy to ask Rollo about his feelings for Lagertha. (Is Siggy worried about an unattached Lagertha as much as Aslaug is?) Rollo’s response is, “It seems to be another Rollo who still loves her. I am like a snake which has shed its skin. The pattern is just the same, but the snake is new. And this new Rollo does not love Lagertha, or suffer from desires for her.” Damned if I completely understand what Zen master Rollo means. It doesn’t seem to be the answer Siggy wanted to hear either.
Ragnar hopes to settle the land promised to him in Wessex. But King Horik arrives with news of Ecbert’s betrayal. Horik wants to go back to England for revenge; who cares about better land for his people?! Horik insists Ragnar invite Jarl Borg to raid with them again. Again with the Jarl Borg politics! This time Horik needs Borg’s manpower after losses in England.
Rollo is sent to invite Borg on the raid. It’s so nice of Ragnar to send Rollo back into that political snake pit. Even if Ragnar is still punishing Rollo, Thorstein, whose best friend was killed by Rollo, wishes Rollo well. Everyone knows Horik’s ultimately to blame for this whole mess.
Surprisingly, Rollo and Borg both survive their meeting. It’s evident from this meeting that Borg has already seen too much of this world, and is losing his marbles. Borg consults the blackened skull of his dead first wife, about whether he should raid again. Hey, Borg’s dead wife thinks it’s a good idea! Talking to skulls will signal the downfall of a few Hamlets across Hirst’s little Scandinavian world.
After Rollo’s snake comment, it is no surprise that Siggy continues an affair with King Horik — although it is a bit of a surprise that she allows herself to be whored out to Horik’s son, Erlendur. We don’t know if she hopes to latch onto Horik as a wife, if she’s acting as a spy for Ragnar, or if she’s truly doing this to raise Rollo’s status. Whatever her reasons, it’s ultimately for herself.
In the Great Hall, Siggy asks Floki if he can keep a secret. To which Floki emphatically replies, “No,” with an air of, “Hell no, I’m not buying whatever you’re selling, lady!”
I wish we knew what Siggy was going to tell Floki. I personally think her gossip was about Erlendur’s lack of experience with women. *And* I personally think that lack of experience is the result of Erlendur’s lack of *interest* in women. Another storyline that went nowhere? We’ll never know, because Siggy and Erlendur took it to their graves.
Checking in at Hedeby, Lagertha’s second husband, Sigvard, appears grateful that she returned. Then he reveals that she shouldn’t have left Bjorn with Ragnar in Kattegat. After a brutal attack on Lagertha, Sigvard plans to humiliate her publicly. But she gouges one of his eyes out and kills him first, taking over his position as earl. You go, girl!
Back in Wessex, Athelstan has gained Ecbert’s trust. Athelstan is just one of those guys everyone can talk to. He would have gotten in fewer jams as a medieval barkeep.
Athelstan reveals his knowledge of the Roman World. And Ecbert shows him all the Roman scrolls he’s been coveting. He asks Athelstan to translate them. Ecbert adds, no one else would understand: “They all think a race of giants resided here. If you tell anyone, I’ll let them crucify you.” Nice.
Finally, back again in Kattegat, Rollo returns with Borg for the raids. Ragnar plans his revenge on Borg. Horik wonders what Ragnar is up to as Ragnar mentally preps himself with his hunting bird, an eagle.
Next week we’ll RSVP to a few weddings and see what Ragnar does with that eagle. And we’ll meet two new characters who love making medieval men squirm.