In this week’s highlights, the third time’s a charm, as Ragnar finally “wins” Paris, finds God and loses a brother.
I’m starting with this first scene simply because it’s just pretty. Ecbert, loveable sleaze that he is, takes his daughter in-law as a mistress. She wants her son, Alfred, protected. She doesn’t know that Ecbert would protect that boy no matter what. Is Ecbert sleeping with her because she’s the closest thing to Athelstan that he can have? Either way, they seem to have some intellectual connection that Judith doesn’t have with her husband.
When Aethelwulf returns from Mercia, his father commends him for avoiding Kwenthrith’s bed, and adds that he’s sure his wife appreciates it. Judith quickly responds with, ”But I wouldn’t be such a hypocrite to say it.” Aethelwulf seems to genuinely forgive her for cheating on him in the past, as part of God’s Will, but he doesn’t know about the new affair. Dad seems shocked that Judith brings up the Athelstan infidelity to her husband considering the new events.
Then Aethelwulf asks his dear father if he had been “prepared, secretly, to let Kwenthrith kill me”, as motivation for Wessex to invade. In the worst pantomime lie possible, Ecbert says, “I was NOT! And frankly, the accusation shocks me.” He then adds the rather convincing argument that he wants more than anything to leave an England, united under one King, to his only son.
Back in Paris, the Vikings made an overnight attempt to enter the city. They quickly raided and withdrew. The Franks bring Sinric, who was captured, to the Viking’s camp to translate. He is tied up. Ragnar looks like a casual Playgirl centerfold. Of course we know he can barely stand up, but the Franks don’t need to know that. Ragnar is actually in the same pose that Sinric was when we met Sinric back in Kattegat. Weird, huh? Sinric didn’t pull off the pose as well as Ragnar.
Ragnar says, “I’m saddened to see you are a prisoner. After all, you’re a wanderer.” It’s funny because he’s a little weirdo in a funny hat, who always goes on about belonging to the wide world. He’s weird, like a mime is weird, if mimes spoke several different languages and weren’t trapped in invisible boxes.
The next scene is amusing too. As Roland starts to leave the camp, Rollo grabs Sinric and cuts him free, as if to say “Gives us back our wanderer!” Good move, Rollo. You’ll need that little weirdo in Season Four as a translator.
Everyone disagrees with Ragnar about negotiating with the Franks. So, when he can finally stand, he steps up and reminds everyone who’s in charge. He does a little Jack Nicholson channeling. “That’s my name. King Ragnar! And what does a king do, Bjorn?” (He rules) “Yes. Good. He rules…I have the last say. ME! Not you! Not you! Not you! And not YOU!” Yup, you totally rule, Ragnar.
The first thing Ragnar does in the Frankish negotiations is insist that he be baptized. He says he is going to die and wants to be reunited with a friend in heaven. His Viking brethren happen upon the spectacle just as he is going under water. Rollo, who was baptized once upon a time, is really pissed. There is no real reason for Ragnar to convert at this point. Maybe Ragnar is just an annoying little brother who has to copy his big brother, but everyone thinks he does it better. Like with Lagertha. Yeah, I went there.
Then, as we all know (Spoiler alert!), Ragnar “dies”. Everyone says their goodbyes over his coffin, privately. I have to include Floki’s picture because he seems the most heartbroken, “I love you with all my heart. Why do you tear me away from myself?” (Sniff) Stupid Ragnar, manipulating and hurting Floki like that.
Then Ragnar gets his Christian funeral inside the cathedral in Paris, and as the Seer predicted, “Not the living, but the dead” shall win Paris. And Ragnar jumps out and kicks butt, taking the princess prisoner, opening the gates, and then, well… Here, I have to catch people up on a few deleted scenes that popped up on the internet since this ran over a year ago…
In the first deleted scene, Rollo tells a dead Ragnar, in his coffin-side confession, that the Seer told him his fate was in Paris, “But”, he scoffs, “nothing has happened yet.” We all know the Seer told Ragnar that a bear would marry a princess. So Ragnar now knows that Rollo could be the bear that marries a princess.
In another deleted scene, Ragnar KISSES the princess in the tunnel before releasing her. Yeah! We know Ragnar wanted to get into Paris to “win”, it had nothing to do with more plunder. And we can all guess that, with her piss-and-vinegar personality, that NO one has dared kiss that princess before. Did Ragnar grab the princess just to get a piece of her before Rollo? Maybe to get even for something that went down with Lagertha? Why’d he let the princess go? Will we ever know?
Whatever is going on, Rollo certainly doesn’t seem too happy with his brother still being alive, after the gates to Paris are opened. Ragnar lied to everyone to execute his plan, and Ragnar heard everyone’s confessions.
After the Franks learn Ragnar left men behind for further raids, Emperor Charles offers Rollo land and titles and his daughter Gisla, in exchange for protection against further attacks. Baby is pissed that daddy put her in a corner, that’s for sure.
Earlier this season, Rollo let his nephew beat the crap out of him. He felt so bad about losing Siggy. We’ll end the Season Three highlights with a taste of the abuse Rollo receives in the fourth season. It’s a scene everyone knows and loves. When Rollo is introduced to the court, the princess is emphatically against the marriage.
Chuck seems more than happy to have someone take this viper off his hands. Rollo on the other hand is blissfully unaware of her onslaught.
And with that, we’ll say goodbye to Season Three. Thank goodness we are one week closer to the rest of Season Four!