After giving way too much tribute to Rollo for useless information, Ivar revisits his main campaign promise of killing Lagertha. Ivar publicly sacrifices Lagertha, not Hvitserk.
The good town folk of Kattegat can clearly see this isn’t Lagertha, but most remain quiet. Why bring trouble to yourself when you have a thriving trading or farming business? Those who speak up are shuttered away. Hvitserk is the only person who can speak up and not be punished.
Hvitserk picks up another girlfriend. He echoes his questioning of why the gods make him stay with Ivar. The Seer tells him he will accomplish things where others have failed. Will he convince Ivar he’s not a god? Or will Hviserk kill Lagertha? The Seer said a son of Ragnar would kill Lagertha. And Ivar definitely didn’t do it.
Ivar and Freydis plan on their baby’s arrival while suppressing the growing dissension from Lagertha’s supporters.
In Wessex, Lagertha is still shacking up with Heamund. (Shutter) He says he’d go through hell for her. Aethelred marries the daughter of his brother’s now-dead enemy. They make a much cuter couple than Lagertha and Heahmund.
In A Lost Moment, Aethelred fails to trigger the conspirators’ overthrow of Alfred. They planned on locking the doors and killing Alfred and the Vikings. The scene mirrors Rollo betraying Earl Haraldson’s plan when Ragnar was on trial. Except Aethelred plays it nervously (and none of us fans believed for a second he would do it). Unlike the Vikings world, you can’t just kill someone to become king of England – it’s a little more complicated. Fun fact: Rollo went on to marry the widow of Ragnar’s enemy too. So Hirst is basically rehashing Season One’s script!
Floki sees the ghost of the dead pregnant woman. She tells him her mother-in-law set her up to be killed by her brother-in-law. He finally grows a back bone and exiles the entire family of trouble makers, even their innocent son who wanted peace with everyone. I sense a retelling of Cain and Abel after Floki throws them out of paradise. If Iceland can be considered paradise.
Alfred reaffirms Ubbe’s loyalty. Ubbe then helps Alfred train for the battle. Bjorn’s new haircut inspires Alfred for a battle ready look. I wonder if Alfred’s wife will like his Bjorn-inspired look since she likes Bjorn so much.
And finally, Magnus is still around. No one but Bjorn believes Magnus is Ragnar’s son. Bjorn doesn’t counter Lagertha but claims Ubbe is corrupted by the Christian god when Ubbe disagrees with him. And Torvi, who has managed to evade death and any real storyline, is given yet another excuse to be on set this week. She tells Bjorn and Ubbe to stop arguing. She hasn’t seen how Ragnarsson boys really argue when they want to get into it, just ask Sigurd.
My Favorite moments:
Don’t be afraid
In addition to being baptized, Ubbe preps Alfred for battle against King Harald. Remember that Aethelwulf never trained this son for battle, he was the bookworm. Alfred will need extra help if he’s going to be as good a warrior as Aethelred. His preparation echoes Ragnar telling Ecbert, “Don’t be afraid,” except Ragnar wasn’t prepping Ecbert for battle by throwing axes at Ecbert’s head. It’s a good thing Ubbe is a better aim than Ivar.
Love Will Conquer All
Ivar must address dissension among his people. Since he is a merciful god, he wants to let them off easy. Until one conspirator spits blood on him.
Ivar’s a little confused on who’s supposed to be shown the love. The writing is weak, but Ivar pulls off he facial expressions perfectly. This is Ivar’s lost moment to show true leadership.
Fate is a Fickle Mistress
On the way to Wessex, King Harald meets Jarl Olafson’s wife. Harald believes that love has nothing to do with the heart. ‘It is felt in the gut – the entrails.’ Gunnhild claims to be fated to be there with him, she knows because she feels ‘it in her gut – her entrails.’ It’s a little Vikings flirting, right in front of her husband.
And the next day their moment is lost. Harald reminds her of her thoughts on fate and she changes her mind. Poor Harald is destined to never have a woman.
Floki sits in the rain as the missing pregnant woman appears. I love this bait and switch. First, it is the best cinematography we’ve since arriving in Iceland. Seriously, the poor camera crew has been stuck in that sad, wet, quarry all season. These shots are beautiful. Secondly, we actually believe that the missing woman simply ventured out to seek Floki, in his remote solitude. But no, she’s a ghost, killed by her brother-in-law with help from his mother – a very Shakespearean moment from Hirst.
Alfred’s Arch Nemesis
Magnus creeps me out. He has evil demon eyes. He wants revenge on Alfred as any good Viking would. Alfred must pay for the sins of his grandfather and never looking for him. Despite being Viking, Bjorn is still going to fight for Alfred.
Bjorn leaves Magnus with his thoughts.
Bjorn probably shouldn’t leave Magnus alone. He may stir up uncontrollable trouble with Alfred. Or maybe that’s what Bjorn wants. I bet this is what he’s thinking.
Bjorn brings Magnus to Ubbe and Lagertha. He can’t convince them that he’s Ragnar’s son. I still believed Ragnar could have lied to Ecbert about Magnus to prevent him from becoming a prisoner. Ragnar may have lie to Aslaug too. But WHY would he lie to Lagertha about another woman? Their marriage was already over. The possibility was still in my mind until we hear Magnus lie to us. We were all there in the room with Ecbert, Ragnar and Magnus. It was one secret Hirst let us in on. We know Magnus is delusional.
A Sacrifice Worthy of the Gods
Finally, when the Seer refuses to admit Ivar is a god, Ivar rashly kills the only guy in town who can’t run away from him. The scene was too much build up and became campy, like Polanski’s MacBeth. If Ivar is truly a god, why does he need validation from the Seer? With an axe to the head, Ivar finally makes a sacrifice, worthy of the gods.
I think the Seer wanted to die. He would have seen it coming, right? The Seer has basically been begging to be left alone and die since before Ivar was born. He’s always miserable and pissy with everyone. And nobody appreciates his job. Everyone just wants him to tell them what they want to hear. In truth, it was a mercy killing. But it begs the question, what IS preventing Ivar from killing Hvitserk for denying Ivar’s divinity and knowing all his secrets?
Will Hvitserk gets an answer from the gods on why he’s stuck in Kattegat? Will Alfred give Ubbe his land? And will Harald get a wife? Tune in next week to find out!
Picture source: History & Vikings