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Sweatpants & TV | Vikings, Season 5, Episode 5: “The Prisoner”

By Lesley Gayle

On Vikings “The Prisoner,” Heahmund becomes Ivar’s prisoner, Lagertha clips Floki’s wings and, since Hirst really likes his motifs, Bjorn becomes a prisoner in Africa as well.

Aethelwulf’s hasty attack on York was probably prompted to bolster his ego and suppress Heahmund’s visions of glory. Who knows if Heahmund’s visions would have come true if Aethelwulf had waited. As the Vikings slowly climbed out of the sewers under the feet of the Saxons, I had a difficult time imagining how Ivar’s plan worked. Seriously, kicking the Vikings in the head would have stopped them.

Ivar fights with the cover of two men as he throws knives. He’s really ineffective. He ultimately sits back and directs the battle.

Even with reinforcements from Judith’s cousin in Northumbria, the Saxons are defeated again. Judith’s cousin is killed by a troll of a man with a sledgehammer to the head. Aethelwulf continues to blame their defeats on God’s punishment, rather than his abilities as a leader. Judith takes care of his wounds and keeps her opinions to herself.

Kattegat is happy to see Floki return. Floki arrived to all the fanfare that Lagertha received after ousting Jarl Borg. Torvi immediately runs with word to Lagertha. Lagertha’s more concerned that she has lost the gods’ favor and maybe that Floki is Ivar’s godfather.

Hvitserk proves useful to Ivar, advising Ivar to avenge their mother’s death before Bjorn returns to Kattegat. Hvitserk says Ubbe needs to be killed as well. Hvitserk does stand to gain Kattegat, if Ivar has no real use for it.

Our Favorite moments:

Ragnar and Athelstan, I mean, Ivar and Heahmund: Part 1

Hirst tries to rekindle old stories within the new generation. It doesn’t work this week. Heahmund inanely screams religious rhetoric at the troops during the fighting. We all want him to just. shut. up.

Ivar stops the fighting when Heahmund falls from his horse. Ivar thinks a great warrior such as Heahmund, should have a horse. If he’s so great, why did he need Ivar to call a time out and restart the play?

In the end, Heahmund is captured. The Bishop is so dogmatic that he can’t see straight. Ivar likes the fight in Heahmund. I get the impression the Bishop doesn’t understands a word of his own preaching. He just regurgitates his programming.

Ragnar and Athelstan, I mean, Ivar and Heahmund: Part 2

Ivar has several discussions with Heahmund. Crucifying him would be fun, but the gods hold Ivar back. It echoes Ragnar philosophizing with Athelstan. Except Ivar and Heahmund are too single-minded compared to Athelstan and Ragnar. And the actors here don’t have the chemistry of Fimmel and Blagden. Their dialogue doesn’t go anywhere meaningful.

Heahmund thinks he can convert the heathens. Does Ivar want to show Heahmund that he is more than the stories told about him? Ivar is alone at this point in the game. He wants to be seen as ruthless, but he also wants people to like him?

Lagertha and Floki

Lagertha, girl, you are gaining haters fast. Floki sheltered and fed your family after Earl Haraldson forbid Ragnar’s travels, and destroyed everything you had. Earl Haraldson couldn’t feel the gods on his side during his decline, and you are in the same boat.

Lagertha refuses to let Floki take any of her people to Iceland, claiming she must protect them. At one point, you wanted new lands for your people, Lagertha.

Floki makes plans to leave anyway, just like Ragnar did. He makes his peace with Ubbe, insisting he won’t be taking sides in that battle.

Bjorn and Halfdan

There’s a running joke that Halfdan is Bjorns’s boyfriend. I still believe Erlendur was a homosexual character, but Hirst never used his story. Who knows where he’ll go with his one.

The Emir gives Bjorn and Halfdan some evening entertainment. The woman Halfdan was assigned, was not a woman.

He never answers Bjorn’s question.

The evening’s entertainment was a diversion, so the Emir’s men could capture the Sicilian commander. Bjorn and Halfdan admit they weren’t very good body guards to their boss. It’s almost like seeing Torstein and One-Eye again.

Heads will Roll

The Byzantine Empire is just another Paris. The commander was conspiring against the Emir, like Roland and Odo conspired against Charles. And Bjorn was hired to protect the commander, just like Rollo protected Charles.

Kassia requests that the Sicilian be served as dinner to the attending guests, and the Emir obliges her. There is no bondage, domination or incest – at least not in the American edit, but we have cannibalism. Kassia isn’t a princess that marries Bjorn. But Kassia and Gisla are basically the same character.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Fans have come to understand that Hirst really doesn’t care about story lines or characters outside of England and Scandinavia. We never know why Kassia assumes the Vikings are a threat. No real loyalty to the commander was established. But Bjorn and gang are grabbed just as they decide to run. At least Sinric has his head on the chopping block for once.

Will Bjorn and Halfdan make it out of Africa? Will Floki leave Kattegat? And what will become of Heahmund? I hope Ivar crucifies him.

Picture source: http://www.history.com/shows/vikings

Leslie Gayle

Leslie is a one time CPA, wife and mom of twins. She’s an over thinker who loves karate, thunder, and travel. Her sweatpants are yoga pants and she takes her coffee with milk.

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