Warning Major Spoilers if you haven’t seen this episode!
This week, we finally catch a glimpse of former king, Harald. He’s being held captive by the crazy king, Olaf. Last season Olaf felt like a blood thirsty, hippie, maybe a Tibetan god of war. That motif has been amplified, as we see him pouring blood on his food. Olaf never spoke about wanting power. He now creates chaos and philosophizes. So why did he take over Harald’s kingdom?
Lagertha is building her farm. She agrees to watch Torvi’s children, when Torvi and Ubbe go to Iceland. However, Ubbe has agreed to postpone the trip. Bjorn’s personal honor is more important than Kattegat’s future. Bjorn leaves Kattegat in Ubbe’s control and sails off to free Harald.
Ubbe comments that Torvi should stay with the children, since she is pregnant. Ragnar made similar comments about Lagertha, a generation ago. Lagertha is proud of her protégé for her defiance of her third husband. Ubbe has to save himself among these strong women. Torvi just agreed the Iceland journey would be too difficult for young children. Why can’t Ubbe assume it’s too difficult for a potential newborn? This #MeToo scene is an unnecessary excuse to give Torvi poorly written lines. But I do like seeing the pained “Ragnar faces” on Ubbe.
In Russia, Prince Oleg captures his brother for threatening him. The camera work is great!
Oleg tells his brother he must swear to Odin that he is trustworthy. He can’t. Has Oleg converted back to the old gods? I think Oleg would have found an excuse to torture his brother anyway.
Hvitserk’s addiction and mental break down becomes worse. He is seeing his dead girlfriend, Thora. Is Hirst going to give him a storyline, or will he died in an overdose?
A village of widows and children, needs Lagertha’s help after an attack by Ivar’s henchmen. These are very same criminals Bjorn set free. Did anyone NOT see this coming? Are you still happy your baby boy doesn’t have Ivar’s instincts, Lagertha?
My Favorite Moments
Gunnhild and Hvitserk
Gunnhild tries to console Hvitserk and his fears. He knows she’s pregnant. And he confesses how much he wants a child and family to love. Gunnhild will be a great mom. She deserves better than Bjorn.
Bjorn claims Ingrid has the wrong man, when she hits on him again. But oh no, she doesn’t have the wrong man.
She claims sleeping with him would give him the confidence to become the greatest leader ever.
He reassures Gunnhild he loves her. Then, intercut with a sacrificial protection ceremony (officiated by his first ex-wife), Bjorn jumps into Ingrid’s bed for his own protection ceremony. I think this tryst will destroy his confidence. He didn’t respect Ragnar, for this very behavior. It is proof that he’s unsure of himself.
Igor’s Attention to Details
(Note: “Ivar” and “Igor” are regional variants of the same name.)
Igor listens intently and watches everything. He reminds me of a young Ivar. He even mimics Ivar’s mode of mobility, dragging himself along the ground. Far from being offended, Ivar seems to know it is a sign of solidarity. Or is Igor manipulating Ivar for protection from his uncle Oleg?
Ubbe, Ubbe, Ubbe!
Remember last season, when the troops in England chanted for Ubbe? I still think he is the more natural leader among Ragnar’s sons. And he’s in a pretty good position right now. He has control of Kattegat, AND Bjorn’s wife (past and present) and all of Bjorn’s children.
In Bjorn’s absence, he gives a speech to the good folk of Kattegat. It isn’t anything Bjorn hasn’t said before, but Ubbe is more inspiring, a man of the people. Call me crazy, but I think he’ll betray Bjorn. Or the people of Kattegat will choose Ubbe. Remember, no one knows for sure if Bjorn is Ragnar’s son.
Oleg called his brother a dog, mirroring Ivar’s past treatment of Hvitserk.
Then Oleg tortures his brother, placing him in a cage like a dog. It’s one thing to insult your brother. It’s quite another to torture him. Ivar was guilt ridden after killing Sigurd. It’s subtle, but Ivar is disturbed by the treatment. He’s also concerned about Igor’s jovial reaction to his uncle Dir’s pain. Will Ivar see the error of his cruel ways?
Bjorn and Flat Nose are attacked before they can swim ashore in their surprise attack. And fire cuts them off from their boats. Retreat came, after many casualties. Was this mission orchestrated by Olaf, to capture Bjorn too?
Just as Bjorn is pulled back into battle for his honor, Lagertha must pick up her sword again to defend all the widows of past wars. Will the conflict ever end?
Tune in next week to see if Bjorn defeats Olaf and if Lagertha survives with no backup.
Picture source: History, Vikings, & Bernard Walsh