By Leslie Gayle
It’s been five weeks with no Vikings on Thursday nights. How are we all holding up? I am champing at the bit, waiting to see what trouble Ragnar’s sons will stir up. I’m staying focused with these reminders of how we got where we are currently. As we continue through Season One, let’s see how many eye rolls you can spot! I promise I’m not choosing his eye rolls as highlights. All the fun stuff just seems to piss Ragnar off. It’s all someone else’s fault, isn’t it, Ragnar?
We ended last week with Haraldson giving Ragnar back his boat and permission to raid England again. Every dog owner should appreciate the next scene. After his owner tricked him into giving away tactical knowledge of his motherland, Athelstan protests and tries to establish some dominance. It’s kind of cute. He stops in his tracks and sits down. Ragnar simply cuts him free (in front of the other priests who were hanged for trying to escape) and tells him to run if he wants. Athelstan hesitates but finally runs after him. It’s dark out and he’s free game for every free man, woman and child.
Haraldson sends his half-brother, Knut, on the raid to figure out the navigation system. Rollo puts the fear of the gods into him, questioning Knut’s loyalty and giving him no chance to tap out. When he professes his loyalty, Rollo gives us another taste of his off-kilter humor with, “I just wanted to ask.”
The raiding party is met by soldiers on the beach in England. Ragnar needs to learn their whereabouts after being blown off-course. He lets the soldiers assume they are there to trade. Rollo want nothing to do with a plan of following the men. And he can assume that he has a say, because they are all equal, right? Yup, there it is! Eye roll! Rollo, who has been pacing like a caged animal, gets the eye roll, which sticks out in our mind. But Floki is the one who starts the violence by ripping off a soldier’s cross.
Once in town, the Vikings corner everyone in church. Ragnar promises that no one will get hurt if they don’t fight back. I love this scene for its social awkwardness. Ragnar tries out his new knowledge of Christianity and with his creepy smile, seems like an alien who’s promised not to eat anyone. He’s so proud of his plan.
Ragnar tries to keep his promise with the towns folk, but Floki has other plans. Floki gets a gasp from the congregation after spitting out wine. He’s a two year old who knows he can shock his audience with a curse word. When the priest tries to save the gold cross, Floki stabs him in the throat. (Eye Roll!)
As everyone is clearing out after the raid, Ragnar asks about Knut. Knut tried to rape Lagertha, so she killed him. (Eye Roll!) I love this scene because no man wants to be near her at this moment. Who knows who she’ll go after next! It’s subtle, but even Rollo takes a step back. Ragnar is irritated with her, but he lays blame on Rollo for not looking out for her.
Ragnar, taking credit for the killing, seems to have things under control during the trial back in Kattegat. But Lagertha throws a wrench into the plan when provoked by Haraldson. She claims full responsibility for Knut’s death. Is she more enraged that Haraldson accused her of lying or that he claimed she is under her husband’s thumb and couldn’t possibly have killed Knut. Seriously, does he not know what a famous shield-maiden she was, I mean, is?
Why don’t they all just follow your lead, Ragnar? It is such a curse being perfect.
Rollo then joins the fray. We all think he’s about to betray Ragnar and take the earl up on his suggested opportunities. Eye roll? Wait for it. Wait for it…
No! Wow. I still expect it every time I see this scene! But Rollo backs Ragnar’s story and adds, “So unfortunately you can’t punish him.” Wait a minute. Back the bus up. “Unfortunately”? Even I didn’t think about filing that response away for later.
Things may have gone differently after the trial, if Ragnar had graciously thanked the earl for being a just man, instead of his smartass response of, “Now, who has the key?”
No, I guess it wouldn’t have made a difference. We all know Earl Haraldson was doubly ticked that Ragnar can charm the masses whenever in the Great Hall.
Wow, I only got through four episodes in two weeks. Next week we’ll unlock the rest of Season One.