But in a waaaaaaay more threatening way. And by someone who is not named Blaine.
This episode was the big set up for what’s to come for the Vikings. And it looks like there will be betrayal, revenge, loss, revenge, betrayal, death . . . did I already mention revenge? How about betrayal? Just checking.
Where we at?
The Norsemen are still camped outside of Paris, after being rebuffed, not once, but twice by the Parisians.
Emperor Charles, running low on clever French taunts, just wants to be rid of the brutes, and has attempted to buy the peace with a wagon load of gold. Oh, if only it were so easy in the tempestuous, shiftless world of Vikings! You see, the only thing the Norsemen like more than killing is betraying, and they definitely excelled in both this week!
The Trojan coffin
Ragnar began this episode barely hanging on, as his internal organs continued to try to flee his body through every pore.
How do you turn this damn thing on?
Newly baptized Ragnar agrees to pull up stakes and leave, as long as he gets a proper Christian burial in the city. Emperor Charles does the Christian thing and consents, not recognizing that Ragnar is a big ole’ Fred-Sanford-style faker.
This is the big one! I’m comin’ home, Athelstan!
Ragnar’s brilliant plan to kill off half the Paris population via heart attack is successful as he pops out of his coffin in the middle of his own funeral:
The heathen’s appearance in Paris’ inner sanctum caused womenfolk to succumb to the vapors, the menfolk to soil their undergarments, and this dude with the beard to make all of those years of acting classes at the community center to pay off:
Truth be told, I don’t actually understand what is the point of Ragnar’s little show, except to give Bjorn this totally badass moment:
and to make the Seer’s prediction come true:
Get it? The “dead”? Ragnar’s pretending to be dead – get it?
Except for one small detail: they still don’t seem to have conquered Paris yet. All Ragnar seems to have done is make everyone mad for pulling this stunt without them . . . except that I suspect they are actually mad because everyone totally incriminated themselves by confessing their deepest, darkest feels to Ragnar’s coffin, which happened to contain a live Ragnar.
First up was Lagertha:
She loves him! She loves him! “Ragertha” will ride again, my friends!
Next up was Rollo, who was basically like, “I’m kinda surprised the gods let you die, but not terrifically upset about it because I was kind of sick of you getting all the good stuff”
Lastly, Floki had a very moving breakdown in which he raged against being thought the fool, and then made me have the feels:
This was powerful scene, and helped explain some of Floki’s crazy. Unfortch, Ragnar’s condition of “not actually being dead,” and “hearing every last thing,” especially the part where he “raged against Athelstan,” resulted in confirmation of Ragnar’s suspicions:
Ruh roh, indeed!
Rollo, I can’t stay mad at you (but Ragnar can)
In light of Ragnar’s betrayal, Charles doubles down on getting rid of his Vikings problem once and for all.
After the bulk of the Norsemen head home, the Parisians approach Rollo with an offer he can’t refuse: Princess Gisla and a buttload of land in exchange for defending the city against the return of Ragnar.
Having had his moment out of the shadow of his brother snatched away by the icy grip of life, Rollo jumps at the chance to divest himself of his nickname “the Billy Carter of Vikings,” and make a name for himself, even if it means having to fight against his bro.
The forceably betrothed Princess Gisla, not one to suffer in silence, assails Rollo with just about every insult that she can possibly muster:
Rollo, not knowing a lick of French, takes one look into her cold,imperious face, full of defiance and revulsion, and loosely translates her tirade as follows:
Now, this, so far, has been one of my most favorite Rollo scenes of all time (including ones in which he has no shirt), but then they turn it up to 11, when it’s Rollo’s turn to speak, and this happens:
OMFG Rollo! In an attempt to endear himself to his potential future ‘in-Gauls’ (get it? Roman name for people who lived in the region that is now France? Instead of in-laws? Funny, right?), Rollo demonstrates a willingness to learn, as well as some fine linguistic skills (are you paying attention, Gisla?) by saying hello in their tongue! Let’s watch that again – bigger and more slowly:
This moment actually made me ded. Like, on the spot. My God! He’s like a little puppy begging for love! Wag that little tail, Rollo – you are just the cutest! And how about that self-satisfied smile at the end?
How’d I do? I did good, right?
Oh, you done so good, little guy! I would totally give you a treat for that!
How can Gisla not want to just get in on some of that adorable action?
So in the end, Ragnar and his crew are headed back to Kattegatt, leaving Rollo to his new and improved fate as a Frank. BUT HOW IN THE HECK IS THIS GOING TO PLAY OUT NEXT SEASON? so.many.questions:
How is Ragnar going to exact his revenge on Floki? And what is he going to do with Aslaug to the now that he knows how Lags feels about him?
Will Erlandur and Kalf try to take advantage of Ragnar’s weakness and make a grab for the throne?
With Athelstan gone, will Gisla become the new POV character as a Christian amongst the heathens? What new insults will Gisla coin in order to tell Rollo exactly how she feels about him?
Hit him where he lives, Gisla!
Lastly, why are we still checking in with Ecbert? Are the Norsemen going to come collect on their revenge? Or do they realize that we cannot live without a weekly dose of Linus Roache’s velvet voice?
His buttah-voice does that to me
Tune into Vikings next year when season 4 says: