You tell ’em, Mr. Mittens!
The tension mounts
The week’s episode picks up right right we left off, as the Norse fleet faces off with the Franks. The Vikings make quick work of the first wave of attacks, and as the Norsemen recoup, Lagertha demands to know whether Ragnar confirmed that the gods favor them in battle. Ragnar responds to her thusly:
Bjorn has his back, and assures her that they do. However, if Lagertha had listened to the “previously on” snippets, she would know full-well that the Seer predicted their doom, but that Ragnar’s need for revenge blinded him to the costs.
After the initial setback, Rollo shows that he is still made of mayhem when he slaughters an underling who suggests the Frankish fleet turn back.
Rollo rouses his crew (and, quite ‘Frankly’, me) (#seewhatIdidthere) with a passionate speech, and they unleash a can of Parisian Whoop de Derriere on the invaders!
Quick gif battle recap
Rollo and his crew smash into Ragnar’s floating battlefield, and sparks fly right out of the gate!
Rollo gets in the first slice, but after a tussle this happens:
Rollo loses his, sword and I lose my sh*t! Ahhhhhh! Rollo’s going to die!
But he knocks Ragnar’s sword away, and they continue mano a mano!
Actual modern reenactment of their battle
Floki is handing business in his corner of the fight when he gets sliced, and begins to bleed profusely from the region of the spleen! Floki’s the one who’s gonna die!
In the midst of the fighting, Halfdan catches an arrow right in the sweet spot. Hooray! Halfdan is the sacrificial lamb!
Unfortunately, the Vikings aren’t off the hook yet. Lagertha sees that Ragnar is backed against the wall, eating a lethal dose of fist sandwich courtesy of Rollo. She runs to rescue him (yay!), but gets stabbed in the heart on the way – nooooo! Lagertha’s gonna be the one to die!
Distracted by Lagertha’s wounds, Ragnar gets pinned through the shoulder by an anchor, leaving him helpless against Rollo. Ugh, it’s curtains for Ragnar, now!
Ragnar gets free, and is forcibly removed by the Vikings as they hightail it away from the scene of their defeat. THE END.
The body count
Here’s the final tally after this bloody battle:
Number of characters who died in battle: 1 (maybe)
Number of characters who died while eating dinner with the Emperor: 2
So the only folks we know for sure are dead are Roland and his sis, whom Charles has strangled in order to put an end to their scheming. In true “Freakonomics” fashion, Vikings has proven that attending fancy dinners is at least twice as deadly as participating in a bloody feud between brothers. Remember that next time you have a choice between dinner at your MIL’s and an MMA cage match.
Also an excellent choice
Okay so no one died, but at least we can look forward to some epic Ragnar-blaming, Lagertha-mourning, Aslaug-stabbing and power-struggling in the direct aftermath of this disaster – right??!!
Surprise! It’s 6 years later
Yes, you heard me. Instead of epic fallout, we find ourselves in a Ragnar-free Kattegatt 6 years after Paris, when a messenger brings news to Bjorn of Ragnar’s knowledge of the dire fate of the Wessex settlement, along with that of Ragnar’s (other other) son, Magnus, who is being raised in Ecbert’s court.
Vikings used the “fast forward” trick once before during season 2, and it worked well to jump-start the next phase of the story. But I have a few issues with the mechanics of this time warp.
Issue #1 Her
In six years, how has no one kicked her Ass-laug to the curb? Everyone knows Aslaug is the worst, and needs to be run out of town on the rail. But more importantly, with all the jockeying for Ragnar’s throne there is no way Kattegatt would have been at peace in the wake of the power vacuum created by his absence. I mean, people only lived until about 32, it’a not like King Harald would be happily pissing away 20% of his life span waiting for his moment to grab power. It just seems like a waste of a good storyline.
Issue #2 As-nar’s sons
Aslaug and Ragnar’s sons are grown now, and boy do they have a chip on their shoulder about dear old dad!
Really, Ragnar’s other sons? YOU are pissed at Ragnar? Are you mad that Ragnar went and took up with a devious schemer, brought her pregnant-self back to Kattegatt to usurp his wife’s position, giving your mom no choice but to strike out on her own and end up in an abusive relationship. That sounds awful! Except that’s what he did to BJORN, not you! I’m not saying you all should run out and buy him a “World’s Greatest Dad” beer horn or anything, but relatively speaking, him just leaving you alone makes you the winners.
Bjorn’s stock rose [again] with me when defended Ragnar to the little snots.
Issue #3 Ragnar
Ragnar’s back, and he’s crizzickty-cray-cray!
His return to Kattegatt is marked by self-loathing, condescension and just plain spite (Note: Ivar is not a kid you want to be mean to. He will cut you). His “pity party for one” is reminiscent of Rollo after Siggy’s death, when I just could not with him. I hoped Ragnar would return after having found his purpose out in the wilds, and come back to kick some serious ass, not to be just be the town kook.
On to the next half
In conclusion, I’m glad that all the characters survived, but the roll-out of the time jump was jarring. There was a lot of built-up tension that could have been exploited to lead up to Ragnar’s exit from Kattegatt and explain the bad blood with his sons. Even the death of the 2 connivers in Paris felt like it was cutting a story short before any real havoc was wrought.
Having said that, I’m psyched for the second half of the season because:
Bjorn’s fleet is almost ready to sail for the Mediterranean, and I’m looking forward to seeing him lead . . . especially the tension this is going to cause with Ragnar who is famous for his fear that his son’s would eclipse him.
And goofy-crazy Floki is back to help Bjorn in his quest!
More of these two
I just love Gis-lo! I love how Rollo staggered back into Paris like a guy who was actually in battle, and could barely stand long enough to be crowned. And I loved the reunion moment between these bloodthirsty love birds:
Awww, look at them! They are like King and Queen of the bloodiest prom ever.
There are some spoilers floating around Tumblr, but I don’t want to ruin anything big (for example: what may or may not happen between Lagertha and the Slore).
But I have to share this gifset, because it hints that Rollo may not be fully converted to the French cause, or at the very least, he is still open to some collaboration with his former people:
Squeeeeeeee! Not only are we in for some great adventure with Rollo and Bjorn back together, but it also looks like Rollo’s hair has outgrown its floucy phase!
See you all again in December (BOO) for the next set of Vikings adventures!!!
What are your thoughts? Did the time warp work for you, or did you feel it needed more Dr. Frankenfurter? Is anyone willing to go in with me on hiring a hit man to deal with Aslaug?
All Vikings images courtesy of the History Channel.