Wigstan the man
This week Ecbert rides out to win Mercia back for Queen Kwenthr-HAHAHAHA! I can’t even finish that sentence with a straight face!
Ecbert helping someone? Stop! You’re killing me!
On the way to the battle Ecbert is intercepted by his trusted scout, whose news inspires a detour. This brings us to a new segment I call “Your Weekly Waefaerth.” Like you, I am intrigued by Waefaerth’s rugged good looks and inexplicable surfeit of vowels in his name, and have made it my mission to offer you a gif of his hotness on a weekly basis. This week Waefaerth has brought tidings from Wigstan, a nobleman of Mercia who was not part of the coup against Kwenthrith, and it looked a little like this.
Among the revelations bestowed upon Ecbert during his meeting with Wigstan is the news that Kwenthirth (who murdered her uncle and 2 brothers to gain the throne AND peed on Ragnar) is possibly the least insane person in the nuthouse that is Mercia. Wigstan tells Ecbert that he has had it with the nonsense, but will engage in one last battle to defeat the renegade Mercian nobles before heading on a pilgrimage to Rome to redeem himself. As his last act, Wigstan will crown Ebert the new king of Mercia. Wow! This takeover of England-thing is shaping up to be a piece of cake!
Ecbert jumps at this offer, proving that the saying “too good to be true” may not have been invented yet. And really, what could possibly go wrong?
This guy didn’t think anything could go wrong with his plan, either. Don’t be this guy, Ecbert.
When Kattegatt gets that feeling . . .
With all the men off to Paris, the women of Kattegatt are once again left to their own devices. Harbard, sensing a lack of adequate “devices” to serve their “needs,” has stepped into the void to help them scratch that itch. As the only human male within a 100-mile radius, he is seeing more action than a Jamie Fraser cosplayer at an Outlander convention! Intrepid investigator Sigurd (Ragnar’s young son) is keeping tabs on his shenanigans, but what will Aslaug do when she learns that Harbard is “blessing” the entire town with his “holy water”? And what is going to happen when the warriors return to Kattegatt to find a village full of children who look like this?
That is creepy AF
And, lastly, what the hell was going on when Floki was making out with imaginary Aslaug in Paris, while Aslaug was humping imaginary Harbard?
Does this have something to do with the Seer licking Floki’s hand in supplication? The Seer claimed that he had been waiting for Floki – is Floki another manifestation of Odin? Or does Floki just have a really rich fantasy life? We’ll see!
And now to the main event!
Ragnar has brought his Viking army to the gates of Paris (again), where he plans is to roll up in a bunch of boats, start breaking heads and hope the Franks, in a fit of massive pants-wetting, will throw open the doors and hand everything over (again). I will say this for Ragnar: he is very consistent. He has a way he likes to raid a place, and he sticks to it over and over and over again regardless of efficacy. Unfortunately, Ragnar did not heed the warning label on his Chinese ‘medicine’ before undertaking this effort:
WARNING: Potent hallucinogen. While under the influence do not operate heavy machinery, play that “stabbing between your fingers with a knife” game, or raid a foreign city. Possible side effects include: bloody gums, making really crappy tactical decisions, having your ass handed to you by your brother, athlete’s foot. Do not take in combination with chronic self pity.
As it stands, he proceeds up the Seine according to his plan (which already didn’t work twice), and into absolute chaos at the hands of Rollo.
The confrontation between Ragnar and Rollo highlights one of the great things about this show – namely, that I often have no idea who I should be rooting for! The name of the show is “Vikings,” which indicates that I should be gung-ho for the success of the titular clan, but let’s face it, the Norsemen are kind of an Odin-forsaken mess right now, composed of vicious assholes (Harald & Co.), traitorous slores (Aslaug) and drug-addled mopey-ass bastards (Ragnar). To top it off, they are trying to take something that does not belong to them (Paris).
I’ve always been team Rollo, but I love that he OWNED this week’s battle. His plan was flawless: the chain between towers did its job capsizing boats and creating mayhem, the siting the towers in the midst of a swamp completely thwarted any land attacks, and the flaming arrows on the heel of exploding oil projectiles put Ragnar’s fleet out of commission.
Your Vikings flambé is served
Plus, I love how Gisla totally fangirls over Lagertha!!
. . . so we can exchange tips on proper disembowelment techniques.
I christen this girl-crush “Gislag,” and predict that this meeting could either result in a mind-meld of epic lady bad-assery, or in Lagertha taking one look at shiny, young puppy Gisla and being all:
‘Cuz Lagertha is the 8th century Bey.
In conclusion, I have shifted my allegiance to the Franks, until such time as Ragnar gets his shit together. And I hope you will join me in heretofore referring to this show as “The Frank-ening.”
Clive brings it
As we all know, Rollo is a man who feels a range of deep, visceral emotions.
Sometimes he feels “AARRRRRRRGH!”
And other times he feels “bloody with fabulous hair.”
And at the other end of the emotional spectrum, he sometimes feels “how do I make it stop crying?”
JK! Rollo is a very complicated character, and this week, as Rollo is charged with obliterating everyone he has ever known and loved, he is overwhelmed with conflicting feels. And Clive Standen does a fantastic job of wearing the internal battle on his face in a series of moments in completely devoid of dialogue. Here he is after deducing that Lagertha (who he used to loooove) is leading the land charge against the towers:
See it? He is having feelings about the life he left behind, and is totally going to crack! But he did not back down, and instead refocused his firepower, not to mention his feelings of rage, right at the Norse fleet!
Says Rollo! He is so done with the North and their “not bowing down to his magnificence.” I heart eyes you, new and improved Frankish-Rollo!
Tune into next week’s recap to find out whose turn it is to get screwed next!
Will Ragnar return to Kattegatt to lick his wounds, or sail off to Wessex to work out some of his aggression? Will Rollo be content with his Frankish empire, or will he set his sights on conquering the North as payback? Is Floki actually a sensate? Is Bjorn going to make a play for Ragnar’s throne now that Rags has royally effed things up? And with the multiple references to the Seer, why wasn’t this episode titled ‘The Prophet and the Loss’?
All Vikings images courtesy of the History Channel.