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Here I am, enjoying a week of snow-sports in the mountains, secure in the knowledge that if I am on holiday, everyone must be on holiday, ergo: no Vikings episode this week. I mean, the History channel would never schedule an episode when I might miss it – right? Imagine my surprise when my twitters erupted with all sorts of commotions about the new episode of Vikings!
So much tweeting! Clearly a big thing happened tonight – or did it? Here are the top moments of the week’s show:
The big showdown. Lagertha vs. Aslaug. This is going to be epic, right? Lagertha opens with the “you’re a witch” gambit. Lagertha counters with a jab at Lagertha’s ability to have sons. Throw down- the swords and magicks are gonna fly now! Then, get this: Aslaug walks away! She just up and walks away? Whaaaa? That’s it? That’s the battle, Aslaug is just going to disappear into the sunset?
Well, not quite. This week Lagertha becomes the first woman to pull a patented Vikings “dick move” by shooting Aslaug with an arrow as she walks away.
Maybe it’s the crabbiness caused by the lady-part muscle I pulled on the slopes, but that was a pretty disappointing confrontation. I was hoping for a more spectacular showdown, and, even though we all know that Aslaug is the worst™, that was a very un-Viking (and super-unsatisfying) way for Lags to take her out. Lagertha’s obsession with Aslaug bewitching Ragnar also indicates that maybe she is giving Ragnar a little too much credit in the “mastering his urges” department.
Hmmmm, I’m pretty sure I can blame him. . .
Say what you will about King Ecbert – he’s a cold-blooded murderer, he enjoys boning his daughter-in-law, and so forth – but, damn, that man knows how to entertain! Positioning Ragnar’s cage at the seat of honor at his dinner table was a tour-de-force of banquet etiquette that would have made Miss Manners proud.
Shall I tell the steward to bring in the soup course?
Yes, the 8th century’s answer to Martin and Lewis is back, but in this (much less funny) version, Lewis has come to ask Martin to murder him. You see, Ragnar needs to atone for failing his settlement, but also has to martyr himself to set in motion his plan to see his sons ruling England, thus ensuring his place in history.
The banter between them is spectacular, as always, including this gem from Ecbert on what is wrong with the Norseman:
You emerge from the womb with only one thing on your mind; how to die.”
#Truth. Ecbert is concerned that the Vikings aren’t able to find the joy in what happens in the middle, to which Ragner replies, “you mean women”? As I was saying, Lagertha, you may be giving him too much credit.
The old frenemies fall back into their intense relationship, covering topics as wide ranging as the nature of power and the purpose of God. The joy at seeing them interact almost made me not notice Rollo’s absence . . . almost.
Their musings turn to Athelstan, which morphs into a heartbreaking game of “who did he love more.” I hate to take sides here, but Athelstan totally loved Ragnar more, and I suspect it was the whole “threesome” thing that put him over the top. Because hello:
And if that and Ecbert’s visible anguish at the thought of killing Ragnar wasn’t enough of a feelings-overload, Ragnar is introduced to Alfred who he recognizes on sight as Athelstan’s son.
Oh, the hugging like he’s hugging his lost friend. Oh, all the feelings. Oh, Floki why did you kill him?!
In the end Ragnar seizes on Ecbert’s unwillingness to off him, by offering up a devious plan: Ecbert can turn Ragnar over to King Aelle for execution, then when Ragnar’s sons come to avenge his death, Ecbert will be in the clear!
It sounds good on paper, Ragnar, but I’m thinking that a LOT of things could go wrong here. I can’t wait!
In conclusion, I’m pretty disappointed with the As-Lag battle, but I loved Ragnar and Ecbert together. Ragnar continues to rip me apart with his self-loathing and hare-brained schemes, but I’m hoping that getting the hell out of Kattegatt will change his trajectory. Join us in the new year sometime to find out if I’m right, and to answer these questions and more:
Will Ubbe and Sigurd seek revenge on Lagertha, or just ask her to adopt them? Where will Magnus go, now that he is no longer the son of Ragnar, only the son of a lady who pees on people? What the heck is up with Bjorn and Rollo? Will Lagertha regret ousting Aslaug when all those Seer-foretold catastrophes start raining down on Kattegatt?
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