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Review: ‘Vikings,’ Season 2, Episode 7, ‘Blood Eagle’

You know, today was a pretty good day. I woke up on the right side of the bed, got a positive call about a job I applied for (gainful employment, here. I. come.), and had leftover pizza for lunch and dinner – which, I understand, might not seem like a positive to some of you, but for me? It’s delicious, scrumptious, carb-y satisfaction. Oh, and one more thing: Vikings. Combining the end of the last episode with the knowledge (slash, accepted rumor) that someone key to the group is going to die in this episode, I’ve been on pins and needles all day for the show to grace me with its sometimes confounding, yet always entertaining, presence.

 

Are you ready for Season 2, Episode 7: Blood Eagle? I know I am. Without stalling any further, let’s get down to some bloody, raid-centric business!

 

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We start this episode off in an extremely tense Kattegat. The snow has returned and King Horik (Donal Logue) is a man on a mission, you can tell by his hazy, graying hair and peeved look on his face. Inside of the chamber, he asks Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) – who is currently dangling a rodent by its tail over some fire, because it’s cold and it’s not bizarre at all, just kidding, he slams it against the table and it dies – if he really intends on killing Jarl Borg (Thorbjørn Harr). While he starts converting the rodent into Grade A food and channeling some Grandmama Frump Realness, King Horik tells him that he understands the reasoning for wanting revenge, but the fact of the matter is that they won’t be able to successfully raid and take revenge on King Ecbert without Jarl Borg’s ships and his men.

 

Right, because Jarl Borg will totally agree to loaning his manpower to this cause after being beaten and tortured by Ragnar’s men. Furthermore, King Horik must have cajones of steel to talk to Ragnar about this when it’s effectively his fault that they’re in this position in the first place.

 

Rollo (Clive Standen) finds it similarly comical. He and his partial up-‘do seriously ask King Horik if he expects Ragnar to simply look away from the entire situation and King Horik responds with a semi-reasonable answer; no, he doesn’t expect him to look away (though he’d really like that), he just wants him to stay the execution until they find another ally that they can befriend and use their manpower. Ragnar reluctantly agrees to hold off on the execution until they find someone else to raid with, but not before King Horik makes it clear that he will get his revenge against King Ecbert with or without his help.

 

We’re taken to England, where we see King Aelle (Ivan Kaye) approaching King Ecbert’s (Linus Roache) territory. Remember that guy? He was a major foil in season one and seemingly posed a threat to our lovely Vikings, until they killed his brother to teach him that they were nothing to fool around with. I’m sure that left a charming impression on him and is surely the reason that he’s rolling up to King E’s doorstep. It becomes clear very quickly that King Aelle wants King Ecbert’s allegiance in the fight against Ragnar and company. Though it’s unclear where King Ecbert stands in that moment, he welcomes King Aelle with open arms to the chant of “God Save England.”

 

But, hold that thought. We’re again transported to Scandinavia, where Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) is hammering away at an extraordinarily ornate shield. Helga (Maude Hirst) approaches him from behind and captures him in a shoulder hug, telling him that she’s with child. Yes, you heard me! Floki the carpenter, Floki the fisherman…NO: Floki the father. It is the sweetest thing I ever did see, even with the crippled self-esteem and instantaneous desire for a Viking-style shotgun wedding. He views the gods as friends to them and Helga desires a wedding filled with their mortal-world friends as well, even as Floki patently objects to Ragnar’s attendance.

 

Wait, why? Why would he object to Ragnar attending the wedding? I’m pretty sure he ranks high on his “friend list,” like, in MySpace terms, he’d definitely be in Floki’s top eight.

 

His reasoning is that everything in their reality revolves around Ragnar at that point; where they get their food, what they’re doing on the weekend, where they’re raiding – everything is Ragnar, Ragnar, Ragnar. Floki wants his wedding to Helga to be about them.

 

Still, isn’t that a little weird? If my best friend didn’t invite me to her wedding because she’d be afraid of me stealing her thunder, I’d be pissed. I guess I’m sort of disappointed in Floki’s petty weirdness that smells suspiciously like jealousy.

 

Let’s just check in on Ragnar to see how he’s doing. He’s currently hanging out with his son, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig). Bjorn is troubled because he believes his father doesn’t trust him, as he wasn’t informed of Ragnar’s intentions with Jarl Borg before that fateful night. Ragnar tells him that he would have told him of the actions, but he was mysteriously absent. Where was he?, he asks. He was with Porunn, the pretty slave girl played by Gaia Weiss that has single handedly won Bjorn over in the course of an episode. Ragnar then poses his worry that Bjorn will choose to be with Porunn over him, which of course is not an actual question of whether or not he and Porunn are going to pull a Romeo and Juliet and melodramatically kill each other, but a dig at the fact that Bjorn chose to be with Lagertha over him.

 

He then tells his son not to think with his Lower Bjorn, because it wouldn’t be a father-son convo without some weirdly comical intimacy references – don’t worry, Viking teens were still teens and Bjorn rolls his eyes and leaves the room. Ah, glad to know that times may change, but hormones absolutely do not.

 

Speaking of hormones! Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) is with child and is worried about this pregnancy, because it is causing her much more pain than usual. Siggy (Jessalyn Gilsig) gently pries into the issue and Aslaug tells her that she told Ragnar that, if he and she consummated his return within 3 days of him coming home, she would bear a monster and not a child. She doesn’t know why she told the morbid prophecy to Ragnar and claims that it was the gods who chose the words and forced them through her; Siggy seems perturbed by the conversation. Me? While this is all sort of interesting and creepy, I’m wondering how I had no idea Vikings pioneered the art of weaving glitter.

 

Seriously, was that scene shot in JoAnn Fabrics?

 

Later that evening, a hooded figure pays off a guard and visits Jarl Borg – he is dirtied, shackled, and in low spirits.

 

Obviously. It’s really difficult to be chipper when all you can think about is your impending Blood Eagle fate.

 

The time he’s had to think about the method of torture ascribed to him has made him more solemn than usual. Additionally, there doesn’t seem to be his First Wife’s skull nearby, so he’s probably feeling a little lonely and confused. Where did he go wrong?

 

I know I’ve said this before, but I really think Jarl Borg got shafted in this whole situation. Puppetmaster Horik is the real bad guy – but no, common sense has apparently not made that abundantly clear.

 

Speak of the devil! It’s King Horik who has visited Jarl Borg. Kneeling next to him, he gives Jarl Borg some much needed water and Jarl Borg guzzles it like a dehydrated man approaching an oasis. You get the impression that our Vikings haven’t been holding Jarl Borg in the lap of luxury. King Horik tells Jarl Borg that he will take no pleasure in his death and Jarl Borg can see through his act – he knows that King Horik is (perhaps subconsciously) intimidated by Ragnar and upset that Ragnar went behind his back with the vengeance plot. He plants another seed of doubt in King Horik’s mind: as Ragnar’s star grows, King Horik’s dims.

 

Jarl Borg wants King Horik to help him escape, kill Ragnar, and promote Rollo to Earl – all so he can retake Kattegat. King Horik things about this proposition and then gives Jarl Borg a gift.

 

A gift?

 

First Wife’s skull! Reunited and it feels so good!

 

King Horik up to No Good. This is pretty much par for the course, right?

 

 

Ragnar visits the Seer (John Kavanagh) and voices his worry about Athelstan while cradling a snake (which, I should note, have grown in frequency in appearances and references – from Ragnar’s snake pit to Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye). The Seer tells Ragnar that Athelstan (George Blagden) is alive, though his spirit is tormented; he is with someone Ragnar knows, “a foreigner, a king.” Ragnar seems to take this as little consolation.

 

Later that night, while Rollo fights men blindfolded in a makeshift Fight Club arena, he’s obviously distracted. After the round, Rollo wants to why Ragnar is waiting on King Horik’s word to commence the Blood Eagle treatment of Jarl Borg. He, like Aslaug, don’t understand why he always bends to the will of the shady king – but that’s just why Ragnar waits, because he’s the king.

 

Meanwhile, Bjorn tries to chase down Porunn only for her to rebuff him yet gain. Bjorn goes to Floki for advice, complaining about how Rollo says she’s a slave girl and Bjorn can have her “anytime he likes.” He doesn’t want to think of her that way, he is a young bloke in the throes of young love, after all! Floki tells him that Rollo is heavy handed because warriors aren’t allowed to show their emotions so flippantly, to which Bjorn proclaims Floki’s wiseness. Luckily, we don’t have to watch his pathetic attempts to be smooth for long, because we pan to Aslaug giving Jarl Borg’s wife a drink; Aslaug tells her that she feels sorry for her and the situation she’s in, but the woman says that it’s all the same for women – they are there to give birth to the slaughtered.

 

Holy shit.

 

Yeah, Aslaug doesn’t really know what to say to that, either.

 

Speaking of pregnancy, while in a conversation with Siggy, Helga makes it clear that she wants Ragnar’s blessing for the wedding, even if Floki doesn’t. When Siggy hears this, she immediately starts whispering in King Horik’s ear that Floki is upset with Ragnar – something she’s positive he’ll be able to use against our protagonist. Horik doesn’t buy it, saying that Floki loves Ragnar.

 

Well, I don’t even think Floki knows what’s going on inside of his head, so I’m not sure what we’re supposed to be getting out of these interactions.

 

Fear not! We’re transported to England, where King Aelle is talking to King Ecbert. King Ecbert is perfectly happy siding with King Aelle and forming an alliance, but he also wants to get rid of some excess baggage along the way – like their shared neighboring kingdom, that has been in a state of turmoil and violence since the death of their king. King Aelle is hesitant, because he knows that King Ecbert’s kingdom is very large and there would be nothing to hold him back from taking over his kingdom when he saw fit.

 

As if expecting this response, King Ecbert proposes the marriage of his eldest son to Aelle’s daughter Judith, forever binding their kingdoms in a marital contract.

 

King Aelle accepts.

 

King Ecbert is a genius.

 

That can’t be said enough. Seriously, though – that man is a genius.

 

The next day, Ethelwulf marries Judith. Meanwhile, we have a Very Viking Wedding, complete with Helga sailing in on a flower-embellished raft and excellent eyeliner courtesy of Floki. The ceremony is sweet and the couple is as happy as happy can be – however, true to his wishes, Ragnar is not in the audience. That’s probably a good thing, because a messenger arrives for Ragnar on behalf of Earl Engstad.

 

Earl Engstad?

 

All in good time. All that Ragnar needs to know is that Earl Engstad has a fleet of ships and a horde of men that they wish to align with him. Of course, he sends the messenger back to Earl Engstad with a resounding yes. Rollo tells Siggy about the mysterious Earl Engstad and then they engage in some rough hanky-panky; Rollo has found out about her sleeping with King Horik (they made it awfully obvious) and hasn’t taken the news well. He also doesn’t react well when she tells him that she sleeps with Horik for him.

 

That makes no damn sense, like he’s supposed to be cool with that? I know this is a morally grey part of history and culture, but that’s is just the weirdest reason for infidelity I have heard in recent television memory.

 

Also, do you know what is probably the unsexiest post-coital topic of discussion? How sleeping with a gross king and his son is a good way to politically align yourself with both your brother and said creepy king. Siggy tells Rollo that in the event that Ragnar and King Horik have a falling out, she’s creating a sex-based safety net that would allow Rollo to survive the resulting violence. Word is out on whether or not Rollo finds her level of crazy-to-sexy to be acceptable enough to continue the relationship.

 

King Horik (speak of the devil!) visits Jarl Borg in his cell and tells him that they have already set the plans to break him out in motion. He then confirms that when he’s out, they will kill Ragnar.

 

While Ragnar is bathing that evening –

 

Okay, he spent way too much time with King Ecbert. Before that communal bath we never saw him wading in water. Is this a sign that he’s going to gain some strategic fortitude like the English King or is he suddenly discovering hygiene?

 

A-hem, like I was saying – while Ragnar is bathing that evening, he converses with Bjorn. He questions his son about his knowledge on the Blood Eagle (which I keep capitalizing for no reason, but now I’ve committed to it) and then proceeds to describe the gruesome torture method in extensive detail. I would type it out verbatim, but you can read the Wikipedia entry and I won’t get grossed out, so we all win. Torstein comes into the room and tells Ragnar that Earl Engstad has arrived and is waiting for him in the woods.

 

Ragnar and his crew go to the woods, where they see a man standing alone in a clearing. Ragnar approaches and asks if he’s Earl Engstad, but no, of course not, because as Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) appears from behind the trees on a flawless fucking horse looking like a picture of total Earless perfection, it becomes readily apparent that she is the (now infamous) Earl Engstad. “You bear a striking resemblance to my ex-wife.” You don’t say!

 

I’m not going to lie, this entire scene was hilarious and incredibly well acted. Ragnar’s “I can’t believe that I totally believe that Lagertha is an Earless” face was impeccable and the chemistry the two still share is palpable. Hilarious and awkward rolled into one.

 

She has four ships and over a hundred warriors that she is willing to lend to the cause, besides, she’s heard England is lovely this time of year. Ragnar accepts on the condition that she is Lagertha and not Earl Engstad. I can understand this reasoning, he doesn’t seem to have a good track record with Earls. Just saying.

 

While this reunion goes down, Bjorn brings Jarl Borg food and watches as he scarfs it down.

 

That Bjorn. Cavorting with prisoners, falling in love with slaves. He’s breaking all kinds of rules, isn’t he?

 

It’s a weird scene. At this point in time, Bjorn is really sensitive compared to those around him – that sort of compassion can be as large of an asset as it can be a flaw.

 

When Lagertha is settled in Kattegat, she sets up training camp right smack in the middle of the town. She trains with men and women alike and Aslaug approaches Ragnar for his opinion on the situation. He thinks the gods are playing a trick on him and you can’t help but believe him, just a little bit. Aslaug laughs and tells him that it isn’t a joke; she likes Lagertha, she finds her formidable. The lack of cattiness and the hint of charm fills me with total and complete joy.

 

Then, things take a darker turn. Horik unchains Jarl Borg and the skinny, underfed man walks out into the Kattegat night, where Jarl Borg very swiftly realizes he’s been tricked. He won’t be escaping, King Horik instilled him with false hope. Under the watchful eyes of Kattegat, he approaches the stage with his head held high, placing his First Wife’s skull on a stump where she can watch.

 

The following scene is tasteful (okay, tasteful considering the subject matter) and brutal. Believe me, I could sympathize with the people who fainted in the audience. It was hard to watch, but at the same time, the wordless communication through the scene, the anguished nods and urges to continue from Jarl Borg to Ragnar was some of the best acting of the episode – even if I don’t buy Ragnar as the detached surgeon at all. Throughout it all, Jarl Borg stays silent, knowing that if he screams in agony he will be denied entry into Valhalla, but if he stays silent, he will be gifted entry. We end the episode with Ragnar leaving the altar and Jarl Borg’s last breath.

 

Uhm.

 

Hm?

 

Wow.

 

Yeah. Wow. I don’t really have words to describe how pleased I am that they’re not dragging on the Jarl Borg storyline, even if I’m really sad that he’s gone (though honorable it may have been through the lens of the gods). Though eccentric (skull kissing?), he was a solid character that was more likeable than some of the other characters that are still alive. But, who knows, I could just be a total Borg Apologist. It’s okay, I’ll be a member of that club.

 

So, yeah. Wow. I give this episode 17 symbolic crows out of 21 – there were so many fantastic points that it almost made me forget Bjorn’s awkward pickup line. Now, excuse me, it’s time to rewatch that episode again.

 

What did you guys think of this episode? Did the plots go where you expected? Are they missing the mark totally? And what is wrong with Uncle Floki?

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26 thoughts on “Review: ‘Vikings,’ Season 2, Episode 7, ‘Blood Eagle’

  1. I really don’t understand the Floki situation. Is this all stemmed from Monklestan’s rise to quasi-power? Other than that, Floki is in the inner ring. He has access to whatever he needs. He is probably richer than he was. He gets to go raiding, which he seems to enjoy. Now, he’s pissed? It’s too big of a jump for me. And if he jumps over to King Horik’s side, I don’t know what I will do.

    Rollo should have choked Siggy out for sleeping with Horik, but especially for the Horik Jr.

    Fimmel, when given the chance to really act, usually nails it. He did it in the Gyda scene, the Bjorn scene when he left and when they reunited, and in the Lagertha scene. Winnick nailed it too, looking all stoic and still being playful at the same time. Very well done, imo.

    Horik has it coming before the end of the season. I know that’s not going out on a huge limb or anything, but he is getting too conniving. It is going to catch up to him soon.

    Maybe I don’t know my Anglo-Saxon history as well as I should, but I thought Mercia was the powerful one who eventually took in the other kingdoms. I will try to confirm or deny with some research, but it doesn’t seem extremely accurate historically for this alliance. Maybe we will get there eventually.

    Enjoyed the episode. ‘Say it ain’t so, Floki!’

    • No, that part was correct, Ecbert was the one who managed to subdue Mercia at least for some time (not permanently, though) as well as a couple minor kingdoms like Kent. The BS part was that Judith was Aelle’s daughter.

    • I totally agree with the Lagertha/Ragnar reunion. It was hilarious and poignant all-in-one, you really bought his reaction because it felt so genuine!

      I am definitely not on Team Horik. You have to wonder what he’s playing at, you know? Does he just like to stir the pot? Is he bored? It’s difficult to know what his endgame is.

      If Floki starts siding with Horik, I am going to flip my shit and some tables because that is not going to fly. I’m not sure where the hostility came from, either? It just seems completely random – or, maybe it’s been building and I haven’t really noticed. It might be centered around our beloved monk, but with him out of the picture right now (at least for the Vikings) it’s a bit weird that he’s still being moody about it. Honestly, those weird parts were probably the weakest part of the episode, because they just don’t fit at all.

  2. Honestly…I was disappointed by it. I guess mostly because it was so predictable. If I compare the scene with the blood eagle with crucified-Athelstan, the latter had way more of an impact. Because by the point they finally came to the blood eagle, I was all right, let’s get over it, while with Athelstan I was “holy shit, that’s real???????” It was a way higher shock effect. Not that the Blood Eagle was badly done, but I had no doubt that it would be happening, and pretty much everything which happened in the episode felt like stalling to me…with two exceptions, but I come to them later.
    1. We had next to no movement in the Bjorn arc…in fact, I was very disappointed that I gave the show too much credit for subtlety last week. And really, there is so much they could have built on concerning his relationship to Thorunn. If she hadn’t been with him, she might be dead, which would be doubly a reason for be angry with Ragnar, but it never gets addressed, neither gets addressed that she might have lost friends in the fire. Oh well, at least Bjorn called Ragnar out on the fact that “I wanted to tell you the very last moment” is not the same as trusting him with his plans.
    2. The Floki plot came pretty much out of nowhere. There was no built-up, no reason given, and since Athelstan is absent, it made no sense at all. The show is falling back into bad habits (it reminded me strongly of the Rollo/Siggy romance, which also happened out of the blue in the first season).
    3. Speaking of Athelstan….I am still waiting for Ecbert tapping into his knowledge about Ragnar.
    4. And speaking of Siggy and Rollo, how about clarifying where Rollo stands now? And does she honestly think that whoring herself out will sway Horik in any way? For someone who is so smart, she seems to be blind to the fact that Horik is using people and then throwing them away.
    5. And then there is Aslaug (I was first wondering how all the raindrops ended up in their weaving). Who is fearful of the Prophecy. Still. Most useless scene ever.

    See? A lot of time wasted on repeating what we already knew instead of moving the plot a little bit forward by clearing up some important aspects. And I am not even counting the useless “let’s pretend that I am scheming against Ragnar” plot, which pretty much lead to nowhere aside from cementing again that Horik is a giant dick.

    The only parts I really liked was:
    1. The alliance…historically totally nonsense (the Judith Athelwulf married was not the daughter of King Aella), but at least Ecbert is finally doing something ambitious.
    2. Lagertha (are you sure about the new title? I kept thinking that it was a Nordic version of “Eye stab”) being back…though this built up would have been much better if they hadn’t put the “Will you accept me as an ally” line right in the promo. Geez, I wonder who the new earl might be…not!

    That’s not really enough to carry me through an episode….
    Sorry for the overly long post…I’m still very disappointed.

    • I guess I didn’t find it as predictable as you. While I don’t like the recent Floki drama at all (I agree that it makes no sense), I was actually prepared for them to really draw out the Jarl Borg plot for a couple of episodes; them not drawing it out and having him be killed at the end of this one was a huge surprise for me.

  3. What does it say about my job when hotdiggitydaffodil’s review of the latest Vikings episode is the highlight of my Friday morning?!
    Episode 7 really lived up to the hype with the Blood Eagle ritual. Pretty hard to watch…
    Now we have new questions to ponder before Episode 8 — like, is the friendship between Floki and Ragnar really coming apart? Will the alliance between Kings Eckbert and Aelle result in a fighting force that our favorite Viking pillagers can’t handle on their next trip to England? And what about Aslaug’s troubled pregnancy? So much to think about …

    • I’m not sure what it says about your job, but consider me flattered!

      I feel like Athelstan is going to try to sway Ecbert away from waging war with Ragnar, whether or not it will be successful and whether or not it will end up reflecting poorly on him later (after all, I feel like Athelstan has been skating on thin ice in England for a while) is a totally different matter. Also, I REALLY hope Floki starts coming to his senses! This weird animosity has got to go. I also will not accept he and Horik becoming BFFs.

  4. Was it just me or did Floki look extremely peeved (full of disapproval??) during the Blood Eagle? Like he’s very disappointed that his best friend would actually “go there”? Speaking of which, what was up with the rodent-torture? Is Ragnar going off the deep end? He is getting progressively more sadistic as time goes on which is giving me the heebie-jeebies. Just my random speculations. Great episode though!

    • Floki was giving some seriously judgmental looks during the entire episode, even if I’m not sure why he’s suddenly anti-Ragnar. He’s getting progressively hard to read! I wish his miraculous eyeliner could give us some hints.

  5. Amazing summary! Can’t wait to watch. I was walking the dog so missed the episode. Altho Floki? WTF? Not Floki. He has no reason to be jealous. Ragnar is his numero uno supporter and BFF. And Athelstan is all gone.
    Hmmm. I knew this would happen with Lagertha! I just knew it! Yay!

  6. Love how this season is turning out. They are definitely setting up Ragnor’s historical end with all the snake imagery just like the eagle imagery with Borg. Since it’s the History channel, we’ll probably see Rollo conquer Northern France, Bjorn sacks Italy, and the yet not born Ivar the Boneless fight Alfred the Great in season 3 and 4….

    • Hmm, no I don’t think Ragnar will meet his fate just yet. There are enough stories attributed to him for at least another seasons worth of material before we go Vikings – The Next Generation.

      Depending on what happens in Wessex and with King Horik, maybe it’s time to go find new lands to the south of England. One of the deeds attributed to Ragnar is the sack of Paris after all.

  7. Good episode. My favorite part was Lagertha revealing herself as an earl. It will interesting to see what happens with her now.

    I’m also a bit confused by Floki’s sudden problem with Ragnar, but maybe he isn’t happy with how much Ragnar has changed? They did a good job with the Viking wedding, though. It seemed a lot more lively and fun than the Saxon one.

    I’ve also noticed all of the snake imagery- I wonder if that means Ragnar’s end might come this season? I think his sons are grown first, but history channel isn’t really following the legend that well.

    In regards to Ragnar bathing- the Norse actually had good hygiene and did bathe, even though they haven’t showed it much in this series.

    • I love Lagertha in a seat of power. It feels really organic and totally perfect, the unveiling scene was one of the strongest of the episode!

      You know, it might be linked to how much Ragnar has changed. After all, at the start of the series they were pretty much on the same playing field, but over time Ragnar has come into more and more power. I’m still not sure I buy it, though…Ragnar makes a point of including Floki in all of his activities, he’s definitely part of the inner circle.

      Ragnar dying at the end of this season would be crazy! I’m not sure the History Channel is so bold as to kill off the main character, but I suppose they might!

      I know that Vikings had better hygiene than a lot of cultures at that time, but I’m still going to chock it up to King Ecbert’s bath fascination rubbing off on him. ;)

      • I read one theory that Floki’s sudden dislike of Ragnar is part of some plan to root out Ragnar’s enemies, which makes more sense than jealousy or sudden dislike. Except I think he would have let Helga in on the plot.

        Well, I suppose Ecbert’s bath fascination *could* have rubbed off on Ragnar. It’s as good an explanation as any for Ragnar bathing this episode. :)

        Speaking of Ecbert, did anyone notice the expression on his face when Aelle was dribbling ale? I don’t think he likes him very much.

  8. Another wonderfull review. The ‘professional’ TV review sites could learn a thing or two from you in writing both entertaining and insightful. Or maybe send you some freelance work.

    Let’s start by saying that unedited this episode ran a full 50 min. That’s about 8 min of stuff they cut out. Things lost in the name of more commercials seem to have mostly been a few scenes involving Athelstan.

    So, what’s up with Floki. Why does he seem to resent Ragnar all of a sudden. Not so long ago he sheltered a wounded Ragnar and his family in his hut. Is it the fact that Ragnar is now Earl that he resents. Well, as I see it, there are two possible explanations.

    a. It’s Floki, who knows why he does anything, he’s completly bonkers and talks to trees.

    b. As Kat noted, maybe Ragnar isn’t half as bad at “playing the game” as King Horik think and they are running what is known as a ‘long con’ to try and weed out possible traitors. A skilled boatbuilder like Floki is a real asset as the teaser for next week shows.

    I guess Bjorn is just following Ragnar’s example in thinking with the lower extremites. I mean Ragnar did set such a shining example a few years ago..

    And Aslaug is up the duff again, and if I reveal that the next episode is called “Boneless” i think we have a pretty good idea of the monster she’s carrying. Will be quite interesting to see which interpretation of “boneless” Michael Hirst goes with.

    I found the juxtaposition of the Christian and Pagan marriage ceremonies facinating. The Christian is very serious and high strung, and no one really looks like they’re having a good time. While our Viking friends really seem to be enjoying themselves. Smiles and laughs and cheers all around.

    I’m suprised the editors left the rough Rollo/Siggy hanky panky in. I’m at a loss as to where Siggy’s story is going. It’s either going to blow up in her face, or Horik will slip up and divulge something.important.

    There’s nothing strange with Ragnar bathing. The word for Saturday in the Scandinavian languages is derived from Old Norse “wash/bath day”

    And the high point of the episode, the reveal of the mysterious “Earl Ingstad”. Fantastic acting from both Travis and Katheryn here, the air is crackling with chemistry.

    King Horik is truly devious in the way he instilled Jarl Borg with false hope of salvation, Horik himself said that a man who has no hope does not truly suffer.

    And yeah…wow…the Blood Eagle scene. Horrifying, raw, primal brutality with Thorbjorn Harr knocking it out of park with Jarl Borgs final moments.

    So, the road to Wessex is set upon now. But I think they’re going to be a bit more scheming and manuevering before they set sail and I don’t think King Ecbert is going to be as much of a pushover as King Aella’s forces where. Ecbert’s knows the battlefield tactics of the Ceasar’s and will not be defeated by simple shield walls.

  9. I feel like Floki is doing his on purpose as a double agent for Ragnar. I don’t buy Floki turning on Ragmar and I think that this has all been engineered as a way for Ragnar to figure out what Horik is really up to, and to let him know when it’s time to strike.

    Then again, Floki is batshit insane.

  10. As a partner in Jarl Borg Apology, I am saddened at his loss.

    He was one of the most sympathetic vikings around in my opinion, even with the added weirdness of the skull thing.

    Too bad he didn’t even get a good fight to go out in. He was just too badass a shroom-munching berserker for our ‘heroes’ to risk taking on head-to-head.

    Anyway. Hopefully the English will kill everyone. I’m on Team England now. The great alliance of the crazy scenery-chewing wannabe-Robert-Baratheon with a snake pit (how many mice do those things have to eat??) and the Roman-obsessed scholar with a love of homoerotic bath scenes. Sure why not.

  11. I guess it is possible that Floki might be playing a game with Horik, but then the scene with he and Helga doesn’t really fit, at least imo. He flatly told Helga that he didn’t want Ragnar to be at the wedding. I wouldn’t think he wouldn’t tell her about the plot.

    The only other thing that I can think of is that Floki was still really pissed at Rollo. When Ragnar decided to let him back in his good graces, he may have further alienated Floki. However, I’m just guessing because I never really saw that in the show.

    I’m with Swan a little bit. The Floki deal isn’t the first time I have called ‘foul’ on the show for taking what seems like a shortcut. We’re missing a lot of buildup scenes that will pay off later when big changes happen. It’s almost like the show has gotten a little lazy or in too much of a hurry. This Floki thing came out of nowhere. The Monklestan warrior scene came out of nowhere. Things like this begin to add up. I just think they need to slow down a little bit. I don’t think the fans of the show are going anywhere even if we don’t have a fight scene every week.

    You remember the way they built up the Rollo betrayal? He didn’t just show up in episode 9 and start acting like he wanted his own kingdom. We had scenes which allowed us to mentally grasp the depth and conflict of his character. We all totally bought it, but we would have totally bought it the other way as well. That’s the kind of storytelling that has kind of been lacking this season. We were still surprised and intrigued even though we had the information.

    The actors are carrying the show a little bit imo. The leads are nailing it for me. I already mentioned Fimmel and Winnick, but Harr has been exceptional, Skarsgard has nailed Floki imo (that last scene with Helga was the best yet), and I love Linus Roache as Ecbert.

    Anyway, I hope Horik gets donkey punched soon.

    • You might be on to something. Forgiving Rollo is pretty much the only major insult to Floki that Ragnar has ever done.

  12. Love the show, but I mainly watch it because of Ragnar… if they kill of the main character I will stop watching.

  13. The fan-base expands: yesterday I saw a car with a Wisconsin vanity plate LGTHRA (only six letters allowed, what else might it refer to)? Also got a second look at episode 7, did you see those contemporary martial arts moves the shield-maidens were learning?

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