It’s time. Do you know what time it is? Well, by the time you read this it will be passed the time I’m talking about, but for me it’s time. It’s time to grab a glass of wine (the sudden surge of out-of-weather heat pushing me towards white on this lovely Thursday night), it’s time for me to grab some salty popcorn, and it’s time for another Vikings finale. Has it already been ten weeks? It’s hard to believe. With the support of all of you, they’ve flown by. We’ve had our plotline ups and our dramatic downs, but in between there were glimmers of hope – like when Ragnar didn’t kill his infant and Jarl Borg frenched the skull of his First Wife. Good times. And now, we’re here.
Will King Horik’s shoddy brand of villainy (mustache twirling and damsel tied to the railroads not pictured, though implied) prevail? Will Siggy’s choice in men come back to haunt her again? Will Floki’s dramatic eyeliner truly transport him to the darkside? Will Porunn lift some mad weights to channel Lagertha and inspire some seriously Freudian feelings in Bjorn? There is one way to find out and that’s with the long anticipated – 10080 minutes is a long time in my mind – and that’s to get right down to it! Vikings Season 2, Episode 10: The Lord’s Prayer. Glass of wine in hand and tentatively prepared for an emotional rollercoaster, let’s get this party started.
We start where we left off: Kattegat. After a long stay in England, we ended last episode with docking in Kattegat and indulging in what Vikings do best after raids (and – we learned – after failed raids): raging. The liquored flowed and so did the drama, and now we have to contend with the aftermath.
Helga (Maude Hirst), carrying a screaming child, makes her way to a resting Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård), who is sleeping after the arduous journey back. Gently, she urges him back to the land of the living and introduces him to their child, of whom she gave birth to while he was away perfecting his cosmetic game. “We have a child?” he asks with giant, deer-in-the-headlights eyes. “Yes, we have a child,” because Helga did not sit through Viking childbirth to pretend like their little girl didn’t happen. When Floki takes the little girl from Helga’s arms and holds her in his (“I don’t want to drop it,” “you won’t.” swoon), the tone turns slightly ominous when his mood sours. Helga takes the child back and asks about what they should name her, but Floki has already transported himself to Flokiland, which seems straight out of a Tim Burton movie, back when his work was original and not at all grating.
“Angrboða,” he mutters. It’s the name of Loki’s first wife, because naming your child a name that means “she-who-offers-sorrow” isn’t depressing, foreboding, or setting her up for a host of psychological issues. Floki tells Helga that she was a great giantess (though Helga thinks it’s grim because people thought Angrboða evil) and she accepts; she then requests that he comes back to their home to get to know their baby girl, but Floki and his eyeliner shake his head. Also, he hisses at Helga and tells her to go away and stay away from Kattegat until further notice; I’ve heard that in Cat-tegat, hissing is a sign of affection…I don’t think it’s the same here.
Thoroughly freaked and probably appearing on the next episode Investigation Discovery’s Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry? She takes Angrboða and slowly walks away from her husband, while he takes a few deep breaths and heaves some heavy sighs.
Well, one thing is clear, Floki does not want Helga around Kattegat. Also: what the hell? That is not the way to treat the woman who just gave birth to your baby! At least give her a hug!
Floki works in mysterious ways. Possibly evil ways, but they remain mysterious all the same.
Yet, lo’! A ship approaches!
It’s full of women!
It’s the womenfolk and some kids from the land of Horik! Horik’s wife, his children, and some other esteemed choices dock at Kattegat and are welcomed heartily by a fur stole-wearing Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) and a mead swigging Ragnar (Travis Fimmel). Happily, Horik (Donal Logue) introduces Kattegat to his family – he beams with pride. He tells Ragnar that he views himself, Ragnar, and Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick, looking flawless as ever) as equals, because he loves throwing that word around as long as he can use the work King and trump all their opinions.
He preaches the importance of family, of the lands that beg for their exploration.
Okay, but I can’t take his pro-family stance seriously when last episode he was talking about how he’d revel in the death of Bjorn. You preach about respecting family without also respecting the familial bonds of others.
Or you can, because you’re a politician and you’ve had practice spewing bullshit like a fountain. He then makes a joke that he will marry off his daughters to his sons, the crowd laughs, but Ragnar smiles in a way that says “I don’t buy what you’re selling.” Once the speech is done, Horik’s wife (I believe her name is Brunhilde or some alternative spelling therein) approaches the famous shieldmaiden Lagertha and they exchange laughs at Earl Sigvard’s expense and I echo their cackles.
Not so subtly, Floki calls Horik into counsil. Floki wants to know the terms of their proposition, but there is an issue of whether or not Horik can trust (ah, there’s that word again!) Floki – Floki huffs off and Ragnar watches from his corner, smirking.
There is no possible way that Ragnar doesn’t know what’s going on.
Shhh. Time will tell if tonight will be a one glass night or a one bottle night.
The next morning, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) finds Porunn (Gaia Weiss) and asks her what she plans on doing with her freedom wink wink nudge nudge, but he’s met with results that are perhaps…not so great. You see, she tells him, when she was a slave and he treated her like she was a person, she totally loved him then – but now that she’s free, she can have her pick of a man. Which means she won’t choose the broad shouldered, sassy, level-headed Bjorn. Right. Okay girl, your choices are your own. He responds bitterly with, “there are plenty of other women,” and she responds with “that was your first mistake,” because women are complicated and speak in riddles, people. Moral of the story.
Later, there’s drunken party with people dancing around a bonfire in gaudy furs and twirling around and I want to go there. Before we can get lost in the fun the people in this television show are having, Floki approaches Torstein (Jefferson Hall), who is in the process of wooing two women into bed with him. He’s down for the pleasure they’ll offer, no strings attached. Also related to love and sex: Siggy hits on King Horik –
Girl. Your tastes.
– and she rebuffs him.
She tries to shake it off, probably going to whine to a bedridden Rollo.
Meanwhile, Floki is roaming the floor with horn full of alcohol in hand. He approaches Athelstan (George Blagden), still probably shaking off his sea legs and getting used to the feeling of his neck sans golden crucifix, and asks him why he returned. The writers have been pushing for Floki to loathe everything Athelstan touches this season, so it’s no surprise that he’s not happy to see the Monkle back in town. Athelstan tries to leave his piercing gaze, but he doesn’t leave without hearing Floki tell him that he betrayed the gods, no one wants him there, and it’s his fault that Rollo’s going to die.
Actually, it’s Horik’s fault he’s mortally wounded.
Shhh. Let them blame the Christian-Pagan for all their problems.
Pouring more liquor for himself and getting suitably sloshed, Floki is then approached by King Horik who wants proof of his devotion to him. How can he prove it? By killing someone who matters. Obviously. That was my logical jump as well.
We then pan to Ragnar, because Horik obviously wants to cart his skull around like Jarl Borg did his first wife. Floki’s eyes make their way around the room, but not before settling on Aslaug.
Someone who matters and he picks her?
Hey now. She’s trying.
Because this is a King Horik-centric episode, we then cut to Floki, Ragnar, Bjorn, Athelstan, and Torstein all playing a game where they flip a coin into a bucket and he threateningly watches on. People? Having fun? Not on his watch. Later, he pressures Floki for his assassination choice and he tells him that he’s made his decision. His black eyeliner flickers menacingly in the daylight and he grins while Horik walks away.
I’ve always wanted a Floki episode, but I’m not sure this is how I wanted it.
He’s pretty captivating in a crazy, hippie way, though. After he talks to Horik, he loses himself in the wilderness, going on a hike to consult his father or the gods about his upcoming decision, no doubt.
England is on the discussion table back in Kattegat; Bjorn proposes that those who wish to farm will be taken to the land that’s divvied between them in England to sow in the fertile soil, while those who don’t want to farm go to battle with Princess Kwenthrith in Mercia if they so desire. Horik still seems displeased, wanting to claim the land without going to the aide of Ecbert, even if Athelstan tells them that Ecbert is honest in his desire to raid with them and not throw them under the Viking bus.
Lagertha asserts that those who wish to farm should do so and those who wish to stay in England should also do so, but otherwise they should explore and raid independently.
I like when she takes a leadership role, she suits it well.
Later, Floki visits a bedridden Rollo (Clive Standen). He’s alive, but it’s unclear whether or not he will ever walk again. He urges Siggy to get some sleep while he watches over Rollo. Considering their checkered past, Siggy’s hesitation is founded, but she eventually succumbs and allows Floki to watch over the once sturdy warrior. When Siggy’s out of earshot, Floki recounts their harder times between each other – Floki tells Rollo that he’s brought him the food of the gods (it looks like a mushroom?) and proceeds to forcefully make Rollo chew on it while he raves his hand ominously in the air. We’re taken away from the scene before we find out whether or not Floki has committed friendricide or has truly helped Rollo with his voodoo (read: the Viking equivalent of voodoo) magic.
We also see him give a child trinkets to give to Torstein, because who does he kill? It’s a mystery! He urges the child to keep it a secret, lest he have poison eternally dripped onto his face by an angry snake. In that moment, we see Torstein eat a similar mushroom to the one Rollo consumed earlier.
Cut to: Torstein and his vomit sprawled on the ground and Ragnar proclaiming his murder.
Nooo! Even though he hardly had a personality and was a half-step above a stock character, I liked that burly blonde!
Ragnar and Bjorn are understandably upset by the death of their longstanding friend and the kid that gave Torstein the mushroom looks like he’s about to repeat the process and also puke, but he keeps his mouth shut.
Later, Horik approaches Floki. Now that he has his promise of trust, he is willing to let him in on his visions of grandeur.
This seems too easy.
In a way, it does.
Horik then spills the beans like he’s sprung a leak (just go with that metaphor), telling Floki that he plans on killing Ragnar, Lagertha, Bjorn “Ironside,” Aslaug, “all their bastard children,” the entire village. He had no intention of pretending that there was an alliance between them all and wants them dead, the sooner the better. He tells Floki to get on finding a way to kill Bjorn (he knows he “will manage”) and tells Floki that they should be ready for a bloodbath on the morrow.
What would Helga tell you, Floki? Hmm? She would just stare at you with her perfect beachy waves and judge.
While a storm rages, Aslaug and Lagertha meat on the coastline of Kattegat. Aslaug tells Lagertha that the gods are coming, but it’s something she already knows.
Of course, while emotional turmoil rages within Kattegat, hormones must also rage. Bjorn chases down Porunn (with enough persistence she’ll crack, right?) and apologizes for what he said; obviously he doesn’t want anyone other than her, but she tells him that all she desires from him is respect. She doesn’t want to be worshipped, she wants to be treated as an equal, because Bjorn really does want to bone his mother, apparently. She wants him to fight her, he wonder what the hell she’s talking about.
Enough about that for this moment, let’s cut to a not-dead Rollo attempting to hobble around on clutches. He stumbles and Siggy tells him not to give up. Rollo asks her why she cares whether or not he gives up and Siggy gives him an honest answer – she doesn’t know. She doesn’t know, but feels that he might still be useful to her somehow, because that’s true love in the making. Rollo smiles beside himself and asks “to whom?” It’s a good question. Siggy, like Floki in recent episodes, is nonsensical at best.
Outside, Horik approaches Siggy demanding the secrets to the inner workings of Ragnar. Because it’s obvious (and it really is), she tells Horik that it’s Ragnar’s children that serve as his Kryptonite. Duh.
And then Horik tells Siggy that she’s to kill Ragnar’s sons (the children sons, at least) at sunset. In return, Horik tells Siggy that he will marry her, thereby restoring her power in society. He hands her a horn-handled dagger seemingly custom made for the opportunity; you know Horik has been thinking of this moment since episode two.
Siggy’s taste in men is as flawless as ever. She’s definitely not as stupid as Horik thinks she is though; though she might act as such, Siggy is anything but a pawn.
I agree. I think underestimating Siggy is a Kattegat-wide disease. However, the status of queen is probably, definitely tempting to the power hungry Siggy.
Off in a ferny, watery landscape, Bjorn and Porunn use fighting as foreplay before getting down and dirty with each other in the wilderness. I’m sorry, I’m so for being a feminist and being a powerful womanly figure, but we know so little about Porunn at this point in time (she was a slave, Bjorn fell in love with her, they got busy, then she was freed, now she’s a ~warrior) that I just can’t but it. That said, the actress has a fierce set of eyebrows on her and wears leather jerkins well (bringing High Fashion to Scandinavia? Sign. Me. Up. I’m all for looking like a Free People catalogue), so I hope she sticks around. Also, she makes Bjorn weak in the knees and that’s sort of cute.
Know what’s not cute? Floki snooping in on their happy private time. Dude, you really have been spending too much time around Horik.
Just accept the way Bjorn looks without a shirt and allow it to wash away any sense of creepiness.
You know, I still feel like I watched Bjorn grow up, so even though his body is totally delectable – in the way fresh, still warm croissants are in the morning – I still feel incredibly dirty whenever I have anything more drastic than a G-rated thought about him.
Okay, I’m going to need a minute.
Phew, I’m good now.
Right, King Horik. That will chafe any willy. Privately, he tells his son about a sword that is destined to be his; the catch? Killing the Lothbrok family. His son, punchable face and all, seems ready for the challenge – if his treatment of King Ecbert’s son is any indication, he enjoys the brutality of bloodshed. Horik tells his son that every member of the family must be killed, for fear that any survivor of the lineage will rise again one day and destroy them.
Elsewhere, Ragnar asks Athelstan to teach him one of his Christian prayers for the sake of learning. If there’s one thing I’ve always liked about Ragnar, it’s his genuine curiosity of other cultures. I don’t know what it says about me when I say that Ragnar’s purest interactions are when matters of the heart are involved, however, those are the moments that I can’t turn my head away from the screen. Dutifully, Athelstan teaches him the Lord’s Prayer, while beneath the words more ships arrive upon Kattegat’s swords. Guys, I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling violence in my bones.
Again, juxtaposition works beautifully in this show.
Indeed, there’s something eerie in the way Siggy rushes Aslaug’s children away, the way Queen Horik is laced into her battle armor, in the way douchecanoe Horik Jr. watches his kinsmen come to their aide, in the way Athelstan urges Ragnar to say “forever and ever, amen.” Man, when the writers get it right, they really get it right.
In the twilight, Horik’s men line up around Kattegat. Surprisingly, they land a couple stealthy kills while they make their way through the township.
Think about it. Throughout the season, Horik has been as subtle as a tidal wave. Those he wishes to be in cahoots with, he converses with in public. He openly allies himself with the I-hate-you-just-kidding-I-need-you Jarl Borg. He makes his disdain for Ragnar public. He openly defies the good of the commonwealth of Kattegat. He is the most obvious villain since Skeletor.
Honestly, I’m impressed that he knows how to be the least bit stealthy. So, on Ragnar’s end, there are notable (well, nameless extras) casualties as Horik’s men invade Kattegat. We see a wounded Rollo sitting up in bed and reaching for his axe (go out fighting!), we see Athelstan plunging an axe into the ribcages of infiltrators, we see Lagertha surrounded by equally foxy shieldmaidens with their gamefaces on. It’s at this time that oh, it dawns on me, Ragnar totally saw this coming. Huzzah, protagonist vision!
I imagine that’s something like ESP.
So, as all the warriors are awake and ready for a fight, there is no denying the fight that will occur between Camp Horik vs. Everyone Else. Lagertha attacks Horik’s wife (if there’s anything the James Bond franchise taught us, it’s that menfolk can’t resist a catfight) and wins because obviously was this even a question get out of here. Flawless Lagertha always wins. Lagertha goes back into the guest chambers, where the children of King Horik are cowering. However, upon orders from Ragnar, she retreats.
In the alleys of Kattegat, Floki appears beside Bjorn – when asked where he’s been, Floki utters, “looking after you, like I promised your father.” COULD THIS BE? COULD THIS BE OUR FLOKI?
I knew there was a reason he didn’t want Helga and his baby to stay in Kattegat! He knew this would happen all along!
EEEEEEEEE! (that’s the sound of my internal excitement and – yes – it only comes in cull capitalization)
Horik storms the main chamber of Ragnar, only to be met with a living, breathing, hooded Torstein. GOTCHA!! Oh, and then Horik’s extra men are killed. Silhouetted, Floki appears. “Floki, you have betrayed the gods,” Horik says.
“No, King Horik,” Floki starts, his chin tilted towards the floor and his eyes wide, “I only betrayed you.”
And then I hear angels singing, the night sky above Portland part their ever-present clouds and I feel like I have seen the light (at night). Finally, it is confirmed, there is no way Floki has betrayed us, because there was never a question. You know, I owe my doubt of his betrayal to your comment commenters, you have saved me many an erratic heartbeat. At last, at least, Floki is back at last! UGH, I could write an entire rant-post about how ill-characterized his betrayal was, but I see that there was no need to worry.
Unfortunately, I feel like adding that twist into the series added a weird, unbelievable twist to the latter part of this season. Every scene with Floki was poisoned by this completely out-of-character energy emitting from him; sure, in the end everything worked out fine with Floki and Ragnar, but at what cost of the cohesiveness of the show.
Hey, internal monologue, who ordered you to talk? I’m over here gushing about how Floki isn’t going to die this season!
Of course, after Floki’s appearance, Ragnar and Aslaug soon appear behind our favorite deadhead. Followed by a belated appearance from Siggy, who gifts Ragnar with the dagger Horik gave her to kill Ragnar’s children with. WHELP, that didn’t backfire on you at all, huh?
Siggy. Girl. I didn’t miss that smirk.
King Horik knows his fate and only requests that his son, ol’ PunchableFace, be spared from death. Eh, well, at least he knows he isn’t getting the blood eagle treatment, there aren’t nearly enough candles in the main hall for that to be the case. Lagertha, Aslaug, Born, and Ragnar seem to consider it while Horik let’s down his sword and they all take turns hatcheting (seems like an appropriate word) Horik on his ascent to Ragnar. I’m sorry, now that Horik’s fate is confirmed, all I can feel is pure giddiness. Worst. Villain. Ever. Gone. YEEEE!!
Ragnar is not left alone with Horik, a guard holds his son to watch as his fatgher is disemboweled and beaten to death. If there is one thing people should have learned by now, it’s to not fuck with Ragnar and his family. Bjorn, released from the main Horik scene with Ragnar, checks on his children in the Murder Guest House, only to find them all murdered. Though I hated Horik (and yes, Ragnar’s still hacking away at him as I type), I have mixed feelings about teenagers being murdered because of their parentage.
During this time, Bjorn finds the sword that Horik was boasting about to his son; we’re left to assume that he takes the gold-handled sword for himself while Ragnar – spattered with the blood of his enemy – looks into the camera and has a vision of himself, with the sword, upon a steep-edged cliff that J.R.R. Tolkien would be proud of.
That image, a steely eyed Ragnar looking into the camera as he sits, donned with fur, upon the edge of a steep cliff, is what we end the season with. What will next season bring? (Hopefully) more formidable opponents, a French invasion, and the fate of King Horik’s punk son. It’s just a shame we have to wait so long for it!
Wait. That’s it? That’s it? I want more!
Yup, bloodied and troubled, Ragnar’s face is the one we’re left with.
I’m sorry, that’s just the way it is.
What am I going to do until season 3 comes out?
Do you know what you’re going to do? Well, let me start off by saying this: you guys, my commenters, my readers, my followers, are all amazing. You’re awesome. When I have a bad week, I can always count on you guys to brighten up my Friday with your kind words, amazing insight, and hilarious takes on this show that brought us together. I don’t want to get sentimental (too late!), but I just want to extend my heartfelt and sincere thanks for all of the support you’ve shown over the past couple months. You guys are rock stars and I wish I could write sonnets about every single one of you extoling your boundless amazingness; alas, I can’t. All I can hope for is your continued support up-to and following the Season 3 premier!
And now is where I also ask, what would you like me to review next? I’ve already had one request for Black Sails (which I do intend on watching!), but I’m also open to other ideas! If there a direction you’d like myself – and Hot Diggity Daffodil by extension – go towards?
Right. Vikings. Wow! Another season down, at least one more to go…how did this finale stack up to your expectations? Was there enough gore and sex? Not enough gore and sex? I’d love to hear what you have to say!
Wait, wait, wait! You can’t get away that easily! What is your rating for this episode and the season as a whole?
Hm! That’s a good question. This finale finally rounded up and rounded off some of the more complicated plotlines (nonsensical traitor Floki, Siggy’s allegiance, Horik’s fate) while tempting bait towards next season (please don’t tell me Kwenthrith’s men will face death by snoo snoo, wait! Ecbert’s alliance can’t be flawless, and what happened to Horik’s son?) so, honestly, I can’t complain. Though I patently object to the plotline with Floki (it was straight out of left field and made no sense character-wise, taking me out of some of the scenes he was featured in), there were other aspects of this season that were spot on; the cinematography was amazing, Ragnar’s love of his children pulled at my heart, Ecbert’s knowledge of military tactics was compelling at the very least, and Lagertha was Lagertha and that is all I can bring myself to say about that. I give this episode eighteen hatchetings out of twenty-two and I give the overall season a strong rating of eleven out of thirteen ravens. Will you see me next season? Oh. Hel-yeah!
But, what did you guys think of the somewhat quiet end of the season? Will you be a willing watcher of season 3?
(seriously, though. Thank you guys so much for these past ten weeks. I can’t say that enough! What will I do without all of you?!)