After last week’s 2hr premiere this one went by pretty quickly right? Got your drinking horns ready? Let’s get to it:
Bjorn and Halfdan: The Naked and the Dead
We get a very brief glimpse of Bjorn and Halfdan on their journey, having a manly heart to heart that is an existential version of “Why are we here?” ~ “To Live.” That’s broken up by someone telling Bjorn it would be best if he sends half his fleet home so they don’t look like raiders and more like traders. But Bjorn feels naked without his ships, but as it’s pointed out – better naked than dead. Let’s raise a toast to this moment where two Viking warriors aren’t afraid to get in touch with their vulnerabilities, feeling naked, just wanting to live on this uncertain journey of life. Touching really. Skol!
Floki: Robinson Crusoe
Yep he’s still wandering aimlessly (guessing in Iceland), asking the Allfather why he’s there. Then he gets some freaky visions of rotting women with bees flying out of their mouths and another turning into a bunch of ravens (sorry I’m not up on Norse mythology enough to understand it all) and decides he’s supposed to be there to die. YAY! Oh, nope, false alarm people. Instead his hand that’s been festering and rotting is miraculously healed. yay. Let’s raise a glass, but not drink too much because that woman shooting bees out of her mouth might give me nightmares if I’m too drunk. Skol!
King Harald and Astrid: Beauty and the Beast
I mean seriously, it’s the Vikings version of a Disney classic. Young beauty kidnapped by a beastly, spoiled king. Surrounded by strange lands and people. He’s rough but somehow quite solicitous of her. Clothes are brought to her by women who basically just walk in, drop them and walk out like a conveyer belt. Then he’s waiting on her to join him for dinner, even asking a servant where she is. But in walks Astrid all decked out in the finery, everyone toasts her and eats, then she heads to bed. Harald follows, and gives her quite a chaste kiss for a Viking warrior king. And she slugs him. That’s my kind of beauty. Let’s raise a glass to this tale as old as time. I’ll be surprised if there’s an HEA here, but I’m refusing to look up their sagas to find out. Skol!
The Saxons: All Quiet on the Western Front
Oh Bishop Heahmund. So righteous, so full of piety, until you take him into a battle. Aethelwulf and company get the news that the Roman fortifications of York are still not being watched or repaired so they’re ready to go kill them some pagans. Yee-haw! So they go in and attack York, through some mist and rain. All is quiet, too quiet, but they split up and will rendezvous at the Church – of course. So Aethelwulf and co. walk down a little alley – always a good idea – and surprise! Arrows flying out of thin air, barricades being put up so the soldiers are trapped amidst more arrows, tar and fire, it’s a Viking welcome committee! Those who try to retreat wind up falling into pits of pikes which they get impaled on and then over by their own men trying to escape. Battle is brutal. Then Ivar is running through town on his chariot until he’s knocked off and essentially sits in the middle of the square and taunts the Saxon army to kill him. So they just stand and stare at him instead. Then his brothers show up, wait to see what might happen, and finally they attack and it’s MORTAL COMBAT! So while Ivar is sitting there covered in blood screaming like berserker, Heahmund sees him and they have a moment.
With those brooding looks it’s hard to tell what kind of moment, but I’ll go with “Imma kill you”. However, the Saxons were ready for this ambush so they retreat. Let’s raise a glass to the amazing moment where Vikings pays homage to the David Bowie classic Labyrinth while Ivar is up in the tower watching the battle below (which I cannot find one freaking pic, gif or video of except this – you have failed me internet!!!). You Labyrinth fans will know what I’m talking about…SKOL!
Ragnar’s Sons: Of Mice and Men
Meanwhile Ivar is setting slaves free because they whisper sweet nothings in his ear. And the Viking hordes are preparing because they know…The Saxons are coming, the Saxons are coming! (Sorry, had to). After the battle the brothers disagree about the next course of action Ivar suggesting they don’t trust the Saxons, so… Ubbe and Hvitserk go to the Saxons and try to broker peace.
That does not go well and they come back to the city after meekly running away from Heahmund (who doesn’t treat his guests very well, not politely at all) and his men. Ivar is ‘Nah-nah-nah I told you so’ and essentially Ubbe decides to go back to Kattegut (I do not feel this will go well), while Ivar with Hvitserk remaining by his side, keeps shouting “They all follow me” while Ubbe leaves. Someone get this guy a yellow raincoat and red balloon. They all follow him down here. So essentially two brothers stay to kill the Saxons and raid more lands. Let’s just raise a glass to raiding and pillaging. Skol!
Overall a good episode. I really feel that focusing on one or two plot points would’ve been better than so many. Did we really need the Bjorn scene? No. I feel that could’ve been rolled into an entire episode about where he is while his brothers are ripping themselves apart. But it was still entertaining and the battles are always great to watch because this show does not shy away from how horribly brutal it was and how in the midst of it you are on your own. Plus, who doesn’t like to watch Ivar go all psycho?
What about you? Did you think this was a good follow up to last week’s season premiere?
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