Vikings “The Buddha”

If you are wondering what the title of this episode means, it’s called that because Hvitserk becomes a Buddhist.

No, really.

Yeah, remember when Ragnar somehow got a Chinese woman, possibly a princess, for a slave and briefly became an opium addict?  Well, by that same logic, Hvitserk meets an Asian man who tells him about the Buddha, even giving him a small figurine, and Hvitserk takes right to it.

Why not?  It’s not like Hvitserk has a personality of his own.  And the Buddha nicely matches Ivar’s chess piece that he got from Alfred way back when.

Is that relevant?  Sure.  Ivar also decided to attack Wessex, particularly since he heard Lagertha was there.  True, she disappeared, but she was there, and that means she probably still is there because even she can’t navigate a boat by herself.

Besides, this show keeps trying to make Wessex a Thing, and Wessex is as interesting as everything that’s happening on That Asshole Floki’s island…which is to say not much.  True, Alfred goes catatonic, as he apparently does from time to time, and his mother Judith responds in the most compassionate way possible by poisoning her other son, the one who actually does have the right to the throne since he actually is descended from real kings.  I do want to give the actor playing Alfred’s brother some credit.  He really did look like he didn’t want to hurt Alfred, just take his job in a bloodless coup.  Now, I know why Alfred is supposed to be so special, but why does anyone else believe it?  He seems like something of a wienie.

Let’s give Alfred credit for one thing though:  he kept his word and gave the Norsemen some land.  Ubbe is pleased, and he and Torvi are going to make a life for themselves there.  There’s a bit of Ragnar in Ubbe when he does this.  That was what Ragnar really wanted.  Land was real wealth.

It doesn’t sit well with Bjorn.  He wants to explore, and he doesn’t want to be a Christian.  That was also something from Ragnar.  Bjorn has yet another new love interest in the form of a shieldmaiden, now a widow, capturing during the previous episode’s battle.  But really, while Vikings hasn’t found anything, dramatically-speaking, to compensate for Ragnar’s death, it has done a decent job of showing how his sons all have aspects of his personality.  Ubbe is the peacemaker and farmer.  Bjorn is the explorer.  Ivar is the tactician.  And Hvitserk is…uh, the guy who flirts with other religions?

No one knows why Hvitserk is there.

But the scene where the two brothers part, complete with Bjorn apologizing to Torvi for being a crappy husband, well, it was nice.  The two have differences of opinion on how things should go, but they also respect and love each other as brothers should all the same.

At any rate, Bjorn and New Girlfriend Gunnhild leave Wessex and go to York where there’s a Viking settlement, there to team up with Harald (and wannabe Magnus) to go conquer Kattegat from Ivar.  Given Harald has his eye on Gunnhild, I am sure that will go smoothly.

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