OK, I gotta call BS on this show right now.
Two things jumped out at me here that struck me as wrong. First, we see Lagertha has remarried, and Bjorn is no longer an obnoxious, insufferable kid, but an adult who seems to be quiet instead of a punk-ass. Nothing wrong with that. I just find it hard to believe the woman who smacked around Ragnar, put Rollo in his place, and killed Knut would let her new husband slap her without so much as a single slap. She just…takes it? Why? What the fudge, man? I realize there’s a good chance this is just a set-up for when she finally does ice that dude’s ass, but it sure does seem wrong that she wouldn’t do it sooner. It’s been four years since she left Ragnar. Has he been hitting her all this time?
The second was, well, look, I know this show is called Vikings, and I know that in any given conflict, most likely the vikings will win against the Saxons and whoever because they’re freaking Vikings. But this episode has the usual Vikings mopping the floor with another small group of Saxon soldiers. I think the Vikings lose one, maybe two guys while sacking a church in Wessex. Even Athelstan is killing these guys. Nothing new there. It’s expected and almost boring.
But then at the end of the episode, Jarl Borg returns to Ragnar’s land to conquer the place in Ragnar’s place. Rollo is still there, maybe a little drunk, but while he gets Siggy to take Aslaug and Ragnar’s three younger sons and whoever else out to hide in the mountains while he mounts a defense with whoever he can, mostly women and the elderly, and though Jarl Borg has what looks like a larger, stronger force, and it’s supposed to be a massacre in the coming, still it looks like Rollo and the defenders, the weak and the leftover, manage to kill more invading Vikings than the presumably more experienced raiders Ragnar took to England manage to kill Englishmen. So, while Rollo has to ultimately flee to protect his brother’s family, it still appears as if the only people capable of killing Vikings are other Vikings. It gets old.
Also getting old? Floki. Henceforth to be known as That Asshole Floki. Why does this guy go on every raid? OK, he has no respect for Athelstan, and it’s debatable if he has respect for anybody, but he seems intent on taunting Christians everywhere he goes. King Horik is no fan of the Christian religion either, setting up a capture bishop to be used as target practice. Who brought the bishop to Horik? That Asshole Floki. Who put the relic bones of a dead saint’s hand on Athelstan after the fight? That Asshole Floki. Who probably deserves a good smack to the gullet more than anybody? That Asshole Floki. Who gave the bishop a quick mercy killing? Athelstan. Why did he have to? Possibly because of That Asshole Floki.
What is still promising? King Ecbert is not an idiot. He knows about the Northmen thanks to time spent with Charlemagne. He knows a few things about their tactics, and he’s decided to spy on them first rather than to rush out and attack them immediately. Yeah, one of his spies, sent with a bishop emissary, is really obvious about what he’s doing and gets an axe from Horik, but Ecbert seems to know the best way to possibly beat the Northmen is to study them first.
And Ragnar still seems like a decent sort. He helps a child hide from the other, much more murderous Vikings, and he figures that the rich soil of England is worth much more than all the gold and stuff they keep carting out of the West.
But really, Jarl Borg may be making payback against Ragnar, but he actually holds Horik more responsible for the no-raiding thing. Horik seems like a bad dude in many ways. Maybe Borg and Ragnar should work together instead.