Vikings – Review of Episode 5: Raid

“You live here now, this is your world”~Ragnar
“I would like to be a free man.” ~ Aethelred

We start the show off with another Ragnar-Aethelred heart-to-heart. Aethelred and the viewer get a brief lesson in Viking law about free men and slaves followed by a tense chat about Ragnar’s pending preparations.

“Let the man who thinks that he is descended from the Gods learn that he is human after all” ~ Earl Haraldson

As predicted, Haraldson attacks Ragnar’s village while Ragnar is off in the woods. He comes back only to find the village burning and his kinsmen slain. Ragnar is shot through the chest by an arrow after slaying eight men single handedly and Bjorn, Aethelred and Lagertha escape down river by hiding in a boat. When Haraldson calls him out of hiding, our hero Ragnar feins being weak, knocks down a few of Haraldson’s men and steal a horse! This guy is a machine! He’s the eighth century equivalent of the Terminator! And but of course, the scene wouldn’t be complete without him running into the very boat his family is hiding in as his “get away vehicle”. Ragnar’s near super-hero like powers that enable him to get out of every sticky situation continue to amaze me week after week. Nothing seems to get him down. It’s bordering on the ridiculous but I’m not going to lie, this is one part of the story I’m happy to overlook because it’s funny and cool to watch.

Earl Haraldson invites a hideous, old, ugly Swede with a strong British accent to his household to marry his beautiful daughter. Fantastic. Siggy is mortified at the bargain but sees that they need the alliance so they give their poor daughter over to the brute.

Meanwhile, Lagertha, Bjorn and Aethelred find Floki and try to save Ragnar from his brutal arrow wound. Ragnar’s kinsman comes to let him know that they are all being watched which is why Rollo hasn’t come to see him. Lastly, their raiding boat has been confiscated as a dowry for Haraldson’s daughter. After all this great news has been shared, and Aethelred gets a lesson in Viking religion, we move on to the inevitable….another Viking threesome. Yup, Floki invites the visiting kinsman into bed with him and his lady friend. It sure was fun to be a Viking!

Rollo returns during Haraldson’s daughter’s wedding to talk. He wants in on the fame and fortune and is willing to switch teams for the right price. After their little chat, Rollo goes to see Siggy thinking she fancies him but he’s rebuffed and warned that Haraldson wants him dead. She wasn’t kidding either. Rollo gets taken by Haraldson’s men outside and tortured. Ragnar’s finds out about Rollo’s fate and wants to avenge him. Even though everyone can see Haraldson is baiting him out into the open, Ragnar, being pretty damned invincible, takes the challenge and offers to meet Haraldson in battle one-on-one.

Another fun episode. The talks between Aethelred and Ragnar continue to be some of my favourite scenes. Haraldson is proving to be a pretty gruesome villain. He’s panicking but still managing to keep up appearances. Floki is still providing some comic relief with his usual brand of crazy and Ragnar is still kicking ass chopping down Viking baddies.

Any issues? The threesome thing again is obviously for ratings. I’m ┬ájust waiting for next week’s throwaway threesome scene. Also, I’m noticing that the makeup on the women is really over the top. Yeah, I get it, make up has been around well before the Viking era but c’mon… The make up is looking way to modern to be believable. Also, why is Floki wearing heavy eyeliner? What’s up with that? This isn’t a comic book/fantasy story so I don’t get why he’s in makeup. Historically accurate? Not remotely. Good fun and badass? Most definitely.

Peter’s Take: While this episode had strong action sequences – Ragnar is quite the warrior – it also had a few underdone plots, such as the relationship between Siggy and Rollo. It also left me with several questions, such as why the Earl thought it was necessary to kill all the other people at the village if he was only after Ragnar? Still, the show’s basic premise – the man fighting against his unjust lord – is well done.

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