“Now we are ready and this summer we shall go to England” – Ragnar Lothbrok
This week’s episode begins by telling us that four years have now past since the event’s of last week’s show – Lagertha and Bjorn are still gone, but Ragnar now has a new son while Princess Aslaug is expecting another. Moreover, the ships are finally ready for Ragnar, along with King Horik and Jarl Borg to launch another attack on England.
Much of the first half of this episode is spent with all our Viking leaders gathering at Kattegat where feasts are being held and it seems everyone is uptight and glaring at each other. Watching this episode reminds of me of one of the main criticisms I had of last year’s episodes – too many things are happening to too many characters. For instance, take a look at what Siggy does during this episode – she confronts Rollo and convinces him to seek Ragnar’s forgiveness, secretly meets with King Horik and sleeps with him, and forms an uneasy ‘friendship’ with Aslaug – she is very busy for one of the less-than-main characters of the show.
The episode seems to cram as many as plot points as they can – Ragnar and Rollo get back together (sort of), Ragnar has deal with jealously from Aslaug, Ragnar has to tell Borg he can’t come on the raid because Horik doesn’t like the jarl, and through all that Ragnar has some time to teach Athelstan how to fight and consults the seer about the future of his sons. With all that going on it’s difficult for the characters to have any real development – they just have too much to do.
The second half of the episode has the Vikings reaching England after a terrible storm that scatters about half the ships. The remaining warriors land and soon are get into a decent battle scene with the men of Wessex in the middle of a forest. Afterwards we are introduced to King Ecbert who has a bad-ass look himself. So far the Vikings haven’t had too much difficulties with the Anglo-Saxon natives, so hopefully the King of Wessex might prove a better adversary.