Episode 7 of Vikings starts and we clearly know Ragnar knows Floki killed Athelstan. But of course, he’s not going to cash in on his vengeance early. We wait for episode 8 for that, when Floki’s plan fails and the Vikings cannot breach the gates. We then find out, in Ragnar’s conversation with the dead Athelstan, that he had bet on Floki’s failure from the beginning.
This seems a bit odd, considering that it’s in Ragnar’s best interests to raid Paris. The way to reconcile this, in my mind, is to think Ragnar actually did have faith in Floki’s wooden inventions. Floki did build the boats who let them sail west once upon a time in season 1, so we know he’s inventive. But at the same time, if he failed…which he did… then serve him right.
It seems to me that Ragnar is speaking more to Athelstan in death than he ever did in life. At first I was very disappointed in Athelstan’s death, but now I think it actually serves for huge character growth and exteriorization on the part of Ragnar. We get a glimpse into his mind through these conversations that we never actually had before.
The fighting scenes of episode 8 were great. The only thing I didn’t like was that the way it was shot led us to believe that both Rollo and Bjorn died. First with Rollo…the reaction was sort of like, ‘What, another major character bites the dust? Is that sane?’ and then with Bjorn, it was like… ‘Well, that’s not historically accurate. And didn’t the seer say Bjorn was going to succeed Ragnar?’
And then we learn that yes, in fact, Bjorn will live another day and that no, they haven’t upped the ante by killing Rollo off, but the fact that there is confusion takes away from the strength of this episode.
And then we have Lagertha… who got all weird and seductive on Kalf. Like, let’s have sex only if you accept the fact that I will kill you one day. Okaaayyy, Lagertha. Whatever you say.
Last but not least, there is Floki. It’s obvious the circumstances around him have caused his mental disease to go on a downward path. He’s losing his mind, and he’s losing it fast. I feel bad for him, and can’t help but hope that somehow he can get his sh*t together.
With two more episodes to go in this season, I’m excited to see how this will all wrap up and the story lines that will be set up for season 4.
Stay tuned for the next review!