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Vikings Review: Kattegat Reclaimed

by at .  Updated at . Comments

Lagertha and Bjorn had a few moments to reunite with old friends, on Vikings this week before Ragnar arrived and ended the pleasantries. They've got an attack to plan after, all right?!?

Vikings Season 2 Episode 5 brought everyone together for the first time this season, if only briefly. Jarl Borg was sent packing, while Athelstan is slowly slipping into madness.

There were plenty of visions and prophecies to go around as well.

I am really enjoying this new and improved Rollo. It's like the opening battle this season exorcised all his demons and he's finally on the right path.

The expression on Clive Standen's face as he greets Lagertha and Bjorn after many years was wonderful. There's a peace there that didn't exist before and he carries himself in a completely different manner. I like this guy, and I can see him becoming a leader in his own right.

Lagertha is pleased to see Siggy but when Aslaug catches her eye, she walks over to the princess. The two women share a moment, as Aslaug introduces Lagertha to her boys. Even Bjorn behaves admirably toward the princess, which must have been difficult for him.

Ragnar puts an end to the reunion because he is eager to plan his attack. It was a wise move to destroy Jarl Borg's food supply rather than attack him head on. Ragnar tasks two men with creating a diversion, while he and Bjorn set fire to Borg's grain. That axe to the face was impressive right? It seemed as though Ragnar wanted to keep Bjorn close, to test him. Does he think his son can not handle himself?

Jarl Borg and his men ride out to an open field where they are greeted by Floki, Rollo, Ragnar and the others. I'm not sure why Ragnar didn't have enough men before, then all of a sudden there's an army behind him as they meet Borg in battle. Was it more about the element of surprise?

As all the battles in Vikings Season 2, tonight's was well choreographed yet chaotic. Organized chaos I guess I'd call it. The cast says they train for hours for these fights, yet when the camera rolls everyone just goes crazy. Ragnar and Lagertha spent much of the battle looking over their shoulder for Bjorn.

They were too distracted worrying about their son to be out there. At one point, Bjorn falls to the ground and Ragnar rushes to his side shouting for him to get up. Ragnar spots Borg and goes after him, but realizing he'd been defeated Borg high tails it out of there.

Rollo: You fought well today Bjorn.
Bjorn: Thank you uncle.
Ragnar: You have a lot to learn.

Ragnar and his family return victorious to Kattegat and the people seem genuinely happy to see them. Living under Jarl Borg's rule must have been very different, otherwise why the fuss? Why would the townsfolk be so glad that Ragnar's returned?

Meanwhile over in Wessex, King Ecbert seeks Athelstan's council regarding a young woman left scarred by her husband. He asks how the Pagan's would handle this situation. Isn't it interesting how Athelstan has come full circle? Not long ago he was advising Ragnar regarding Christians and their beliefs. This goes to show us just how similar Ragnar and King Ecbert really are.

Athelstan has a conversation with Ecbert's son, Aethelwulf, about going back to Northumbria with them. The former monk, now wearing a monk's clothes again, has a vision of the virgin Mary coming towards him. She turns out to be the scarred girl from earlier wanting to thank him.

A bit later, Athelstan's visions continue during mass. When the bishop places the body of Christ on his tongue, he spits it out, but not before Aethelwulf catches him. You know this is going to mean trouble down the line. I'm honestly not sure what to make of Athelstan's visions? What about that demon that scratched him on the face? Is our tiny Viking suffering a psychotic break?

The crowds gather in the town square at Kattegat. Rollo offers up one of Borg's men as a sacrifice to the gods for their victory in battle.

Ragnar stops the execution, but only to see if his son has the stomach to behead their prisoner himself. Bjorn completes the task, no questions asked yet Ragnar seems rather unimpressed. Apparently, his father is harboring some resentment toward Bjorn.

Is it because his son chose to leave with Lagertha instead of remaining by his side? Could it be he thinks living in Scandinavia with Earl Sigvard has made him spoiled or weak? Perhaps it's a combination of all these things. Either way, Bjorn is going to have to work hard to earn his place and his father's respect.

Ragnar visits the Seer and this scene provides some rare comic relief, as the Seer tells a story Ragnar quickly tires of. I found the story of the feet incredibly amusing, if only to watch Travis Fimmel's expressions. For Ragnar it's simple, he loves both these women, both have given him sons... he wants them both. The Seer tells him very matter-of-factly, you're fooling yourself if you think the choice is yours to make.

While Bjorn plays with his little half-brothers, Aslaug talks of her next pregnancy and a fearful prophecy. I'm not sure which prophecy she was referring to. Is this a prophecy we have not heard about yet?

Ragnar visits Rollo and Siggy to talk to Lagertha. He sees how happy his son is now that he's home and is wondering what Lagertha plans to do.

Lagertha: Bjorn is very happy here.
Ragnar: Then he should stay. You both should stay.
Lagertha: Your wife will not be happy.
Ragnar: I imagine not.

A warrior approaches Ragnar in the main hall and talks of the Wessex slaughter. King Horik escaped but when Ragnar asks about Athelstan, the man has no idea who he is talking about. It's about time Ragnar remembered his friend. Will he and his men head back to Wessex to bring the tiny Viking home?

Lagertha and Bjorn soon enter and Ragnar's ex-wife tells him she has come to a decision. Bjorn wants to stay and who can blame him? She gives her permission and asks that Ragnar look after him. It was a very emotional speech and I thought Katheryn Winnick played it beautifully. While Lagertha claims it's her responsibility to return to her husband, I have a feeling it's more about settling a score.

Before she rides off, Aslaug thanks Lagertha for everything and they share a tender moment. Is there peace on the horizon for these two strong women?

Now it's time to see what you thought of the episode. Hit the comments below and let me know what your favorite moment from tonight's show was. Want to check out the episode again or catch one you might have missed? Watch Vikings online right here at TV Fanatic!

Will Lagertha kill Earl Sigvard and return to Kattegat for good?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (28 Votes)

Henry A. Otero is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Okay - so just want to make sure everyone saw that last Tuesday they announced Season 3! Made my week last week!

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Okay, forgive me it's a pain to watch TV at my house even with the show on the DVR I give up rewinding it to hear what's being said at times; anyone care to catch me up on Aslaug's prophecies? I understand her dad slayed a snake and she named her son after him but the rest I'm not informed of.

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@ Monica Galicia

It can help to use the closed caption.If your friends talk a lot or your hearing is not so clear anymore, that should help.~~Lucy

Hanko9
@ Monica Galicia

In Norse mythology, Sigurd slays the dragon Fafnir so Aslaug's prophecy was their son would bear the image of a snake in eye. She named him after her father. Next she saw Ragnar running towards her and knew he would be back from Wessex soon. The final prophecy we don't know yet, but since she has a pretty decent record so far they want us to be fearful of her words. Many think she will die in childbirth. We'll have to wait to find out.

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@ Henry A. Otero

Thank you!

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What the hell was going on with that FREAKY THING UNDER THE BED?!

Hanko9
@ Guest

I don't think we're supposed to know just yet. Is Athelstan having a mental breakdown or is it real? He did have a scratch on his face right?

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Oh yea...in two weeks the Vikings episode is titled "blood eagle". Google it...Norse torture tactic. Who gets it? Listen very closely to the seer in Episode 4 when he speaks to Jarl Borg about his future.

Hanko9
@ musicmom

Yep, I was aware of the episode title. If Episode 7 is when the Seer's prophecy for Jarl Borg happens, he'll be in a world of hurt. I'm curious to see how the History channel handles the "Blood Eagle," sounds way too graphic for television right?

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Lagertha will return. Aslaug is a brood mare, baby machine. Ragnar's heart belongs to his first wife. Loved the battle tactic when Borg's men receded and then went full bore forward to knock Lothbrok's army off baance and onto their butts! And the use of shields! Power! The creator of this show is a genius! I think I smell an Emmy!

Hanko9
@ musicmom

I totally agree, Lagertha will return once she takes care of business with her nasty husband Earl Sigvard. It's entirely possible that she brings about a coup d'état and kills Sigvard, taking over his territories in Scandinavia. The line... "The future is open, trust in the Gods," was Lagertha's way of making peace with Aslaug and letting her know... I'll be back! Her family is in Kattegat, I'm not sure she can stay away for long.

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@ musicmom

I am not an Aslaug fan. I much, much more admire Lagertha and would wish to be like her. But, Aslaug is human, She appears to be a good mother. Her sons are happy and loved. She is a princess, yet chose Ragner. Why? She saw in him what everyone sees him in - exception. And, she wanted to be part of that exception. I do not blame her. Only Lagertha appears to be able to separate herself from Ragner's overwhelming ability, courage, and ambition, and perhaps Rollo is learning how to do that also.

Hanko9
@ dcedar

Great point, which is why Ragnar loves Lagertha, I think... they are equals and she doesn't put up with his nonsense. I mentioned below that I don't dislike Aslaug, as many fans do. I see her as someone who's parents died when she was very young and always longed for a family connection. She's a lonely person, and connected with Ragnar. I think her "visions" have proven accurate and therefore she must have seen that Ragnar was her destiny and the father of her children. I think Alyssa Sutherland is doing a brilliant job as Aslaug, she doesn't get enough credit since fans don't like her character.

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Is that really how they fought back then? Only in head-on lines? Has that been researched, and found historically accurate? Ragnar and his small (original) group had a great opportunity to draw Borg and his forces into a frontal attack in the field, then save those extra forces to close in in them from both sides. Does that sort of strategy only arrive with the Romans?

Hanko9
@ Floki2

I'm not sure how historically accurate the battles are but seeing as this is the Dark Ages, they didn't have many options. Remember, the Vikings believed that fighting bravely gained them entrance to Valhalla. I imagine they were less interested in strategizing and more concerned with a putting on a good show for the Gods. By the way, the production does have a historical consultant. Though this is entertainment first, so whatever creates the best drama wins! I would venture a guess that, yes, the Romans were much better at planning their battles than the Vikings.

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Is that really how they fought back then? Head- on only? Seems so simplistic. Ragnar and the boys had a great opportunity to draw Birg and his mates into the field, then have the rest if his forces close is on them from both sides. Does that sort of strategy only come when the Romans show up?

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Is it just me, or is the seer different physically? I'm not sure it is the same actor, as the lips look different. Great review, Henry! I like, too,the comparisons drawn between Ragnar and Ecbert. I think Ragnar must go back and create an alliance of sorts - plus,he cannot leave Athelstan there. Ragnar definitely sees A as part of his clan. What is the deal with the messenger not knowing who A was? I thought that kind of odd. And what of the coming alliance between Ragnar and Jarl Borg? Lots of intriguing plot lines going on right now. And loved some of Fimmel's expressions this episode, both with the seer but also when interacting with Bjorn. Fimmel continues to impress!

Hanko9
@ Kris+N.

You're absolutely right Kris, great eye... his lips look different. However, actor John Kavanagh is still credited as playing the Seer this season: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm044... - could be they've toned down the makeup? I'm with you, Raggy's headed back to Wessex to get his friend. In the meantime, the scenes between Athelstan and King Ecbert are going to be fascinating right? I can't believe Ragnar will partner easily with Jarl Borg. Perhaps he goes along with this because he has so few warriors left and it's more important to rescue Athelstan? It's also possible he plans to do away with Borg while in England. Fimmel is a master, the kind of actor you can't take your eyes off and yes his expressions are priceless!

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@ Henry A. Otero

I think that the makeup on the lips was toned down to allow the actor to tell the long story without any slurring which happened in prior scenes with the heavily deformed lips.

Hanko9
@ NorthumbriaKing

Excellent point! He was much harder to understand last season, so that makes sense.

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What prophecy is Aslaug referring to? I suspect it's one we have not heard yet. Because she mentioned it after revealing that she was pregnant again, it could be a prophecy about that. In which case, I'm guessing that the prophecy says she will die in childbirth or that the son with the "snake" in his eye will be her last child (or Ragnar's last child). In any case, I've never liked Aslaug's character and I would be happy to see her gone--so I'm rooting for "dying in childbirth". As for Athelstan, he's been through so much I would be more worried about him if he wasn't showing symptoms. However, I also thought the hallucinations might be a sign of a psychotic break. In today's world he would be in serious jeopardy because of his "mental illness" (if that's truly what it is). But in many cultures back then they actually revered those with visions because they believed they were "touched by the gods". His character's development is extremely interesting and I'm looking forward to see where they take it.

Hanko9
@ Tina

Historically, Aslaug did give Ragnar four sons. Your theory that she dies in childbirth might be right on the money. I tried Googlin' Aslaug to learn how she died, but couldn't find anything. It's entirely possible they kill her off in childbirth. I personally don't dislike Aslaug, as many fans do. I see her as a woman who's parents died when she was very young and longed for a family connection. Upon meeting Ragnar and considering her "visions," she must have known he was her future husband and father of her children. It was her destiny and Lagertha was collateral damage. I completely agree that Athelstan's development has been incredibly interesting. He's one of my favorite characters, and I love the way George Blagden plays him.

Chris larrondo

Am I the only one that wanted to see Lagertha stay? I mean c'mon can't Ragnar have his cake and eat it 2. One shield maiden and one prissy figure :)

Hanko9
@ Chris Larrondo

I'm sure she will return, just needed to settle the score with her husband Sigvard. Unless, the plan is for her to take his place as Earl of Scandinavia... She's ambitious and pretty unstoppable, so ya never know.

Vikings Season 2 Episode 5 Quotes

Rollo: You fought well today Bjorn.
Bjorn: Thank you uncle.
Ragnar: You have a lot to learn.

Lagertha: Bjorn is very happy here.
Ragnar: Then he should stay. You both should stay.
Lagertha: Your wife will not be happy.
Ragnar: I imagine not.