Vikings Season 3 Episode 2 Review: The Wanderer

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One of the themes this week on Vikings Season 3 Episode 2 was dreams and they were disturbing.

With Princess Kwenthrith's uncle defeated, it was time to go after her brother, Burgred. The clever coward fled into the mountains in an attempt to draw the Vikings away from their ships. Will Ragnar and company follow him up there?

Lagertha settled into her little farm in Wessex, while King Ecbert turned on his kingly charms.

Poor Torstein, I had a feeling he would be our first Viking casualty this season. His struggle throughout the episode proved this to be true. Wasn't it odd the way Floki nonchalantly agreed to cut off his arm? I've never known what to make of the shipbuilder, but he proves wackier as the series progresses. The amputation was brutal. Ouch!

I found it a bit shocking that Princess Kwenthrith asked for her uncle's head. The things that she went through as his hands have obviously made her very unstable. Even Ragnar looked at her strangely, and Floki giggled when she attacked the severed head. I'm not sure what kind of a Queen she would make, though I doubt that's even King Ecbert's plan.

Ragnar: Why do you hate your uncle so much?
Kwenthrith: Do you think that my older brother was the only member of my family who raped me when I was a child? It was my uncle who first brought him to me. Since I was six years old he abused me. He violated my body and my soul.

If I were Princess Kwenthrith's brother, Burgred, I would have hauled ass at the site of those Viking boats; complete with decapitated heads, too. Wasn't Ragnar's expression priceless? "Survive first, love afterwards;" excellent advice Captain of the Guard dude.

Porunn is going to get herself killed; I have no doubt. Though Bjorn tells her she took too many risks, she thinks it's just because she's a woman. The way Bjorn asked her to marry him was hilarious. One minute she's this strong shield maiden, and the next the toughness melts away proving she's just a girl in love with a boy. Sadly, I don't think marriage or children is in the cards for these two. It's going to be heartbreaking when he loses her.

Back in Wessex, creepy King Ecbert continued to stare at Lagertha hungrily. It was smart of her to question the king about the original owners of their new land. Wouldn't they return to cause trouble? Lagertha continues to be one of the best written female characters on television.

Athelstan: He confesses he has had to remove several Saxon farmers from their lands.
Lagertha: Then ask him if they will not be hostile to us, and if so, will he guarantee the safety of our own farms and communities.
Athelstan: He will personally guarantee our safety and security.
Lagertha: I thank the king from the bottom of my heart. It was always Ragnar's dream to find a land to farm for our young folks, and to live peacefully with others. Now, it is my dream also.

It appears the king is taken with Lagertha, but is all the flirting part of his endgame? I can't help but distrust King Ecbert; look how things went down with King Horik in Vikings Season 2!

Will Lagertha and Ecbert grow even closer? If so, will he truly be an ally to the Northmen? Right now, I feel their arrangement is mostly in his best interest. He's after Mercia in the end, right? Are the Vikings simply a means to that end?

Watching King Ecbert bend down to collect some dirt to hand Lagertha reminded me of Ragnar's Vikings quote from Vikings Season 3 Episode 1. "Power is only given to those who are prepared to lower themselves to pick it up," he told Bjorn. Though the moment was touching, is this "gift" of land merely a power play? Will he eventually turn on Ragnar or will his blossoming relationship with Lagertha change things?

This gift is worth more to me than a necklace of precious stones. I thank you with all my heart.

Lagertha

Of course, she got the beautiful necklace later on, as well. King Ecbert is doing a fine job of winning Lagertha over. I'm hoping his feelings are genuine, but at the same time it's kind of naive to think that. Didn't the Seer talk about a harvest covered in blood and a trickster? That's got to be Ecbert.

Speaking of tricksters, there's also Kalf, Lagertha's second in command. He's already proven a traitor, and this week we learned he's simply after fame. Lagertha seemed to have such trust in him, could she have been that mistaken? I like to think she's a better judge of character than that.

Perhaps there's more to Kalf than we realize at this point. Then again, perhaps he's the trickster rather than Eckbert. Kalf did mention a dream where Ragnar was eating his liver. I wonder if there are some fava beans and a nice Chianti to go with that.

Ragnar sent Aethelwulf, son of King Ecbert, to chase down Princess Kwenthrith's brother. The torture scene was cruel, but I'm surprised Aethelwulf let the man live.

Which reminds me, what's with his wife's obsession with Athelstan? Will this relationship turn physical? Athelstan told Ragnar he'd never been with a woman; it's about time, don't you think? Personally, I'm all for it, but I can't imagine Aethelwulf will be too pleased.

Judith: Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.
Athelstan: In what ways have you sinned my child?
Judith: I have sinned in thought, but not in deed.
Athelstan: Then your sins are not so great as they might be.
Judith: They are still great.
Athelstan: What are these thoughts you had?
Judith: I have dreamed of lying naked beside a man who is not my husband.
Athelstan: And did you just, lie, beside him or?
Judith: We made love and I enjoyed it very much.
Athelstan: You've certainly sinned.
Judith: Yes.
Athelstan: Who? Who is this man you lay with?
Judith: It was you, Athelstan.

I can't say Judith's confession was a surprise. Though I'm curious to see where their relationship ends up. Will the ex-Monk chicken out or finally start sowing his wild oats now that he's a Viking? There's always such conflict within Athelstan. He, along with Lagertha, is one of the most well written characters on this show.

It's interesting that King Ecbert caught on to Judith's obvious flirtation. She denies it of course, but the king's on to her. I'm sure he'll be keeping an eye on her more closely from now on.

This installment is titled "The Wanderer," so I was wondering when Kevin Durand would make his big debut. He finally appeared past the 30 minute mark, though Helga, Aslaug and Siggy had been talking about their dreams of him. How creepy they all dreamed the same dream, but felt no fear, right? What does this all mean?

The wanderer's name is Harbard, by the way, another name for Odin, I hear. The character obviously has something mystical about him, but what does he want in Kattegat? And why did the ladies dream of the Seer covered in blood?

Helga meeting Harbard in the flesh at the end was freaky. He seemed pleasant enough, though his hand was bleeding as in their dreams. Even freakier was Athelstan's stigmata bleeding. What's the connection between Harbard (Odin) and the Christian ex-monk's bleeding hands?

What did you think of "The Wanderer"? Is Harbard a good or bad guy? Will Ragnar chase Burgred into the mountains? Will Lagertha and Ecbert hook up? Or will Judith and Athelstan just join them in the bath? Your turn guys, hit the comments and share your thoughts with me. Let's talk Vikings!

As always, remember you can watch Vikings online via TV Fanatic if you've missed an episode or want to re-live the battles and beheadings.

NOTE: Vikings Season 3 Episode 3 will be titled "Warriors Fate" and airs on March 5.

The Wanderer Review

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Vikings Season 3 Episode 2 Quotes

Athelstan: He confesses he has had to remove several Saxon farmers from their lands.
Lagertha: Then ask him if they will not be hostile to us, and if so, will he guarantee the safety of our own farms and communities.
Athelstan: He will personally guarantee our safety and security.
Lagertha: I thank the king from the bottom of my heart. It was always Ragnar's dream to find a land to farm for our young folks, and to live peacefully with others. Now, it is my dream also.

Ragnar: Why do you hate your uncle so much?
Kwenthrith: Do you think that my older brother was the only member of my family who raped me when I was a child? It was my uncle who first brought him to me. Since I was six years old he abused me. He violated my body and my soul.