No Queens were killed during this particular hour of Vikings, unfortunately.
That's not a jab at Aslaug, I just find myself a bit bored with the goings-on in Wessex. I'm sure Kwenthrith's story will become more interesting, but Vikings Season 4 Episode 2 did not deliver on that front. The rescue was fun, but a tad too long.
As always, it was Ragnar who held my attention here; though he behaved oddly.
While Bjorn stumbled through the snow attempting to prove himself to his father, Ragnar was back home dealing with Floki's escape. The king seemed as surprised by these turn of events as I did; which is to say not at all. There was little doubt Helga would come to her husband's aid.
I mentioned in my review of Vikings Season 4 Episode 1 that Michael Hirst must feature Ragnar's sons more heavily as his story comes to a close. Ubbe outsmarting Floki was a terrific way of showing us the boy's potential. Still, I can't imagine Floki will die at Rangar's hands. Somehow, divine intervention will save the wacky shipbuilder.
In Wessex, King Ecbert sent Aethelwulf to rescue Queen Kwenthrith from a band of noble rebels. Is it me or does Kwenthrith always need saving? Don't get me wrong, I love Amy Bailey in the role and she's proven herself quite ruthless at times. However, more often than not she fits the "damsel in distress" trope too easily. I mean, she was locked up in a tower for Pete's sake. It annoyed me that Aethelwulf was the one to ride in and save the day. I realize he goes on to become king, but I'm not terribly invested in the guy's story. This is Vikings!
Ecbert "freeing" Judith was a much more interesting twist.
Ecbert: If you were free to choose, what would give you the most pleasure and satisfaction? Go on, say it. Whatever you're thinking.
Judith: I'd like to be a painter, like Athelstan.
Ecbert: Very well, then I will find you a great teacher to instruct you.
Clearly Prudentius was meant to fill the Athelstan role on the series. I mean, Judith even called him Athelstan upon meeting him. However, I can't say the new monk impressed me much. Seán T. Ó Meallaigh did a decent job, but a Judith/Prudentius pairing, while interesting, simply can not replace Ragnar and Athelstan's deep bond. Do you feel differently? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Though Rollo lost his translator, he managed to convince Count Odo to build more ships and two forts along the Seine. Not bad for a savage Northman turned noble. Show and tell was a beautiful thing even in the Middle Ages, right? Therese has been manipulating Odo all along, which was a nice surprise. Suddenly last season's random S&M arc made much more sense. I have no doubt she would survive the Game of Thrones if she were dropped off in Westeros. Princess Gisla on the other hand, not so much.
When the princess laughed hysterically at Rollo, I could not help laugh alongside her. Rollo deserved that and more, yet we are starting to sympathize with him. Wasn't Clive Standen's discomfort with the new hair and robes amusing? Though many of this season's storylines are dragging a bit, Rollo and Gisla have not failed to entertain me. I find myself looking forward to their interactions each week. That's more than I can say about Ragnar and Aslaug's scenes.
Aslaug: Why are you still angry?
Ragnar: Because Floki still refuses to admit why he did what he did.
Aslaug: Because he's right.
Aslaug: What did he do that was wrong? All he did was kill a Christian. Why should he be punished just for that?
Ragnar: This is not about Christian's or faith. It's about loyalty. And trust. Something you can't understand.
Floki's capture was inevitable, but Ragnar's promise to make him suffer surprised me. "I've got such a wonderful punishment for you" Ragnar told his old friend. I expected banishment, but it seems like the king is going to have a little fun first. Waterboarding Vikings style... damn! Aslaug was out of line defending Floki, yet watching Ragnar slap her around was uncomfortable. It is fascinating how Ragnar can be so kind one minute, as with Helga and cruel the next. Will the death of Helga and Floki's daughter change Ragnar's mind?
The action in Mercia was important, though it probably went on a little longer than necessary. It was impressive that Kwenthrith proved herself more than a damsel in distress. She really kicked some ass, didn't she? Honestly though I am mostly just curious to find out whether or not Magnus is truly Ragnar's son. How does this child fit in with the future of the series? Or is he merely a red herring, unlike Athelstan's son who grows up to be king.
Anyone else miss Lagertha this week? Good thing she will be back in the next installment. Bjorn's being hunted down by a Berserker in Episode 3. Who will get to him first, the killer or the bear?
What did you think of "Kill the Queen"? Were you interested in Kwenthrith's rescue? Did Ragnar act a bit out of character? Is Rollo's arc entertaining you? Your turn my friends, hit the comments and share your thoughts with me.
See Gisla mock Rollo all over again when you watch Vikings online via TV Fanatic!
NOTE: Vikings Season 4 Episode 3 is titled "Mercy" and airs on March 3.