What Happens in the Cave
I apologize for missing last week, but we’re back on track with this week’s review of an overall strong episode–though it wasn’t without its flaws. There were some interesting time jumps that make me wonder exactly how much time is passing between these episodes, and if some people are employing the same traveling tactics they have been using in Game of Thrones to get around so fast.
One of the reasons I’m confused on timeline is that Judith just up and died. She went from being ‘sick’ to, well…dead. I feel there has to be a missing scene or two regarding this–it’s entirely too sudden. Alfred is heartbroken, but Lagertha tells him he has to be a good king to make his mother’s sacrifices worthwhile. Again, I feel all of this is a missed opportunity (I feel I’ve been saying that a lot). Lagertha and Judith never spoke about Ecbert, or even Athelstan, for that matter. What was the point of them really meeting, if not to commiserate about people they loved?
Meanwhile, Ubbe fights Frodo one on one. It’s a fight to the death, and I really enjoyed this scene–there was nothing pretty about this battle, nothing easy. Each man stumbled and fell in the mud, and the viewer could feel each blow that landed. While Ubbe came out the victor, he was barely alive by the end. In his victory he helped cement Ragnar’s dream for a true settlement, as all of these Danes will now settle peacefully to farm, instead of raid.
Of course, there are still consequences; Ubbe called out to Odin instead of Jesus in the darkest moments of the battle, and he realizes that he doesn’t believe in the Christian Gods, and tells Torvi so. However, they keep this to themselves, and with Alfred’s thanks and blessings, they leave for the settlement with Lagertha.
Back in Kattegat, Freydis is demanding to know where her child is, while Ivar is blaming her for the baby’s deformity. While I may not like Freydis that much, it’s clear she loved that child regardless how it looked…I understand Floki’s worries over the child being harassed like he had been, but that didn’t give him the right to kill him. He’s being a huge asshole, and when it’s revealed that pieces of the child were found in a fox’s den, instead of mourning, Ivar starts to choke Freydis and accuse her of cheating on him.
…which yes, she did, but he would have no way of knowing that. And nothing she did would have caused that child to be deformed–he’s taking is own guilt out on her, and it’s not going to go well, in the end.
Bjorn and Harald manage to travel through a horrible storm (which Harald warned Bjorn about) to the shores of Norway, where the men have a pissing match over who should lead the army. Gunnhild rightfully points out that until they take out Ivar, they should put their resentments towards each other aside. I really like her, and hope she doesn’t turn out to be horrible, in the end. So far she’s proven to be a well needed voice of reason.
Hilariously, Hvitserk and Olaf end up meeting up with Bjorn and company–so we now have two big armies going after Ivar. Perhaps this is supposed to make us feel like he’s the underdog, so he can triumph in the end…but I certainly hope not. There has been a lot of work in the past few episodes by the writers to attempt to make Ivar more sympathetic, but I don’t think it’s been that successful.
As for Floki in the cave? While his story is interspersed within the others to keep things from getting boring…it ends with him coming upon a Christian altar. So apparently Iceland was colonized before he arrived there–and the irony of his raging against Christianity only to find that it arrived in his ‘Land of the Gods’ first is not lost on him. He also triggers a volcano eruption? Somehow? …not sure how that works. But it’s something.