Warnings: Spoilers for “Blood Eagle”
Oh wow. So much happened in Vikings “Blood Eagle” including two weddings and a brutal execution. (New drinking game: take a swig every time I use the word “brutal” in my Vikings articles. But seriously? It’s the perfect word to describe so much of what goes on in this universe.)
I know Jarl Borg was Ragnar’s enemy but it was hard to see him die in such painful fashion. He was brave about it. He didn’t scream which means he’ll gain entry into Valhalla. But, man, oh man. I don’t know how he didn’t scream. I felt so bad for him. His blood poured on to his first wife’s skull. His current wife passed out while Ragnar killed him. And I don’t blame her. Here’s how Ragnar described the blood eagle to his son, Bjorn, earlier in the episode:
“The offender gets down on his knees…and his back is opened with knives. And then, with axes, his ribs are chopped away from his spine, and then his lungs are pulled out of these huge bleeding wounds, and laid upon his shoulders so they look like the folded wings of a great eagle. And he must stay like that, suffering, until he dies.”
I didn’t think I was going to be able to handle the gore of the execution. But the director shot it in a way that didn’t show too much of it. And there seemed to be some sort of filter that softened the harshness of what was going on. Regardless, I could still imagine what Jarl Borg was going through. And it wasn’t pretty. But now one more enemy of Ragnar has been taken care of.
However, this was certainly not the end of Ragnar’s troubles. There were some major trust and jealousy issues being dealt with in “Blood Eagle.”
Bjorn. Ragnar’s son wanted to know why his father wasn’t trusting him. After all, he didn’t confide in him the details of the raid on Jarl Borg’s camp. Ragnar said he sent for him but they couldn’t find him. When Bjorn revealed he was with the slave girl, Porunn, Ragnar said something like, “You chose to be with her instead of me.” Is that what was really bothering Ragnar? Or was it the fact his son originally chose to go with his mother, Lagertha, over him? And that Bjorn continues to choose someone else over his own father. I don’t know if I’m reading too much into this situation. It could just be a case of what Ragnar told Bjorn. He needs to start thinking with his head and not with his…other parts much lower.
Floki. Is Ragnar destined to have trouble with everybody he’s close to in his life? Lagertha is gone. Athelstan is still in England. He only recently made up with his brother but that relationship still seems tentative at best. But we could always count on Floki to back Ragnar, right? Well, not so much anymore. Floki finds out Helga’s pregnant with his baby. After a period of panic and not feeling worthy of being a father, he accepts that they’re going to be parents. And he wants to get married. But then something interesting happened. Helga mentioned wanting all of their friends like Ragnar around. But Floki quickly shot any thought of Ragnar down.
Floki: No, not Ragnar.
Helga: But…but heâ€¦
Floki: No. I said not Ragnar. Everything here is for Ragnar. I’ve known him a long time. I helped him rise. I built his ships. And now he is earl, Earl Ragnar. And our little world waits upon him and eats from his hand. But he cannot have everything. He cannot have you and me.
What is going on here? Why is Floki so angry with Ragnar? The previews for next week make it seem like there’s a difference of opinion when it comes to their belief in the gods. Is that it? Is it jealousy? There seems to be a bit of that. When someone gets all the glory, it’s natural to feel taken for granted. I don’t know. This conflict is all so new. I’m going to process it all and I’m going to wait until next week to make any sort of judgment call.
King Horik. Horik is absolutely, positively jealous of Ragnar. And is threatened by his very presence. Not enough to let Jarl Borg persuade him to set him free so he could help him kill Ragnar. But there’s no way he’s going to trust Ragnar not to turn on him at some point. And it’s funny that he does feel so threatened since he’s the one that is king. Ragnar’s just an earl. But there does seem to be this upwardly mobile vibe Ragnar exudes, so it’s probably a good move for King Horik to be on guard. Floki is someone he’s definitely going to want to make an ally out of, don’t you think? We can thank Siggy for alerting Horik to that little bit of Ragnar/Floki trouble.
Rollo. Rollo was on his brother to execute Jarl Borg. Everything seems to be all good for the moment. But I think it was very interesting that Rollo was on to Siggy and her affair with King Horik. He asked her why she was sleeping with the guy. She said it was for him. I wonder how Rollo’s going to deal with Siggy’s sneaky schemes for her rise to the top. Even Jarl Borg’s plan included getting rid of Ragnar and making Rollo earl. Hmm. Are we going to see Rollo the ruler anytime soon? There are only a few episodes left in the season. It could happen.
Two weddings: Floki and Helga married — without Ragnar there as was Floki’s decision. But I’m wondering why we didn’t see Ragnar get angry about that? He’s definitely a bit disconnected from everyone at this point. The other wedding was an arrangement that came courtesy of Kings Ecbert and Aelle. These two have become allies in order to, 1. Take over the land of their neighbors, Mercier, who are currently in a state of chaos. 2. Band together in order to defeat Ragnar when the next raid comes their way. So, Ecbert’s son married Aelle’s daughter. We’ll see if this tactic works.
Before I get to my favorite moment of the episode, I have to say my one complaint is too little Athelstan. We did see him sort of buying the kool-aid there chanting alongside the Wessex and Northumbria citizens. But I still feel like he’s struggling with his identity. I love that Ragnar remained worried about him and sought out the Seer for answers. Hopefully, we’ll get a Ragnar / Athelstan reunion in the next episode. And speaking of reunionsâ€¦
How great was it when Ragnar found out who Earl Ingstad really was? He was counting on this earl to give him another ally in his raid against Wessex. And it was all so mysterious. This earl wouldn’t meet him on his turf. Ragnar had to go out into the woods for the meeting. Lagertha came riding out on her horse with this awesomely smug look on her face. It made me laugh out loud, it was such a great moment. As Ragnar circled Lagertha while riding his horse, you could tell Travis Fimmel really had fun with this scene. So did Katheryn Winnick.
Ragnar: Earl Ingstad. You bear a strong resemblance to my ex-wife.
Lagertha: If I had given you my true name, you might have turned me away. How is Bjorn?
Ragnar: He is happy. He is looking forward to going to England.
Lagertha: As am I.
Ragnar: So you are truly an earl.
Lagertha: Yes, we are equal. I’m sure this is difficult for you.
Ragnar: It’s not difficult at all. How many ships?
Lagertha: Four ships. Over a hundred warriors. So will you accept me as an ally?
Ragnar: That depends.
Lagertha: On what?
Ragnar: I have been betrayed by earls before. So if you are really Earl Ingstad, then it’s a no. But if you are still the Lagertha I remember, then it is a yes.
I love the chemistry that exists between Fimmel and Winnick. Ragnar and Lagertha are an even bigger power couple than ever before. Now if they would just get back togetherâ€¦
Vikings airs Thursdays on HISTORY at 10/9c.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Catching Up with Ted Lasso and Previewing Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] The not so dirty little secret about how I approach a new series is that I sometimes make a call based on the headspace I’m in at the time. It’s been a minute since I’ve picked up a show after the first season and then binge…
Interview: Henri Esteve on Grown-ish Season 3
An interview with Henri Esteve, who plays Javi on Freeform’s Grown-ish. He talks about his season three experience.
For All Mankind Season 2: Talking with Wrenn Schmidt, Krys Marshall, Jodi Balfour, and Sonya Walger [Exclusive]
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the hooks of For All Mankind is that it’s very much a story about the women of NASA. In Season 2, we explore the journeys of the women in the program, either through their own service or through their family affiliations. Four of those…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Season Finale [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale episodes.] How’s everyone after that finale? I will freely admit I got a little misty in episode eight as John told Sara why he loved her, and later that he wanted her despite what he might forfeit, and then at the end when he…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness [Exclusive]
Hands down, one of the best surprises of The Alienist: Angel of Darkness is that the serial killer this season has been front and center alongside the cast as a fully-formed character. We’ve watched Libby Hatch devolve from a prim, mild-mannered nurse to a woman in a rage hell-bent on…
The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Relationship Recap: John and Sara
[Warning: Spoilers for “Belly of the Beast” and “Memento Mori”] If you’ve read me for a while (thank you!), you know two things — I lean way, way in on the characters I adore and I loathe love geometry arcs. So, I’m torn about where we are and where we…
Louriza Tronco Talks The Order Season 2 [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 2.] The Order’s second season is dark yet delightful entertainment on many levels, and one of its biggest sources of joy and snark is the sassy Gabrielle Dupres. Last season, she was assertive and deadly and fairly annoyed with the world. This season, she’s been…
Previewing Netflix’s Virgin River
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] Full disclosure: I have a Netflix account for my Mom, but I’m not a regular viewer. If I get a heads up on something, I’ll go look for it, but I don’t have a wander across its offerings, which, as I understand it, is how most…
Final Thoughts From the Killjoys Team [Exclusive]
This is the day of the week I’d normally hit you up with a Killjoys preview, but now that we’ve put the series to bed and released Team Awesome Force into the wild, I have one more treat for you–some final thoughts excerpted from my conversations with the Killjoys folks….
Michelle Lovretta Talks Wrapping Up Killjoys [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the series finale.] To quote Miss Jackson, “That’s the end?” Yes, friends, it is. And like I promised you, everything would be, was, and is alright. I went to the Killjoys source, series creator Michelle Lovretta, who wrote the last episode, to break down that delicious finale….
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…