The Vikings – Episode 5: Raid
It’s been a long weekend fair geeks and maidens. Long, long weekend for us all. With the start of the second half of series 7 of Doctor Who on Saturday, the finale to the Walking Dead on Sunday, the continuation of our favorite band of warriors on the same day, and the beginning of a new season of Game of Thrones (I still haven’t watched any episodes, I do not have HBO, and I just haven’t made it to watching them online yet, so sue me) it has been an exhausting weekend for any geek. Check out C-Mart’s round up of The Walking Dead and the Who Review to catch up. But today, I am bringing you your weekly dose of raiding. So grab your axe and sword, because war has been declared!
The title of this week’s episode is “Raid”, which in all honesty, I do not feel is appropriate. “The Earl is a fucking Dick” would be the most likely candidate if I had my say. At the end of last week’s episode, he had a crew of his men attack our precious Vikings while they were celebrating and feasting after successfully returning from an excursion west, and essentially proclaimed that he does not care how rich or profitable they all become through Ragnar’s trips, he intends to have them killed anyway for disobeying his original order to not sail west. In reality, this is the biggest of all dick moves, mainly because it shows his complete lack of foresight into the future of the whole group. He is concerned with saving face, even though it makes no sense to do so. It’s the standard politician move. Looking bad for a little while is shitty, I know, but letting everyone starve and not be able to prosper because you feel someone has slighted you , is borderline madness. The Earl seems to be slowly crawling towards the madness side, and to be honest, I am enjoying it. It is giving us so much to play with as the viewer, because Gabriel Byrne is giving us multiple reasons to hate him right now, but love him for making us feel that way.
This week, the ante is stepped up with another (and more brutal) attack on Ragnar and his home. Going directly to the source, the Earl attempts to murder and violate everyone in the neighboring homes who live near Ragnar. Ragnar, out hunting for deer on his own, hears the screams and shouts coming from his home, and races back towards them in what could only be described, as the best running scene in any show ever. Literally murdering more people in an amount of time that could be comparable to me eating an ice cream sandwich, Ragnar takes a few hits and after making sure his family escapes, decides to hold off on his own. Having been struck by an arrow fired by the Earl’s balding right hand man, who is essentially turning into fucking Iago from Aladdin, puts a final dent into Ragnar’s ability to fight.
Bleeding badly and facing death by slaughtering squad (they don’t have guns, and I am patenting that as a band name), Ragnar falls to his knees at the Earl’s feet , and asks for a moment to talk to his God, before being welcomed into the arms of death. However, with a burst of speed that literally should not have been possible with the injuries he acquired, escapes on horseback and rides off into the woods. Coming to a cliff while being pursued, Ragnar closes his eyes and tumbles over the cliff into the icy waters below. Luckily, his family had escaped on his boat, with Athelstan jumping in to save his life and drag him back onto the boat. Athelstan is quickly becoming a dear friend and member of Ragnar’s family, saving his life now and guarding his kids while he was away. Athelstan is quickly gaining a decent reputation and I believe he is going to be instrumental in the coming episodes. They take Ragnar to Floki, and Floki (who was literally just about to get his boner on with what appears to be a witch) heals Ragnar’s wounds with herbs and fiery metal. Ragnar, waking up a while later, is troubled and understandably irate at the Earl’s actions…and I can’t wait for him to tear him apart limb from limb. Another character is introduced, and I am sad to say that I was unable to catch his name, but he seems to be a sort of “seeing” character, and is led to where Ragnar was by the gods, and is upset to see someone he cares about so badly hurt. Not enough, however, to keep him from hitting on Floki’s witch woman….and in perfect Viking spirit, has a three way with her and Floki later on in the episode…in the same house where everyone else is staying, with kids….and everyone else. Gotta fucking love it.
The Earl was essentially the star of this episode, as he put into motion quite a few things that could be classified as purely “ What the fuck are you doing?” Promising his daughter now to an old man and king from a neighboring land, The Earl is attempting to make political moves that his wife and daughter do not approve of. Rollo, making a surprise appearance at the wedding celebration, speaks with the Earl in an attempt to see what he is up to. The Earl, knowing full well that Rollo did not RSVP, questions him on Ragnar’s whereabouts, but Rollo remains tight lipped, believing he is dead as well (or does he? dun dun dun!!!)In the midst of the party, the Earl dictates that it is time for his daughter and her new husband/king to get to the royal boning, leads them to the Matrimonial chamber, and he tires out real quick. It’s amazing how he looks 60, yet I am almost positive he is only 30 something, and it’s just been a rough life for him. We also, in a turn of events that shines a light on the Earl’s motives, learned that he had two sons that were murdered and decapitated. To top it all off, they were buried in shallow graves with their heads being put where their asses are as a huge sign of disrespect. The Earl has not forgotten this, and tends to murder the fuck out of the one who did this years ago. Foreshadowing? I think so. It would not surprise me to learn that someone we know was the one to do this heinous act, maybe even the Earl himself in a bid to seize power long ago? We shall hopefully see.
Rollo, who is still alive and wandering around the town, is approached by the Earl’s wife, and she warns him that he is going to be killed, and in fine form, kisses him before leaving. Rollo, knowing this is most likely true, goes to leave but is surrounded by men. Being taken in and tortured, Rollo does not speak a word, and through his eyes and ferocity, lets the Earl know that he will kill him for this. The wandering druid/Viking then lets Ragnar know that Rollo is captive, and Ragnar proceeds to hatch a plan to save his brother, and give the Earl what he has coming. Asking Floki for another favor, requests him to ride to town, and challenge the Earl to one on one combat on his behalf. Which in normal terms, means that shit is about to go down. This is literally the best outcome any of us could’ve hoped for, mainly because it does not mean we will have to wait weeks and months before a meeting of the two in a combat scenario. The preview shows them coming to blows and grappling, and although he is older, the Earl is able to hold his own against Ragnar, and it gave me an anticipatory chub at the bloodbath that is going to occur very, very soon. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are on the verge of finally seeing someone get what they have coming to them, and like I said earlier, I cannot fucking wait to bear witness to this.The next episode is shaping up to be a good one and makes me salivate while counting down the days. Until next week my Vikings….For Odin…and For Ragnar!!!
Follow me on Twitter! @ArthurHarkness
All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.