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television -> Vikings Episode 3 Review and Recap

Vikings Episode 3 Review and Recap

Dispossession

by James Chantrill

In the last episode of Vikings, we witnessed the protagonist realize his dream of sailing west.  Ragnar and his marauding band of Vikings raided part of the English coastline and brutally murdered helpless priests.  In this week’s episode, the consequences of Ragnar’s raid are put on display.

“Dispossessed” opens with Ragnar and his crew heading back to the homeland with the spoils from the western raid.  Ragnar seems very pleased with the success of his conquest, but he is unaware of the actions that the Earl has taken.   While on the boat ride back, Rollo is hoping that the Earl will look on them with some sort of kindness instead of the possibility of death.  When the Vikings finally arrive at the port, their spirits are high and the townspeople come out to celebrate their victory of going west.

While the Earl waits for Ragnar to come back, he sends his right-hand man to the Lothbrok farm to ascertain the whereabouts of Ragnar.  This seemed to me as a veiled threat to Lagertha and her son as the Earl’s man tried to take Ragnar’s son back to the Earl’s court, but had to settle for taking the son of another villager.  If I may jump ahead in the episode, the villager’s son that was taken doesn’t live much longer as the Earl has him killed to protect his buried treasure for his use in the afterlife.

When Ragnar and his group get to port, they are summoned to the Earl’s court to explain themselves and their raid.  At this meeting Ragnar explains/brags about how easy it was to take these treasures, calling the priests little more than babies.  What saved their lives was the amount of treasure that they brought back from England, and the fact that the townspeople were cheering Ragnar and the others at the port.  The Earl has to show that he is still in charge, so in an ultimate F*** you to the Ragnar and his crew, he takes all the treasure for himself.  However, Earl Haraldson allows them to take one item of the treasure, but this seems like another way to show them who is in charge and where their loyalty should lie.  I have the feeling that the Earl made Ragnar’s crew more of an enemy by filling them with resentment.  Instead of taking any treasure, Ragnar chooses to take Brother Athelstan as his slave and Rollo decides to steal more than what he was allowed, possibly setting the way for the Earl to find out and blackmail him to betray Ragnar later on.  Not only did the Earl want to know about the raid, but he was more interested in how Ragnar was able to sail west without getting lost.  Ragnar is coy about this by not revealing his compass and sunstone, instead he simply says that they were lucky and that Thor was on their side.

Ragnar is someone that is always thinking ahead by taking Brother Athelstan as his slave; he is allowed to learn more about England.  When Ragnar and the priest arrive back at the farm, he lets the kids talk to the priest while Lagertha welcomes him back.  Things got more strange and surprising when Ragnar and his wife, Lagertha, ask the priest to join them in bed. I found that to be very peculiar, seeing as how the priest is a slave, but it showed the measure of the priest’s devotion to his beliefs.  While the priest denies their request by stating the vows of celibacy that he took, he doesn’t deny having a drink with Ragnar.  While Ragnar is getting the priest drunk, he continues to question him about England.

With the new information about England, Ragnar goes to see the Earl about raiding to the west again.  Ragnar tells the Earl about other towns and about the kingdoms that would have even more treasure than what they brought back last time.  While the Earl reluctantly agrees to allow Ragnar and his crew to raid England again, he does so with the condition that someone that he trusts goes with.  It seems the Earl is trying to find out how exactly Ragnar navigates on the voyage.

When they arrive in England again, the soldiers and the sheriff of King Aelle on the coast greet and welcome them.  Ragnar tries to play coy by saying that they are traders. The language lessons from the priest must have paid off since the sheriff can understand Ragnar perfectly.  Tensions begin to rise as Rollo and some of the other Vikings want to just kill the sheriff and his men.  As a good will gesture, the sheriff gives Rollo his necklace.  This seem to make Floki’s jealousy turn to rage as he snatches a necklace off of a soldier. From there, a one-sided battle of blood and gore ensues.  When the all-out Viking assault comes to an end, one of the soldiers is seen escaping on horseback to warn the village of the Vikings.  This will add quite a challenge to this raid with the possibility of a full-blown war being possible.

The intelligence and cunning of Ragnar also shined through this week. With the guile to keep his navigational ability a secret from the Earl for the time being or the fact that he saw the value of Brother Athelstan, Ragnar continues to impress me as a character.  We also saw how Brother Athelstan is going to play more of an important role in the show as an advisor of sorts to Ragnar.  This episode had great character development across the board with multiple characters and had a perfect cliffhanger setup for the next episode.  At this point, I think it’s fair to say that Vikings is maintaining its high-quality status as a historical drama.  As usual, I can’t wait to see what happens on Sunday.

Keywords: Vikings, History Channel Vikings review, Dispossession
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