television -> Vikings Season 2 Episode 5 Review

Vikings Season 2 Episode 5 Review

Answers in Blood

by James Chantrill

The mood is set with this week’s episode as Ragnar now has the force to exact his revenge on Jarl Borg and take back his lands.  “Answers in Blood” has given us that chance and suffice to say there will be blood.

Even with the force that Bjorn and Lagertha brought with they still number to few to assault the village that Jarl Borg resides.  In order to draw Jarl Borg and his men away from the village an act of sabotage is needed, destroying the winter supply of grain.  Although others volunteered to go on this mission Ragnar sought to see how gifted Bjorn is in combat and decides that they will go with a few others to complete this mission.  During this mission Bjorn shows us that he hasn’t wasted the last four years and has in fact learned how to fight as well as any Viking.

As the winter food supply is destroyed Jarl Borg rounds up his men to track down and find those responsible only to be lead into a trap where Ragnar’s forces wait.  The resulting battle could be the most brutal and bloodiest fight that Vikings has showcased so far.  As Jarl Borg and Ragnar make eye contact throughout the battle you can feel the seething hate that they have for each other and hope for some great battle scene to happen between the two. Unfortunately, we see Ragnar make the attempt to fight Jarl Borg only to see Borg retreat with what little force of his remains.  With the battle over we hear Rollo congratulate Bjorn on fighting well but Ragnar says, “You have a lot to learn.”  Does Ragnar think that his first son is lacking in combat experience and will this lead him to going on the raids with Ragnar in the future?

As the conquering force of Ragnar returns to their village they are welcomed like heroes and that gives us the true sense of the ruler that Jarl Borg was in comparison.  For their success in battle over Jarl Borg they pay tribute to the Gods and Odin in particular by sacrificing a Viking of Jarl Borg’s.  As Rollo was about to sacrifice this man to the Gods he is stopped by Ragnar who makes Bjorn do this.  I can only assume that this is to see if Bjorn is capable of this and if he is a true Viking.  With the sacrifice done the celebration can go on and life can return to the way it was before Ragnar left on the raid. 

While Ragnar has been fighting and celebrating we see what Athelstan has been doing since King Ecbert spared his life from crucifixion. Little more than being a house pet of King Ecbert who gives insight into how the pagans act in accordance to their laws.  Athelstan has also been suffering hallucinations brought on by his dire situation and also the conflicting religious ideologies in his mind.  Is Athelstan going mad and will he ever see the Vikings again?

Life returns to normal after the celebration as Ragnar must again be the Jarl of his lands and pass judgment on matters of the law.  With his judgment passed on a dispute of land one of King Horic’s men tells Ragnar of the attack by King Ecbert’s men and how the Viking force was dissamated.  Ragnar is told that King Horic and his son survived but no news of Athelstan.  Lagertha shows up and gives us a rousing speech on why she gives Bjorn her permission to stay with Ragnar and his half-brothers but that she will be going back to her husband. 

“Answers in Blood” gave us the bloodlust that we needed in this week’s episode and also more questions asked.  Most of the questions I that stand out are going involve happen to Athelstan and his bizarre story: he will be utilized by King Ecbert?  Will Athelstan ever be reunited with Ragnar?  Also what will happen to Lagertha?  Is Lagertha going to be written of the show or will she make an appearance to help Ragnar again? So Vikings is once again doing what it does best and that is giving the viewer enough to keep them satisfied but holding enough back to bring them to the show each week.  As we hit the middle of the season will Vikings still maintain the standard they’ve set so far or will it taper out?  Slowly but surely, Vikings is beginning to carve out its unique path in the storytelling game and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

Keywords: Vikings History Channel, Ragnar, Answers in Blood
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