Vikings Season 2 Episode 5 - “Unforgiven” - Review
I usually wait a day or two (or three) to write about these Vikings episodes, mostly just to process what went on, but having not been able to review the episode last week and this week’s episode being what it was, I feel the need to get the thoughts out pretty quickly.
I feel like this episode more than any other this season had such a strange feeling to it. Not a bad episode at all, but definitely one of the more weird episodes the show has done. It still worked very well, however, and we ended up with something that was different than what we were used to but still contained some incredible stand out moments.
Those people I’ve chatted with about the episode agreed that it was a bit strange, but no one has really been able to put their finger on why. There were a few moments, however, that may have contributed to that a little bit.
We open with Siggy this week, and while I’ve been hoping that they give her own story line this wasn’t really what I was thinking. I hope there’s a point to having her sleep with Horik’s son besides it just being icky and visually shocking. It’s a bit unclear what her intentions are, although she says she’s doing all this for Rollo but implies to the Seer that she’s doing this for herself. These goals could be one in the same and I’m glad Siggy is getting a bigger storyline as we head into the back half of the season. Also, good for her for standing up for herself against Horik and telling him that she is not his whore.
This was a big week for finally seeing the females in this show strike back against their abusers and oppressors, especially for Lagertha. It has been heartbreaking to watch Lagertha’s struggle over the past few weeks, and I think it has also been incredibly personal for some people. She has become one of the strongest female characters on any show and to see her mentally, verbally, and physically abused has had a lot of people wondering just when she would strike back. That all came to a head this week after being savagely beaten and publicly undressed by her husband she decides to take matters into her own hands and give him a nice stab in the eye. After which one of the men in the hall goes a step further and takes his head. Yes, I do wish it had been Lagertha that had had the honors, but I’m glad to see him go because he was just an awful character to have to endure.
What will happen to her now is anyone’s guess. I vote she gets to rule her new home on her own, but maybe she will head back to Kattegat?
Someone who doesn’t seem like they will be headed back to Kattegat anytime soon is Athelstan, who seems to have the miraculous ability to become a personal confidant to whomever captures him. This week he and King Ecbert have a deep discussion about religion, and Ecbert charges him with guarding and re-copying all the sacred Roman texts. Athelstan is overjoyed to be given such a position. I’m really like King Ecbert and I really want to see what his end game is. Back at Kattegat no one seems very concerned about the disappearance and/or death of Athelstan besides Ragnar and Bjorn, which was sweet but heartbreaking at the same time. I suppose Athelstan didn’t assimilate as well as they thought he did. It’s ok, Athelstan, at least you won Bjorn over.
This week’s episode culminates in a secret attack on Jarl Borg. At Horik’s suggestion, Ragnar agrees to work with Jarl Borg again but of course it’s a trap and Ragnar and his men trick Jarl Borg and promise to serve justice on him. This was such a great scene - at first I couldn’t tell if Ragnar was in on this plan, but the scene played so well. Lots of suspense, great cinematography, and wonderful score to accompany it. And to be honest I won’t be sorry to see the end of Jarl Borg, if that’s where the story goes.
What did you all think of this week? Did it seem like a strange episode to you? Did you enjoy it? With only four episodes left where do you think we are headed from here?
Tune in next week at 10pm EST on History Channel!