Answers In Blood is the fifth episode of the second season of Vikings and sees Ragnar return to Kattegat to reclaim his lands and his family. Ragnar will need all the help of his friends, Lagertha, Floki, Rollo and Bjorn to overcome Jarl Borg. Meanwhile Athelstan now tries to live in the court of King Ecbert as a sort of adviser.
Caution Spoilers below: Recommend watching the episode before reading this discussion
This episode is a pretty good one yet again for this series and has a good mix of action and drama for the viewers. One of the most interesting characters in this episode is Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) who we saw return to Kattegat in last weeks episode “Eye For An Eye”. In this episode the Lagertha has a lot of personal struggles in Kattegat. It’s interesting I thought as well how she was greeted by the local people. Everyone in Kattegat loves Lagertha and she is very popular there, much more popular than Princess Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) who nobody seems to even talk to at all. Lagertha must make a decision whether or not she will stay in Kattegat or return to her home with Earl Sigvard and we do know from last week what Earl Sigvard (Morten Suurballe) is like. Eventually she decides to return but, leave Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) behind with Ragnar. I thought it was interesting that she did not stay, but I guess she does have obligations to Earl Sigvard more than anyone and why would she want to bring Bjorn back to that world? She wouldn’t, I wonder what will happen to her character in the next few episodes over there. It must be hard being treated so well in Kattegat and then to be abused by Earl Sigvard when she returns. I’d say, she should just kill Sigvard or probably will soon, as Bjorn says, “don’t take and more shit” and I don’t think she will especially after how well she was treated in Kattegat.
Another interesting character during this episode was Athelstan (George Blagden). If you remember from last weeks episode “Eye For An Eye” Athelstan was captured by King Ecbert’s (Linus Roache) men, nearly crucified, but then spared by Ecbert in the end. It seems he’s taken up the position of a sort of an adviser to the King. Athelstan is placed in the King’s court and is asked about the pagan way of solving a problem involving a woman and her husband. If you remember in Season 1 of Vikings there was a similar situation and we learnt the definition of Viking free women. Anyway Athelstan says that the Pagans would decide on her behalf and the king listens to him. I wonder what the King has in his plans for Athelstan. I also wonder if Athelstan misses Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) or anything, Ragnar did ask for him when he learnt of Horik’s defeat but Thorvard didn’t know anything about it. Athelstan seems to also be a bit traumatised or in shock at what’s happened to him in recent times, I don’t think he is able to forget the customs of the Vikings which continue to haunt him. His life is Kattegat it seems is not easily forgotten and I don’t think he will be able to cope personally for some time. Considering also that he was nearly killed and crucified by his own people won’t do his character any well either, he is at odds with himself. I wonder how he will emerge in the end.
Ragnar had a lot to do in this episode such as being reunited with his son Bjorn, juggling both Lagertha and Aslaug while also having to defeat and overcome Jarl Borg (Thorbjørn Harr). First off I’ll start with his son Bjorn, I think there is a little bit of tension between the two of them at the moment. In the battle with Jarl Borg, Bjorn fell and was nearly killed, which I think was not pleasing to Ragnar. I guess being trained all this time by Lagertha has made Bjorn fight a bit like a shield maiden, rather than a warrior like Ragnar. Both Ragnar and Bjorn do have some interesting scenes though, such as the initial raid of the food supplies to get Jarl Borg out of Kattegat which were good to see. But I think the two characters still have a long way to go if they want to mend their relationship and catch up on years that were lost.
Ragnar also has to deal with his relationship between himself and Princess Aslaug and Lagertha in this episode. I don’t think Ragnar really knows how to deal with this at all and eventually decides that he will need to go and visit the Seer (John Kavanagh) about it. I thought that the Seer actually told a really helpful story but Ragnar kept asking questions which actually made it one of the funniest scenes of the season. I do like the Seer a lot and he’s such a cool character and it was great to see Ragnar joking a bit even though the Seer was completely serious. Ragnar does take the Seers advise that he can’t pick between the two women and can’t have them both and we eventually see Lagertha come to her own conclusion. Although she probably announced it in a way that made Ragnar a bit uncomfortable, in front of everyone lol.
Overall I’m really excited to see what happens in the next episode. What will happen the Jarl Borg? What will Ragnar do next? When’s the next raid? What’s King Ecbert up to and why does he want Athelstan with him? All this i’m excited to watch, can’t wait until next week.