Invasion is the second episode of the second season of Vikings and actually takes place four years after the previous episode “Brother’s War”. It sees Ragnar and his allies (King Horik and Jarl Borg) prepare for their joint raid of England. It’s a well paced episode with a mix of action, some politics and some women problems for Ragnar.
Caution: Spoilers in the episode discussion below
The episode starts off quite strongly with Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) making it known to all that in the the next summer the Vikings will be raiding yet again. They have been preparing for some time and it seems 4 years have passed since last we saw Ragnar and everyone else. Everything is very much the same though but I guess it does leave a gap for the show to flashback to in later episodes. I didn’t really notice much about the characters, except for Floki ( Gustaf Skarsgård) who seemed to press Ragnar about raiding and compared him to Earl Haraldson ( Gabriel Byrne) for a moment. It wasn’t really much though, but if Floki is a reflection of how the rest of the Vikings feel, it seems Ragnar has been waiting almost too long to continue his raids.
There are some interesting developments between Ragnar and Rollo (Clive Standen) as in this episode Rollo is forgiven for his betrayal in “Brothers War”. It seemed like Ragnar was quick to forgive Rollo considering it’s only the next episode after the war, but you have to remember that four years passed by. so it seemed okay. But, Rollo isn’t fully trusted with the raids yet. I wonder how long it will take or when Ragnar and Rollo will be close again, or if they ever will?
King Horik (Donal Logue) and Jarl Borg (Thorbjørn Harr) also make an appearance in this episode. But I can’t help but think that King Horik is playing Jarl Borg and Ragnar against eachother. Horik makes the suggestion that he cannot trust Jarl Borg on the raid and makes Ragnar tell Borg not to come. Does he not know that this would cause Jarl Borg to be insulted and have some type of grievance against Ragnar? Jarl Borg also continues to press Rollo to join his side as he did in season one, but Rollo isn’t having any of it this time around. With Jarl Borg and King Horik both scheming behind Ragnar’s back I sort of wonder why Ragnar isn’t playing them as well, or is he? We’ll just have to see in later episodes.
Princess Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) has an argument with Ragnar after catching him flirting with one of the slave girls. I am not sure exactly yet, but I find Princess Aslaug to be a bit annoying and much preferred Ragnar when he was with Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick). The Princess is okay, but she doesn’t really do much other than provide Ragnar with sons. It would be good if this character had a bit of a storyline to make her more interesting. I’m hoping for more in the future.
Overall I quite enjoyed watching this episode. It picked up a lot of pace towards the end and had a lot of battle scenes that were well done. It has a very good lead in to the next episode and I can’t wait to see what King Ecbert is like. I also liked observing the scheming of King Horik and Jarl borg and it was good to see Ragnar and Rollo make amends for the past. Very much looking forward to watching the next one in the series.
Vikings airs at 8:30PM on Mondays on SBS in Australia and Thursdays at 10PM on the History channel in the USA.