Skip to main content

Vikings Review (S3E5): 'The Usurper'


It's a bittersweet return home for Ragnar and company. Tired and battered the Vikings sail ashore to Kattegat. Athelstan entrances Ragnar with stories of his visit to Paris and the king hangs on every word. Floki from afar wonders what they could possibly be talking about. The one thing that is certain in 'The Usurper,' any and all secrets are revealed once they hit land. 


The writers of Vikings have set up this moment to expose the sins of everyone from Wessex to Kattegat. And it doesn't take long either from the time the weary warriors step off the boat. Sensing something was wrong Ragnar asks Aslaug where are the boys. Not even a 'hello' or 'I missed you.' Lagertha broke the news to both of Thorstein's baby mamas of his passing. The most heartbreaking was seeing Rollo call out to Siggy to which there was no reply, of course. Aslaug tells him she died while saving her boys on the frozen lake. 

Rollo is stunned and inconsolable. The revelation does bring some questions with it and most curious is Ragnar. He continues to ask why was Siggy watching his boys. The grief-stricken Rollo blames himself and drowns his sorrows in alcohol. Bjorn has to fight his uncle before someone else at the watering hole kills the belligerent drunk. They go toe-to-toe, but Bjorn is too strong and sober for the lumbering Rollo. If he felt guilty for Siggy's death then he earned the penance he was looking for with a bloody beating. 

Later, a particularly amusing scene between Aslaug and Ragnar considering he's asking about Harbard. Helga spilled the beans to Floki about the wanderer's stay in town right down to bedding Aslaug. An enthralled Floki seemed to enjoy the news and when he heard the name he said he must have been a god. Helga reminds him people died, but he explained that death gives way to life. 

Aslaug just told Ragnar about the healing touch Harbard had with Ivar making him jealous. Of course, he picks up Ivar only to wake him and set him crying. She left out the part where she sleeps with the wanderer.

Ragnar's obsession with Paris has him gung-ho to invade this magical place and makes its known to his people that's the goal. All thanks to Athelstan's influence which doesn't sit well with Floki.

A messenger sends Lagertha some bad news. Kalf has taken over her Earldom and her lands. Lagertha is incensed but getting very little help or interest from Ragnar. She reminds him that she had his back. Some of the best interactions on the show have been between Travis Fimmel and Katheryn Winnick. Their chemistry and playing off one another is entertainment unto itself. Ragnar goes with her to confront Kalf but he's more interested in talking him into joining him on raiding Paris. Ragnar can be impetuous so this move is more about himself than helping Lagertha. 

The truth-telling continues back in Wessex as Judith reveals she's pregnant and Aethelwulf is understandably enraged. So much so he pulls an Anakin Skywalker and massacres a Viking village. It's a shocking and terrible scene as kids are running for their lives and King Ecbert's promise to Lagertha that they'd have his protection is blown asunder.

Ecbert was appalled and outraged at the news of such slaughter. He pinned the blame on his noblemen for their treachery. The same guys who coincidently weren't too keen on the king's leadership. So the King got to show his people he's still very much in control of his kingdom. Behind the scenes Ecbert thanks his son for wiping out the Northmen. It turns out his rage wasn't just about his wife having someone else's baby but taking out his hate of the Northmen farmers. Ecbert had it all planned. 

So will the facade of placing the blame on his supposed treasonous men placate Ragnar and Lagertha when they find out? I would doubt it. No one fully trusted Ecbert. Everyone knew what he was capable of and it was a matter of when not if he would betray them. But will the Vikings deal with their fallen people first or will they go on to Paris? Will they see through Ecbert's excuses and take him on? 

After the season got off to a slow start, Vikings has really come full circle in the latest episode tying up plotlines and catapulting the drama to another level. It's easily the best episode thus far and only getting better. The mystical angle has subsided and good old-fashioned backstabbing and deception have taken front stage. The truth is out in the open for everyone to see and there will be hell to pay. 



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

All-New Mythological Thriller GOD COMPLEX Coming from Top Cow

Writers Paul Jenkins (Inhumans, Wolverine: Origin) and Bryan Lie team up with artist Hendry Prasetya (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers) for an all-new mystery thriller in GOD COMPLEX, an ongoing series launching from Image/Top Cow this October.


GOD COMPLEX is set in the futuristic city of Delphi where a young digital-forensics investigator named Seneca finds himself embroiled in the bizarre murders of three church acolytes. Guided by his cryptic mentor, the Ruler named Hermes, Seneca uncovers a stunning conspiracy and a mystery that will turn his entire world upside down. 

Join the GOD COMPLEX team on a unique vision of a digital future powered by mythological gods. GOD COMPLEX is the first original toy line-up from Jakarta-based GLITCH. It features sci-fi and high-fashion reimaginings of mythological gods from various beliefs/regions like Greek, Egypt, China, and Japan. The toys first released in 2012 and are available for purchase at www.glitch-store.com. GOD COMPLEX is created by Brya…

REVIEW: 'Crosswind' #2 by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs

Chicago hitman Cason Bennett and mousy Seattle housewife Juniper Blue have inexplicably switched bodies and lives. A mysterious stranger has called them each to tell them they have to play the game. 'Crosswind' by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs is a juicy satisfying crime fantasy that sizzles with intrigue.


CROSSWIND #2 Story: Gail Simone Art / Cover / Variant Cover: Cat Staggs Published: July 26, 2017 Diamond ID: MAY170671 Digital : $3.99 Print: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
The mind-breaking crime fantasy continues! Slick Chicago hitman Cason Bennett and mousy Seattle housewife Juniper Blue have inexplicably switched bodies and lives, and a heartless, relentless killer seems intent on killing them both. Don't miss this edge-of-your-seat thriller by fan-favorites GAIL SIMONE and CAT STAGGS!
Cason and Juniper are forced to play their new roles in their new bodies. Juniper has to clean up a bloody crime scene from the end of the last issue and Cason has to make a killer dinner for Jun…

RAVEN YEAR 2 Begins: The Teenage Lesbian Pirate's Quest for Love and Vengeance

RAVEN is a pirate revenge adventure, a soap opera full of messy teenage love stories, and about a dozen coming of age stories set on the high seas. Think "Legend of Korra" at sea with an all female cast.


This series has one of the most diverse and exciting casts of any comic on the market. It's full of action, adventure, and revenge - but even more full of love stories and soap operas. RAVEN is one of the first YA comics with an openly gay leading lady. But on top of that, it has a cast of women who represent a wide spectrum of the LGBTQ community. It's equal parts soap opera and actual opera.
Writer Jeremy Whitley hopes readers experience "Joy, connection, and love" when reading this book. He goes on to say that "It's a book where different types of people are heroes than what we're used to, especially in YA fiction. I feel like everybody should be able to find at least one character they either relate to or fall in love with in the pages of t…

KICKSTARTER SPOTLIGHT: 'Death Metal Zombie Cop' Issue #1 by Felipe Smith

A Superstar LAPD Rookie (Marco Miranda) & his disillusioned Training Officer (Rhonda Riley) discover that a corruption-plagued Justice System and the tightening stranglehold of the Drug Cartel are just the tip of the iceberg when L.A.'s deadliest Urban Legend reveals itself to be very REAL.


The creator who brought Robbie Reyes, the All-New Ghost Rider, back to life for Marvel is back with another high-octane adventure with his Kickstarter passion project, Death Metal Zombie Cop. If the title alone doesn't grab you then check out the amazing art. 


DEATH METAL ZOMBIE COP is an Action/Horror comic originally conceived in Japan (shortly after ending serialization of PEEPO CHOO with Kodansha) & now made in Los Angeles. It's infused with Dark Humor, real LAPD situations, West Coast slice-of-life antics, and over 5 years worth of development and HEART! 

ABOUT THE KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
"All pledged funds will go towards DEATH METAL ZOMBIE COP #1 production costs and bac…

REVIEW: 'Postal' #21 by Bryan Hill, Isaac Goodhart, and K. Michael Russell

This wouldn't be 'Postal' without a major scheme in the works by someone in the criminal haven known as the town of Eden. The fact that it's coming from Mark and Maggie is the surprising part. Meanwhile, Laura has her hands full trying to maintain her grasp on the town. Bryan Hill and Isaac Goodheart bring another exciting chapter in this briskly paced issue.


POSTAL #21  Writer: Bryan Hill Artists: Isaac Goodhart, K. Michael Russell Letterer: Troy Peteri Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: July 26, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Watching Mark and Maggie coupled up is a little weird but feels right. After all the drama they've been through it would only seem just for them to finally come together. They've had a seemingly unbreakable bond amid a neo-Nazi attack, the murders of the psychopathic daughter of the FBI director, and a near rebellion against Mark as the interim mayor. With all that out of the way, Mark and Maggie can finally decompress. How…