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

DC Comics March Movie Poster Variant Covers are Fantastic

DC Comics may have outdone themselves with their running themed variant covers for the month of March 2015. After some fun and gorgeous variants in 2014 like Darwin Cooke (December), LEGO (November), and Bombshells (June) to name a few DC Comics is continuing to bring some creative covers in 2015. January will feature Flash throughout the company line in celebration of his 75th Anniversary, February will bring everyone’s favorite wild card, Harley Quinn, on DC covers, and perhaps the best mash-ups of comics and famous movie posters will arrive in March.

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

New Sci-Fi Horror Series INFINITE DARK From Ryan Cady, Andrea Mutti, and K. Michael Russell Coming in October

Image/Top Cow announce an all-new, sinister ongoing science-fiction series—INFINITE DARK—by Ryan Cady and Andrea Mutti with colorist K. Michael Russell that will hit stores this October.


In INFINITE DARK, the universe has ended, but humanity has survived. For years, the passengers and crew of the vessel Orpheus found the endless void between realities to be a surprisingly peaceful home.

Then they found a body—bloodied, brutalized, and surrounded by inscrutable runes. As Security Director Deva Karrell investigates the Orpheus' first murder, she'll come face to face with a horror from beyond the confines of time itself…

INFINITE DARK #1 will launch from Top Cow/Image Comics this October 2018.

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

PREVIEW: 'Barbarella' #7 by Mike Carey and Kenan Yarar

Barbarella is lost in a maze of Radically Unstable Space-Time, with Pulver Glain, his boys, and his smarter-than-smart gun Sally-Anne hot on her trail. But what’s at the heart of the maze is a threat - and a miracle - that none of them are ready for.


Barbarella #7

writer: Mike Carey  |  artist: Kenan Yarar
covers: Butcher Billy (A), Hayden Sherman (B),
              Daniel HDR (C), Giovanni Timpano (D),
              Kenan Yarar (E-Sub)
              Butcher Billy (RI-B/W), Daniel HDR (RI-B/W)
              Giovanni Timpano (RI-Virgin)

In Stores 06/20/2018

FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |  Mature