Vikings “The Wanderer” Review (Season 3 Episode 2)

Vikings Season 3 Cast 06

This week’s Vikings was really about laying the foundation for things to come. King Ecbert continues his seduction of Lagertha. Lady Judith takes an aggressive step in her pursuit of Athelstan. Kalf makes his move to take unseat Lagertha as Earl. The women of Kattegat meet a mysterious stranger whose arrival is foretold in their dreams. We may not have to wait too long for resolution of some of these conflicts, because the Vikings travel to Paris this season, which will take the story in a new direction.

I don’t want to start with Kwenthrith because I find her so irritating, so let’s focus on the Vikings. After defeating Kwenthrith’s uncle, the Vikings enjoy a little downtime. Except for Torstein. The arrow wound in his arm is festering and he knows that there is only one way to stop the spread of the infection. Ragnar, Rollo and Floki must be thinking the same thing because the looks they give Torstein are mournful. He finally can’t take the pain and says that he wants the arm removed. Bjorn volunteers to cut it off, but Torstein wants Floki. If anyone has thoughts on why he chose Floki, I’d love to hear them.

There have been some majorly gruesome scenes on Vikings, with the blood eagle being the worst, but the Torstein amputation was brutal to watch. The axe isn’t sharp enough, so Floki has to keep hacking and pushing to get the arm off. I had to look away, so at least I know I’m not totally desensitized to Vikings violence. In addition to amputation, there was a lot of decapitation in this episode. I loved the ships approaching the harbor with all the heads hanging from the sails.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for the group. Porunn enjoys partying after the Vikings’ victory and is quite proud of herself. She is arrogant and overconfident, which can’t possibly bode well. Bjorn scolds her, but she doesn’t listen. He then proceeds to make one of the most unromantic marriage proposals in the world. The funny thing is that it’s the perfect marriage proposal for Porunn. If Bjorn had come to her in a sentimental way, she probably would have balked. But this is a proposal in the middle of an argument – it’s like a dream come true for her. I’m thinking that they may not actually end up getting married. Wasn’t there a prophecy earlier about Bjorn marrying a princess?

Meanwhile, Lagertha is living out her pastoral fantasy thanks to Ecbert. He wines and dines her, and gives her a fancy necklace. She is clearly flattered and enjoys the attention. It’s understandable considering that Lagertha has been on her own for a while and this is a King making advances on her. But, I hope she isn’t completely naïve. Ecbert can’t be trusted. The idea that he would voluntarily (and happily) share his land with the Vikings feels ludicrous.

Athelstan has already shown how clueless he is when it comes to Ecbert. He has a more immediate problem, however. Ecbert’s daughter-in-law, Lady Judith, has taken a fancy to Athelstan. She convinces him to accept her confession and then tells him how she’s fantasizing about being naked in bed with him. Awkward. I don’t know how long Athelstan will be able to hold out. Considering he has continued living like a monk for the last ten or so years, it’s about time he got a little action.

Back in Kattegat, Siggy, Aslaug and Helga continue to discuss the meaning of their dream of a mysterious stranger. Siggy has a dream where she finds the Seer bound and bloody. The Wanderer appears one day on the outside of the village and asks Helga to help him because he’s cut his hand. I get that in those times, most people are dirty and a bit motley. But, this guy is downright sketchy. I don’t trust him at all. One thing I really enjoyed about the Kattegat scenes is the way the color shifts to a dreary, monochromatic blue/gray, which is a stark contrast to the bright greens and blues in England.

In the next couple of episodes, I think we’ll see the pay off for all these storylines. I think we can safely say that if Kalf is having dreams about Ragnar eating his liver, things are not going to go well for him. Considering that the Vikings have been obsessed with England for a while now, I’d like to see them move on to new territory.