A new land, plots, planning, and the aftermath of Ragnar Lothbrok’s death were the fundamentals beats in tonight’s episode of Vikings titled “Crossing”. After such a big and important episode in “All His Angels”, “The Crossing” showed us what is to become of Vikings (the show) after Ragnar’s death, setting up events and building up tension to what Ragnar’s sons will do next.
Most importantly in this episode (consuming the most time), showed Bjorn Ironside, Rollo, and the rest of his Viking warriors coming to a new land to raid, a Muslim port city in Espania (I assume modern day Spain). This wasn’t the most action-packed raid that we’ve seen on the show before (nothing like the siege of Paris in the last season), but it was interesting to see them explore a new land with new a new culture. In truth, Vikings (the show) hasn’t showcased a lot of “raiding” scenes since the first season. Yes, there’s been great battles that have been full of blood and violence, but nothing of plundering and raiding the innocent. This new attack on the Muslim port city further echoes the harsh and brutal ways that Vikings are (yes, they are bad people who kill the innocent, including women and the old).
During this raid, we saw a lot of character moments from certain characters. Most notably in Floki, who seems to be in a bit of a fog at the beginning of the episode, exclaiming to his wife (Helga) that he doesn’t know his purpose. Perhaps he can sense that Ragnar is dead and feels empty inside? Its unclear, but it is possible. In addition, Floki (interestingly) comes across a mosque (filled with Muslims praying) during the raid and is a bit transfixed on the idea. He’s always been passionate about his gods (the Norse gods) and seems a bit fascinated with what he’s seeing in in these Muslims praying, especially to no depiction of Allah anywhere in the temple. In conjunction with Floki’s story, Helga (during the raid’s aftermath) comes across a recently orphaned Muslim girl (who’s parents were both killed in the raid) and decides to keep her as child of their own. This, of course, sets Floki off, but Helga doesn’t care and keeps the little girl anyways. I wonder if Floki will warm up to his new adopted daughter?
Rollo seem to put right at home with the raiding, a bit relishing the chance to raid (like a true Viking again) and fighting alongside his own kind. Bjorn, on the other hand, seemed a bit distracted. Yes, he participated during the raid, but maybe it wasn’t what he was expecting it to be. Maybe he was expecting more of an opposition that just cowering innocents that they encountered. As for King Harald and his brother Half-Dan, we see the two brothers still scheming and plotting their own course in Bjorn’s Mediterranean venture, with brief hints that they might have to challenge all the Lothbroks if they are to rule all of Norway. Lastly, we finally get to see a bit more of Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø), but it’s only brief moments during the raid. As it stands, given his amount of screen-time, he’s the weakest of Ragnar’s four adult children of Ragnar.
In a brief scene back at Wessex (England), we find that King Ecbert’s son Aethelwulf is not convinced that Ragnar’s son will keep their word in seeking vengeance for their father’s death. Ecbert himself is a bit content on the subject (spending his time in overseeing Alfred’s lessons), but does command that Aethelwulf (by himself) raise an army if Ragnar’s son should return. I wonder if they’ll be ready in time….
Back at home (in Kattegat), we see that Ubbe and Sigurd are biding their time to make a strike against Lagertha. Unfortunately, their brother Ivar seeks vengeance for his mother death immediately, challenging Lagertha to single combat, who, in turn, refuses, which makes Ivar even more angry. As for Lagertha, she’s feeling the burden of Ragnar’s death, but remains steadfast as Queen of Kattegat, ordering a wall to construct around the city to be protected from outside invaders. Still, Lagertha is still heartbroken over his first husband’s death and is concern over when Ragnar’s children will move against her. She even visits the Seer (John Kavanagh) who foretells that she will die by the hands of one of Ragnar’s children. But which one?
The final several minutes of the episode concludes with the All-Father himself (Odin), King of the Norse gods, visits the sons of Ragnar to tell them of their father’s death. Even Bjorn and Hvitserk are told (via Odin’s ravens) that Ragnar is dead. Pretty ominous and cool that we actually get to see the mighty Odin (in human form).
In short, being the first episode without having Ragnar Lothbrok, “The Crossing” held its own and dealt with multiple storylines in exploring a new city (to raid) and what is to come of a few characters in Kattegat. The big question is what will become of certain characters in the coming episodes? Will Lagertha be killed by Ivar? Will Bjorn continue on his journey into the Mediterranean or will he head back to Kattegat? What will Ubbe and Sigurd do next?We’ll just have to wait and see.
Score: 8.0 / 10
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