Vikings: The Joke
January 22, 2018 8:29 PM - Season 5, Episode 8 - Subscribe

The battle for Kattegat begins. As the two armies line up to fight, the Great Heathen Army must decide between a final plea for peace or all-out war. Floki faces discord amongst the settlers.

* Floki has a pet raven now, wants everyone to help work on- and pay for- a temple, even before basic shelter has been achieved
* Eyvind leads the dissenters, much arguing ensues
* Colonists muddle along, temple getting built?
* Floki fondles his pet raven

* Aethelwulf and Aethelred train/ demo against some house guards
* Judith and Alfred catch up in the belltower, Alfred's already thinking about the future
* Aethelwulf is incredibly proud of Aethelred's warrior prowess, Alfred points out that Aethelwulf isn't exactly intellectually inclined
* Alfred reminds everyone that he's Judith's bastard with Athelstan

* Harald's gang gear up, Hvitserk tries to convince Ivar and himself that he's enthusiastic about this course of action
* Astrid convinces Harald to let her get her war on, "carrying Harald's child" or not
* Ivar returns Heahmund's sword

* Lagertha, Bjorn, Halfdan, and Ubbe head to the defenses
* Bjorn takes Torvi's firstborn as his own son into Guthrum's first battle, Torvi makes farewells with her children by Bjorn, Margrethe is left to fret
* Bjorn's new wife accompanies the army

* The two armies face off, Lagertha: "This is not right. It is not right that the sons of Ragnar should try and slaughter each other."
* Halfdan is traded for Hvitserk as hostages, both armies withdraw until the next day

* Lagertha's gang gently extracts intel from Hvitserk, are warned of Heahmund's prowess
* Lagertha tries to turn Hvitserk, Ubbe tries to turn Hvitserk
* Margrethe shows off some pipes
* Harald tries to turn Halfdan, Ivar is strangely non-sentimental given his vendetta, Halfdan remains resolutely loyal to Bjorn

* Obviously Japanese-inspired open-pavilion of vertical flag banners (on spears, natch)
* The two sides negotiate
* Lagertha suggests cooperation against an external foe rather than infight for territory, Astrid (publicly) sides with Harald
* Bjorn tries working on Ivar as a brother, Lagertha tries working on Ivar as the more experienced strategist
* Ivar decrees a ceasefire: "I do not want to fight against my brothers. I still hate myself for killing Sigurd. This would be 10 times worse... I renounce my promise to kill Lagertha. She can have Kattegat. I don't want it. Ubbe, you're right. We are all sons of Ragnar. Forgive me."
* Mead is brought out, Harald pours his out, is pissed
* Ivar throws his in Ubbe's face, still bitter over childhood bullying, berates him for working with Lagertha: "I can never forgive Lagertha for murdering our mother. How can you, how can you? Of course I'm going to kill her!"
* Lagertha pours her out, *what a drama queen* <rolls eyes> "You can try."
* Ivar disowns Ubbe
* Ivar suggests surrender, Bjorn and Ubbe have had enough, draws
* Obviously Japanese-inspired flag banners on spears are deployed in an obviously Japanese-inspired way (but it looks cool)
* Astrid and Lagertha trade looks, Harald's all WTH WOMAN?!, Astrid withdraws into Harald's side
* Harald tries once more to turn Halfdan, Halfdan doth protest far far too much about Bjorn having saved his life once, after a moment of tenderness Harald takes a cheap shot and vows to kill Halfdan

* The two armies face off
* Ivar respects Bjorn's strategic game, plays "what if" and plays some games of his own, sends Hvitserk and a company out to flank
* Harald accedes to Ivar's plan but only if Astrid is brought back behind the lines, Astrid objects, Harald insists
* The two sides attack, armies flow past Bjorn, Harald
* Hvitserk's company is destroyed in an ambush by blowpipes, Hvitserk manages to escape with a few of his company
* The main battle continues in waves, Heahmund is in the middle of it
* Harald leads the last wave of his warriors into the melee, spies Halfdan - who has been fighting since the initial clash (along with Ubbe)
* Lagertha leads her company into Harald's rear
* Bjorn comes in with his and cleans up
* Torvi has a good showing, Guthrum too
* Ivar apparently has an ace up his sleeve;
Astrid: "I think we should go."
Ivar: "I think we should wait. Good things happen to people who wait"
* Harald requests a horn call to retreat
* Astrid entreats Ivar to help Harald, Ivar: "It's too late! It's too late!", Astrid: WTF?
* Heahmund going strong, someone in Production really likes the mauls-to-faces-effect
* The music sets up a match between Heahmund and Lagertha, Heahmund gets the back of his head bashed in by some rando
* Harald calls for a retreat himself, meets up with Ivar and Astrid; Hvitserk also survived
* Bjorn, Ubbe, Halfdan, and Lagertha are uninjured, Lagertha finds Heahmund's really nifty steel sword, orders "the Saxon priest" to be saved, "I don't know why. Maybe the gods know why.", takes Heahmund's sword
posted by porpoise (1 comment total)
The battle scenes have seen huge increases in their budgets, but they feel super generic now. I miss the early season fights that were a lot more personal and believable, like "oh, that's why there's that position in rugby."

Remember when Floki was a rover behind the shield wall who would brain the surprised enemies who were forcibly pulled through the shield and into Floki's wandering hand-axe's path?

Yeah, there's nothing between Bjorn-Guthrum, but contrast the battle in this episode with Bjorn's first battle alongside Ragnar, where he gains his "Ironside" appellation.

Completely lost opportunity to make a Torvi-Guthrum statement. iirc, Lagertha was involved in Bjorn's first battle, as well as Ragnar. How cool would it be to have had Torvi guide/ educate her firstborn son's first battle?

Massively. Lost. Opportunity.
posted by porpoise at 8:37 PM on January 22, 2018

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