The Vikings are back, with a first episode bearing the somewhat puzzling title of A Good Treason. A better title perhaps would be: Don’t Mess With the Lothbroks. Only Uhtred can do that and succeed, but that’s another show. (See earlier reviews of The Last Kingdom.)
When last we saw Ragnar he was sick unto death, but in the Prologue of this episode he is looking great as he rides through some gorgeous scenery that has been enhanced with CGI because green hills don’t fade into soaring snow-covered mountains quite like that in real life. So we suspect that we’re in a dream world. And then magnificent golden doors appear, and now we KNOW we’re in a dream world, and through those doors we can see Valhalla where the gods are feasting, and Ragnar is desperate to enter, but the doors close before he can reach them, poor guy. And we don’t know if he’s been shut out because he’s been baptized a Christian, or because he’s dying without a sword in his hand, or if it’s just not his time to die. But we’re glad he isn’t dead yet because old blue eyes has some unfinished business, and we want to see how he deals with it.
For starters, there’s Bjorn. He’s trying to step into his father’s shoes in a good son kind of way, but Ragnar is more than a little irked by some of his decisions. Their father-son conference does not go well, especially when Ragnar asks, “Whose stupid idea was it to leave Rollo in Paris?” And we’re reminded that the relationship between Rollo and Ragnar, too, has had its ups and downs, and we’re betting our crossbows that this season it’s on the downslide big time.
But over in Paris Rollo has problems of his own, married as he is to a weepy Princess Gisla. Her sniveling seems totally out of character compared to last season when she was tough as nails and giving Rollo haughty looks that promised future fireworks. Here, though, she is reduced to weeping at the sight of a half-naked, tattooed Rollo, and we’re thinking, “Oh, honey! Just be glad it’s not that smarmy Odo.”
And she’s stripped to her shift, but still pulls a knife and Yikes! Where did she even have a place to hide that thing? Rollo, though, takes it in stride. He’s a Viking!
Over in Hedeby Lagertha has allied with Kalf. They’re co-jarls now, although she’s not wearing his arm ring or anything. Some folks in the village are not too happy about their alliance and they make the mistake of protesting. There are protests in France, as well, where Rollo’s gang of Vikings are irritated by his new uppity lifestyle. Like the Hedeby villagers they make the mistake of complaining about it. The upshot? Oh, people. Don’t mess with the Lothbroks.