Recap: Vikings 5.8 "Portage"

Apr 08, 2016 by Sarah Moffatt

I never gave much thought to just how exhausting it must’ve been to be a Viking. You’re always angry, always scheming, always fighting, and always having to do incredibly difficult things without the luxury of the machines and technology we have today. It’s a spoiled life we lead.

After their first raid on Paris went south, a lot of Ragnar’s followers were pretty upset about the outcome. Even brothers King Harald Finehair and Halfdan the Black were skeptical of the stories they heard about Ragnar and began to question following him into battle in the first place.

But as is his wont, Ragnar comes up with a last-minute plan that’s just crazy enough to work: he asks Floki to build a contraption that can raise the boats out of the water and up the side of a cliff to put on a different contraption that will move the boats along land. Easy, right? Except the contraptions are all powered by strong backs and “Heave, ho!”s.

Ragnar’s idea is to drop the boats back into the water upstream and attack Paris from the north, catching the Franks off guard, outsmarting his traitor brother, and successfully taking Paris this time around. While I’m still convinced Floki has some weird allegiance to the new brothers in town, Floki agrees to build these contraptions for Ragnar because, you know, everything he does is for Ragnar. I guess we’ll see.

Or maybe we won’t: When Floki kisses Helga goodbye, she dutifully reminds him not to die, so I’m pretty much convinced that he’s going to die before the season’s over. This is what shows like Game of Thrones have done to me – I am in constant fear of everyone dying, even if there’s no apparent reason.

Yidu finally stands up to Ragnar and calls him out for his erratic behavior. Ragnar definitely doesn’t take kindly to that, and asks for his medicine, which she denies him, so he really loses it and drowns her in front of his sons. (If that doesn’t come back to bite him in the very near future, I will have a hard time moving forward with this show.)

But the real drama happened inside of Paris and at Wessex this week.

Count Odo makes a point to tell the Emperor his trust in Rollo is misplaced, but little does Odo know the Emperor is already onto his mischievous ways and, if your recall from last week, has enlisted his friend Roland and his sister Therese to collect evidence of his plans to overthrow him. Once the Emperor feels he has undeniable confirmation, he calls for the Count’s execution by lashing – something he was into sexually with Therese. How poetic! This results in Rollo gaining the Emperor’s – aka his father-in-law’s – trust even more and he bestows Rollo with the iron fist, making him the lead confidant in defensive strategy.

In Wessex, King Ecbert returns and fills Kwenthrith in on the news of her family renouncing their claim to the throne in front of the council and passing it along to him before slaughtering the council to close the door to her trying to have it undone. Kwenthrith is like, “P.S., I’m carrying your son’s child,” and Ecbert is like, “Whatever. I’ll kill you both. Also, you’re forbidden to leave and I’m putting you under 24/7 watch.” Kwenthrith goes to Judith to ask for forgiveness for sleeping with her husband and getting pregnant with their child. Judith basically shrugs and says she’ll help her in escaping. When Kwenthrith does try to escape, she makes a pitstop at Ecbert’s room and tries to kill him before STAB! Judith stabs Kwenthrith and kills her and Aethelwulf’s baby.

This. Is. Not. Going. To. End. Well.

I have a feeling that when Aethelwulf returns from his trip to Rome, he’s going to be ready to ruin some lives for good, starting with his wife and father.

Watch Vikings Thursdays at 10pm ET on HISTORY.

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