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‘Vikings’: Episode “The Prisoner” Recap

Photo by Jonathan Hession

The week’s episode is aptly titled as some of our characters have found themselves in quite the pickle. No one is safe in this volatile world.

Bishop Heahmund (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen) – York

Photo by Jonathan Hession

The Saxons experience a brief joy for thinking that they have bested the Vikings but are sadly proven wrong. Remember those rats? The whole reason they are fleeing above ground is due to the Vikings invading the underground. They patiently wait for everyone to flood into the city of York before rising above ground and attacking.

The Vikings close in the Saxons as they attempt to retreat. King Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford) also fights as best as he can alongside his men and goes against Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) who unleashes Viking hell. A massive warrior with a mallet-like weapon heads straight for Alfred who almost falls victim to him, but thankfully someone is watching over him as he is again rescued just in the nick of time!

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Ivar watches the chaos from the top of the perimeter wall as Bishop Heahmund desperately fights below. When he gets knocked off his horse, Ivar stops the attack and demands that they give the brave Saxon warrior his horse.

“He is too great a warrior to fight on foot.”

They briefly acknowledge each other while the horse is brought over. Once the Bishop gets on the Ivar’s horse, the fight ensues again. Meanwhile, the Saxon army tries to get King Aethlewulf out for not only his safety but also to save his men.

The Viking army ends up capturing Bishop Heahmund, and as Ivar walks up to him covered in blood, he smiles. Out of pure defiance, Bishop Heahmund then screams, “Heathen!” right into Ivar’s face.

Photo by Jonathan Hession

As the Saxons retreat to their camp, Queen Judith and the rest of their people begin the gory task of patching up their wounded. She discovers that her cousin stayed behind to help save King Aethelwulf and as the viewers are aware, he dies in battle. King Aethelwulf is devastated by the loss. They should have never underestimated the Vikings!

Meanwhile, Ivar slithers up to a chained Bishop Heahmund and stares at him in the eyes. This moment is Ivar’s way of showcasing his power. They beat the Saxons yet again!

With this final battle win, Hvitserk thinks it is now time that they should head back to Kattegat. They still have unfinished business with Lagertha and Ubbe.

“We must kill Ubbe and Lagertha. And you must be crowned king of Kattegat, before Bjorn returns.”

Ivar suggests that for the ‘short-term,’ they will join forces with King Harald. Before returning, Ivar makes a calculated decision to take Bishop Heahmund instead of killing him. This choice almost reminds us of when Ragnar took Athelstan.

Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) – Kattegat

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Floki finally returns home to Kattegat. As people hear of his arrival, they run to greet him. Torvi (Georgia Hirst) sees him, and there is a hint of concern as she runs to tell Queen Largertha.

As Lagertha welcomes Floki back, he tells her and the rest of the people about the special place he discovered on his pilgrimage. He says them that no humans are there, “Only the Gods.” She questions why he returned, and so he divulges his plan to take people who are pure of heart back to the place. Unfortunately for him, Lagertha is not ready to part with capable men and women. She forbids him to take her people because she needs them to fight against King Harald.

Floki has never been one to follow instructions or rules, and so he quietly assembles a small band of people to build a colony in the new land. He knows he is going against Lagertha’s wishes, but he feels this is for the greater good. Even knowing that there is trouble amongst the brothers (Ubbe and Ivar) doesn’t deter him from gathering people who he feels are deserving to live in the land of the Gods. They plan to depart in 9 days and have to prepare everything with utmost secrecy.

Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) – Africa

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Out in the desert dunes, Bjorn and his men begin their adventure to Africa. The scenery is quite breathtaking. They finally arrive at a camp in the middle of nowhere. Did anyone catch that slight smirk on Kassia (Karima McAdams) face? Before settling in, Bjorn and his men are asked to turn over their weapons, and then they invited into the tent where they meet Ziyadat Allah (Khaled Abol Naga), the ‘great’ Emir.

It turns out that the Emir knows their language which surprises Bjorn and Halfdan (Jasper Pääkkönen). The Emir seems to be interested in trading and does not need to have them as enemies. We know better and are not so sure he can be trusted.

While Halfdan and Bjorn smoke a pipe in their tent, the Emir sends them two women. As it turns out the next day, Bjorn discovers from his conversation with Halfdan, that his ‘gift’ was, in fact, a man. He tells Bjorn, “She was not a she,” to which Bjorn replies, “Was that a problem for you?” This quick exchange provided us with a hilarious reaction from Bjorn that was reminiscent of his father. Even his expression had us thinking how similar he is to Ragnar in so many ways.

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Their paradise in the camp appears to be short-lived when they discover that while they were preoccupied during the night, the Commander Euphemius was arrested. However, he escaped, and the Emir is not pleased. He and Kassia have something going on as they also spent the previous night together. Halfdan ironically remarks, “We haven’t been the best bodyguards, have we?”

Eventually, they capture Commander Euphemius, and the Emir sets up a great feast. After they have all eaten their fill, the Emir reveals that they have just eaten the Commander. Can we all just take a minute to say, “EWWW!”  Sindric thinks they should return to the boats because he has got a bad feeling about the Emir.

Photo by Jonathan Hession

It turns out the next day; he was right to trust his instincts. The Emir’s men capture Bjorn, Halfdan, and Sindric. With blades pressed up against their neck, there seems little that they can do to get free. However, Sindric notices that a storm is coming. As Kassia screams, “Kill them!”, the screen goes black.

How will Bjorn and Halfdan escape? What will become of Ivar’s and Bishop relationship? Will Floki take his small colony without Lagertha noticing?

Vikings airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on History.

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