With the season premiere last week being such a hit despite not showing the audience anything new I felt like there were high hopes for this episode ‘The Wanderer’. However this episode serves as a continuation or ‘part 2’ of last week’s premiere, in what I believe is a 3 part story line. It didn’t have the flair the last episode had but it didn’t misfire by any means…In fact I think a lot more happened in this episode story wise, but I just don’t think it was well directed or as decent technically.
‘The Wanderer’ takes place literally straight after the attack lead by Ragnar at the end of the premiere, we are reminded of Princess Kwenthrith’s past, probably explaining why she is sex crazed and a tad psycho. She was raped by dozens of men including her older brother and uncle when she was only a child still, I can see Ragnar being affected by this and possibly making his hunt for the Princess’ brother Burgred more emotionally charged, maybe leading to Ragnar and Kwenthrith getting closer. It’s just a possibility at this stage.
Lagertha and King Ecbert become closer while she establishes the Viking farming land, this is a very different relationship dynamic Lagertha is used to, as the King is quite is quite a gentlemen and he acts very different from a traditional Viking man, obviously. He is also traditional in the way he tries to win Lagertha’s heart, not by chemistry but with gifts and compliments. However back home more trouble is brewing in Lagertha’s camp, as Kalf is now Earl. Stealing the position in Lagertha’s absence, definitely setting up a major conflict when she returns. Kalf has been a good addition to the show so far, another addition made his debut today, Kevin Durand only known as ‘The Wanderer’ for now. He didn’t get much screen time but I am looking forward to seeing more of him. The plot leading up to his debut I did not care much for though, Asluag and Siggy are characters I have yet to warm to, whenever they are on screen I feel a slight disinterest. I feel like that plot could have been cut down, but I understand the need to build up a new mysterious character.
Torstein seemed to be the most interesting character of this episode, Michael Hirst is sticking to his promise of every character having their own arc and problems to overcome, however It does not seem like Torstein will overcome his. Due to his battle injury he dwelled in torment, he decided to have his arm cut off but it does not look like he will survive. If Torstein does die it will be a real surprise and probably fuel frustration and anger among the Vikings who are fighting a battle that isn’t their own. Judith is flirting more with Athelstan trying to lure him into her bed, Athelstan is keeping his hands clean (or dripping with blood) for now. The episode ended on what looked like Athelstan’s crucifixion wounds bleeding although I cannot be too sure.
Overall the episode presented itself as an act two, it made a lot of headway in the stories of characters while even adding and taking away some. Nevertheless it failed to have the directional flair and style of the premiere to go above and beyond and really ‘wow’ me.
Words by Eddie Michael