Bjorn wasn't having a good time
Before the credits roll, we see plucky Bjorn in polar-bear-white conditions, regretting his life choices before he finds an abandoned fishing hut. And you thought leaving your parents’ place for a mould-spattered sharehouse where someone keeps thieving your Doritos was tough.
Who let the dogs out? Ragnar knows who
Ragnar’s kicking back at home when he hears the local dogs going absolutely apeshit. With a roll of his eyes, he lets us know he knows what’s up – that monk-murdering fanatic Floki has escaped.
"No, I will not sign for these boxes full of heads"
Providing a poor advertisement for the postal service of the day, a box of severed heads arrives for King Ecbert of Wessex, express from Mercia. In response, he sends his son Athelwulf to retrieve Queen Kwenthrith, who’s being held prisoner. Can’t help but think he’s mainly doing this for another shot at his daughter-in-law’s undercarriage.
Ecbert manages to keep Judith around
King Ecbert has a shot at the title with Princess Judith, suggesting that it might be an awesome idea if they paint each other. This time, he’s offering more than the royal scepter – he’ll also give her freedom to learn how to work on holy texts if she agrees…
Roll employs Charades strategy to act out his betrayal
Plotting and scheming abound in Emperor Charles’ court. It’s hard to join in when you don’t speak the local tongue, but Rollo manages to act out his betrayal of the Norse, then helps with Frankish strategy with a combination of wooden blocks and enthusiastic battle noises. Massive charades fan.
Nobody likes Rollo's new look
It’s an extreme makeover for Rollo, who’s all about the coiffed hair, brocade finery and cold-drip coffee this season. His wife Gisla’s not impressed, but that could be because she prefers the proto-lumberjack chic Rollo usually sports.
Here's a tip: Never hire a monk that looks like your mistress's ex
Ecbert’s thinking with his little head, but it turns out pants are no place for plan-hatching, mainly because he appoints the monk Prudentius – watch that name start to trend in 2017 – to teach Judith how to illuminate holy texts. And Prudentius looks a lot like Judith’s dead soulmate Athelstan. Liiiike, a lot.
No cage can hold Kwenthrith!
Kwenthrith and her son Magnus (who she says is actually Ragnar’s) are held captive in a Mercian keep. During a massively bloody battle outside, Kwenthrith brutally takes down two female guards in her cell by hand before Aethelwulf busts in and cuts her grass with the final death-blow glory. “What took you so long?” she says, and we fall in love with another tough female character.
Count Odo's into S&M; is a super creep
Count Odo steps it up with his hot/submissive no-doubt-a honey-trap mistress thanks to a little 50 Shades perversion. We’re talking large whip and welt marks everywhere… possibly because there’s more room to experiment when you’re not living in the frozen wastes of Scandinavia.
"I've got an idea: let's all get in the water!"
Floki runs like the clappers before opting for the most idiotic plan possible – hiding underwater. He’s immediately spotted in a stream by a young boy in the search party and returned to Ragnar, before suffering further at the hands of H2O when he’s strung up in a cave in his undies – and by Thor’s hammer, he’s buff – water dripping on his head.
Ragnar steps over the line... way over
Aslaug confronts Ragnar about punishing Floki for the miniscule crime of murdering a Christian, and he responds with a reasoned, balanced point of view that won’t remotely reduce his standing in the eyes of a significant portion of viewers. Either that or he smacks her across the face then to the ground, while yelling about loyalty and trust.
The gods are angry…again
In tonight’s nothing-good-ever-happens-when-it-comes-to-the-gods news, Floki and Helga’s daughter dies, and Helga tries to dig a grave in hard ice. Ragnar grabs a pick to help, and congratulates her on being a loyal wife. Floki might be getting waterboarded, but at least he hasn’t yet heard how awful things truly are.
Bjorn’s Revenant moment
Bjorn continues to live the kind of life we expect from the descendants of royalty, catching one measly fish in a frozen lake. This scene’s best watched with some microwaved fish fingers.
The new series of Vikings continues Wednesdays at 9:30pm (AEDT) on SBS. Every episode will be on SBS On Demand after it airs.
Watch episode 2, Kill the Queen, right now: