Vikings The Departed Season 5 Episodes 1 and 2 Recap — After what felt like a lifetime, Vikings finally returned to The History Channel with a vengeance. (And what better day, and way, to do it than on my 40th birthday!) As fans, we all know that our time in Kattegat is limited — after all, this is around the period in history when the Vikings were “Christianized,” and now, with the death of Ragnar, there’s little, if anything, there to stop the inevitable.
As such, the season premiere was longer than most episodes, clocking in at just under two hours, and covered a lot of ground.
Vikings The Departed Season 5 Episodes 1 and 2 Recap
So, at this point in the story, Kings Ragnar, Ecbert, and Aelle are all dead. This is leaving two dominions without a leader, and when last we left la famiglia Lothbrook, Harald the Finehair was making his inroads with Lagertha.
That doesn’t mean that Ragnar’s surviving sons aren’t throwing their hats in the proverbial ring, either: remember, even though Bjorn is the oldest and the heir apparent, he has more interest in conquering the Mediterranean for the Vikings than he does in ruling Kattegat. Ivar, meanwhile, is the youngest — and clearly the craziest — but he was the one who went with Ragnar to England, so it’s perhaps he who’s the heir apparent? (Spoiler alert: in “real life,” he is.)
But we open up the season premiere with Sigurd’s Viking funeral, and more evidence that Ivar is literally one bad day away from killing everybody. And while everyone with a pair of eyes can see that Ivar is (to put it mildly) bloodthirsty, the Vikings need a leader since Bjorn has refused to take the helm (spoiler alert: in “real life,” he goes off to the Mediterranean and retires as a very wealthy man).
And especially that, now, there’s the threat of the invading Christian army, the Vikings need all the crazy that they can get.
Despite the fact that Ivar is, frankly, the Viking-era version of Charles Manson, he has an uncanny ability to execute a complex military strategy, and his older brothers Ubbe and Hvitserk quickly fall in line behind him.
Meanwhile, Bjorn schvitzes off to the Mediterranean with Harald the Finehair’s brother, Halfdan, in tow. And while this is all we see of their great adventure in this episode, it certainly won’t be the last time we see it this season.
But of course, the most heartbreaking part of the season premiere comes courtesy of Floki, who seems to have lost his sense of purpose after losing his wife, his child, and his best friend (Ragnar). And while he’s been a fatherly figure to Ivar, and Ivar cries when Floki decides to go off to “where the gods decide,” he understands that Floki has to undergo this journey, and even goes so far as to give him a navigation sunstone and compass which Floki later tosses into the sea, viewing the instruments as a slap in the face of the Gods.
But it’s up to the viewer to decide if Floki did, indeed, survive the storm, and whether he washed up in Iceland or in Valhalla. (This reviewer votes on Iceland.)
Vikings The Departed Season 5 Episodes 1 and 2 Recap
The long anticipated addition of Jonathan Rhys-Meyers to the cast does not disappoint as Heahmund, the warrior bishop, rallies the Christian troops in his quest to put down the Great Heathen Army. Aethelwulf appears poised to follow his father, but must contend with several persistent thorns, not the least of which is wife Judith (Jennie Jacques) and her son Alfred. Alfred, meanwhile, gets a vision from his grandfather that he’s got to go off and fight the Great Heathen Army.
And then there’s the great moment when Lagertha ties up Harald and begins torturing him to learn the truth behind his arrival in her village. And that’s the thing about Harald; everything he tells her is the truth. And then she has sex with him, which is totally head-scratching.
Overall, there’s a lot to unpack in this episode, and it’s hoped that future episodes will take its time and develop these storylines (wonderful ones, all) in a richer way.
What did you think of this Vikings The Departed Season 5 Episodes 1 and 2 recap?
Other episodes of Vikings reviewed on TV Eskimo:
Vikings The Departed Season 5 Episodes 1 and 2 Recap characters and cast include:
King Ecbert – Linus Roache (Coronation Street, Law & Order, Non-Stop, Batman Begins, The Chronicles of Roddick)
Lagertha – Katheryn Winnick (Killers, The Dark Tower, Bones, Love & Other Drugs, Night and Day)
Bishop Heahmund – Jonathan Rhys Meyers (London Town, The Tudors, Match Point, Mission: Impossible III, Bend It Like Beckham, August Rush)
Rollo – Clive Standen (Namastey London, Everest, Taken, Camelot, Doctor Who, Hammer of the Gods, Patient Zero)
Judith – Jennie Jaques (Truth or Die, Nocturne, The Other Side, Shank)
Ivar – Alex Hogh Andersen
Sigurd – David Lindstrom
Ubbe – Jordan Patrick Smith (The Ruins, Unbroken, Banished, Neighbours)
Floki – Gustaf Skarsgard (Darling, The Way Back, Evil, Kon-Tiki)
Bjorn Lothbrok – Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games, Lone Survivor, Race to Witch Mountain)
King Harald Finehair – Peter Franzen (Ambush, Bad Boys, Heart of a Lion)
Halfdan the Black – Jasper Paakkonen (Secret Lives, Frozen Land)
Hvitserk – Marco Iso
Astrid – Josefin Asplund (Conspiracy of Silence, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Aethelwulf – Moe Dunford (Patrick’s Day, Gridlock, The Flag, Game of Thrones, The Tudors)
Aethelred – Darren Cahill
Ketill Flatnose – Adam Copeland
Torvi – Georgia Hirst
Eyvind – Kris Holden-Ried (Arrow, Dark Matter, Lost Girl, The Bridge, The Tudors, K-19: The Widowmaker)
Aethelgyth – India Mullen (Little Women, Into the Badlands, Red Rock)
Alfred the Great – Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (Sing Street)