Season 3: Episode 4 “Scarred”
Warning: Full spoilers for the episode follow…
Siggy, after years of surviving wars, new regimes, and hostiles invading her village, succumbed to Harbard’s trickery this week in “Scarred,” when she found herself drowned in a frozen lake while trying to rescue Aslaug’s brood.
It was an interesting end to a character who, for most of her run, was portrayed as a schemer/opportunist bent on returning to the previous status she held in Kattegat as Earl Haraldson’s wife. First she tried to back Rollo, seducing him into betraying his brother. Now she found herself a trusted member of the King’s household. It’s unclear how much, in the end, she actually cared for Aslaug and her children. Her pursuit of them to the lake was probably a mix of love and, well, seeing them as her meal ticket. Their safety meant her security.
Plus, she was the first to narrow her eyes at Harbard – probably because you can’t bulls*** a bulls***ter, right? She was instantly suspicious of the guy and there was probably a moment of “Oh, you don’t get to come in here and trick everyone. That’s Sig’s gig.” Combined with a creeping feeling of supernatural dread, of course.
So who is Harbard? That’s still the mystery. Once again, following his absorption of the baby’s pain two young boys were sort of tranced off toward a watery grave. Siggy followed this time though and wound up taking their place. And, for an instant, a blonde woman appeared in place of Harbard (Was that her daughter? I didn’t readily recognize her, but Siggy smiled). All while Harbard himself (or herself, depending on which deity/being this is) seduced Aslaug. It was one of the most intriguing sequences Vikings has ever done. Dark magic, but with no big monsters of effects. Just ghostly trickery. Like a horror movie of sorts. It also, of all things, allowed Siggy to die during an act of heroism.
Meanwhile, in Wessex, Floki continued his s***-talking campaign against Ragnar. Loyal Rollo didn’t bite (which his funny considering his previous coup attempt), but he may have caught the ear of Bjorn, who’s currently a mess because of Porunn’s horrible injury. And Kwenthrith may have finally caught Ragnar’s attention after pissing on his wound. She’s all sorts of crazy, but we may have just stumbled upon something Ragnar considers a “meet-cute.” If he’s not put off by the fact that, you know, she poisoned Burgred in front of everyone at the end.
And it wasn’t just that she killed her brother so publicly, it’s that she didn’t tell anyone her plan and had them all agree to forgive him. For her. It was a cool moment too because it appeared as though she’d worked to get him pardoned because the two of them had “Lannister” feelings for one another. Or at least he did since her love sharply turned to agonizing death. If she’s to be Ecbert’s “puppet,” I fear he’s overestimated his ability to control her.
Also, Athelstan and Judith finally did the deed – just in time for her husband come home from war. And back in Lagertha Land, Earl Kalf has brought in a rogues’ gallery of Ragnar haters for support. We’re talking the remaining family and heirs of Horrick and Borg here.
So danger looms in every corner. Closing in on both Ragnar and Ecbert, who both quietly bonded this week during the victory blowout. Where the both of them wallflowered for a bit and agreed that they were both good men. And corrupt men. Different faiths, same drive. I really like how reasonable Ecbert is and how accustomed he’s become to Ragnar and his horde. Usually open minded characters on TV, especially ones in period dramas, are also portrayed as naive. But Ecbert’s clever to a fault, which makes him a great fit for someone as forward-thinking as Ragnar.
Unlike other shows, it’s hard to predict when big things will happen on Vikings. Stories don’t build in exactly the same way here as they do elsewhere. So I could say that, because of Ragnar and Ecbert’s reflective bonding this week, “Scarred” felt a little bit like a calm before a coming storm. But who’s to say really?
I really enjoyed Siggy’s end and how it felt supernatural, but without a heavy hand. Did the kids just wander off and she died while saving them? Or were they lured away and she got duped into entering a frozen watery grave? And what consequences will there be for Aslaug laying with Harbard?