The Vikings suffer a devastating loss at the hands of Rollo and the Frank; and in Wessex, Ecbert forms a new alliance. Photo stills and recap of “The Profit and the Loss”, which aired Thursday, March 31 at 10:00pm ET|PT on HISTORY.
“The Profit and the Loss” began with the Vikings in Paris returning to their fort. Harald Finehair tried to talk to Ragnar about his plans to deal with Rollo’s betrayal. Ragnar suggested they sail past the forts and at the same time, also attack the forts by land. Lagertha agreed and decided to lead the attack part on foot. (Of course, they didn’t know about Rollo’s plans with the iron chain…)
After the meeting, Bjorn caught up with Erlendur and showed him the ring; however, Erlendur denied that it was his father’s ring, saying that he had never seen it before. When Torvi came to Bjorn, she was emphatic that Erlendur was lying.
Elsewhere, Ragar tried to dissuade Lagertha from fighting tomorrow and touched her tummy, calling attention to her baby. But Lagertha was determined. She told Ragnar how the Seer had prophesied that she would never have another child. And if the Seer was right, it didn’t matter whether or not she fought.
When she walked away, Ubbe and Hvitserk approached their father and requested that they be allowed to fight the next day. However, Ragnar didn’t think they were strong enough. Ubbe and Hvitserk would stay behind and protect the forts and supplies.
The next day, the Vikings sailed up river. They pumped themselves up by chanting and cursing Rollo. In fact, Bjorn planned to kill his uncle himself.
Meanwhile, Rollo, Gisla, and Odo watched the Viking ships approaching from the forts. Rollo told Gisla not to be afraid, but she wasn’t scared.
Lagertha led a contingent of soldiers and shieldmaidens by foot to the forts; however, when they got close, they were bogged down in the marshes. At this delay, Rollo was able to see them approaching on foot and ordered the archers to shoot them all.
Simultaneously, Rollo ordered the archers to shoot at the ships too.
Several Vikings, on land and water, went down.
On land, Lagertha ordered the soldiers to shift to dry land and try to relaunch an attack. It was at this time that Rollo saw Lagertha was leading the force. They were attacked on all sides and eventually Lagertha called a retreat.
On the river, the boats continued and Vikings hid behind their shields as they tried to sail past the forts. But then the iron chain was lifted. They tried to halt and shift the boats, but it was too late. The ships in front capsized. The Frankish soldiers launched some sort of lighter fluid onto the boats, followed by flaming arrows.
Even Floki went into the water, but Ragnar jumped in and saved him.
And back at the camp, Roland and a contingent of Frankish soldiers launched an attack. They killed the women left behind and set fire to the camp.
Ragnar was enraged. This was how Rollo repaid his brother’s forgiveness when everyone told Ragnar to abandon Rollo? Eventually the Vikings on sea retreated too.
Afterwards, Odo congratulated Rollo on a well fought battle. As they walked along the shore, Gisla was surprised that so many of the dead bodies were women. Rollo told her that Viking women were among the most brave and fierce warriors. He mentioned Lagertha by name, and Gisla was interested in meeting.
In Kattegat, Aslaug asked Harbard why he was there. She confided in him that Ragnar took Ubbe and Hvitserk to Paris to punish her for what happened last time (the boys almost drowning while she had her affair with Harbard). Aslaug also told Harbard that she dreamed of him. He said he was glad to be back and then kissed her. Sigurd watched his mother and Harbard from afar.
Sigurd continued to watch Harbard as he interacted with the other women in Kattegat, kissing them and comforting them in their loneliness. Sigurd even saw Harbard having sex with one of the women.
According to one of Harbard’s admirers:
“I can’t understand it. I don’t know who you are. But when you look at me, I feel happy and good. Full of hope for the future. I know you are a truly holy man. A man close to the gods.”
(Well, if Floki was right in Season 3, Episode 5, Harbard is really Odin!)
In Wessex, Ecbert led his soldiers to Mercia. On the way, Ecbert had a secret meeting with Prince Wigstan at the mausoleum of the kings and queens of Mercia. Wigstan was distressed with the decline of Mercia’s prominence at the hands of his other family members and Kwenthrith, who Ecbert apparently supported. However, Ecbert shared that he didn’t really care for Kwenthrith; what he wanted was stability for Mercia. Wigstan wanted to join forces with Ecbert and overthrow the ruling council. After that Wigstan would travel to Rome on pilgrimage to restore his faith and Ecbert could have Mercia. Wigstan then presented Ecbert with the ancestral crown of Mercia.
Back in Frankia, things were a disaster for the Vikings, one that was increased when they returned to camp. Floki found Helga, who was badly hurt, but not dead. Ubbe, Hvitserk, Torvi, and Yidu were still alive too.
The Vikings performed burial rites for their dead and created a funeral pyre.
Elsewhere, Bjorn confided in Torvi that he blamed his father for what happened.
Ragnar himself was very upset and demanded that Yidu give him more of the Chinese medicine. At first she said it was finished, but after Ragnar tore her tent apart trying to find it, Yidu gave him some. Ragnar grabbed Yidu, kissed her, and went off by himself to sit in the rain and mourn.
Floki also went off into the forest by himself and had a vision of Aslaug walking towards him and kissing him. She then climbed on top of Floki and had sex with him. At several points the scene changed and it was Harbard who Aslaug was having sex with. When she finished, Aslaug said “Amen.” (Was Floki channeling a interlude with Aslaug and Harbard in Kattegat)?
Three days later, Ragnar still didn’t have a plan and Bjorn was getting impatient. Ragnar ordered that tomorrow they would retreat. When Bjorn left, Ragnar reiterated his plan to retreat, this time speaking to a severed human head.
If you missed Thursday’s episode, you can watch “The Profit and the Loss” online HERE, OnDemand, or on the HISTORY app.
Take a look below for a preview for next week’s episode “Portage”… It looks like Ecbert may regret not taking Kwenthrith more seriously!