Look, you could pretty much call Vinland Saga ‘The tale of a bunch of charming murderers and their assassin child who wants to murder them’ and it would probably hit home just as well. All this episode is is a follow up to before: we’re finally seeing Thorfinn capable of fighting and avenging his father, and we get a whole episode of him earning that! As for Askeladd and the group, they’re just chilling out and happy to exist in their murdering plundering ways. It’s like I’m watching real life gritty one piece and then the dankest darkest revenge story. The tone between Thorfinn and the mercenaries he tags along with is such a heavy juxtaposition.
This episode was the bloody animated mess I’ve wanted since the beginning. Askeladd continues his murder spree and by that I mean, is the best damn mercenary possible everywhere. Thorfinn is having none of it and just wants his damn revenge even though we’re still in like, Arc 2? Come on man, get with the narrative focus. He has to be the messenger to a gross frog man they’re going to split their spoils with, and they use cool boat carrying tricks to make it happen. But his goal is simple: he wants the head of a Captain with a helmet so he can get his duel. What ensues is a murder fiesta that makes me go “Holy shit, daddy passed on his genes.” He just runs through a series of men and chops off a dudes head, then jumps off a bridge to get it when it falls in the ocean.
Listen explaining what makes this episode cool is simple: in one scene we have a murder conga line with Thorfinn getting a head to chop off, in the next scene we have all of Askeladd’s crew covered in jewelry talking about how this is a fair deal when they rip off the guys they ‘deal’ with. Thorfinn gets to show he is invaluable when he stops crossbow fire and his sweet dagger skills, meanwhile Askeladd gets to be the murder hobo every DnD player aspires to be.
Askeladd does agree to a duel in the end, but we don’t get to see that yet. Instead we get to wonder how the themes of the show will continue: war and battle are the reality of this story, but what kind of story is it? Will it be a simple revenge story, or will it be much like life: a complex and unwinding tale with no true ending, but instead a focus on a single point.
I dunno for now, but hooray to the murder hobo dnd party and their excessive loot haul!