Ragnarok season 2, episode 1 recap – “Brothers in Arms”

May 27, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, TV Recaps
3

Summary

“Brothers in Arms” sets the stage for a coming war, as Magne looks for allies (and a hammer), and Laurits tries to find himself.

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3

Summary

“Brothers in Arms” sets the stage for a coming war, as Magne looks for allies (and a hammer), and Laurits tries to find himself.

This recap of Ragnarok season 2, episode 1, “Brothers in Arms”, contains spoilers.


Freya, according to the obligatory opening expository text in “Brothers in Arms”, is the most important goddess in Norse mythology, the goddess of love, fertility, and devotion, but also associated with magic, war, and wealth, which is a pretty broad range of responsibilities when you think about it. We’re in Season 2, by the way, but Ragnarok clearly hasn’t grown tired of these hammy quasi-ominous openings. For selfish reasons, I do like the idea of a goddess whose beauty can enchant anyone, though, so there’s that to look forward to.

For what it’s worth, this season opens with the climactic confrontation that ended the previous one, with Magne and Vidar both unconscious after the lightning storm, though neither seems particularly troubled by the ordeal. Vidar does promise to kill Magne by the next new moon, though, which you have to hope is sooner rather than later given how slow the first season was. Luckily things get weird rather quickly in Ragnarok season 2, episode 1, with Magne stepping into a weird spectral pocket dimension to be lectured about his need for a weapon and allies in the coming war. Vidar expresses similar concerns to his family, sans Fjor, who he thinks is off killing Gry, which of course he isn’t.

To summarize, then: Magne is becoming invulnerable and has at least a partial control of lightning, the giants need the old weapons — which they all apparently have — to kill him, and there are numerous gods hidden in and around Edda, though their identities need to be kept secret to protect them from the giants’ retribution. Phew.

When Fjor eventually returns home, he tells the rest of his family that he’s picking up some things and leaving, ominously holding the family axe to make his point (that big open staircase really makes a dramatic exit look ridiculous). Vidar isn’t exactly thrilled to hear this but he’s so unused to the dissent that he just lets Fjor leave. There’s probably another extended parental beating in the kid’s future, but it doesn’t come in “Brothers in Arms”.

Given everything we’ve seen Magne do at this point, it’s easy to forget that nobody is supposed to know that he’s actually Thor, including Laurits, who doesn’t take his claims all that seriously, even after a demonstration in which he bends a metal baseball bat in half. There’s a funny bit in which Magne tenses in the mirror and blows all the lights, which for such a humorless show is a nice change. Turid is also complimentary of Laurits for experimenting with sexuality and gender, though that’s less funny since it’s played explicitly as self-loathing; Laurits stands before his father’s grave in the very next scene and speculates about how much dad would hate him for dressing up in Turid’s old clothes and looking like “a pretty lady.”

Meanwhile in Ragnarok season 2, episode 1, Fjor’s departure leaves a problem for the Jutuls; Saxa needs to start learning how the family business works, much to Vidar’s obvious displeasure, and public sentiment about the obvious pollution being caused by their exploits is worsening. Sibling rivalries are everywhere in “Brothers in Arms”, presumably justifying the title. Magne spends ages trying to convince Laurits to fight on the right side of the coming battle, though the latter, in true Loki fashion, wants to know what’s in it for him. Wenche also tells Turid that a god will meet Magne on the bridge, which is hilarious given she’s trying to remain low-key.

That god turns out to be Wotan — Odin, eyepatch and all — who is accompanied by Iman, who seems as clueless as Magne but is self-aggrandizing enough for the both of them. Since this show really can’t divorce itself from its teen drama trappings, there’s an immediate spark of romance between Magne and Iman, whose power turns out to be sexy Jedi mind tricks that work on horny teenagers (I don’t think there’s any mystery about who Freya is supposed to be in this story). There’s a chance for her to flex her powers since, rather ridiculously, Turid suggests having a staycation since she can’t afford meat after having the car fixed, so Laurits arranges a house party in large part just to spend time with Jens, a random dude he met at the diner ten minutes prior and had an immediate connection with. Young-adult dramas just can’t resist a social gathering.

Magne, though, remains focused on the coming war, so sketches out Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, and takes the concept to the mechanic who ripped Turid off for the car repairs to see if he can make it, which seems like a completely terrible idea. But it’s nothing compared to the revelation that Turid drops on Vidar, which is that Laurits is his child, thus explaining why he has always felt different. That’s a predictable development if you know anything about Norse mythology, but it makes for a fun cliff-hanger ending to “Brothers in Arms” as Magne returns home just in time to see his arch-nemesis warmly — nay, smugly — embracing his dear brother. The fact he shorts out all the street lamps should clue you into how he feels about this.

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