Things pick up a bit in “Power to the People”, as the show begins to lean into its fantasy underpinnings to much more enjoyable effect.
This recap of Ragnarok season 2, episode 3, “Power to the People”, contains spoilers.
Odin, the king of the Norse gods, sacrificed his one eye to gain eternal wisdom and could see into the past, present, and future. He’s also the father of Thor, though it isn’t unreasonable to wonder if this version of the character can remember that or indeed anything else — not that Magne sticks around to find out. Following Wenche’s rather idiotic death, Magne is seething and wants to confront Iman directly, but Iman, totally new to this conflict but apparently more aware of the stakes than he is, is able to talk him down.
In another vision, Isolde reiterates Magne’s mission to acquire Mjolnir and build an army, which has been expressed for three episodes on the bounce now — I think we get it. Laurits, who shoves a screwdriver through his hand to show off his new invulnerability, says he believes everything Magne has been saying now and was “just playing the game” in getting cozy with Vidar, so he agrees to help Magne get access to Vidar’s fire, which he believes is the eternal one he needs to craft Mjolnir. It’s easy to imagine this isn’t going to go well, and equally easy to imagine it’s going to be pretty stupid.
Laurits is becoming increasingly fascinated with Loki in Ragnarok season 2, episode 3, at least in part because he thinks the birth of the Midgard Serpent makes him the first trans person in history. He also remains fascinated with Vidar, though it’s intentionally hard to parse his motives at this point. Nevertheless, Magne believes that Laurits has chosen the side of meat and giants — “Power to the People” makes constant reference to his new hyperactive metabolism — and he calls Iman to tell her this, though she doesn’t even pick up his call. This is the army he’s building? Hardly bodes well, does it.
Naturally, Laurits still claims to be “playing the game”, and instantly tricks Vidar into giving him a key, which he uses to allow Magne entry so that he can try and forge Mjolnir in what he assumes is the Eternal Flame. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Magne holding the hammer he had made in a garage by a cowboy mechanic over the flames for a minute doesn’t work. When Vidar returns home unexpectedly he’s shocked and then immediately amused to find the warm prop hammer in a holdall, but he’s also annoyed enough at Laurits’s betrayal that he demands he leaves in a comically deep voice.
When the brothers return home, they grill Erik — who Laurits invited for dinner earlier — about Mjolnir and Loki. He’s a decent source of scholarly information, but Wotan, who thanks to the medallion has realized he’s Odin now, is a much better bet. The first thing he does, though, is kick Laurits out of the meeting on the basis of his giant blood, which is hardly going to fill the confused young man full of self-confidence. Predictably, then, Laurits sneaks around the care facility, finds a sample of Wotan’s blood, and injects it into his own veins, having heard from Erik that, mythologically speaking, Loki’s fusion of giant and god blood make him “totally unique”. As easy as it is to make fun of all this, tying an obvious struggle with self-identity into the androgynous trickster figure of Loki actually makes a good deal of sense.
Meanwhile in Ragnarok season 2, episode 3, a student protest against the Jutuls takes place, fronted by Fjor, who is perfectly happy — nay, keen — to expose all his family’s varied misdemeanors. Vidar is obviously fuming about this and arrives at the protest personally, where Laurits, in full view of the assembled crowds, gets in the back of his car and gives Magne and Iman the middle finger. I get that Loki’s motivations are always supposed to be inscrutable, but this just reads as confused to me, and it perplexingly overlaps with a scene in which Gry learns that her father has taken an overdose. It’s really bizarre.
Anyway, Vidar tries to execute Laurits for the crime of treason, but Magne arrives in the nick of time and the two of them fight again. And it’s pretty cool! Ragnarok is so much better when it’s playing in this epic fantasy playpen rather than trying to be a teen drama. Magne is able to fatally impale Vidar on the head of the old axe, and he, like Wenche, turns to ash in death. We’re killing off the primary antagonist midway through the second season? Well, if you say so!