The Return of Uhtred
A violent storm wrecks the approaching Danish fleet. Odda the younger (Brian Vernel) rides to Mildrith and her son to bring them to safety. As Saxons plunder the wreckage and bodies on the beach Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) gets a horse and rides to Mildrith. (Amy Wren).
At Winchester Alfred splits his army, telling his generals whoever is victorious should march swiftly to the aid of the other. Uhtred arrives at his manor to catch his sly servant having sex in his own bed. After telling him he will be killed upon his next violation he rides off.
The superstitious Ubba (Rune Temte), ponders whether to attack Odda the elder’s force on the height. His runecaster Storrie advises a yes. In the meantime Uhtred rides into the Saxon camp surprising everyone as it was thought he had died with the hostages in the fort. He attacks Odda the younger. After tempers have cooled he joins Odda the elder in his negotiations.
Uhtred goads Ubba to fever pitch as the astounded Saxons watch uneasily. He informs Ubba of the sinking of the fleet, the wrath of the Gods – (as he failed to punish Ragnar’s murderers), the total incompetence of Storrie and his own impending demise. He buys time but urges Odda to action proposing an audacious attack on Ubba’s camp, burning his fleet. In the ensuing mayhem Odda can strike and save Wessex. Odda the younger proposes the betrayal of Uhtred during this mission.
Sneaking into the camp and seeing Ubba go to his tent for an orgy, Uhtred is clear to move. Killing the guard he sets the ships alight with pig-fat molotov cocktails which he lobs into the surrounding boats. Shouting for help while calmly walking back through the camp he is recognised by Storrie then more unfortunately, Ubba. Surrounded he has no choice but to accept Ubba’s challenge of single combat to the death.
Seeing the conflagration from the hill, Odda orders an immediate attack. As the ships blaze Uhtred fights for his life against a wolfishly grinning Ubba. Sending Ubba to Valhalla with a sword to the breast Uhtred is victorious before being swallowed by the ranks of the advancing Saxons in a glorious camera shot.
Leofric (Adrian Bower) tells Uhtred to ride to Alfred at once and tell him what he has done. Uhtred however goes to seek Mildrith. In his absence Odda the younger claims the victory as his own.
When Uhtred and Mildrith journey to Winchester, Uhtred’s rage at these lies lead him to clash with the King. Along with Aethelwold (Harry McIntire) (who has absconded from his monastery), he is publicly humiliated. His Christian wife harps on his faults driving a wedge between them.
Lets Go Raiding
Disgusted by the injustice of it all, Uhtred drinks with Leofric who suggests a rather Danish plan of his own, raiding nearby Cadwallium (Cornwall) and stealing from the Britons to enrich themselves. Returning to his manor to think about this, Uhtred catches his thieving servant once again up to no good. True to his earlier word, (and to the horror of Mildrith), he kills him outright.
Notes and quotes
‘Alfred won’t come, the food won’t last and Ubba’s mind will clear’. Uhtred to Odda
‘Odda is a good man but as a warrior he has all the guile and menace of a sheep’. Leofric to Uhtred.