We’re at the point in the season where Michael Hirst kills off his extraneous story lines, like when he quickly killed off Count Odo, Roland , Therese, Queen Kwenthrith, Bjorn’s daughter, Lagertha’s unborn child, Erlendur, Kalf…you get the idea.
Lagertha and Heahmund are a full blown “thing.” We’ll see if the Bishop and his magic sword convert Lagertha in the second half of the season. And Ivar finally wins the battle for Kattegat.
We open with opposing brothers, Halfdan and Harald, singing their dirge to each other in the forest. It’s one of the most haunting scenes in Vikings. I wish we knew what was being said.
Bjorn’s new love, the Sami princess, dies. I’m glad I didn’t learn her name. Hey Bjorn, she died alone. Just like your daughter died alone all those years ago. Because you weren’t around.
Halfdan has a flash of his time in the desert. He decided that life is more than dying in battle for land or glory. But he followed Bjorn into battle for just those reasons. He lived the life he wanted. He’s killed by his brother, Harald. Harald doesn’t seem too broken up about it.
Torvi’s son is killed by Hvitserk. There is no vision for Gurthrum or Torvi. He has no life to relive. Let’s see if Hirst finally gives Torvi’s a story to relive before her death.
Lagertha relives her childhood, with her father saying Thor will always protect her. Then Lagertha kills Astrid after Astrid begs for death, to not have the child she’s carrying. I’ll give Lagertha the benefit of the doubt here. As Lagertha looked over the dismembered bodies around her, I think she decided to save the child from the hell she’s created.
Ivar’s vision this episode is seeing Lagertha surrounded by skeletons on the battlefield. They looked a lot like this:
I guess that means, he knows she survives while all those around her die. He’s visibly upset to see Heahmund fighting for Lagertha. At the end of the battle, he still hopes she’ll appear to fight him.
Magrethe sees death in the water, carrying out a piece of driftwood she thinks is a man. She asks the Seer about Ubbe’s future and he calls her mad.
After the battle, Torvi comes to retrieve her children and flee Kattegat. There is a split second of suspense that Margrethe may have killed Torvi and Bjorn’s children. But she didn’t. Margrethe wanders off wide-eyed, like she has all season when confronted. I wonder if we’ll see her again in the second half, or if she’ll just wander off like Porunn did in Season Three.
My Favorite moments:
Hvitserk’s near Death Experience
Hvitserk confronts Ubbe on the battlefield. Unlike Harald, Ubbe can’t kill his brother. I think Hvitserk knew this wasn’t his day to die. He knows his death will come at Ivar’s hand. Ivar knows Hviterk doesn’t love him and he still begrudges his brothers’ chances of a normal life and children.
The smooth charmer that Harald can be, asks Astrid to cut the hair he’s been growing since seeking the woman of his dreams. She’s now the woman of his dreams, not just the woman he kidnapped to piss off Lagertha. Most. Romantic. Gesture. Ever. (Although it may have been more meaningful if he’d done it before the wedding.)
Lagertha Finally Ages
I only like this moment because age has finally caught up with Lagertha’s character. Her eternal beauty was strung out too far for fans. Even Helga, who was younger than Lagertha, aged by Ragnar’s return.
Maybe Lags was always grey and this is a metaphor of how others now see her after the defeat. I know that seems hokey, but there has to be some reason for this melodrama.
Ivar, Blessed by the Gods
Bjorn says goodbye to his dead step-son Guthrum, and then orders archers to pummel Ivar’s forces. Ivar should have been hit. All the men around him fell. But not one arrow touched Ivar the Boneless, blessed by the gods.
The look on Bjorn’s mug is priceless. And the look on Ivar’s face, as he unleashes the Frankish army upon Lagertha’s depleted group, is equally perfect. No mercy.
Floki has come full circle. The temple is destroyed. Eivind’s son is dead and Flat Nose’s son is murdered for revenge. He tells everyone they aren’t worthy. He has to make a sacrifice and it has to be himself. (That won’t go well for the colony, since Floki’s the only guy who knows how to get back to Kattegat.)
I am reminded of why I started watching Vikings first season. The Lothbroks took shelter in Floki’s home after Earl Haraldson’s attack on their farm. Floki, the crazy boat builder, was willing to share everything with his friends and put his faith in the gods to survive the winter. Lagertha was ashamed of taking from him. And this time, I’m the one who is ashamed.
After losing everything, Floki went down the path of peace and community. I had just taken delight in Ivar, in all his maniacal beauty, unleashing the Franks upon that idiot Bjorn. And I am ashamed. We should all be ashamed! Don’t do it, Floki! We need you! I promise, we’ll be better people! (sniff)
Ivar and Harald’s army have now taken Kattegat. What will happen now? None of the Ragnar’s sons are fit to lead. Bjorn can’t sit still for more than a week. He wants to wander. Ubbe just wants to farm, not lead. Hvitserk is a follower too. And Ivar just wants to win, not lead. Will Harald take over Kattegat? Or maybe someone else?
One last favorite moment might answer that. In the last minute of the mid-season finale, Rollo, who has been pimped ALL FRICKING season, arrives in Kattegat. Seriously, it was LITERALLY the last minute.
That’s our cliff hanger after ten episodes, promising the battle to end all battles between brothers. It all smacks of the midseason battle for Paris, when this brother finally came home to Kattegat.
I’ll see you all in the Fall when Vikings returns.
Picture source: History & Vikings