Season 4 Episode 7
“The Profit and the Loss”
So we missed last week due to Wondercon(!!) but we’re back this week, ready for a Viking attack of Paris, and more shenanigans. If you want a review of “What Might have Been” please check out the Nerdist review here: http://nerdist.com/vikings-ep-6-recap-what-might-have-been/
We start out in the Vikings camp in France, with Ragnar chewing on his beloved chinese medcine, looking more than a bit unhinged. He meets with King Harald and Halfdan, explaining his plan of attack: to push the boats upriver, while sending a raiding party to attack the towers from the land as well. While the land party seems like a good idea–if you remember episode 1 of this season, we know what is waiting for the vikings when they try to go between those two towers. Lagertha announces that she’ll lead the party over land, while Harald requests that he lead the boats in the water.
Outside the tents, we have a small scene with Erlandur and Bjorn, but nothing really comes of it. Honestly, I would prefer for the show to start wrapping up this ‘ring ties back to Erlandur’ storyline pretty soon. It’s a bit unbelievable to me that Bjorn wouldn’t act on this.
Meanwhile, Ragnar tells Lagertha she shouldn’t lead the warriors, but she basically tells him it isn’t any of his business–because it isn’t. He is concerned about her unborn child, and perhaps it isn’t a surprise to everyone else (but it is to me), Lagertha confirms she is pregnant, but is so assured that the Seer is right about her not having children again, she simply doesn’t care if the child is put in harm’s way. I honestly think Ragnar needs to butt out–he gave up Lagertha long ago, and while I do know he cares about her, he’s always made the wrong decisions when it comes to the two of them– he’s only going to lead her to ruin. Lagertha makes the better choices between the two of them, and I trust her to do what is right.
Ragnar’s sons Ubbe and Hvitserk ask to join in the attack, but Ragnar tells them that they need to stay and protect the camp–it should keep them safe, but as we’ll find out, in this episode…no one is safe.
We cut to the towers, where Rollo looks resolute in his decision–I’m surprised, really, considering how often he’s changed sides in the show…but with Gisla by his side, he truly has changed. He suggests that perhaps she should not be there, but she simply replies that if she were afraid, she wouldn’t be there. I love how strong she is, ready to stand up to any challenge.
The entire attack sequence is one of the best things I’ve seen in Vikings to date–and really reminds me why this is one of the best things on television. Lagertha’s shieldmaidens start moving up through long grass, only to find themselves caught in a bog, and start getting picked off like sitting ducks. Hearing Lagertha screaming out battle movements and knowing Rollo can hear them (the evidence clear on his face) was incredible. Rollo does his best to look stoic through all of this, but it is clear he’s affected by what he is doing, even if it is in a small way. Lagertha’s group does manage to free themselves, and start their assault.
Meanwhile, the boats start to move up river, and in an incredibly heart-pounding scene, we wait for Rollo to give the signal to raise the chain. When he does…it is devastating. Harald’s boat goes down almost immediately, and while other boats try to stop as well, many others topple into the river. There is screaming, chaos, fire and arrows…and all the while, Rollo is calm. It is sad, tragic, and perfect.
In the mass chaos we see Floki drowning, and hey–I remembered from season one that he can’t swim. Sadly, I doubt he’s actually going to die. But before we can see what happens, we cut to–
Helga at the camp, which comes under attack by the French, led by Roland (looking quite dashing if I say so myself). So truly, there is no safe place for the vikings, here.
We cut back to the chaos at the river, and Ragnar has jumped into the water to save Floki. Floki has renounced Ragnar repeatedly, and yet the man keeps saving him–really, he isn’t worth it, Ragnar. Just let him drown. Meanwhile, Lagertha and her group have to retreat, thoroughly defeated.
As Ragnar and his group retreat, the true extent of Rollo’s betrayal hits him hard, and he screams out to an unmoved Rollo, who simply watches, without comment. Ragnar is at his lowest–lower than we have ever seen him before, and it is unclear how he will find a way to beat his brother. And as much as I hate to say it, I’m not sure if I want him to; I like this new Rollo. Back with the French, Gisla comments that she is surprised that there are so many women among the dead, and Rollo says that the women vikings are the strongest and bravest of them all. When he mentions Lagertha, Gisla seems incredibly interested, and if we don’t get an interaction between the two of them by the end of the season I’m going to be so disappointed.
Back in Kattegat, Aslaug is still having her tryst with Harbard (who is back, by the way). He gives no explanation on to where he has gone, but Aslaug doesn’t seem to care–she’s happy, and while they kiss, Sigurd watches. There is a long shot of the young boy watching. He is a focus of most of the scenes dealing with Harbard–what it means, I’m not sure, but again, nothing good. There is danger for Ragnar’s sons in this season, make no mistake.
Back at the charred vikings camp, we find out that everyone escaped unscathed (Ragnar’s boys, Yidu, Tovi)…except Helga. Poor, tragic, long-suffering Helga, is badly burned, and seems to be in a coma. Floki seems determined to save her, but if he can remains to be seen–even if he manages to (and that is a big if) she will never be the same again.
In Kattegat, Sigurd watches Harbard seduce the women of the town, even going so far as watching through cracks in doors as he and these women have sex. I’m really not sure where this is going; I just feel uneasy with Harbard around, considering last time resulted in my beloved Siggys’ death
In Wessex King Ecbert goes off to a mysterious meeting in a tomb…and there is the enigmatic “W”–Prince Wigston, part of the Mercia royal family. Hey, didn’t know he existed! Wigston suggests that he and Ecbert join forces and defeat the council currently in control of Mercia, after which he will simply retreat to Rome. He doesn’t wish to rule, feeling entirely too tainted by his own life. Instead, he offers Ecbert the crown of Mercia instead…I love this development, and it foreshadows the joining of the kingdoms into a greater England.
Our last sojourn to the vikings camp has Ragnar freaking out and demanding more ‘medicine’ from Yidu, who after initially attempting to deny him– provides it. Ragnar is clearly losing his mind, and Yidu is starting to realize that she has made a mistake in introducing the leader to the drug in the first place.
…and in one of the strangest scenes I’ve seen on this show to date, Floki goes to sit by the woods, and has a vision of Aslaug, who proceeds to have sex with him. While this is happening, the scene flips between Floki and Aslaug, and Harbard and Aslaug. What does it mean? …Prophecy, sacrifice, death, life? All I know is I’m confused. And so is Floki.
Apparently three days have gone by since the attack on the river, and Bjorn demands to know when Ragnar will lead a battle again; he gives an answer…but then he starts talking to a decapitated head.
…what the hell, Ragnar.
Really, what the Hel.