Vikings S5E9 Review: A Simple Story

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A Simple Story

 

Another strong episode this week! Given we only have one more until the hiatus, I’m glad to see the show is deciding to end strong. We see the aftermath of the battle on both sides, in all its bloody glory. We also see Heahmund, who seems to be relatively fine despite his injuries. He and Lagertha have an engaging conversation, and I can honestly say I never really thought of the two of them together, but they seem to have a genuine connection. Lagertha isn’t asking anything of him, simply providing him answers to his questions, and gently querying him about his own duties. It is a discussion among equals, in contrast to those between Heahmund and Ivar.

Harald is frustrated, and Ivar seems to just be completely lackadaisical over the entire situation, refusing to take any responsibility for the failure–and it’s Vitsek who ends up coming up with a solution to all of this–to ask for Rollo’s support. Ah, Rollo, remember him? Someone we haven’t seen in a season and a half? He’s been off in France, and conveniently Vitsek manages to go to France and come back quickly–with troops. No Rollo, though. I suppose the actor wasn’t available, still? Will he forever be ‘Sir Not Appearing in this Show’ now? I understand having other obligations, but I think it’s strange that Rollo hasn’t been on scene during all of this upheaval.

Upon hearing of the French coming to assist Ivar, Bjorn goes to see if anything can be done, thinking Rollo is there. Of course, he finds no Rollo. Ivar attempts to have him killed while he’s trying to discuss peace, and it’s only Harald’s hand that stops it–it’s clear that Harald is tired of having to deal with this brat.

In the first of two small relationship interludes in Lagertha’s camp, we see Ubbe lament marrying Margarette, knowing that she’s entirely too prideful and unstable. He confesses his feelings to Torvi, and they come together; we cut to Margarette seeing this in Kattegat. It seems she may have a gift of seeing–or she may just be going mad. Regardless, she is cruel to Torvi’s children, and this doesn’t bode well for them.

As for the other interlude? Well, Heahmund and Lagertha have another conversation, this time in her tent. He hobbles through jeers to get to her, and he says that he will fight for her. It shifted something in my chest; it has been so long since someone has wanted to fight for her, without wanting something else from her–he says he has known her his whole life, and in some ways, I think he is for her what Aethelstan was to Ragnar–her foil. I know it can’t last, but I am here for this relationship.

His pledge to her? It isn’t just done privately. He pledges his fealty before the entire camp, sealing his fate to hers. Let’s hope after so much betrayal, Lagertha doesn’t have to face another from him, later.

As for Wessex and Iceland? Well, in Wessex, Aethelwulf gathers all of his noblemen together to discuss the Viking threat, only to be killed by an allergic reaction to a bee sting. In some magnificent maneuvering, Judith manages to get Alfred instated as King instead of Aethelred (the first born and not-bastard son). This will be important in the future, as Alfred is incredibly important to history–so I’m interested to see where this goes.

The less said about Iceland the better. Infighting occurs, the temple is dedicated to Thor, a fight ensues, someone is stabbed in the throat, and Floki is very unhappy that his ‘utopia’ is failing despite him having made no real plans to succeed at it.

Overall, an incredibly strong episode; the only part of the episode that was weak was the events in Iceland, and I really think at this point they should be dropped from the show entirely.

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