Vikings “Breaking Point” Review (Season 3 Episode 9)

Vikings Breaking Point Season 3 Episode 9 02

The writing appears to be on the wall for the direction Vikings is heading in next season. With only one episode remaining in season three, Ragnar’s future looks bleak, while Bjorn appears to be lining up as his successor. Ragnar’s death would significantly change the show and likely bring up strong feelings from the fans. The show may be guided by historical events, but Ragnar’s been the hero of the tale for three seasons. What happens when the hero is gone?

After being routed last week, the Vikings make their next move on Paris. Lagertha and the women swim across the river to gain access to the bridge. I love that the women are the ones who are able to let the Vikings through the first gate. Rollo leads the charge with his ferocious, berserker style. The Parisians push back, though, with all kinds of crazy devices. You have to admit we’ve come a long way from the battle seasons in the first season which were a couple dozen people charging at each other on a hillside.

Ragnar stays behind and things aren’t looking good for him. He’s still urinating blood and is in a lot of pain. He’s also hallucinating that Athelstan is there, standing alongside Jesus and Odin. He knows he’s dying. What drove me nuts about this is that nobody seems at all concerned that he’s unwell. He’s the king, a brother, father, ex-husband…and nobody seems to care.

We head back to Wessex. I know that Wessex is part of a longer game…the rise of Athelstan’s son, Alfred. But I worry that we’re going to veer too far away from the Vikings. I’m interested in British history and have watched countless shows on the subject, but I watch Vikings because I want to see the Vikings’ way of life, political dynamics, and struggles—kind of like we had in season one. I’m over Ecbert and his creepiness. Now he’s putting the moves on Judith. How is it going to work if she gets pregnant again when her husband is away?

Back in Kattegat, Aslaug presides over disputes in the kingdom. She has an interesting problem when a Christian missionary arrives in town. I love what Aslaug teslls him: “Our gods are greater, their signs and wonders mightier.” She tests him to see if his god is superior. They have him hold a red-hot piece of steel. In his mind, he’s able to hold it without burning. In real life, not so much. We haven’t seen much of Kattegat this season, which made me wonder what was the point of the Harbard side story. And is there ever going to be a follow up on the vision of the Seer in the pool of blood?

Even though the Parisians succeed in pushing the Vikings back out of the city, they end up with other problems. A new illness ravages the city and they start to run out of food. The Emperor decides to negotiate with the pagans to save Paris. The Parisians offer to end the siege. Every Viking seems to have an opinion on whether they should agree. Ragnar loses it and reminds everyone he is in charge. Why doesn’t anyone go after him when he coughs blood and stalks off? He reminded everyone of something we’ve known for a long time. Ragnar never wanted to be king. He ended up there because of the actions of others.

The most shocking moment of the episode comes at the very end. Ragnar asks to be baptized so he can hang out with Athelstan in the afterlife. This is a pretty strong message to everyone else in his life…he’d rather abandon his tradition and culture in order to hang out with Athelstan. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Doesn’t Ragnar care about being with his sons? I also don’t know how I feel about Vikings without Ragnar, but based on the preview, I think that’s where we’re heading.