Vikings “The Last Ship” Review (Season 4 Episode 10)

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In the Vikings midseason finale, scribe Michael Hirst lobbed a grenade and blew to bits everything we’ve known for the last four seasons. Rollo and Ragnar finally came to blows in a scene that was more poignant than satisfying, Lagertha lost her baby, and Torvi took a stand against her tyrannical husband.

The battle begins on the river. The Vikings look revitalized after their previous defeat, and Lagertha and Torvi are rocking some impressive braids. It’s just a shame that Rollo is in top form while Ragnar is in shambles. It hardly feels like an even fight. But with the power of his Chinese medicine, Ragnar rallies enough to make it at least an even fight. Unfortunately, there is no resolution. They beat each other to a pulp, until Ragnar is dragged away. The Franks celebrate Rollo, but he doesn’t seem like a victor. He looks emotionally crushed as he watches Bjorn and the boat of Vikings float away. Clive Standen has been cast on a new TV show, so this may be the turning point in Rollo’s story. When the show returns in the fall, we may well be seeing less of him.

I was legitimately worried at one point that Ragnar was not going to make it, especially when we kept getting flashes of the Seer. He survives, but Ragnar is a shell of his former self. Shockingly, we learn at the end of the episode that he’s abandoned his family and disappeared for 12 years. Considering that Ragnar’s always been devoted to his children, this is unbelievable. It’s even worse because he knows what a terrible mother Aslaug is.

And speaking of Aslaug, she’s become even more detestable than before. Harbard’s departure drives her to drink. She doesn’t care about anything anymore except getting drunk and feeling sorry for herself. She doesn’t care when little Siggy turns up dead – even worse, she and Ivar actually laugh about it. Awful. Alyssa Sutherland is doing a bang up job making Aslaug truly loathsome.

My favorite scene of the episode – and of the season – is the death of Lagertha’s baby. It was incredibly heartbreaking to see her on the floor, with Ragnar holding her and Bjorn sitting at their side. This is the family reunion fans deserved to see, but hardly the ideal. In the end, Lagertha shoves down her pain. I like that even though she tells them to leave, both men just move to the side and still stay by her. This was a big episode for Lagertha. In the batter, she is stabbed and it looks like a very serious wound. They don’t tell us if she survives, but does anyone think they’d kill her off? I highly doubt it.

I’m not sure how I feel about the time jump. I think it is necessary for the story, because we need to get into the drama between Magnus, Alfred, and Ragnar’s sons. I was a bit disappointed that Ragnar’s other sons aren’t more strapping like Bjorn. The divisions between the brothers are already apparent. Bjorn is going to side with his father, while his brothers lack the same loyalty. Ivar acts more sympathetic towards Ragnar, but since we know Ivar is a murderous psychopath, I don’t trust anything that comes out of his mouth. And you would have thought that since they have wagons, they could’ve figured out how to make the boy a wheelchair.

It looks like when the season picks back up that Bjorn will be heading towards the Mediterranean. My deepest hope is that Ragnar spent the last 12 years with Lagertha, but somehow I doubt that will be the case. It may be time to give up on the dream of those two ever coming back together. It’s going to be tough to wait for the fall for the next ten episodes, but it’s a lot better than having to wait another year.