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S04.E19: On the Eve

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The Viking army causes panic in the English countryside as King Ecbert and Aethelwulf plan the defense of the realm.

 

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Grinds teeth. Why do the characters I dislike like the icky brothers aka Flotsam and Jetsam and Astrid get so much screen time and just don't die....

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This episode made up for the non-combat scenes from last week. RIP Torvi. 

I'm kind of glad they killed off whatshername, I wasn't interested in the she done me wrong drama with her and Finehair. I was surprised the men of the guy he axed in the head didn't retaliate. I hope in the end Lagertha roasts Finehair over her firepit.

Poor Aethelwulf, watching him and his army riding around in circles was like a comedy of errors. 

Edited by Straycat80
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2 minutes ago, Straycat80 said:

RIP Torvi.

She's really dead then? I thought I saw her eyes blink.  Oh, crap.  You would think a character played by the producers daughter would have some plot protection. But, no.

You know. I am actually rooting for Aethelwulf over the Vikings right now - Hirst has really humanized Aethelwulf.

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I wish the show wouldn't bother with anyone attacking Lagertha. She's the show's pet and is always going to come out the victor. And because of that, I feel like these little 'trials' are nothing more than just a waste of time and just another way to show prop her to the high heavens.

R.I.P. Torvi. We have to lose likeable characters like her and then be forever stuck with the likes of Astrid and what not.

Rooting for Aethelwulf always and forever, but damn, does Ivar do something for me. Kinda making me start to question what's wrong with my psyche. lol

Edited by Silverglitter
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Torvi! I'm going to be very annoyed if she dies. She was great, deducing the newcomers were trouble, taking down baddies with her crossbow, defending the town. She's my second favorite woman on this show. 

Astrid's become a much better fighter, I wasn't impressed with her skills when we first met her. She needs to keep training with Lagertha and forget Bjorn.

Damn, Lagertha doesn't fuck around. (I say that at least once a season.) She was roasting that guy. I would not want to be Finehair and his stringy-haired brother right now. (Glad that she had all those fortifications built, tho, otherwise Kattegat would be smoldering ashes right now.)

Speaking of, how stupid and egotistic to assume a woman would want to sleep with you thirty minutes after you put an axe in the head of the man she loved. Too bad his brother was smarter, I was really rooting for Viking Amy Elliot Dunne.

Ivar's plan wasn't a bad one but watching Floki pant made me think it's probably easier to plan for so much running when you're in a chariot. If the English were capable of putting up a long fight that plan would cost the Vikings.

But having the battle delayed annoys me after last week's anti-climactic fight.

Edited by slf
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7 minutes ago, magdalene said:

She's really dead then? I thought I saw her eyes blink.  Oh, crap.  You would think a character played by the producers daughter would have some plot protection. But, no.

You know. I am actually rooting for Aethelwulf over the Vikings right now - Hirst has really humanized Aethelwulf.

Did her eyes blink? I missed that! I hope she lives, she's got three kids and we know orphans ( and Bjorn's kids) don't fare well in Kattegut (little Siggy). 

I'm rooting for Aethelwulf too but I'm nervous about what's going to happen to him. 

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Ivar is a very clever and smart man but I can't ever forget that he is a cruel sociopath.  Athelwulf isn't brilliant or sparkly but he and his dogged humanity have my support. Also, his support of Alfred is very touching, a lesser man would resent and undermine that boy.

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Aww, not Torvi! :-( Have they found her body? I know Lagertha will give her a big Viking funeral. Speaking of Lagertha, just when I think she can't get anymore badass, she does! Wow.

Hey, Harald's brother! We all know why you aren't married! :-p That princess should have followed the principle that revenge is a dish best served cold.

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45 minutes ago, magdalene said:

She's really dead then? I thought I saw her eyes blink.  Oh, crap.  You would think a character played by the producers daughter would have some plot protection. But, no.

She did blink, but I feel like it doesn't mean anything. She had at least two arrows sticking out of her and looked very near death. It would be incredibly unrealistic if she actually survived. Which is probably why we'll see her alive and well next week and those of us who decided she's dead will look very stupid.

And hey, on another note, an Aethelred sighting! I'd honestly thought the show forgot about him or at least deemed him dead weight or something.

Edited by Silverglitter
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Really good episode, more than making up for last week’s episode.  Two fantastic battle scenes.

This was a strong episode for Aethelwulf and I give the actor and Hirst credit for the work they’ve done on the character this season.  He even got a funny moment after the Bishop died.

Torvi was turning into another interesting female character and not she’s gone.  If Bjorn acts like Bjorn, he’ll quickly lose interest in his children.

Loved the Ivar/Floki interaction again.

Lagertha lighting up those men was pretty badass.

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I can't get over what a terrible father Ecbert is to Aethelwulf - as his last words to his son he has nothing but religious platitudes for him.

Quote

 wish the show wouldn't bother with anyone attacking Lagertha. She's the show's pet and is always going to come out the victor. And because of that, I feel like these little 'trials' are nothing more than just a waste of time and just another way to show prop her to the high heavens.

 

She is the one character that is always going to be safe. Nothing can really touch her or harm her. That's why all her adversaries are glorified strawmen. She gets to look cool while torturing or sacrificing unimportant characters.  And even when an important character like Ivar opposes her one knows they are both protected by the plot and the production. There are no consequences.

That's why I am rooting for the underdog characters and usually get my heart broken when they get killed off. Like Kwentrith. And Athelstan.  And next episode it may be Aethelwulf's turn.

Edited by magdalene

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I really liked this episode and a lot of it had to do with Aethelwulf, a character I had never been overly fond of or especially interested in.   We've seen such brutality from him, specifically what he did to the Viking settlement and such emotional cold-heartedness, with the way he threw Magnus out of Essex and seems to have moved on with little effort after initial discomfort.   But even after everything Echbert has done it's clear that Aethelwulf still holds his father in such high regard and cares so deeply.   About both his father and his father's legacy.

I was also quite shocked to see that he has formed a genuine love for Alfred and Alfred has developed a genuine love for him.   Considering that we know how Aethelwulf felt about Athelstan, the fact that he was able to truly take Alfred to heart says so much about him.   We saw him tucking in his wife's bastard like his own son.  I found it very touching and not because of the Athelstan of it all.   Just the circumstances of Alfred's pedigree and the fact that Aethelwulf clearly loves this child when he has so many reasons to resent him.

It was painful seeing Aethelwulf being so out of his league.  Can't wait until next week.

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Were the Saxons really such bumbling idiots in actual history? The scout tells Aethelwulf the GHA is 3,000-4,000 strong. Clearly during the initial battle scenes there aren't that many fighting with Ivar. Wouldn't the obvious conclusion be that the rest of them are stashed along various points in the countryside? Watching the Saxons run around like headless chickens was crazy.

I'm also surprised at how many women tag along on these campaigns. It seems like it would be an unnecessary waste of resources and supplies, especially if they're not shield maidens who can fight.

I also thought it was a bad oversight that Lagertha and Co. never considered an invading force would throw planks over the ditch. Astrid continues to annoy. I'm not entirely convinced Torvi is dead.

I was really hoping Floki would find the orphan girl drowned in the river. That storyline needs to die, like yesterday.

Edited by BitterApple
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The human roaster Lagertha was using. Is it only used for that. Or do they use it for other things?  

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3 hours ago, Silverglitter said:
3 hours ago, magdalene said:

She's really dead then? I thought I saw her eyes blink.  Oh, crap.  You would think a character played by the producers daughter would have some plot protection. But, no.

She did blink, but I feel like it doesn't mean anything. She had at least two arrows sticking out of her and looked very near death. It would be incredibly unrealistic if she actually survived. Which is probably why we'll see her alive and well next week and those of us who decided she's dead will look very stupid.

I would bet everything I own she will survive. Why else show the blink? 

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1 hour ago, Advance35 said:

I really liked this episode and a lot of it had to do with Aethelwulf, a character I had never been overly fond of or especially interested in.   We've seen such brutality from him, specifically what he did to the Viking settlement and such emotional cold-heartedness, with the way he threw Magnus out of Essex and seems to have moved on with little effort after initial discomfort.  ...

He threw Magnus out of the villa in Wessex to save his life.  Even Hirst confirmed that.  And yeah I agree Aethelwulf is getting a good edit this season finally.  The scene with Alfred was very sweet indeed.

Good-bye Torvi.  Hate that one of my favorite characters got killed.  And yes I take it she died.  You'd think if she didn't she'd be bandaged up and lying around the longhouse watching Egil roast.  Damn Lagertha, you couldn't leave Astrid in charge of defending the wall instead.

Now talking about whether someone died or not.  What about Egil?  You would think Lagertha would (cough) stick a fork in him.  But he kept saying she was going to kill him no matter what so why say that several times in the dialogue unless it is to set-up that she doesn't.  Probably overthinking it.  But you would think to actually see Lagertha kill him.  Maybe Lagertha is doing her Ragnar impression and playing a long game and will use Egil as bait to go after Harold.  She could just stash him away for the next human sacrifice ceremony too.  Just a thought there, Lagertha.  Better than killing off an ally all the time.

Also Lagertha doesn't always win.  She lost her daughter to a fever.  She lost Ragnar to Aslaug.  She took it for years in an abusive relationship with the Earl of Hedeby to provide a home for young Bjorn.  Kalf took over Hedeby at one point.  She was wounded in the last attack of Paris.  Astrid is cheating on her with her own son.  Seems she seldom wins to me.

The first part of the big battle was fun.  I lost count of the number of feints and mini-ambushes the Vikings used.  Interesting that only Floki was with his new homeboy, Ivar.  The other brothers were with Bjorn's group.

Strange that the Moorish girl seems to like Floki better than Helga.  Well maybe not strange in that Helga has gone off the deep end.  The silent look of "help" she gave him when Helga clutched her away from Floki when he returned from finding the girl was telling. 

Floki really had a short but sweet scene with her when he found her too just like Aethelwulf had with Alfred.  Who knew the two most religiously intolerant of the other guy's God/Gods would be the sweet, tolerant  guys in this episode.

Edited by green
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I for one hope Torvi is not dead. If she is, I guess it will fall to Lagertha to take care of Bjorn's children. We all know Bjorn will ignore them just like he did with little Siggy. I sure don't see Astrid as the motherly type. Lagertha should take Bjorn to the woodshed.

Edited by cathy7304
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I thought "aww poor Torvi" and then she blinked and started to breathe. Given it looked like she only had an arrow in the shoulder I'm assuming she's ok. I can't see her being killed off without Lagertha mentioning it while roasting that guy.

Poor Athelwulf seemed so confused this episode"My wife is saying nice things to me, the army is cheering for me, Alfred thinks I'm amazing.. what is life". I was glad someone finally showed him some kindness after all this time.

I wonder if Ivar will be even more insufferable with his "but Daddy chose me!" whining and ranting now that his plan worked. Hopefully they'll just realise if they work together maybe they can get somewhere.

I wonder if next episode will be our last of Ecbert/Wessex and co.

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23 hours ago, cathy7304 said:

I wonder if Bjorn and the brothers are slipping away to make a surprise visit to an almost undefended King Ecbert?

They didn't slip away.  They were in the thick of battle.  Just in the other group.  The group that is now ambushing the Saxons on the way to Repton.  No way would they slip away when the armies are almost equal size and every man is needed and they are the leaders of their army.

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Aww, shit!  Torvi looks done for!  She did blink briefly, but it looked really bad, so I'm not sure what to think.  I imagine the reason that they never had Lagertha say anything about it is that they're going to wait and reveal in next week.  I don't know though.  If she really is gone, then I guess it's good to know that no character is safe: even the ones played by Michael Hirst/the creator's daughter!

Besides that though, Egil's little attempt to overthrow Lagertha ends up being all for naught, since Lagertha decides to throw the world's worst (really, best) bondfire as a countermeasure.  And then gets him on a spitfire, where he finally confesses it was Harald who had hired him.  Uh oh!  Speaking of Harald, he continues to be a possessive creep, who kills his former flame's husband, and then almost gets killed by her had Hafdan not popped up in the nick of time.

The Lothbrok boys continue to bicker, although it really is more Ivar vs. Bjorn, while the rest look on like they're watching a tennis volley.  But at least they finally put aside their differences to plan out the attack, so yay for brotherly bonding?

This episode managed to make me kind of like Aethelwulf for a second, which is saying something.  Mainly that he is so doomed.  I have a feeling he and Ecbert will not be making it to Season 5.

A lot of great set-pieces and stunt work in this one.

Finale next week!  I'm guessing we'll be getting some big-ass battles, and probably even bigger changes to set-up for next season.  The possibilities are endless on this show.

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9 hours ago, magdalene said:

You know. I am actually rooting for Aethelwulf over the Vikings right now - Hirst has really humanized Aethelwulf.

Since Ragnar's death I am totally Team Saxon now.  This made the episode hard to watch for me.  I hate, hate that stupid Ivar was right and out thought Aethelwulf.  I want to see the English destroy the heathen army and the Ragnarson boys, especially Ivar.  (Yeah, I know the history.)  

Ugh.  I don't care about Finehair and his rejection issues.  What was the point of introducing Swedish hat girl and her hubby, only to kill them off by a tertiary character?  Pointless.  Also pointless was the continuing storyline about Helga and the little girl.  I wish the girl had run off, right into the Saxon army.  (But I suppose she'd be made a slave.)

4 hours ago, green said:

Strange that the Moorish girl seems to like Floki better than Helga.  Well maybe not strange in that Helga has gone off the deep end.  The silent look of "help" she gave him when Helga clutched her away from Floki when he returned from finding the girl was telling. 

I know!  With her eyes she was begging Floki (Floki?!) to get her away from this crazy woman.

Love Lagertha always, but her scenes are more than a little ridiculous now.  The fighting looked comically bad.  So Torvi's death leaves the way open for Bjorn to be with Astrid.  Gee, I hope someone takes better care of his motherless children than they did with little Siggy.  But I still cheered when Lagertha walked out like the bad ass she is and dropped the torch.  So cliched but she makes it look good.

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Torvi? Um.....hello? Anyone care to see how Torvi is? I know you're busy roasting Egil like a human chestnut, but is anyone even aware that she's lying outside in a ditch with an arrow through her? Anyone? Anyone? Seriously, this is probably the most crucial thing about the episode and I'm left a nervous wreck wondering about the outcome. 

That torture scene was gruesome, but Lagertha's face when she realized the brothers were the ones after Kattegat was amazing. I did roll my eyes at much of the attack, though. Too much Astrid. She just started training with Lagertha and I'm really supposed to believe she's this seasoned warrior, taking down full grown men? Okay. I don't know where this girl came from, but I wish she'd go back. 

The whole storyline with Finehair and the princess is like Sleeping With the Enemy, the Viking Years. In case you didn't already know what a creep Harald was, now you know. Axes to the head for everyone! I was actually quite perplexed when the princess came onto him after her husband was killed. Hubby and I were sitting there musing about what was going on. Was she really THAT turned on by such a ruthless display of possession? Or was she scared she would be next, so she was trying to get on Finehair's good side? Given that she was a free woman and the fact that Viking women were afforded many more rights than a lot of their contemporaries, we didn't really see the need for her to seek protection. But Harald IS crazy. I just didn't even consider she was going to try and KILL him. But apparently Halfdan did. I was quite disappointed, because as soon as I saw the knife I was like, "Yes! Get it!" She'd be free of her stalker and Kattegat might be able to sigh a little sigh of relief. But alas....

WHY in the seven hells did Helga bring that poor child to England??? Is she insane? I know Floki loves her, but it's time for a damned intervention. That child is clearly terrified and Helga just sits there stroking her hair. She's become completely unhinged. I wish Floki would have let her go. 

I'm so glad the brothers decided to listen to Ivar. He may be a smug little shit, but he's brilliant as well. Ragnar was right about him being the one to use his wits to get him far. Watching the Vikings make the English run like sheep around the battlefield was fucking hilarious and I'm excited to see what the big pay off is. 

But something weird happened with me last night, because I found myself feeling badly for Aethelwulf. I've never liked the guy, but suddenly I was hoping just ONE thing would go his way. I'm really not sure what was going on with me, but maybe it was the kind way he spoke to Alfred before he left. The way he acknowledged Alethstan, who he's always been so jealous of. Maybe his humility softened me a little? And I actually thought Judith was quite nice to him as well. Maybe Ecbert can't get it up anymore and she's contemplating a return to her marital bed? 

Anyhow, excited for next week! Is it too much to hope for that Astrid can somehow die during the finale?

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47 minutes ago, Haleth said:

 I don't care about Finehair and his rejection issues.  What was the point of introducing Swedish hat girl and her hubby, only to kill them off by a tertiary character?  Pointless.

Nah, they just want to make him even more despicable.

 

5 minutes ago, ghoulina said:

That torture scene was gruesome, but Lagertha's face when she realized the brothers were the ones after Kattegat was amazing.

See above. She's going to kill them both to death for what they've done.

 

6 minutes ago, ghoulina said:

Torvi? Um.....hello? Anyone care to see how Torvi is? I know you're busy roasting Egil like a human chestnut, but is anyone even aware that she's lying outside in a ditch with an arrow through her? Anyone? Anyone?

Torvi was holding down the fort in the "wrong place". Lagertha probably hasn't been back there yet, so, no, I don't think anyone is aware yet.

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10 hours ago, magdalene said:

She's really dead then? I thought I saw her eyes blink.  Oh, crap.  You would think a character played by the producers daughter would have some plot protection. But, no.

She definitely blinked. I was on the verge of tears, but then I saw her eyelids move. I'm holding out hope, but I'm worried that no one seems to know (or care) where she is. 

 

10 hours ago, slf said:

Ivar's plan wasn't a bad one but watching Floki pant made me think it's probably easier to plan for so much running when you're in a chariot. If the English were capable of putting up a long fight that plan would cost the Vikings.

Running around like that would be physically taxing, but not as taxing as fighting. But what it did, was really fuck them up mentally. The English were all about formation when fighting. The back and forth totally threw them off their game and I'm not sure they're going to be able to get their bearings back before the big showdown. As much as I was actually coming around to Aethelwulf in this episode, he kind of sucks as a leader. He was letting his pride get to him and doing really stupid shit.

 

6 hours ago, basil said:

I would bet everything I own she will survive. Why else show the blink? 

I tend to agree. I could be wrong, but if she was going to die, I feel like they would have someone find her and show some mourning. To leave it for next week would feel anticlimactic and not be the kind of farewell Torvi deserves. 

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8 hours ago, green said:

Also Lagertha doesn't always win.  She lost her daughter to a fever.  She lost Ragnar to Aslaug.  She took it for years in an abusive relationship with the Earl of Hedeby to provide a home for young Bjorn.  Kalf took over Hedeby at one point.  She was wounded in the last attack of Paris.  Astrid is cheating on her with her own son.  Seems she seldom wins to me.

That's what I like about this show. No one on this show is golden and impervious to defeat. They all have moments where they are awesome or win and moments when they aren't and instead lose. No one looks great all the time and now one is just an outright villain all of the time, unless you count Finehair and his brother. Ragnar rode a huge wave of awesomeness but by this season people were ready for him to die, he himself knew he was broken. Paris and a drug addiction really broke him. Bjorn was great, look at him now. Loved Floki at the beginning, hated him in the middle, kind of ok with him now. Mostly because his wife is bonkers. Oh that poor girl. The look she gave Floki when he returned her to Helga?

I'm so sad about Torvi.

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I think it's to Bjorn's credit that he didn't let pride get in the way and listened to Ivar's plan.  I like that the brothers are working together.

I'm sick of Helga treating that poor girl like a pet rabbit.  I'm ready for Helga to go now, maybe go drown her crazy self in the river so that Floki can take care of the girl. 

I'm still not in Aethelwulf's corner even if he is nice to Alfred.

Princess should have known it wasn't a good idea for her and her husband to stay around the Pigpen Brothers.  She already sensed that Harald was "off" so she and hubby should have left in the middle of the night.  It was funny that the younger brother was the wiser one though.

I'm confused though, where are the brothers camping?  Are they just outside of Kattegut?  

I hope Torvi survived but if she's gone then RIP.  

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1 hour ago, Ohwell said:

 

I'm confused though, where are the brothers camping?  Are they just outside of Kattegut?  

 

They're in Wessex with the Ragnarssons, which was why I made the comment about random women traveling with the army. I'm not sure how they managed to transport picnic tables, beds and fancy tents on the longboats, but I guess they made it work somehow!

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Armies used to have lots of women come along. Usually called camp followers, they mostly weren't the wives or families though. Don't forget they also have a few shieldmaidens. I don't think all of them stayed behind in Kattegut.

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27 minutes ago, BitterApple said:

They're in Wessex with the Ragnarssons, which was why I made the comment about random women traveling with the army. I'm not sure how they managed to transport picnic tables, beds and fancy tents on the longboats, but I guess they made it work somehow!

Thanks.  I thought that's where they should have been, but they just seemed kind of removed from the rest of the Ragnarssons camp, like they had their own camp somewhere.

I would imagine they also brought some women along to do the cooking.

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I have really enjoyed the path they had taken with Torvi, except the Bjorn is a jackass husband part.  I hope she isn't dead.

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17 hours ago, magdalene said:

She's really dead then? I thought I saw her eyes blink.  Oh, crap.  You would think a character played by the producers daughter would have some plot protection. But, no.

You know. I am actually rooting for Aethelwulf over the Vikings right now - Hirst has really humanized Aethelwulf.

I don't believe that Torvi is dead.  The arrows weren't in any life threatening places and she still showed signs of life.  I agree that Aethelwulf wasn't quite the dunderhead this episode.  His scenes with the boys were golden.  What did Ecbert say about Judith's brilliant mind?  Heh.  I've seen no evidence of that and how about show not tell to that end anyway?

16 hours ago, benteen said:

Really good episode, more than making up for last week’s episode.  Two fantastic battle scenes.

Lagertha lighting up those men was pretty badass.

Yes, this episode was better than last.  And Lagertha sure knows how to cook.  LOL

14 hours ago, BitterApple said:

I was really hoping Floki would find the orphan girl drowned in the river. That storyline needs to die, like yesterday.

For real.  And for what it's worth, I'm sick of Helga, too at this point.

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This was a mostly solid episode even if the attack on Kattegat had all the suspense of an old Dukes of Hazzard episode.  I guess we're to think that they've all been so busy planning to avenge Ragnar's suicide by Saxon that neither Lagertha nor any of the Ragnarssons have noticed the Finehair brothers in nearly every single scene with their heads together so obviously plotting against them that they might as well have been twirling mustaches.  There was absolutely nothing new conveyed at all except for Lagertha's surprise about it, which really shouldn't even be a surprise because pretty much everybody she's ever met has tried to overthrow her at one point or another.  It was all over the top theatrical but Lagertha still looked amazing dropping the torch and throughout.  I hope someone remembers to wash down the spit she was roasting Egil over a open fire on before they cook up their next deer carcass.  

While the ax to the husband's forehead reminded me of the early seasons of this show when everything was painted in simpler lines, the Finehairs only exist on this show to be foils to Lagertha and the Family Lothbrok if they ever get done with Ye Olde Revenge Tour.  So I really didn't need yet another chapter of "look what you made me do by not reciprocating my obsessive love for you."  We get it.  The Finehairs are terrible awful people.

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Aethelwulf because it's such a thankless role he occupies but I'll agree that this episode seemed to be really going out of its way to soften all of his earlier less palatable extremism and dickishness.  His scene with Alfred was lovely, and he at least got to have his moment of vindication in knowing that he had been right that the Vikings would be coming for Wessex when they were done with Aelle and that sending Ivar home had been a bad idea.  His growing frustration as his forces were being led around in a circle was palpable, leading him to be more reckless in charging forward when he otherwise should have known better. Ecbert seems to be either resigned to his end or is giving a very good impression of it, growing increasingly dotty and disconnected and quoting Ecclesiastes when his son was clearly looking for a reassuring word before heading out to fight his battle for him. 

You know just how far gone off the deep end Helga is when freaking Floki is looking like the reasonable reassuring one.  She's one hair petting episode away from going all Of Mice and Men while his quiet moment at the water with their NotDaughter where he showed understanding of just how much she must hate them was nicely done.

Loved loved loved the brothers Lothbrok working together to plan their attack.  Bjorn with the deer head was eerily reminiscent of Ragnar, as was his philosophical "if the plan works it's good and if it doesn't it's bad" willingness to hear Ivar out.  Ivar was showing real flashes of his father's brilliance in strategizing and unconventional thinking that made me really see for the first time how he could have gotten entire armies of able-bodied Vikings to follow him.

Edited by nodorothyparker
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1 hour ago, nodorothyparker said:

This was a mostly solid episode even if the attack on Kattegat had all the suspense of an old Dukes of Hazzard episode.  I guess we're to think that they've all been so busy planning to avenge Ragnar's suicide by Saxon that neither Lagertha nor any of the Ragnarssons have noticed the Finehair brothers in nearly every single scene with their heads together so obviously plotting against them that they might as well have been twirling mustaches.  There was absolutely nothing new conveyed at all except for Lagertha's surprise about it, which really shouldn't even be a surprise because pretty much everybody she's ever met has tried to overthrow her at one point or another.  It was all over the top theatrical but Lagertha still looked amazing dropping the torch and throughout.  I hope someone remembers to wash down the spit she was roasting Egil over a open fire on before they cook up their next deer carcass.  

While the ax to the husband's forehead reminded me of the early seasons of this show when everything was painted in simpler lines, the Finehairs only exist on this show to be foils to Lagertha and the Family Lothbrok if they ever get done with Ye Olde Revenge Tour.  So I really didn't need yet another chapter of "look what you made me do by not reciprocating my obsessive love for you."  We get it.  The Finehairs are terrible awful people.

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Aethelwulf because it's such a thankless role he occupies but I'll agree that this episode seemed to be really going out of its way to soften all of his earlier less palatable extremism and dickishness.  His scene with Alfred was lovely, and he at least got to have his moment of vindication in knowing that he had been right that the Vikings would be coming for Wessex when they were done with Aelle and that sending Ivar home had been a bad idea.  His growing frustration as his forces were being led around in a circle was palpable, leading him to be more reckless in charging forward when he otherwise should have known better. Ecbert seems to be either resigned to his end or is giving a very good impression of it, growing increasingly dotty and disconnected and quoting Ecclesiastes when his son was clearly looking for a reassuring word before heading out to fight his battle for him. 

You know just how far gone off the deep end Helga is when freaking Floki is looking like the reasonable reassuring one.  She's one hair petting episode away from going all Of Mice and Men while his quiet moment at the water with their NotDaughter where he showed understanding of just how much she must hate them was nicely done.

Loved loved loved the brothers Lothbrok working together to plan their attack.  Bjorn with the deer head was eerily reminiscent of Ragnar, as was his philosophical "if the plan works it's good and if it doesn't it's bad" willingness to hear Ivar out.  Ivar was showing real flashes of his father's brilliance in strategizing and unconventional thinking that made me really see for the first time how he could have gotten entire armies of able-bodied Vikings to follow him.

You're a great writer.  You should start a "Vikings" blog.  I'd follow you :-)!

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1 hour ago, nodorothyparker said:

There was absolutely nothing new conveyed at all except for Lagertha's surprise about it, which really shouldn't even be a surprise because pretty much everybody she's ever met has tried to overthrow her at one point or another.

And also because Harald has basically told everyone that he plans on taking it over multiple times.

9 hours ago, ghoulina said:

That torture scene was gruesome, but Lagertha's face when she realized the brothers were the ones after Kattegat was amazing. I did roll my eyes at much of the attack, though. Too much Astrid. She just started training with Lagertha and I'm really supposed to believe she's this seasoned warrior, taking down full grown men? Okay. I don't know where this girl came from, but I wish she'd go back. 

 Axes to the head for everyone! I was actually quite perplexed when the princess came onto him after her husband was killed. Hubby and I were sitting there musing about what was going on. Was she really THAT turned on by such a ruthless display of possession? Or was she scared she would be next, so she was trying to get on Finehair's good side? Given that she was a free woman and the fact that Viking women were afforded many more rights than a lot of their contemporaries, we didn't really see the need for her to seek protection.

I don't consider Astrid to only have started learning with Lagertha. She's been around for the 2nd half of the season which has had quite a long timeline and not only that but it's implied she has been around during the timejump so we don't really know how long she's been training with Lagertha. I'm not much of a fan of hers but I think if Torvi is considered a seasoned warrior (we believed she was capable when all she had done was pick up a cross bow and put on some armour) then Astrid should be too.

I thought it was pretty obvious why she was there and expected her to take out the knife long before she did. I didn't think the brother would be there to kill her just in time though.

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15 hours ago, Kalliste said:

I thought "aww poor Torvi" and then she blinked and started to breathe. Given it looked like she only had an arrow in the shoulder I'm assuming she's ok. I can't see her being killed off without Lagertha mentioning it while roasting that guy.

Poor Athelwulf seemed so confused this episode"My wife is saying nice things to me, the army is cheering for me, Alfred thinks I'm amazing.. what is life". I was glad someone finally showed him some kindness after all this time.

I wonder if Ivar will be even more insufferable with his "but Daddy chose me!" whining and ranting now that his plan worked. Hopefully they'll just realise if they work together maybe they can get somewhere.

I wonder if next episode will be our last of Ecbert/Wessex and co.

I just don't understand why Ivar thinks Ragnar chose him. Ragnar asked everybody else first and they all said no. He took Ivar because that was all that was available. I also don't understand why somebody who was there (like the brothers who refused to go with Ragnar ) don't point out that Ragnar didn't choose Ivar. Ragnar got stuck with Ivar.

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14 minutes ago, pixieil said:

I just don't understand why Ivar thinks Ragnar chose him. Ragnar asked everybody else first and they all said no. He took Ivar because that was all that was available. I also don't understand why somebody who was there (like the brothers who refused to go with Ragnar ) don't point out that Ragnar didn't choose Ivar. Ragnar got stuck with Ivar.

Ragnar told Ivar that because he (Ivar) was a cripple that the Saxons would not consider him a threat and thus would allow him to return (alive). Ivar is using "alternative facts".

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Great episode, especially on the heels of last week (though I was willing to cut it some slack since I suspected the budget was being saved for these final two episodes).

I never know what to make of Athelwulf. We've seen him hit his wife and kill terrified children and generally act like a neanderthal, and yet here he's given a lovely scene with Alfred. I've been waiting to get a fix on their relationship, and despite complaining a couple of weeks ago about how he has to raise his wife's bastard, it's obvious he loves him (and is loved back). He even managed kind words for Athelstan, who he hated during his life time. Who'd have thought he had it in him?

And hey, his biological son! A couple of weeks I wondered whether I had just imagined his existence. 

The Kattegut plot didn't interest me much: I wasn't too worried for Lagertha since we've seen Kattegut get overthrown and taken back so many times already, and there weren't many twists in the battle. After throwing down the flaming torch, why didn't one of the men on the other side just shoot her? Or just run through it? It was staged like some remarkable strategy that turned the tide of the battle, but didn't really feel like anything particularly spectacular. And it ends with Lagertha discovering something that the audience has known from the start: the creepy smarmy obviously evil brothers are out to conquer Kattegut. How'd they not see that coming??

I don't dislike Judith, but I did snorfle when Ecbert praised her brilliant mind. Um, okay. Sure. 

I'm holding out hope for Torvi. They wouldn't have bothered to show her blinking if they didn't want to establish she was still alive at the end of the episode, so maybe there's hope.

That subplot with the Finehair brothers was kinda weird and pointless, but mad respect for Princess Nice Hat. Plotting to stab your husband's killer to death while f***ing him? I'm just sorry she didn't get away with it.

Floki is majorly shook that he's become the sane one. And I noticed that his rapport with the little girl was (presumably) a parallel to Athelwulf's scene with Alfred. The two fundamentalists are the gentlest with children (at least these children).

And the brothers are working together to defeat the Saxons, though not without a little bit of tension. We'll see how this evolves, as I feel that Ivar has inherited his father's battle smarts, but Bjorn his leadership qualities. Yet neither has the charisma that made Ragnar so beloved: Ivar is too creepy and Bjorn too stoic.

Edited by Ravenya003
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5 hours ago, taurusrose said:

I don't believe that Torvi is dead.  The arrows weren't in any life threatening places and she still showed signs of life.

Blood poisoning. Remember "Lonesome Dove"? I wonder if we'll get a deathbed farewell scene.

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I enjoyed the whole episode...

As far as "Scar-face" getting captured and tortured by L, it made me feel a little sorry for him, especially when he said; "if I do this, it is for you; not me" to his wife. He was already "F'd" up on his face; now his whole body is slow roasted.

I continue to love Ivar and his genius.  while the other brothers fought and "f'd" their way through Kattegut; he was busy making his mind stronger (even though he didn't realize it).

Father and son love was really touching...it is the first time I liked A-Wulf since the show started....more daddy love please! :)

I have no problem with King Finehair.  He does become the King of all Norway in the long run anyways right?  I love history! :)

Overall, I am hard to discourage when it comes to this show...I am just excited every week to see my culture displayed in any form!  May it last for many seasons and end with my grandparents living in Iceland LOL. :)

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17 hours ago, Kalliste said:

I thought "aww poor Torvi" and then she blinked and started to breathe. Given it looked like she only had an arrow in the shoulder I'm assuming she's ok. I can't see her being killed off without Lagertha mentioning it while roasting that guy.

Poor Athelwulf seemed so confused this episode"My wife is saying nice things to me, the army is cheering for me, Alfred thinks I'm amazing.. what is life". I was glad someone finally showed him some kindness after all this time.

I wonder if Ivar will be even more insufferable with his "but Daddy chose me!" whining and ranting now that his plan worked. Hopefully they'll just realise if they work together maybe they can get somewhere.

I wonder if next episode will be our last of Ecbert/Wessex and co.

She was shot in the shoulder once before too, I think. Or maybe that was Helga...shoot, now I forget!  I think it was in Paris but too lazy to look it up... 

Was an excellent show though--I enjoyed Aethelwulf's character--the man I have never liked--this episode, he was awesome. Engaged, sweet, almost charming--full of character--(cracks me up when he's doing a rising trot/posting on that Clydesdale or Shire, but that horse looks rougher than hell) and is not just a big 'ole Viking killing meanie.  So I assume he's going to get the ax.  I actually felt sorry for him these last 2 episodes.  :( 

Ecbert--I think your time on earth is short. I REALLY hope the two evil brothers get theirs soon, too. 

The roasting of dude, made me wince and look away--and that's unusual. 

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The openness of Alfred being Athelstan's son takes me out of things a bit. It feels too modern.
I hope Torvi isn't dead! I hate if she goes out with Bjorn being a dick to her and basically leaving her and the kids. Bleh.
Ivar is still disturbingly hot. What's wrong with me? I'm still Team Viking, even without Ragnar. Sigurd is growing on me for some reason.
I just can't get into any plots involving Harald and Halfdan. I don't even know who is who most of the time. They are just Ugly Tattoo Brothers Who Hate The Lothbroks to me. I was hoping the princess would kill Harald.
I didn't like Lagertha torturing the bastard earl guy. That was a bit much.
 

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