This week’s penultimate episode of Vikings “On the Eve” saw bloodshed in Wessex and Kattegat as we gear up for next week’s season four finale, which is sure to be just as violent this week.
The episode starts with Torvi and Astrid; they stop a small attack in a Kattegat marketplace, which is part of a larger assault against the city paid for by King Harald who has his eyes on the throne. Later on in the episode, the war for Kattegat starts with Egil leading his forces into battle, Lagertha goes full Daenerys and burns the forces down while Astrid lodges an axe into his shoulder. They keep him alive for questioning, which is more like cooking because Lagertha roasts him over a fire, and all seems well until we cut back to Torvi, who is on the ground with two arrows lodged into her. It’s unsure whether or not Torvi survives, but it’s not looking good since Lagthera doesn’t even know that she’s injured.
Meanwhile, after the bishop who fought with Aelle dies in the hands of Ecbert, he wants Judith to go back to his son so he can have her strength in battle. This leads to touching scene, and one of my favorites, with Aethelwulf and Alfred discussing his actual father Athelstan and how proud he is of his adopted son. I’m rooting for him.
But is there really any hope for the English?
I don’t think so because one flaw of this series is that they turned the vikings into an incredible unstoppable force. We watch them sail up the river towards Wessex and land in Mercia. Ivar is trying to convince his brothers that Ragnar has chosen him to lead, rule and advance the viking’s kingdom, but the brothers still don’t have faith in him to lead.
Meanwhile, Helga reaches her breaking point when their “adopted” daughter Tanaruz runs away. Floki finds her cape in the river and sees her hiding in the logs near by. He admits to her that he does not know what to do about the fact that she hates them and an alliance forms. She goes back with him, seemingly unafraid of him, but terrified of Helga when she rushes up to her. It should be interesting to see where their relationship will head as we go into the season finale next week.
In another part of the camp, Harald throws an axe into Elsa’s husband Vic’s skull after going to “apologize” to her for threatening her in last week’s episode. Later she goes to Harald to talk, where she confesses that marrying Vic was a mistake and that she always loved Harald. The two begin to have sex when Elsa pulls a knife on him, luckily his brother was there to save the day and slashes Elsa.
Back to the brothers, Ivar wants to change tactics instead of doing the same old shield-wall techniques, so Bjorn agrees to go with him to scout the battlefield. This leads into the big cat and mouse battle of the episode where the English fall right into the viking’s trap. I was rooting for Aethelwulf to win this one, but Ivar’s intelligence on the battle field was no match for him. The episode ends on a cliffhanger with Aethelwulf charging his army to the viking’s ships only to be attacked by the full force of the great army.
Episode Rating: 9/10
The Vikings season finale airs next Wednesday at 9 p.m. on The History Channel