Season 4 Episode 16: “Crossings”
Directed by Ciarán Donnelly
Written and created by Michael Hirst
Starring Travis Fimmel, Clive Standen, Katheryn Winnick, Alexander Ludwig, Gustaf Skarsgard, Maude Hirst, Alex Høgh Andersen, Marco Ilsø, Jordan Patrick Smith, David Lindström, Josefin Asplund, John Kavanagh, Linus Roache.
The History Channel
Air Date: Wednesday, January 4th, 2016, 9:00pm
Spoilers below for the last 2 episodes of Vikings:
Ragnar told Ivar (Travis Fimmel, Alex Høgh Andersen) he was destined to become greater than everyone, and to use his gifts to ascend to that greatness. He also commanded him in a whisper to seek revenge not on Aelle (Ivan Kaye), but Ecbert (Linus Roache). Ivar and Athelstan’s son formed a connection akin to the beginning of Ragnar and Athelstan’s bond. Ecbert is really upset at the thought of handing him over. On the journey, a blind man (who turned into the Seer-John Kavanagh) said he could “see” Ragnar. Aelle tortured Ragnar to get him to ask for absolution. He refused. He thought about his life, his loves. As he was about to be lowered into a pit of snakes, he made a speech about the glories of Valhalla, and then dropped. Ragnar Lothbrok was dead.
Vikings 4.16 “Crossings” review: Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) grieves for Ragnar already. “I think Ragnar is looking at me and I can’t disappoint him.” But what to do about Aslaug’s (Alyssa Sutherland) angry sons?
Aethulwulf (Moe Dunford) warns of vengeance upon Ecbert, who in turn tells him that he better get ready. He has better things to do like tutor Alfred. Has a kid ever embodied his father the way Alfred does Athelstan?
Ubbe and Sigurd (Jordan Patrick Smith, David Lindström) discuss their hothead brother. “What about Ivar? How do we control him?” The answer is… they can’t. He will become the new head of the clan and the new star of the show now that Ragnar is gone. Ivar is despondent, grieving for his father and screaming to the skies. So powerful. He crawls in amidst Lagertha’s announcement – she wants to build fortifications around Kattegat, amidst cheers. Until he challenges her, “You murdered my mother in cold blood. I want revenge. I challenge you to single combat.” She refuses. He vows that he will kill her one day. There is an icky scene where he dreams of piercing her eye.
Bjorn’s (Alexander Ludwig) expedition is not going so well. The boats flounder in a fog. Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) is having a mid-life crisis, at the same time that Helga (Maude Hirst) announces she wants a baby. He says no. King Harald Finehair and Halfdan the Black (Peter Franzén, Jasper Pääkkönen) plot against Bjorn, thinking he has the bad luck of Ragnar. They drift towards a settlement. Rollo (Clive Standen) knows they are Mussulman (Muslim). The Vikings go ashore, Rollo laughing in glee as they all run screaming into the square to start the pillaging. This begins a weird entrance into a completely different culture. Floki goes into a mosque where many are praying and not noticing him. He is amazed by their passion and forbids the killing of worshippers. Methinks Floki now understands the depth of Athelstan’s faith and hopes to make up for that death by preventing these. Just wait until he finds out about Ragnar. He thinks he’s empty now? Helga chases a little Mussulman girl around in a maze of culture, with the intent of keeping her. She finds her and drags her with them, intending to raise her despite Floki’s protests. Rollo finds a key to a mysterious locked door – hiding women. You know what they do.
Lagertha gets out of bed because she hears breathing. Is it Ragnar? It is. She cries and tells his specter not to leave her. She goes to the Seer (John Kavanagh) who tells her he saw Ragnar happily on his way to Valhalla.
Lagertha: “Will I be killed by a son of Ragnar?”
The mystical rolls in via ravens to each of the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok. Bjorn and Htivsrk hear Ragnar’s whispers of “How the little piggies will grunt when they hear how the old boar suffered.” Odin (with signature one eye) appears to Ivar, “Your father is dead, killed by serpents.” He visits the rest of the boys, and they know immediately. No wonder they all have such faith, if the king of the gods visits them to bear news.
A storm rages through Kattegat as Ragnar’s last words echo:
It gladdens me to know that Odin prepares for a feast. Soon I shall be drinking ale from curved horns! I shall not enter Odin’s hall with fear. I shall wait for my sons to join me. And when they do, I will bask in their tales of triumph. The Aesir will welcome me! My death goes without apology! And I welcome the Valkyries to summon me home!
The music was particularly haunting this episode, meshing nicely with the mystical aspects of the messenger of death. Ivar was a brilliant mess of emotions – rage and tears and pounding. I am happy that Lagertha refused to fight Ivar because it would be wrong. Although not a fan of the raping and pillaging (and neither is Bjorn), it warmed my heart to see Uncle Rollo bond with his 2 nephews. I cannot wait until next episode to see how the expedition reacts to the Ragnar news.
Vikings returns Wednesday, January 11th at 9:00pm ET on The History Channel.
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