Vikings Season 4 Episode 12: “The Vision”
Directed by Daniel Grou
Written and created by Michael Hirst
Starring Travis Fimmel, Clive Standen, Katheryn Winnick, Alexander Ludwig, Gustaf Skarsgard, Maude Hirst, Alyssa Sutherland, Alex Høgh Andersen, Marco Ilsø, Jordan Patrick Smith, David Lindström, Josefin Asplund, John Kavanagh The History Channel
Air Date: Wednesday, December 7th, 2016, 9:00pm
Last time on Vikings, “The Outsider” was both Ragnar and Ivar (Travis Fimmel, Alex Høgh Andersen), as they share a deep loneliness… Ragnar, for his self-imposed exile and pretty much always marching to his own crazy beat, and Ivar, for being alive and cripple in a viking society. Ivar spent much of the episode trying to prove himself to his brothers in every way. Ragnar went to Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) and their reunion was full of love and tears. Ragnar went to Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and their reunion was tender. Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) intended to go to the Mediterranean with Floki to seek his fame and fortune. After a long delay, Ragnar wanted to go to Wessex and invade, inviting Ivar to go with him.
Vikings 4.12 “The Vision” review: Ragnar is recruiting for his revenge journey to Wessex, but that’s not going so well. He digs up his Valhalla stash to bribe people to sail with him. Then starts throwing it all in the air, embarrassing his other sons.
He and Bjorn talk about the Mediterranean. He wants to try talking to Rollo (Clive Standen) because it would be the easier way. He wants his dad to join him, but Ragnar wants Bjorn’s glory to be his own. Bjorn will give him ships for England.
Sigurd (David Lindström) is the meanest of the brothers – jealous of Ivar, of Ragnar, of eveyrthing. He tells Ivar that everyone feels pity and then taunts him as Ivar tries to make his way over to him, screaming in rage.
There is a feast for Bjorn’s “destiny.” Everyone from the Frankia battle is there, including some who weren’t.
There is a bit of a power struggle between Lagertha and Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland). Aslaug may be queen, but Lagertha is the stronger. And Lagertha tells her she will never really be queen while Aslaug is in a trance.
The slave girl is petrified of Ivar, as is Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith). She tells Sigurd of Ivar’s impotence. She is not going to live that long. He keeps her secret for like 1.3 seconds.
Ragnar thanks Aslaug for never turning his sons against him. She dreams of Ivar’s death, so she tries to stop him. But he stops her.
“Just one day with my father, being a man. That’s worth a lifetime of pity.” So she lets him go.
Ivar struggles with his crutches and falls on his face, then crawls to the boat. And his father just tells him to hurry up, which is what he needs. He’s puking and scared of water.
The storm comes and Aslaug can see it and suffers bleeding with her screaming son. The storm destroys the boats.
I watched this episode in disbelief that it could end this way, but Hirst really made this episode extra compelling, especially Ivar’s struggle. It almost seems as if Ivar’s emotional and physical state match the turmoil that has always surrounded Ragnar. Anderson is doing a great job with this physically grueling role. It looks like he is really falling and completely frustrated for real, allowing for an authentic performance.
Next week – Rollo!
Vikings airs Wednesday nights at 9:00pm ET on The History Channel.