Season 4 Episode 20: “The Reckoning”
Directed by Ben Bolt
Written and created by Michael Hirst
Starring 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, February 1st, 2017, 9:00pm
Spoilers below for the season 4 finale of Vikings:
Last time on Vikings, Kattegat was attacked by an army led by Egil (Charlie Kelly). It was squashed and Egil was roasted (not roasted haha, roasted crispy) by Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), until he gave up Harald. Torvi (Georgia Hirst) died during the battle. Harald (Peter Franzén) killed the husband of his princess, and his brother killed herin the middle of sex (Harald, not his brother). Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen) came up with a very clever plan to defeat the English, and it seemed to be working. Aethelwulf’s (Moe Dunford) men got turned every which way and were picked off by crazy vikings.
Vikings 4.20 “The Reckoning” (Finale) review: Charge!!!! With but a brief glimpse of Ecbert rocking back and forth and unseeing (looking really old), we are brought right into the battle, which matched the time I saw Braveheart in the theater for the first time. The men ran into each other like a car crash. The sons of Ragnar fought viciously and triumphantly, and Aethelwulf, no battle slouch himself, killed like an animal, until he became aware of how much they were getting their asses kicked, and retreated. The vikings celebrate (Ubbe raising a severed head), but Bjorn tells them they are not finished.
Aethelwulf runs back home and says they have to go. Ecbert renounces the kingship to his son and awaits the wrath of the vikings. He says goodbye to all of them like a maudlin comedy show. He and the bishop get soused in their wait.
The camera work is extraordinary for this finale. There is a haunted quality. They charge and the kingdom is emoty. They set fire and steal gold.
Ecbert (Linus Roache) walks out. “I order you to spare him,” says Bjorn.
Tanaruz kills Helga (Maude Hirst) then herself. Helga’s last words to Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard), “This world. It is too small for you.” She is his life, and then is gone. He buries her with such reverence, “The stones wept…”
Ecbert tries to make a deal, saying he is king of kings (liar!) and will give them the lands, while the boys fight amongst themselves. Bjorn agrees, even though Ivar wants to Blood Eagle (new favorite verb) him. Ecbert wants to choose his manner of death.
Floki tells Bjorn he is dead now too… nothing… and he drifts away.
Ecbert goes in his pool, and hears the voices of his past as his life drains away.
The boys bicker during their victory. Ivar and Sigurd (David Lindström) go too far with each other, and in a fit of rage, Ivar throws an ax in his chest and Sigurd dies. What will the brothers do to him? So funny that the other vikings acted like this was normal, like, “Hey. he just killed his brother with an ax. Pass the mutton.” Ivar looks like a frightened boy after that.
And… Jonathan Rhys Meyers!!!!! Praying in England then sexing up a widow. He plays the powerfully corrupt like nobody else. I cannot wait for the vikings to clash with him!
What a season! Such important deaths – Torvi, Aslaug, Helga, Ecbert, Aelle, Sigurd (put that one under shock/saw it coming) and the real king of kings… Ragnar Lothbrok. I’m still waiting for more ghost appearances, Fimmel.
No Lagertha and no Rollo which was disappointing, but the narrative did not lend itself for those visits, otherwise, a great finale. The end of Ecbert signifies a giant end to a giant chapter.
Vikings season 5 returns later this year on The History Channel.
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