Last week on Vikings, Ragnar returned to Kattegat after 10 years away. His sons have become men, his current wife has made a mess of almost everything in Kattegat, and Lagertha has continued to rule her Earldom while planning revenge.
“The Vision” continues much of what was already set in motion, a very depressed and downtrodden Ragnar struggles with all but one of his sons’ decisions not to accompany him on his return to England. Ivar continues his descent into violent madness, now the servant girl he desired is his by threat alone, which of course his brothers notice and take interest in. He also is the only one of Ragnar’s sons interested in trusting his father’s plans.
Ragnar speaks with Bjorn, with some very poetic dialog about manhood meaning “the mistakes and successes are yours alone”, coinciding with the viking version of “Son, can I borrow the car” with Ragnar asking Bjorn for ships.
The banners are called, and soon Kattegat is bursting with warriors and familiar faces all ready to set off on a trip to Rome with Bjorn.
Harald Finehair (Peter Franzen) and his brother Halfdan the Black (Jasper Pääkkönen) return to Kattegat to give their support to Bjorn in his journey, and to remind the audience that Harald wants to be king of Norway.
The fire arises between Lagertha and Aslaug, as we sort of knew it would. Lagertha attempts to make peace, stating the two women should offer sacrifices to the gods for the safe journeys for both their sons together. Aslaug of course STILL doesn’t like the idea of playing to someone else’s tune, reminds Lagertha who is currently Queen. Aslaug presides over the sacrifice, and while she is in her trance, Lagertha whispers of her unforgiving spirit and vengeful plans.
Aslaug has a vision, consisting of her standing at the shoreline, watching a large water devil heading towards land. At it’s base, Ivar is floating, dead. She sees him slipping into the depths, unable to use his legs to propel himself to the surface. She runs to him, and cannot reach him in time. This scene is reminiscent of how we lost Siggy (Jessalyn Gilsig) at the end of season 3, in one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful scenes the show has given us. She saves two of Aslaug’s sons from drowning, but sadly dies in the process. Aslaug wakes from her vision, and runs to tell Ivar NOT to go on the journey. He replies to her that he would rather spend one day of manhood with his father than endure another lifetime of pity.
The storm hits Ragnar and his three small ships, and Ivar (who appears to be the only son of Ragnar who suffers from seasickness) loses his shit. Ragnar has to lash him to the main mast, which is a REALLY bad idea when the ship gets hit with a giant wave and crushed. These scenes are shown cut with Aslaug going through what appears to be a miscarriage while ‘seeing’ this with her abilities.
The episode ends without a hint of Ivar or anyone else on the ship’s fate, but the damn preview for next week’s episode kinda ruins the mystery.
SCORE: 3 out of five, an extra point for some beautiful visuals