Get ready to be punched in the feels in the latest episode of Vikings!
Here’s what went down in Episode 18, entitled “Baldar,” of History Channel’s Vikings Season 5.
Hvitserk Has An Awkward Visit With Olaf The Stout
Episode 18 of Vikings opens with Hvitserk (Marco Ilso) approaching the kingdom of Olaf the Stout (Steve Berkoff). Initially, Hvitserk is questioned by a dwarf. And, I wonder initially if this character is actually Olaf the Stout but, alas, it turns out his name is Canute (Conn Rogers) and Olaf eventually makes an appearance once Hvitserk strips naked and trudges through the snow to meet with the leader in a sauna.
Olaf seems impressed that two of Ragnar Lothbrok’s sons are paying him such attention. However, when Hvitserk reveals that he would like Olaf to side with him and attack Ivar the Boneless (Alex Hogh Andersen), things go sidewards.
Hvitserk is taken prisoner and interrogated by Canute. The son of Ragnar remains firm, though, and it seems like Olaf will too. That is until Canute cuts Hvitserk’s ropes. It looks like a deal might finally be struck against Ivar.
Ivar Has A Really Terrible Day
First off, Ivar discovers his wooden statue of himself has been damaged. He hauls Hvitserk’s girlfriend, Thora (Eve Connolly), in to be interrogated but Thora doesn’t even deny it.
Ivar retaliates by letting Thora go but then torches her family, quite literally, while Thora watches. Like I said in last week’s recap, Thora should never have stayed behind while Hvitserk was sent on his mission.
After that, Freydis (Alicia Agneson) goes into labour.
There is good and bad news with the birth, though.
The good news is that Freydis gives birth to a son.
The bad news is that that son is disabled.
Ivar displays all sorts of emotions here and it is fascinating to what Alex Hogh Andersen run the full spectrum rather than just being so stereotypically evil as we have seen recently. Viewers see the fear and frustration of Ivar sitting by and witnessing the birth, the expectation, and excitement of that child being born safely and that it is a son. Then, the expectant terror of the unknown as he realises something is wrong.
What absolutely broke my heart, though, was Ivar giving his son the final speech before he left him exposed to the elements. While Ragnar could never abandon Ivar, it seems that Ivar, while devastated at the task, is not prepared to raise a child who will suffer as much as he did growing up.
It is also interesting to note that while Freyds believes this disformity is a sign of divinity, to Ivar, it will just be a daily reminder of how Ivar isn’t really divine.
Which means, things can go two ways in next week’s episode of Vikings. Ivar could discover a side of himself that is more gentle, more kind, now that he has had to deal with the heartbreak of parenthood. Or, Freydis is literally a dead woman walking.
Ubbe Confronts The Danes
Last week, Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) asked to be placed at the head of Alfred’s (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) army. In Episode 18, it appears that he has been granted this wish.
Approaching the Danes, he meets with the three kings who are planning to attack Wessex. Ubbe attempts to negotiate with them and offers them land in East Anglia in which they can settle and prosper with the need for raiding. Two of the kings agree, King Frodo (Gavan O Connor Duffy), however, does not. So, Ubbe challenges him to single combat. Frodo agrees, so next week should be interesting in deciding the fate of Ubbe.
Judith Visits A Witch And Finds Lagertha
So, it turns out that Judith (Jennie Jacques) wasn’t having a fap in Episode 17 of Vikings. Instead, she has found a lump in her breast. Knowing just how dangerous this can be, she visits a wise woman which is completely unchristian of her but, let’s face it, we all know that Judith is going to hell for killing her son.
In the process of the wise woman doing her magic on her, Judith discovers there is another woman in the hut.
This woman turns out to be Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and what follows next will punch you so hard in the feels that you will taste again what you had for breakfast.
So, remember when History Channel killed off Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and we all thought that that scene was the most gutwrenching thing we would ever see on this show?
Turns out we were all wrong.
No, the worst thing is having to watch Ragnar’s death all over again but from Lagertha’s perspective.Lagertha is just a tad bit batshit crazy by this point in time and is having flashbacks, or vision, or… something.
Travelling along with her, viewers get to see Ragnar’s death as if Lagertha were there at the time and also witnessing it.
At times, Lagertha is King Aelle (Ivan Kaye), which isn’t the worst. The worst is the flashbacks to happier times between Lagertha and Ragnar and when you realise that Lagertha could never love another man in the way she loved Ragnar and I am done with crying a river over this. I am dead, I tell you.
Judith, on the other hand, whisks Lagertha back to Wessex. Lagertha recuperates in the royal villa and some of her crazy leeches away.
In the process, Judith admits to Elsewith (Roisin Murphy ) and Lagertha that she killed Aethelred (Darren Cahill) and that she is dying. Elsewith is unable to cope with it all and begins sobbing. Lagertha pulls Elsewith up and tells her, basically, to harden the fuck up because she is young and the young can cope with this sort of shit.
After that, Judith and Lagertha become besties and everyone better watch the fuck out.
Bjorn Gets Married
In York, Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig) and Gunnhild (Ragga Ragnars) get married and King Harald Finehair (Peter Franzen) looks like he would rather poke out his own eyes rather than watch the happy couple. Gunnhild notices this and after Harald questions her about her wanting to be queen, she not only points out that she is a queen, just to a different king, but she makes sure she pashes Bjorn every time Harald looks their way.
Harald perfects the art of “pissy face” after this and Bjorn had better watch his back on their journey to Kattegat.
Floki Gives Up Humans
When Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) has to bury Aud (Leah McNamara) on account of her own father, Ketill (Adam Copeland) not wanting to do it, Floki gives up on the human race altogether.
Which means it is time for him to make another trek. This time, he travels to the massive volcano in Iceland so that he can speak to the gods. While he is there, he discovers a cave and. considering next week’s episode of Vikings is called “What Happens in the Cave,” it seems likely this is important. However, fans will have to wait until next week’s episode to find out.
Vikings returns on Wednesday, January 23, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. History Channel provides the following synopsis for Episode 19 (titled “What Happens in the Cave”).
“Ubbe is forced into hand-to-hand combat. Floki reaches new depths and is met by a shocking sight. Bjorn sets off for Scandinavia with an old rival.”
You can purchase episodes of Season 5 of Vikings here. Season 4, Volume 2 (Episodes 11-20) of History Channel’s Vikings is now available for purchase here. Volume 1 (Episodes 1-10) is available here. (These are affiliate links.)
Also, if you have watched tonight’s episode and are missing the old tales of Lagertha and Ragnar, why not check out my current series, Vikings Secrets. This is a fictional retelling of the classic Viking sagas surrounding Ragnar and the women who loved him.
You can find out more about this exciting series here.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Hession / History Channel]