‘Vikings’ season 4, episode 9 review: Ragnar faces his demons, Lagertha loses a great love

With Yidu’s death on “Vikings” we are expecting Ragnar to hit rock bottom when it comes to his drub addiction (although one could argue that killing your drug supplier because they have run out of product is hitting rock bottom). It’s unfortunate that his supply has run out right when the viking crew is about to embark on a long journey of portaging the boats up over a cliff and through the mountains, since we assume Ragnar’s crash is going to be an ugly one.

Ragnar: The portage is continuing through the mountains now that the boats are over the cliff and even though Ragnar warned her that doing all this heavy lifting work might be bad, Lagertha is doing it anyway… and seems to be having trouble with her pregnancy as Ragnar predicted and she loses her child. We saw a nice moment where Lagertha let herself be comforted in Ragnar’s arms, but she snapped back to the reality of the situation quickly and ordered him to leave her. Instead, he and Bjorn just sat behind her in the tent – just in case she needed them. After a long portage, they make it to the river behind Paris as Ragnar promised and the small victory makes Ragnar decide not to take anymore drugs since he only has a little left and needs it to fight Rollo. When Bjorn tells him that the team needs him to be on top of his game to take Paris, Ragnar reveals that he only came here to kill Rollo and doesn’t care about Paris anymore.

Rollo: He has done everything he can think of to assure the Emperor of France that they are safe and that Ragnar is likely hitting a smaller town to make sure he doesn’t go back home with nothing, so Rollo clearly hasn’t thought of the portaging possibility. The Emperor starts giving preference to another man over Rollo (including security over the city), and Gisla is worried… and she should be.

Aslaug: Floki is having visions of Asulag heartbroken, looking for the wanderer who has now left their village. In reality, Aslaug is drinking heavily and having to deal with Ivar’s attitude problem as he talks down to her, orders her around and is showing more of his cruelty then ever before.

Torvi: She begs her husband to spare Bjorn’s life and says that she will come back to him if he leaves Bjorn alone, but he refuses. Instead he tells her that she is going to kill him and that if she doesn’t her son will die. She carries the crossbow over to Bjorn and tells him what she must do, but instead she uses it to kill her husband and showing her loyalty to Bjorn.

This was probably the weakest episode of the season as it mostly just moved along a lot of small stories, including a few that we don’t really care much about like Aethelwulf arriving in Rome with his son, but it was great to see Ragnar finally decide to face his drug addiction. We have been missing the old Ragnar since there was a real magic behind this character that made this show more than just weekly entertainment. Episode grade: C+

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