‘Vikings’ season 4 episode 14 review: Ragnar and Ecbert grieve over loss of Athelstan
Last time on “Vikings” we saw Lagertha invading Kattegat and with Aslaug being on her own, we aren’t sure how she is going to keep her kingdom, but what we are sure of is that their confrontation is something that everyone is going to want front row seats for! Also, Rollo is back and he’s being a traitor once more (some things never change). This time to his wife and children as he sets sail with Bjorn to raid Rome. Last but never least we have Ragnar and Ivar who have surrendered themselves to King Ecbert in hopes of getting close enough to him to exact revenge.
Lagertha is victorious in taking over Kattegat and finally has a chance to face Aslaug tonight. We know these two women have a lot to say to one another and this confrontation did not disappoint. Aslaug needles Lagertha by saying that Ragnar chose her and that she gave Ragnar the many sons he wanted that she could not provide him. Lagertha reminds Aslaug that she only won him with sorcery and without that she never would’ve had him at all. Aslaug tells everyone that Ragnar is dead after a dream showed him his demise and that with Ragnar being dead she no longer has use for the throne. She gives up the throne to Lagertha and asks for safe passage to leave, but as she walks away Lagertha kills her. When Aslaug’s sons return to Kattegat, they find out that their mother is dead and swear revenge.
Ragnar and Ivar have been brought in as prisoners to see Ecbert and as Ivar feared, he had to watch Ragnar be beaten and caged by Ecbert’s men, but Ragnar has gotten an audience with Ecbert just as he desired. Ragnar asks to see Ivar and they bring him in to see Ecbert, who promises Ragnar that no harm will come to him. Ecbert admits that what he did, slaughtering all of Ragnar’s men and women in the settlements was wrong, but that it was part of a larger strategy that didn’t work out.
Ecbert’s big reveal to Ragnar, that he left behind another son, blows up in his face when Ragnar lies to the child saying that he never had sex with his mother so he’s a miracle child… not his. The drunker Ecbert gets, the more he plays with his own fate by releasing Ragnar from his cage. You may have thought that Ragnar would charge him and kill him, but instead Ragnar and Ecbert get into a conversation about religion that leads them into talking about Athelstan. Ecbert admits that he was jealous that Athelstan chose to be with Ragnar over him, but that if he had stayed with him then he would still be alive. Seeing their mutual pain over losing Athelstan, only ignited our own pain over losing him all over again and when Ragnar met Athelstan’s son for the first time we were crying like a baby. After this re-connection between them, Ecbert tells Ragnar that he cannot kill him as he wishes. Ragnar asks for him to let King Aella kill him and in return he will tell Ivar (who will tell his brothers) that it was Aella alone that did this and Ecbert will be spared. We are now in terror over losing Ragnar sooner then we thought, but really there is never a good time to lose him.
As much as we enjoyed seeing Lagertha get her revenge on Aslaug after all these seasons, the highlight of this episode was the talk between Ragnar and Ecbert. This talk was a long time coming, but the meat of the conversation revolved around Athelstan and their mutual pain over losing him. There is a profound understanding between these two men and while there has been a few betrayals between them over time, there is still something very special about this relationship. Episode grade: A-
ICYMI: We spoke to “Vikings” actor Alex Høgh Andersen about his role as Ivar the Boneless! Check that out at the link here.
Were you happy to see Lagertha get her revenge on Aslaug? What did you think of Ragnar and Ecbert’s conversation about Athelstan? Leave us a comment in the box below. If you want more scoop on “Vikings” season 4 then head on over to the link here and let us be your guide. (Photo: History)