Recap: Vikings 4.5 "Promised"

Mar 18, 2016 by Sarah Moffatt

Holy Smokes. Did I or did I not say this season seemed to be all about the women and their rise to power?

This week’s episode starts and ends with Lagartha being a badass. While Kalf is busy doing who knows what, she’s training an elite group of other badass women to be boss fighters like her. She casually tells Kalf she’s pregnant, which they both seem to be pretty pumped about. Heck, he proposes to her on the spot. It’s pretty sweet how much he seems to love her, but things aren’t always what they seem, are they? We don’t see much of these two the entire episodes, just flashes of her preparing for her (third) wedding day. Here I am thinking, maybe this’ll be the one that sticks. Maybe this time she’s found a man who will love her and not be threatened by her strength. Kalf visits her on their wedding day to sneak a kiss or two before the big ceremony, but much to my surprise and, to be honest, my delight, she slips a knife out of her sleeve and stabs him right in the gut. She then walks out of the tent and tells their – now her – people he’s dead as her army of badasses surrounds her yelling, “All hair Earl Ingstad.” This is the moment Lagatha rises from her ashes and is reborn into something powerful and, probably, dangerous.

Erlendur claims to Kalf (before his demise) he is using Torvi to get intel from Kattegat about Ragnar and the right time to strike. But, I’m not so sure that’s true consider Torvi seems very interested in Bjorn and tells him who the ring he found on the berzerker belonged too – Erlendur. Now that Kalf and Lagartha’s once-thought loyalties to him are dead, I don’t see the problem is Bjorn, or Lagartha, ending Erlendur as they see fit.

Ragnar is still finding comfort in being with Yidu, though it’s not clear if they have been together in that way. Ragnar sees her in her own clothes, instead of slave clothes, and asks her more about her family and her country. Though she insists on her father being a merchant, Ragnar knows better; he believes her father is the emperor of a little kingdom called China. He tells Yidu he’ll tell her his deepest secret once she admits it, but he breaks first. He tells her he feels incredibly guilty for all of the people he left at the settlement in Paris getting slaughtered after his departure. In return, she confesses her father is the emperor of China. Then, we embark on a very confusing and sensual scene of Ragnar bathing her and dragging a knife along her body before cutting her hair and kissing her Spiderman-style.

While Ragnar is getting himself tangled in some sort of strange web with Yidu – the drugs definitely don’t help – Floki is cozying up to King Harold and his baby brother, Halfdan the Black. Halfdan arrived with 20 boats and nearly 600 men to aid in Ragnar’s quest to raid France, again. No one, including myself, trusts the two brothers – except Aslaug seemed rather interested in Harold’s arrival last week – even after Harold tells Bjorn he will give him no reason to kill him. Bjorn smoothly replies with a warning of perhaps he’ll see a reason when no one else does. Fair enough, though, amirite?

Aslaug is continuing to groom her youngest, special son, Sigurd, into a dangerous viking. My interest in this boy is becoming more and more involved, especially after this week. It’s not every day a four or five year old kills another child with an axe blow to the head. Then, it’s not every day you see said four or five year old’s mother comforting him, telling him not be scared and he did nothing wrong.

Meanwhile, in Paris, Rollo is getting advice from his new, loving wife Gisla on how to stab Count Odo in the back during battle, so the emperor will seek advice exclusively from Rollo. But, little do they know, Roland and Therese – who are pulling some Cruel Intentions/Game of Thrones, brother-sister love stuff – have devised a plan to get the emperor to turn against Count Odo: they both testify the Count is after the crown and will do anything to get it.

A hop, skip and a jump away in Wessex, I’m still struggling with Judith. Part of me is into the fact she has no problem standing up for herself against any of her male counterparts, but then it’s somehow tainted by another action. For example, she stands up to Aethelwulf when he calls her a whore and nearly beats her for sleeping with his father – admittedly, not a great start – but, then she calls him out on his infidelity with Kwenthrith – that’s right, buddy, it’s a two way street. But then, she flees to King Ecbert’s chambers and says she’ll be his whore – boo, Judith! Lucky for her, he offers her the ring of his dead wife, presumably Aethelwulf’s mom.

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