History‘s Vikings The Last Ship TV Show Review. In Vikings: Season 4, Episode 10: The Last Ship wasted no time and plunged headlong into battle. Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) relied heavily on his son while he gathered himself to face his own brother in a bloody grudge match. Both Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) and Rollo (Clive Standen) proved themselves capable generals. Rollo was able to marshal his forces to fight with the fury of vikings. It made him seem completely equal to Ragnar in his command. It was disturbing though, to hear Rollo speak of the vikings like he was never one of them. He referred to Ragnar as “their king” and never even said his brother’s name. Rollo was completely disconnected. Ragnar said it himself “you never were” my brother as he beheld Rollo’s complete transformation. (I won’t say what else he said).
Bjorn commanded Ragnar’s forces. He was efficient and brutal. Even his woman, Torvi (Georgia Hirst), got in on the action and became a shield maiden proficient in the Frankish crossbow. Bjorn looked like a fierce Viking leader in this episode, capable of commanding his own fleet, making this battle his debut as a true Viking warrior prince. Later in the episode, we saw that Bjorn comes to rely on Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) as his father once did. Ragnar, Floki, Bjorn are all dreamers and explorers. It only makes since that Bjorn would go to Floki to build him the boats that could sail a long journey to the Mediterranean – his destiny.
It was an epic, bloody, battle and every warrior shined. Floki was a force. He was almost wraith-like as he slipped in and out of killing Francs with one or two strokes. It has been a while since we have seen Floki on the battlefield so I was happy to see him fighting again.
Ragnar and Rollo finally faced each other. I cringed with every blow they gave one another. Both of them were fighting like it was their last fight. No one could mistake this as a fight between strangers. The brawl was all fists and elbows. They were pounding each other’s faces to a bloody pulp and both emerged – yes, both – nearly unrecognizable. Only the love of Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) stopped the battle, and essentially stopped the war. (BTW, that was cruel History Channel, making us think Lagertha was mortally wounded. I could have thrown something at the television.)
When you see Rollo fall to his knees after the fight, it was like he was finally being untethered from his past. He looked engulfed in a mixture of profound sadness and relief. He made his choice and he defended it. I have to applaud Rollo for that.
Meanwhile in Paris, Emperor Charles (Lothaire Bluteau) found his spine. The brother and sister schemers got what was coming to them when Charles had them executed mid-chew at his table. The act signified a choice and a promise to be loyal to his daughter and to place his trust in Rollo alone. Clearly a wise decision, Charles appeared to be nothing like the frightened, weak creature he has been.
Jump to about eight years into the future…the Lothbrok boys are all grown up without Ragnar because he abandoned his family and throne soon after his defeat in Paris. Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith), Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø), Sigurd (David Lindström) and Ivar (Alex Høgh) all take a turn showing us their hearts and minds in a deep conversation about the impact their father’s legacy has or has not had on them.
Høgh is breathtaking in the role of Ivar. His eyes exude wild intelligence that resembles the spark in Fimmel‘s eyes which have become iconic for the image of Ragnar. Høgh‘s portrayal of that part of Ragnar’s spirit has already endeared me to him, much like Ludwig‘s awesome embodiment of Fimmel‘s coolness, curiosity and fortitude which are notable pieces of Ragnar’s spirit. All the young men carry many of Ragnar’s traits, including boldness. (It appears they may have had little guidance from their mother, Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland), the queen lush.)
Of course, Ragnar never stays down long. He appeared in his kingdom to a mixed reception from his subjects, and hostility from his sons. It was a highly charged moment in which Ragnar dared anyone to challenge him for the throne. The boys know he is a warrior, I do not think any of them would dare. Still, I could not help but feel like at that moment Ragnar would have welcomed the killing stroke that put him out of his misery. He was not bluffing or posturing…he simply looked exhausted even after a hiatus. I think he stayed away so long because his grief was too great and no one could help him carry it. He made the decision to leave the burden of ruling to those capable of handling it – his son, his friend, his wife. He had been going strong (and weak) for so long that I think his heart became too heavy and so did the throne. So indeed, “who wants to be KING?!” It was a great mid-season finale, in which Fimmel shined even in Ragnar’s darkest hour. I cannot wait to see how the rest unfolds.
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