History‘s Vikings What Might Have Been TV Show Review. Vikings: Season 4, Episode 6: What Might Have Been saw Harbard (Kevin Durand) visit Kattegat while Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) fleet return to Frankia where there was more slaughter than battle. Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) was surprised to see Rollo (Clive Standen) had changed sides, but of course, Ragnar was not. Then again, Ragnar was distracted this trip. He seemed more obsessed with getting high, which gave plenty of room to his enemies to assert themselves as leaders in What Might Have Been.
The fleet had a rough ride to Paris. We can not tell whether having Yidu (Dianne Doan) along was a blessing or a curse upon the journey. Ragnar and some of the crew seemed unsettled by Yidu’s haunting lullaby and so did the gods. A huge storm scattered the fleet so that only the leaders’s boats, Ragnar, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), and Finehair (Peter Franzen) arrived on shore first. The poor contingent of Frankish scouts – the early version of the French coast guard – were slaughtered (off screen) while they were drunkenly enjoying themselves in what was basically “spring break”. It only took one sober, stealthy scout to light the signal fires, but the rest were wasted.
After the massacre, Erlendur (Edvin Endre) finally got around to threatening Torvi (Georgia Hirst) to be his spy and his assassin if required or he would kill her son. There is just too much bravado in that man, and Bjorn needs to step up his plan of revenge. Bjorn was busy, though, keeping an eye on Finehair and Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård). The two are becoming close and Bjorn sees Finehair as a usurper, not a colleague or comrade. Burning the Christian soldiers was a power play more than a ritual. It was disturbing but beyond that, several of Ragnar’s warriors were clearly pleased and impressed.
Not that Ragnar cared. He was too busy getting high and bugging Lagertha. Their quiet exchange was welcome. Honestly, any time Ragnar and Lagertha are together it is a better episode. Ragnar was upset because Lagertha was raiding while pregnant, but it is strange that he feels any need to counsel her choices. What Might Have Been was summed up in Ragnar’s drug-induced fantasy of a day in the past when he was still married to Lagertha and they were happy keeping a farm with Bjorn and Athelstan. There is where Ragnar wished he could be, rather than facing off, once again, against his brother. What might have been if his ambition had not gotten the best of him?
We saw very little of Rollo this episode. He pretty much reaffirmed what he has been affirming for several episodes now, that his new love is Paris and he will not betray it. The scene where the emperor, with tears brimming, begs Rollo to remain faithful was the brightest dark spot in the episode. Here was Rollo getting what he needed: to be needed.
It was a lovely treat to see Harbard again, though his arrival was as cryptic as ever. Last week we witnessed Ivar’s (James Quinn Markey) first kill, but this week he is still being treated as a newborn babe. We know that history will reveal how Ivar will grow to be a formidable leader, but for now we are only concerned with his weakness – a weakness that only his mother’s milk and Harbard can soothe. We all know that Queen Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) is charmed. I hope there is more to come of this affair besides a few stolen moments with a god. On the other hand, Ragnar has always claimed he is descendent from Odin. Perhaps this is the legacy off his family, that they are Odin’s sons as much as his own.
Meanwhile, in Wessex, baby Alfred (Conor O’Hanlon) is sent on a dangerous pilgrimage to Rome. King Ecbert’s (Linus Roache) motivations behind the choice to send his son away to Rome with his grandson Alfred was a curious one. Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford) is Ecbert’s most capable general, why send him away? Or maybe it is all in the plan. Ecbert will have his empire, but it must be done in his name alone. Both of these boys are seemingly blessed by the gods. Alfred reacted with fright and bravery. Ivar was all smiles.
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