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VIKINGS Recap: Crossings (Season 4, Episode 16)

VIKINGS Recap: Crossings (Season 4, Episode 16)

All the Vikings spoilers won’t rest with the dead. Come mourn and move onwards with us.

“Crossings” is easily the most eventful episode of season four’s second half so far. A lot of loose ends are being tied up for when the season four finale hits next month; with each dramatic episode, we come closer to uncovering Ragnar’s true legacy. All good things must come to an end, but that doesn’t mean we are left to rot in of pit of snakes…

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Yes, King Ragnar is definitely dead (see above)–but not everyone knows this at the start of this week’s episode, seeing as news doesn’t exactly travel fast in the Viking Age. No one wants to live in a world without Ragnar; who can blame them? Ragnar was boss. So, naturally, everyone doubts Ivar (I’m trademarking that title for the spin-off sitcom, by the way) when he bears the bad tidings.

Ivar is especially resentful for the death of his mother–which is justified, since Aslaug’s death was kinda lame. Filled with great rage, he begins plotting to poke Lagertha’s eyeball out. (Look away, squeamish fans!) He’s also hard at work crafting some new armor and weapons. I must say, I’m pleasantly surprised by how resourceful he’s becoming in such a short amount of time. He could have gone full-out sadistic Joffrey, but it appears that’s not the case thanks to his woke coastal vacation with Papa Lothbrok. No chance he could maybe make good with his stepmom/Queen? All signs point to nope.

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Moving on, the Mediterranean quest with the remaining Viking fleet has final arrived! Björn and his party–Rollo, Floki, Helga, Hvitserk, Harold Finehair, and Halfdan the Black–lead the restless Vikings into a new world of riches. Quick history lesson: the IRL Scandinavians did make contact with the Byzantine Empire. Spoiler alert (but not really): the Vikings never conquered the heavily fortified capital Constantinople, but a few Scandinavian raiding parties sure as hell tried their hardest to breach one of the world’s richest empires of the ancient era.

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Even though this raid is pretty successful, not everything turns out fine and dandy. A few moments, some reminiscent of our first raid with a younger and wilder Floki, bring to the surface his budding remorse and regret. “An empty vessel,” he calls himself. (Activate big group hug for Floki!) He quickly shoots down Helga’s desire to start a new family, signaling huge personal issues flags all over the place. And then he gets trapped in a glass case of emotion when he enters an Islamic mosque for the first time. Oh, Floki–so many feels, so little time to explore it all. Also, brace yourselves for Ragnar’s death reveal to Floki.

In Kattegat, major points for redecorating the great room, Lagertha’s fierce scene-stealing barn owl included. (But seriously, a shout out to the production team, led by Mark Geraghty, on this glorious extreme-makeover.) The mighty Queen’s new goal is to fortify the lands, rousing some community spirit and ushering in the next generation of prepared Norse men and women.  Solid plan, though there’s a lot riding on everything she wants to do, seeing as how her ex-husband is watching over her every decision.

That’s right–you better believe that Ragnar’s ghost will be making his rounds in these last four episodes. Like Athelstan, Ragnar appeared from beyond the grave, standing before Lagertha then vanished into the air without a single word–just a silent, subtle nod. Is this enough closure for the queen of Kattegat? Doubt it. Will this vision of Ragnar add fuel to her claim of Kattegat? Most likely. Ultimately, the Lagertha saga moves onward into the unknown. The only certain thing will be her impact as Queen of Kattegat.

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But it was the five sons of Ragnar who got the biggest visitor–one-eyed Odin used his unkindness of ravens (actual science term) to deliver the final message of Ragnar’s death to each son. Right about now we’re ready for Ragnar’s vengeance in the form of something epic to crash down upon his enemies.

Next week’s episode is entitled “The Great Army.” Gosh–what ever could that mean? (Insert happy history-buff dance!) Leave all your thoughts and visions for the remaining Vikings episodes below.

Images: The History Channel
GIF: VikingsHistory/Tumblr

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