It seems hard to believe that when I started doing this TV coverage stuff for weekday evenings that one of the original shows from the first line-up is something I am still watching, that it was initially my least favorite but now is something of a guilty pleasure, and finally that it’s an original drama from the History Channel.
But yes, Vikings is still, as of right now, producing new episodes. That said, it won’t be much longer as this is the start of the sixth and final season to run a last batch of 20 episodes and then…well, apparently there’s a Netflix spin-off or something in the works. So, where are we with this last season?
Basically, for the premier, we have stories following three characters and none of them are in boring old Wessex. Bjorn is now the king of Kattegat, Lagertha has decided to retire to a farm and live out the rest of her days there, never to draw arms again, and Ivar is headed down the Silk Road until he runs into some Russian Vikings outside of Kiev.
You know, this show isn’t being even remotely subtle in its political allegory in regards to Ivar, pointing out he built a giant wall to keep out all the foreigners he hated. And I know there’s a long lead-in to film these things, but really? Kiev? No one thought that was too coincidental?
Anyway, setting the table, we have Lagertha deciding she’s done enough violence and wants a farm like she had back in season one with the long-departed (and still missed) Ragnar, and she finds the right one when she steps onto some land and has some season one flashbacks or something. Then she buries her sword and calls it a day.
We’ll see if that lasts.
Bjorn is finding kingship a bit of a challenge. Sure, banishing Ivar’s remaining henchmen is easy enough, even if personality-free brother Hvitserk wants more. But will he honor a request for aid from King Harald Finehair? Maybe? I dunno. He’s got another bland wife whose name I don’t remember after abandoning Torvi, but Torvi remarried to Ubbe and is having another child by yet another man after Bjorn and Jarl Borg.
And then Ivar finds his trek east interrupted when he’s captured by Crazy Prince Oleg, a man who may have invented the hot air balloon and says he’s a Russian Viking.
Has anyone told the writers of this show that “viking” is not a nationality but an activity?
Regardless, here we are. Ivar has a new friend (maybe), Bjorn has a new job (definitely), and Lagertha has a new permanent home (probably). It’s pretty typical Vikings stuff that probably won’t merit a full 20 episodes and may not end until 2021, but this is the final season.
You know, until Netflix’s new show starts.