I suspect the title for this episode, “All at Sea,” is mostly a reference to the Ubbe-Goes-To-Greenland plot. It is the most monumental…or it should be. Instead, we get an episode that seems to revolve around two characters dying that I guess is supposed to mean something, but I’m not sure I care much for either character because this is Vikings and there are so many characters here played by actors given not much to do that often seem interchangeable.
Right, well, Gunnhild and Prince Oleg both died in this one. Theoretically, these were under dramatic circumstances. The problem is Gunnhild is a fairly interchangeable female character on this show and Oleg was a rather lackluster villain killed by his own hubris. Sort of.
Gunnhild’s death comes at King Harald’s wedding, ostensibly to Ingrid and Gunnhild following the death of Bjorn. Ingrid, pregnant with someone’s child, agrees because she doesn’t really have any other options. Gunnhild at least is a shieldmaiden and…oh, wait, she decides to strip mostly naked at the altar, dive into the bay, and then swim out until exhaustion kicks in and she drowns to join Bjorn in Vahalla.
I thought Vahalla was only for those who died in battle. Does it work that way too?
Never mind. See above about Gunnhild.
As for Oleg, well, Kir and his people return to Kiev. There’s no fight. Oleg comes out on a balcony and begins preaching about this and that, and Ivar, knowing Ivan will never be rid of that asshole unless the boy does something himself, convinces young Ivan to put an arrow through Oleg’s chest, something Ivan eventually does, to Oleg’s surprise and everyone else’s delight. Oleg’s widow says she’s carrying Ivar’s child, Ivan tells Ivar how much the violent sociopath means to him, and Ivar and Hvitserk decide to head back to Kattegat and see what’s happened there since Bjorn died.
Are they expecting to be welcomed back with open arms? I don’t care how much Hvitserk thinks Ivar has changed, that’s still a damn dumb plan.
But then there’s Ubbe, where everyone gets in a fight over a dead whale, leading Ubbe, Torvi, Othere, and their followers to eventually make a run for it out to sea with no supplies. Othere is sure God will provide, and that seems to happen when it starts raining to provide fresh water, but the sight of belligerent asshole Flatnose bellowing triumph as he stands on top of a dead whale, gradually figuring out how pathetic he looks, made the whole episode.
But mostly, this was once again an episode that made me there isn’t enough story for a season this long.