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Over these past few weeks the History Channel has provided us with an epic journey through time to first century Europe. It is a time of great change as the vikings has just discovered lands to the west. And how do they interact with the people that live in this strange new place called England? Please, they’re vikings and it has been battles, drinking, and power struggles. The show focuses on Ragnar, an ambitious viking raider whose exploits drew the anger of a jealous earl. After taking a Christian monk as a slave and making several raids on England, Ragnar must challenge the earl who has made several attempts on his life. We end up with Ragnar becoming the earl and joining forces with a famous king. This is the story leading us into tonight’s episode. SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!

Ragnar’s band enters the territories of Jarl Borg on a mission from King Horik to whom they’ve pledged allegience. The mission is simple, buy the Jarl’s land from him. Things are not so cut and dry though and Borg tries to negotiate a compromise regarding the land and the minerals it contains. After sending Floki back to the king with a proposition, the rest of the group travels off to see an ancient Ash tree fabled to be Yggdrasil. All except for Rollo who is left behind as a sort of insurance policy.

Meanwhile, back in Ragnar’s earldom, Lagertha worries for Ragnar and goes to visit the seer whom informs her that the gods wish to take something from her. Not long after, the land is overtaken by a terrible plague. People begin dying at an alarming rate as Lagertha and Athelstan nurse them to no avail. Siggy, Siggy’s daughter, Ragnar’s daughter, and Athelstan are all infected and Lagertha’s last hope is a sacrifice to the gods. It is too little though and soon her daughter is dead.

Ragnar in the meantime has engaged in an affair with a princess living in the Jarl’s lands and has impregnated her. This leads to him making his son feel alienated and resentful. Speaking of alienated and resentful, Rollo has been speaking with Borg and when King Horik rejects the Jarl’s proposition, Rollo decides to oppose his brother and join the Jarl. War looms on the horizon and new rivalries are born just before the final credits.

If we weren’t recently given the promise of a second season of this show, the finale would have really angered us. As it stands though, the season could not have ended at a better point. There was not a lot of action in this episode, but there was plenty of character and story building. It left us begging for just one more episode. The fight between Rollo and Ragnar has been a long time coming and we want to know how Lagertha is going to deal with the death of her daughter and Ragnar’s affair. Will she convert to Christianity and become the wife of Athelstan? And the war between the Jarl and King Horik should put the rivalry between Ragnar and Earl Haraldsen seem like child’s play. This episode gets ½. Not the best episode, but worth watching… especially after so many amazing episodes.

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