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‘Vikings’: Episode “Murder Most Foul” Recap

Photo by Jonathan Hession

This week on Vikings, paranoia causes some of our characters to make rash decisions. Let’s get into our recap and find out what happened!

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Kattegat

There is still a lot of celebrating happening in Kattegat and King Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen) takes this opportunity announces his new bride, Freydis (Alicia Agneson). King Harald (Peter Franzén) sees this as a power play so he can solidify his position as King of Kattegat. However, Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) and Margrethe (Ida Nelson) inform him that Ivar is unable to have children.

As the celebration winds down. Ivar and Freydis spend some alone time. He hesitates and reminds her that he is unable to perform, but Freydis is determined. She makes him a promise as she draws blood from his hand.

By your blood, I will bear you a child. A son. And he too will be a God. Like you. And he, the embodiment of my love, will always be by your side. In times of peace, of war, and in time of treachery.

One might wonder how she is going to accomplish this given his biological state and it is quickly revealed that she uses one of his men.

Now that Ivar has accomplished his ultimate dream of being King, he is even more distrustful of everyone around him. He wakes from a nightmare where Freydis comes to his bed and tells him that she is pregnant. Suddenly she stabs him, and when he looks up, he sees Margrethe.

This unsettling dream prompts him to ask Hvitserk what he intends to do with Margrethe. His paranoia then turns to King Harald, and he questions why he remains in Kattegat. Is he planning to make a move on the kingdom? King Harald responds by saying:

I don’t want to do that. I don’t want the mess.

He then tells him he has no plans to stay and will be returning to England to raid the lands with the other Vikings. Ivar is pleased with his response and informs both Hvitserk and King Harald that his wife is pregnant. Both men share a quick look that questions how this could have happened.

Hvitserk goes to Margrethe who has lost her mind because she’s still focused on being Queen and bitter about how Ubbe didn’t listen to her. She then attempts to get into Hvitserk’s head just as she had tried with Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) by telling him to kill Ivar. Hvitserk feels bad and tells her to rest. In the middle of the night, Ivar sends his men to kill Margrethe.

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Wessex: 

Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), Ubbe, and Torvi (Georgia Hirst) are brought to King Alfred (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) as prisoners. King Alfred wonders if Bishop Heahmund (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) has changed since living with the pagans, and so he meets with him.

Bishop Heahmund tells him of the war between the sons of Ragnar. King Alfred questions why Bishop Heahmund returned to Wessex with the defeated sons and the Bishop tells him that he offered them safe passage.

Back in the cell, Bjorn and Ubbe are furious thinking that Bishop Heahmund has turned on them. Lagertha isn’t so sure about that; she has faith that he hasn’t.

Thanks to a suggestion by Bishop Heahmund, King Alfred requests that Lagertha, Bjorn, Ubbe, and Torvi fight for him against the Vikings that have been attacking England. Bjorn states that they will fight as long as they are finally allowed to settle on the land that was rightfully given to them. King Alfred agrees that only after they prove their loyalty, will that be possible. To Bjorn and Ubbe’s dismay, Lagertha accepts the offer without further negotiation. They remove the chains and are set free. King Alfred then tells them they can remain as guests since they are now allies. He brings up how much his grandfather cared for Ragnar.

We have fought against you, and now we shall fight together with you. I know my grandfather, King Ecbert, would approve. For I know the love he bore King Ragnar.

Bishop Heahmund reassures King Alfred that he can trust Lagertha. He then requests that he be restored as Bishop Heahmund of Sherborne. Aethelred (Darren Cahill) tells him that because they thought he was dead, they have already appointed someone else, Lord Cuthred (Jonathan Delaney Tynan). King Alfred is not strong enough to overturn this decision since many people believe that Bishop Heahmund loyalties are now with the Vikings. Therefore, he needs to prove himself before King Alfred can do anything. Bishop Heahmund is not pleased.

I am what I have always been. Christ Warrior on earth and I fight for him wherever and for whomever he chooses.

Bishop Heahmund then goes to visit his new replacement. The encounter is contentious as it is clear he is unhappy about this appointment. He threatens Lord  Cuthred, letting him know that he is the true Bishop and so he should step aside. Bishop Heahmun infers from their conversation that the Lord Cuthred means to overthrow King Alfred because they aren’t pleased with his decisions. While Lord Cuthred denies this, it is clear that Bishop Heahmund is not going to let this go. When Bishop Heahmund returns, he finds Lagertha and tells her of what he discovered on his visit to his successor.

Bjorn is still not pleased about the issue with the land and speaks to King Alfred, telling him that they shouldn’t have to prove their loyalty because they have the proof of the land that was already promised to them. King Alfred then tells them that his grandfather had no right to make that promise since he had already relinquished his throne to his son. He also divulges that he cannot grant them their land so easily due to political reasons.

When I can, I will grant you that land.

He then heads to meet his future bride, Princess Elsewith (Roisin Murphy), who was brought to Wessex by Queen Judith (Jennie Jacques). In the great hall, everyone sits for their meal while King Alfred and the Princess get to know each other; however, she takes notice of Bjorn. In the middle of the meal, Aethelred informs the King that the there are people who are not pleased with his decision to support the Northmen.

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Later, Princess Elsewith watches as Torvi and Ubbe train outside. She is fascinated that a woman is fighting with a man and holding her own. The tales of the Shield Maidens intrigue her. Bjorn watches her from afar.

Meanwhile, Lagertha and Bishop Heahmund head off to be together. They are unaware that they are being followed. The spy takes this information back to Lord Cuthred. He decides to write to Bishop Heahmund before he reveals his secret to the King.

While the others are occupied, Ubbe is summoned by King Alfred. He suggests that Ubbe publicly renounce his Gods and be baptized as a Christian because unlike Bjorn, he is the more reasonable brother and most like his father. He tells him of the time that Ragnar spoke to him when he was younger and how he envisioned their people sharing the land. King Alfred also tells him that at the end of Ragnar’s life he no longer believed in his Gods. Ubbe doesn’t believe this, but he agrees to think about his suggestion.

King Alfred and Princess Elsewith spend some more time together to continue to get to know each other. However, he has to leave her and tend to business. Alone now, her attention reverts to Bjorn who approaches her in the only way a brooding Viking could. While she seems afraid of him, at the same time she is most definitely attracted to him. They go to a nearby shed, and he passionately kisses her. The encounter made quite an impression on her because later that night, she then creeps into Bjorn’s bedroom and offers herself to him.

By the end of the episode, Bishop Heahmund receives the letter from Lord Cuthred and rushes to find him. His temper gets the best of him, and he brutally kills him in the church. He says a prayer before walking away.

Photo by Arnaldur Halldórsson

Iceland 

Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) is confused as to why he was spared when he had tried to sacrifice himself. He is questioning whether he is doing the right thing and is frustrated that he isn’t getting any signs from the Gods. He then starts to doubt that the first signs he saw were real.

As the colony continues to struggle, they are even more frustrated by the lack of vegetation that grows. The settlers are unable to produce crops that they need to survive. Meanwhile, it is apparent that the feud between Eyvind’s (Kris Holden-Ried) and Kjetill Flatnose’s (Adam Copeland) families is still going on.

Can Freydis keep her secret from Ivar? Will King Harald leave Kattegat behind and set his sights on England? What will happen to Bishop Heahmund once people find out what he did to Lord Cuthred? And, could you have resisted Bjorn’s Viking charms?

Vikings airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on History.

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