Season 3 Episode 10: The Dead, Season Finale
Synopsis: With one last chance to take Paris, Ragnar and his Viking troops take a daring chance. Ragnar asks Bjorn for a favor that could change the course of Viking history.
What a bittersweet moment, but one we’ve all been waiting for nonetheless. For every conflict “The Dead” resolved, two more filled its place. Although the episode got off to a slow start and had to jam everything in to the last 15 minutes, the season finale didn’t disappoint.
We left things off last week with Ragnar’s baptism and apparent betrayal of his friends and family to Christianity. Now, just as the Franks deliver their payments to the Norsemen, the King of the Vikings is on is apparent deathbed, surrounded by subjects eager to take his place.
This recap was one I couldn’t write until after the finale was over, for good reason. Vikings pulled all the stops this week and with so many twists and turns, it was impossible to know where things were going. Likewise, it’s just as hard to know what the future has in store for the Vikings.
Ragnar’s scene with Bjorn was a short, yet powerful exchange that hinted to things to come. Through the ups and downs they’ve had this season, it tugged on the heartstrings to see Bjorn watching over his father in life and death. Similarly, the subsequent interactions with Lagertha, Rollo and Floki were also short and powerful.
That being said, I felt that Floki’s parting words to Ragnar were the only ones we actually needed to hear. Everything Lagertha and Rollo said had already been, well, said before. They also lacked the raw emotion and heartbreak that Floki’s been carrying with him all season.
Back in Paris, the Viking-Frankish ceasefire leaves a bad taste in Princess Gisla’s mouth. It’s a good thing she’s being prudish enough for everyone, though — Count Odo’s medieval precursor to 50 Shades of Grey was…odd, to say the least.
Then, at long last after a long buildup nearly half the episode long (seriously History, you only give us ten episodes a year — don’t we at least deserve a two-hour season finale?) the battle of religions surfaced again when Ragnar was carried to the cathedral. On the outside, pagans danced and sung their farewells, while inside the walls of Paris, the ever-stoic Christians joined together in hymns.
And then? The pagans got in.
YEARGH! Ragnar rises! What a trick from our ruthless, wily Viking commander. Although I admit, I had a suspicion that everything wasn’t as it seemed, it didn’t lessen the spectacular moment when Ragnar leapt from his coffin and shanked that bishop right in the jugular. No matter what everyone else thinks, I’m pretty sure Ragnar’s not a Christian at heart.
As Ragnar strode through the ranks of charging Vikings, we were treated with a blood-rousing, iconic scene. Even so, the king isn’t out of danger yet. While he may have hid his collapse from the majority of his subjects, the power players bringing up the rear were sure to take note.
It was also refreshing to see Bjorn taking the helm after the raid. It remains to be seen how he’ll taking Porunn’s departure, but I’m excited to see how he grows into a king himself in Season 4 (especially considering that teaser of him taking on a bear mano a mano ).
Lucky for Rollo and unfortunately for Princess Gisla, Emperor Charles grew a spine, or at least borrowed Count Odo’s. It’s not surprising that Rollo, given the chance, has decided to turn on his brother again. Even so, you can’t help but feel happy that the guy finally caught a break. We’ll see how he handles the fiery Gisla after her less than endearing wedding toast. Has Rollo declared himself as Ragnar’s enemy for good this time? I’m not so sure. If not, Princess Gisla may have a hand in converting him to her cause.
And last but not least, we say goodbye for now looking into Floki’s terror-filled eyes. He’s such a tragic fellow, like a kicked dog that still lives to please. The boat builder better hit the ground running when they get back to Kattegat. Ragnar’s out for blood.
Vikings Season 3 saw the farewell of many beloved characters and the birth of many more. Grittier and bloodier than ever, we were treated to excellent acting and writing that took the series to new heights. Between the battle of religions and the battles raging within each character, Vikings has a bright future. Plus, next season is slated to be SIXTEEN EPISODES. That’s almost 2x the Vikings epicness…if only it would come sooner.
It’s a credit to an excellent cast and crew that a tale with a predetermined ending can be so enthralling. Soon, Bjorn and the rest of Ragnar’s sons will take the helm…and the medieval world will never be the same. Even so, I’m going to miss Ragnar, whenever he moves on to greener pastures. I’m just glad it isn’t yet.
What was your favorite moment from Season 3? Tell me in the comments!