Vikings Season 4 Episode 8: “Portage”
Directed by Ken Girotti
Written and created by Michael Hirst
Starring Travis Fimmel, Clive Standen, Katheryn Winnick, Alexander Ludwig, Gustaf Skarsgard, Maude Hirst, Morgane Polanski, Lothaire Bluteau, Linus Roache, Jennie Jacques, Moe Dunford, Alyssa Sutherland, Amy Bailey The History Channel
Air Date: Thursday, April 7th, 2016, 10:00pm
Last week on Vikings, Harbard (guest star Kevin Durand) was generous with the love of the women of Kattegat. The Vikings were defeated at Paris. Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) realized how Rollo (Clive Standen) betrayed him. He screamed to Rollo, “This is how you repay my love!” I felt that. I think Gisla (Morgane Polanski) also felt the feelings Rollo still has for Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick). Rollo anticipated their every move and Helga (Maude Hirst) almost died. Ragnar did save Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) from drowning though. Ecbert (Linus Roache) went to Mercia to talk with Prince Wigstan, who basically handed it over.
Vikings 4.8 “Portage” review: Whoa! For a show known to not pull any punches with the shocks and the death, this was an episode that surpassed all of that. Three deaths this episode, and an imaginary fourth. The episode mirrored the madness that Ragnar is succumbing to. Or is he? I can never tell.
So what madness and death?
Odo tells the emperor not to depend on Rollo. He is quite two-faced. He implores the emperor to arrest him, despite his daughter’s fondness for him. When dining, Rollo tells him his brother will not stop, and she tells him she is with child. His mistress and Roland trap him with some bondage and whip Odo to death. The emperor makes Rollo in charge of all defense.
Ecbert comes back victorious, as King of Wessex and Mercia, unbeknownst to Kwenthrith (Amy Bailey). The news finds her soon enough. She comes to him happily, also with news of a baby with Aethelwulf, but he crushes her with the news of her fake abdication. She implores Judith (Jennie Jacques) to help her escape. Ecbert stops her plan.
Ragnar’s crazy plan is to carry the boats up the mountain and back down again. He asks Floki if it could be done and Floki says he will do it for him. It’s so crazy, it just might work.
Torvi tries to warn Bjorn of Erlander’s arrow, but is too late. Don’t worry. It was just a weird vision. And while I like Alexander Ludwig, his death would have been completely jarring causing all sorts of shrieking despair.
Ragnar is a complete drug addict, fiending for his “medicine” but Yidu (Dianne Doan) says there is no more. When she threatens to expose the secret of the Viking settlement in Wessex, he drowns her in front of his 2 young sons. This death upset me. I really thought she was being groomed as the new Athelstan, cementing that no one really understands Ragnar that he has to seek solace outside of his culture. He tells his sons to hide and that it will be all right. Crazy pants!
Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) flips out about Harbard sleeping around. He says he does it to be holy. We’ve heard that line before. She slaps him.
Kwenthrith goes to kill the king. But Judith kills her instead.
This episode was bananas. Ragnar’s downward spiral seems authentic this time. He may pull out of it victorious, but Yidu, and drug addiction, and his brother may cause him to never recover.
How will they top the crazy?
Vikings airs Thursday nights at 10pm ET on The History Channel.
Vikings: Season 4 Episode 8 Official Preview | History
Check out this preview for Vikings Season 4 Episode 8. Watch new episodes Thursdays 10/9c on History.