After a long wait, Vikings is finally back — and so is Ragnar Lothbrok. Absent from Kattegat for many years, Ragnar made his comeback in the mid-season finale, but in "The Outsider" he actually began settling some old scores, while trying to enlist help for his new enterprise. Vengeance against his brother Rollo is still very much the driving force behind Ragnar's decision to return to England, and no one besides him seems to think it's a worthy cause.
"The Outside" brought #Vikings back for the back end of Season 4, and it definitely set up some of the plotlines that will feature this season; it was a homecoming episode for Ragnar — and for all of us who had been anxiously waiting to see what happened next after Rollo defeated Ragnar last season. Let's have a look at some of the most memorable moments from this mid-season premiere of Vikings.
Bjorn Is His Own Man Now
This season has been huge for Ragnar's eldest, Bjorn. He killed an enormous bear, solved a murder plot against him and got the girl, all in the first half of Season 4. While he still has some respect for his father, Bjorn has come to see #Ragnar for the flawed and inconsistent man he is. Of course finding out about that whole Wessex settlement being destroyed didn't help Bjorn's anger issues towards his father, but it clearly served as a reminder as how not to do things.
When Ragnar tells his sons he's leaving for England again, Bjorn tells him that the Mediterranean is a much better target. Bjorn has Floki building him boats, and already one of his brothers has vowed to join him on the journey. As things stand for Bjorn, Ragnar's time as a ruler and leader is way past.
Ivar Is Actually Broken
And no, I don't mean his legs. Ragnar's youngest is definitely damaged — whether by his mother's spoiling of him, or by the absence of his father growing up. The fact remains that Ivar killed for the first time as a boy, and it seems his adult self isn't much a much better person.
He mistreats the servant girl at the dinner table, he envies his brother's sexual adventures and he even sports Ragnar's love for toying with people. And, to make matters worse, he nearly killed that same servant girl after he was "unable to please" her sexually — I kept waiting for her body to appear at the end of the episode. But, to his defense, he seems to be the one son of Ragnar Lothbrok who inherited his father's adventurous spirit.
'I Love You'
On his journey into his past, Ragnar paid some visits to the people who once meant a great deal to him, or that helped him in going West. The first was to his frenemy Floki and, although the pair has been through some tough times, they share the love for the unknown and gory battles.
After all Floki went through in the beginning of the season, it was awful nice to see Ragnar acknowledge his bond of friendship with the boat builder. Floki has done some pretty messed up things in the name of his friendship and love for Ragnar and, in this episode, he got to hear it back from Ragnar — and yes: Floki cried.
Ragnar's second visit was to Lagertha. He seemed pretty amused — not in the least impressed — by the fact that Lagertha had taken a woman as a lover. It's been a while since Ragnar began to realize he made a huge mistake by leaving Lagertha for Aslaug, but, once again, it was nice to see him come clean to Lagertha about it.
For all the bad blood there might be between Lagertha and Ragnar, they have always been there for one another; hence why it was so hard for Lagertha not to follow him this time. They clearly love each other greatly, and her refusal in going with him back to England was the last straw for Ragnar — even if they had "no regrets."
The Gods Still Have A Plan
Vikings always makes a great deal about the gods, Norse mythology and seers, but never before did the show portrayed such a clear godly intervention like the one in "The Outsider. After realizing he was indeed alone and without any followers for the first time ever, Ragnar gave up and tried to hang himself from a tree — and the rope didn't hold.
If Ragnar felt abandoned and without a purpose before, the moment he fell to the ground and breathed in once more he was resilient enough to understand that the gods weren't done with him yet. That moment emboldened him and made him return to Kattegat to set his plan in motion — getting Ivar to sail with him to England.
More on #Vikings:
- New Promo Photos for 'Vikings' Hint at a New Lover for Lagertha and a Major Time Skip
- After 'Vikings', History Channel Brings The Knights Templar To TV With 'Knightfall'
- 7 History-Based TV Shows You Should Binge-Watch Right Now!
'The Outsider' was an episode to follow Ragnar around as he made amends and tied up a few loose ends in his life. He got to see how his children faired into adulthood, made peace with his best friend and said goodbye to the woman he loved. It felt a lot like a farewell episode, a last ode to a King who had a vision and shared his dream of conquering the West with a whole town. Vikings is well-set for a fifth season to debut next year, but the way this episode tied things up, Ragnar might not be a part of it after all.
Can you imagine Vikings without Ragnar Lothbrok? How do you think it will be? Share your thought in the comments below.