Starting with the name of the episode: “What Might Have Been” (our recapper is not having a good week)...
By
Shane Cubis

31 Mar 2016 - 1:38 PM  UPDATED 31 Mar 2016 - 3:01 PM

1. Lagertha’s grandmotherly advice to Torvi’s son Guthrum

Echoing Livia Soprano’s words to her grandson AJ, Lagertha lets the kid know that the people closest to him will let him down at some point. She brings him over to the grave she just consecrated for Kalf (who she murdered), kneels and advises him to keep his friends close “as some of them will die only too soon – and the others, the others will betray you”. Just like when Jimmy Osman dobbed after I let him have a peek at the rude magazine I brought to school that day in Year 4. Where was Nanna on that one?

 

2. The extended breakdown of Ragnar’s marriage to Aslaug

There’s not a lot of love here anymore, as Ragnar says he’s taking his boys on a raid to Paris and Aslaug complains that they’re too young. “They are safer with me than when I left them here last time with you,” he shoots back, which is totally a sick burn because she nearly let them drown in a frozen lake last year. Now I'm sad because Dad never took me on holiday.

 

3. Judith’s realisation that rooting her father-in-law won’t protect her son

You would imagine, as a woman deftly navigating the muddy waters of a Wessex court, that keeping the king happy in his bedchambers would give you some immunity from heartbreak. But when Ecbert announces he’s sending her illegitimate son, Alfred, to Rome on a holy pilgrimage, Judith is gutted. I would be too. All that sweaty Ecbert action for nothing.

 

4. Floki’s pathetic love-in with Harald and Halfdan the Black

In a move reminiscent of how we behaved after Jimmy Osman teased us for crying in detention, Floki has forsaken the man he once considered a friend to ally with two guys who are much, much worse.

Sucked in, Jimmy, I'm now hanging out *does Floki voice* “with new frrrrriends… who love the gods as much as I do and would never betray them”. Cue giggling (to hide the pain).

 

5. Harald and Halfdan’s torture of the Frankish Christians

Where the brutality of the Vikings we know and love mostly happens off-screen these days, blow-ins Harald and Halfdan throw Frankish folk on their own signal fires to burn to death… and piss on the poor bastards for good measure. No doubt some of those people have families waiting at home, never-to-be-eaten soup cooling on the kitchen table. Maybe even a bouillabaisse.

 

6. Ragnar’s argument with his ex

Our hero tries to make nice with Lagertha, acting like he’s mellowed since they were together, but she’s not having it. Ragnar says she must be heartbroken over Kalf’s death and she replies her heart was broken a long time ago. He asks why she’s risking her child’s life and she goes, “Who are you to talk? I’m not your wife.” Which only reminds me of the day my ex unfriended me on Facebook, and deleted every photo. Even the one where I was thin and gorgeous.

 

7. Emperor Charles begging Rollo not to betray him

There’s nothing more pathetic than an emperor pleading for someone to support him – especially when he’s pleading to freshly Frankish duke Rollo, and he’s pleading for loyalty. That’s sadder than the time I begged that scorpion not to sting me while I carried it across a river. While I was listening to Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt”.

 

8. Ragnar’s hallucinogenic vision of an alternative future

Never mind his ongoing descent into chemical addiction at the hands of Yidu, the most tear-jerking moment of the episode was Ragnar’s vision of (clue’s in the title) what could have been. In a time before he was a king, before he was a renowned warrior, he was just a bloke with a hot missus and cute kids.

Think of all the magazines we could have flipped through, Jimmy. Dad had a subscription to Picture.

 

9. Rollo doing what he does best – betraying people

Finally, Ragnar realises another of the core truths of the universe. Water is wet, Thor loves his hammer and Rollo will betray anyone he can get his disloyal hands on. No wonder Ragnar punches that mast as hard as I punched the wall when St Kilda drew in the 2010 AFL Grand Final against Collingwood, only to be comprehensively beaten the following week. Still upsetting.

 

10. Ragnar finding out when he’s going to die

Apparently it’s “on the day the blind man sees you”. So yeah, that’s pretty upsetting, too. Especially with modern advances in ophthalmology.

 

The new series of Vikings continues Wednesdays at 9:30pm (AEDT) on SBS. Every episode will be on SBS On Demand after it airs.

Missed episode 6? Watch it right here: