The penultimate episode of a season is when the foundations are laid for a big finish that leaves us wanting more. In that proud warrior spirit, here’s what we want from final episode of season five, ‘Ragnarok’.
Nay, not want.
An all-in religious battle royale
There’s been a dogmatic back and forth throughout this season, a hidden war of divinities that deserves to be teased out. If you’re going to name your episode after the biggest bunfight in Norse mythology, what better way to demonstrate that than to have the acolytes of Jesus, Buddha and Odin duke it out for clerical supremacy?
We’re not just talking about Ubbe converting to Christianity and back again, or Hvitserk rubbing his little Eastern icon. We want scenes that spark not-unreasonable rumours of an American Gods crossover.
Ivar the Boneless to cop it
This one feels like a gimme, but when you spend so much time establishing a villain for people to alternately identify with, despise and pretend they see nothing of themselves in... you gotta pay that off. Ivar the Boneless has established a fascist state cult and killed a baby this season, and in between, he’s spoken in that strange, unsettling cadence.
He’s got to go.
Give someone else a turn on the throne, as he chokes out his last breath at their feet with a spittle-flecked soliloquy that’d make Shakespeare tear up his latest draft.
Or maybe everyone else cops it
But you know... maybe Ivar wins the day, raising bloody hands to the roiling sky.
Maybe Bjorn and Hvitserk are in tatters, betrayed by a jealous Harald, crying into their mead horns as Babykiller Boneless grows ever more ascendant. Argh, now you’ve got us wanting a Bandersnatch-style scenario where we can have it both ways: revelling in the darkness of understandable villainy and also exulting in the abject destruction of that villainy.
So greedy, we are.
Something wild, feral and free
Now that we know season six is the final instalment of Vikings, Michael Hirst has licence to go crazy-ape bonkers with what happens next. Why not tease that freedom with a finale that makes the Twin Peaks return look like that time A Country Practice switched networks?
Now we’ve dropped a mountain/axe on our main icons of mad ingenuity (that’d be buried caver Floki and mysterious muser The Seer, respectively), it’s time for someone else to step up and make Scandinavia weird again.
… Floki gets out of the cave…
And becomes the new Seer!
The final episode of Vikings season five airs on Thursday, 31 January at 9.35pm on SBS. Catch up on the penultimate episode now at SBS On Demand: