Vikings season 4 episode 4 review: “Yol”

yol

Last week’s episode of Vikings saw Ragnar bonding with the new slave girl, Yidu. He shows her his man cave (replete with slithering reptiles) and tells her she can come and go as she wishes. Yidu opens up to Ragnar quite fast, in my opinion, and even gives him some ancient ‘Chinese medicine’, to heal his mind wounds.

This medicine turns out to be some sort of hallucinogenic drug, and before we know it Ragnar and Yidu are tripping so hard, Ragnar even swallows a live snake whole. This is how a viking lets loose, I guess. It was pretty shocking. And gross. How can he not DIE from that?

On the other end of the spectrum, the scene where Yidu and Ragnar are dancing together (Ragnar with fire, Yidu doing some traditional Chinese movements) was very visually appealing. I don’t know where this story line is going, but my husband in particular (who watches the show with me every week) seems to believe Yidu will betray Ragnar and will be the cause of his death. Which makes me think whether Aslaug is orchestrating all of this, since it’s so clear she hates Ragnar and is only with him for the sake of power and their children. She did choose Yidu to be Ragnar’s mistress, after all.

One of the greatest character arcs of the season so far is Bjorn’s. He not only survived in the wilderness, but thrived in it. He killed a bear and a berserker, this last battle being one of the goriest and fiercest ever displayed on the show. Bjorn literally disembowels the berserker, and does it without even flinching. Looks like the son of Ragnar is all grown up. He even steals away the wife of his nemesis for himself, just because he can. Someone is certainly coming into his own power. I have high hopes for Bjorn in seasons to come.

Concerning Lagertha, everything surrounding her seems so slow this season. Besides the castration scene in episode 1, nothing major is really going on with her. Michael Hirst, the creator of the show, said Lagertha’s story arc this season will be just as important as Ragnar’s, but so far I’m not seeing it. I’ll have to wait to see what’s up.

Floki, apparently, is the seer’s successor. That whole scene was creepy as hell, and might have driven Floki far back into the deep end. Again. One of the things I like most about this show is the ambiguity surrounding the supernatural. Is the seer actually a seer? He has predicted things before, but really his words could mean anything. Is Floki really connected to the dark gods of his religion, or is he just a madman? Were the seer’s words regarding Floki something to be taken seriously, or just the delusions of a dying man?

Vikings continues to be highly entertaining, the characters continue to be enigmatic, and as always I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Stay tuned for next episode’s review 🙂

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