After so many seasons of watching the Vikings literally charge into battle, “Moments of Vision” was a very different – and at times poignant – take on their latest engagement.
Unfortunately, one of my biggest complaints about last week’s “A Simple Story” went unanswered, so that even though “Moments of Vision” was visually striking, pretty and gory and sad all at the same time, I just couldn’t get it out of my head that there’s still no good explanation for why Rollo would send men to fight for Ivar and Hvitserk when he knows Bjorn was one of the people they were fighting against. I was still left feeling that the show simply needed some way to push the odds in Ivar’s favor, which reeks of poor planning on the show runners’ parts.
Though the dream-like/flashback scenes were awkward at times, as “Moments of Vision” unfolded I grew used to them, and as I grew used to them I generally felt more positive about how they played out. While this may not make for an episode that is amazing the first time you view it, I do believe that it makes for one that will be highly appreciated when you watch it a second time.
Unfortunately, one set of vignettes in particular seemed lacking – that between Bjorn and his new wife. I feel like I was meant to care more about her than I did, but even if he hadn’t left Torvi for this girl he barely knew, we as viewers barely got to know her at all, either. Sure, she had a sweet moment with Bjorn at the beginning of the episode, and then she got to be bad ass for a minute during the battle, but she also died pretty early in the episode. Bjorn was clearly upset when he found her much later, and because he’s grown on me so much the past couple seasons I wish I could have felt something for him here…but more than anything her death seemed to happen as a way for the writers to try to force us to care. It was simply too much, too soon, if you ask me.
While the deaths of Bjorn’s new wife and Torvi’s son were, let’s be honest, throwaway ones, the other two characters we lost hit me much harder – as I’m sure they were meant to. Despite Harald’s insistence that he would kill his brother if he had to, I was still surprised when it actually happened…though the desert visions Halfdan had did take me out of the moment. I’m sure there is some ‘deep meaning’ behind them, and for the most part they did fit with the episode’s tone, but in the end they were a bit too much for my taste. I think it would have flowed better if there was just one quick return-to-the-desert moment. Still, I’m sad to see Halfdan go, especially as he was far more enjoyable of a character than his brother.
Now I’ve put off talking about the saddest death long enough, I suppose. Yes, I’ve been back and forth regarding my feelings for Astrid this season, but I certainly didn’t want her to die…though I definitely didn’t think that her death would hit me as hard as it did. Granted, a big part of that was the manner in which she went – by Lagertha’s hand, after admitting that she couldn’t bear giving birth to the child she was carrying. So I suppose I’m not sure if I teared up more because Astrid died or because poor Lagertha had to kill her. For Lagertha to then survive the battle – which she clearly didn’t think possible – made Astrid’s death that much more heart-wrenching. I only hope that they don’t end up making it entirely about Lagertha and how she feels in the aftermath; after all, Astrid died during battle, and wanted to go. Hopefully the writers let her have that.
Ivar, on the other hand, was literally left sitting on a hillside begging people to come fight him. Things definitely didn’t go his way, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m surprised that’s the case…though I’m sure we haven’t seen the end of him yet.
I was also surprised that Floki’s Island actually made an appearance in “Moments of Vision”, even if it was only to show how badly things are falling apart there. Badly enough, in fact, that Floki called for human sacrifice…and offered himself up as that sacrifice. Will the others go along with it, or will someone put their foot down and insist that, oh, I don’t know, the guy who has caused all of this trouble be the sacrifice? Of course, I’m not sure i can think of many other ways Floki could die would be as fitting for the character…but I also can’t imagine Floki’s Island without him.
Any minor disappointment I felt with other parts of this episode paled in comparison to how I feel about the fact that Margrethe STILL hasn’t gotten her comeuppance. Granted, it was amusing to have her pester the Seer and not get the answers she wanted, especially as he made sure to clarify that no, she will not be a queen…and while Ubbe won’t be king of Kattegat, it was very explicitly implied that this didn’t mean he would never be a king at all.
And hey, Torvi came home and her remaining children are alive and [presumably] well, despite being left in Margrethe’s care, so at least that situation is no longer a concern.
“Moments of Vision” ended with two very frustrating shots, though – one being of Lagertha, who is clearly not well, mentally, and the other of Rollo finally showing up. I have to assume that when Vikings returns we’ll find out where he’s been and why he sent ships and men to help Ivar and Hvitserk in the first place, but dang, it’s going to be a while before we get any of those answers.
How do you feel about Vikings season 5 so far? Was “Moments of Vision” the end of an arc, or do you think the show will bring Ivar back with a bang in the second half of the season? Let us know in the comments!
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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