Vikings Season 5 Episode 17 Review: The Most Terrible Thing

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The death continues, and even though no essential characters died on Vikings Season 5 Episode 17, Floki will still be affected by the most recent one. 

I'm still not entirely sure where the Iceland story is going, but I do feel bad for Floki. He envisioned so much for that settlement, and it's not going at all the way he hoped. 

He expected to be living among the gods, but so far there's only been violence and despair. 

Solidifying Alliances - Vikings

Maybe it will get better for him soon. He's already suffered so much. Every time we think he's reached rock bottom, there seems to be another layer underneath. 

Alfred is awake, and surprisingly, Judith was honest with him about Aethelred. I expected she would be content to let him go on believing he died of natural causes, but she told him the truth. 

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I have to give some props to Jennie Jacques for an incredible performance. That was indeed some fantastic acting. 

Judith let Alfred have his moment of anger and allowed his tantrum, but then she laid down the law. Alfred may be the king, but Judith is the one with the real power and influence over him. 

I poisoned him. I killed one of my sons to save the other. May God forgive me.

Judith

She wasted no time cleaning up her mess and kicking Aethelred's wife to the curb. She made her choice, and she's not letting anyone stand a chance of usurping Alfred. 

Alfred is about to face a new challenge, and Ubbe has asked to lead the army. It's unclear if the kingdom still has a problem with him, but after he helped them win the last battle, he should be accepted enough to lead the army.

There will probably still be doubters who don't trust him, but if they're going to win, he's their best hope. 

Judith Comforts Alfred - Vikings Season 5 Episode 17

The Ivar/Hvitserk dynamic continues to evolve, and I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for it to come to a head. 

The anger and resentment have to be building up inside of Hvitserk with every insane speech and empty threat Ivar makes (or with him, maybe not so empty). 

Ivar keeps rallying the troops, and most of them are drinking it all up, but Hvitserk is biding his time. Now that he's been sent away from Kattegat, we'll have to wait for his eventual return for his explosion to take place. 

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Maybe he'll wind up joining Harald and Bjorn and return with their army. I said before he would make a good spy; now is the perfect time for Bjorn to recruit him. 

Ivar: If I can order the death of my own brother, then no one else will dare stand against me.
Freydis: I think that would be a mistake.
Ivar: Why?
Freydis: Ivar, you are a god, and a merciful god will always be more popular among the common people than a vengeful god, like Odin. Wouldn't you rather be loved than feared?
Ivar: I don't know.

If Ivar hadn't sent him away, he might not have been able to restrain himself from having Hvitserk killed. Hopefully, his girlfriend will be safe while he's away. 

If not, it will just be one more thing to fuel the fire building up inside of him. 

Hvitserk Challenges Ivar - Vikings Season 5 Episode 17

Bjorn's instincts are to attack now while Ivar is least expecting it. He believes they will have safe passage, but Harald is not as sure. The storms sound like they could be dangerous, but waiting until spring could mean Ivar attacks them first. 

Obviously, they don't know about Ivar's plan, but the sooner they bring the battle to him, the better their chances of winning. I think Hvitserk will arrive and inform them of Ivar's plan, and they will have what they need to take back Kattegat. 

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I don't trust Harald, though. He claimed he was content to wait for Ivar to die to take the throne of Kattegat, but we know that was going to be his next stop if he had won in Wessex. What's to stop him from attacking Bjorn soon after he helps him regain his kingdom?

If Bjorn is smart, he'll take Harald out once he's used his army to accomplish his goals. 

Bjorn: I would like to have his heart instead of mine.
Gunnhild: Why do you say this?
Bjorn: Well I've had many women, but I am not sure if I've ever been in love.
Gunnhild: You are not in love with me?
Bjorn: I don't know. I think about you all the time.
Gunnhild: Why are you telling me this?
Bjorn: I don't know, perhaps I am in love.

Gunnhild could have chosen Harald and his plans to one day become the king of Norway, but instead, she's choosing Bjorn. Whether it's out of love or ambition is up for debate, but it wouldn't surprise me if she eventually helps Bjorn take out Harald. 

She's smart, and I think she's backing the right horse. 

Gunnhild - Vikings Season 5 Episode 17

There is still no sign of Lagertha, and my curiosity is getting the better of me. I hope we soon find out what happened to her and that she somehow joins Bjorn in his quest to take Kattegat back from Ivar. 

She's such an essential part of the series, and I miss her. I think part of the reason Bjorn has thrown himself into devising a plan for battle and a relationship with Gunnhild is that they serve as distractions from the fact that she is still missing. 

In any case, it feels like we're gearing up for another epic battle between brothers, but it's dragging a little bit getting there. They are ramping up the anticipation, but that leads to some "filler" that isn't quite as exciting. 

Flatnose - Vikings Season 5 Episode 17

We have a lot of unanswered questions. Here's hoping we get some of those answers soon! 

Where do you guys think Floki's story is heading? Do you expect Hvitserk to join Bjorn and Harald? When will we see Lagertha again?

Hit the comments and don't forget to watch Vikings online!

The Most Terrible Thing Review

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Rating: 2.8 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

Stacy Glanzman is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Vikings Season 5 Episode 17 Quotes

I poisoned him. I killed one of my sons to save the other. May God forgive me.

Judith

Ivar: If I can order the death of my own brother, then no one else will dare stand against me.
Freydis: I think that would be a mistake.
Ivar: Why?
Freydis: Ivar, you are a god, and a merciful god will always be more popular among the common people than a vengeful god, like Odin. Wouldn't you rather be loved than feared?
Ivar: I don't know.