Nothing can stand in Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) way of victory during Season 4 of the History Channel series — not Rollo (Clive Standen), the Franks or his insubordinate warriors. In episode 8 of “Vikings,” titled “Portage,” the Norwegian king tells his anxious fighters that if they’re interested in conquering the city of Paris they’ll need to listen to his plan instead of defying it.
Ragnar explains that to raid Paris, they’ll need a new way to get into the city — one that involves avoiding the water traps Rollo had set up.
“We are going to lift the boats up the cliff and then we are going to carry them across the mountains, past the forts,” he explains, revealing then they’ll lower the boats back into the water when they’re past the traps.
“You’re insane, Ragnar Lothbrok,” King Harald (Peter Franzen) says to their fearless leader. “You’re insane because this is beautiful.”
Harald initially refuses to obey Ragnar’s strategy, placing the blame on the farmer for their initial retreat. However, after Ragnar lays out his new plan of attack, Harald quickly changes his tune. And perhaps the pressure of being victorious and proving his leadership was too much for Ragnar to handle because once again he was begging Yidu (Dianne Doan) for medicine.
Yidu, however, claims she is out but Ragnar has a feeling that she’s lying. He harshly tells her that her presence is pointless without the drugs but she rebuttals that it was her decision to join him on his raid — after all, she’s free.
“I never said that you were free,” he barks back. “I said that you could come and go as you please.”
Yidu calls Ragnar out for lying to her, adding that he made the “mistake” of telling her his deepest secret — feeling guilt over the death of his people.
But Ragnar doesn’t take well to threats and drags Yidu into the water, drowning her as she struggles for the freedom she so desperately craves. Alas, Yidu is unable to break free from Ragar’s clutches, ending her long, heartbreaking battle. Before Ragnar pushes Yidu’s lifeless body away from camp, he searches her corpse for the medicine.
“It’s alright,” he tells his boys who are disturbed by their father’s behavior. And they’re not the only ones left feeling uneasy. During an interview with International Business Times, Doan teased that episode 8 would show Ragnar in a new light, allowing audiences to see a side they’ve never seen before — and it certainly does.
But Yidu isn’t the only eye-widening death of the night. After losing the crown of Mercia, Queen Kwenthrith (Amy Bailey) also loses her life when she’s stabbed to death.
In episode 8, King Ecbert (Linus Roache) steals her regal title and confines her within the walls of his kingdom, which is when she asks Judith to help her escape. But her plan backfires when Judith (Sarah Greene) sticks her knife in the back of the woman carrying her husband’s child.
“Look what you have made me become,” she says to Ecbert, who professed his love to her, as Kwenthrith’s blood drips from her finger tips.
It is also revealed in episode 8 that Princess Gisla (Morgane Polanski) is pregnant with Rollo’s child! Looks like viewers should prepare themselves for a new generation of Vikings to raid and conquer the world!
“Vikings” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. EDT on History Channel.