Vikings Season 6 Episode 5 Assessment: The Key

Vikings Season 6 Episode 5 Review: The Key

Vikings presents a behind the scenes have a look at the political scheming surrounding King Olaf's plan and Ivar's choice in Kiev.


This Vikings overview comprises spoilers.

Vikings Season 6 Episode 5

Vikings turns much more introspective as surreptitious political machinations in each Rus and Norway collect steam, growing the probability of an explosive sequence of occasions that guarantees to radically alter the Scandanavian and Asiatic ruling landscapes. And whereas Hvitserk continues to psychologically spiral uncontrolled preventing his internal demons in Kattegat, “The Key” locations an analogous impediment in entrance of Ivar simply as his plan to overthrow Prince Oleg takes its first steps. Although gentle on motion, this Vikings installment greater than makes up for any perceived shortcomings with a sequence of intriguing constructing blocks positive to induce much more mayhem into an already chaotic world. 

All through its six season run, Vikings typically performs on the narrative edges relating to the supernatural, and whereas the gods stay an integral a part of Nowegian each day life, most mysterious occurrences ultimately include an inexpensive rationalization. Hvitserk’s battle with psychological sickness introduced on by the dying of Thora has been exacerbated by his extreme use of alcohol and now psychedelic mushrooms, and although his hallucinations and visions actually include mystical parts, they’ll all simply be defined. Such will not be the case with the circumstances surrounding the return of actress Alicia Agneson. 

Agneson first arrives on the Kattegat scene as Ivar’s slave lady Freydis and ultimately wins over his coronary heart and thoughts main him to take her as his spouse. Filling his head with prophecies she claims the gods ship her, Freydis ultimately sits subsequent to him as queen consort and guarantees she’ll bear him an inheritor regardless of his apparent lack of ability to father youngsters. We watch her use a servant to get pregnant, after which when he’s not in a position to justify his spouse’s betrayal, Ivar kills her child ostensibly due to its deformities. After his defeat at Kattegat, he strangles Freydis to dying on the ground of the good corridor the place her useless physique is ultimately found by Ubbe and the others.

Learn extra: Vikings Season 6 Episode four Assessment: All of the Prisoners

Now, as Oleg’s supposed spouse Princess Katia, Agneson catches Ivar’s consideration, and it’s instantly obvious he’s mesmerized by greater than her apparent magnificence and innate charisma. “Have we met?” he lastly asks Katia earlier than later confronting her about their previous as husband and spouse. Approaching the heels of Hvitserk’s apparitions, is it doable that the sociopathic Ivar out of the blue develops a conscience whilst he plots the overthrow and sure dying of Prince Oleg? Nonetheless, she neither confirms nor denies his recollections leaving Ivar and the viewers to wonder if Freydis has magically risen from the useless to hang-out her killer and former husband, or if Katia merely bears a outstanding resemblance to the lady who sat briefly on the throne subsequent to Ivar. Regardless, it appears unlikely that Ivar will succumb to the identical intense guilt his brother feels, and regardless that this flip of occasions feels as if it bears Oleg’s stamp, that too appears extremely unlikely. 

By no means one to underestimate his adversary, Ivar continues to rigorously domesticate his relationship with younger Prince Igor who now sees the northman as his royal equal. “What are we going to do my fellow king?” the boy asks earlier than they got down to free Oleg’s brother Dir and take step one towards a royal coup. Although Oleg punishes the guards who enable the escape, it’s the ostentatious presentation of their severed heads at dinner that hints that the prince could have found Ivar’s plot to place Igor on the throne. It’s tough to disregard the apparent glee the younger prince derives from these ugly shows as he observes and learns from the 2 males jockeying for management of Rus. Nonetheless, the extra the younger prince understands about his place within the line of succession, the extra risky the scenario turns into, and Ivar could merely be biding his time to step in and decide up the items.

Although the defensive preparations surrounding Lagertha’s village rapidly take form, it’s her admission to Gunnhild that casts a shadow over what needs to be a interval of quiet confidence that they’ll be capable to as soon as once more maintain off the bandits. A snug retirement is solely not within the playing cards for Lagertha, and now with the dying of her grandson, she tells Gunnhild that she “can by no means be the identical.” She nonetheless has her granddaughter to guard, however Lagertha exudes a way of resignation we’ve hardly ever witnessed. And regardless of the upbeat sense of belonging Gunnhild instills within the girls, it’s tough to shake the sensation that they’re making ready for his or her final stand.

However, the true point of interest of “The Key” resides in King Olaf’s nicely which means try to redefine the Norwegian political panorama, and when Bjorn proposes the advantages of preventing others somewhat than amongst themselves, many of the different kings and jarls perceive that worth of this plan. Most, however not all. King Harald Finehair lastly sees a gap, and if understanding side-glances to a few of the different noblemen and girls imply something, it’s that electing Bjorn Ironside as the primary king of all Norway is not going to proceed as deliberate. Not not like modern political elections, a specific amount of behind the scenes campaigning takes place, and although he’s made no secret of his want to rule all of Norway, Harald begins to subtly finesse a few of the others. 

Alex Høgh Andersen interview – Vikings Season 6: What’s Subsequent for Ivar?

It’s nonetheless not clear whether or not Bjorn really desires to tackle the problem of this throne, and when the kings, earls, and different noblemen transfer to the floating round platform to forged their ballots, his quiet confidence appears to supply the reply. For all his amusing idiosyncrasies, Olaf will get to the center of the issue when he chastises the others for the shortcoming to see past their very own self pursuits. And whereas his evaluation is undoubtedly true, it additionally units the stage for Harald to take what seems to be meant for Bjorn and subvert a course of supposed to ascertain a way of democracy among the many competing warlords. 

There’s little query that Harald has his eyes on the throne, however getting Bjorn out of the image additionally advantages Kjetill Flatnose whose return from Floki’s Iceland expedition raises questions Flatnose doesn’t need to reply. There’s sufficient subtext right here to infer that Harald has recruited Flatnose to take Bjorn out of the image, and whether or not this tactical strike happens earlier than or after the election, the longer term for Ragnar’s eldest appears cloudy at finest. The trade between Torvi and the younger girl in love with Bjorn underscores the menace he faces from these unwilling to permit the Lothbrok dynasty to proceed. Torvi senses one thing’s unsuitable, and she or he’s waited on this dock earlier than solely to face the uncomfortable reality Kattegat’s households face. “Every time he got here again, he was additional away.” 

Vikings has settled into a snug structural rhythm with its ten episode half-seasons, and “The Key” properly addresses arcs for Lagertha, Bjorn, and Ivar that promise to ship outcomes that at this stage of the narrative could show emotionally disappointing. Nonetheless, all nice issues come to an eventual finish, and Vikings is not any exception. I believe all of us must brace ourselves; change is afoot.

Dave Vitagliano has been writing and podcasting about science fiction tv since 2012. You possibly can learn extra of his work right here. He presently hosts the Sci Fi Constancy podcast.


Vikings Season 6


Dave Vitagliano

Jan 1, 2020

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