Vikings Season 5 Episode 16 Review: The Buddha

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Characters are dropping like flies!

Margarethe, The Seer, Heahmund -- and now Aethelred succumbed on Vikings Season 5 Episode 16 by the hands of his mother, no less. 

How will Alfred react when he recovers from his illness and discovers his brother is dead?

Achieving a Dream - Tall - Vikings Season 5 Episode 16

He's probably not going to be too happy, especially if he suspects Judith murdered him. She must have a plan to cover it up, but Alfred is smart enough to see through it. 

He was ready to forgive his brother and move on, but he was also unconscious when the kingdom surrounded Aethelred with support. Judith made an impossible decision, but she felt she didn't have any other choice if she wanted to protect the king. 

Choosing one son over the other though; that's pretty harsh. 

Judith: I don't believe you have ever accepted your brother as king. I don't think you ever would. You would always be a danger to him.
Aethelred: So you poisoned me?

 Bjorn is a man who's never satisfied being stagnant.

While Ivar is sitting on his throne and Ubbe prepares to settle and farm the new land they've gotten, Bjorn is onto his next battle, his next challenge. 

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He's not one to revel in his victory and settle down. He craves adventure, and there is always another battle to be fought. Now, he's joining forces with Harald to reclaim Kattegat from Ivar. 

But, what will he do if he's successful?

Ivar - Vikings Season 5 Episode 16

Bjorn doesn't strike me as the type who wants to spend his days ruling a kingdom, but there's also no way in hell he's letting Harald rule his home. 

Maybe he thinks that if he wins back Kattegat, Lagertha will return. 

Where is Lagertha?

It's still entirely possible that she is someone's prisoner, but now that Bjorn is teaming up with King Harald, it's looking less likely that he had anything to do with her disappearance. 

She may have left on her own accord, but she was wounded, and it's hard to believe she could have gotten very far on her own. 

Looking for Lagertha - Vikings Season 5 Episode 16

Torvi doesn't believe she would leave without reason. Was seeing Heahmund struck down enough to drive her away? 

I don't know what happened to her, but I hope we don't have to wait too long to find out. 

Related: Explore Hundreds of Hours of Curated Historical Videos with History Vault via Prime Video Channels!

While Bjorn and Harald plan to overthrow Ivar, Ivar wants to return to England and take on King Alfred. Of course, he wants to do that with Harald's help, but unfortunately for him, Bjorn got there first. 

Now is the right time for Bjorn to attack. Ivar is as vulnerable as he'll most likely ever be. He plans to wait until spring, after his baby is born, before returning to England. He won't be expecting Harald and Bjorn to attack him first. 

When our father took me to England and was imprisoned by King Ecbert, I played chess with Prince Alfred. And I would like to play chess with him again, only this time, on the battlefield.


If Bjorn can somehow get Hvitserk to serve as his spy, he'll have an even greater advantage. 

Hvitserk has become fed up with Ivar and his ridiculous notions that he's a god. It would not take much convincing for him to switch sides. 

The only reason he hasn't left is that he has nowhere else to go, and Kattegat is his home, but he has no loyalty to Ivar. Ivar could stand to be brought down a peg or two. 

Pregnant Freydis - Vikings Season 5 Episode 16

If the season ends with Ivar losing the throne, it will be fascinating to see where his character goes next. 

Like Bjorn, he shouldn't stay stagnant for too long. He's at his best when he lets his ambitions run wild. Hearing that he intends to go to war with Alfred is the first time in a while we've gotten any sense that he still has plans for the future. 

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It was starting to feel like he was content with the accomplishments in his short life, and that made him boring. Not to mention, I'm about as tired as Hvitserk at hearing him talk about the "divine birth." Freydis needs to have her kid already so he can see it's a normal person. Maybe he will even figure out it's not his somehow. 

It wasn't that long ago that Floki banished those who opposed him from the settlement, but it looks like they're back already. Floki spent a long time debating whether or not he should help them or let them die.

Floki and Aud - Vikings Season 5 Episode 16

It was pretty obvious he was going to choose to help them, but there's a good chance it's going to come back to bite him in the ass. 

Who knows, maybe the kid is right, and his father has changed. Or, maybe he hasn't changed at all, and Floki is going to live to regret the decision. Either way, as usual, not much is happening in Iceland.  

So what do you guys think of all the death? Were you surprised that Judith killed Aethelred? Do you suspect any consequences for her? 

What are your theories on Lagertha's disappearance? Do you think she will be back soon? 

Don't forget, if you missed anything, you can watch Vikings online!

The Buddha Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.1 / 5.0 (34 Votes)

Stacy Glanzman was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in March, 2019.

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Vikings Season 5 Episode 16 Quotes

Bjorn: You're a free woman. You can do anything you like.
Gunnhild: [slaps Bjorn].
Bjorn: What was that for?
Gunnhild: I was just exercising my freedom.

Bjorn: You killed Heahmund, one of the greatest Saxon warriors.
Gunnhild: He was already badly wounded. I just finished him off.