The pace slowed down considerably on Vikings Season 6 Episode 5, but that didn't mean the reveals were any less shocking.
If you watch Vikings online, you know the puzzle pieces have been moving to prepare for the show's imminent conclusion, and "The Key" successfully sent things in a different direction.
The result of the election for ruler of Norway is still very much in session, but for now, we know that Bjorn has two of the four votes, meaning that a victory is likely.
King Olaf starting things off was a surprise, primarily because he chose Bjorn with his vote. Olaf is the Mad King of the narrative, and he always has another trick up his sleeve.
For that reason, it was difficult not to expect someone to pop up and murder Bjorn while the election was taking place. It still could happen, especially after King Olaf's reaction to Harald voting for Bjorn.
It's unclear what any of these men will do with the power, but the question remains whether these once-warring forces will be able to make decisions that benefit everyone.
They've all spent so much time against each other that it's difficult to imagine there being tranquility with just one person ruling.
Igor: You look like you've seen a ghost.
Ivar: Believe me, I have.
It's a different direction to take things, but maybe this could be the thing that helps the people of Norway thrive all the way until the sequel series gets underway.
For now, Bjorn is in-demand from many, including his newest love interest. The woman waiting at the docks for him was not a surprise. She revealed her intentions early into Vikings Season 6, and in typical fashion, she thinks she will be the remedy for his wandering eyes.
Torvi knows first-hand what it's like to try to love Bjorn. Every single time she thought their relationship was in a good place, Bjorn would return from an expedition and be further away from her than ever.
Whether Torvi will tell Gunnhild the truth is anyone's guess, but the truth will be out before long if the new woman in Bjorn's life continues to pop in places he's supposed to be.
Gunnhild arriving at the village was the breath of fresh air Lagertha needed following the big death. Now that Gunnhild knows all about the bandits, she will be able to help rally more troops to dole out a severe punishment to those involved.
It's a shame Bjorn, Ubbe, and Torvi are still blissfully unaware of the death because by the time Lagertha and Gunnhild have grieved, it will start all over again the moment the word spreads.
Lagertha's storyline continues to be fascinating, proving that even after all these years, she is still one of the best-written characters around.
With the series approaching its conclusion, it's interesting to ponder what might become of Lagertha. She's lived a great life, but she has experienced a lot of loss.
Never before have we voted for a king who will lead all of Norway.Olaf
Having her own farmland helped propel her story in a fresh direction, but whether she will feel the same way when the bandits are dealt with is unclear.
Her days of living in war-ravaged cities are done, and it would be nice if she got some semblance of a happy ending. Based on the way the storyline is going, it certainly seems like she will sacrifice herself in the name of saving someone close to her.
As for Ivar, he continues to be the evil genius, and that's one of the strongest aspects of Vikings Season 6. He had to have known there would be consequences in helping Dir get to safety.
Even when the war between Dir and Oleg kicks off, Ivar will have solace in the fact that Dir will not forget he was the one who saved him.
Oleg bringing the new woman into the mix was certainly surprising, mostly because it meant Ivar was lower on the totem pole than he already thought he was.
Katia having the same face as Freydis was the big shocker here. Oleg likes to play tricks on everyone, so it's likely there's more going on here than meets the eye.
Ivar: Who are these?
Oleg: The guards who allowed my brother to escape.
People don't just return from the dead ... unless, of course, Freydis had an identical twin. For now, this is a serviceable plot that will push Ivar to even greater lengths than before.
Oleg will continue to scheme, but it will ultimately come down to the two of them fighting in the end. There could be a redemption story on the cards for Ivar, but given that Ubbe and Torvi now know where he is, it makes things considerably more interesting.
Igor will jump at the chance to get his own back on Oleg, but he will also probably start to realize that Ivar has been manipulating him for power.
It all comes down to power on this series, and there's nothing wrong with that.
What did you think of Lagertha's reaction to the death? Do you think King Olaf is up to something, or is he trying to break the wheel?
What are your thoughts on Hvitserk? Could there be any truth to the things he's seeing, or is there more to the story?
Remember you can watch Vikings online right here via TV Fanatic.
Vikings continues Wednesdays on History.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.