‘Vikings,’ Season 4 Part 2: Recap of Episode 14, ‘In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning’ [Opinion]

Welcome to the recap for Episode 14, entitled “In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning,” of Season 4 Part 2 of Vikings.

SPOILER ALERT: This recap contains information about the 14th episode of Season 4 of History Channel’s Vikings. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed this episode and wish to avoid spoilers.

Episode 14 of History’s Vikings starts with Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) admitting defeat to Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick). She knows she cannot defend herself against the mighty shield maiden so she gives up her position. In return, she asks to freely — and safely — leave Kattegat. Lagertha reneges on this deal and shoots Aslaug with an arrow in the back.

While Lagertha may have decided Aslaug bewitched her husband, Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), she still gives the previous ruler of Kattegat a proper Viking funeral in Episode 14 of Vikings.

History's 'Vikings,' Season 2, Episode 14, Aslaug's funeral pyre
[Image by History]

In Episode 14 of Vikings, Aslaug’s sons, Ubbe (Jordan Smith) and Sigurd (David Lindstrom) discover their mother’s fate after the fact. Ubbe is suitably outraged and wants to avenge Aslaug’s death, to which he is threatened by Lagertha’s girlfriend, Astrid (Josefin Asplund). Sigurd, on the other hand, is rather pragmatic on account of the fact Aslaug never loved anyone besides Ivar (Alex Hogh) and Harbard (Kevin Durand). Lagertha is torn over what to do with Aslaug’s sons as she does not want to kill Ragnar’s sons but knows her life is in danger if they are kept alive.

Across the waters, in England, Episode 13 of Vikings saw Ragnar and Ivar arrested. It turns out they were arrested by Aethelwulf’s (Moe Dunford) men. Aethelwulf is equally excited and terrified. His father, King Ecbert (Linus Roache), however, is his usual self and sends Aethelwulf from the room so he and Ragnar can have a conversation by themselves. And so begins the two-episode arc that Linus Roache and Travis Fimmel discussed with AOL Build recently. And, by the end of Episode 14 of Vikings, there is a fair idea of how this conversation will play out in Episode 15.

History's 'Vikings,' Season 4, Part 2, Episode 14, King Ecbert and Ragnar
[Image by History]

Ragnar and Ecbert’s conversation is both confronting and revealing. Viewers got to see both kings admit their faults as they converse on topics as varied as religion and power. Athelstan (George Blagden) gets a mention as Judith (Jennie Jacques) brings in Athelstan’s son, Alfred. Ragnar knows right away whose son it is and Judith and Ecbert are notably impressed. Another son, Magnus, is also brought in. Queen Kwenthrith (Amy Bailey) insisted Magnus was the son of Ragnar Lothbrok. Ragnar, however, insists he and Kwenthrith never had sex, and poor Magnus is sent out on the hard streets of England with nothing but a parcel of food.

Throughout Episode 14 of History’s Vikings, Ragnar keeps insisting King Ecbert has to kill him. Ecbert finally admits, by the end of the episode, that Ragnar certainly does need to be killed, but he does not want to do it. When it becomes apparent to Ragnar that Ecbert is not going to kill him, Ragnar asks to be handed over to King Aelle (Ivan Kaye). Ecbert still says no, because Ragnar’s death will still be on his conscience, in the same way Athelstan’s death is still on Ragnar’s conscious.

History's 'Vikings,' Season 4, Part 2, Episode 14, Ragnar Lothbrok
[Image by History]

Ragnar has a plan, though. He insists Ivar is too weak to be a threat to Ecbert and that he must be sent home to Kattegat, safe and unharmed. In return, Ragnar will tell Ivar to tell his other brothers that it was King Aelle who was the sole instigator in Ragnar’s death and that Ecbert was Ragnar’s friend. It is unclear by the end of Episode 14 of Vikings whether King Ecbert will take Ragnar up on this offer.

What did you think of Episode 14 of Vikings? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

Vikings returns to History Channel with Episode 15 on December 28, Wednesday, at 9 p.m. ET.

The synopsis for Episode 15 (entitled “All His Angels”) according to the trailer is below.

“Ragnar and Ivar establish a new level of understanding while plotting against the Saxons.”

[Featured Image by Jonathan Hession/History]