Here’s what happened in Episode 16 (titled “The Buddha”) of History Channel’s Vikings Season 5.
SPOILER ALERT: This recap contains information about Episode 16 (titled “The Buddha”) of History Channel’s Vikings Season 5. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed this episode and wish to avoid spoilers.
The mystery surrounding Lagertha’s (Katheryn Winnick) disappearance is touched on in Episode 16 of Vikings. However, as the show’s creator, Michael Hirst, told ET Online, viewers will have to wait a little longer to find out exactly what happened to the shieldmaiden. In the meantime, her son, Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig), continues to investigate Lagertha’s disappearance rather than concentrate too much on the Christianization of his fellow Vikings.
King Alfred (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) and his mother, Judith (Jennie Jacques), are discussing Aethelred’s (Darren Cahill) betrayal as was revealed with Cyneheard’s (Malcolm Douglas) torture in Episode 15 of Vikings Season 5. While Alfred is keen to forgive his brother, Judith isn’t and insists on speaking to Aethelred to find out more.
In addition, Aethelred’s fellow traitors are swiftly arrested by King Alfred and hung.
When Judith speaks to her son, Aethelred insists that he refused to allow the slaughter of King Alfred and that has to account for something when it comes to his innocence.
Later, when he is in bed with his wife, Ethelfled (Ann Skelly), he appears conflicted when she suggests that it would be good if King Alfred were to die so that Aethelred could become the king.
Episode 16 of Vikings Season 5 also sees Alfred finally giving Bjorn’s group the land originally promised to Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) and takes the Vikings out to view their new property in East Anglia.
While Bjorn may be concerned about his mother, he is also getting acquainted with the newly widowed Gunnhild (Ragga Ragnars). Both appear to be the last two pagans in the Viking group and Bjorn decides he wants to join with Harald now and take back Kattegat.
When Bjorn and Gunnhild reach York, where Harald is, Magnus (Dean Ridge) is glad to see his brother. Harald appears happy too, but not impressed that Bjorn seems to have stolen Gunnhild from Harald before he even got a chance to play his hand.
Unfortunately, Episode 16 of Vikings also sees Alfred fall ill in East Anglia and is rushed home to Wessex.
When he arrives, there is conflict developing with the Church suggesting that a sick king is a weak king. Aethelred steps in to calm the group and this unsettles Judith even more. She responds by poisoning one son rather than have him betray her other son, King Alfred, and cause further unrest.
Meanwhile, in Kattegat, Ivar the Boneless (Alex Hogh Andersen) has heard the news that King Harald (Peter Franzen) was defeated in Wessex and decides to return to England, figuring that Harald will need his help.
Hvitserk (Marco Ilso) has discovered an interesting new faith in Episode 16 of Vikings Season 5. After discovering a merchant in Kattegat that is selling statues of the Buddha, he questions the man and is intrigued by the philosophy surrounding the Buddha. His talk about this new belief system has Ivar concerned that his brother is going crazy like Margrethe (Ida Marie Nielsen) did. His words come out more like a threat than a concern, though.
Finally, in Iceland, Helgi (Jack McEvoy) has made the perilous journey from his father’s newly exiled group to return to Floki’s (Gustaf Skarsgard) group. He brings grim news: Eyvind (Kris Holden-Reid) and the rest of the group have fallen ill and asks for Floki’s assistance to locate and help them.
After discussing the dilemma with the rest of the group, Floki finally decides to return with Helgi to try and save Eyvind’s group.
Vikings returns on Wednesday, January 9, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. History Channel provides the following synopsis for Episode 17 (titled “The Most Terrible Thing”).
“An unexpected turn amongst the settlers leaves Floki powerless. King Alfred confronts Judith. In York, Bjorn must strike a deal with Harald. Wessex is once again threatened by a Viking force, but who will lead the Saxon army to defend the Realm?”