Vikings season 5, episode 19 recap: What Happens in the Cave


On episode 19 of Vikings, Ubbe has the fight of his life, Bjorn and Harald come to blows, and Floki discovers what’s deep inside the cave.

“What Happens in the Cave” felt like a filler episode as the big finale approaches next week. I’ll admit, I am excited for the battle in Kattegat (a place that has been fought over since the beginning of Vikings), and hopefully (wishful thinking) the end of Ivar’s reign.

What’s in the cave?

… Not exactly what Floki was hoping to find. After trekking through the cave he found last week, Floki discovers a Christian cross. In typical Floki fashion, he does his signature sinister giggle before having a mental breakdown. His shouting causes the cave to start coming down and he nearly kills himself.

Where this is going, I still have absolutely no idea, but it would be a lame way to kill one of the few original characters left.

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It’s ironic that this happens to Floki, as he’s been the biggest hater of Christianity from the beginning. The man killed Athelstan for his faith. As if his Icelandic journey to the land of the Gods wasn’t already a failure enough, now he’s realized that the place was previously founded by Christians long before he and his people had gotten there. Floki kind of deserves all of this.

Ubbe fights for his father’s dream

Ubbe and the Viking king have a pretty good back and forth, quickly resulting in hand to hand combat. It was a pretty good fight despite an obvious result. Ubbe is victorious, but not without taking a beating. Before delivering the killing blow, he calls on Odin and Ragnar for help.

Lying beaten and bloodied on the ground, one can’t help but think of Ragnar. With his nearly glowing blue eyes, there’s no denying that Ubbe was a perfect casting choice and is the only Ragnarsson with any resemblance to his father.

Thanks to his victory, the Nordic invaders agree to peace and are led to the settlement by Alfred. Lagertha kneels to the ground and whispers to Ragnar that his dream has been achieved. That’s as long as no one goes back on their word and has the place slaughtered (like Ecbert).

In a conversation with Torvi, Ubbe reveals that he has no ties to the Christian God, he only likes what it brings to his position. This wasn’t a very big bombshell, as it was fairly obvious Ubbe had never renounced the Gods he’d grown up to believe his entire life. Of course, he doesn’t actually love Jesus Christ. He still did what he had to do to bring peace (temporarily, I’m sure) to Wessex, and if he had to pretend to be a Christian to do so, then so be it.

Time moves fast in England. Judith is already on her deathbed before Ubbe and Torvi even return. It’s kind of a lame way to go for a character that’s been around forever (I didn’t like how the show handled Aethelwulf’s death, either), but at least death by an allergic bee sting or breast cancer are realistic ways to go. I am not complaining… I couldn’t stand Judith.

Ivar being Ivar

Freydis is livid with Ivar for–you know, leaving their son out in the middle of the woods to freeze to death. It’s noted that poor Baldur’s remains were found in a fox den…

Ivar doesn’t care. He reveals to Freydis that he knows she’s been lying and that the child wasn’t even his in the first place. He nearly chokes her to death but there must be some love in his dark heart because he spares her.

He decides to abandon his plot to take York and wisely chooses to set his defense of Kattegat. There’s a hellstorm coming his way, and unless the new alliance of Bjorn-Harald-Hvitserk-Olaf get in each other’s way, I don’t see how Ivar can win.

He’ll probably find a way…

The armies are coming

Bjorn and Harald’s plan to rush the attack backfires as expected. The massive storm hits, destroying some of their ships. Magnus calls out for Jesus to save him and takes some guff for it.

Harald bashes Bjorn’s plans and taunts him by saying he might just join Ivar. Both threaten to kill each other and Harald tells Bjorn that he doesn’t believe he’s protected by the Gods. He bleeds like every other man. Letting their testosterone and abundance of pride take over, Bjorn and Harald get into an argument that quickly leads to both men pulling their weapons.

The fight is a draw and comes to an abrupt halt when Gunnhild steps in the middle. She berates both of them for acting like children and tells them to fight after they’ve succeeded in their mission. It’s pretty good advice, as their army won’t win if they’re not on the same page.

Meanwhile, Hvitserk and Olaf’s army are marching on Kattegat. Bjorn and Hvitserk meet and past bad blood is forgiven with a hug. They’ll all attack Kattegat together and dethrone Ivar.

Hvitserk believes that his destiny has been to kill Ivar all along… while that’s fantastic, I fear for his chances. I think Ivar is a more important character than his older brother, and therefore I wouldn’t be shocked if we lose Hvitserk in next weeks season finale.

Bring on the battle.

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The leftovers:

  • Now that Alfred is the only English character left and everyone else has left Wessex, I wonder if this is the last we’ll see of England for the rest of Vikings next and final season. They gave Alfred’s actor some horrible sideburns, I wouldn’t mind if I never had to see them again.
  • Of all the things I’ve seen from the beginning of Vikings till now, the least believable moment of this show was when Olaf’s army was seen walking from their settlement as they marched on Kattegat. There’s no way fat Olaf is walking that far, let alone a hundred yards. Get that man a horse.
  • Chances that Harald and Bjorn aren’t done fighting? Very, very high. I expect a brawl next week.
  • I liked the way the two mutually respect each other, as after their fight, Bjorn and Harald just tap each other’s arms and continue to what they were doing before.
  • Will Ubbe, Lagertha, and Torvi arrive while the battle is going on? It’s certainly possible, Vikings loves to use fast travel.
  • If so, that’s three armies coming for Ivar. I don’t think he’s the best tactician. In fact, Ivar’s reign has been due to mostly luck and betrayal. Here’s hoping for a crushing defeat.

What did you think of this week’s episode of Vikings? Be sure to tell us in the comment section below!