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TV Review: Does 'Vikings' Season 6B Deliver A Worthy Final Bow?

Vikings Hvitserk Marco Islo Prince Oleg Danila Kozlovsky Amazon
Amazon

After a nearly year-long wait, “Vikings” Season 6B will finally arrive on Amazon Prime Video on December 30. A first and last for the show, which had aired in weekly installments on History up until now. Thus, giving fans the rare ability to binge the epic drama’s final chapter as it unfolds over ten episodes. Here is the spoiler-free review.

“Vikings” Season 6B picks up right after the jaw-dropping cliffhanger that ended the first half of the historical series’ last season. To quickly recap, Ragnar and Lagertha’s son, Bjorn, appeared mortally wounded while fighting back Prince Oleg’s Ivar-backed invasion of Norway. So, do the ten episodes that follow satisfyingly cap a journey many viewers have been on since 2013?

‘Vikings’ Interview: Alexander Ludwig On Bjorn’s Season 6B Fate

Is that possible when only one of the drama’s original characters remain? Long gone are the days of Travis Fimmel’s Ragnar and Katheryn Winnick’s Lagertha. The fate of their son, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), rightfully dominates the opening hour of “Vikings” Season 6B. Bjorn is not Ragnar’s only surviving son, though. He has three others, and the various strands of their tales are woven throughout the final season’s tapestry.

If you had told me that Ivar’s storyline would be the one that this “Vikings” viewer would be the most compelled by in Season 6B, I probably would not have believed you seasons ago. Ivar and Alex Hogh Anderson’s remarkable journey portraying him is a prime example of why television is the greatest medium.

TV gives a character a chance to evolve and an actor the opportunity to portray that growth. Contrary to other series, “Vikings” has not sought absolution or all-out redemption for Ivar. Despite that, he is completely unrecognizable to who he started as back in Season 3. That is a testament to series creator Michael Hirst’s writing throughout the years.

‘Vikings’ Season 6B: Does Bjorn Live Or Die In The Final Season?

The Rus storyline (hello again, Russia!) that has Ivar taking Igor under his wing is one of the series’ most moving as it legitimately shines another light on Ivar. One capable of finding light in the dark abyss that has tended to be Ivar’s soul. Of course, he is not the only character wrestling with his demons. There has never been any shortage of them on “Vikings,” and nor are there in its final chapter.

Danila Kozlovsky is a relative newcomer to the “Vikings” universe, having joined at the start of Season 6. That said, Kozlovsky is a veteran actor whose work in movies speaks to his incredible acting chops. As the disturbed Prince Oleg, Kozlovsky doubles down for another tour-de-force that leaves you wondering what he could do with his own TV series in the “Vikings” universe as a new character.

Back in the original universe, “Vikings” follows Ragnar’s sons into the perilous future, leaving viewers to wonder what ending they have in store. In Season 6B, there is a widening of the scope beyond Ragnar’s sons more than any other season. Power plays in the Viking world get a closer look, leaving those watching to wonder who will come out on top.

In that capacity, Bjorn’s wives serve as the captivating centerpiece to a storyline brimming with emotion. There is the devoted Gunnhild (Ragga Ragnars) and driven Ingrid (Lucy Martin). They are two entirely different women tied together by a plural marriage. The relationship between them is unique and stunningly portrayed by both actresses. Add in “Smallville” alum Eric Johnson’s suspenseful performance as Erik, and you have a compelling concoction of ambition, lust, and loyalty.

Will prophecies come true, and how much of them are self-fulfilling? The series has always played with how real the Viking belief-system is. There is a metaphysical aspect to the series that continues to serve as a steady undercurrent. It is part of what gives the show its epic and haunting tone. By the time it wraps, “Vikings” has more than earned its way into the genre’s Valhalla.

To answer the headline’s question, “Vikings” delivers on a worthy final bow. Season 6B (aka the final season episodes) of “Vikings” premieres Wednesday, December 30 on Amazon Prime Video. Another worthy way to head into the New Year. Stay tuned to Eclectic Pop because interviews with the cast and creator are coming!

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