In the third episode of the last kingdom last season, the scene opens with Brida’s, played by Emily Cox (The Orphan, The Silent Mountain) continuous acts of torment. Stiorra, played by Ruby Hartley, comes to Brida in defense of her town, but unfortunately one of her closest servants ends up being her victim instead of Stiorra herself.
The episode then moves to Uhtred, played by Alexander Dreymon (American Horror Story coven) as he prepares to face Brida face to face. The two groups engage in an action-packed, jarring battle that is sure to quench the bloodlust of any of the show’s viewers. Unfortunately, Brida escapes and Uhtred loses a lot of his men.
Throughout all of these trials and tribulations, Brida reads like such a complex character. Yes, she is out for revenge and retribution, but when her daughter, an innocent bystander, is killed, she sheds sincere tears. If you’re a fan of Uhtred, you don’t want to feel any kind of sympathy for her, but this death of a child shows that she can still be human underneath it all. Brida, like everyone else, has weak points.
After this moment of vulnerability, the other standout moment involves Aetheflad, played by Millie Brady (The queen’s gambit, surface), as her health deteriorates further, and she is transferred to the city of Mercia just in case. Panicked, Aelfwynn, played by Phia Saban (The Alienist, Space Girls) is urged to become the Lady of Mercia; Aetheflad wants the status quo to be maintained, and Aelfwynn seems like the right woman for the job.
For his part, Aethelhelm, played by Adrian Schiller (Tolkien, shining star), plans a coup to install Aelfward, played by Ewan Horrocks (dominate), on the throne as the Lord of Mercia, but his plans are overheard and intercepted.
The episode closes with Rognvaldr, played by Micki Stoltt (Understudy, a horse named Allan), being tested by the gods, holding a flaming rod while being instructed to follow nine simple steps. If he passes, his life will be spared. Unfortunately, the episode ends with Rognvaldr just holding the bar, not moving, thus leaving an air of suspense for the next episode.
As Aethelflad’s health continues to worsen with her impending death, viewers must wait for the other shoe to drop on the matter. The future of Mercia also hangs in the balance, giving Edward the space to seize the throne; however, how this will be done still seems a bit fuzzy, leaving us in suspense.
General, the last kingdom continues to deliver political suspense and drama with the right balance of gore and gore thrown into the mix. With Brida’s daughter now dead, there is sure to be even more rage and rallying cries coming from her finale, only continuing to fuel the fire as the historical drama whittles down to the remaining episodes.