As the 6th episode begins, Gisela (Peri Baumeister) and Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) spend time together before the wedding. They splash around in the water briefly. As they approach the city, Uhtred admits he has been thinking about the dead man, Bjorn. They’re set upon by Aethelred (Toby Regbo) and Aldhelm (James Northcote). Aethelred makes a few snide comments about Gisela and is quickly pulled from his horse. Uhtred listens to Aldhelm’s advice and frees the man. As Uhtred and Gisela continue on their way, Aethelred taunts Uhtred that he has now gained Alfred’s trust. Once they arrive, Aethelred confides in Aldhelm that he would like to see Uhtred dead. Aldhelm is clearly the brains of the operation. He discusses an impending war that could help them get rid of Alfred sooner than initially expected.
Seconds later, Beocca (Ian Hart) and Thyra (Julia Bache-Wiig) are wed. Hild (Eva Birthistle) says a prayer for the newlyweds. Before the royal wedding begins, Aethelwold (Harry McEntire) continues pressuring Uhtred to give an answer for the dead man. It takes a lot of effort, but Uhtred and Finan (Mark Rowley) eventually manage to silence Aethelwold. Aethelflaed (Millie Brady) and Aethelred are led in. Alfred (David Dawson) presides over the ceremony and officially weds the couple. Outside the chapel, Aethelwold tells Uhtred that his lands will soon become Aethelred’s. He also exclaims that the wedding is a betrayal to the men of Wessex. Seconds later, Osferth (Ewan Mitchell) interrupts. While Osferth is dresses like a monk, he reveals himself to be Leofric’s nephew. He encourages Uhtred to take him into his army.
Steapa (Adrian Bouchet) interrupts and warns Uhtred that Alfred wishes to speak with him. Before he departs, he tells Osferth to speak with him later. Alfred quickly asks Uhtred about his recent trip into Daneland. Uhtred tells Alfred about the Danes and their attack on Lunden. Aethelred is snarky and refuses to take Uhtred for his word. However, his new wife recommends otherwise. Uhtred is forced to reveal his invitation to join Sigefrid and Erik. He also confirms he was offered the Kingdom of Mercia. Aethelflaed and Odda (Simon Kunz) agree that they trust Uhtred’s loyalty. Alfred quickly decides to negotiate with the Dane brothers. Uhtred is ordered to travel to Lunden alongside Aethelred for that very purpose.
Alfred reminds Uhtred that he could’ve prevented this by killing the brothers. Alfred’s daughter responds that Uhtred negotiated with the brothers to save his men. That night, Aethelred makes it clear he doesn’t want his wife caught up in his affairs. He treats her harshly, before taking her for the first time. Odda speaks with Alfred privately. Odda confides in Alfred that he trusts Uhtred. He also suggests Alfred is undervaluing him. Alfred admits he tolerates Uhtred’s behavior, because he is their most accomplished warrior. He also confirms Uhtred’s ambitions give him concern. Meanwhile, Sigefrid (Bjorn Bengtsson) and Erik (Christian Hillborg) discuss the trap they’ve set for Uhtred. They concur they do not know for certain that Uhtred has discredited the charade.
They agree that Uhtred will be brought to justice regardless. Next, Uhtred arrives in Lunden with Finan and Sihtric (Arnas Fedaravicius) by his side. Uhtred admits the city is simply too big to defend, regardless of the size of the army in charge. Aethelred and his group joins Uhtred. As they confront the Danish brothers, Sigefrid has a man crucified, so he can see how it works. We also see that Pyrlig (Cavan Clerkin) has been captured by the brothers. He awaits his execution. Sigefrid refers to Uhtred as the future King of Mercia. Sigefrid admits he wanted to kill Uhtred, until he grew to appreciate his new hand. Aethelred quickly gets involved and tries to give the brothers silver to leave. They contemplate taking and humping Aethelred’s new wife. Eventually, the men settle for a cup of ale.
Erik speaks with Uhtred about Bjorn’s offer. Uhtred agrees that it sounds like a good plan, but confesses getting Ragnar involved would require time. Eventually, the men turn their attention to Pyrlig. Uhtred suggests letting the man fight to prove his worth. He talks the Danes into letting the priest fight for his freedom. Sigefrid likes the idea. He calls for Boltan (Sergej Onopko) to enter the makeshift arena. The fight begins. At first, it appears that Pyrlig will be no match for Boltan. Nevertheless, he manages to defeat the man. He leaves Boltan alive, but Sigefrid finishes him. Pyrlig drops his swords, ridicules the Danes and is eventually given his freedom. He agrees to leave with Uhtred. Again, Aethelred attempts to negotiate with Sigefrid. His offers are all refused.
The group returns to Alfred and provides him with intel about his enemies. Aethelred foolishly believes numbers will give his army the upper hand. Uhtred gives Alfred advice suggesting attacking from land would be the best strategy. He confirms the water near Ludd Gate is chaotic and the men would likely get drug under. Alfred asks Uhtred why the bothers referred to him as the next Lord of Mercia. Alfred lashes out at Uhtred for behaving like a spy. He also admits he doesn’t know Uhtred and likely never will. Alfred forces Uhtred to return to the inn, so he can devise an attack plan immediately. Aethelred and his comrade are pleased with the results. Aldhelm insists Uhtred’s behavior cannot go unpunished. Odda insists it is none of their business. Despite Odda’s wishes, Alfred demands Uhtred return to Coccham. Odda agrees to tell him personally.
Aethelred is instructed to return to Mercia and assemble an army. After the men leave, Alfred asks Steapa if he trusts Uhtred. He admits he does with his life. Alfred’s daughter watches him pray. Odda speaks with Uhtred and confesses he is getting old. He also expresses his sorrow for his lost son. Aelswitch (Eliza Butterworth) continues urging her husband to get rid of Uhtred. Next, we see Aldhelm receive word from Alfred. He rallies his men and prepares them for the upcoming battle. Aethelred has lunch with his wife. He offers to let her ride along for the war. Aethelflaed pulls back when he touches her face. Aethelred becomes suspicious that he was not the first. He accuses her of sleeping with Uhtred, before the argument becomes physical. Aethelred pins his wife’s head to the table. After that, the group heads towards Uhtred’s home. Thyra and Beocca tag along.
Once they arrive on land, Aethelred expresses his concerns to Father Beocca. Beocca agrees to carry out a holy ritual to find out whether or not his wife is telling the truth. Gisela keeps the men company, until Uhtred makes an appearance. He agrees to join their army. Steapa and Aethelwold make it clear they’re going with Uhtred’s army. That night, Beocca prepares to administer the ritual. He stops halfway through and decides Aethelflaed is telling the truth. Then, Thyra enters and asks her about the abuse. Aethelflaed comes clean, but urges the others to keep the abuse a secret. After that, the group heads for Lunden. They separate into two groups and head for the city. Meanwhile, Erik and Sigefrid also begin carrying out their plan. Uhtred and his men enter the city. They find it suspiciously empty. They eventually catch up with Aethelred’s men. The Danes do not show themselves.
Aethelred celebrates, as a fire is lit nearby. Uhtred exclaims that it is a signal, which could be seen for a mile or more. Back at the camp, Thyra notices something is wrong. She yells for the others, before reuniting with Aethelflaed. They attempt to escape into the forest together. Aethelflaed breaks free of the other women and runs ahead. She trips and falls. When she looks behind her, she sees heavily armed men approaching. She continues running as the episode ends.
The Last Kingdom Review
In the 6th episode of the second series of The Last Kingdom, Alfred’s plans fell apart. His distrust of Uhtred led him down a tumultuous path much like Guthred before him. On top of that, he has now sold his daughter to the devious Aethelred, who has hopes of overthrowing his father-in-law. Now, Aethelflaed will likely be captured by the Danish brothers, Erik and Sigefrid. Will Aethelred express true urgency to reclaim his new wife? Or will it be Uhtred that once again saves Alfred’s hide?
The episode was a little frustrating with Alfred’s inability to see the truth. It was also somewhat predictable, but enjoyable nevertheless. A 7.5 out of 10 is awarded to the episode. Our previous recaps for The Last Kingdom can be found here.