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Review of Netflix’s ‘The Last Kingdom’ Season Five, Episode Five

Episode 5 of The Last Kingdom’s fifth season starts in Aylesbury with everyone reeling over the news of the Ealdormen’s death. Eadgifu, played by Sonya Cassidy (Lodge 49, Humans), encourages Edward, played by Timothy Innes (The Favourite, The Sense of an Endin, g), to fix this by making ammends with everyone in Mercia. He should “break bread” with his people, as to demonstrate that he is determined not to lead using fear as his tactic.

Aethelhelm, played by Adrian Schiller (Beauty and the Beast, Suffragette), is forced to take a backseat to the logistics of the throne, but is still determined to instill the regal rights to his grandson. Aethelhelm intends to do this by arranging a war between the Christians and the Danes, hoping that Edward will die in battle, allowing Aelfweard to ascend. Meanwhile, in York, the news of Edward’s coup reaches the likes of Stiorra and Sigtryggr, played by Ruby Hartley and Eysteinn Sigurdarson (Devs, The Courier), respectively. Sigtryggr is on the move and ready to fight. Apparently Edward’s wife has been hanged from a tree.

In addition to this chaos, in Buxton, Aelfwynn, played by Helena Albright (The Alienist, Space Girls) and her grandmother arrive to offer the former life. This means that Cynlaef, played by Ryan Quarmby (Five Pillars, Rebel Cheer Squad), will marry her. The actions of this announcement are postponed when Haesten shows up to tell Uhtred, played by Alexander Dreymon (American Horror Story: Coven) that the Queen is dead. Uhtred doesn’t necessarily believe that Sigtryggr is responsible, but he knows that if this news reaches Mercia, a bloodbath is bound to ensue. Uhtred confronts Sigtryggr, who ends up being offended that people assume he murdered Edward’s wife.

While all of this is going on, Brida, played by Emily Cox (The Fatherless, The Silent Mountain), tries to convince Father Pyrlig, played by Cavan Clerkin (The Capture, Muscle), to lead her to Uhtred. She claims that all she wants is peace, but this isn’t the case. Aethelhelm’s attempts to convice Edward to go into battle are not successful, but he does rile up the people, saying that the Danes have too much blood on their hands to live peacefully. This tactice is succesful, with groups of angry soldiers hunting for Danes. Osferth, played by Ewan Mitchell (High Life, The Halcyon), is stabbed and killed before the soldiers retreat.

Once Edward receives news of the attack, he decides to fight back – he even blames himself for this occurring. This conflict only continues to escalate with more scheming and plotting on Aethelhelm’s end, meaning lots of war is coming. This episode of The Last Kingdom marks the midpoint of the final season, with more war creeping towards the viewers. Events have clearly escalated beyond maintaining simple peace, and it is clear that a major fight is going to break out between two sides. The balances of power are constantly teetering on the precipice of destruction, so it will be interesting to eventually see who comes out victorious.

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