Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4 finally puts the elephant in the room between Thorfinn and Einar in plain view for both to see. It makes for yet another character-driven episode, which is seemingly set to be a constant theme for the current season. As a result, the episode is incredibly engaging throughout.
Episode 4 of Vinland Saga season 2 also teases viewers that issues with Snake’s mercenary group have been a constant plague to Ketil and his staff. While this may be an offhand line meant to characterize the kind of men they are, one can argue that this is foreshadowing and setting up future events and conflicts of the season.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4 concludes heartfelt moment between Thorfinn and Einar with a shocking return from the former’s past
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4: Betrayed by one’s body
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4 begins with some scenes from the previous episode, recapping Fox’s frustration with the subsequent punishment of Thorfinn. This parlays into Snake’s appearance before diving into new material, which sees Snake berating his men while eating the breakfast he’s been asking for since the previous installment.
He questions them on what the point of bullying the slaves is since Olmar has to do it himself, prompting Badger to accuse Thorfinn of getting “cheeky” with them. Snake then approaches Thorfinn, apologizing to him and asking for his name. Following introductions, Snake suddenly draws his sword and swings at Thorfinn, giving him flashbacks to Askeladd’s fighting style and their bouts.
Thorfinn expertly blocks the strike and counters Snake, wowing everyone present, including the mercenary leader himself. Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4 then sees Snake happily point out that Thorfinn’s body is telling him that it wants to live. This shocks Thorfinn, while Snake says he’s off to bed and orders his men to see Thorfinn and Einar safely back home.
Snake reminds his men that the day they cause any more trouble over this matter with Olmar and the slaves is the day they won’t be able to chew their own food anymore. His terrified subordinates respond with affirmation, while Thorfinn questions if he really does want to live and what he could possibly have to live for.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4 then sees Thorfinn getting bandaged up by Pater, who shared that he was once a slave and bought his freedom the same way the two are. The man tells Thorfinn and Einar he’s sorry they had to go through that, adding that Ketil doesn’t know what to do about his guests’ “misbehavior” either.
At this point, Einar rightfully points out that such misbehavior almost got them killed, to which Pater says their lives weren’t actually in danger while laughing. Einar counters that if Snake hadn’t shown up, they would’ve been killed, which is likely an accurate assessment. He angrily points out to the mercenaries how the lives of slaves are worth less than insects.
Thorfinn calmly responds that they couldn’t help it either way, adding that the strong kill the weak and this is only natural. Einar angrily asks him to repeat his words, prompting Pater to get involved and calm him down. He then tells Thorfinn to come to him if they try to mess with them again, adding that he’ll give Thorfinn medicine so his wounds won't fester.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4 sees Einar say that they don’t have money for it, but Pater tells him they don’t need to pay. He then apologizes for striking a nerve, which seems to calm Einar down sufficiently. Pater then shares that they also need to thank Arnheid since she’s the one who found and told him what happened.
Einar begins thinking of Arnheid here as the scene transitions into Pater telling Thorfinn and Einar to spend the day resting and that he’ll talk to Ketil. He then gives Thorfinn a new shirt since the mercenaries tore his to shreds, prompting Einar to ask the silent Thorfinn if he has anything to say to Pater. Thorfinn still doesn’t get it, so Einar asks him to say “thank you” to Pater.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4: An unfortunate truth
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4 sees Thorfinn stare back blankly, as Einar rants about how he never says anything even when everyone is being kind to him. Pater laughs, saying that he knows Thorfinn doesn’t say much. He then leaves the two at the house when Thorfinn puts on his shirt and heads off to an unknown destination.
Thorfinn says he’s going to the woods, calling his injuries nothing. Einar reluctantly follows, telling him to wait up. Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4 then sees Thorfinn chopping down trees as Einar muses on how Thorfinn moved when Snake attacked him. He concludes that Thorfinn is no ordinary man due to this, also remembering the words he said earlier about the strong and the weak.
Einar then calls Thorfinn, asking him if he has ever been to war. The latter calmly says he has before returning to chopping trees, to which Einar asks if he has killed people. Thorfinn monotonically replies that he has. Einar looks to the ground and asks how many, suggestinh the numbers five or ten. However, Thorfinn stops swinging his ax and asks Einar why he wants to know.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4 then sees Thorfinn remind Einar that he doesn’t like war before calmly calling out timber as the tree he’s cutting fails. Thorfinn says that he doesn’t remember how many, sharing that he’s killed many people on the battlefield since he was five or six years old.
He also shares that he joined the Danish army’s invasion of England, a war by Einar was also affected. Thorfinn then states that he is a warrior, asking Einar if he hates him for it. A seemingly angry Einar looks off to the side silently as the scene fades to black for the episode’s eyecatcher.
Upon returning, Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4 sees Thorfinn and Einar silently sleeping in their quarters, with their backs turned to one another. But Einar is still awake, remembering their discussion from earlier. This transitions into scenes of various fires being lit in the distance before it’s revealed that Einar is having a flashback to the village raid that killed his father.
He, along with his mother and sister, are seen watching from a nearby bush, as the scene transitions into a present-day Einar walking towards Thorfinn. This is interspersed with the latter’s dialogue from earlier, as well as additional scenes of the village raids Einar experienced and the deaths of his mother and sister.
He clenches his fists and crouches down to Thorfinn, wrapping his hands around his throat and seemingly preparing to choke his bunkmate. Thorfinn begins gasping for air and struggling as he awakens, seemingly remembering his own experiences in war through a dreamstate, as this is happening in reality.
A young Thorfinn is seen being surrounded by fire as a demonic version of a soldier approaches him, demanding that he die. Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4 then sees Thorfinn defeat the soldier, prompting several more to appear and begin approaching him. He is then seen continuing to gasp as Einar chokes him in reality, clearly crying out in pain.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4: One scar closed as another is poised to reopen
Einar then releases his grip on Thorfinn, cursing himself for seeming unable to go through with what he intended. Meanwhile, in Thorfinn’s dream, he rushes a soldier and begins swinging for its head before suddenly seeing his mother Helga’s face appear on the soldier’s body. He cries out in pain and grips Einar’s shirt, still sleeping, as the latter angrily muses over his current situation.
Thorfinn then wakes up as Einar grabs his hand, instantly ceasing his screaming and replacing it with relieved and exhausted gasps. He then asks Einar why he wakes him up every time he cries out in his sleep. The latter doesn’t respond, and Thorfinn monologs about how many people he has killed in his life.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4 then sees Thorfinn say he’s no different from those who killed Einar’s family. Einar stands, turns to Thorfinn with an infuriated expression, and asks him if he truly wants to die. He adds that he may not know what fate Thorfinn suffered or the hell he has lived through, but they were able to bond together in the hell they currently share.
Einar adds that they could do so because someone kept them alive, asking how Thorfinn can say that nothing good has ever happened to him with tears in his eyes. Einar then tells Thorfinn he’s wrong, adding that he shouldn’t act so spoiled before sitting back down in his own bed.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4 then sees Einar add that it’s not like Thorfinn is the one who killed his family, telling him that he shouldn’t be so arrogant. The latter thanks the former for waking him, an action that touches Einar’s heart. In an attempt to act tough, Einar says that he can’t get enough sleep because Thorfinn won’t stop talking in his own sleep.
The latter then says he understands and apologizes to Einar, leading the two to fall asleep as the moonlight shines on them. Meanwhile, a man is seen walking in a graveyard somewhere under the moonlight, who turns out to be none other than the former prince, now king, Canute.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4: In summation
So far, Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4 is one of the most exciting and engaging episodes despite having the least action seen in the season. Nevertheless, the storylines focused on between Thorfinn and Einar and how their pasts conflict with one another in the present.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 4, unfortunately, doesn’t cover much plot beyond this, aside from the closing appearance of Canute. This seemingly indicates an eventual reunion of Thorfinn and the one who condemned him to this life of slavery on Ketil’s farm, creating many possibilities for the season’s storyline.