The Great has had a subplot running through the background of a long-running stalemate of a war between Russia and Sweden. Since this is the world of The Great, it mostly seems to be going poorly and getting a lot of people killed, mostly due to Peter’s general ineptness and inability to see it.
That comes to a head here when Sweden suggests a peace conference, and it’s a good thing Catherine is there.
For starters, Catherine has to be there before Peter has the ambassador killed and his decapitated head stuffed with meatballs to send back to Sweden. That…would have been bad. And since Peter is actually somewhat listening to his wife, he opts to take her along to the peace conference along with Orlo and Velementov.
Taking Velementov along works for Catherine since she needs to recruit him anyway. Orlo, maybe not so much, since he wants Peter to fail for the benefit of long-term politics.
And then the damnedest thing happens: Peter meets the Swedish king, and after his plan to make a snide comment goes awry, finds he actually likes the guy. It seems the Swedish king is a lot like Peter in every possible way. Catherine likewise can get some pointers from the Swedish Queen who is mostly just a bit further along in Catherine’s plan than Catherine is. Sweden is a bit more progressive than Russia, and she finds this a little…troubling.
OK, so, what can go wrong? For one thing, Velementov declines to join Catherine’s group, but not for the reason one might expect given how much the General is clearly smitten with Catherine since the first episode. He doesn’t have a problem with her as a woman, but more like he was unimpressed when she almost seized power with her distinct lack of political acumen.
Oh, and then Peter gets mad and starts wrestling with his Swedish counterpart when the Swede says he wants St. Petersburg, Russia’s capital, built by Peter’s father. Well, that was fast.
Even faster, Catherine negotiates a peace treaty against Orlo’s advice but mostly because she’s tired of people dying, and her Swedish counterpart seems inclined to help in subtle ways,
And that changes Velementov’s mind. He’s even amused to find out Catherine’s allies are a maid, a bureaucrat, and a drunk. Yes, he’s the drunk.
Oh, and Marial told Leo back at the capital. Looks like he’s in too.
So, peace and progress for the coup. This has gotta be too good to be true, so I am expecting things to get worse next time somehow.