I’m starting to think no one in Russia can get anything done right on this show…and then I remembered that was probably the point.
Fresh off his, well, we’ll call it a victory with peace over the Swedes, you’d think life would be getting better for Peter. Mostly that’s because Peter is a bit too dim to recognize when things aren’t, and people don’t always tell him things anyway. He has his own wife plotting against him, even if her allies are a drunk, a timid bureaucrat, her lover, and a disgraced former lady. Still, that’s more loyalty than he has. He just doesn’t know that yet.
But then, he gets a little suspicious when his bodyguard and an old nobleman named Gorky both die. Now, the bodyguard got drunk and fell into a fountain, and that seems to kill a lot of people around the palace. But Gorky actually was murdered because Catherine got a little ambitious and sent her people off to see about recruiting more. The men approached Gorky (who, it turns out, was Peter’s father’s best friend), said a little too much, and then had to kill him when he went off to try and tell Peter. Marial was a bit more successful on her end by simply seducing a nobleman who Peter forced to shave despite the fact the man had horrible skin under his beard.
He truly does have horrible skin down there.
Peter now thinks there’s a coup going against him, and while he isn’t wrong, he does decide that the only way to find the culprits is to torture everybody until gets a confession, something Archie is more than happy to lead. Sure, both Aunt Elizabeth and Catherine seem a little…reluctant, but Elizabeth is a bit nutty and Catherine isn’t really Russian, so they don’t count in Peter’s mind. Besides, Peter did name a few folks he wouldn’t torture, namely Catherine, Grigor, and Georgina. Probably Elizabeth too. Everyone else? Fair game.
Problem for Catherine: Orlo will talk if he feels any pain. Leo and Velementov likewise aren’t too crazy about anything done below the belt. Can Catherine stop the torture before any of her people get put to the test?
Um, not really. She does suggest Archie go a bit early to see if the one big obstacle in the inner circle can be taken out, but Archie seems to like torture. Catherine insists she go herself, and she does lose a few fingernails, but Peter calls off the rest for her.
Well, this will get ugly mostly because it already is considering one of Peter’s torture methods is to stick a person’s face into a tub of water filled with eels. I doubt we’ll be seeing the end of Catherine’s revolt just yet so…
Oh yeah, Marial puts it into her new lover’s head that Peter has to go, and he agrees a little too enthusiastically. That means he runs off to murder Peter, and after explicitly stating he’s working alone, Peter, Grigor, and Georgina all basically stab the guy to death. Catherine doesn’t because, well, she isn’t that kind of person. She can give a nice speech over dinner since all the guests were torture victims and calm things down by somehow never mentioning Peter by name, and now he’s in love with his wife, so things are…not going well for anyone aside from maybe Orlo since the torture stopped just before his turn was about to commence.
Typical day in this show’s version of Russia, really.
Then again, Archie did suggest to Marial that she could get her rank back if she just exposed a real coup…