Well, this first season, with the show already renewed for a second, ended much as it began. The question then is whether or not Catherine is worse at what she’s trying to do or if Peter is better than he appears.
More like a lot of dumb luck on both sides.
Catherine, knowing she’s now pregnant with Peter’s child, decides she has to take the guy down as a personal birthday gift to herself. Leo is all for it. Velementov has the army at the ready to take down the royal guards. Marial is to help Catherine prepare her dress while Orlo keeps Archie busy (or, more accurately, tries to kill Archie because Marial has affection for the old archbishop and Catherine sees him as unreliable).
And…it all goes wrong, more or less by accident.
See, Peter is smitten with Catherine, and he decides to do a few things about it. One is to have Leo killed during a hunting expedition, but he screws it up so it doesn’t look like an accident and Leo lives. Then he does something that is actually thoughtful and brings Voltaire to Russia. That makes Catherine pause, but the thing he does best is basically dodge her attempts to stab him. She’s…bad at this.
And it all falls apart from there. Orlo can’t kill Archie in part due to Marial’s interference and in part because Archie is a lot tougher than he looks, plus he’s a lot more practical. He’ll go along with a new regime…sure, he chooses Aunt Elizabeth, but that’s a new regime.
Marial then tries confessing to get Catherine the throne AND get her old position back. That forces a negotiation that…almost works. Catherine almost talks Peter into abdicating to keep doing what he actually likes to do while she runs the country and raises their (presumed) son. That’s…actually a good deal for Peter. Even he realizes it.
He turns it down because he has Leo for a hostage. Catherine really loves that guy.
So, Catherine may have had her destiny thwarted, but as Voltaire points out, if it is destiny, it’ll happen anyway. Her pregnancy may be the only thing keeping her alive, and her compliance keeps Leo alive. Orlo, well, he may be dead, but Catherine didn’t get this far by doing little, so we end the season with her giving a signal to Velementov.
And that’s season one of The Great, a goofy, bizarre, oft-times if not hilarious than at least amusing fun-house mirror look at actual Russia history. Will I come back for more? Yeah, I think I will. Archie is already courting Elizabeth, Peter knows what’s going on, and Catherine, well, she is The Great, so there’s bound to be more colossal mistakes on the way to power.
But what now? Well, normally I do the horror or superhero stuff on Fridays, but Fridays are booked pretty solid for the next few weeks, so let’s stick to Hulu and its new Helstrom show.
You know, that is a bit appropriate as I am typing this up two days before Halloween…