Episode three of season one for The Great opens with Tsar Peter’s Aunt Elizabeth pleasuring herself in front of a statue of Peter’s father, Peter the Great. It ends with the son sleeping in the statue’s lap.
The latter is a deep look into the psychology of the male lead. The former is a reason I can’t write this episode up from my work computer.
Besides, that’s hardly the only thing in this episode I can’t really write about from my work computer. Peter, see, wants Catherine to be happy because, well, having a downer in the court suggests someone doesn’t like him, and he can’t have his wife being that person. It makes him feel sad.
Yes, everything is about Peter in Peter’s mind.
Point is, he finds a lover for his wife, a man named Leo Voronsky. He’s sterile thanks to a case of the mumps, and his father was a legendary ladies man. Oh, and Peter and his pals take a look at Leo’s dick and decide he’s also hung like a horse.
See, I could not write that on my work computer.
However, Catherine has other issues. While the war with the Swedes may or may not be going any better, especially as Peter’s plans involve sending people over an uncrossable river as part of an early morning ambush because he thought a river on a map was a road, Catherine is looking for more allies. Marial was easy, especially since the coup was her idea. Orlo came around once he realized his efforts to gradually modernize Russia were futile. But three people, one of whom is a servant, do not a coup make. Catherine needs to iron out some details while her husband is worrying over a speech he has to make in his father’s memory, and Peter’s biggest concern beyond a fear of looking unmanly while speaking is why he can’t have a cool nickname.
Well, Catherine won’t sleep with the guy, but he does teach her how to fake it and she decides to keep him around because otherwise Peter will kill him, and Leo is charming and fun and the opposite of everything Peter is. If Catherine can keep Leo ignorant (in case he’s really Peter’s spy), she can look for new allies.
First, she tries Peter’s half-brother Ivan, a fellow Catherine only just learned existed.
But he’s a lonely kid whose kept locked away from, oh, everybody.
What about General Velementov? He’s got an obvious thing for Catherine and he may not like the way Peter expends human lives in wasteful attacks!
Oh, he got drunk and fell over on top of Catherine in an unconscious stupor.
Well, finding allies is never easy.
And then Catherine actually does have sex with Leo and it’s awesome while Peter stabs a guy for smirking.
Point is, both Leo and Peter aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.