Tsar Peter nearly died in the previous episode, and the description for this one on Hulu said he’s changed his ways to become a better person.
Let’s keep in mind that Peter is generally terrible, and even making him a better person is a long way off from making him a good person.
So, what does Peter do as a better person? For starters, he actually considers listening to Catherine about bringing in some of her newfangled French ideas. Oh true, he may not get very far on those, but he is willing to play around with a science experiment. Catherine sees enough of a change in Peter to think maybe, just maybe, she can ply her husband a little bit and get what she wants in small increments and maybe she won’t have to kill him.
That’s Orlo’s plan. That didn’t work for him all that much, but this episode not only opens with Catherine confiding to a wild bear, but Orlo spends most of it on the road, trying to shore up support for Catherine from General Velementov. Orlo never quite gets there when wolves attack his coach, but he does stumble off to find a few Russian soldiers being held captive by an abusive Swede. And hey, the Swedes as seen here are just as awful as the Russians, so that’s a nice change of pace. Can Orlo rescue the men?
Eventually, after stabbing the guy in two separate attacks, neither of which Orlo intended to do, but which happened anyway when the Swede attacked him…twice. The soldiers gifted Orlo with the dead man’s head, so we’ll call that plan a miserable failure and par for the course for, well, everyone on this show.
However, Catherine finds the limits to her influence rather quickly when she asks if Marial can be elevated back up to her old noble rank and not have to share a servants quarters with a chamberpot in the middle of the room (ewwww…). And, well, no. Marial is being punished for something her father did. Her father, currently working in the stables, was one of Peter’s good time friends when he did something rather…profane with Peter’s mother’s mummified corpse.
Yeah, even Catherine can’t argue with that.
However, even if she can’t get Marial her rank back, Catherine can get Marial’s beloved dog back, and who doesn’t love a cute little dog?
So, Peter is into science, Catherine got a good deed done for Marial, and even if Orlo failed, surely there’s no way this can all go south now that Catherine and Peter are almost getting along, right…?
What’s this episode titled again?
Yeah, Peter decides to test a parachute…using Marial’s dog by tossing the small pooch off a tall balcony wearing a parachute. And he makes it clear that even if the experiment fails and the dog goes splat, the experiment itself will still be entertaining.
See? Better is not the same as good.
Though it does look like the dog did not go splat.