Catherine found herself inspired by an American visitor’s attempts to create a new Russia, one working on Enlightenment principals and the like.
Yeah, that can’t go well.
Apparently, this episode is based around a historic event, namely when Catherine published something called the Zakaz, a declaration of legal principals to modernize Russia.
But this is The Great, a series that is only occasionally (and perhaps sometimes accidentally) historically accurate. That means whatever this episode is going to do with those historic events, it won’t be all that accurate, but it could very well be funny. To that end, Catherine wants to outlaw murder in Russia.
Yes, apparently, murder is legal in Russia.
Peter, meanwhile, is trying unsuccessfully to breed a superhorse. He’s not too crazy about the anti-murder plans, but his best ideas for improving Russia involved giving each village its own monkey.
So, Catherine calls a giant meeting, one with herself and three separate factions: the nobles, the merchants, and the peasants. The first two groups aren’t too much in favor of outlawing murder, especially since they’re usually doing the murders. You’d think the peasants might, but these people are so used to being executed and killed for little or no reason that they are clearly too frightened of the nobles to say so.
Can Catherine win people over? Maybe Peter is the key because of the return of one Simitz, a man Peter really wants to murder while not wanting to undermine his wife. Oddly enough, Grigor and Georgina also seem to want this man dead. What could this Simitz have done that, after years in exile or hiding or whatever, that Peter would want him dead?
Oh, when Peter and Grigor were children, he used to trip the boys in front of Peter’s father, all to the amusement of Peter the Great.
Catherine is unimpressed.
Oh, and then he would sexually assault the boys to the amusement of the Tsar.
Now Catherine is, well…if there’s someone who might have a good reason to kill a guy, it’s Peter. But at the same time, Catherine can use Peter as a example of not just killing people, bringing Simitz to a dinner party that Peter is attending and watching her husband struggle and not kill the guy in front of everybody. Oh, and the merchants and the peasants change their minds on the murder thing. Is everything finally going Catherine’s way?
Aunt Elizabeth poisoned the top merchant with the promise of an antidote if he sided with the “no murder” thing.
Archie threatened the peasants with eternal damnation if they didn’t change their tune.
Oh, and Peter, Grigor, and Georgina went off and killed the guy later anyway. Yeah, he assaulted Georgina as well.
Catherine isn’t too happy with the first two because that isn’t her way, and as for Peter, she opts to say nothing. But she did add the monkeys in every village thing. I guess Russians like monkeys.