OK, I think it is safe to say I did not see that coming. This is really going to change things up in ways that I didn’t think it would.
Yeah, Peter dies in this one. Not a dream. Not a imaginary story. He’s dead. Catherine, with Grigor, went out to stop him from using the Russian Army to conquer Sweden on Hugo’s behalf. The two argue, with Peter basically saying that he needs something to do, he can do it for her, and he feels like he’s left out. But it’s clear he’s still smitten since he goes to see her, riding his horse across a frozen lake, and on the ride back, just as he’s about to turn around and go back to Catherine anyway, the ice breaks and Peter falls into the not-quite-frozen lake and dies.
Yes, his horse dies too.
In many ways, the rest of the episode–save Aunt Elizabeth who figured out Archie’s whole plot but still wants Baby Paul to have an ordination so she’ll keep quiet and some stuff involving Marial and her juvenile husband–is mostly people reacting to the unexpected. Velementov seems inclined to go back to Russia before Hugo talks him out of it. Elizabeth somehow senses it happens without being told at any point, Grigor is feeling incredibly guilty, and Catherine, well…
She’s in denial. Big time. She’s telling the people back home that Peter’s idea is what’s actually happening, even inventing a victory.
This is basically Catherine having a huge breakdown the likes of which she just hasn’t had before. She truly loved Peter, as much as they argued, and it is sudden. I know I commented last time that Peter was the only character on the show that was arguably actually stupid, but Nicholas Hoult had such a disarming sort of stupidity going for him as the series progressed. Yes, he’s also still playing Pugachev, the former body double for Peter that is raising a rebellion on Archie’s behalf, but that’s a different sort of character. I know there’s probably some historic fact behind Peter’s untimely death (Pugachev is also a historic figure), but I do wonder how this show will go on without him. Granted, there is precedent for ghosts on the show–Peter does tell Catherine about his own father’s hanging around just before he dies–but Hoult’s daffy, genial stupidity will surely be missed if there’s a fourth season.
As I type this, Hulu hasn’t announced a fourth season yet if they ever do.
But at the same time, I am looking forward to seeing where the series goes from here, at the least over the last four episodes of season three.