Well, never let it be said that this series didn’t try to experiment a bit. Peter’s unexpected death a couple episodes earlier hasn’t been forgotten or papered over, and it’s to the show’s credit that it still has found a way to make this all still very funny.
Plus, this episode tried a different structure.
Essentially, the series has three characters that, arguably, would be in the deepest mourning for Peter: Catherine, Grigor, and Aunt Elizabeth. And each of these characters mourns in their own unique fashions, all of which have their own levels of both humor and pathos. The series never makes fun of how Peter’s death is hurting these people, but the over-the-top ways they mourn in which each of them–given their own segment in the episode–is always in-character and appropriate. And still often funny.
For Elizabeth, it meant fetching Velementov while trying to get Peter’s body from the bottom of a frozen lake. She’s disturbed since she lost a lot of male loved ones, and Peter was once very kind to her when she was in a dark place. He was a kid at the time, but it happened, and she ended up deciding to leave him on the bottom of the lake since apparently he looked like he was at peace
Catherine decides to legalize divorce, leading to a literal marriage market as men were just dropping wives while the wives, left broke and miserable, were dropping out of windows. There’s a question about whether or not Grigor will divorce George, but Catherine does snap out of her depressed fugue state to add a few provisions to the divorce thing by requiring people to give a reason for divorce and allowing the dropped wife to have half the estate. She’s not in a better place, not like Elizabeth, but she’s not supposed to be.
Grigor’s story is maybe the most interesting. He’s bonding with the juvenile Maxim, but is he going to divorce George and marry Marial as everyone expects?
Um, no. Not yet at least. There’s a major obstacle for Grigor and Marial that, in retrospect, I should have seen coming. Grigor, despite all reason, adored Peter as his best friend. You know, the best friend that routinely cuckolded him. Marial despised Peter and is glad he’s dead. Neither were treated all that well by Peter (Marial has even more stories to rattle off on why Peter sucked), but Grigor’s undying affection for his dead friend is matched by Marial’s equally undying hatred for him. Despite the fact Marial is, easily, a better match for Grigor than George, it’s not hard to see why this would be a major obstacle for the two. Heck, this was an obstacle for Marial and Catherine, and those two were BFFs for most of the series.
Point is, those two may not be a couple much longer. Or at least until the end of the season. And that’s assuming the series gets renewed by Hulu. I’d like it to come back for more, but for now, Elizabeth is coming home at something like peace just as Grigor does a favor for a potentially suicidal Catherine.