The Great: Choose Your Weapon
May 15, 2023 8:56 AM - Season 3, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Catherine is visited by the UK and US ambassadors both wanting her to intervene in the War of Independence. Maxim takes issue with the public displays of affection between Grigor and Marial.
posted by Parasite Unseen (3 comments total)
They almost got through this one without murdering anyone. RIP anonymous dueling child.
posted by phooky at 8:04 PM on May 17, 2023 [1 favorite]

I typically abhor violence on children, and wasn't happy about how the duel went, but at least it was completely off screen and there wasn't a follow up of a body or anything. Still a minor level meh from me.

I was glad they brought up Orlov and I'm starting to see the show laying down the fractures that will ultimately drive Peter and Catherine apart. The writers had Orlov's body get eaten by the bears so down the road, what's left of him, will be found and it'll look like his body was hidden in the Catherine will blame Peter of killing him after all. But in this episode, particularly, you did have that friction between Catherine and Peter on who commanded the room.

Catherine came off a quite a bit condescending toward Peter, treating him very much like a child (well, except when rolling in the bed sheets). One of the things about Peter is not that he's a child, it's just that the things he appreciates and enjoys are not the same things that Catherine appreciates and enjoys. Culinary genius for sure. He also knows his people far better than Catherine, or at least the nobles. Again, I feel this behavior by Catherine is pushing him away which leads to her decision to have sex with the American ambassador.

I felt that her decision to do so wasn't to "re-establish" the balance, but it was payback for his actions, or at minimum, she rationalized it after the fact as a balancing decision. The impact on Peter is interesting because it wasn't that long ago that Peter played a very major role in finding her an official lover at court. Of course, Peter then got jealous of said lover and kills him. It definitely reflects his own love for Catherine, which Catherine honestly seems to be taking for granted with her current behavior.

The American ambassador was definitely a caricature, but so was the British ambassador, as well. The petty back and forth between the two was pretty enjoyable, especially the removal of the "u" from various words. A drunken Voltaire mocking the former king of Sweden was also a hoot.
posted by Atreides at 7:41 AM on May 19, 2023

I think they started this last season, but I love how Peter-inflected Catherine's speech is becoming. Elle Fanning is basically doing a full impression at times.
posted by grandiloquiet at 5:55 AM on June 3, 2023

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