The Great: Once Upon a Time
May 30, 2023 10:51 AM - Season 3, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Court scientist Nikolai announces a comet is about to pass Russia, a phenomenon Catherine uses to her advantage while unearthing a new side of her leadership in the face of some huge challenges.
posted by Parasite Unseen (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is supposed to be the series finale* and it felt to a large degree that it was one which wasn't 100% entirely the intended finale if that makes sense and I base it on the pacing of the story. I felt an episode or two too short, what with the shift in her grieving, the indication that somehow the Russian military had taken care of the serfs' rebellion by firing some cannons at the palace, and becoming authoritative again. The only possible shift was she wasn't afraid to use violence now, something she had held against the Russians since her arrival. The finale should have been stretched out a little bit more.

For example, Paul infamously was raised by his aunt Elizabeth (and not necessarily in a good way), but we didn't even see the two paired after Grigor brought him to court and they had a game of hot potato with him. Elizabeth's attachment to Peter would've made a really great bridging point to her wanting to connect and keep safe his son and heir. The fact that Marial unburied Archie wasn't surprising, but at the same time, left so many questions as to what was going to happen next when Archie, beardless, stumbles back into the palace. Was he even still the Patriarch?

For all of this, I still really enjoyed this season and if it does end here, I can accept it as an ending. Fanning was incredible, Hoult was so damn good that at times I would ask myself if Pugachev wasn't really another actor who just looked very similar to Hoult.

* Okay, so apparently the word isn't out yet on whether we get a Season 4 or not, but I can't imagine having Catherine dancing around to classic rock as anything but at least an expected farewell.
posted by Atreides at 12:57 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]

I absolutely adored this show and I’m happy if it ends this way.
posted by ColdChef at 10:30 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]

Yeah, on the one hand I'd be curious to see if the rest of the cast could keep things moving for another season without Hoult's lighthearted counterweight (from the last season and a half, at least? He was less amusing in the first season by far, for me), on the other hand it's a good enough place for it to end?

I mean, it's hard to say, the last few episodes without Peter sort of depended on Hugo filling in the aristocratic buffoon role, which was fine, but Hoult really pulled something off there.
posted by Kyol at 6:23 PM on June 2

Hoult really pulled something off there.

I did not even realize that Hoult was also playing Pugachev until maybe the second to last episode. The last scene between him and Catherine where he keeps switching between Pugachev and Pugachev-as-Peter was amazing.
posted by jimw at 9:33 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]

We just finished this, and I find myself hoping they don't do another season; or at least, if they do, wait a few years and make it about a later time in Catherine's reign. Give us enough time to forget how critical Hoult was to this version. Keep some of the old characters, but don't feel bound to any of them.
posted by Etrigan at 6:55 AM on July 18

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