The Great – Season 3 Episode 2 “Choose Your Weapon” Recap & Review

Choose Your Weapon

In The Great Season 3 Episode 2, British and American ambassadors each seek Russia’s resources to help them win the war over the United States’ independence. Most think she should side with the powerhouse of Great Britain, but Catherine is drawn to the U.S. ambassador and the idea of building a country from the ground up.

While Catherine tries to decide whom she should support, she makes sure to display authority over Peter in different ways so her people and the ambassadors can see who is really in charge. Peter is happy to go along with it until Catherine puts her foot down on her ban of dueling.

When Maxim challenges Grigor to a duel–as he and Mariel have shamed him in court for continuing their affair–Peter fights with Catherine over allowing the duel to take place.

Meanwhile, Archie and Velementov warn Catherine that the British would be a bad enemy to have. She searches for Orlo, thinking he’d be on her side in this case. However, when she can’t find him (and neither can Katya) she comes to the conclusion that he’s run away.

Hugo and Agnes have their own ideas of whom Russia should side with. Hugo tries to tell her to side with the British to protect herself from turning out like him. He lost his position, after all, because he believed too much in his people.

Still, Catherine is undecided on which side to take in the war. So why not have some fun? Rather than keep them apart, she decides to invite both ambassadors to dinner, where they fight over her favor.

Over dinner, Peter argues with Catherine over the duel, but Catherine won’t budge, and she doesn’t like Peter undermining her in front of others. She orders Grigor to go make peace with Maxim. He tries, but Maxim is out for blood.

Now scared, Grigor decides to hire a second to take his place in the duel, which will go on whether Catherine likes it or not. And it’s Maxim who ends up winning.

After dinner, Catherine asks the U.S. Ambassador if he thinks they can truly win the war. He insists they can. The British are short on supplies. Without reinforcements, he thinks they will have to surrender in eight weeks.

Catherine uses this information to make deals with both ambassadors. First, she’s able to strike a deal with Great Britain to send them troops in nine weeks in exchange for their making Russia’s rhubarb as expensive as gold.

Now, Russia will have the funds they need to back the United States. While the British will still have their troops, they’ll have them too late.

In celebration, Catherine has sex with the U.S. ambassador. She tells Peter about it immediately after, informing him that she did it to restore balance between them. Peter is devastated, although he understands why she did it. Perhaps their love can withstand any challenge?

The Episode Review

The U.S. ambassador is an absolute show stealer in this episode. Tony McNamara certainly had a blast writing his character and poking fun at American stereotypes.

Catherine’s excitement over the “we the people” motto is so true to her character–but so will be the drop in her excitement when she realizes the reality of what building a country from the ground up will look like for the U.S. She has beautiful ideas of all people being equal, but her biggest flaw remains an unwavering trust that others want the same.

All in all, a stunningly hilarious episode that teases a future challenge of Catherine’s stalwart ideals. I’m looking forward to seeing how the British-American conflict plays out from Catherine’s perspective.

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You can read our full season review for The Great Season 3 here!


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