The Great – Season 3 Episode 3 “You the People” Recap & Review

You the People

In The Great Season 3 Episode 3, Catherine has planned a conference, called the Nakaz, that will represent every class and region of Russia, in order for her to hear the voice of all her people.

Her first order of business for the Nakaz is to outlaw murder. But the nobles and merchants don’t want to hear of it–and the peasants are too scared to defy them.

Peter is also opposed; murder is exactly what’s on his mind. He’s gotten word that a man named Simitz has returned to the palace, believing that Peter is dead. Peter once vowed to kill him, and he stands by his word.

At the Nakaz, a few back Catherine: Georgina, Elizabeth, Archie, and Voltaire in particular. Velementov tries, but is so drunk that he does more harm than good. When the Nakaz devolves into uproars, with people calling for a vote, Georgina buys Catherine time by fainting.

During an adjournment, Catherine enlists Archie and Elizabeth to convince the people to back her. She then asks Velementov what is going on. He admits he’s not well. He’s been coughing up some blood each day; he knows what’s wrong and what it means. She insists he take time off his duties, but he refuses. His duties are all he has.

Peter tells Catherine he’s planning on killing Simitz tonight. Catherine, unsurprisingly, forbids it. But she pauses when Peter tells her why. Simitz used to sexually assault Peter and Grigor as children in front of Peter’s father. He’s thought of revenge ever since his father died. Catherine still can’t let him do this; she insists it won’t take his pain away and will only undermine her.

Catherine tries to solve the problem in her own way. She brings Simitz to her husband, where Simitz kneels to beg for his forgiveness. As Peter prepares to kill him, Catherine gives a speech to everyone that this is the bloodthirsty Russia she wants to leave behind. 

Peter throws the knife away and leads everyone in a cheer “to Catherine the Great.” He won’t kill Simitz, but he does warn him to keep away from him. It’s Hugo that then swoops in to comfort Peter, still adamant on becoming his trusted confidant.

Elizabeth is busy in the meantime speaking to a rich merchant who elected to come to the Nakaz for two months. She poisons him during their conversation, then asks how he feels about murder. Once he’s confronted by the prospect himself, he’s ready to change his tune.

Meanwhile, Archie speaks to the peasants about their concerns. They think she’s a witch sent to test them against the nobles. Archie reminds them that if they go against the wishes of God’s chosen, they will know eternal damnation. Now, both the merchants and the peasants should side with Catherine–but out of fear.

Later, Mariel’s servant asks her to get some medicine for someone. She brings her to Pugachev, who still nurses his stab wounds.

Peter still can’t quench his blood thirst. He finds Georgina that night when he can’t sleep. They muse that everything they used to own now belongs to someone else. She tries to seduce him, but he refuses her. He wants to be faithful to Catherine.

Catherine fears that Archie’s and Elizabeth’s methods aren’t how she wants to lead her people. When the Nakaz reconvenes, Catherine moves on to a new proclamation, moving that every Russian village receive their own monkey–one of Peter’s own wishes. It isn’t the great change she wanted for Russia, but makes everyone happy, at least.

Simitz isn’t at the Nakaz, however. It’s because Georgina instead lures him into the woods, where Peter and Grigor lie in wait. Grigor shoots him, and Peter and Georgina finish him off.

When Catherine returns to her chambers at the end of the day, she tells Peter she knows what he did. She doesn’t want to fight, but simply goes to sleep.

The Episode Review

While Peter’s bloodlust isn’t usually justifiable, who can blame him for this particular act of revenge? Added to his hurt and trauma is the legacy of his father looming over him now that he and Catherine reside in Peter the Great’s apartments.

I can’t help but feel that Catherine was too harsh in forcing Peter to forgive, but it’s hard to blame her as well, seeing the monumental task she has before her. Everything about her rule is complicated by her marriage. That’s the heart of this season, it seems. Can Peter and Catherine ever move forward when all of their desires and motives conflict–and one of them has the power to enforce theirs over the other?

Previous Episode

Next Episode

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

  • Episode Rating

Leave a comment