The Great – Season 3 Episode 6 “Ice” Recap & Review


In The Great Season 3 Episode 6, Peter and Velementov’s troops prepare to ride into battle to take back Sweden.

Catherine and Grigor lay in wait for them, and Peter crosses a frozen-over lake to talk with them, hoping (wrongly) that his wife will understand and approve of his actions. Unsurprisingly, she demands he come home with her.

Peter tells her about his father’s appearances and how he wants him to step up as a powerful leader. He can’t go back with her because he needs a legacy. But as Peter crosses the frozen lake to rejoin Velementov and Hugo, the ice cracks and he falls in. Grigor rushes after him, but he’s too late. Peter is dead. At the very same moment, Elizabeth is struck by an icy cold feeling.

Hugo tries to convince Velementov to keep going with him; if he goes back, he’ll likely be hanged for treason. If he continues, he can have his moment of glory. In the end, Velementov agrees to continue with the plan.

Grigor and Catherine simply lay down together in the snow, grieving Peter. Eventually, Catherine gets up to remark how beautiful it is and gets back into the carriage. Catherine babbles on about different things until she admits to Grigor she doesn’t think Peter actually died. They must have just imagined it.

Meanwhile, Archie and Pugachev meet to discuss the final stage of their plan, but Pugachev is feeling ready to take Catherine down. Archie assures him his original plan is the right one and instructs him to negotiate with the empress.

Archie is nearly foiled by Elizabeth, who figures out his plan. But she won’t tell Catherine, wanting Paul to be ordained as well.

Mariel worries that Archie is not in control of the situation. She confesses to Maxim her concerns about Archie and Pugachev. Maxim thinks they should kill Pugachev, lest he rat out Mariel to Catherine. Mariel agrees.

Catherine and Grigor finally return to the palace, and Catherine organizes a breakfast the next morning for all the nobles. She cheerfully tells them the news that they are in the process of invading Sweden. Neither she nor Grigor say a word about Peter’s death.

Archie then brings Catherine a letter from Pugachev claiming he’s ready to give himself up.

Georgina wakes up Grigor to ask him why he cried during breakfast. He confesses to her that Peter died by falling through the ice, then urges her not to tell anyone.

So, Georgina goes looking for Catherine. Finding the empress playing badminton with herself, she offers to play with her.

The Episode Review

That was a surprising, jarring, and emotional turn of events–to say the least. What a sad but fitting way for Peter to die: by acting in prideful-but-naive defiance of his wife. The shocking suddenness of it is certainly in keeping with the dark, unexpected humor of the show. 

It’s a sad loss, mostly because Nicholas Hoult plays Peter so vivaciously and brilliantly. I feel too that there was more to play with concerning Catherine and Peter’s marital conflict. And yet this turn of events opens up so many more possibilities for Catherine’s story, especially in how it might explore how grief affects her rule. I’m hopeful that this development won’t interrupt themes at play in the season so far, but will rather help them evolve.

It’s especially intriguing where this episode ends. Stepping into the game of badminton signifies that Georgina has fully inserted herself into a play for power. Whether it will end in her trying to usurp Catherine or to become the empress’ trusted ear, only time will tell. But George will be there.

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


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