The Great – Season 3 Episode 8 “Peter and the Wolf” Recap & Review

Peter and the Wolf

In The Great Season 3 Episode 8, Elizabeth and Petrov make their way to the lake where Peter died and brainstorm ways to retrieve his body.

Needing a break from her pain, she asks Petrov to have sex with her while they wait on their multiple campfires to melt the ice over the lake. He instead offers her a drink and lets her talk through her feelings.

Later, a wolf appears to Elizabeth, which she takes to be a spirit (assumedly of Peter the Great). She asks him to take care of Peter on the other side with the love and understanding he never gave him before.

The next morning, Petrov lowers Elizabeth into a hole in the ice. She finds him, but the horse is holding him down. In the end, she decides to leave him there, as he looked so peaceful. On the surface, she takes a moment to say goodbye to Peter and thank him for all the joy he brought her.

Velementov strategizes an invasion on Sweden, but Hugo worries that he won’t be able to kill fellow Swedes. He wants to take back his country without killing anyone, actually. When Velementov won’t budge, he knocks the general out to gain some time to come up with his own plan.

The next morning, Hugo tells a tied-up Velementov of his new plan. On the borderland of Sweden is Russian land where Hugo could start a new nation and call it “Hugoland.” He pitches they set up an experimental land to test out what Catherine wants to do with Russia, and even dedicate it to Peter. But Velementov thinks he’ll never get Catherine to agree.

Their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Petrov and Elizabeth, who escort the army back home. 

Back at the palace, Marial and George vie for the position of Catherine’s best friend while Catherine gets divorce through the Nakaz. But while others celebrate the ability to separate from their spouses, Catherine feels a void at the loss of her own. And other women don’t take the new law kindly when their husbands file for divorce and leave them with nothing.

Catherine has a hard time focusing on these unintended consequences when she can only think of the consequences her words had with Peter. Archie convinces her to close the divorce offices and go rest.

Marial won’t rest, however. She confronts Catherine on shutting down the divorce office; people deserve choice. But Catherine can’t bring herself to care about anything. Marial’s response is to list off insults against Peter; Georgina then arrives to slap her for it. And Catherine doesn’t stop her.

Unlike Marial, Catherine and George are united in their love for Peter. Still, the empress realizes that George is angry Catherine took Peter from her. So, Georgina asks that she don’t let Marial take Grigor from her as well.

The next day, Catherine opens the divorce office to personally examine divorce papers. Instead of allowing anyone to divorce, she now requires just cause. She also declares that all women will have half the estate after divorce.

Afterwards, Maxim comes to her with the news that Pugachev isn’t dead, but is in fact rallying supporters near Moscow. He swears not to miss a second time, however. Later, Catherine picks up Paul for the first time since Peter’s death.

Grigor processes his own grief by going hunting with Arkady and Maxim. Arkady tries to convince Grigor to cry and reminisce about Peter with him, but Grigor would rather fight through his feelings. But Arkady won’t stand for it, leaving Grigor and Maxim to hunt alone. Maxim leaves him too, burdened by the idea that Grigor might divorce Georgina so he can marry Marial. 

Grigor can’t even think of divorce right now, however. He and Arkady sit together that night and talk about how they can’t look at anything without thinking of Peter. When they catch sight of people heading to a gathering, they decide to follow, thinking they’ll come across an orgy.

It’s not an orgy, but rather a celebration of Peter’s death. And Marial is in attendance. She tries to hide at first, but eventually decides she can’t stand Grigor’s loving speech about Peter any longer. She steps out to call Peter a monster. She tries to convince Grigor they can have a new life together. Peter never loved Grigor, but she does. And she’s not giving up.

That night, Grigor doesn’t go to Marial or Georgina. He makes his way to Catherine’s chambers to ask if he can sleep there. Apparently, he needs to be around either Peter’s presence or that of someone who loved him as much as he did. Catherine then asks him to do something for her, and he agrees. 

The next morning, Grigor takes Paul out to the forest while Catherine handles guns in her room.

The Episode Review

Although Grigor and Catherine’s sudden connection isn’t surprising (The real Catherine the Great’s had a longtime lover named Grigory, after all), I do love the way the show continues to find ways to uproot alliances and relationships to supplant them with new ones–and somehow always makes this feel like the most natural thing in the world. 

But it just breaks my heart that Marial again is abandoned. She’s probably the greatest voice of reason where Peter is concerned. Just listening to her list off things Peter has done to her and her friends; I’m nodding along in agreement that Peter has done absolutely monstrous things. But you can’t fight love (All of us who somehow fell in love with Peter have learned that). And Marial won’t get any closer to Grigor or Catherine until accepts it–against all reason.

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

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