The Great – Season 3 Episode 9 “Destiny” Recap & Review


In The Great Season 3 Episode 9, Catherine’s attempts to stop Pugachev are foiled by his loyal supporters chasing her away in Peter’s name.

Petrov later gives Catherine the news that Pugachev has taken Moscow. Elizabeth then finds Catherine playing a version of Russian Roulette, where she puts one of three guns to her head and pulls a trigger. Only one is loaded–and thankfully not the one Catherine chose. Catherine claims that if it’s her destiny to rule, then she will never pick the wrong gun.

Elizabeth tries to shake sense into her. She turns the topic to Paul’s ordainment, but Catherine is keeping Paul hidden and safe. She doesn’t know what to do with Pugachev, however. If she kills him, people will think she killed her own husband. And she doesn’t want that for Paul, or for Peter’s legacy.

Marial has Maxim tied up in their apartments while she tries to convince Grigor they should be together, and Grigor can’t bring himself to care. He tells George and Marial he doesn’t care about either of them anymore.

Tatyana muses that Peter might not actually be dead; they never saw a body. Perhaps the man said to be a lookalike is actually Peter after all. She and Arkady think about leaving and joining him.

Arkady and Tatyana join Pugachev, who continues to pretend to be Peter. Pugachev accepts the nobles as his “best friends.” Arkady knows it’s not really Peter, but Tatyana starts convincing herself otherwise.

Velementov is surprised to learn from Vinodel that his deadly disease is actually curable. Now he has to work out the fact that he’s committed treason and might now live to see the consequences.

Agnes and Hugo have been hiding away in their rooms, afraid of people wanting to kill them.

Eventually, they decide they need a friend in court and go to Elizabeth to offer their services to Russia. Elizabeth enlists Hugo to find Paul. They don’t know yet that Grigor has hidden him in a crate in the forest.

Petrov tells Catherine of Pugachev’s plan to rally in Moscow. He wants to snipe Pugachev in front of all his followers. Velementov then arrives to apologize to Catherine for his foolishness and betrayal. He lays out his own plan for taking Pugachev alive and letting everyone know he’s not Peter. They would then trade his life for a tour in which he lets everyone know he’s not Peter. Catherine agrees, and orders Petrov to go forward with Velementov’s plan–but she keeps Petrov, not Velementov, as head of the army.

Later, Smolny laces a cake with arsenic for Catherine. Knowing what he did, she eats it anyway. If fate kills her, she supposes, then fate kills her.

Agnes and Hugo find Maxim tied up and untie him. Hugo then tries to make peace with Grigor, who remains intent on wanting to kill him. Hugo presses and Agnes press forward with their plan of finding Paul–and a tracking dog leads them right back to Grigor.

Vinodel continues to hopelessly chase Elizabeth. She’s still caught up on Peter the Great, though she muses that it may be time to make her own way. Not necessarily with Vinodel, however.

Marial tells Catherine she should be wary of the things Pugachev is saying to people. Later, Catherine realizes this means she’s seen Pugachev at a rally. Marial explains to her the effect Pugachev has on people, and Catherine decides she needs to see it for herself to understand it.

So, Catherine and Mariel attend one of Pugachev’s rallies. His words are crass, and often stupid, but he does speak to the desires of the people. At the end of the rally, he tosses out the decapitated heads of nobles into the crowd. They then pass up a doll of Catherine to the front, screaming “Kill her!” … while they unknowingly trample the real Catherine,who’s fallen at their feet.

Meanwhile, the army waits outside to take Pugachev alive. But Archie has a different plan up his sleeve. 

The Episode Review

We’ve been in the midst of a standoff between Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult before, and now we’re seeing that setup again. Last time, it worked in Fanning’s favor. But the turnout this time depends on this: Can Tony McNamara really kill Nicholas Hoult twice in the course of one season?

Jokes aside, I actually fear Archie’s plan to kill Pugachev now that Catherine is actually at the rally. If the leader of the rebellion actually dies, she won’t be out of danger yet. But this episode has taken time to consider ideas of destiny and luck. Surely one of those will play to Catherine’s favor?

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

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