The Great Season 1 Episode 8 Recap – “Meatballs at the Dacha”

By Daniel Hart
Published: May 15, 2020 (Last updated: December 1, 2023)
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Hulu series The Great episode 8 - Meatballs at the Dacha


The Great episode 8, “Meatballs at the Dacha” is a breakthrough chapter for Catherine and Catherine alone as she shows a knack for leadership.

This recap of Hulu series The Great Season 1 Episode 8, “Meatballs at the Dacha” contains significant spoilers.

How does The Great episode 8, “Meatballs at the Dacha” start?

The Great episode 8 puts peace negotiations with Sweden at the center of the chapter with Catherine gaining a new opportunity to influence. It begins with Peter bringing Catherine a diamond from Serbia. She’s mad at the burning of the pox victims. The Emperor learns of the Swedish ambassador coming to the palace for dinner. Peter suggests killing him and stuffing him with meatballs and sending him back to Sweden. Classic Peter.

Catherine stops Peter from killing the ambassador.

Catherine has two challenges; stopping the ambassador from getting killed and persuading Velementov to join her coup. Catherine shows a fake “birthmark” to Velementov that “just appeared” that looks like Russia. She claims in her heart she is Russian. Velementov reveals Peter’s plans to cut the Swedish ambassador’s head off. Catherine tells Peter that if he negotiates peace with the Swedish ambassador he will be seen as a strong leader. Peter stops the beheading. After, Catherine notices that Leo is a little down in the dumps. It seems their scenario is taking its toll.

The coup group has a small meeting before peace talks.

Marial suggests to Catherine having sex with Velementov to bring the military on her side but she is against the idea. Orlo says peace will help Peter so it isn’t a good thing. Catherine suggests telling Leo about the coup as he’s suffering — Orlo and Marial oppose this. Catherine joins Velementov in his carriage as they travel and she tries to influence him regarding the war efforts but he keeps trying to come on to her. She gets angry and joins Peter in his carriage and asks what his strategy is.

Meeting the Swedish royals.

Peter and Catherine arrive in Sweden. The King of Sweden is very similar to Peter. They become good friends instantly. Catherine tells the Queen that she admires her country a lot and hopes to learn from them. The Queen reveals that her husband providing knowledge may bring down their power. She then asks Catherine if she can have sex with her husband in an odd exchange of conversation. Orlo tells Catherine to try again on Velementov. She speaks to Velementov and apologizes. Catherine brings up the coup and suggests it isn’t a joke and says he could win this war. Velementov calls her a delusional optimist and that she isn’t a leader and anyone can turn on her, including him.

The peace meeting.

Of course, the peace meeting is a disaster — The Great episode 8, “Meatballs at the Dacha” shows how out of depth Peter is. Catherine tells Peter that she thinks he will end this and be a hero to his country. She senses he is sad about his father not being there and he holds his hand. The Emperor and the King then participate in a peace agreement but the King wants St Petersburg. The King tells him not to live under the failures of his father and that it isn’t his to keep. Peter rejects the peace deal and they both end up fighting on the table like children.

Leo is leaving.

Leo leaves a letter on Catherine’s bed and notices Marial crying. She holds the letter up and sees that he is leaving. Marial reveals the coup to encourage him to stay. The Great episode 8, “Meatballs at the Dacha” has found itself a new member!

The peace meeting, again.

Catherine tells Peter that they cannot leave until there is peace. Peter announces he wants bloodshed and Velementov slaps him claiming there is a mosquito on his face. Catherine reveals that Peter is returning to the country with failure. The Great episode 8, “Meatballs at the Dacha” shows for the first time Catherine’s leadership skills as she influences both the Emperor and the King to shake hands.

Catherine tells the King of Sweden that Sweden needs peace more than Russia and that Peter does not care how many Russians die. The Queen tells the King to take the deal so The King apologizes to Peter. Catherine brokers the peace arrangement by giving them both a victory by claiming that both countries won at separate battlefields — propaganda. The Empress then says they will announce a treaty: “We are all winners”. Catherine is shaping herself as a leader.

On the way back from Sweden, Catherine tells Velementov she can offer him redemption. She asks him to join her and the coup. Velementov stops the carriage and says this is treasonous and grabs more vodka. Velementov says he will not get in her way as “he’s done”. Catherine insists he joins her coup. Velementov finally agrees.

How does The Great episode 8, “Meatballs at the Dacha” end?

Peter returns to Russia to rounds of applause. He thanks Catherine for helping her. Peter notices that Grigor has grown a beard and he senses something is wrong — if you remember in episode 1, Peter believes growing a beard is a “f**k you” to him. Catherine then learns that Leo now knows about the coup and they smile at each other.

The Great episode 8, “Meatballs at the Dacha” is a breakthrough chapter for Catherine and Catherine alone as she shows a knack for leadership.

Other points.
  • Aunt Elizabeth wants to do routine fertility tests on Catherine.
  • Georgina tells Grigor that she’s worried about him.

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