As we approach the halfway point, season 2 proves to be as addictive as its predecessor.
This recap of Hulu’s The Great season 2, episode 4, “The Devil’s Lunch,” contains spoilers.
Being pregnant, horny, and in charge is a problematic combo, but Catherine proves she can manage all three in episode 4 in a hilarious chapter. As we approach the halfway point, season 2 proves to be as addictive as its predecessor.
The Great season 2, episode 4 recap
Episode 4 begins with Catherine pleasuring herself during breakfast before Peter joins her for their “daily twenty minutes.” They talk about their unborn child before Catherine ends their breakfast early. She then gives a speech to the court about rebuilding Russia, which is not met with enthusiasm. When she asks about the pamphlets she distributed, not many people bring questions to the table. Catherine is pregnant, horny, and her leadership is not well-received; this is a bad mix.
During the court session, Grigor reads out “thoughts of the ex-Emperor,” which is essentially Peter’s thoughts — it’s met with laughter. Catherine cannot tell Grigor to shut up as she promotes freedom of expression. Afterward, Catherine tells Grigor to think of his own thoughts and wonders why he didn’t leave Georgina. Grigor reveals he couldn’t leave Peter.
Velementov tells Catherine that they should strike the Ottomans, but Catherine wants to find reason instead. She is still wanting to do things differently. The Ottoman Ambassador visits Catherine. He’s confused about the role of women in his palace. He disagrees that women are her advisors. Catherine tells him to stop encroachments on their borders immediately. The Ottoman Ambassador brings in a gift for the baby — a horse — it’s a joke due to the rumor that she had sex with a horse. Catherine laughs it off and states she’d prefer peace. She invites the Ambassador for dinner. He accepts as long as it’s just him and the Empress. Catherine believes the Ambassador likes her and that he’s smart. Episode 4 offers hope that Catherine can reign Russia in brief moments.
The Archbishop tells Catherine that he’s happy to share his vision of the Church with Basil. He demands friendship and peace, but Catherine is skeptical of the Archbishop and his motives. Later on, Archbishop tells Marial that he groveled to Catherine, but it didn’t work. He needs to try harder, clearly.
Catherine tells the doctor and Aunt Elizabeth that being pregnant is making her horny, which worries her. Aunt Elizabeth wants her to have sex for the health of the baby — she suggests that she has sex with the guards as they have to do whatever she wants.
Peter learns that Catherine is worried about the Ottomans and puts some plans together to derail her, but he wants it to be subtle (we know he can’t do subtle). He then speaks to Catherine, and she warns him about Grigor reading out his pamphlet. She threatens to burn them all, but then he reminds her about freedom of expression.
Starting his derailing plans, Peter speaks to the Ambassador and tells him he has been temporarily abdicated. The Ambassador reveals how he is attracted to Catherine. Peter tells him he cannot return to his country and state that Catherine is the one ruler moving forward because when he returns to power, his throat will be slit. It didn’t take long for Peter to revert to his old ways.
And Peter’s plans continue. Orlo makes Catherine aware of a party in the palace, and she’s furious. When she gets there, Peter and the Ottoman Ambassador are partying. Peter tells her it’s a baby shower. The Ambassador tells her that he doesn’t believe her people embrace her as much as she thinks. So, Catherine and Peter compete with the audience at the party to prove “who is more fun.” The competition keeps on intensifying as Catherine keeps impressing the Ambassador.
Taking Aunt Elizabeth’s advice, Catherine tries to have sex with one of the guards to relieve her frustrations, but it doesn’t work. And then, she tells the Ambassador that she’d love to hunt with him sometime. She then orders her guards to return Peter to his room and mocks him like he isn’t there — he’s wholly minimized and emasculated in this scene — it’s terrific to see. The Ambassador agrees to go hunting with her.
Late in the evening, Marial and Grigor drink together. Grigor states he’s unsure if he misses Georgina, but Marial says they cannot have sex because he doesn’t feel anything. Grigor manages to entice Marial as he discusses his feelings about his uncertainty with Georgina. The pair kiss briefly before Marial walks away. She’s enjoying the power she has over him.
As the episode ends, a couple of things happen, but one significant moment changes the story entirely.
The Ottoman Ambassador and Catherine hunt together. Velementov hides behind a bush and shoots at the same time as her to make her look good. The Ambassador knows that she’s trying to impress him and shouts out Velementov. Catherine tells the Ambassador that she is the future. The pair exchange wise words and pleasantries.
Archbishop offers Catherine a fresh start and gives her a gift — he’s cut off an offending finger of his. He still believes they can work together. Catherine tells Archbishop that he has found someone she can work with someone — Basil. She then reminds him that he uses two offending fingers.
As the episode ends, Catherine gives in to her sexual frustrations and asks Peter to go down on her. Oh no, Catherine, what have you done! You’ve opened up Pandora’s box!
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