The Great season 2, episode 5 recap – “Animal Instincts”

November 19, 2021
Daniel Hart 1
Hulu, Streaming Service, TV Recaps


We are at the halfway stage of season 2, and it’s as engaging as ever.

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We are at the halfway stage of season 2, and it’s as engaging as ever.

This recap of Hulu’s The Great season 2, episode 5, “Animal Instincts,” contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

Well, as we approach episode 5, we witness an apparent new Peter, but also a Catherine that has to prove herself to the public. We are at the halfway stage of season 2, and it’s as engaging as ever.

The Great season 2, episode 5 recap

Episode 5 opens with a statue made from butter delivered to Catherine as a gift. It’s meant to look like her while pregnant. Meanwhile, Peter talks to his friends about how Catherine tastes like pineapple after he finally had the chance to go down on her after multiple offers. Grigor reminds Peter that they should overthrow her and reveals plans they have drawn up. Later on, Aunt Elizabeth tells Peter that he must show Catherine that he’s a changed man. He has different agendas from different people — which one will he go for? Hard to gauge at this point.

Orlo and Velementov tell Catherine that the Ottoman Ambassador did not return home as he’s been killed. Velementov thinks they should prepare for war. Catherine disagrees. Orlo makes Catherine aware of the lizard that is loose on palace grounds. Velementov tells Orlo that the Ottomans killed the Ambassador to justify a war.

Catherine meets Peter to discuss the baby shower party when he went down on her. She doesn’t want him to get the wrong idea as he was the most efficient way to get her needs. Peter believes it meant something for her. Catherine disputes that and apologises. Peter predicts that one day she will weep at his feet for failing Russia, and they will declare their love for each other, feel each other’s hearts beat and have sex. Catherine seems flustered by his words and vocabulary but reminds him that it was a one-time thing. Peter shushes her so he can read. Catherine is frustrated that she feels sexual tension — it seems like Peter is changing, and Catherine is swooned by it a little. Interesting, very interesting.

Catherine is warned of the lizard again. The people believe it’s an omen for the Empress. Catherine calms everyone down and wants to apply science and reason. Velementov tells Catherine that his men will not go after it because it’s an omen. The lizard (a crocodile) comes across Aunt Elizabeth, who tries talking to it. She has no idea what it is at first.

Catherine opens up to Marial about Peter sexually pleasing her after the baby shower party. Marial is shocked by this news, but Catherine has a desperate desire to do it again. Marial reminds her that she hates him. But does she hate him?

The doctor attends to Elizabeth’s wounds, and she’s given opium for the pain. The crocodile attacked her. Elizabeth tells Catherine that it is a crocodile as she’s seen something similar in a book. Catherine wants to open this to the court and put the omen rumour to bed now that they know what it is. She tells her people that they must be led by science and reason but the omen rumours murmur. Archbishop Basil suggests it may be an omen which doesn’t help. The original Archbishop tells the crowd that he will find out if it’s an accurate omen, which annoys Basil. He promises to commune with God to get an answer.

Catherine accuses Archbishop of bringing the crocodile here on purpose to start the omen rumour. He gives her an option; either he destroys her in front of the court, or she works with him in talking to God. Elizabeth, Orlo and Velementov give her advice. Orlo thinks she should kill Archbishop and Basil (as always, Orlo loves the concept of killing Archbishop). Catherine believes they should find and kill the crocodile.

Catherine asks Aunt Elizabeth to teach another man how to use their tongue as she doesn’t want to go to Peter again. Elizabeth tells her that her heart is impenetrable to Peter, so she may as well use him. But we all know Aunt Elizabeth wants Catherine to fall in love with Peter. Late in the night, Catherine tells Peter about her stress with the omen rumours. Peter continues with his new way of talking after educating himself, which impresses her. Catherine gives in and asks him to de-stress her sexually with his tongue so she can make calm decisions. This is unraveling.

After pleasure, Catherine asks Peter to kill the crocodile for her as he’s good at murder. They roam the palace together to find it. Peter asks for her hand so he can know she’s safe, and he can act on instinct in case they find the crocodile. Velementov sees them holding hands, and he is confused. As the night ends, Peter tells Catherine he’s here for her and Paul. Catherine believes him. Slowly and surely, Peter is working his magic on Catherine.

Catherine speaks to Archbishop and agrees to meet God. While walking, Archbishop tells a story about his enormous fat mother; she couldn’t feel full ever, and she was always felt empty and sad, and she shouldn’t see the love in front of her. He spent many nights drunk and untangling himself from men and women but finally realised that God could fill him with love. He wished his mother was alive to share that feeling.

They stop at a tree, and he gets her to eat an edible that is a hallucinogen. The pair end up high and laid on the ground. They both see different things, but Catherine agrees that she saw his love for God and her. She thanks him but doesn’t think ancient terrors should control her people. She thinks together they can be formidable in modern times. Catherine agrees not to kill him.

The ending

Later on, Catherine and Velementov come across the crocodile. Catherine wants to kill the idea, not the animal. Archbishop tells the crowd that it’s an omen that hints they must change Russia. Catherine reveals the crocodile. She calls it’s a victory for reason and science. She shares that the crocodile is on plenty of opium, so it is asleep.  But suddenly, the crocodile’s eyes open, so multiple members of the public kill it by stabbing and shooting it. It ruins Catherine’s speech.

Catherine asks Peter to go down on her again after a long day. Peter asks if they can dance after, which surprises her so much, she asks if they can dance first. Peter hums the music as they dance. Catherine then ends the dance, and Peter goes to work to pleasure her. What an unexpected turn in the story — are we embarking on a new love story?

Additional points

  • A Peter lookalike has been sleeping with Aunt Elizabeth. The lookalike allows Peter to sneak around.
  • The romance between Marial and Grigor continues as sexual tensions heighten.
  • A drunk Velementov speaks to Peter about seeing him holding Catherine’s hand. He tells Peter that he’s a better killer and that they should go to war with Ottoman. Velementov falls asleep, and Peter tells Grigor that the general is dissatisfied with Catherine.

What did you think of The Great season 2, episode 5? Comment below.

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1 thought on “The Great season 2, episode 5 recap – “Animal Instincts”

  • January 8, 2022 at 5:33 am

    I recently been watching this show n just wondering when peter hums a music at the end of the show do anybody know wat music he hums

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