The Great season 2, episode 6 recap – “A Simple Jape”

November 19, 2021
Daniel Hart 0
Hulu, Streaming Service, TV Recaps


“A Simple Jape” seriously tests Catherine and Peter, but for opposing reasons.

View all


“A Simple Jape” seriously tests Catherine and Peter, but for opposing reasons.

This recap of Hulu’s The Great season 2, episode 6, “A Simple Jape,” contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

This is by far the best chapter (so far) in the second season. There’s so much chaos that there’s uncertainty in how it might end. “A Simple Jape” seriously tests Catherine and Peter, but for opposing reasons.

The Great season 2, episode 6 recap

The Great season 2, episode 6 opens with Peter going down on Catherine at breakfast. What a wonderful way to start the day. It’s now an everyday thing. Peter stops going down on her as she nearly climaxes, which frustrates her. He has a few issues to discuss. He asks where their marriage is heading and wants to know if he’ll always be locked away. Peter doesn’t think he should be imprisoned when the child is born. He wants her to admit her love for him. Catherine admits she is fond of him but feels it may be a mistake — she doesn’t believe he loves her. The pair argue about the capacity to love, and Catherine asks Peter to finish her off. Peter refuses ever to give her sexual pleasure ever again. When Peter leaves the room, Catherine pretends to orgasm to make him jealous. These two are in trouble.

Grigor tells Marial that he always “saw her,” even when she was a servant, but he wasn’t allowed to act on it. They head to Marial’s room and have sex. However, they are distracted by another servant. And to be fair, the episode’s theme involves the servants, or named “serfs” in this revised historical series.

And there is a trigger for the significant issues raised for Catherine in this episode. The girls at the palace tell Catherine that she has ideas but does nothing to deliver them. They throw cakes at her. Catherine tells Orlo they need to do something meaningful immediately. She wants to make a splash and tells him to free all servants in Russia. Orlo begs Catherine to let him finish his plans. He does not feel freeing all servants immediately will be a good idea, which proves a good point. Meanwhile, adjacent to this bubbling storyline, Peter tells Grigor that he has been a fool and Catherine doesn’t love him, and he does not love her. He now wants to destroy her.

Catherine asks Marial why her maid suddenly has an eyepatch. Her original maid has been removed downstairs, and she fears for her plight. Catherine does not want her to be angry with herself. Suddenly, Catherine has an idea and asks the maid if she wants to go to a banquet. They do her make-up for her and dress her up.

They bring the maid to the banquet, and she’s unrecognizable. Not even Orla recognizes her. Catherine asks Orlo his thoughts on her before revealing that she’s a maid, which shocks him. Aunt Elizabeth knows she’s a maid and wonders what Catherine is up to. Catherine says it’s a “small jape” to make a point. Maybe a point too far…

Catherine gives a speech to the banquet and talks about human potential and how silly titles make them unfulfilled. She uses the maid as an example and reveals who she is, which shocks everyone. As she finishes her speech, she winks at the young girls. Catherine’s prank at the banquet has annoyed a few. Grigor confronts Orlo with a gun, and he wants to understand the plans. Afterward, Marial gives the maid her own room as a gift from the Empress. The room has the maid’s paintings inside.

The tension between the two Archbishops continues in episode 6, but not in the way we expected. Basil tells Archbishop that he thinks Catherine is playing him. He wants to know if Archbishop is a good man worthy of them. The Archbishop kisses Basil randomly, and the man moves away. Basil asks Archbishop to pray and to remember God’s love always. Archbishop is angry at himself.

Catherine finds Peter having a threesome with two women. She questions his “deep love” sarcastically. Peter ponders whether his love was delusional — he thinks she’s mocking the maids in front of the nobles. He argues that the servants are like family to him. Catherine insists she’s changing the country.

After seeing her plans, Catherine confronts a disgruntled crowd of nobles who are worried about the servants having rights. They burn the plans in a fire. Grigor and others demand that she rids her plans immediately, and they will be loyal to her again. Catherine threatens them all with a gun, and announces she is a bitch because she will free the servants immediately, and they will get a fair wage. She tells them to get used to the future. The men throw shoes at her, so she has to depart.

Aunt Elizabeth asks Catherine for calmness. Velementov tells her the nobles will tear her apart if she goes through with this. However, Catherine wants to carry on with her plans.

Due to the controversy, Peter gathers a crowd. He tells them he must act as God chose him. He suggests Catherine has a small crocodile (and not a baby) in her because “she’s the devil.” Peter is against servants being free as he thinks they should be cared for. He tells everyone to assemble the next morning and scream for Catherine to abdicate.

Meanwhile, one of the noblewomen asks a maid to stab the maid who is no longer a servant. The maid refuses to, so the woman slices the maid’s neck herself. That was the maid’s cost of being free.

The following day, the servants are on strike. Marial finds her ex-maid killed and she’s in shock. Orlo wakes up Catherine and tells her that the servants are on strike. Meanwhile, Peter plans his takeover with Grigor.

Catherine feels guilty for the maid’s death, but a sobbing Marial tells her it isn’t her fault. Gunshots are then heard. Servants and nobles are fighting each other, and Catherine is locked away, so no one kills her. Aunt Elizabeth and Velementov tells Catherine to act and restore order or they’ll be killed. Catherine believes she cannot back down, and chaos will help them rebuild. Even Orlo disagrees with the chaos. Catherine is in a corner, but Aunt Elizabeth tells her she would have achieved nothing if she died today. This is the most hectic moment of season 2 so far, and you have to sympathize with the progressive Empress.

The ending

In an intense ending, the actual truth surfaces…

Catherine asks for a moment to herself to think. She looks outside and sees the violence and cries. Meanwhile, Peter storms the palace with ease and finds Catherine crying. But, rather than killing her, he hugs her and she embraces him back. She asks Peter if he has come to take Russia off her, but he tells her, “not today.” The baby then kicks in her bump. She speaks to Velementov and tells him to “do it” (restore order).

Shockingly, Peter returns to his room and asks his guards to lock him in. He tells Grigor that he cannot explain what’s happened to him. Meanwhile, Catherine returns to her bed.

The episode ends with Marial killing the noblewoman who killed her maid.

Well, what a turnaround that was; while Catherine’s leadership was under threat, Peter had a brilliant opportunity to take back the throne, but what changed his mind? Well, it seems that Peter cares for Catherine. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a little good in him after all. Let’s not jump to conclusions yet.

Additional points

What did you think of The Great season 2, episode 6? Comment below.

View all

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.