The Great season 2, episode 8 recap – “Seven Days”

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


Episode 8 is a pivotal chapter, changing the dynamic between Catherine and Peter forever.

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Episode 8 is a pivotal chapter, changing the dynamic between Catherine and Peter forever.

This recap of Hulu’s The Great season 2, episode 8, “Seven Days,” contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

Whenever we feel The Great cannot get any more audacious, it surprises us. Episode 8 is a pivotal chapter, changing the dynamic between Catherine and Peter forever.

The Great season 2, episode 8 recap

Episode 8 opens with Catherine presenting paintings. Her mother, Joanna, is not impressed again. The others are noticing their dysfunctional relationship. During lunch, Joanna eats peanuts, not knowing she is allergic to them. The doctor treats her. Joanna gives Catherine a list of everyone she should kill. The mother is getting more invasive as time moves on.

Catherine is furious and wants to ban peanuts; however, her pregnancy is getting heavier. The doctor examines her. Aunt Elizabeth raises concerns about Joanna; they are worried she wants all dead (she’s right). Ironically, Marial and Elizabeth are on the list. Catherine tells them not to worry as she’s just protective. But then, there’s news — the doctor (and the dead frog) indicates she will give birth in seven days. The baby will soon be coming!

Orlo raises his concerns with Velementov about the possibility of Catherine dying during childbirth and what it would mean. Afterward, Catherine learns that she’s expected to give birth in public to prevent any conspiracies; in the past, rumors have spread of a fake heir. And then Joanna walks in and tells her daughter to rest; she describes the horrors she went through when she gave birth to her and then the beauty of having her. Catherine gets emotional at the story, and the room is moved by it. Joanna is a problematic character to nail, and that’s the point.

Catherine is ordered to bed rest at the demand of Joanna. Her mother tells her that her vagina will probably tear too, which will not help her anxiety. Catherine gets impatient and doesn’t feel she can run Russia from her bed, but her mother has taken control. Meanwhile, Peter has to dig two graves as part of a ritual in case Catherine and the baby die. He finds the process irritating, thinking of it as a time of joy rather than sadness, and tells everyone to leave him alone. Velementov decides to help him. The general tells Peter that anything can happen. Peter questions whether he will be a good father.

During his journey of self-discovery to fatherhood, Peter comes across Joanna, who tries to seduce him again. However, Peter wants to embrace his responsibility and rejects her.

Catherine has an idea from her bed rest. She wants to give women the right to divorce and not to be property. Joanna thinks she’s talking deliriously. The Ottomans send a gift to Catherine — candles. They would like to discuss a way forward. She wants to celebrate their diplomatic victory. Once again, Joanna is not impressed and tells Aunt Elizabeth that Peter should make decisions during childbirth. She feels the men of Russia will crush her daughter and that she should be protected.

In the middle of the night, Catherine tells her mother that she’s scared. She fears being a mother and running this country. She decides to sleep in the same bed as her mother. Joanna expresses how much she missed her, and she will not leave until she is safe. Catherine says she will never be safe.

While in the forest, Peter hallucinates and sees his father in the grave he dug up. His father speaks about being a poor father and husband but a great leader. He tells Peter he shouldn’t call him “daddy” and talks about his failure of losing Russia. Peter tells him he wants to be a good father and husband, unlike him. His father explains how he built cities and reinvented the world. He calls his son a primal beast who loves sex and blood. He wants his son to tap into it and feed his soul. Oh, dear…

The following day, Catherine sees some dead maids as she asks for breakfast. She realizes the candles sent by the Ottomans are poison. Meanwhile, Aunt Elizabeth spooks Joanna and brings her a cup of tea. She thinks Joanna wants to transition Catherine out and Peter in and then save her family deal with the throne of France. Joanna admits that’s what she is doing but also fears for Catherine’s life. Aunt Elizabeth thinks she can do plenty of good things before she dies.

Orlo tells Catherine that the Ottoman’s deadly attack was an act of war. Velementov wants to respond. Catherine agrees; she goes for war. Joanna walks in and tells Orlo and Velementov to leave. Catherine feels undermined by her mother, and they end up arguing. Joanna tells her she will die if she doesn’t change the game.

Joanna recommends that she transitions out of power and into motherhood, and Peter will go back in. And then, her sister can get be married into French royalty. She feels they can both play Peter. Catherine is shocked by her mother’s plans. Joanna expresses that she was trained to be a royal wife. Catherine tells her mother she is better than her sisters, so Joanna slaps her and states they can work it out. She sees her mother for who she is — that she doesn’t believe in her; she asks her to leave her palace and country.

The ending

But there was always going to be a turning point in the story, but this one is truly audacious!

Before Joanna leaves for good, she visits Peter, and he gives in to her. They have sex. From the window, Aunt Elizabeth sees them. Unfortunately for Joanna, she falls from the window and to her death. Aunt Elizabeth tells Peter not to worry about it and that she’ll take care of it. She and Marial get to work to remove traces of her death.

The following day, Catherine visits Peter next to the graves he dug. She tells him she loves the portrait he got her and that her mother left in the night after they argued. She believes that they will be good parents. And then, Catherine does the unexpected; she’s about to kiss Peter, but her water breaks.

What a complicated but exciting dynamic season 2 gives the audience for the final two episodes.

What did you think of The Great season 2, episode 8? Comment below.

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