The Great Season 3 Episode 1 Recap – why are Catherine and Peter at marriage counselling?

May 12, 2023
Adam Lock 0
Hulu, Streaming Service, TV Recaps
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The Great is back with a bang; expect more sex and sarcasm from this Hulu original series. The writing is just impeccable, as always, as are the performances. However, the long run time and fast pacing may take a little while to get used to.

We recap the Hulu series The Great Season 3 Episode 1, “The Bullet or the Bear,” which contains spoilers.

Hulu’s raunchy, historical comedy series The Great is back for a third season, picking up after the scandalous events of the previous season. Catherine (Elle Fanning) and Peter (Nicholas Hoult) wake the morning after the night before, unsure of their confusing love for one another and where their loyalties truly lie.

The Great Season 3 Episode 1 Recap

Why are Catherine and Peter at marriage counseling?

“The Bullet or the Bear” follows the fallout of the failed coup and the consequences of Catherine’s controversial decisions. This opening episode is bookended by the couple seeking marriage counseling. Catherine has tried to kill Peter, while the former Emperor slept with Catherine’s mother and then accidentally killed her. It’s not the most conventional of marriages; they have many issues to discuss.

Catherine wakes after the attempted murder, still covered in Peter’s lookalike, Pugachev’s blood. She feels entirely lost and apologizes for trying to kill her husband. Peter’s loving life, though, happy that Catherine is still in love with him, aroused by her new, bad-ass attitude. They start the day with sex at the breakfast table.

What is the bullet or the bear?

Marial, Grigor, and Peter’s other loyal friends are now prisoners after the coup, facing the unfortunate choice of dying by the firing squad (the bullet) or by being mauled to death by a beast (the bear). Orlo is excited that Peter is dead and eager to finish off the other traitors, but Velementov wants to wait for Catherine’s final orders.

Recovering from last night’s orgy, Elizabeth and Archie are shocked to see that Peter is very much still alive. He waltzes around the palace, surprising all the guests with his presence and liveliness.

Orlo is angered to see all his hard work has gone to waste, and he chases after Peter with a loaded gun.

Peter meets with the prisoners to update them on the previous night’s events. He’s a little confused, unsure if he feels safe around his treacherous wife, who gives him contradictory signals.

Peter tells the prisoners that he cannot free them. They need to show their loyalty to the Empress.

How does Georgina prove her loyalty?

Catherine is in a bind, unsure what to do with the prisoners. She asks Elizabeth and Archie to guide her, to use their selfish ways to formulate an answer. Georgina storms into the room, fearing her own death. She pledges her allegiance to Catherine. Elizabeth asks Georgina to prove her loyalty by killing the prisoners. Georgina doesn’t hesitate, shooting Tatyana in the chest. This buys Catherine some much-needed time; she now appears ruthless and savvy.

Peter sees that Tatyana has been shot and fears for his own safety. He wears his son Paul like a human shield. Although Orlo still attacks. Peter quickly disarms the man but frees him anyway, taking a leaf out of Catherine’s book.

Elsewhere, Dr. Vinodel announces his love to Elizabeth, and Queen Agnes of Sweden flirts with General Velementov, putting her devious plan into place.

Peter decides to free his friends after all. Peter heads to the prisoners with horses to aid in their escape. On the way, Elizabeth tries to change Peter’s mind. She tells Peter that Catherine is going through a lot but feels lonely overall. She needs her husband on her side. Elizabeth pleads with Peter not to betray his wife.

Peter ignores her wishes and frees the prisoners anyway. Having spent the day fearing their own end, Marial and Arkady quickly lose the plot, arguing with Peter. This aggression causes Peter to change his mind once again. He takes them back to face their agonizing ends once more.

What happens to Catherine’s prisoners?

Meanwhile, Catherine apologizes to Orlo but admits they can no longer be friends. Catherine decides to free the prisoners on her own terms, making a deal with each one in private. She tells Marial that they cannot be friends either.

The Great Season 3 Episode 1 Ending Explained

Back in the show’s present, the therapist tells Peter and Catherine that their romance is doomed. Undeterred by this conclusion, they go hunting. They decide to forgive and forget, to focus on living in the now. Catherine hears a noise in the forest and shoots, inadvertently killing Orlo, who was going to kill them anyway. She doesn’t stop to check who or what she has killed.

The episode ends with the bears being released, as they are not needed anymore. They find Orlo’s body and eat the corpse.

What did you think of The Great Season 3 Episode 1? Comment below.

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