“Sweden” is another long-winded installment with a meandering narrative, although, by the end, the showrunners have started to build some exciting momentum as war is on the cards again. Elsewhere, Velementov brings touches of emotion with his own tragic subplot.
We recap the Hulu series The Great Season 3 Episode 5, “Sweden,” which contains spoilers.
As we reach the halfway point of season three, the narrative builds momentum, working towards a new end goal.
Pugachev initiates an uprising within the peasants’ community, threatening to overthrow the Empress. Peter (Nicholas Hoult) has visions of his father, which inspire the former Emperor to change career paths, while Catherine (Elle Fanning) tries to stop Pugachev.
As per the title, the Swedes put their own plan into action.
The Great Season 3 Episode 5 Recap
“Sweden” opens with Pugachev imitating Peter before a mob of angry peasants. He calls Catherine a witch as he rallies the troops. Pugachev shows his scars, stating that Catherine tried to kill him and adding that she refuses to ordain their son, Paul.
Of course, Archie is behind this uprising, working behind the scenes as the puppet master.
Spurred on by Pugachev’s words, the army of peasants starts to burn down towns and effigies they’ve created of Catherine. The Empress is shown one of these horrid hate dolls and is saddened to hear they hate her so vindictively. Catherine wants to apologize to Pugachev for the stabbings, but Velementov wants the lookalike killed instead.
Meanwhile, Peter starts to have visions of his father, Peter the Great, with Jason Isaacs reprising his role from the previous season. His father is angry that Peter has ruined his bloodline and legacy. He wants to help Peter take back control of the throne.
Catherine informs Peter about the hate dolls and Pugachev’s plans. He can’t believe how much the peasants love him. Although Peter agrees with Velementov, Pugachev has to go.
What is Archie’s plan?
Archie reveals his despicable plan to Marial. He has manipulated Pugachev into creating chaos so that Catherine will become scared and then forced into trusting him. Then Archie will persuade Catherine to let Paul be ordained when he has built this new friendship. His plan is going well, yet Catherine and Elizabeth are suspicious that something is afoot.
How does Elizabeth plan on finding the traitor?
They’ve both realized that Pugachev isn’t exactly a revolutionary. He must have a new employer who is controlling him from the shadows. Elizabeth decides to instigate her own devious plan. After sleeping with Dr. Vinodel, she starts a fire in the palace. While everyone flees in panic, Catherine and Elizabeth raid the apartments for clues. Marial sees this plan taking shape and swipes Archie’s papers, making herself complicit in his scheme.
What is Hugo and Agnes’ plan?
Elsewhere, the Swedes Hugo and Agnes put their own plan into action. Agnes flirts with Velementov again and coerces him into following her into the woods that night. Whilst Hugo provokes Peter, talking of the former Emperor as a failed king, getting under his skin.
Catherine and Elizabeth cannot find anything during the raid; the Empress grows evermore paranoid by the hour. Velementov trips and knocks himself unconscious after chasing Agnes through the forest.
He wakes the following day, late for his meeting with Catherine. Velementov arrives drunk and haggard to his meeting. Catherine relieves him of his duties.
With Velementov fired, Peter has an epiphany; he will be the new head of the Russian army. However, Catherine rejects this idea instantly, stating how Peter messed up in Sweden, leading to untold deaths and disaster.
That night the men get rather drunk. Peter talks of his plans to be the new leader of the army. Velementov agrees with Catherine, though Peter failed with Sweden. He isn’t worthy of the title. The two men then argue over their battle tactics. Influenced by Hugo and his manipulative ways, Peter decides to take back Sweden.
The Great Season 3 Episode 5 Ending Explained
The episode ends with Archie and Catherine discussing Pugachev. It looks like the priest is winning favor with the Empress, just like he planned. Then Peter rounds up his team, informing Velementov, Hugo, and Agnes that they are going to take back Sweden. The Swedes’ plan has worked perfectly.
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