Everything That Happened in ‘The Great’ Season 3, Including The Shocking Moments

By Adam Lock
Published: April 8, 2024
View allNext Article
The Great Season 3 Recap (Episodes 1-10)
The Great Season 3 (Credit - Hulu)


The raunchy, historical comedy series The Great Season 3 picks up after the scandalous events of the previous season. If you were confused about Catherine and Peter before, you’ll definitely be confused now. To break down all the big moments, I’ve compiled a season recap so you have a handy guide while watching it.

Episode 1 – “The Bullet or the Bear”

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.

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.

Episode 2 – “Choose Your Weapon”

The Great Season 3 Recap (Episodes 1-10)

The Great season 3, episode 2 (Credit – Hulu)

“Choose Your Weapon” finds Catherine the Great (Elle Fanning) at a political advantage, as both the British and the Americans fight for Russia’s support in the War of Independence.

While Catherine plays both sides of this war, Peter (Nicholas Hoult) struggles to deal with his wife’s new assertive and cutthroat attitude. The couple’s main argument is over the legitimacy of a duel between Maxim (Henry Meredith) and Grigor (Gwilym Lee).

What do the Brits want from Catherine?

British Ambassador Johnny Quirkton meets with Catherine at her palace. The British asked for 10 thousand soldiers to help end the American Revolutionary War once and for all. In return, they offer Catherine the island of Menorca. A deal she is happy to consider.

Next, Catherine is visited by the American Ambassador, Mr. Glover, who wants to forge a new alliance with the nation. Glover asks for loans and weapons yet offers nothing much in return.

Marial barges into this meeting angered that she is being punished when Peter is not. She is dragged out of the building by Catherine’s guards, though.

Catherine discusses the political standoff with Archie and Velementov. They both agree that Russia should side with Britain. However, Catherine is inspired by Glover’s confidence and beliefs. She finds the idea of building a country from the ground up to be very exciting.

Why does Maxim challenge Grigor to a duel?

Marial’s eleven-year-old husband, Maxim, is growing tired of Grigor, who is sleeping with his wife. Feeling dishonored, Maxim challenges Grigor to a duel. Grigor accepts, but Marial pleads with them both not to go through with this battle to the death.

Meanwhile, Catherine worries that Orlo has left for good. She is, of course, unaware that she was the one who actually killed him and then left the bears to eat his corpse. Catherine speaks with Katya, who is also concerned by Orlo’s disappearance.

Both Maxim and Grigor prepare for their duel. Peter is extremely excited about the occasion, but Catherine informs him that she has banned the event. Peter argues with his wife, believing this to be a huge mistake. She asks him if he killed Orlo. Peter responds by saying that if he had killed Orlo, he would not shut up about it.

Catherine invites both ambassadors to a meal that night. Glover flirts with Catherine, while Peter is demoted to sitting with the other wives. The two ambassadors vie for Catherine’s attention, but Glover clearly has the upper hand.

Peter grows jealous of Glover’s flirtatious ways and provokes Catherine, bringing up the duel again. Catherine insists that the duel has been banned, but Peter won’t let it go. Outside, Catherine orders Peter to stop undermining her; she has a strategy she’s working on. Peter worries she’ll mess it up, though.

During the meal, Agnes flirts with Velementov, and Glover riles Johnny up with talk of changing the spelling of certain English words. Afterward, Catherine asks Glover if the Americans can win the war. Glover thinks the Brits will surrender in 8 weeks.

How does Grigor get out of the duel?

Grigor tries to talk Maxim out of the duel. He tells the boy that affairs are awful, but he must find peace with them. Maxim refuses to change his mind, though. Arkady suggests Grigor uses a stand-in to take his place.

The following day, crowds gather for the duel. Grigor uses a stand-in, and Maxim ends victoriously. Although, this victory achieves very little other than bragging rights.

Catherine puts the final pieces of her plan into place. She lies to Johnny, stating that her troops will be in America in 9 weeks’ time. She then alters the deal in her favor.

Johnny eagerly signs the paperwork regardless. Then, Catherine meets with Glover. She agrees to send them the money and the supplies, adding that the Brits’ troops will arrive a little too late.

How does Catherine get revenge on Peter?

In retaliation for Peter going through with the duel and for the incidents involving her mother, Catherine sleeps with Glover. She tells Peter the truth only moments later. Peter is enraged by Catherine’s actions. He chases after Glover, and the two men fight outside the palace.

Episode 3 – “You The People”

The Great season 3, episode 3 (Credit – Hulu)

It’s an important day for Catherine. She’s organized a conference to hear people’s opinions as she moves towards real change in Russia. To coincide with this conference, Catherine has written a book mapping out her hopes and desires for her nation.

The Empress kicks off this conference with her first proposal: she wants to outlaw murder. This controversial decision causes a heated argument; the Russian people love murder but are all opposed to the idea. Georgina tries to defend Catherine, whereas Marial provokes further outrage by twisting the narrative.

How does Catherine avoid a vote?

The many factions continue to argue. The nobles want to take this to a vote, assured that the proposal will be rejected. Georgina is then forced to fake a fit to distract from this growing mutiny and buy Catherine some more time.

Panicked by the lackluster response, Catherine asks Elizabeth and Archie for help. She orders them to be very persuasive, to get her point across no matter what.

Elizabeth poisons the leader of the merchants to change his mind, while Archie scares the peasants into siding with Catherine, threatening eternal damnation if they are to ever disagree with her again.

Who is Simitz?

During Catherine’s big day, Peter has his own dilemmas. He wants two of his horses to mate to make a super breed for his son, yet the horses are uninterested. All the while, Hugo tries desperately to befriend Peter. Then Peter’s sworn enemy Simitz arrives, unaware that Peter is still alive. Peter wants Simitz dead but doesn’t want to ruin Catherine’s day.

Velementov confides in Catherine, telling her he is dying because he keeps coughing up blood. Catherine urges him to seek out Dr. Vinodel and to rest, but Velementov doesn’t want to give up his position.

Catherine finds her new book ripped to shreds on the palace floor. She meets with Peter, saddened by all the negativity. Peter is shocked that she would try to outlaw murder. He admits that he must kill Simitz today.

Why does Peter hate Simitz?

Peter then explains why he hates Simitz so much. The man would embarrass him in front of his father and practically sexually assaulted Peter to make his dad laugh. Catherine is appalled by the reasoning but still forbids Peter from killing Simitz.

Next, Catherine takes Simitz straight to Peter, hoping for an end to all this hatred. Simitz begs for his life and apologizes to Peter. However, the former Emperor still wants him dead. Catherine manages to persuade Peter to spare Simitz’s life. Peter eventually sides with his wife.

Marial’s servant asks her for medicine for poor Pugachev, who was stabbed multiple times by Catherine. Here, she may have a new ally in her fight against the Empress and Peter.

Having escaped death, Simitz can’t help himself. He smirks at Grigor and Georgina, taunting them with further rude gestures. Grigor recounts this incident to Peter, who again wants Simitz dead.

At the very same time, Hugo uses medicine to get the horses to finally breed. Peter is uninterested in the horses now, though. He wants Simitz taking care of.

How does Catherine escape the vote?

The Empress has both the peasants and the merchants on her side, but the noblemen are still unpredictable with their votes. Catherine fears that she may lose the vote overall. She decides to ignore the vote and changes tact, announcing that all the villages across the country will be given a monkey. This being one of Peter’s earlier proposals. The crowds all cheer and unanimously agree to this vote.

Does Peter kill Simitz?

Nearing the end of the episode, Grigor shoots Simitz, and Peter slices his enemy’s throat. Then Georgina pummels him to death with a rock. She also had beef with the crook. Marial informs Catherine that Simitz is dead. She has been undermined once again.

The Empress confronts Peter about this defiance. He says that Grigor shot him, but he won’t admit his involvement in the murder.

Episode 4 – “Stag”

The Great Season 3 Recap (Episodes 1-10)

The Great season 3, episode 4 (Credit – Hulu)

The fourth chapter opens with Peter practicing for the stag ritual, although his aim is terribly off. Catherine is still bitter after her failed conference.

Elizabeth tries to cheer her up with the ordination. To make matters worse, Catherine receives a letter from Angela, which weighs heavily on her mind.

Why does Catherine cancel Paul’s ordination?

While Catherine discusses politics, Peter barges into the room to tell her of their son’s first word. Of course, it is a rude word, which Peter is elated by. Catherine loses the plot and argues with Peter in front of all their colleagues. Catherine worries that Paul will become just like his father. She decides to cancel the ordination. This sends both Peter and Catherine into a wild fury.

Elizabeth and Archie fear that Catherine’s knee-jerk reaction will have catastrophic consequences. They both try to persuade Catherine to change her mind. Archie speaks with the Empress first.

He talks about the family’s rule. If Paul isn’t ordained, then it undermines the legitimacy of Catherine’s reign, too. This doesn’t do the trick, though.

After the argument, Elizabeth speaks with Peter in private. She urges Peter to do his damnedest to preserve the line. Elizabeth admits that Peter’s father (Peter the Great) made her promise to keep the line when he died. It is Peter’s duty to keep the bloodline going.

Archie hasn’t given in just yet, either. He asks Marial to help change Catherine’s mind. The old friend offers her support. Marial and Catherine make amends, although Marial refuses to stop hating Peter. The old friends hug and make up.

Next, Elizabeth speaks with Catherine. She offers the Empress a marriage advice book. Catherine and Peter reconvene after their ferocious argument.

Peter is willing to forgive and forget, but Catherine won’t deny that she meant what she said. She does, however, agree that she lost the plot slightly. Things got out of hand.

Catherine’s letter

Catherine believes the letter may have had something to do with the breakdown. Her letter was from Angela, her sister. In the letter, Angela asks where their mother is. Peter worries that Catherine’s decision to cancel the ordination could destroy them. They agree to try Elizabeth’s book.

Arkady and Tatyana walk Catherine and Peter through the activities suggested within the book. First, they try a tug-of-war game, addressing their issues. The different activities help the couple to discuss their marital problems.

Arkady concludes that they are both headstrong individuals. They either need to accept that they will argue from time to time or learn to compromise.

Peter decides to end with a game of badminton, and Catherine tags along, showcasing her ability to compromise. Grigor and Marial are summoned for this drunken exercise.

Meanwhile, Agnes flirts with Velementov, using her womanly ways to learn the General’s battle plans. Marial manages to survive the badminton match and the meal afterward, faking her indifference for Peter.

A servant brings Paul into the Empress’ quarters; he’s said another word. This time it is a ‘book,’ which Catherine is much happier with. Then Velementov enters, waving his gun about. The drunkard tells Peter that his father wept at his son’s ordination.

Everyone has tried their hardest to convince Catherine to rethink her decision with the ordination, yet the Empress is sticking to her guns.

Elizabeth makes one last bid, realizing that Catherine has been using birth control (a lemon top) to avoid getting pregnant again in secret. She begs Catherine to remove the birth control and to change her mind about the ordination, but she will not budge.

Elizabeth’s final plan

Elizabeth’s final plan is to sedate Catherine if she does not change her mind. Peter uses a sedative that night, but then he has a change of heart himself. He worries that Paul might not want to be the Emperor when he is older. The ordination does not go ahead after all.

Episode 4 Ending Explained

The following day, Peter nervously prepares for the stag ritual. Catherine apologizes to Elizabeth about the ordination, adding that she has removed the lemon top. Elsewhere, Archie confronts Pugachev, who is looking to build an alliance with Peter’s lookalike.

Episode 5 – “Sweden”

The Great season 3, episode 5 (Credit – Hulu)

“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.

Archie’s plan

Archie reveals his despicable plan to Marial. He manipulates Pugachev into creating chaos so that Catherine becomes scared and forced to trust 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.

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.

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.

Episode 6 – “Ice”

The Great Season 3 Recap (Episodes 1-10)

The Great season 3, episode 6 (Credit – Hulu)

The sixth installment opens with Peter, Hugo, and Velementov heading to Sweden. Catherine and Grigor chase after them in a carriage, hoping to stop them from going through with their terrible plan. They wait beside a frozen lake, aiming to intercept the traitors.

Having spotted them, Catherine fires her gun into the air. Peter is elated to see his wife and heads across the icy lake to speak with her. Catherine is furious that Peter has stolen her army and gone to war behind her back.

Peter thinks it’s a marvelous idea, though they will be in the history books after this victory.

Why is Peter heading to Sweden?

The couple argue, trying to persuade the other to change their mind. It begins as another of their typical arguments, but it quickly starts to feel like their biggest discrepancy. Peter confesses that he’s been having visions of his father; he needs to do more with his life and legacy; this is his chance at greatness again.

Catherine starts to get desperate, tempting Peter with delicious treats and sex, but Peter will not be swayed. The Empress plays her last card; if Peter goes through with this invasion, then he will not be allowed back to Russia; they will be over.

Peter sweetly responds, stating that he loves all the different sides of Catherine and hopes she will do likewise.

Peter’s Death

Peter heads back across the lake. Around halfway across, though, he changes his mind and turns. The weight of the horse and Peter causes the ice to break. Peter falls through into the icy depths below. Catherine watches in complete shock, frozen to the spot. Grigor chases after Peter, but he is far too late. Peter sinks to his icy death, entangled with the horse.

Elsewhere, Archie meets with Pugachev. The Peter lookalike is getting out of control. He’s killed 47 noblemen without instruction.

Archie wanted chaos but controlled chaos at that. His plan to scare Catherine has worked, although Pugachev intends to take her down entirely.

Archie’s plan is starting to backfire. Pugachev has realized that he might be killed for these actions. Archie and Pugachev flirt with one another.

The priest passes Pugachev a letter with new instructions to follow. It is time to negotiate an end to the uprising.

Frightened by his own love for Pugachev, Archie whips himself back at the palace. Marial walks in on this brutal act, offering to lend a hand. Marial worries that Pugachev will sell them both out.

Back in the wilderness, Hugo and Velementov are stunned by what they’ve just witnessed. They wonder if they imagined Peter’s death. Hugo convinces Velementov to continue with their plan; they will still invade Sweden after all.

How does Catherine react to Peter’s death?

Across the lake, Catherine and Grigor wake from their daze. Catherine starts to act strangely, ignoring Peter’s death thoroughly. They head home without discussing the former Emperor’s sudden death. In the carriage, Catherine orders Grigor to keep it a secret, convincing herself that they imagined it all. She starts to unravel, acting erratically.

Elizabeth figures out Archie’s plan and confronts the priest. She realized that Archie was the one working with Pugachev because his desk drawer was suspiciously empty after the raid.

Elizabeth isn’t too fussed by the betrayal; as long as Paul is ordained, she doesn’t mind. Meanwhile, Marial’s paranoia grows. She talks to Maxim about Pugachev’s uprising. They decide to go and kill Pugachev before he rats on Marial.

A manic Catherine organizes a large gathering the following morning. She keeps Peter’s death a secret but declares that their army is currently invading Sweden. The crowd are confused, some believing it to be a joke. Catherine clarifies the battle and orders everyone to start singing. Grigor can’t help but cry, though.

Episode 6 Ending Explained

After the announcement, Archie informs Catherine of Pugachev’s letters and that he is prepared to end the uprising. Catherine hugs Archie, telling the priest that she plans on killing Pugachev regardless. She then goes and plays herself at badminton, fully committing to her mental breakdown.

Grigor confesses to Georgina that Peter is dead; Catherine has lost it and refuses to accept his passing. He adds that he has been forced to keep the death a secret, and now Georgina must, too. Georgina searches for Catherine and finds her playing badminton. She joins the Empress for a game. Hopefully, she can talk some sense into the Empress.

Episode 7 – “Fun”

The Great season 3, episode 7 (Credit – Hulu)

After the last episode’s final shot, Catherine and Georgina carry on their endless badminton game, both sweating profusely. Catherine comments on how fun this game is and how fun Georgina is.

Maybe they could make their political ideas more fun in court as well. Georgina suggests a festival to liven things up.

Grigor wakes from his slumber, unsure if he is still dreaming. He’s still struggling to come to terms with Peter’s death. Georgina decides to sedate the man and lock him in his room. She has a plan to put into action, and she can’t have Grigor messing it up.

How does Catherine distract herself from her grief?

After an intense badminton game, Catherine has a bath. Her room reminds her of Peter though, so she asks to be transported to another. Catherine and the tub are carried through the palace halls, only adding to her manic disposition.

As she goes, Catherine orders her people to tell her jokes along the way. Clearly, Catherine is trying desperately to distract herself from Peter’s death.

Elizabeth and Archie arrive to discuss plans for how to deal with Pugachev. They instantly notice Catherine’s unhinged mentality but soldier on regardless.

Archie wants to negotiate with Pugachev. Petrov enters, stating that they have found the lookalike, and he wants to kill the traitor. Catherine must make a decision.

Why does Marial choose not to kill Pugachev?

Pugachev is busy rallying the peasants, creating further chaos. Marial tracks him down and enters the rally with a loaded gun. She needs Pugachev dead, but his speech inspires her instead. She realizes that she cannot kill him.

What he is saying is right. Maxim decides to finish off the job himself, although he only wounds the lookalike with a shot to the shoulder.

After the bathtub incident, Elizabeth is concerned about Catherine’s mental state. She checks up on the Empress, who confesses, she imagined Peter dead.

Elizabeth can relate to this. She always worried about Peter the Great during battles and did likewise. Elizabeth feels cold throughout this installment, implying that she can sense Peter’s death in some mystical way.

How does Catherine react to the play?

Catherine throws her fun lunch, which involves more jokes and games. Afterward, Georgina convinces Katya to perform her satirical play. The play is a comedy about Catherine’s reign. It is, of course, very disrespectful, poking fun at Catherine’s choices. This hurts Catherine deeply, but she feels unable to act out. She orders everyone to dance until they vomit instead.

Next, Georgina continues her scheming. She tells her servant Petra to spread the news of Peter’s death. Georgina aids in this task, informing Tatyana and Arkady. They also spread the rumor. Georgina then meets with Catherine.

Georgina wants Catherine to kill Katya, but the Empress can’t do this either. Instead, she sends her to Siberia as a veiled punishment.

Archie greets Catherine next, urging her to sign the negotiation deal with Pugachev. Catherine is happy to sign it. She asks Archie if he believes in visions, still reeling from Peter’s death, unsure if she dreamed it all up.

Maxim bursts in to inform Catherine that he has killed Pugachev. The boy didn’t stick around to see if Pugachev was dead, though. Catherine jumps on this statement, convincing herself that Pugachev is dead, not Peter.

She looks visibly relieved, tricking herself into thinking Peter is alive.

The Great Season 3 Episode 7 Ending Explained

The episode ends with Catherine making an announcement. She tells her people that Peter is not dead. It is Pugachev that has been killed. The Empress is then offered a new dessert, which the chef has made with Peter’s help. This triggers painful flashbacks of Peter’s last words to Catherine before his death.

Catherine breaks down, crying in front of everyone. Then Grigor enters the room, screaming that Peter is dead. It’s a manic ending that perfectly encapsulates both Catherine and Grigor’s painful grief.

Episode 8 – “Peter and the Wolf”

The Great Season 3 Recap (Episodes 1-10)

The Great Season 3 (Credit – Hulu)

Starting with Elizabeth, the aunt travels with Petrov to Peter’s watery grave. They find the frozen lake but cannot retrieve the body deep underneath the ice. Elizabeth starts log fires across the lake so that they can melt the thick layer of ice.

Elizabeth’s son’s death

While they wait, Elizabeth sobs uncontrollably. She asks Petrov to sleep with her, but he refuses. They discuss death in detail. Elizabeth lost her son in similar circumstances. He, too, drowned in a lake. She talks of how Peter comforted her while she grieved. Petrov has also seen a lot of death in his life due to war.

When the ice melts, Elizabeth jumps in to retrieve Peter’s body. However, she returns without the corpse, stating that Peter looks peaceful down there. Elizabeth would rather remember the good times instead of disturbing the body. She thanks Peter for bringing her so much joy.

At the same time, Velementov and Hugo strategize their ambush on the Swedes. Hugo has a change of heart, though, unable to kill his fellow countrymen. He takes Velementov hostage while he makes a new plan.

Hugo wants to turn this border land between Sweden and Russia into his own kingdom.

How do Elizabeth and Petrov reclaim Catherine’s army?

Eventually, Hugo lets Velementov go. They formulate a new strategy together, yet Petrov and Elizabeth arrive before they can instigate their battle plan. Elizabeth shoots Hugo in the leg. Hugo tries to retaliate, and Petrov shoots him in the shoulder. Petrov wants to return Catherine’s army to the Empress right away.

Velementov accepts his fate and asks to be killed for his betrayal. Petrov tells him to show some honor. They return home without killing the General.

Velementov apologizes to Elizabeth on the way, and they talk about their fond memories of Peter.

In the second storyline, Catherine legalizes divorce at the palace. This causes both uproar and joy among the people. Catherine appears even more broken than before. She wears Peter’s clothes and orders musicians to play their favorite song on repeat.

Consequences of the divorce law

Catherine has won over the people, yet she still feels empty inside and misses Peter greatly. Women start to commit suicide, unable to financially support themselves after being divorced. Marial urges Georgina and Grigor to divorce, but they hesitate, stalling on the paperwork.

Archie relays the consequences of the divorce law to Catherine. People are dying or making a mockery of the system. Catherine ignores Archie’s concerns, still broken and paralyzed with regret.

Archie asks her to go rest and to undo the law.

After watching the chaos that she has created, Catherine decides to change the laws and oversee each divorce procedure herself. She approves and denies others, announcing that all women will receive half of their husband’s estate in the divorce settlement.

Catherine’s segment ends with Maxim informing the Empress that Pugachev is still alive.

How does Grigor distract himself from his grief?

Next is Grigor’s section. He goes hunting with Arkady and Maxim. Grigor wants to distract himself from the grief as well. He piles up the dead deer he’s shot and then returns to the palace broken. Drunk, Grigor argues with Petra and then makes amends with Arkady after their fight.

They overhear a party and go to join this orgy. Unfortunately, the party is to celebrate Peter’s death. Grigor loses the plot and shoots one of the guests. He rants about his love for Peter, stating that he never loved anyone the same.

The Great Season 3 Episode 8 Ending Explained

Marial, who was hiding at the party, argues with Grigor about Peter and his legacy. She wants to be loved more than Peter, who she considers to be a monster. Marial adds that Peter ruined her life and caused Grigor so much pain. Grigor walks away, unable to speak. M

Marial states that she will not let Peter ruin their relationship too. She will fight for them.

Grigor joins Catherine and Paul. Catherine asks Grigor to do something for her. We are not told what this task is, but Grigor carries baby Paul through a forest in the next scene. The episode ends with Catherine shooting herself in the eye, although the gun is not loaded.

Episode 9 – “Destiny”

The Great season 3, episode 9 (Credit – Hulu)

The episode begins with Catherine traveling to deliver a speech to her people. She wants to tell them that Pugachev is an imposter, but the crowd isn’t interested. They really hate Catherine and attack her.

On her return, Petrov informs Catherine that Pugachev has now taken Moscow. He’s closing in on the palace.

Fearing their own deaths, Tatyana and Arkady choose to side with Pugachev. They pretend he is Peter, going along with his act. Tatyana even sleeps with Pugachev, stating that it is for their own political gain. Pugachev hires lookalikes to impersonate Archie and Velementov.

Why is Catherine playing Russian Roulette?

Meanwhile, the Empress hides out in her bedroom playing a game of Russian Roulette. Elizabeth walks in as she is shooting herself in the head. Catherine explains that she is just playing a game to see whether her reign is her destiny or a delusion. If she deserves to rule, then she will not be killed. She is leaving her fate up to destiny.

Elizabeth worries that Catherine has completely lost the plot. She urges her to kill Pugachev and ordain Paul. Catherine thinks that killing Pugachev will only backfire on her. The peasants will think she has killed Peter, leading to more rebellion.

Grigor’s mission

Grigor’s little mission is then addressed. He’s been ordered to keep Paul safe. The prince is living in the woods in a wooden cage. Unfortunately, a bear attacks Paul’s cage; it’s probably not the safest place after all.

Elsewhere, Dr. Vinodel cures Velementov of his illness. Hugo and Agnes worry that they will be killed and ask Elizabeth how they can help. She asks them to find Paul for her. The Swedes use a cadaver dog to sniff out the heir.

Velementov’s plan

Catherine meets with her advisors to formulate a new plan. Petrov wants to kill Pugachev, but Catherine is opposed to this idea. Whereas Archie intends to make a deal. Velementov barges into the meeting. He apologizes to Catherine and offers his own strategy. They capture Pugachev and force him to confess everything to the people.

After this meeting, Catherine delivers a lackluster speech. She understands that everyone is panicked but concludes that whatever will be will be. Georgina jumps in and reassures the people that they have a plan. Pugachev is a fraud who will soon be captured.

Hugo and Agnes ask Catherine if she still wants them dead. Catherine summarizes that they all failed with their own plans. They didn’t reclaim Sweden, Peter died, and Pugachev is still at large.

The Swedes don’t get an answer, but they are reassured to be still alive.

After her speech, Catherine is poisoned. Again, she lets destiny decide her fate. She eats the arsenic and then violently throws it up. She ponders what Marial said to her earlier, that Pugachev is a charming leader.

She decides to attend one of his rallies, to see for herself.

Hugo and Agnes’ cadaver dog leads them to Grigor. Hugo points his gun at Grigor, although he suggests that they be friends instead. Grigor is still furious with Hugo, though, stating that he wants to kill him, blaming the Swede for Peter’s death.

Hugo hits Grigor with the butt of the gun and runs away. Grigor then shoots the bear in the forest and saves Paul’s life.

Dr. Vinodel continues to court Elizabeth, desperate for her affection. He slowly starts to win her over, although she is still besotted by Peter the Great. Archie packs for Moscow.

Elizabeth confronts the priest about his plans. Archie promises to kill Pugachev to bring an end to this chaos, which he initially started.

The Great Season 3 Episode 9 Ending Explained

Near the end of the episode, Catherine and Marial attend one of Pugachev’s rallies. The lookalike talks of his hatred of Catherine and love for God. He brags that he understands the people and will bring change to the country.

Meanwhile, Velementov and Petrov wait outside, ready to capture Pugachev.

Pugachev talks of Catherine trying to kill him frightened that she will try and kill Paul next. With the crowd on his side, he starts to throw noble men and women’s heads into the audience.

One hits Catherine, knocking her to the floor. She is then trampled on.

Episode 10 – “Once Upon a Time”

The Great Season 3 Recap (Episodes 1-10)

The Great season 3, episode 10 (Credit – Hulu)

Kick-starting the finale, Pugachev leaves his latest rally to be greeted by Archie. The priest wants to negotiate Pugachev’s surrender, but the lookalike is having far too much fun as the King. Pugachev asks Archie to join him. Poor Archie is deeply in love with Pugachev and begins to waver. The two share a kiss, but Archie rejects Pugachev.

The lookalike is then chased outside, where he is finally captured by Catherine’s people. Catherine speaks with the prisoner. Pugachev wants to replace Peter and reign by Catherine’s side. The Empress demands that Pugachev confesses to the people. He refuses, threatening to kill himself just to stir up more trouble.

Who kills Pugachev?

Catherine leaves the lookalike and returns to her game of Russian Roulette. While Catherine has her existential breakdown, Maxim fulfills his own destiny and shoots Pugachev dead. Petrov wheels his body into Catherine’s office while an astronomer called Nikolai talks of a comet heading their way. Petrov then challenges Nikolai to a duel.

That night, Catherine sleeps with the womanizer Nikolai, who slept with Petrov’s fiancee. Elizabeth interrupts them, demanding that Catherine concentrates on the problems at hand.

Catherine orders Elizabeth to leave, but Elizabeth has the guards under her control. Before departing, Elizabeth tells Catherine to step up, or she will be forced to take over herself.

Elsewhere, Hugo conjures yet another plan. This time he tells Georgina that she could be queen. All she needs to do is marry Paul. He married Agnes when he was one year old. Georgina sedates Hugo with a cup of tea.

Georgina finds Grigor with Paul in the woods. Grigor’s grief has finally turned into a mental breakdown. He’s now the one losing the plot. Grigor talks of his confusing love for Marial.

Georgina mentions her new plan to become the Empress. Grigor knocks Georgina out and flees with Paul.

How does Catherine have her epiphany?

In the middle of the night, Hugo infiltrates Catherine’s quarters. He urges Catherine to escape the country before she is killed. Catherine then goes to play more Russian Roulette. An intruder tries to shoot her, and Catherine uses the gun to shoot them instead. This unique situation works as an epiphany for Catherine, she now believes that reigning is her destiny, and the circumstances have proven so.

The following day, Petrov and Nikolai defy Catherine’s orders and prepare for their duel. Catherine interrupts. She takes Nikolai’s place and shoots Petrov in the leg.

After her epiphany, Catherine is back in power. Fueling her fire, Marial informs Catherine that Archie is behind Pugachev’s uprising.

Georgina continues her plan to become queen. She takes Paul straight to Archie for an impromptu ordination. Archie ordains Paul in front of Georgina and the Swedes.

Grigor comes to disrupt the ordination, but he is too late. Archie is requested by the Empress, so Georgina’s marriage to Paul cannot be completed at this point.

Back at Catherine’s office, Elizabeth sits in Catherine’s chair, ready to take charge. Catherine enters, ignoring Elizabeth’s treasonous ways. Catherine calls out Archie and orders the guards to bury the priest alive.

Catherine tells Maxim to go on a tour declaring that he killed Pugachev, then to go and train to be a General.

Velementov is to also go on a tour, telling the Russians of Peter’s death in a different way. Catherine wants lots of different rumors spreading of Peter’s death so that she can use each individual rumor to her advantage. Petrov is to attack Pugachev’s base.

Impressed by Catherine’s new attitude, Elizabeth moves away from Catherine’s seat. She lies, stating that she was only motivating the Empress by giving her an ultimatum.

Archie’s Death

The guards bury Archie alive. However, Marial digs him up before he is killed. Petrov attacks Pugachev’s base, using the lookalike’s head instead of canons.

The Great Season 3 Ending Explained

Then in the final scene, Catherine appears with a new, bad-ass haircut. She sees the comet in the sky, which she has used as a way of winning back the people’s devotion. Catherine says that destiny didn’t help her. She did this all on her own.

Catherine then performs a manic celebratory dance. Throughout the series, Catherine has learned from Archie and Elizabeth’s manipulative ways, which has helped her to regain her former strength and power. She has bested these snakes and come out on top.

Yet Catherine is still struggling with her grief. She breaks down, crying on the floor. The Empress may put on a good act, but deep down inside, she is still broken.

That concludes my recap of The Great Season 3 – what was your favourite moment in the final season 3? Comment below.

Hulu, Streaming Service, TV, TV Recaps
View allNext Article