Sunday, July 19, 2020

What I’m Watching: The Great

The Great: Season 1, Episode 9 “Love Hurts” (B+)

I will say that this episode managed to get to me with its brutal depiction of the torture that Peter ordered, particular the casual visual of the fingernails being pulled off. I do think that it is important that it’s shown, since witnessing the brutality even in this comedic context helps to explain the reason that Catherine feels so compelled to seize power and help to reform a country capable of such horrific atrocities. For someone who thought she was only directing others and not taking action herself, Catherine was very brave to volunteer to be tortured first so that she could show that she wasn’t involved with any of this. After that bold move, she was shocked to see how quickly Georgina and Grigor sprang into action to kill Rostov and save Peter when his ill-fated assassination attempt ended quite quickly. Marial was the one who was most devastated by that development, and Archie seemed disappointed only by the fact that she hadn’t betrayed him so that he could still be dead and she could have been returned to her station. Archie’s approach with Elizabeth was intriguing since the two of them don’t seem to see eye-to-eye on much, but he believes that she’ll be easier to deal with than the other obvious choice for the throne. Leo and Velementov messing up and having to kill Gorky wasn’t a great start, but they were more okay with that than Catherine was with the rising body count this whole revolution is creating. She delivered one hell of a speech about unity that ended in a tearful huzzah and impressed the whole court, and Peter revealed himself to be smarter than he looks once again by noting his omission from an otherwise formidable rallying call. Telling her that he loves her was not what she expected, and her response – to plan for the kill – was telling of how much she valued him having feelings for her.

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