Wednesday, December 29, 2021

What I’m Watching: The Great (Season Finale)

The Great: Season 2, Episode 10 “Wedding” (B+)

It feels much better finishing this season knowing that it’s been celebrated with top-tier nominations, a considerable improvement from its lackluster season one Emmy take. While this finale wasn’t quite as fantastic as the end to season one, it came pretty close, and I will be so incredibly disappointed if it doesn’t return for more. The way in which this season has charted the relationship between Catherine and Peter has been so incredible, and ending with Catherine sobbing after killing Pugachev, who she thought was Peter, before she was so comforted to see the real Peter emerge perfectly fine and alive, was extremely powerful. For someone who has never been all that bright, Peter knew exactly the importance of Catherine having known from Marial about what he did and not killing him on the spot, and he was smart to prepare for a counter-coup but not actually go for it. Catherine was formidable in her violent sit-down with the Sultan, played by William Postlethwaite, son of the great actor Pete, and she was brimming with rage when she came in to the wedding to deliver her list of five points to Peter. Airing their dirty laundry out in public in front of the entire court somehow worked, and it was fascinating to see them react to each other. After her groom went to throw up because he ate too much cake, Marial was horrified to be rounded up with all of Peter’s crew since she was the one who told Catherine the truth. I do hope none of these characters, especially the duplicitous and manipulative Georgina, aren’t executed and instead stick around for season three and beyond. I really want this show to be celebrated widely, not just for its lead performers, who are excellent, but also for an amazing supporting cast, including Phoebe Fox, Sacha Dhawan, Douglas Hodge, Adam Godley, and Belinda Bromilow. I’m anxiously awaiting the season three renewal.

Season grade: A-
Season MVP: Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult

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