Friday, December 24, 2021

What I’m Watching: The Great

The Great: Season 2, Episode 8 “Five Days” (B+)

There really are so many backwards elements of this time that seem truly jarring even in comparison to what has already been featured. The idea that Catherine would have to give birth with an audience is appalling, but she’s been mocked and taunted enough that the idea of assassination isn’t so far off, especially considering the attempt on her life that she survived in this episode. It was hard to feel like Catherine was in control with Joanna there, as she was awkwardly laughing at the things she said that others didn’t find funny and then getting slapped by her mother despite the incredible power that she had. It was her own desire to get what she wanted that did Joanna did, as trying to have sex with Peter resulted in her falling out the window to her death. Elizabeth and Marial sprang into action to clean up that mess, and now hopefully Catherine can move on and get back to ruling the country once she has the baby. I was thrilled with the casting of Jason Isaacs as Peter the Great, and I remember how funny the typically serious actor was in “The Death of Stalin.” I don’t imagine we’ll see him again anytime soon, but he really was great. Peter not wanting to dig his wife and child’s graves was growth, as was his use of those graves to bury his mother, symbolically putting her torment behind him. Peter and Catherine shared a sweet moment together that bodes well for their impending parenthood, which is arriving more imminently than they thought.

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