Sunday, December 19, 2021

What I’m Watching: The Great

The Great: Season 2, Episode 6 “A Simple Jape” (B+)

Even in our current times, which I would describe as slightly more enlightened than the era portrayed in the show, people don’t like to have their own hypocrisies pointed out to them. Catherine’s jape was indeed clever, but that coupled with Grigor and Arkady getting ahold of the 109-page plan from Orlo proved to be exceptionally bad timing. Catherine did well enough even when she was having things pelted at her after her impulse decision to free all of the serfs, but then she broke down at the way that everything is going so poorly and has all fallen apart. After Peter was planning his own insurrection, it was very sweet to see him opt not to dethrone her but instead to comfort her and then walk himself back to his own imprisonment, much to Grigor’s horror. Archie kissing Basil was an unexpected development, and I’m curious to see how the two of them end up working together since their goals and beliefs aren’t that far apart. It was interesting to see how Marial felt about Shakey, eager to treat her poorly but then ready to give her proper quarters after she had been made into a lady and had her true identity revealed. Antonia’s desire to get petty revenge by slitting her throat when her maid wouldn’t do it was truly cruel, and we got to see a side of Marial that we haven’t before, one that skipped over her usual desire for brutal verbal takedowns of her foes and went right to shooting Antonia in the head without her even seeing who did it. That loss is going to have reverberations for one of this show’s best characters.

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