This recap of Hulu’s The Great season 2, episode 1, “Heads It’s Me,” contains spoilers.
We’ve been gagging for a season 2, and we finally got it. Luckily, Hulu decided to release every episode at once for binge purposes. Episode 1 sets the tone for the rest of the story.
The Great season 2, episode 1 recap
Episode 1 begins with the calm after the storm. The storm is the coup. Catherine is feeling impatient, with Peter still trapped in the palace with his loyalists. Velementov wants a plan, but Orlo is irritated. It’s not gone to plan as much as we were led to believe from the end of season 1.
The opening episode moves to Peter, who is enjoying party life in confinement. He doesn’t appear worried at all, and he’s impressed with what Catherine has achieved. As for Marial, she’s frustrated that she’s stuck with the wrong team and expresses her annoyance at Archbishop. The characters are all separated, with uncertainty high.
Catherine plans to burn out Peter and his group using vodka and fire. However, Peter manages to sneak into the other side of the palace and speak to Catherine privately. Catherine’s team proceeds to set Peter’s side of the palace on fire while Grigor and Georgina plan to run away for good.
Catherine asks Peter to surrender, but Peter does not mind the bloodshed. Peter tells her to stop and thinks they’ve had enough fun; he’s worried about their unborn son Paul. Suddenly, Catherine feels a kick, and Peter gets emotional, but she tells him to stand down for Russia. This is an early sign that the baby will be pivotal to the story and its meaning for these two characters.
Grigor arrives, and he tells Peter to join him, so their small chat ends, and the civil war continues. Georgina tells Peter that if he runs, he’s not losing as Russia is still his. So, Peter, Grigor, and Georgina flee. Catherine and Marial finally reunite. Marial argues that she saved her and did not betray her. They talk about the baby and catch up. They’ve missed each other. Marial asks Archbishop where Peter is, but he claims not to know. He’s worried about his own life, and understandably.
In the middle of the night, Catherine sees one of the horses and carriages leave with food supplies, and she’s furious, so she jumps on a horse and follows it. She knows they are taking it to Peter. When the carriage arrives, Peter is delighted until he sees Catherine and an army behind her. Unfortunately for Catherine, Peter’s army is at a good vantage point. It’s a stalemate in the opening chapter, and what a fun one it turns out to be.
Aunt Elizabeth reveals that Catherine does not plan to kill Peter, but she wants to force him to abdicate because she was not chosen by the eyes of God. Orlo insists they must kill Peter, but Catherine talks about incremental progress. Peter tests if they’d kill him if he decided to row to the other bank. He sends out a lookalike, but he is shot immediately. Catherine is conflicted at this point, and Peter is irritated that Catherine would kill him.
Knowing Peter is starving, Catherine roasts a pig across the banks — Peter smells it, and it makes him hungrier. Peter cooks rats to try and fend off his hunger, but he’s too immature to withstand it. When Peter eats one of the rats, he throws up. Across the way, Catherine laughs.
The ending of episode 1 sets the tone for the rest of season 2.
Peter gives up and asks Georgina to cross the river on the boat. She passes on a message to Catherine — Peter will abdicate but only if he can have twenty minutes a day with her and baby Paul. Catherine agrees to meet Paul to make a deal.
Catherine and Peter negotiate, but they are at odds predictably. Peter demands twenty minutes a day with her and his son. Catherine agrees to palace house arrest, and twenty minutes a day, but no sex. She tells him if he steps out of line once, she’ll kill him. Peter signs the abdication document, and then he devours the food.
It suddenly hits Catherine — Russia is hers. Before she gives a speech, Peter tells her that he has Leo’s head which is untimely and devastating for her. Catherine looks empty as Grigor passes it over to her. Orlo announces Catherine as Empress, but it’s a bittersweet moment.
On the way back to the palace, Peter laughs — he tells Grigor and Georgina that he’s happy because he has a plan. But what will his plan be?
- Peter has sex with Georgina, and Grigor is furious. He confronts Peter about it. Georgina tells them she’ll sleep with whoever she wants.
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