It Was Obvious Catherine Would Fall for Peter But What's Next for The Great?

Elle Fanning's Catherine was destined to fall in love with Peter in The Great, but it's less clear how this romance will unfold in season three.

By Cydney Contreras Dec 04, 2021 12:52 AMTags
Watch: Elle Fanning Loved Those Dirt Eating Scenes in "The Great"

There were so many signs that Catherine and Peter would fall in love in the second season of The Great.

The obvious one was that Catherine (Elle Fanning) let Peter (Nicholas Hoult) live in the palace under guard rather than execute or imprison him. But we let that one slide since he's a major character and killing him off would seem rather senseless in light of the humor and drama he brings to the show. Factor in the idea that Catherine is a pacifist, and it's easy to dismiss the notion of them falling in love.

No, the real sign that Catherine was succumbing to Peter's charms was in episode four, "The Devil's Lunch," when the empress asks him to "do the thing with the tongue."

For most of season one and the beginning of two, Catherine is put off by the rabid sexual desires of the court, and yet she comes to Peter (no pun intended) in her time of need despite the fact that they are at odds.

And the second Peter crawled under her skirts, she was a goner—hence the reason she avoided him in the first place!

The Great: Season 2's First Look Photos

In consequence, she starts to rely on the former emperor for sexual satisfaction, a slippery slope that concerns both Marial (Phoebe Fox) and Grigor (Gwilym Lee). After all, these two rulers supposedly loathed each other. And every romantic comedy of the late '90s (10 Things I Hate About You, Clueless and You've Got Mail) has taught us that there's a thin line between love and hate.

It certainly doesn't help that Aunt Elizabeth (Belinda Bromilow) advises Peter to lean into his intellectual side, which only serves to charm Catherine further. The empress basically goes weak in the knees when she sees Peter reading and making a diagram of the solar system.


When her mother, Princess Johanna, who is played by the inimitable Gillian Anderson, arrives at the palace, things begin to go south. 

As Catherine earnestly tries to please her traditional and seemingly modest mother, Peter actively resists the advances of Johanna, who has no qualms when it comes to manhandling her daughter's husband. 

Since Catherine is unaware of this situation, she continues to look to Peter for comfort, yet another sign that she is growing fond of the man. And though Peter knows that Johanna is a large source of Catherine's stress, he gives in to his desire and has sex with her, a lovemaking session that ends with Johanna's demise (she falls at least three stories).

Gareth Gatrell/Hulu

Obviously, Peter's aunt and others try to hide the death from Catherine, knowing that this will inspire great heartbreak and a potential execution. And they briefly succeed, with Catherine and Peter bonding over their shared distaste for their parents, as well as Paul's birth.

But the truth must come out and as such, season two ends with a major cliffhanger, leaving all of us wondering: How do Catherine and Paul recover from this? Is it possible to overcome a cheating scandal that involves your own mother falling from a window mid-penetration?

There's also the slightly important matter of Catherine killing one of Russia's greatest enemies, an issue that needs to be handled with delicacy and urgency.

And who can forget Paul?! A baby cannot be deprived of his father, even if said father is not the smartest.

E! News previously asked Elle and Nicholas how they think the situation will pan out, and while they're not privy to Tony McNamara's plans, Elle said, "It'll take her some time probably, but she'll be happy."

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