If last week’s episode was summed up by “Oh God,” this week’s episode of Catherine the Great (2019) can be summed up with “Oh for fuck’s sake.” I mean, for reals, people. This show is verging on being so predictably cliche that I’m offended, so this recap is going to be fairly brief. I’ve stopped giving a fuck about the characters, the plot, basically anything and everything (except the costumes, sort of), that I’m not even sure I can tell you what happened even though I watched the episode.
I will say this: every suspicion I had about Potemkin and his rise to power was proved within the first 10 minutes of this episode. Like all of Catherine’s other paramours, Potemkin chafes at being a “kept man” without carte blanche access to Catherine’s power. We are treated to the first 30 minutes or so of Potemkin stomping around in a petulant snit about Catherine not backing up his scheme to conquer Crimea in front of the council, and more whinging about how he doesn’t get to do anything he wants even though he’s humping the Empress, and Catherine being like, “I told you I wasn’t going to just give you all my power, jackass,” which results in more mantrums and fucking Countess Bruce in retaliation.
Finally Catherine gets fed up with this (which took about five times longer than it took me to be fed up with it) and lets Potemkin run off to Crimea to do whatever he wants to do. Great. We don’t have to worry about him for a few minutes, which allows us to waste some brain cells on Prince Paul losing his wife Natalia and infant son in childbirth. Paul has to face the fact that his wife was fucking his best friend and the baby was more than likely his, so within a few short minutes he’s married off to a German princess, Sophia, who promptly gives him a healthy son, and bows to Catherine like an obedient daughter-in-law. And no, we never do find out why Natalia wouldn’t bow to Catherine (though Catherine later quips that the new wife is more respectful towards her).
But then Potemkin comes back all triumphant from basically getting the Crimea to surrender to Catherine without a battle, so now we are back to wondering why Catherine puts up with his annoying ass. Instead, she gives him control of the Ministry of War, and a bunch of other annoying council members quit in protest, whatever, it’s all very uninteresting. Catherine packs Paul off on some diplomatic visit to the German court, which he’s pissed off about, but I literally don’t care. And Potemkin has to run back off to Crimea to continue building Sevastopol in Catherine’s honor, but before he does, he hooks her up with one of his young lieutenants (who is actually young and not “young” like Potemkin was in the first episode), because they’ve realized they are much happier together when they’re nowhere near one another.
Everything ends on a boat in the Black Sea with Catherine getting her first look at the navy that Potemkin created and … stay tuned next week to be somehow even more bored than you were this week, folks.
Are you suffering through Catherine the Great too?