The Great season 2 episode 8 recap: What does [spoiler]’s death mean for the future?

This episode of The Great season 2 saw Catherine preparing for the arrival of her baby, Joanna causing even more trouble, and Catherine finally making a decision on how to handle the Ottomans.

Read on to find out what happened in The Great season 2 episode 8, “Five Days.”

The Great season 2 episode 8 recap: 7 days from baby’s birth

Catherine’s mom and her court are still clashing with each other, as the court thinks Joanna is snobby and makes Catherine nervous and Joanna doesn’t think the court is trustworthy. Archie thinks Joanna will eventually grow bored and leave Russia alone, but Marial and Elizabeth aren’t so sure, afraid she’ll try to turn Catherine against them.

Their suspicions are correct, as Joanna gives Catherine a list of everyone she thinks she should kill, and they’re both on it. Catherine tells them not to worry, as that’s just how her mom is. When a frog dies on her stomach during one of the pregnancy treatments, Elizabeth announces that she will give birth in seven days.

The Great season 2 episode 8 recap: 6 days from baby’s birth

Joanna keeps with her plan to try and seduce Peter, saying he reminds her of his incredibly handsome father. She tells him he was born to rule and says that Catherine can be an asset to him. Elizabeth once again warns him not to do anything.

Catherine is horrified when she finds out she will have to give birth in front of a crowd to make sure the baby is the true heir. What’s more, everyone is taking bets on how the birth will go. Orlo and Velementov are both worried that Catherine will die in childbirth, leaving their future in jeopardy.

Since there is a chance Catherine won’t make it, it is tradition for Peter to dig two graves just in case. Peter is disturbed, finding it morbid, and even nearly beats up Arkady’s son when he makes fun of Peter.

The Great season 2 episode 8 recap: 5 days from baby’s birth

Catherine is restless while on bed rest, wanting to actively rule despite her mother’s urging to take it easy. She can’t help herself from working, deciding to write a new law where women can divorce men so there will be no unhappy marriages. There is some more good news on the ruling front, too: the Ottomans have given Catherine a gift of a candle and said they’re open to meeting with her diplomatically.

None of this impresses Joanna, and Elizabeth pulls her aside to try and talk to her. However, Joanna is cruel during the meeting, noting Elizabeth is not a mother because her only son died. She says that Elizabeth enables Catherine’s delusional nature and believes that men will crush Catherine due to her power.

Velementov and Peter share an unexpected heart-to-heart when Velementov remembers he had to use the graves he dug for his own losses. Peter is worried he won’t be a good dad due to losing it on Arkady’s son, but Velementov comforts him, saying kids can be very annoying. Peter decides to apologize to Arkady’s son — nobody ever apologized to him when he was a kid, but maybe this can be a new start. Arkady and Grigory note it would almost be a blessing if Catherine dies so he could get back into power, and Peter punches them.

The Great season 2 episode 8 recap: 4 days from baby’s birth

The Great season 2

The Great — “Five Days” – Episode 208 — Elizabeth pronounces that Catherine’s baby will be born in 5 days and the court begins preparations involving rituals for Peter and Catherine. Conflict with the Ottomans heightens, and Catherine tries to run the country while on forced bed rest. Catherine (Elle Fanning), shown. (Photo by: Gareth Gatrell/Hulu)

Elizabeth and Marial rally around Elizabeth, having the schoolgirls help her complete tasks while she rests. This time to rest makes the baby nerves sink in, and Catherine goes to her mother’s room in the middle of the night for comfort.

Peter also converses with his parent when he hallucinates his father in the hole he dug. He is not a comforting presence, however, telling Peter he is disappointed in him for losing Russia and encouraging him to give in to his primal animal instincts. He implies Peter will never be a good husband or father, and Peter jumps into the hole to try and kill him.

The Great season 2 episode 8 recap: 3 days from baby’s birth

The next morning, Peter admits to Elizabeth that he saw his dad and that Joanna came onto him again. Elizabeth confronts Joanna, saying she knows that she’s trying to get Catherine out of power and reinstate the King Louis deal.

Catherine wakes up to see her servant dead and realizes the candles the Ottomans gave her were poisonous — this was an attack on Catherine’s life. She reluctantly tells Velementov to go to war and pull up his battles plans — plans he threw in a fire in frustration.

Joanna tells Catherine she will die if they don’t change the game, revealing her wish to transition her out and Peter back in. This makes Catherine realize that her mother only sees her as a pawn and doesn’t really believe in her. She tells Joanna she was meant for greater things than marriage, and her mother slaps her. Though Joanna is adamant the baby will become Catherine’s life, Catherine says the child will never replace Russia in her heart. She kicks Joanna out of the palace, and Joanna says he won’t stick around while she chokes.

Joanna heads to Peter’s room, coming on stronger than ever, and Peter can’t resist. While they’re having sex, Joanna falls out the window to her death, and Elizabeth and Marial promise to take care of it.

The Great season 2 episode 8 recap: 2 days from baby’s birth

The Great season 2

The Great — “Five Days” – Episode 208 — Elizabeth pronounces that Catherine’s baby will be born in 5 days and the court begins preparations involving rituals for Peter and Catherine. Conflict with the Ottomans heightens, and Catherine tries to run the country while on forced bed rest. Marial (Phoebe Fox), shown. (Photo by: Gareth Gatrell/Hulu)

After her big blowup with her mother, Catherine goes to visit Peter by the hole, and the two vow to be better parents than theirs were. When she sees a piece of dress fabric sticking out of the hole, Peter says he finally buried his mother. (But is it really? Or is it Joanna?) While they’re talking, Catherine’s water breaks — two days early.

What did you think of the episode? Comment below!