The Great season 3: episodes, how to watch and everything we know about the historical comedy

Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning in The Great season 3
Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning in The Great season 3 (Image credit: Christian Black/Hulu)

Huzzah! The Great season 3 is here, as Hulu's hit comedy once again takes a look at the reign of Russia's Catherine the Great .

Created by Tony McNamara and based on his play of the same name, The Great is only loosely based on Catherine the Great's actual life, but we can forgive its twist on history because Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult and the writing of the show are a royal delight. What lies in store for Catherine after she made moves to cement her rule over Russia, despite keeping Peter alive?

We've got everything you need to know about The Great season 3 right here.

The Great season 3 release date

The Great season 3 is streaming all 10 of its episodes on Hulu right now for US audiences. 

UK fans of The Great season 3are going to have to wait until July 14 for the show to premiere on Lionsgate Plus.

The Great season 3 plot

A quick recap of The Great season 2 before we share what you can expect in season 3:

Catherine's coup succeeds, but she does not kill Peter, instead keeping him under house arrest as she attempts to make her reign legitimate and bring new ideals to Russia. She also gives birth to her and Peter's son, Paul. However, as the season progresses, the relationship between Catherine and Peter becomes more complicated as they share parental duties and form some honest-to-goodness feelings for one another. But many of Catherine's closest advisers still want Peter dead, and Peter's allies continuously plot to overthrow Catherine. Catherine makes the final play though, throwing Peter's friends — and even Marial — into prison.

If you prefer a more visual refresher, here is Hulu's video recap of The Great season 2:

Here is the official synopsis for The Great season 3:

"Season 3 of The Great sees Catherine and Peter attempt to make their marriage work after some seemingly insurmountable problems. Peter witnessed his own attempted murder at Catherine's hands and she also imprisoned all of his friends. On top of this, Peter is at a loose end playing First Husband to Catherine's reign, so he busies himself with fathering, hunting and salty culinary ventures. But they're not enough to keep him contented as visions of his late father get in his head about his failures as Peter the Great's son. 

"Catherine the Great starts making a name for herself beyond her borders and, inspired by a visit from the US ambassador, sets up a conference where peasants, nobles and merchants can all give their input on developing a new Russia. She learns that even the best political leaders sometimes need to make compromises in order to progress."

The Great season 3 episodes

Here are the titles and synopses for each of The Great season 3 episodes:

The Great season 3 episode 1, "The Bullet or the Bear"
"Catherine and Peter seek some marriage guidance after the chaotic events of the previous day left them in an awkward place in their relationship."

The Great season 3 episode 2, "Choose Your Weapon"
"Catherine is visited by the UK and US ambassadors both wanting her to intervene in the War of Independence. Maxim takes issue with the public displays of affection between Grigor and Marial."

The Great season 3 episode 3, "You the People"
"Catherine involves the peasants, nobles and merchants in a conference designed to bring change to Russia. Peter's hunt for revenge on an historic enemy threatens to destabilize Catherine's attempt to outlaw murder."

The Great season 3 episode 4, "Stag"
"Arkady and Tatyana help Peter and Catherine through a rough patch as they clash over their son, Paul, whom Catherine fears will grow up to be a ruthless leader and so refuses to ordain him, to the alarm of Archie and Elizabeth."

The Great season 3 episode 5, "Sweden"
"Peter is once again tormented by his father's expectations and his failure to continue the legacy of his empire. Catherine must decide to do about the unrest being stirred up in the regions, but Velementov is in no state to help her."

The Great season 3 episode 6, "Ice"
"Catherine tries to persuade Peter to come home whilst Hugo re-doubles his attempts to regain his kingdom. Georgina continues to play her complicated court games."

The Great season 3 episode 7, "Fun"
"Catherine wants to bring more fun to the court, so she stages a festival of truth, jokes and stunningly clever ideas with Georgina's help. Katya puts on a play challenging Catherine's reign and Catherine samples Peter's salty desserts."

The Great season 3 episode 8, "Peter and the Wolf"
"Catherine introduces divorce to the court with unforeseen consequences. Grigor befriends Maxim and takes him stag hunting, while Elizabeth and Petrov go on a trip to the regions."

The Great season 3 episode 9, "Destiny"
"Catherine orders Grigor to hide out in the forest with Paul and plays a dangerous game with herself to prove that her destiny lies in Russia, while grappling with the impact Peter's decisions have on her rule."

The Great season 3 episode 10, "Once Upon a Time"
"Court scientist Nikolai announces a comet is about to pass Russia, a phenomenon Catherine uses to her advantage while unearthing a new side of her leadership in the face of some huge challenges."

The Great season 3 cast

Back headlining The Great are Elle Fanning as Catherine and Nicholas Hoult as Peter.

Fanning has been acting literally all her life, with some of her most notable credits being Somewhere, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Super 8, Maleficent, 20th Century Women and The Girl from Plainville. She previously was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series at the Emmys for her role in The Great.

Hoult has also been around since he was a kid, first grabbing people's attention in About a Boy and since having starred in Skins, Warm Bodies, X-Men: First Class, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Favourite and most recently The Menu. He also earned an Emmy nom for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for The Great.

Other members of The Great cast back for season 3 include Phoebe Fox as Marial, Sacha Dhawan as Orlo, Gwilym Lee as Grigor, Adam Godley as Archbishop, Douglas Hodge as Velementov and more.

The Great season 3 trailer

The Great season 3 trailer has arrived. Welcome back to Catherine The Great's Russia, where the young empress continues to chart a new path forward for the country, balance her marriage with Peter and deal with her varying loyal advisors. Check out the trailer directly below:

How to watch The Great

The Great is a Hulu original series, so US consumers can only watch it if they have a Hulu subscription. There are multiple ways to sign up for Hulu, including as a standalone service, as part of the Disney Bundle or pairing it with live TV by getting Hulu with Live TV.

For UK viewers wanting to watch The Great, past seasons are streaming on Lionsgate Plus and available through the Starz Prime Video channel.  

The Great fact vs fiction

Learn what from The Great season 2 was fact and what was fiction in these episode by episode breakdowns:

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.