‘The Regime’ Episode 2 Recap & Ending Explained: What Was Nicholas’ Plan To Deal With Zubak?


In The Regime Episode 1, we witnessed how close Chancellor Elena started feeling to her right-hand man, Zubak, after he saved her life. Elena was a peculiar character, and most of the time, she did what she felt like, not giving any sort of consideration to the advice given by her council of ministers. But Zubak won her trust, and there were instances where it felt like they were romantically inclined towards each other, too. So, let’s find out what changes Elena brings about in her policies and the kind of impact they have on the relationships she shares with other nations.

Spoiler Alert

What changes did Elena bring to her policies? 

Since the time Corporal Herbert Zubak became close to Chancellor Elena, the country saw some radical changes in the policy system. Zubak convinced the chancellor that their friendliness was being confused for meekness by countries like the United States of America. In the previous episode of The Regime, we saw that the American businessman was able to coerce Elena into making a deal (though at the end she pulled back), the terms of which clearly favored the USA. Elena felt pressured, and even after knowing that the U.S. would have the upper hand in the days to come, she wasn’t able to say no to it. But something changed at the end of the previous episode, and Elena, after consulting with Zubak, adopted a more aggressive and confrontational approach. Minister Goin and Dr. Kershaw were put behind bars, and a declaration was made that the European nation would not have any kind of association with the nations that tried to curb their freedom.

Chancellor Elena openly made derogatory statements against the U.S., and the White House was shocked at such an abrupt change. The American diplomats were concerned and a bit insecure, too, as there was a fear that China might end up having better control over the region. So, the American government made a statement saying that they wanted to mend the relationship between the two countries, and it was decided that a diplomat named Judith would be sent to meet Chancellor Elena in person. The private players in Elena’s country were also not happy with her approach since her policies sabotaged their plans. A deal with the U.S. was very profitable for someone like Mr. Bartos, who was not only the richest man in the country but also owned many cobalt mines. Bartos, during a ceremony, requested that Elena not sever ties with the U.S. and try to reach an amicable solution once the American diplomat arrived in the country. Elena didn’t say anything at that time, but deep down, she knew what she wanted to do. Elena’s approval ratings increased as people enjoyed seeing the U.S. get a taste of their own medicine. Zubak had won the complete trust of Elena, and she blindly followed his instructions.

Elena seemed to have finally cured her mycophobia, and she replaced her medication with the homemade treatments that Zubak started giving her. Nicholas felt quite weird seeing his wife blindly believe what Zubak said since they both had medical degrees and had a great deal of knowledge in that area. It was as if Zubak and Elena were working in sync, and they could somehow telepathically know what was going on inside each other’s minds. Nicholas tried bringing up the topic a few times, but Elena didn’t pay any sort of attention to it. The potato had replaced the hygrometer, and the entire palace was filled with it since, according to Zubak, it killed mold. Elena could now breathe better than ever, and she believed that potatoes were the reason she was able to do so. Dr. Laskin tried time and again to tell Elena that her actions could have certain adverse consequences, but she stopped taking him seriously because she had Zubak by her side. 

Was Zubak infatuated with Elena? 

We got to know in The Regime episode 2 that Elena kept having these infatuations time and again, and everybody, including Nicholas, was well aware of that. Elena was not weirded out or surprised by the kind of connection she had developed with Zubak, but the same couldn’t be said for our corporal. He was surprised, as he probably hadn’t expected that he would come so close to the chancellor. In the first episode, we saw that their dreams were somehow linked, and when they woke up, they remembered each and every detail about what happened. Of late, the dreams had grown “spicier,” and Zubak wanted to confront Elena and ask her if she was seeing the same thing. Elena very casually told him that she was also dreaming about the same thing, and by her behavior, it became clear that she didn’t feel strange about it. Nicholas, Dr. Laskin and others always referred to her infatuations as being platonic, probably because once she got bored, she moved on to the next guy. But clearly, things weren’t platonic from Zubak’s end. Zubak fantasized about Elena, and she probably knew about that fact. Apart from that, he also tortured himself on a regular basis, probably because he felt that he deserved that pain after what he did in Site 5. 

What did Elena do with the U.S. diplomat? 

The U.S. diplomat, Judith, came to meet the chancellor with the intention of resolving the issue between both nations. Though Chancellor Elena was in no mood to end the conflict, she was stopping herself from acting impulsively. Judith told Elena that the U.S. government would make her nation a permanent member of NATO and do every possible thing to enhance its authority in the region. She told Elena that she was also ready to change the terms and conditions of the cobalt deal and make it more favorable for her. She also said that she could look into the matter of the Faban Corridor and have an open discussion about it, too. It seemed like the U.S. had realized that without Elena’s support, they would lose their influence in the area, and that was why they were open to discussing almost anything that Elena proposed. But still, one could notice that Judith, even after reconciling and pleading, had an air of arrogance about her stature. This is a very subconscious thing that a person hailing from a so-called developed nation does all the time, and Elena didn’t like it one bit. Elena didn’t like feeling inferior in any way. She was already livid about the fact that even when it was such an important issue for the U.S. government, the president didn’t bother coming himself but sent his subordinate.

Elena felt disrespected, and through her taunts and sarcastic one-liners, she made sure that Judith knew what was going on in her mind. Elena wanted to see the representative of the U.S. feeling subdued and scared for once. On the face of it, it was just a conversation between two women who represented their country, but there was a clear hierarchy, and it hurt Elena’s ego. These thoughts were going through Elena’s mind, and Zubak seemed to have read them. He came very close to Judith, and Elena asked her to accompany her on a palace tour. Elena locked Judith in a room with Zubak. Judith was petrified, as, firstly, her mind couldn’t process what was happening to her, and probably no one had ever dared intimidate a U.S. representative so explicitly. Judith was held captive just for a few minutes, but it was enough to make her paranoid. Judith rushed to the airport after that, and Elena felt great at what she had accomplished. Elena had been in power for a long time, but probably, this was the first time she felt it in her veins. A person who had entered her chamber with such peremptoriness literally ran away in fear and that gave Elena a kind of adrenaline rush that she had never experienced. 

What was Nicholas’ plan to deal with Zubak? 

Nicholas obviously had problems with the kind of importance that his wife was giving Zubak, but he knew that he couldn’t make an impulsive decision as it could’ve spoiled things for him. Dr. Laskin had found evidence of the fact that Zubak physically abused his mother when he was 14 years old, and they proposed to use it against him. 

Nicholas knew his wife, and that’s why he told Dr. Laskin that she had a fixed pattern every time she got infatuated with someone, and they could probably take advantage of that fact. Nicholas said that Elena always got obsessed, and then the attraction slowly faded away. He said that Elena was the kind of woman who loved a good story, and so instead of finding evidence against Zubak, they should focus more on making Elena reach the peak of her infatuation. Up until then, Dr. Laskin and others had found some evidence against Zubak, but it was not strong enough to convince Elena to throw him out. Dr. Laskin, sometime back, came up with the theory that Elena had chromosomal links to Charlemagne, who was referred to as the father of Europe back in the day. The historical figure ruled in an era referred to as the Dark Ages, and he brought about a change in culture and policies and laid the foundation of present-day Europe. One intriguing fact about Charlemagne was that he killed around 5000 Saxons at that time, and the Nazis later on used it for their propaganda. Elena was probably flattered by the theory; evidently, she had no qualms about assuming the role of the ruler in a so-called democratic setup. Dr. Laskin and his colleagues came up with a similar fake theory for Zubak, too, and they told Elena that, according to them, he might share a chromosomal link to the first settlers called the Foundlings. Elena’s eyes gleamed as if the theory was proven to be true; then, she would have scientific evidence of her superiority. Dr. Laskin told her that the theory was within an acceptable range of probability. 

Elena made a public announcement about the fact that Corporal Herbert Zubak was no commoner, and we would get to know in the subsequent episodes of The Regime if Nicholas’ plan would work out or not. One thing that was clearly established was that Elena was control-obsessed, and she could do anything to be in a position of power. It would be interesting to see if, after the latest development, there is a change in her relationship dynamics with Zubak or not. 

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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