Likewise, Archie would be much lower on this list if based solely on Season 1, as his pompous, holier-than-thou attitude is exhausting. Though he initially is against Catherine and her rule, once he realizes that’s where the power is going, he completely switches his loyalties. Archie has secrets that no one could pry out of him. His life before he became a holy man was filled with, as he has said, sin and degenerate behavior. He is quick to judge any and all in the court, and, like everyone else in Russia, he is looking to get himself ahead. He manipulates Peter and others through his hallucinogenic visions that he believes are from God.
However, if you look at Archie’s character and role in the show overall, he’s part of what makes “The Great” live up to its title. He’s sickeningly creepy, but in a way that’s often somewhat humorous. We get a bit of context as to why he turned to the Lord, and it’s seemingly because he’s addicted to sex and is somewhat queer. Adding those layers to Archie makes him seem much more human and creates a sense of understanding for the audience. It’s hard to be queer in Russia, particularly in a romantic way and not a strictly sexual way, and to come to terms with that when you’re religious is tough.
Archie deals with that during Season 2, and it’s interesting for the audience to watch and makes his ranking rise.