Kaiser Wilhelm II faces the dilemma of deciding to sponsor Lenin's return to Russian. He is fearful of creating a "Bolshevik nemesis" but reluctantly tells his advisors to allow Lenin and his compatriots to travel through Germany from exile in Switzerland in order to destabilize Russia.
Czar Nicholas II of Russia is traveling on a train, and the train is stopped because of an urgent matter. A messenger tells the Czar that the Duma requests that he abdicate the throne immediately, and when the Czar refuses, he states that they demand his abdication. The Czar is faced with a difficult decision, as it is clear his presence is not welcome in any new form of Russian government that takes shape.
Lenin is hard at work growing his revolutionary movement from exile in Switzerland. He learns of the fall of the Czar in the February Revolution of 1917 and begins planning his return to Russia. He is given the difficult choice of accepting German help to get him to Russia.
Vladimir Lenin meets with his life partner, Krupskaya, and discusses the role of the revolutionary party. He expounds his ideas on engagement with the common people and their needs in order to gain their trust. He believes that only with the confidence and power of the people will they be able to challenge the Czarist state in Russia.
Leon Trotsky criticizes his opponents in one of the most quoted speeches as the Bolsheviks consolidate power over the Petrograd Soviet and the Russian Revolution in general while modern experts weigh in.