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.
Leon Trotsky and Vladimir Lenin meet in London in 1902 to discuss Marxism and the Marxist revolution. During their discussion, Trotsky recites from his work, "On Optimism and Pessimism," and gets Lenin's feedback on it.
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.
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.