The Crown S3: Margaretology

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And so we have our first real Margaret-focused episode of the season, however the real focus is not yet on her marriage (though we are given a bigger glimpse), but on her relationship with Elizabeth. The inherent inequality of their stations is a theme the show has covered since its first season. Indeed, this particular situation – Elizabeth looking on jealously while Margaret shines – isn’t anything new; an earlier iteration of it exists via the episode, “Pride & Joy.”

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The Crown S3: Olding

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After a nearly two-year gap, here we are again, convened for royal super bowl. For those who missed it, there’s a post from yesterday that level-sets where we left off in The Crown’s Season 2, so let’s get straight into it. It’s still 1964 in this season’s premier, but we are introduced to a new cast of characters who will carry us through the next two seasons. The show acknowledges this via the cold open, which has Olivia Colman’s Elizabeth reviewing new stamps bearing her image, the more updated sitting side-by-side with one featuring Claire Foy. 

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Catching Up on The Crown

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One benefit to a recent cold snap we’ve had is that it’s given me plenty of time to re-watch Season 2 of the The Crown in anticipation of this weekend. While I think I have watched it since its premier two years ago, I honestly can’t remember when that was, so it’s been a minute and was definitely necessary for re-acclimating myself to where we left off with the characters. I also went back and re-read my wrap-up of the second season, and, well, apparently I was quite displeased with the lack of character development the show focused on its central figure: the Queen(!)

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How Does Our Heroine Fare in The Crown’s Season Two?

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Before the premier of The Crown’s second season, I addressed some of the controversy caused by its first, primarily criticism that the show didn’t focus enough on Queen Elizabeth, but rather went off on tangents on the men in her life. And while it’s true that Season One spent a lot of time covering Prince Philip, George VI, Winston Churchill and Edward VIII, I also argued that the split in screen time was mostly logical and Elizabeth was still well-covered.

I stand by that when it comes to the first season, but I’m feeling a little less charitable about Season Two.

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The Crown S2: Mystery Man

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This was a strange episode, but one whose point, I think, was captured in its final moments. Philip and Elizabeth face off at Balmoral for yet another Come to Jesus, only this time a little older, a little wiser and by far more tired. It’s a parallel, presumably, to the opening scene of the series, one whose ending we finally saw in the third episode, during which the two strike a deal for how to stay married – elevate Philip’s rank and, apparently, give him control of the children.

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The Crown S2: Paterfamilias

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This episode was easily the series’ most heartbreaking – and also quite possibly its best. Elizabeth was all but a nonentity in it, save one rather tense scene, but Charles springs forth for the first time as a central character, albeit not one who reflects on his parents well. As we have done for the last few recaps, we’ll capture the gist of what happened and then delve into how much of this is accurate. Spoiler alert: this episode and the next one have garnered some of the series’ most significant criticism for its depictions of moments involving Philip.

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The Crown S2: Dear Mrs. Kennedy

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So, here we are. The episode that has garnered so very many headlines in the last couple of weeks – the arrival of John and Jackie Kennedy at Buckingham Palace. Once again, however, we are playing it fast and loose with the timeline. Ostensibly a year has passed since the last episode and we are in June 1961 when the Queen and Prince Philip actually hosted the first couple, however by the end it’s November 1963 and the Royal Family is watching the aftermath of Kennedy’s assassination.

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The Crown S2: Matrimonium

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A lot happens this episode, which is good news after two episodes that mostly deviate from our main characters. An engagement, a wedding, two pregnancies, a baby and one Palace house party with rock n’ roll and a conga line. Fantastic. I am going to offer a slight fact-check to the episode, which does play it a bit fast and loose with timelines, while addressing a few of the issues the episode puts forth.

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The Crown S2: Vergangenheit

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One issue some had with The Crown’s depiction of Edward VIII in the first season was that it attempted to hold his love affair with Wallis Simpson up against Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend as a direct parallel. In doing so, the political concerns that many in Edward VIII’s government had about him were ignored and by that, of course, I mean his known affection for Germany and seeming tolerance for Nazis.

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