Monday, September 4, 2017

Emmy Episodes: The Crown

The Crown: Season 1, Episode 9 “Assassins” (B+)

I’ve accelerated my watching of this show to ensure that I’m done with it before the Emmys air, and also because this episode is under Emmy consideration in three separate categories. It makes so much sense why this is John Lithgow’s choice, since a seemingly simple portrait session for Churchill turns into something much grander, leading to his realization that he isn’t fit to lead the country anymore. His two best quotes, paraphrased as best as I can remember here, were about how cameras are for the truth and paintings are for history, and that the finished product made him look like he was squeezing out a piece of stool. I never recognize Stephen Dillane anywhere, after first encountering him fifteen years ago as Nicole Kidman’s onscreen husband in “The Hours” and then his more widely-known role as Stannis on “Game of Thrones” recently. Graham Sutherland, the painter, was a crucial part of this episode, particularly in how he reacted to Churchill’s bragging that he regularly completed sixty paintings in a year as opposed to Sutherland’s meager three or four, and his response that he can’t be blamed for “what is” was stern but true. I’m still not quite so sure why Claire Foy chose to submit this episode since her relationship with Porchie isn’t nearly as interesting as some past plotlines, and only in that final scene where she gets to really yell at Philip did it make any sense to me (I would have gone with episode eight instead). The writing of this episode is probably deserving of its nomination, and that ending was pretty spectacularly intense.

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