Wednesday, December 4, 2019

What I’m Watching: The Crown

The Crown: Season 3, Episode 3 “Aberfan” (B+)

I find this show to be most compelling when it looks at a real-life event that initially seems innocuous and then turns gravely serious. The fog is one that I remember strongly, and the teacher telling his students to hide under their desks when that wasn’t going to do anything for them was deeply upsetting and haunting. The fact that both Tony and Philip got emotional was a sign of the heartbreaking nature of this situation, and both Margaret and Elizabeth understood that it was traffic but couldn’t quite comprehend the feelings that their husbands were expressing. Harold didn’t seem into the idea of throwing Elizabeth under the bus when it was suggested to him, and he was honest about how it was undoubtedly one of them who leaked it to the press. She chewed him out right away for not giving her the respect of being direct with her, and what ensued was a very personal and intimate conversation that should make their future encounters considerably more pleasant and honest. Telling him that she was deficient in not being able to cry led to him opening up in an unexpected way about not ever having done manual labor and not liking beer, vulnerable admissions that show that he wants to have a positive relationship with the queen. No one has ever accused this show of being fast-paced, but sometimes its purposeful introspection can be absolutely perfect. Reading that the queen still regrets not having gone to Aberfan right away was appropriately powerful – it won’t be easy to forget this episode.

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