Friday, February 28, 2020

What I’m Watching: The Crown (Season Finale)

The Crown: Season 3, Episode 10 “Cri de Coeur” (B)

I was excited to see Helena Bonham Carter up on stage at the SAG Awards accepting the ensemble prize on behalf of the whole cast, though I’d argue that her performance in the second episode of the season was far stronger than in this hour. It’s possible that the material there was more engaging, but I’d also contend that this was far from the strongest episode this year. The last time we saw Margaret, she was getting into trouble by doing and saying all the wrong things, and now she had reason to be upset with her husband interested in other women and no privacy to be found despite the considerable effort Elizabeth acknowledged in her traveling far away to be with another man. It was so strange to see Tony be so warm to Elizabeth when she summoned him, presenting her with a handful of gifts related to her jubilee year. It was nice to see Elizabeth show up and be so firmly supportive of her sister, telling her she should indeed get a divorce and that it could hopefully be buried under more startling news about the prime minister’s resignation. We barely saw Wilson in his newly-elected term, and his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s means that she’ll be working with yet another prime minister. As always, this show remains most powerful when Elizabeth considers what the crown actually means and what she’s done, conveyed tremendously by the look on her face as the big speech played about her reign. Though this episode may have been the weakest, this was an extraordinary season, and I hope it wins many awards.

Season grade: A-
Season MVPS: Olivia Colman as Elizabeth, Tobias Menzies as Philip, Josh O’Connor as Charles, and Helena Bonham Carter as Margaret

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