Saturday, December 19, 2020

What I’m Watching: The Crown

The Crown: Season 4, Episode 4 “Favourites” (B+)

Maybe I don’t pay attention to British royalty enough, but I had no idea before watching this episode that Elizabeth and Philip had more than two children. I suspected that when Philip laughed and told Elizabeth that she had a clear favorite that it was Charles, and while that seems to be true, we also got to meet Prince Edward and Prince Andrew in a more substantial way than the two previous episodes in which I know see that they appeared even though I obviously didn’t notice them. It was fascinating to see how Elizabeth became inspired by Margaret breaking down in her office to check in with each of her children, after having Martin prepare some notes about their interests so that she could appear sufficiently interested in their lives. Stories of being pranked got her somewhat alarmed, but both of the sons we haven’t much seen seemed to be mostly alright. Anne, on the other hand, was direct and unhappy, and was very displeased when Elizabeth brought up the extramarital relationship that was, according to Anne, the other thing that did make her happy. It was jarring to see the gentle Charles we’ve come to know so angry with Diana, begrudging her for not coming out to greet her queen and then complaining about her to his mother. It was also telling that he decided the menu, a stark contrast to at eternal expectation of poached salmon at the palace. Margaret’s approach to her children was an extremely informative window into her worldview, so devastated and concerned after the disappearance of her favorite son and perfectly willing to tell his twin sister that she favors him because he’s stronger. It’s hard to know if Gillian Anderson or Emma Corrin will win an Emmy for this season (or Helena Bonham Carter, provided she has more of a role in the remaining episodes), but this was a superb showcase for Anderson.

No comments: