Saturday, January 2, 2021

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

The Crown: Season 4, Episode 10 “War” (B+)

It’s so interesting to compare this episode with the season two finale, which found a much younger Elizabeth and Philip confronting their marital difficulties. They’ve now come to a very different place, where Philip accepts the role that he’s been given and Elizabeth is bold enough to decree what she will and will not allow to happen. I recently read that both Josh O’Connor, who plays Charles, and Emma Corrin, who plays Diana, will compete as lead performers at the Golden Globes, which I think makes sense since so much of this season has been about them with Philip and even Elizabeth taking a major step back (Tobias Menzies is heading to the supporting race, while Olivia Colman remains a lead). Charles really does seem cruel after being such a genteel and sympathetic soul in season three, and Diana was so genuinely happy in New York, only to return home to find that Charles was furious at her for behaving in what he deemed was a frivolous manner. Their tableside conversation did seem like mediation at best and a contentious divorce hearing at worst, and the tough love that Elizabeth gave to her son is still more than she’s willing to offer the daughter-in-law she considers spoiled. I would recommend that this episode serve as a possible Emmy submission for Colman, who also nailed her scenes opposite an equally excellent Gillian Anderson as the now-defeated Margaret Thatcher, who didn’t want to go down without a fight. I think I liked season three best but there’s no arguing with this show’s quality, and I’m just sad that it will be back for two more seasons with a completely different set of actors since these have been absolutely terrific. Bring on the awards!

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Emma Corrin as Diana and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher

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