Monday, January 2, 2023

What I’m Watching: The Crown

The Crown: Season 5, Episode 8 “Gunpowder” (B+)

The construction of this episode was very clever, setting up Diana’s interview on the same day as the fifth of November, an important date immortalized for Americans by “V for Vendetta” and by the man actually responsible, Guy Fawkes, centuries earlier in the UK. The symbolic dates only kept coming, like Charles’ birthday and Elizabeth and Philip’s anniversary. The Queen didn’t hold back in her reaction to Elizabeth when she came to see her, suggesting that they might not be available because they were all busy doing important things, and that she was a broken record. Diana’s response was equally honest, that the happiness of a forty-eight-year marriage was all she would have wished for herself. The request made by Duke Hussey to do something special for the Queen could not have been more dishonored, and pairing that with the Queen’s inability to operate her new television without her grandson’s help only made it feel like more of a sting. Charles reacted especially angry to Diana’s comment about him as the future king, though obviously things did turn out differently than everyone expected with the timing of his ascension to the throne and her untimely passing decades before that. I’m not sure whether the final two episodes of the season will get us to Diana’s death or not, events covered in “The Queen” and in some previous biographical films about her, but I know that’s going to change everything and the way the world feels about the remaining members of the royal family.

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