Review: The Crown (Season 1, Episode 10)

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Spellbinding

Completing a faultless run for Netflix's newest original series, Episode 10 sees Queen Elizabeth face her most difficult decision yet.

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The Crown is a triumph for Netflix. The entire first season of the £125 million original series has been nothing but enticing and addictive – I should know, as I watched the entire season in two days. The show’s real success is the wonderful performances from the last ensemble cast, particularly in its three leads – Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II), John Lithgow (Winston Churchill), and Matt Smith (Prince Philip). It shows these icons figures as normal people; something the public never get to see. As Matt Smith put it perfectly in a recent interview: “It allows us to see behind the royal veil.”

With the season being so great, I was a little worried that the finale would be disappointing, but I was wrong. The finale concentrated more on family and loyalty than the politics of the time. There were three main strands of problems to do with loyalty; Elizabeth wrestling with the issue of her sister Margaret’s intended marriage to a divorcee, Elizabeth’s ongoing conflict with Phillip, and whether Margaret (Vanessa Kirby) would choose to marry the man she loves, with the consequence of being renounced from the family.

The staggering difference between the personalities of the royal figures when they are in the spotlight and when they are behind closed doors is what amazes most. When it comes to those frank conversations behind closed doors we really get to see who they are/were as people, as themselves. Of course, we can never know for certain what these delicate conversations actually entailed, but Netflix really nails them. They allow the public to see the human side of the royal family, rather than the robotic duty orientated version that we see day to day. This has been the appealing aspect of The Crown, especially as the public are always craving more information about their royals.

The other part of the finale that shines is its continued throwback to the abdication. It has been a running theme throughout the season, but in the finale, we see Edward (Alex Jennings) giving Elizabeth a harsh truth, perhaps surmising the main message of the series – “We are half people, ripped from the pages from some bizarre mythology. Two sides, the human and the crown, engaged in a civil war.” With parallels to Elizabeth’s dilemma with Margaret, it highlights the struggle that he himself must’ve had when he gave up the crown, as it was half of him – “I will always be half King, my tragedy is that I have no kingdom”. This conversation is very harrowing, and allows the public to feel sympathy for him, but also sympathise how the royal family harbour a lot of hatred for him. It perhaps rises the fallen figure of the former king to his rightful royal place.

The finale of The Crown‘s first season was spellbinding, emotional and flawless. I couldn’t fault it. Britain’s most famous family prevails once again, and I cannot wait for the next five seasons.

The entire 10 episodes of The Crown‘s first season are available to watch on Netflix. Read our reviews for Episode 1 and Episode 5 now.

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