The Crown: A Company of Men
December 10, 2017 8:19 PM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Elizabeth feels disconnected from Philip. Eden copes with international pressure and ill health. An interview stirs up harrowing memories for Philip.
posted by Cash4Lead (8 comments total)
The eye-roll moment of the episode: the upperclass gentleman officers jumping for joy after winning a cricket match against people who have never even seen, let alone played cricket before. Close second: the crusty good-old-boy misogyny of the Thursday club. Ugh.

I think Matt Smith is channelling the Duke's physical characteristics really well, and clearly has studied his posture, facial expressions and speech. Seems quite spot on to me. But it must be difficult to try to add depth to a character who doesn't seem to have much IRL.

As a side note: I've been to that beach they first arrived on, supposedly in PNG. In reality, it's in South Africa, an hour or so upstream from the southern coast - not a destination or anything, we just happened to rent a little motorboat for a day once and stopped there for a picnic. I recognized it immediately, but had to google a bit to verify. I guess that means the Papuan locals were played by South African extra's too, which just feels wrong.
posted by sively at 2:41 AM on December 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

I found this an interesting episode; interesting to see Philip in his element, as it were - in the company of men, being a manly upper crust white man (which includes womanizing and being condescendingly racist). I really enjoyed the reporter not giving an inch for him during the interview, and I liked him pulling rank to ensure that the rescued fisherman went home, and I also liked the fact that his Christmas message was also an oblique one for Elizabeth.

But every time this show gives me some reason to start to like Philip to even a small degree, they soon return him to being an ass.
posted by nubs at 11:36 AM on December 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

gives me some reason to start to like Philip to even a small degree, they soon return him to being an ass

So exactly like the real Philip then!
posted by elsietheeel at 12:25 PM on December 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

I’m actually really, really impressed with the show: I’ve disliked Phillip for a long while, and this episode makes you ask: what kind of husband and man would Lieutenant Mountbatten have been to a non-royal Elizabeth? He’s in his element among men, but also, is actually charismatic and inspiring. You can see it not just in his insistence on taking the man home, but also on the “are we the closest ship?” question. For an orphaned boy, the military is probably the closest he ever knew to a family, and he had to give it up to be royal - a thing he couldn’t give up, since his grandfather died for it, but which he never seems to have valued overly.
posted by corb at 6:05 AM on December 12, 2017 [4 favorites]

what kind of husband and man would Lieutenant Mountbatten have been to a non-royal Elizabeth?

This is where I start to wonder how much of what we see is fiction and how much reality; I remain surprised at how much the show depicts the couple at struggling with the demands of being the royals versus being a couple. By the time of their marriage, Elizabeth had been the heir presumptive for some time - surely there was some discussion/understanding for the both of them by that point what being married to the Queen of England & Sundry meant? Or perhaps how things were changing in the world meant that the roles would be substantively different enough from everything that had come before that maybe no one was really prepared.

At any rate, I am amused at how much I - a person with a deep seating loathing of the royal family and what it stands for - enjoy this show.
posted by nubs at 8:49 AM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

For an orphaned boy, the military is probably the closest he ever knew to a family

Oh hey, that's insightful. And also actually describes perfectly the ease he was exuding throughout the trip, in the company of men. Among family.

That sort of puts Elizabeth's little note to him in a different light, doesn't it? "Always remember you have a family."

We've actually been shown very little royal family life yet in this season, probably so that the note would sound as abstract and hollow to us as it seemed to Philip when he first read it. He was escaping an institution, as his douchebag secretary helpfully put it, to the wide open seas, where he's among his own people. (His tribe, literally, encountering other tribes along the way.)

And then we finally also get flashbacks to the family he has chosen to erase from his memory entirely. Also adding a layer of interpretation to that little note. Clever.
posted by sively at 12:31 PM on December 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

Something I've been wondering these past two episodes - has Philip actually been unfaithful? The framing of everything is very suggestive, but unlike his PartyBro he's never seen being led off by any of the women - just demurring.
posted by coriolisdave at 1:33 PM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I think the show is doing a very careful job of alluding to the fact that Philip may have been unfaithful without ever spelling it out directly. It walks a fine line, no doubt to avoid opposition from the palace.
posted by nubs at 2:19 PM on December 12, 2017 [4 favorites]

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