The Crown Season 1 Episode 5: “Smoke and Mirrors” Review
THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS.
This episode starts off again by going back in time to when Elizabeth was a child. In some ways this works particularly well because we get to see what life was like for her, but we also get to see more of King George and other characters we might not really see otherwise.
Seeing it go from King George trying on the crown to Elizabeth trying it on was a nice transition. It told you a lot about what she must be feeling in that moment. “It’s not as easy as it looks.” The smiles that follow, and then Elizabeth asking if she could borrow the crown in order to practice, made this scene not only touching but also quite funny.
The interactions between Elizabeth and Philip are always interesting to watch. Even when they seem to disagree about something, and even argue, there’s always some kind of smile and laughter at some point. And even when there isn’t, you still get this strong feeling that everything is going to be just fine. It makes it fun to watch, and even if you know nothing about the royal family, it makes it easy for you to connect to them as people and to be invested in their lives and relationship.
That whole sequence with Edward and his wife was a little awkward, but honestly that just added to the entertainment value. Every time he comes on screen I never know what to think. Sometimes his voiceovers make me feel one way, but then his actions make me feel another. It makes it hard to have a precise opinion on him. Either way, Alex Jennings plays the part incredibly well.
Every time Elizabeth stands up for what she wants, even when she’s advised against it, my heart grows several sizes. It’s always such a pleasure to watch. It’s also funny because later when Churchill says they’ll take their lead from her, she seems genuinely shocked by that.
Seeing Philip being optimistic about running the whole show, and seeing the coronation being put together, is super interesting. You can see how much Philip is enjoying it, but we all know that mostly everyone advised against him being in charge. Seeing the build up into the actual coronation made it even more satisfying to watch. Everything, from the music to the camera angles to the small smiles from Elizabeth and others around her.
Philip kneeling down in front of her just like she wanted him to was a surprisingly touching moment.
Well, now we move on to something slightly new. The next episode will be the first where Elizabeth is actually Queen. Up until now we’ve seen her slip into the role, but now she has the title to go along with it. This episode, like the ones before, was entertaining, insightful, and done so incredibly well. No doubt the next will be the same.