This post contains SPOILERS.
It genuinely surprised me how much I enjoyed this episode. It’s definitely one of the best episodes in the entire season so far. This episode is mostly split into two. On one side we see Churchill and the other we see Elizabeth.
With the Churchill side, we see his retirement and he doesn’t go out easy. No matter what you know about history, it was clear from what we’ve seen thus far that Churchill was never going to go out easily, and he certainly did not.
Most of his journey into retirement is shown through him getting his portrait painted. A portrait which he doesn’t appreciate and one which gets burned. The end of the episode has words that state: “Graham Sutherland’s portrait of Winston Churchill is widely considered to be a lost masterpiece.” So it was interesting to see the making of something so important that doesn’t actually exist anymore.
You can see the relief that everyone must be feeling through Elizabeth. When she and Churchill have their final meeting you can see just how relieved she is that he is finally retiring. Although he seems a little sad at the concept of actually stepping down, he does manage to joke a little with her. And although she does appear to be happy at his choice, she also is genuinely thankful to him and everything he has done.
Along side all of this we see him share a scene with the next prime minister: Anthony Eden. We see them clash against each other pretty hard which made their scene towards the end of the episode so much better. We see Churchill stop his car and get out to shake Eden’s hand. The best part about this is that there’s no exchange of words, they simply shake hands and then Churchill walks away.
As someone who doesn’t particularly feel any way about the Churchill portions of episodes, I really did love them in this episode. It was really well filmed, interesting, and kept my focus the entire time.
Throughout the rest of episode, I really enjoyed seeing Elizabeth’s love for horses with her work/investment with the stables. The old friendship that predates Elizabeth being Queen was also really nice. The scenes she shares with Lord “Porchey” Porchester were really fun to watch and it’s always nice to see Elizabeth’s (and other such characters) friendships as well as seeing them doing “normal” things.
Overall, this was one of the best episodes of the season thus far and, having already seen the finale, I feel a little saddened that the season didn’t end on this note.