THE CROWN Episode You’ll Want to Avoid
By Ben Kayser, Managing Editor
My wife and I, like many people, really enjoy the Netflix series THE CROWN. It’s a superbly written dramatic series about Queen Elizabeth II that covers the day she married Prince Phillip, to her coronation as the Queen of the United Kingdom and the family drama that takes place within the royal family. The TV series obviously takes some creative liberties and makes many assumptions as to what happens behind closed doors, but there’s a clear respect for the Crown from the writers, and an attempt to depict events as they happened. It’s hard not to get drawn into the royal world, and the incredible sets, costumes, and nuanced performances, especially from Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth is breathtaking and engrossing. In addition to this, the series has been somewhat wholesome (read a more detailed description of Season 1 here), that is until episode 7 of Season 2, titled “Matrimonium”.
Before we get to that episode, it should be noted that the most positive and Christian episode of the series takes place right before the most graphic and explicit. Episode 6 of Season 2, titled “Vergangenheit” is about Queen Elizabeth finding out that her exiled uncle, Edward, Duke of Windsor had a relationship with Nazi High Command in Germany before World War II and sympathized with aspects of Hitler’s regime. In the episode, which takes place in 1958, Christian evangelist Billy Graham is holding crusades in Great Britain. Elizabeth is fascinated by the evangelist and invites him to Buckingham Palace to preach, and have tea with her. As the episode progresses, the Queen struggles with the knowledge of how her uncle betrayed the country and the importance of forgiveness in the Christian faith. She asks Billy Graham about the nature of forgiveness and seeks guidance in the Bible and in prayer. Even though the actor portraying Billy Graham does a poor job, it’s a very compelling and moving episode that shows the Queen’s personal Christian faith, as well as her real life long-lasting friendship with Billy Graham.
One episode later however, the story follow’s Princess Margaret’s engagement to Antony Armstrong-Jones, a photographer who infatuates Margaret. The story reveals that Antony, or Tony as he is known, is quite the womanizer and in a shocking scene that doesn’t fit with the nature of the show, has explicit sex with a dancer in his studio with nudity. Immediately after, it cuts to scene in which Tony is in bed with a topless women and her husband, implying that they had just had a threesome. The episode has multiple f-words as well. If you watch the show with your parents or grandparents, or your children, you’d rushing for the remote pretty quickly at this point.
For a show that only ever implied sex, and stayed classy, the episode is sure to shock many conservative and Christian viewers who enjoy the show. Netflix loves pushing the boundaries in this way. Of the 20+ Netflix original drama TV shows, only two shows don’t have explicit sex, and only one doesn’t have explicit language. THE CROWN would’ve been the third until this latest season. For those who enjoy the show, skip episode 7 and make a statement that we don’t want explicit sex scenes in THE CROWN.