In which Edward and Wallis are VERY GLAMOROUS and also COMPLETE NAZIS and The Crown tries to shove this revelation into a plotline about…Billy Graham? I do not even know. My full and complete, epic-length, old school recap of this episode is here (written for Previously.tv; we moved it over here when that site closed) and in it I opined things like:
Wallis is sitting alone and sulky out on the terrace, and, indeed, what better place to have a bitter argument about your future than during a fish-themed fancy dress party at your Parisian villa to which you’ve been exiled because you’re a bit of a Nazi and also abdicated the throne of the United Kingdom and they don’t want you to come back, like, ever. Edward plops down and announces that “a life of pleasure really has its limits,” and Wallis counters that he’s quite a trial to live with, and this further devolves into him telling her that he has “a need to serve [his] country deeply rooted” within him — since when?! — and that he needs a job and purpose. Wallis is all like, “UGH, not this again,” and quite rightly wonders where the hell he thinks he’s going to get a job; he informs her that he’s going to get one in London, obviously. “Shall I tell you what else is deeply rooted within your family?” Wallis asks. “DELUSION.” I hate to agree with Wallis Simpson, since she is a deeply unlikeable person who was really into Hitler, even if she did have fantastic taste, but I have to do so here.
How does the Foreign Secretary not know that Edward was a secret quasi-Nazi? In order to be senior enough to have this gig, the Secretary would have been old enough to have been in some kind of service during the war, and as far as I understand it, this was a matter of great rumor for years; wouldn’t the Foreign Secretary have at least floated this potential job past someone to make sure they weren’t handing the gig to a former Nazi? Is no one vetting anything here? I’ve done some cursory Googling about this, but it’s hard to tell who knew what when — which makes sense, given how top secret some of this intel was, but I feel like this whole episode is playing this reveal to be FAR more surprising and unknown than it really was. I strongly doubt, for instance, that no one mentioned this to Elizabeth at any point over the last fifteen years.
Yeah, I had A LOT of logistical notes about this episode. This show is so pretty and expensive that sometimes I think it’s easy to handwave the fact that much of the time, its sense of space and time doesn’t hang together whatsoever. BUT NOT I! I am a Logistics….well, “Nazi” seems like the wrong term. A Logistics Enthusiast.
Edward tries to spin some bullshit about how everyone used to like Hitler and, wait! What about World War I? Oh, maybe that’s his way out of this, he seems to be thinking. Maybe he made some noble ethical choices about how ne’er again should Germany and the UK be at war! Yes! Exactly! That’s the ticket! “People forget that there was no indication of whom Hitler would become,” Edward lies. “You could argue that we were the ones who made a monster of him, by refusing to be his allies. That was the point.” You could…and you would be totally wrong. Edward starts yelping about peace, that all he cares about is peace, he’s really sort of a peaceful pacifist hero, and he just wanted Germany and the UK to get along, and, “in that spirit,” now he’d like to make peace with her. In the spirit of…Nazi appeasement?! NOT A GREAT ARGUMENT.
ANYWAY. I haven’t typed so much about Nazis in I don’t know how long. Pop and read my ramblings, then swing back here so we can talk about Wallis Simpson dressed as a pirate, and Tommy Lascelles’s amazing toy battlefield, and also because I had a FULL-ON BREAKTHROUGH about what the problem is with this show AND I proved a theory about the sets I had and frankly I’M PROUD. Downton is involved.