The Crown S2 E2 Recap

Infidelitus Interruptus: In which Prince Philip Goes On Emotional Walkabout, And Makes Terrible Facial-Hair Choices


This article originally ran on as one of its Epic Old School Recaps

All you need to know is that my response to the very first shot of this episode was to say, aloud to my empty apartment, “Ugh, Philip.” Because we open with the Duke of Edinburgh on a boat, the Union Jack flapping cinematically by his face, as he speeds through very glorious and beautiful foreign lands during the royal tour Elizabeth sent him on so that he could open the Olympics for her, and also so that he could feel better about himself because it’s so so so hard for him to be married to the person he knew he was marrying the entire time. I am, in fact, rolling my eyes so hard at the entire concept of Philip and how his Sad Man Feelings must constantly be managed by someone who has other stuff to do, DUE TO HOW SHE IS THE QUEEN, that I almost miss it when Philip pops out of his speedboat to greet some local villagers and reveals that he is wearing simply the most ridiculous shorts and KNEE SOCKS. He looks absurd.


It’s glorious. This shorts/socks combo is worn by him, and a variety of other men, throughout this episode, and it is nigh on impossible to take ANYONE wearing them seriously. (I get that it’s the uniform of the Royal Navy, but here is where I would have accepted some creative license from the costume folks.)

This episode has a lot of montages, and the first one gets us up to speed with what’s happening on Philip’s Fragile Masculinity Tour via narration from Mike Parker, Philip’s bestie/social secretary/terrible influence/ballerina procurer. (The structure is that we’re hearing the letters that Mike has written to be read aloud to their fellow members of the Thursday Club, the awful men’s squad he and Philip have started for purposes of manly fellowship/light sexual harassment of waitresses. This later proves to be important, so make a note.) They’ve been to Mombasa (Mike writes), and Ceylon, the Seychelles, and on to New Guinea, and they’re putting on “mini Olympics” everywhere they go, primarily strong-arming their hosts into playing tug-of-war with them, or racing them, because Philip has a lot of issues with his masculinity that he should perhaps investigate with a professional instead of making a New Guinean fight him. Mike further explains that when they start feeling sad that, say, the residents of New Guinea kicked their ass in tug-of-war, they induce them to play cricket, where, “[they] can be relied upon to get [their] revenge. Mainly because cricket as a sport has never been seen before in New Guinea.” Well, congrats! You beat people at a game they’ve never played before! How impressive! Don’t you all feel like men! (I really wish this show would then cut to a scene where these New Guineans are rolling their eyes at Philip and his obnoxious roving band of merry men, but alas, it’s not to be.)

“At night, the adventures continue,” Mike notes and by “adventures,” don’t worry. He definitely means, if I may translate, “getting hammered and banging their way across the globe,” although the show is vague to negatory on whether or not Philip was engaging in the latter. Regardless: per Mike, in New Guinea “men are expected to indulge” and “what happens on tour stays on tour,” and back at the Thursday Club, all the men who’ve been left behind find this very familiar turn of phrase to be uproariously delightful and tremendously creative; in their defense, that particular Las Vegas ad campaign was fifty years in the future, but I expected something less hacky from Peter Morgan. It’s an apt shorthand, certainly, but as a phrase it stands out as ahistorical. (Mike also uses the phrase “work hard, play hard,” all of which makes me think that if he’d lived in the United States, and were wholly fictional, he would have ended up working for Don Draper for three weeks before Don fired him in extremely unimpressed fashion.) What also doesn’t seem particularly delightful to me is the fact that we’re looking at a huge dining room full of men chortling their balls off at the concept of their Queen being cheated upon. It’s very unkind, in the first place, but moreover, finding such delight in the betrayal of the Crown seems ungentlemanly at best and mildly treasonous at worst. Make no mistake, Posh Assholes of 1950s Britain: if you’d found the sexual infidelity of the royal consort this hilarious five hundred years earlier, you would have landed in the Tower post-haste. Watch yourselves!

After the credits, we open on a very large protest in Trafalgar Square, centered on Anthony Eden and the ongoing drama that is the Suez Canal. In short: an extremely loud and vocal portion of the British are MEGA-UNHAPPY with the current situation. Dickie Mountbatten is being chauffeured to the palace through the melee, and he looks mildly interested in all of this upheaval, if not particularly surprised. He’s slightly ruffled when a protester bangs on his car window in a rage, but not terribly so. After all, he has, at this point, seen it all. (This seems like a good place to recommend his daughter Pamela Hicks’s memoir, Daughter Of Empire, which talks a lot about their life in India during the end of British rule there, and delves into the relationship between Dickie and her mother, which was just as dramatic as we saw in the previous episode, but not as contentious as this show is making it appear. As Heather mentioned, both Dickie and Edwina slept with all kinds of people, but each of them had a tendency to make friends with his or her spouse’s lover, so there’s some real creative license being taken with this portrayal of Dickie as desperately in love with an untamed creature who is constantly breaking his heart. You also need to read the book just to experience the bit where Edwina Mountbatten made her daughters wait for her in a hotel in the Alps while she went off to do something and then she forgot which hotel it was and accidentally left them there for ages. Like months.)

When Dickie finally gets to the palace, he sweeps into a meal with Elizabeth and the Queen Mum and exposits that this entire Suez thing has been a real debacle, and I have to warn you that this episode is heavy on exposition and montages, although they’re both well done. In short: the Americans are pissed, the UN is “up in arms,” the whole thing has caused a run on sterling, and people are hoarding fuel because they’re worried about oil shortages to such an extent that Great Britain is going to have to resort to rationing when winter comes. “It’s not an exaggeration to say this has been the worst week for the country since 1939,” Dickie announces, and he’s in the middle of explaining in much greater detail how totally screwed they all are when Philip calls from New Guinea.

Elizabeth leaves the table in a flurry and trots into a nearby drawing room to take her husband’s call, looking so sadly excited that she’s finally hearing from him that I want to hug her. My question is: didn’t Philip write to her? Philip, write to your wife. I’m sure there are diplomatic mailings that you could slip a wee postcard into, at the very least. Philip is calling from the royal yacht and the connection is wonky: he can’t hear her, although she can hear him. We get several minutes of “I can’t hear you?”/”I can hear you”/”Can you hear me?”/”I can’t hear you” before Elizabeth hangs up in a disappointed huff and Philip returns to carousing on the yacht in his shorts. Do you understand the metaphor? She can hear him, while he cannot hear her. Do you get it? Are you sure? Just checking. It was subtle. Anyway, while poor Elizabeth slinks back to an unimpressive meal where she has to listen to how her country has been utterly humiliated on the world scene, Philip pops up on deck to give the rest of the Royal Navy assembled as his crew a speech that basically doubles as an expository exercise in letting the audience know that now they’re on their way to Melbourne to open the Olympics, and that once that is over, the Royal Yacht Britannia is going to pick Philip up to bring him home/resume their Bang Tour Around the World on the way back. He notes that “it will be hell” having to behave himself whilst representing the Crown at the Olympics. “I will be counting the minutes until you come and pick me up again and we can continue our great adventure,” he says, and everyone cheers. There is something very timely about watching Philip et al bro out to the extreme, waxing poetic about soccer and beer and many adventuring, while Elizabeth continues being the disappointed, unlistened-to, stressed-out adult in the room. I certainly get what they’re going for here: Philip loved the camaraderie of the military and misses it; he enjoys the simple pleasures of sport and travel; and he feels constricted by his royal duties (which he chose for himself when he married Elizabeth of his own free will). But it’s hard to feel too bad for him when he’s complaining about a front-row seat to the freaking Olympics while his wife is lonely at home without him and is facing a major national crisis.

This also seems like the right place to note that Matt Smith’s lack of eyebrows has never been more glaring than when he wears this hat:


In Philip’s defense, it does seem that he is also terribly depressed about “this Suez business,” or so he says over a headline that screams “BRITAIN HUMILIATED,” before he changes topic to huff and puff about all the dull things he’s being made to do while he’s in Australia — events which, for what it’s worth, all sound absolutely typical for his job, like meeting other government officials and visiting factories and interesting local businesses (basically exactly the sort of things William and Kate did when they were recently on a tour of Australia, and Philip also gets the bonus fun of the Olympics). Luckily, he isn’t going to have to do too much work, as Terrible Mike has written Philip a speech that he can use at literally every event he attends. The same exact speech, word for word, for every event. I am beginning to think that Mike is a lousy employee, and we already know he’s a hacky writer, so I don’t have high hopes for this speech — which Philip does give, it is implied, throughout a montage of royal engagements. (So many montages.) I get very excited for a moment because I think one of the gaggle of royals reporters (all of whom have surely noticed that these limp platitudes are being aggressively recycled) is going to call him out on this, but sadly, Mike’s lazy writing is not going to bite him in the ass here. Not yet, anyway. The reporter in question is young and pretty, and she keeps eyeballing Philip, from event to event to event (which…makes sense because that’s her job, to look at him, so she can write down what he’s doing, because she’s a reporter), and Philip of course decides that she obviously wants to bang him, and starts making sex eyes at her, and then decides to make an exception to his no-interviews rule because she’s hot and he’d maybe like to make more than just eyes. He self-importantly tells Terrible Mike that they can “safely say she’s a friend, not an enemy” because she’s “followed every step of this tour.” Yes, Philip, she has. Because she’s a royals reporter, and it’s LITERALLY HER JOB TO DO EXACTLY THAT.

Back at home, we watch Elizabeth watch Philip open the Olympics on the television. “He looks happy…FOR ONCE,” the Queen Mum announces. “I always knew it was a good idea to let him shine. ALONE,” she adds, and Elizabeth thanks her tightly for being so very helpful. I have to echo what Heather said about the last episode: Claire Foy is so great in this part, doing so much emotional heavy lifting with the smallest facial movements. Just in this one short scene, she says nearly nothing and hardly even moves her body, but we can see how sad she is about the state of her marriage — how much she loves her husband and misses him, and how sad she is that the feeling doesn’t seem to be mutual; how much it hurts her that he seems so happy without her; and how vaguely annoyed she is with her mother for using this moment for I Told You So-isms.


See? She’s so good.

While we’re on the topic of people in unhappy marriages: Mike Parker’s wife, Eileen, has finally had enough of his never calling her and goes to a lawyer to see about getting a divorce. The bad news: in order to get one, she needs “one of the big three: adultery, unreasonable behavior, or insanity.” Eileen notes she’s quite sure there has been adultery, but that it’ll be hard to get proof, given that Mike works for and is besties with Prince Philip. (I’m not totally sure why this precludes her being able to get proof; I guess she suspects that the circles he’s running in will stonewall her to protect Philip, but it also seems to me that there is always someone willing to sell out a public figure, or a person adjacent to one, for a price.) When he hears this little deet, the lawyer wonders if maybe it shouldn’t be better for her to stick it out: “The grass is rarely greener.” Unmoved, Eileen announces she’ll be back with evidence as soon as she can get some. She sweeps out of the office, and her lawyer picks up his phone and calls…well, let’s wait for a little bit and we’ll find out shortly.

Instead, let’s check on Beleaguered Prime Minister Anthony Eden! He’s REALLY trying to get his doctor to give him better painkillers and his doctor is NOT into it. As I learned last year, Eden’s health WAS very precarious; there are multiple articles in medical journals about how the surgery we saw him undergo last season was totally screwed up, for a variety of quite fascinating reasons, and basically ruined his health for the rest of his life. So Eden’s need for drugs — painkillers sometimes, but mostly amphetamines — was based in a legit medical issue, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t also a major problem, which it was. In fact, his doctor sternly informs him that they’ve gone as far as they can, “in terms of pharmacology.”

Which means that Anthony Eden goes to visit the Queen, and tells her that he needs a break. As you can imagine, Elizabeth is all like, “Um, you just thrust us into WAR and now you WANT A BREAK?” Although she is more measured than that. Eden is kind of like, “I know, right?” and then notes that his doctor told him that he is “at the very limit of human endurance,” and Elizabeth’s facial expression is like, “Well, JOIN THE CLUB.” Eden then runs down a laundry list of people who will be taking over for him during said break, and the Queen continues to be very unimpressed, but notes reassuringly that she’s sure some time at his country house will be restorative, and that’s when he’s like, “Wellllll, about that. I’m going to Jamaica.” His very life depends on a Jamaican vacation, you guys. His doctor has ordered it! Elizabeth’s facial expression at this moment:


Exactly. “What would he prescribe for the rest of us, I imagine?” Her Majesty then wonders archly, and sends him out. Indeed. Good day, sir. I said, good day! I look forward to a future episode where they fight about something that happened while he was in Jamaica and one of them screams, “We were on a break!”

Across town, Eileen Parker catches the elbow of a Thursday Club waitress just as she’s heading into her wretched place of work, in hopes of getting proof from said waitress that Mike Parker, that shitheel, is tomcatting about, and then divorce him and be rid of him. I know this isn’t going to prove to be the case, but I am hoping against hope that the theme of this season proves to be MEN ARE THE WORST, DON’T EVER GET MARRIED, and that every few episodes, a man is ruined by two women working together. Because the waitress hems and haws and denies and disavows, but after Eileen gives an impassioned speech about how she hopes it will be easier one day for our waitress to leave her theoretical asshole spouse if she needs to, and passes along her contact information and leaves, the waitress does seem to think about how everyone at the Thursday Club is a complete sexist fuckwad and that maybe she should do something about it. Especially after one of them pats her on the ass when she’s just trying to make some martinis.


And surely you remember how Eileen’s would-be lawyer called someone? Well, news of Eileen’s potential divorce has reached the palace, so you do the math. (This scene indicates that it was a circuitous route, via cousins and tennis partners and country weekends, but, in short: people love to gossip.) The Queen’s private secretary Michael Adeane and her Assistant Private Secretary Martin Chartertis (a.k.a. Bertie from Downton) discuss how Mike Parker’s impending divorce over his raging adultery might reflect poorly on Philip; for his part, Martin points out that Mike Parker is a slutty jerkface (I paraphrase) and that the Thursday Club is a wretched hive of scum and villainy, and neither of those facts looks too great for old Phil. He’s certainly not wrong that it’s not a tremendously cute look for the Duke of Edinburgh to be the founding member of a lunch club at which the primary shared interest is infidelity.


I miss you, Bertie.

Speaking of bad looks for Phil: back in Australia, the time has come for his interview with Helen The Sex-Eye Giving Reporter, who is wearing A VERY cute sailor dress.


Very thematic for a yacht! She also does not immediately try to bang Philip, but instead asks him very pertinent journalistic questions about the current situation with the Suez Canal, and pushes him a bit on his political views. She also conveniently exposits a lot about Philip’s family background: how he fled Greece in an orange crate as a child during the Greek revolution; how his father abandoned his family to live with his mistress; how his mother ended up in a sanitarium for a bit. (Helen doesn’t mention that his mother also saved a lot of people from the Nazis, although that is true.) Philip, now that he knows he’s probably not going to get laid, is a bit annoyed and quite curt — he reminds Helen to call him “sir” — and things only get more combative when Helen reminds him that his sisters were Nazis whose husbands were personal friends of Hitler, and that Philip in fact went to school in Germany, so…? Note to Philip: this is why you shouldn’t assume that a pretty reporter’s interest in you must be sexual. It’s entirely possible that she’s going to grill you on whether or not you are a Nazi.

Philip grits that his service in the war should speak for itself, and that his life hasn’t been much different than anyone else’s — although the sad flashbacks we get of his tragical childhood tip their hand a bit toward this not being totally true, and I believe we’re going to see how very much not true this actually was in upcoming episodes. Helen shrugs and just innocently wonders if his, you know, maybe being a Nazi might overly influence the upbringing of his son, the future king…and a person who “cannot be thrown out by free and fair elections,” and it turns out that while being accused of being a Nazi kinda rankled, it’s being interviewed by a Republican that really chaps Philip’s hide, because it is at this that he storms out (of his own stateroom!). “Don’t ever let vanity get the better of me again,” he tells Mike, who is clearly surprised that this entry on the schedule actually was an interview and not “an interview.” Matt Smith is very good in this scene; he starts fidgeting with his tie the instant that it becomes clear Philip is embroiled in an actual proper interview and not a mere cover-up for some off-the-books hanky-panky, and that he might be in over his head. This is also as good a place as any to note that while this episode has a ton of exposition — including basically this entire scene — the delivery of that exposition has been surprisingly non-clunky, which is a rare feat.

And then Pathetic Fallacy strikes, as we are visited by a literal storm at sea, which is…well, a bit clunkier. Plates break dramatically! Photos crash to the floor, the better for Philip to be able to look at them sadly and think about his screwed up childhood, as if that’s going to make us feel particularly sorry for him! In fairness: Prince Philip actually did have a very interesting family and difficult upbringing, and I hope this show examines them in a way that doesn’t just make me roll my eyes. I think The Crown got off on the wrong foot as far as that goes: so much of last season felt like it was making an endless plea for sympathy for Poor Philip’s Sad Man Feelings instead of examining the complicated emotional inner workings and relationships of the many women in this show, and I have residual resentment about that focus. The Crown has a tendency to telegraph the feeling that Philip is the most interesting person in this family, and he’s quite simply not. Heather and I wrote an entire book about how hard it is to be in a relationship with someone who will be the ruler of the United Kingdom, so I’m not unsympathetic to his challenges at all. I am, however, ready for a great focus on the stories of women.

Anyway. In London, things are going poorly for Mike Parker, although he doesn’t know it. The Thursday Club Waitress goes to Eileen Parker’s lawyer and tells him that she has slept with Mike Parker and that, by the way, he also has extremely loose lips when it comes to his job. Problem solved? No. It seems she’d have to testify to this in court, and she cannot do so without absolutely ruining her own reputation.

And over at the Palace, Martin Charteris continues to report that, to his mind, Mike Parker is a real liability, and Michael Adeane agrees that anything Mike Parker is doing, it will be assumed (at least by the press) Philip has done. “It will shatter the integrity of the royal marriage. And jeopardize the entire monarchy,” Adeane announces. (This actor has a way of delivering his lines so that what was surely written as one sentence is spoken as two.) That seems like a very dramatic pronouncement! I mean, yes: it’s not ideal, PR-wise, if the Prince’s right-hand man is a total slutty jerkface, and helped him open a lunch club for homewreckers, but I’d be more worried about the fact that he’s writing letters to everyone in London about What Happens On Tour, since it’s markedly therefore NOT Staying On Tour. You can’t have the prince’s equerry sending out Too Hot For The Royal Tour newsletters to like a hundred random dudes every week. For all they know, the bartenders could start selling stories to the tabloids. Has no one thought of that? Do I have to do everything here?

While Charteris and Adeane are fretting about this brewing PR nightmare, Philip is telling everyone on the Royal Yacht that they have nine weeks left to “visit the remotest parts of the Commonwealth,” now without reporters or photographers and “out of the world’s eye” — so, presumably, get ready for a total fuckfest, or at the very least, for nine weeks when people aren’t grilling anyone about whether or not he might be the tiniest bit of a Nazi. PS: Philip and Mike also thought it would be fun to have a beard-growing competition, just in case you were worried that this plot line didn’t have quite enough of the traditional signifiers of masculinity. Sadly for Philip, beard-growing is not going to be allowed to be his sole focus: he has been informed that he is being made to give a Christmas speech this year, as a companion to the Queen’s, and that it must be about the importance of family and the sanctity of marriage and the glory of fidelity and the thrill of cleaving oneself to another soul for all eternity. You know, usual Christmas subjects. It’s telling that neither Philip nor Mike seems to be thinking, “Huh, wonder why The Powers That Be want us to come on the radio and wax poetic about fidelity? Is it possible that What Happened On Tour didn’t stay On Tour?!” But they do not.

As for Elizabeth, she at least has the mental wherewithal to wonder why Philip has to address the country this year. Adeane sort of flails around for a good answer, but Elizabeth figures it out on her own, anyway: “It will assure people that all is still well.” She then asks him if he and Lady Adeane have ever been kept apart for a long period of time, and he tells her that the longest they’ve ever been separated is three weeks, and that his wife in particular hates it when he goes away, because she believes “a husband and wife belong together.” Elizabeth smiles sadly. “Of course,” she says, because clearly, she agrees. All of this makes me sad. In real life, the Queen and Prince Philip have just celebrated their seventieth wedding anniversary and seem devoted to each other. They’ve obviously made it work, and they’ve had a long time to figure it out. But watching all of this has me crossing my fingers that Fictional Elizabeth gets to have a passionate and exciting affair with a stable boy, just to even the score.

And in case you were wondering, Philip’s beard is SO DUMB:


And while he’s standing around growing it and looking wistful, the yacht gets a distress call from Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Look, all you need to know about this subplot is the following: it’s designed to make us like Philip a little better, because he behaves kindly and mildly heroically, and only time will tell if this character work is effective on a long-term basis. Basically, they divert the yacht to go save a stranded and very sick fisherman, and then take him back to his home, despite the fact that the Royal Britannia’s captain is a real pill about it and Philip has to pull rank on him (literally) in order for them to do the right thing. (You immediately know that the captain is a bad person, because he has not joined the beard-growing competition.) Frankly, I don’t know who the captain thinks he is, refusing the Duke of Edinburgh’s desire to carry out essentially a mission of kindness, but he’s pretty dumb if he doesn’t realize he’s going to get overruled on that one. Which he is: they take the dude home, and Philip is very pleased with himself and his good deed, and the Tongan village from which this man hailed is naturally delighted, and Mike Parker’s letter waxes poetic about the women of said village in his letter to the Thursday Club….

…where our Waitress listens with a skeptical ear, and, after the letter is read and discarded, she takes it and gives it to Eileen Parker as proof of infidelity. “It’s not Royal Tour they’re on,” she says, as she hands it over. “It’s a five-month stag night. Whores in every port. Good luck!” Word for word, that is how I plan to leave every business meeting for the rest of the year. (In fairness to Philip, he appears to turn down the overtures of all of these women, although Mike certainly does not.)

And the next thing you know, it’s Christmas, and the Queen has arrived at Sandringham, corgis and family in tow. Everyone gathers around the wireless to listen to Philip’s speech — which, it is implied, he hasn’t written until the very last minute, which makes me very nervous. Why isn’t Mike writing this speech? He wrote the other one, after all. Is it possible that Philip has realized Mike is a terrible writer in addition to being a bad husband, and has taken that duty off his plate? Was Philip like, “Mike CANNOT write a speech about marital fidelity, so I’d better take this one”? Is Mike NOT a speechwriter but just did the other speech because he felt like it? I have logistical questions about the workflow on this royal tour. Can someone send me a list of everyone’s duties on board?

But, more importantly than the speech: the sweater Philip wears to deliver it is fantastic.


I want one. This is also NOT the sweater Philip was wearing two minutes prior to this, when he was meant to be working on his speech right at the last minute, so either that’s a continuity error, or he changed sweaters at the last second because he wants to look nice for radio.

Philip’s speech is less fantastic than his sweater, however. In it, he notes that he’s seen many different “tribes” and cultures and governments and religions on this tour, and seeing so much of the world has led him to examine the way he lives, and the things he takes for granted, and at this Elizabeth sort of perks up, obviously thinking he is going to mean her, but then the speech takes an even more melancholy turn about how we humans are all ALONE, deeply alone, ALONE IN THIS WORLD and it’s…obviously not what she wanted to hear, as of course it wouldn’t be. It seems like it’s time for Philip to get off that boat before he starts writing bad poetry. You couldn’t even give the kids a shout-out, dude?

Despite her disappointment that Philip didn’t sign off his Christmas speech by sending her his warm wishes, or fondest regards, or whatever it is that an emotionally repressed but secretly deeply passionate Brit might say when what he really means is “I LOVE YOU MADLY,” Elizabeth has to gather her disappointment around herself again and go make her own speech. (I also need to note that it is here that I noticed they’ve finally had her adopt the Queen’s habit of taking her purse with her everywhere, which is a delightful little addition; she does it throughout this episode and may have done it last season, but this is where I noticed that detail anew.)


Elizabeth makes a lot of last-minute changes to her speech, and when Philip tunes in to listen to her, she opens by saying that nothing made her happier than hearing from her husband, all the way from Antarctica. “To him, I say, from all the members of your family gathered here today, our very best wishes go to you, on board Britannia.” In other words: here’s all the nice shit you should have said to us if you weren’t too busy thinking about your big sad beard and how we’re all just tiny specks floating throughout the cold infinite nothingness of space. “A very large, united family is waiting for you here, and will always be waiting for you, wherever you are,” she adds. Philip and his beard look collectively rather guilty at this, and even guiltier after he goes digging in his briefcase to pull out the note she left him in the previous episode — the one that reads, “Always remember you have a family” — which I agree with Heather reads as a bit threatening and not wholly romantic? It occurs to me that it may have been meant to exist as a parallel to Philip’s screwed-up birth family — a way to remind him that he might have felt alone in the world at one time, but that now he does have a family that loves him, and always will — but if so, I’m not totally sure that landed. Now that I’ve sussed it out, it’s sort of touching but I probably shouldn’t have had to think that hard to connect those dots.

The episode had like four hundred scenes of Matt Smith looking wistfully at a body of water, and, in fact, it ends on one as well:


Mike Parker ambles up and wonders if he’s all right, mid-wistful stare. “Her speech,” Philip says. “Touching. Unexpectedly touching. It caught me off guard. I might even have to confess to feeling a little….” He trails off. “Homesick?” Mike Parker prompts, and Philip agrees. Mike just pats him and walks away, and we’re out, after a long, long shot of the Royal Yacht and the water it sails on as it steams back to England, and at least two angry wives.

For more on this episode — and Fug Nation’s reaction! – check out the fashion and interiors recap we ran right here on GFY. We covered this episode in combination with the premiere.