The Crown (S02E02) “A Company of Men”

Episode 2 picks up with the Duke of Edinburgh (played by Matt Smith) well into his trip around the commonwealth, and Queen Elizabeth (played by Claire Foy) dealing with his absence as well as with a political crisis in dealing with the fallout of the Egyptian coup last episode.

Phillip’s private secretary and fellow member of the notorious Thursday Club in London (made up of the most powerful and notorious men in London) is in trouble as his wife Eileen wants to divorce him on grounds of divorce.  Mike, being a typical male, never stops to think that the “entertaining” letters he’s writing to the club could ever be used against him as his wife tries to gather evidence to support her claims of adultery and neglect.  The palace gets involved because even rumors of adultery against someone so close to the Crown can send the Crown into a Constitutional Crisis apparently.  Meanwhile, far from home, Mike and Phillip are completely oblivious that anything is happening that could have such a detrimental effect on their lives and keep behaving like (as the waitress from the Thursday Club called it:  A 5 month long Stag Night).   Meanwhile, Eileen gets help from a waitress at the Thursday (or lunch club as members call it) in her quest for proof of Mike’s infidelity.  She gets it in the form of a letter Mike has written to the lunch club.

Phillip, while on tour, agrees to be interviewed by a reporter he thinks is “a friend.”  He obviously longs to be out of his wife’s shadow, and is promptly put on the defensive when the reporter brings up facts about his past they’d rather leave in the past, especially with his sisters being Nazi’s.  He then states to Mike as he storms off, “Don’t ever let my vanity get the better of me again,” which seems to be a theme with Phillip.

Phillip and Elizabeth have to coordinate a Christmas speech together, and for the first time during the tour, Phillip seems to have a crisis of conscious  or even homesickness.  The whole tour he’s reveled in being away from the ball and chain, away from always being Elizabeth’s husband.  His whole frustration has been that he always comes second and nothing ever goes his way.  We leave with the image of Phillip leaning over the bow of the ship, gazing longingly off in the distance, presumably thinking about home.

Let me know what you thought about the episode.  Do you think Phillip and Mike were cheating on their wives?  Will Eileen actually divorce Mike?  Will they forgive each other?  What are you expecting out of the next episode?  Let me know what your questions are and let’s discuss.