Episode Title: Scientia Potentia Est
Original Air Date: November 4, 2016
Episode Number: 1×07
As the Soviets test the H-bomb, both Churchill and Eden have major health crises. Angry about her inadequate education, Elizabeth hires a tutor.
Now that’s what I’m talking about! An episode with Elizabeth being front and center. Now I get why Claire Foy won that Golden Globe. She was terrific in this episode and she finally got to flex her acting muscle and show off her range since she was nearly in almost all of the scenes. I was really expecting this show to be more Elizabeth-focused so this episode was certainly a gift.
It warms my heart that Elizabeth went and got herself a private tutor because she feels as if the education she got in regards to other subject matters not relating to the monarchy, the constitution, and the minutiae of the crown was not sufficient. She even said so herself that she doesn’t feel comfortable talking to heads of state because she feels like they’re more worldly than her. I love that she’s not averse to continue her education. Knowledge is power.
Churchill and that other minister colluding to hide Churchill’s health issues from Elizabeth was unbelievable, but it did lead to that great scenes of her giving them a dressing down. Amazing acting by both Claire and John Lithgow in this episode. John managed to make Churchill appear more broken down and older somehow; at times he looked like a little boy who disappointed the person that they deeply care for.
I’m going to quote Elizabeth’s two lines of dialogue that were pretty powerful:
“It seems that you have not been of sound body and mind these past weeks and that you chose to withhold that information from me. A decision which feels like a betrayal, not just of the covenant of trust between us and the institutions that we both represent, but of our own personal relationship.”
“I would ask you to consider your response in light of the respect that my rank and my office deserve, not that which my age and gender might suggest.”
Boom and boom.
So is Martin going to end up as Elizabeth’s private secretary or not? I thought her scene with Tommy was also very well-written in that he wants to uphold tradition and custom because if someone upends both, the next time someone does it again, it will be much easier and that’s when the rot starts. He said it a lot better. He does have a point, but since I like Elizabeth better than him, I’m siding with Elizabeth, lol. That damn Martin should have been more discreet. Why didn’t he just wait until he got the job before asking to have the fucking tree trimmed?
That last scene between Elizabeth and Phillip was cheeky as hell and made me blush! Damn, Phillip. I bet that was just the excuse Elizabeth needed not to have that meeting with the supposed next private secretary.