Consider the ending of the show. Elizabeth’s final scene, now named Elizabeth Regina rather than Elizabeth Windsor, feels like it’s supposed to be this great milestone; akin, perhaps, to the first time a superhero puts on their costume and takes on their secret identity. It’s presented as the culmination of all that’s gone before it, with Gloriana having marked a significant change from what’s gone before it.
Again, Elizabeth returns to the same fundamental tension we’ve seen returned to over and over again this series – this time quite literally, given it’s a conflict that has already played out. Again, the same conclusion is reached – the Crown must win out. And, again, nothing new is added to the drama.
It was a weak ending, to be honest. And a weak series.
But I rather suspect that I’m going to end up going back to it, and I’ll probably watch the future episodes as well, because there’s something about the construction of it that fascinates me.
(An interjection from Alex of May 2018: I haven’t read back any of these reviews, nor rewatched the first series of The Crown, but my suspicion is that I was more than a little unfair on it. If nothing else, I did really like the bits of series 2 that I’ve watched, so.)