‘The Crown’ Season 2, Episode 7 Recap: Tony’s, Er, Extracurricular Activities
*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
So, remember how Peter Townsend (Ben Miles) and Margaret (Vanessa Kirby) swore they would never marry other people? While Mags is unraveling in season two, a chronically hungover mess, it turns out Peter has found a 19-year-old girl in Brussels that he intends to marry. Margaret visibly crumbles as she reads the letter from Peter announcing the ultimate, irrevocable end of their love affair. And then, to end a glorious morning, she flings her glass of fizzy aspirin across the room.
When Margaret visits Tony (Matthew Goode), the hot photographer, to tell him Peter has decided to break their pact, Tony points out marriage is the opposite of happiness. But Margaret wonders if maybe an unconventional and interesting marriage between the two of them could be possible. Oh, would you look at the time? Tony says he needs to go to an exhibit opening, and Margaret takes off in a huff, pissed that he doesn’t take her proposal seriously.
She should be grateful she dodged that bullet. As we’re about to discover, Tony is a complicated chap. He meets up with his mother, who also couldn’t find the energy to attend his opening. She immediately assumes Margaret has turned down a marriage proposal from her son, whom she doesn’t seem to hold in high regard, and seems stunned when he reveals it’s actually the other way around.
Tony, it seems, is in no hurry to settle down. He sleeps with his subjects in his studio. He also, on the side, sleeps with Jeremy Fry (Ed Cooper Clarke) and his wife, Camilla (Yolanda Kettle), who maliciously pick on Margaret’s looks and demeanor. Tony thinks out loud about popping the question but seems too interested in his, er, extracurricular activities to rush into anything. Oh, if only there were a way to stop Margaret from falling down this rabbit hole.
Even his eventual proposal makes us mad: “Will you forgive me if I don’t go down on one knee?” he asks her as she opens up a box with a ring. Maggie promises Tony she won’t ever bore him, and Tony promises he won’t hurt her. Ugh, just say no, Margaret!
But Mags isn’t interested in being saved by us or anyone else for that matter. She wants to be on the back of that motorcycle, which will take her away from the confines of her life and at least temporarily exchange heartache for adrenaline. With Tony, everything is exciting. They fight, they make love, they fight again. Love, ain’t it grand?
With the proposal out of the way, it’s time to ask Elizabeth (Claire Foy) for permission…again. Having been here before and felt jerked around, Margaret spares her sister the pleasantries and almost spits out her request to marry Tony. There is so much anger coming from Margaret, and Elizabeth looks hurt and confused as she assures her sister she will never again block a marriage proposal. Except there’s just this one little, tiny problem.
Margaret would like to preempt Peter’s engagement announcement and get hers out first. But Elizabeth says the announcement will have to wait until after the baby is born. Wait, what baby? Margaret can barely keep her food down when she hears that Philip (Matt Smith) and Elizabeth are expecting baby number four.
On what should be the happiest day of each of their lives, the two sisters are at odds again.
And to make matters worse, it looks like Tony really likes hanging out with the Frys. Leaning against Mr. Fry’s arm, this time the chummy trio is watching TV together with Tony telling them about how he was a constant disappointment to his mother and viewed as the runt son, who suffered from polio as a kid no less.
We flash forward and Elizabeth is now super preggers, telling Philip it’s uncomfortable and she feels cumbersome and tired and like her toes are disappearing. But for once these two seem close. We’d go so far as to say happy even. They head to a party downstairs with Margaret and Tony’s cool friends.
Once again, it’s obvious how different these two sisters are as they try to make their worlds mix. This crowd has little respect for the royal institution, and as Elizabeth and Philip watch the guests do a conga line through the palace, Philip mutters how unfair it was that he got hassled for marrying Elizabeth despite his status and title, and Margaret gets to marry this commoner. Way to ruin it, Philip.
That’s not all she’s marrying. Mrs. Fry is pregnant. And it’s probably not her husband’s. No way of knowing, really. And like the supportive—er, boyfriend?—he is, Tony vanishes from the scene as if he’d seen a ghost before Mrs. Fry can even turn around to get a reaction from him.
When it’s time for Elizabeth’s briefing on Tony by Tommy Lascelles (Pip Torrens) and Michael Adeane (Will Keen), these men don’t mince words. “Narrow, straight and Christian is not to Tony’s taste,” they preface their presentation before digging into details. He is currently in three intimate relationships, and that’s not counting the Frys. Because, yes, Tony also has a taste for men. And then there is the matter of Baby Fry.
What’s a queen to do with this information? Can she stand in the way of yet another one of her sister’s marriages, even if it’s the right thing to do? Lucky for Eliz, she gets a minute to think about it. It’s baby time!
With Prince Andrew (named after Philip’s bankrupt, philandering father) having safely entered the world, Elizabeth decides to give Margaret permission to announce the marriage, asking her carefully if she is sure Tony is the one.
“He’s complicated,” Elizabeth says, tiptoeing around the truth. But when prompted by her sister to share what she knows, Liz decides to withhold the information she’s received from her advisers.
“See you in the abbey,” Mags says haughtily, determined to get her happy ending.
Margaret’s princess wedding is, of course, everything a girl could dream of. The crowds are out in full force as Philip escorts the delighted and stunning bride to Westminster Abbey and down the aisle.
“Not too bad for the son that brought you shame,” Tony mutters to his mother, as they drive to the abbey through the throngs of people.
“I hope you haven’t done all this for me,” Mummy says in response.
Sigh. We hope so, too.