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The Crown Episodes That Fans Always Skip On A Rewatch

One of Netflix's biggest streaming successes to date has been "The Crown," a drama series about the life and times of Queen Elizabeth II of England and her consort, Prince Philip. The brilliant trick of the show is that it takes place over multiple decades, with multiple actors alternating characters for two seasons each. Thus far, Claire Foy and Matt Smith appeared as the younger Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, then Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies took over the roles for Seasons 3 and 4. In the upcoming final two seasons, Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Pryce will play the final, older incarnations of Elizabeth and Philip (via Deadline). 

While the show is serializing modern history, many episodes are standalone stories focusing on Prince Margaret (Vanessa Kirby and Helena Bonham-Carter) or Princess Diana (Emma Corrin). It's rather easy to rewatch episodes like "Beryl" or "Favourites" without needing as much historical context. Still, some fans plan not to go back to certain installments of "The Crown" for various reasons, whether because of fudged historical details or needing too many tissues.

Aberfan is too upsetting to watch again

Many Redditors had their share of opinions about which episodes of "The Crown" to skip on rewatch when a thread about the subject appeared on the show's subreddit. One title that came up in several comments was "Aberfan," an episode of Season 3 focusing on Queen Elizabeth's response to the 1966 Aberfan disaster, an incident in a Welsh village where coal waste flooded the town, leading to massive loss of life (via The Independent). Redditor u/Amalfi_Lemons commented, "It's masterful but I sob like a baby every time. I have to be in the right mood to watch it and usually skip it." 

The original poster u/prettyfloralbonnet agreed, writing, "I always skip 'Aberfan' – it just makes me so so [sic] sad." It seems that the episode is just too good at depicting the crushing loss and grief of the town's loss, and how Elizabeth comes to feel compassion for the village residents with the aid of Prime Minister Harold Wilson (Jason Watkins).

"The Crown" is often devastating, but "Aberfan" is always heart-wrenching even when viewers have seen it before.

Paterfamilias had several historical inaccuracies

While the Season 2 episode "Paterfamilias," in which Prince Philip forces Charles (Julian Baring) into the same challenging private school he attended as a boy, is quite sad, that's not why Redditors avoid watching it again.

Many commenters feel that the episode is of high quality, but the script's historical inaccuracies are also hard to overlook. When it comes to "Paterfamilias," user u/JohannesKronfuss noted, "I skip most of the flashbacks for I can't stand how much they twisted that story." As other Royal Family historians have pointed out, Philip's sister didn't fly on her fatal plane crash because of anything he did, and Andrew (Guy Williams) never publicly blamed Philip for Princess Cecile's (Leonie Benesch) death (via Rebecca Starr Brown).

The detail may have been added to maximize the drama, but it rang false to many history fans. The real Prince Philip himself was upset about the episode as well (via the Daily Mail), while Quen Elizabeth was annoyed because of the scene where Philip berates Charles on the plane, which was apparently also a fabrication (via Marie Claire).

It seems "Paterfamilias," in a rare feat, impressively managed to upset both Reddit commenters and the Royal Family at the same time.

Redditors felt Moondust lacked a real plot

The Season 3 episode "Moondust" gets cited as an episode that viewers should skip on rewatch as well, though not because of any unfair dramatizations or strong emotions. Evidently, Redditors find it to be not as entertaining as the other entries of "The Crown." Reddit user u/gwennj said of the episode, where Prince Philip grieves the death of his mother after the 1969 moon landing, "I skip it. Saw it once and that was enough." At least one other commenter echoed their response so they're clearly not alone in feeling this way.

"Moondust" did receive acclaim from critics when it was released in 2019 (via AV Club), but it doesn't have the same hidden depth or detail as the other installments of "The Crown." Redditor u/Affectionate-Feed538 even claimed that "Moondust" is "hands down the most boring episode ever. Most of the time I was just waiting for something remotely interesting to happen."

It's too bad, as Tobias Menzies gives a great performance as Philip, but not enough happens during the script to warrant repeat viewings. Maybe user u/CapriciousSalmon is correct to write, "I think the episode would've been better if the moon landing happened in the background." At least that would have felt more dramatic.