The Crown Season 6 Episode 2 Recap – Who hired Mario Brenna?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: November 16, 2023
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The Crown Season 6 Episode 2 Recap
Prince William (Rufus Kampa) [L], Prince Charles (Dominic West), and Prince Harry (Fflyn Edwards) [R] in The Crown Season 6 Episode 2 | Image via Netflix


With a confusing perspective and atrocious dialogue, Episode 2 of The Crown Season 6 is a step down from what was already a lackluster premiere.

“All one wants,” says the Queen in Episode 2 of The Crown Season 6, “is for that girl to find peace.” It’s the best joke so far in an episode that also offers its only real competition in the Queen Mother trying to figure out how websites work.

This episode, uncreatively but accurately titled “Two Photographs”, is still very funny, of course, but admittedly not intentionally. There’s some woeful dialogue on offer and an extremely confusing point of view that seems to earnestly depict Diana’s private life as an expert tour of scandal while the Queen tut-tuts about it like an old-school Mafia fixer. Which one supposes she was, in a way.

The obviousness of this season’s approach is beginning to grate a little. In the cold open of “Two Photographers”, Mario Brenna, a real-life paparazzo, explains how the press must be “hunters, killers,” in documenting the best, most exclusive photographs of their… well, I suppose it would be “prey”, wouldn’t it? And that’s just a tad too clunky for a clutch of episodes building inexorably towards Diana’s actual demise.

Brenna has an opposite in Scottish portraitist Duncan Muir, a proud and staunch Elizabethan who is the photography equivalent of an autograph hunter and is wheeled out for two reasons: One, to needlessly foreshadow the Queen’s death, and two, to provide a symbolic juxtaposition between Diana’s jet-setting celebrity life and the crown’s foisty stiff-upper-lip traditionalism.

Who hired Mario Brenna?

This dichotomy persists throughout the episode. In its early portions, the senior royals gather to fret about Diana’s new fling potentially growing into a real relationship that would give Mohamed Fayed a close enough connection to royalty to justify a coveted British citizenship. The Queen is relatively sympathetic to the notion of Diana’s privacy being endlessly breached, or at least she would be if “one wasn’t so cross with her”, but Mohamed himself couldn’t care less. After securing word from a maid aboard the Jonikal that Diana and Dodi have been sleeping in the same bed, he immediately hires Brenna to photograph the two of them kissing. (In reality, it isn’t known who hired Brenna, but someone did, and it might as well be Mohamed.)

The Crown is very confused

At this point, it’s obvious that The Crown is incredibly confused. It clearly wants us to believe that Diana was somewhat attracted to scandal and drama, but it also wants to take her landmine campaigning incredibly seriously, but it also wants us to feel like her and Dodi’s relationship was at least a little bit organic, so for some reason all of these sentiments are expressed within the same scene.

It’s the same a bit later, when William describes Dodi as “weird”, almost as a prophetic warning, and then when Diana and Charles share an awfully-written exchange about how great they’re going to be at co-parenting. For all I know this might have happened as-written, but I’d be willing to bet a fortune that it didn’t.

Who secures the rights to the photos of Diana and Dodi?

Speaking of betting a fortune, that’s exactly what the Fleet Street tabloids are doing for the photos of Diana and Dodi together, with The Sunday Mirror paying a cool quarter-million for the rights to publish just in time to cast a pall over Diana’s humanitarian work in Bosnia. The subsequent press conference is a disaster, with the journalists exclusively asking questions about her new boyfriend.

The episode takes its title from the crown’s efforts to counter this publicity by bringing in Muir for a photo shoot with Charles, William, and Harry, none of whom want to participate, to reiterate the dignified life of the royal family far removed from the salacious goings-on in the south of France.

How does The Crown Season 6 Episode 2 end?

This is somewhat of a success, but only from the perspective of the royals. The whole thing is taking a tremendous toll on Diana’s mental health, and the episode concludes with her sitting alone on the diving board of the Jonikal, the most famous woman in the world, and yet still, essentially, alone.

Of course, the Queen is adamant that this is Diana’s fault. Even Diana’s therapist cautions her against her addiction to drama, though it seems as if Diana has, for the most part, been trying to keep herself to herself. The wilful way in which Mohamed and the Queen herself are manipulating Diana as a pawn in their larger game of control is a sickening undercurrent to the sixth season’s storyline, even if the episode itself can’t quite decide which side of the fence it wants to sit on.

What did you think of The Crown Season 6 Episode 2? Let us know in the comments.


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