Hello esteemed readers.
Another season of Bridgerton has come and gone (for those of us who are done binging already, like myself), which means it’s now my job to summarize this year’s social gatherings. It was a year of trimmed sideburns, buzzing bees, and glittering diamonds.
Bridgerton Season 2: What to Expect
Though the season failed to bring us the desired LGBTQIA+ representation we have been craving since season one’s fleeting same-sex sex scene, the South Asian representation does warm our hearts. However, we’re holding out for a gay Eloise or Benedict to come to fruition. Not to mention Jonathan Bailey has proven once again that a gay actor can play a very convincing straight man.
Alright, let’s recap the story of how the Viscount found his bride in season two of Bridgerton on Netflix.
Episode 1: Capital R Rake
We’re back at the Bridgerton residence, where Eloise (Claudia Jessie) is begrudgingly preparing to present herself to the Queen (Golda Rosheuvel) and officially enter society. However, she’s not as enthused as her older sister Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) was for her season. Maybe it’s the feathers that sat on top of her head? Luckily, her entrance is interrupted by Lady Whistledown, who has returned from a long hiatus.
After last season’s revelation as to who is behind the Lady Whistledown papers, we finally see how little Penelope has been running her operation. Bonus: Nicola Coughlan uses her natural Irish accent. She’s such a firecracker.
The eldest Bridgerton child Anthony (played by gay actor Jonathan Bailey), is ready to find his viscountess. Too bad he has sworn off love and instead is looking for the “perfect” lady to bear his children. How romantic. Lord Bridgerton organizes interviews with all of the eligible maidens in town but has yet to find what he’s looking for. Enter Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) on a stunning black horse. The two meet out on a ride and after a brief misunderstanding and a chase (that Kate wins), the two begin their first, and certainly not last, banter of the season.
Kate is in London with her half-sister Edwina Sharma (Charitha Chandran) and Mary Sheffield Sharma (Shelley Conn). Mary is Edwina’s mother, who caused quite the scandal years ago when she ran off to marry a penniless man who already had a daughter (Kate).
Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) is sponsoring the family as she is an old friend of Mary’s and is surprised to hear that the Sharmas are only interested in a match for the youngest daughter, not Kate.
The Featheringtons are barely holding on as they await the arrival of the new Lord Featherington (Rupert Young), who is to inherit the estate. They can’t afford new dresses, they’re eating boiled potatoes most nights and Lady Featherington has to put on an act every time she sees the Finchs to keep them from demanding Phillipa’s dowry. But maybe finding all of her daughters a match this season will solve their predicament.
Time For a Ball
Of course, it’s time for a ball! Lady Danbury is throwing the first one of the season, as is tradition. Lady Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell) is thrilled to attend and announce her son’s eligibility to the ton. At the same time, Lady Danbury makes a beeline for the Queen to introduce the Sharmas – though Her Majesty is more interested in the reappearance of Lady Mary than her daughters.
Kate’s hatred for Anthony grows as she overhears him boasting away with his mates about the idea of finding a lady with childbearing hips and half a brain. When he confronts her for eavesdropping, the tension between the two is already thick with desire, which Kate only escalates when she lets slip that she finds the oldest Bridgerton’s smile pleasing. Nevertheless, when the Queen names Edwina her diamond, Kate forbids her sister from speaking to Anthony. Too late, he has his eyes on the diamond and he won’t be persuaded otherwise. Or so it seems.
Episode 2: Off to the Races
The challenge is on as Kate makes it her mission to distract Edwina from pursuing anything with Lord Bridgerton while Anthony is more determined than ever to get his flower regardless of a prickly sister. Every rose does have its thorns, after all.
With Edwina as the diamond, she has many suitors lined up at her door, but Kate is only considering a select few. And Anthony is certainly not on the list. Not one to step down from a challenge, Anthony hatches a plan to set into action at the races.
The new Lord Featherington also seems to have a plan to help Lady Featherington and her daughters escape ruin. Fresh from the Americas, Jack Featherington is handsome, charming and not his grumpy old father, who recently passed away. He wins most of the Featherington ladies over, but none are too taken by his new animal carcass decore.
Everyone is at the races including Lord Lumley, who tries to woo Edwina with poetry and Mr. Dorset who has his eyes on the older sister. Too bad Kate is too busy challenging Anthony’s choice of horse to notice anything else. The two sure know how to make everything about themselves as they scream and cheer during the great race. If one didn’t know better, they might say Kate and Anthony have much more in common. But don’t tell them that.
Your Heart Eyes Are Showing
Anthony’s efforts seem to be for not as he fails to secure an invitation to Lady Danbury’s soiree. He approaches Benedict for advice on poetry to win Edwina over but is instead given a moral lesson on how to speak to a woman. Anthony feels inspired and goes to the party with the plan of claiming his brother’s words as his own but is distracted by Kate (again). Instead, he decides to tell the truth and declare himself a man of action. Edwina, your heart eyes are showing. But Anthony’s eyes are across the room, sharing a heated stare with Kate.
Nothing gets by Lady Danbury and she cautions Kate to consider her actions more carefully. If only she would listen.
Eloise seems to have no interest in any of the men on the dance floor, and she’s far too busy hunting Lady Whistledown anyway. At a print shop, she meets print assistant Theo Sharpe – someone who manages to banter with Eloise and even hands her a pamphlet on women’s rights. I feel a crush coming on.
Eloise isn’t the only one after Lady Whistledown as the Queen has again picked up her investigation. She’s using her diamond as a pawn to find the author as they are sure to investigate the new girl in town. She may already have a few leads. Is Pen in double trouble?
Chapter 3: A Bee in your Bonnet
Things are heating up in this love triangle. Anthony has invited the Sharma family to Aubrey Hall ahead of the Bridgerton ball, where he is sure to propose to the young lady before the trip is over. Bonus: Daphne and Augie visit.
Lady Featherington is on the hunt for a proposal as well as she hopes to seduce Lord Featherington into marrying one of her daughters and saving them from being thrown out on the streets.
We’re also treated to a few flashbacks this episode and finally find out more about the late Lord Edmund Bridgerton, especially his strong relationship with his eldest son. In a tragic turn of events, Edmund is stung by a bee while picking flowers for his wife and dies quickly from allergies in a pregnant Violet’s arms. A shaken Anthony, who also witnessed the entire event, is now the man of the house and must pull himself together and look after his siblings. Now we know why he is so severe all the time.
A Game of Pall-Mall
The Sharmas and the Bridgertons partake in a “friendly” game of Pall-Mall. Kate is already on Anthony’s last nerve as she steals his “mallet of death.” Edwina is once again left perfectly confused by their competitive antics. She cuts out early while Kate shoots Anthony’s ball into the bushes. After her ball gets knocked in the same direction, the two are forced to retrieve them, leading to a rather messy situation and both laughing and declaring a truce. Their moment is interrupted when the Viscount’s past comes back to haunt him.
While Edwina is falling harder, Daphne sees something else happening between Kate and Anthony and tries to persuade her brother to marry for love. She’s just like her mother now that she has her love match. Easier said than done, Daph.
Though Anthony tricks his sister into believing he is in love, he does not hide this fact from his mama. Sitting at his father’s grave, he reveals he will not marry for love because he does not wish for a future of heartbreak and pain as he witnessed with his mother. We don’t blame him, but it’s still sad.
What’s the rest of the Bridgerton family up to? Eloise asks Kate for advice on being a single woman and we discover how much Kate longs for a happy life with a man as being unmarried does not offer very many prospects.
Tea for the Nerves
Benedict has applied to art school and Collin gives him drugged tea to calm his nerves. But the older brother pours far too much and is loopy for their dinner with the Sharmas. He later finds out he got in and proclaims it loudly to the world outside his window while still under the tea’s effects.
Penelope is finding it more difficult to run her little business as she is no longer a wallflower of one with Eloise around at every gathering. So she fashions a deal with Madam Delacroix. She will write a positive review of her business which will have her stand out from any competition if she agrees to sew the Lady Whistledown papers into her dresses to be delivered. Hopefully, no party in this arrangement will end up stung.
Speaking of stings, Kate returns from a ride and runs into Lord Bridgerton. The two cannot keep apart, and they still do not see eye-to-eye on his relationship with Edwina. Maybe because they’re high key pining for each other. This is further proven when a bee lands on Kate’s shoulder, triggering Anthony into a panic attack. Kate is forced to calm him by placing their hands on each other’s hearts and breathing together. But the intense eye contact they share turns from terror to tension real quick. And scene.
Episode 4: Victory
Edwina decides the only way to get a proposal out of Anthony is by attaching her sister to the Lord’s hip so they can spend some quality time together and get over their childish feud. Little does she know the two are completely smitten with one another. So, this plan is going to be very successful. Probably too successful.
After a hilarious encounter where Anthony tells Kate she can’t hunt because she’s a girl (he didn’t say that exactly, okay!), Kate goes hunting with the gentlemen.
Colin visits the new Lady Crane, and while he doesn’t get the closure he wanted, he does get the closure he needs. She is content with her life and has left him in the past and urges him to do the same. Maybe there’s someone he can talk to right in front of him, like Penelope. Thanks, Marina!
Getting to Know Edwina
Daphne tries to get to know Edwina but finds that she does not have a very accurate idea of who her brother is. She’s also so very prim and proper leaving it impossible to tell who she is. Maybe it’s the stress of being the Queen’s diamond, and Daphne would know all about that.
Kate is bored of the men’s need to follow the rules and breaks away from the pack on the hunting trip. Anthony follows her and they end up in an intimate setting with Anthony’s arms wrapped around her to show her how to hold an English gun properly. More intense staring and breathing.
After the hunt is rained out, Anthony and Kate lie awake in their beds. Unable to rest, they both seek solace in the library, where they are once again allowed time alone together. Kate tells him of her father, who would read to her during storms and he reveals his father died from a bee sting. It clears a few things up in her head about their previous encounter – but not a lot. They share more p r o l o n g e d eye contact before she runs off, again. Anthony is left fuming in sexual tension alone.
Daphne urges Anthony to confess the feelings he harbors for Kate and not for Edwina, but his vow to not marry for love overrides all of his emotions and he dismisses her attempts.
Lady Danbury recognizes the longing stares shared between the couple. Eloise is forced to accept a dance with an older fellow and engage in a conversation. Well, they attempt to, but his idea of a rebellion is spiking the punch. Later after she storms away from the dance floor, she discovers her mama is trying to set her up with the “rebellious” type as she sees Eloise in the same way. Hurt by her mother’s actions; she leaves the ball.
Edwina urges Kate to dance with Lord Bridgerton to solidify their “friendship” further and to allow him to ask for her blessing. Edwina is ecstatic about the ordeal and does not notice their lovesick puppy faces or lingering touches. Their conversation on the dance floor doesn’t go as planned as Anthony urges Kate to confess her true feelings about him and the engagement. Instead, Kate tells him she intends to leave for India after the wedding, and he storms off.
Lady Featherington hatches her plan and makes sure people catch Jack with Prudence in the orangery to cause a scandal. The two are forced to get married because of the witnesses. But it’s okay; they’re 4th cousins, right?
Too bad cousin Jack has no money and was only planning to marry Ms. Cowper for her fortune. His mines in America are empty, and the ruby necklaces he keeps handing out are counterfeit. This is going very well.
Tiptoeing Around a Scandal
Anthony begs Kate to explain her reasoning for loathing him back in the library. This escalates into him whispering in her ear, begging again for her to tell him she has no feelings for him, and she cannot because she does, and the two tiptoe around a scandal before Daphne barges in. She once again tells Anthony he must make decisions for love. Will he listen?
Lady Danbury and Kate have their heart-to-heart where she urges her to come clean to her family about the inheritance scheme, her feelings, everything. Poor Kate, she does just want to do the right thing.
Everything stops when Anthony chases after Sharma’s carriage only to ask Edwina to marry him. Spare yourself from looking at the heartbreak on Kate’s face.
Episode 5: An Unthinkable Fate
The Queen is ready to do anything for her diamond and offers to plan their wedding herself. A high honor indeed.
Later, Edwina tries on wedding dresses and proclaims her gratitude to her sister for swaying the Viscount to propose, a compliment that is more of a stab to the heart when you know what went on during their last encounter.
Then to put salt on the wound, Kate is asked to try on the wedding ring for sizing (they share gloves sometimes). I think I speak for all of us when I say seeing the ring on her finger was very triggering. Can we believe this has gone this far?
Lady Danbury can’t. She further breaks our hearts by declaring that the only thing powerful enough to break up this wedding is a great scandal.
Mending Her Broken Heart
Kate indulges in Mr. Dorset’s company again to get a reaction out of Anthony. He is unsurprisingly seething at their sight and ends up falling into the river in a rage with Dorset. Hello, soaking wet Viscount.
Eloise continues to go to town and attends a public lecture where she is entranced by others who feel as she does. She also runs into Theo again! But Pen grows worried about her friend. When she comes to go on their usual walk together, she finds Eloise caught in a web of lies. Hm, sound familiar?
Lady Featherington plans to mooch money off of the ton by pretending Jack’s mines are prospering. If they get enough people to invest in the scam, maybe they can still save themselves.
Benedict meets an intriguing woman at art school in one of his lectures. She poses as a nude model as a way to listen in on the lectures and improve her art. Women are not allowed to enroll at the academy. She somehow manages to pull an Uno reverse and convince Benedict to pose nude so she may sketch him. Is it getting hot in here?
A Different Kind of Heat
At the Danbury residence, it’s a different kind of heat. The Sheffields have arrived for what will surely be an awkward dinner with their estranged daughter. Edwina is the only one showing excitement about the evening, which goes about as well as you would imagine. Everyone tries to remain civil but soon, Lady Sheffield cannot stop patronizing her daughter for her past actions. The news of the inheritance agreement comes to light with Lady Bridgerton and Anthony present. Mary finally stands up for herself, and Anthony comes to the rescue to defend the family and dismiss the Sheffields.
Anthony goes to leave himself but is stopped by Kate. Seeing a way out of this misery, he tells her he must break the engagement. He cannot marry Edwina, for Kate is the bane of his existence and the object of all his desires. (I’m melting). He knows he can’t be with Edwina without wanting Kate, and wasn’t she the one who wanted a love match for her sister to begin with?
But Edwina has declared her love for the Viscount. How can she interfere with her sister’s happiness?
Penelope spies on Eloise and Theo and worries she is getting too close to her secret. It’s just a crush, Pen!
Anthony and Kate meet again out on a ride in the forest as “You Oughta Know” plays. Anthony tries again to convince Kate to allow him to break the engagement but she adamantly declines. She’s stronger than most of us and urges him to marry her sister despite their feelings. “It must because it has to.”
Kate, please just tell him you love him.
Episode 6: The Choice
Can you believe we are here? I can’t. The Queen is preparing the wedding, Edwina indulges in wedding traditions, and Anthony drowns in alcohol. Ah, the wedding day jitters.
Penelope confronts Madam Delacroix about Theo and makes the dressmaker worried that their arrangement is in jeopardy. She is not prepared for trouble in paradise when it comes to their grand scheme.
Daphne comes to speak with Anthony before the ceremony, and Benedict clues that she knows more about this engagement than he does. Anthony finally admits to Daphne there is something between him and Kate but says they have buried their feelings and do not intend to act on them.
Sign of the Times
Edwina is still giddy about being a bride but does not feel right wearing the wedding bands Kate gave her. She insists her sister wear them instead and they all go out to the ceremony. Queue a beautiful rendition of “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles as everyone makes their way to the aisle.
The ceremony begins but is interrupted as Kate drops her bracelet and Anthony jumps to her aid. The two gaze at each other as if it is their wedding day and bang! Edwina finally sees it too. The look she craved for the Viscount to give her is there but being directed at her sister. She runs away. Fireworks go off. It’s a real mess.
Edwina is convinced Kate has had it out for her from the beginning. Fair, her sister has lied about a lot, but it was for her! Kate hides in a closet and cries.
Anthony tells Edwina that he still wants to marry her, but he does not love her, and he still sees this as a beneficial union. The hopeless romantic in the Sharma daughter is broken that he does not return her feelings and she asks for time to consider her choices.
Lady Danbury to Save the Day
The Queen is fuming and has sent Lady Danbury to fix everything. But for the first time, she’s not sure how to do that. She and Lady Bridgerton determine it is Edwina’s choice as to what happens next. When they go to confront the Queen, it is interrupted by the King who thinks he is seeing his wife on their wedding day. As the Queen struggles to find words, Edwina steps in and amazes everyone with her ability to calm him and extinguish the situation with love.
Edwina decides not to wed and tricks Kate and Anthony to meet her so she can confront all of the drama at once. She unleashes her anger on both of them and says the marriage is not her loss but her sister’s. Yikes. That stung.
Eloise wants to know if Theo likes her and, against Pen’s wishes, goes to him to ask how he feels. He gives her a stack of books he has been saving for her, a nerdy way of saying, “I like you too.”
Then it’s time for the moment we have all been waiting for. Kate and Anthony kiss passionately at the alter. Let us pretend that this is them both living happily ever after.
Episode 7: Harmony
The Sharma’s and the Bridgertons are being exiled by the ton over the recent wedding scandal.
After laying down traps, the Queen threatens Eloise and accuses her of being Lady Whistledown and gives her three days to confess and agree to work together rather than against one another. After Eloise tells Penelope of her encounter with the Queen, she worries about Theo’s safety, but Pen worries only about Eloise. She goes to Madam Delecroix, who suggests she write something about Eloise to throw the Queen off.
Determined to get through this setback together, the Sharmas and the Bridgertons agree to work together to win back everyone’s affection by hosting a ball. But not before Edwina storms out of the room after witnessing yet another heated stare between Kate and Anthony. Yes girl, you really have been that blind. This has been going on since day one.
A Secret For A Secret
Mr. Mondrich accuses Lord Featherington of fraud in front of a curious Colin who had wanted to invest in his mines. Featherington knows of Mondrich’s previous scheme to get rich and threatens him, a secret for a secret.
No one comes to the Bridgerton x Sharma ball, but the families decide to dance anyway at the urging of Anthony. It’s a beautiful moment of harmony during all of the hardship and ends with Anthony and Kate laughing and holding each other as the music slows.
But why did no one come? As the recent Lady Whistledown papers revealed, Eloise has been associating with political radicals in her free time. Penelope felt urged to write the gossip after Eloise announced her plan to confess to being Lady Whistledown to buy herself time to find the real one.
A Steamy Kiss
Kate and Anthony finally decide to do something for themselves now that they have lost the admiration of the ton and their families. What else do they have to lose? Their clothes, apparently. They’re kissing outside under the stars and it’s steamy. But then Anthony reaches up so Kate can hold onto his hand and the whole place might as well be on fire.
The following day, Anthony wakes up alone as it begins to rain. He rushes over to see Kate with his mother’s ring, prepared to propose, only to discover she has run away on horseback. He chases after her, and it’s just like the first moment they saw each other until Kate is knocked from her horse and slams her head onto a rock.
Episode 8: The Viscount Who Loved Me
Let’s get right into it. Anthony rushes to find help for Kate as she is knocked out from a severe head injury. She is out for a few days, but the Viscount cannot get himself to visit her.
When he finally hears word that she is awake, he is overcome with emotions. Relief? Happiness? Longing? All of the above? He rushes over to see her and brings his mother’s ring again. Only when he gets down on one knee to propose Kate rejects him out of fear that his intentions are not pure. She does not want to marry him if it is only to save face after their night together.
Another romance continues to blossom as Theo decides to help Eloise on her search for Lady Whistledown. He tells her she was right in suspecting the print shop and discloses how the author made her deliveries. By way of silk. Eloise tries to get closer to unmasking the gossiper but instead finds herself sharing a longing glance of her own with her new partner in crime. Realizing she cannot take action on her feelings because of their different places in society, she ends things.
Not All is Lost!
Edwina is happy to see her sister alive and well and asks her to finally open up to her about her feelings towards Lord Bridgerton. She then tells her sister of her plan to go to the ball Lady Featherington is throwing as themselves rather than the people they have been pretending to be. It’s about time!
Lady Featherington feels in high spirits about the prospect of income from Jack’s illusion and decides to throw a ball to end the season. But all eyes are on the Sharma sisters as they opt to dance with each other rather than with any of the men in attendance.
As for Lord Featherington’s scheme, it has been uncovered by none other than Colin Bridgerton, who previously showed interest in investing. He tells Penelope first and then Lord and Lady Featherington. Deciding to play victim, Lady Featherington lets Jack take all the blame for the crimes. He later tries to charm her and convince her to run away to the Americas, but she must always put her daughters first as a mother. Goodbye, cousin Jack. It’s been fun knowing you.
What About Kate and Anthony?
Okay, back to what we all care about, Kate and Anthony. They have to get together, right? First, Kate offers to dance with Anthony “one last time.” They take to the floor, and everyone gossips about what this could mean. The Queen steps in and tells everyone she ended the wedding and then chats with Edwina about how good they look together. She also tells the youngest sister about her nephew, a PRINCE who is AVAILABLE. I hope we see what becomes of that in a later season.
Kate runs away to the garden, where Anthony confronts her about his feelings. He finally tells her he loves her, and she says it back! Oh, happy days. The two agree they will continue to vex one another, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
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Unfortunately, not everyone gets a happy ending. Eloise discovers Penelope is Lady Whistledown because of how she eloquently delivered gossip at the ball. They fight, they break up. And that isn’t the only thing weighing on Penelope’s heart. She overheard Colin speaking with friends at the ball after their dance together and he is quick to deny that he would ever be interested in her romantically. Colin, why?
Ending Bridgerton Season 2 on a Happy Note
We do end on a happy note as Kate enjoys her new husband and her new position as viscountess. The couple joins the Bridgerton family for a competitive game of Pall-Mall, with Kate clutching the “mallet of death,” of course.