Wednesday, May 18, 2022

‘Bridgerton’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 2 “Off to the Races”

In the second episode of season 2 of Bridgerton, “Off to the Races,” Lord Bridgerton continues his quest to make his way into Edwina’s good graces. However, the task proves ever difficult thanks to her watchful, disapproving sister Kate. Meanwhile, Colin Bridgerton has returned to town, and Eloise is on the hunt to uncover the true identity of Lady Whistledown … and both of these events are keeping Penelope plenty busy.

A brilliant day for bickering, trickery, and a horse race

Lady Danbury and Lady Mary review Edwina’s list of suitors, noting that Kate seems to have made an oversight in forgetting to add Anthony Bridgerton to the list. But oh no, that was most certainly on purpose. Kate explains that Lord Bridgerton does not wish to marry for love, and Lady Danbury makes it clear to her that most marriages of the ton are business matches, and it’s been working for centuries. Finding a true love match is quite rare indeed.

Anthony arrives at the Danbury House, cutting to the front of the long line of eager suitors who stand waiting with gifts and flowers for Edwina. He intends to invite her to the races that afternoon, but Kate can’t be bothered to let her sister associate with a man with such a dubious and libertine reputation. Ever the schemer, Anthony returns home and ushers his entire family to the races, including Colin — who has just returned home from his travels!

Florence Emilia Hunt as Hyacinth Bridgerton, Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Will Tilston as Gregory Bridgerton in Bridgerton
Liam Daniel/Netflix
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The day starts off innocently enough, with Edwina on the arm of Lord Lumley and Kate surprisingly busy with her own companion for the day, a man named Mr. Thomas Dorset. However, it’s a lost cause once Anthony sees where they’re sitting. The two men immediately straighten up upon seeing Lord Bridgerton, and Lord Lumley vacates his seat to fetch a lemonade for Edwina. Anthony quickly takes his seat. In contrast to Edwina’s budding interest in the viscount, Kate is sour as ever toward him, and the two immediately begin to bicker about the horses. They go absolutely wild during the race, much to the confusion of those sitting on either side of them, and Kate is smug upon seeing she correctly predicted the winner. However, her elation soon turns to fury when she discovers that Anthony purposely planted Mr. Dorset into their plans for the day specifically to distract her

Eloise’s hunt to unmask Lady Whistledown

Eloise’s renewed interest in Lady Whistledown continues to grow, and now she wants to speak with her to discuss what else she could be doing with her writing. She finds her first clue in solving the mystery at the races, where she discovers a pamphlet that’s printed on the same paper stock that Lady Whistledown uses. Penelope tries not to fan the flames of her fire too much, but Eloise sees an address for the printer at the bottom of the paper, so she decides to pay the printer a visit. She doesn’t have much luck though, because they’re closed.

Unfortunately for Penelope, Eloise still manages to make progress in her hunt when she notices the letter ‘K’ has been printed incorrectly. However, the fact that she shares the information with Pen — explaining that if the error is in Lady Whistledown’s next issue, that will confirm that this is indeed her printer — is all the warning she needs to cover her tracks. Pen goes to purchase a new letter ‘K’ for the printer … where she accidentally runs into Madame Delacroix.

Kathryn Drysdale as Genevieve in Bridgerton
Liam Daniel/Netflix

Just friends, huh?

Penelope is thrilled that Colin is back, but it’s difficult for her to find the time to talk to him alone. She manages to get his attention briefly at the races, but Eloise drags her off before Colin can confirm or deny if the reason he wasn’t lonely on his travels was because there’s now a special woman in his life. Later, at the soiree, Pen works up the courage to outright ask him about it, and Colin explains that he wasn’t lonely because he finally found himself. Pen’s letters gave him the courage to do so! And now? He’s sworn off women for the time being. Besides Pen of course, because she’s his friend. Ouch.

The queen’s careful scheme

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When Lady Danbury, Edwina, and Kate all pay Queen Charlotte a visit, admiring the pack of zebras that she has recently acquired, the former comes to a realization about what the queen is truly up to. When the queen sends Kate and Edwina off to explore the grounds after giving the younger Sharma sister a warning about rumors and trust, Lady Danbury calls her out on what she’s done. Queen Charlotte purposely selected Edwina as her diamond for the season, because she felt she was her best path to finding out Lady Whistledown’s identity. Later, the queen is given cards detailing all of the women that Edwina has been associating with; one of them must be Lady Whistledown (and it seems her plan has worked, because Penelope is on the list … but so is Eloise).

A failed gift horse

Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma, Charithra Chandran as Edwina Sharma, Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in Bridgerton
Liam Daniel/Netflix

Still undeterred by Kate, Anthony arrives at the Danbury House with a gift for Edwina. It’s a real, live horse, wrapped in a giant red bow. Kate storms outside, absolutely furious, and the two of them do what they do best — argue. Edwina finally makes her way outside, but she’s far less excited about the horse than Anthony was anticipating. When she mentioned that she liked animals, she meant small ones.

The worst talent show ever

Despite the fact that his name is conveniently left off of the guest list for the soiree at the Danbury House, Anthony Bridgerton is nothing if not a determined man. He makes his way to Mr. Mondrich’s new gentleman’s club, where Benedict is in the middle of making friends with an artist. However, Anthony is quick to drag him off, demanding help in the poetry department so that he can impress Edwina.

Meanwhile, the soiree — which was originally meant to be a poetry reading — has turned into the worst talent show ever. One by one, the men stand in front of the fireplace and show off their various odd talents while Edwina and the rest of the ladies in the room watch. Anthony eventually arrives, and he begins to recite Benedict’s poem. However, he soon stops and tosses the paper into the fire, admitting that he didn’t write it. He launches into a monologue about how he may not be able to give Edwina what she wants in a husband, yet ensures her he will never be lacking in action or duty.

Edwina is impressed by his words, but Kate’s feelings haven’t changed. Unfortunately, she can’t stop Edwina from pursuing Anthony this time, because her sister explains that she believes his honesty makes him a true gentleman. Kate leaves the party and goes upstairs to be alone, angry that she simply cannot stop Lord Bridgerton from pursuing her sister. Lady Danbury comes to find her and interrogates her about her behavior and asks if she truly wishes to be alone. While Lady Danbury’s words don’t immediately sway her, as she herself also alone, she reminds Kate that she is a widow, and she has already lived a full life.

All eight episodes of Bridgerton season 2 are now streaming on Netflix. Follow along with our episodic recaps, and make sure to check out our review!

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