Last episode, Anthony continued on his quest to charm Edwina despite her sister Kate’s best attempts to keep the pair separated. And his methods, while unorthodox, are seemingly working. The new Lord Featherington has taken a liking to Cressida, which certainly does not put a feather in Lady Featherington’s hat, and Penelope runs into a familiar face while trying to throw Eloise off of Lady Whistledown’s tail: Madame Delacroix. Speaking of Pen, Colin has also returned from his travels with a new appreciation for her, but still only as a friend.
Lord Bridgerton’s unfortunate fate
While the first season did not explain how the Bridgerton patriarch died, just like in the novels it’s revealed here in Anthony’s story. After a hunting trip with a much younger Anthony (around 18 years old), Lord Bridgerton is stung by a bee getting flowers for his wife, Violet, from their front yard at Aubrey Hall. As it would turn out, he’s fatally allergic. Violet, who is still pregnant with the youngest Bridgerton, Hyacinth, rushes out to help Anthony and his suffocating father, but there’s nothing that can be done. Anthony now must take over as the lord of his house at a very young age, no doubt contributing to his hardened demeanor.
Throughout the episode, we see flashbacks to this tumultuous time and the horrors that Anthony endured being the backbone for his grieving family, including a choice between Hyacinth or his mother’s life while she’s in labor. He’s haunted by these memories, drowning in them perhaps. He refuses to allow someone to love him as his mother had loved his father as he cannot be the source of someone’s grief should an untimely death find him.
The Sharmas head to Aubrey Hall
Anthony has invited Edwina, Kate, Lady Mary, and Lady Danbury to their ancestral home for the annual Bridgerton reunion, an honor indeed. And he has big intentions, a proposal. Daphne has made the journey home for the occasion, with her son Augie in tow. Lady Violet knows Anthony is rushing into this, and despite her best attempts Anthony and his hardheadedness don’t heed her words.
It’s time to play a game of pall-mall, and the Sharmas are about to see just how competitive the Bridgertons are. During the game, Benedict reveals to Colin that he’s applied to be a student of the arts after the offer last episode. Kate gets the final laugh in the game, as she sends Anthony’s ball flying far off course into the greenery. Colin, however, is seemingly scheming as he also sends his ball flying off course, forcing Kate and Anthony to go and play their balls to keep the game going.
Kate and Anthony get dirty … literally
So it turns out Anthony Bridgerton can laugh, and it’s not Edwina who brings it out of him. While continuing their highly competitive game, Anthony and Kate find their pall-mall balls in a large puddle of mud, and neither of their wills will allow them to cheat and place their ball on solid ground. In the end, the two end up covered in mud and seeing one another in quite a different light.
The two end their own game with a truce after Daphne wins the pall-mall match, but the sight of an old bench beneath a tree sends Anthony back into his usual aloof self after a moment of joy. Kate investigates what possibly could have upset him so quickly, and finds Lord Edmund Bridgerton’s memorial.
Daphne points Anthony in the right direction
Edwina tells Kate about the lovely conversation she and Anthony had that afternoon and that she sees a proposal coming. And we know that Anthony is already considering that very thing. However, Daphne isn’t prepared to let her older brother enter into a marriage without giving him her two cents.
Daphne and the duke’s love was the story of season 1, with its fiery passion and undeniable magnetism, and she wants that same thing for her brother. And she knows it’s not Edwina who will make his heart sing. Anthony tells his sister that he indeed does feel that love, but something in his face says otherwise.
Lady Featherington is in panic mode & Lady Whistledown gains an ally
Lady Featherington knows she’s in trouble, at risk of being removed from her own house, and she’s willing to stop and nothing to keep herself in her position. She decides to try and use Prudence to woo the new Lord Featherington, hoping he’ll marry her and they can all keep their station, and it’s not going very well. He’s still very taken by Cressida.
At the modiste, Penelope tries to confront Madame Delacroix about their meeting at the market, but Madame Delacroix plays coy, and this doesn’t satisfy Pen in the slightest. Speaking of Madame Delacroix, there’s a new modiste in town that the ladies have become rather enamored with, threatening her business. In her next issue, Lady Whistledown insults the new modiste, sending customers flocking back to Delacroix, and Penelope finds her first confidant. The two strike an agreement to help one another in each of their solo-built businesses.
Eloise seeks advice from Kate
In a brief scene, we see Eloise still contemplating her life, and her lack of desire to wed. She seeks advice from Kate, who tells her being a spinster really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Eloise is really making an effort to distance herself from the social season and the expected role of women in society, noting that there is so much more to women than being wives and mothers.
Benedict takes a chill pill
In an effort to calm his brother down, Colin gives Benedict a little something to help ease his mental torment over whether or not he’s gotten into the School of the Arts. Let’s just say not even a cobblestone path is as stoned as Benedict Bridgerton during dinner. After making a rather big fool of himself, he retires to his bedroom and creates freely, unburdened by the weight of his worries. Then, a letter arrives. He’s gotten into the school.
The anticipated proposal
Well, it doesn’t come to pass. Edwina blames herself, but we truly know it’s the wall Anthony has built around his heart. Kate reminds her sister that she’s done nothing wrong and that she’s the diamond of the season, every man in the ton hopes to have her hand in marriage. While Anthony didn’t work out, there will be another, hopefully better, man waiting.
However, the next morning Anthony tells Kate he still intends to propose to Edwina in the gardens after Kate arrives back at Aubrey Hall after a ride. As per usual, the two end up in an argument until something catches Anthony’s eye. A bee has landed on Kate’s shoulder. He begins to panic, but Kate doesn’t understand. She tries to calm him, but his breath is heaving and his words choked. When it stings her, he frets about wellbeing. He fears she’ll have a reaction just as his father did.
The two share a moment, look, we all thought they were going to kiss. But they don’t, being interrupted by a horse neighing. They both run off, absolutely shocked by whatever that just was.