In the fourth episode of season 2 of Bridgerton, “Victory,” the week of Lady Bridgerton’s annual Hearts and Flowers Ball has arrived! It’s the year’s most coveted invitation in the country, held at the Bridgerton’s countryside manor, Aubrey Hall. The event is full of gossip, heated moments, and proposals galore.
Edwina observes that Kate has been keeping to herself since the bee sting, unaware of the heated moment that occurred between her sister and Anthony in the aftermath. She’s still upset that Anthony didn’t propose at dinner, and she tells Kate that she believes he hasn’t made his declaration because they hate one another. Therefore, in an incredibly ironic moment, she encourages Kate to spend more time with him in order to get him to propose.
Thanks to Edwina, Kate ends up joining the men on their hunt. As they’re heading to the camp, Kate tells Anthony that her father was a secretary for the royal family in India, and they were gracious enough to let her go hunting with them. Once the group sets off, Kate is frustrated by the fact that they must follow a guide, as she feels that they’re not searching for the quarry in the right places. Between one breath and the next, she disappears from sight.
When Anthony finds Kate, she’s settled down behind a log, gun poised to shoot. He settles down beside her, immediately launching into some of their trademark bickering as he brings up the bee sting and accuses her of putting his hand to her bosom. Then he insists on showing her how to properly hold a (British) gun, bringing the two flush against one another. The tense, intimate moment is interrupted shortly after by the arrival of the rest of the group. After the hunt, Edwina rushes up to her sister, eager to know how things went between her and Anthony. Did they finally start to warm up to one another? Well, that’s one way to put it.
Unwelcome apologies and forgiveness
Discovering that her new home with Sir Philip Crane is nearby, Colin decides to pay Marina Thompson — now Crane — a visit. Her life has now changed considerably, as she lives in a large, beautiful house, and she is married with twins, Oliver and Amanda. Colin sits down to have tea with Marina, telling her about his travels, though she doesn’t exactly seem to find them all that interesting. However, when Sir Philip returns home, Marina’s husband’s face immediately lights up at the prospect of talking about Greece. Much to Marina’s apparent dismay, he invites Colin to stay for dinner, where the two men have a lively chat based on their shared interest in botany.
Before Colin takes his leave, once Philip has gone to check on the children, he tells Marina that he wanted to see her because he couldn’t stop thinking about the way things were left between them and all of the terrible things he said to her. He tells her that he’s sorry and that he forgives her as well, but she crassly tells him that she doesn’t want apologies or forgiveness. It’s all in the past now. Colin quite likes Sir Philip, but he doesn’t think Marina is happy. She coldly puts him in his place as she explains that she no longer wishes to live in a world of fantasy, and she reminds him that he has his family and Penelope.
A gaze like a lightning strike
A thunderstorm rages on outside, and neither Kate nor Anthony is able to sleep. Kate gets out of bed and makes her way into the small library that belonged to Anthony’s father. He finds her there, and she explains that she has always found thunderstorms to be unsettling. Her father used to read to her during the monsoons, and now the rain reminds her of him. Kate asks Anthony how his father died, and he explains that he was stung by a bee, which explains his behavior after she was stung the other day. The two stare at one another, the mood between them shifting, until Kate is shaken out of her stupor by a clap of thunder.
A poorly planned scandal
During the ball, Lady Featherington finally thinks of a way to make Lord Featherington marry her daughter: a scandal! She sets her plan into action, instructing both of them to unknowingly head to the orangery at the same time. She then leads a group of fellow partygoers outside, where they find Lord Featherington alone with Prudence. Scandalized, the members of the group encourage Lord Featherington to marry Prudence in order to salvage her reputation.
Lord Featherington corners Lady Featherington the next day, fully aware that she had carefully orchestrated the prior evening’s events. Unfortunately, her plan has backfired, because he is actually penniless — despite what she’s been led to believe. He was actually attempting to court Cressida Cowper so that he would have money.
Dancing on my own
The evening of the ball, Kate watches on as Anthony dances with her sister. As they finish their second dance, Edwina confidently tells Kate that she’s certain he must have something planned for the evening. She encourages Kate to dance with Anthony as well in order to truly seal the deal. After some pushing, Anthony and Kate make their way across the dance floor, a classical version of “Dancing On My Own” ironically playing in the background. When Kate inquires if Anthony has something to ask her in regards to Edwina, he in turn asks if she would give her permission if he were to ask for her sister’s hand in marriage. The two go back and forth, the conversation eventually reaching a head when Anthony asks Kate if she wants him to reconsider, a desperate look on his face. But it doesn’t matter what she wants. Kate then informs him that she will be returning to India as soon as Edwina is married, and Anthony is absolutely stricken. He leaves the room.
Kate follows him, and they’re back in Anthony’s father’s library once more. The two begin to argue, affirming Kate’s apparently hatred for him. As the fire burns beside them, they glare into one another’s eyes and … is it hot in here, or is it just me? Anthony leans in and goes full Mr. Darcy as he murmurs, just a breath away from her lips, “Say you do not care for me. Tell me you feel nothing, and I will walk away.” Before she can respond, Daphne walks in.
Anthony follows Daphne out of the room. His sister has been carefully watching the events unfold leading up to the ball, having expressed to her mother that she always imagined Anthony would end up with someone a bit more like him, not necessarily Edwina. She had also laughed when Edwina told her she wanted a husband who is kind and gentle, shocked by the prospect that she believed her brother to be even-tempered.
Daphne scolds Anthony for continuing to court Edwina when his affections are clearly with her sister. He tries to make excuses, but she likens the situation she just found them in to when he caught her with Simon in the gardens. Daphne tells Anthony that there’s obviously something between them, and he needs to be honest with himself. Straightening up, Anthony says he knows what he must do.
A most ill-timed proposal
Later, Lady Danbury finds Kate outside on the balcony. She asks if Kate has told Edwina about the inheritance scheme, but she hasn’t. Kate explains that she believes the viscount won’t propose to Edwina because she’s ruined everything. Lady Danbury, having noticed more than she lets on, tells Kate that she needs to be honest with Edwina … and herself. She must tell her sister how she feels.
The next day, the Sharmas and Lady Danbury are outside and preparing to board their carriage home. Edwina is extremely disappointed that the trip didn’t end in a proposal. Kate makes a decision, finally ready to tell her the truth, but it’s too late. Anthony rushes outside, drops down on one knee, and asks Miss Edwina Sharma to marry him. Right in front of Kate.