Anthony finally popped the question to Edwina after stringing her along for quite a while, but things are heating up between Anthony and a different Sharma: Kate. The two keep finding themselves in quite precarious situations, and they both know they’re entering into dangerous territory. Anthony doesn’t want to marry for love, so any feelings for Kate he may have developed need to be squashed. Meanwhile, Edwina is actively pursuing, and now engaged, to Anthony, and Kate’s number one duty is to find her sister her happiness before she returns to India.
Madame Delacroix and Penelope have also entered an arrangement to keep Pen’s identity as Lady Whistledown a secret in exchange for Lady Whistledown to keep business bustling at the modiste. And in other Featherington news, Prudence is now engaged to Jack after a plot by Lady Featherington, but it turns out he’s a complete fraud, broke, and also in the middle of a plot of his own to gain wealth that is now foiled.
Anthony and Kate continue their dance
Yes, Anthony and Edwina are engaged to be married, but that doesn’t ease the tension between Kate and Anthony one bit. In fact, it might be making it worse. Anthony disapproves of Kate spending more time with Dorset, and Kate keeps stealing wayward glances at the viscount.
Both Violet and Lady Danbury are onto them as well. Violet knows Anthony does not want to marry Edwina, but again he maintains he will marry Edwina for duty. However, she reminds him that while rescinding the proposal would dishonor Edwina, Edwina calling off the wedding would indeed be acceptable. On the other hand, Lady Danbury knows that Kate is harboring feelings for Anthony, but she’s telling her to write them off and secure the Sheffield’s fortune and in turn, accept the fact that now she’ll be free to be comfortably independent.
Lady Featherington has a plan
The little problem Lady Featherington with forcing Jack’s hand in marrying Prudence still has to be solved. And she may have a solution. Turns out, Jack’s counterfeit rubies are so good, they’re fooling the jeweler. Could this be their way out?
In the end, Lord and Lady Featherington decide to take up this ruse fully. Jack will accept the offers of the wealthy men of London who want to invest in his empty mines, for they won’t board a ship to America to check on them.
Eloise makes a new friend
Eloise is still scheming, however this time it isn’t in an attempt to find Lady Whistledown, but instead to attend a rally on women’s rights. There, she finds Theo Sharpe from the print shop, and it turns out he’s writing pamphlets on the very cause Eloise so dearly supports. Sparks fly as she begins to offer him so notes for his future publications.
Penelope follows Eloise early one morning, hoping to see how close Eloise is to discovering Whistledown’s identity, but instead, she finds her pouring over a pamphlet with Theo.
Benedict meets his match
Eloise isn’t the only one who’s had someone catch their eye. At his new art school, Benedict is rather smitten with one of the models. Despite her sill and desire to attend the school as a student, only men are allowed to attend (even though two of the founders were women). She offers to model for the classes so she can still hear the lectures, and then apply the skills on her own. So, Benedict offers to model for her as she does for him in class.
The Sheffields return
It’s finally time for the controversial Sheffields to return. As we learned all throughout the season thus far, they really don’t seem like the nicest people. They shunned their daughter after she fell in love with a working-class man, Kate’s father, and have ceased all contact with their daughter and granddaughters since. Lady Danbury has invited them to the engagement dinner, and things unravel quite quickly.
While Kate had tried to tell her sister of the Sheffield’s stipulation regarding her marriage and trust fund, she was cut short by their arrival. So, unfortunately, the Sheffields let the secret loose at the dinner table with not only the Sharmas present but Anthony and Violet as well. They’re less than pleased to find out that Edwina only pursued Anthony to gain access to the Sheffields money, and although Anthony defends the Sharmas valiantly, even going as far as to request their leave entirely, they also leave quite upset at the news. Of course, Edwina had no idea about these stipulations either, so the fault falls entirely on Kate’s shoulders.
While Anthony understands that Edwina isn’t at fault, he still doesn’t want to enter into this marriage due to the schemes that had taken place behind the scenes. Kate is taken aback, reminding him that she didn’t approve of the pair to begin with, so how could she have schemed this? But the truth finally comes out.
Anthony professes his feelings
Everyone hang on, Anthony Bridgerton is having a feeling. A big one. He finally confesses he cannot marry Edwina because every single day of his marriage will be spent dreaming he could be with Kate. His feelings lie with her, and as a result, he must keep Kate as far away from him as possible. Kate admits his feelings are reciprocated.
One large, looming issue: Edwina is also truly in love with Anthony.
Early one morning, Kate and Anthony meet again in the manner of their first, riding to clear their minds. He tells Kate he intends to call off his engagement for both of their sakes, but Kate makes him promise he will marry Edwina. She won’t be the cause of Anthony losing his honor or for breaking her sister’s heart. They will simply need to wait for their feelings to pass. Anthony agrees, he will marry Edwina.