In the sixth episode of season 2 of Bridgerton, “The Choice,” the wedding of Miss Edwina Sharma and Lord Bridgerton is finally here. Thanks to Queen Charlotte, it’s a delightfully over-the-top, extravagant affair — one which she has laid careful plans to uncover the secret identity of Lady Whistledown. However, much to the queen’s dismay, it will be a day full of drama indeed.
Choosing duty over love
The reality of what’s ahead of him seems to weigh heavily on Anthony’s shoulders the morning of the wedding. Daphne arrives as Benedict is helping Anthony get ready, and after ushering him out of the room, she begins to push and prod at the groom-to-be. She desperately tries to make him understand that he can choose to be happy and follow the desires of his heart, rather than pushing away his feelings. Anthony cannot be swayed, however, because his sister doesn’t understand the duty he must uphold to his family. He was born to carry the Bridgerton name.
An awkward moment at the altar
The wedding ceremony has begun. Anthony waits up at the altar, and Kate enters the room. She may not be his bride, but Anthony’s eyes lock on hers, and he can’t look away. Kate stands across from him, both of them looking out and waiting for Edwina to enter the room, and they quickly share another glance. When Edwina walks in, the whole room stands for the bride, and Anthony smiles weakly, but he doesn’t stare at her with the rapt attention he had for Kate.
Edwina stands in front of Anthony, and the minister begins to speak. Anthony’s eyes keep straying over his bride’s shoulder, to where Kate is standing. Suddenly, he finds himself lost in a reverie where he envisions Kate standing in front of him in a wedding dress. The entire room is empty; he smiles. Anthony is soon shaken out of his daydream by Edwina, who has caught him staring at her sister and tells him that he needs to repeat after the archbishop. Kate, meanwhile, has been nervously playing with her bracelet, and it comes unclipped, clattering to the ground. Without thinking, Anthony dives forward at the same time as her, and he carefully places it back on her wrist. Edwina watches the scene unfold in front of her, shocked, and proclaims, “I need a moment,” as she runs off, leaving Anthony at the altar. Queen Charlotte is furious.
When Edwina, Kate, and their mother regroup in the dressing room, Edwina rounds on her sister, absolutely furious. She reams her out for her deception and accuses her of having feelings for Anthony. Kate is hardly able to get a word in, and their mother eventually sends her out of the room. Meanwhile, the Bridgertons follow Anthony upstairs to his dressing room as well, all speculating as to what went wrong. Daphne is the only one that knows the truth.
Anthony goes to speak with Edwina, and he asks her if this is just a delay and nothing more. He says that he is intent on their marriage, but Edwina wonders aloud if it’s the marriage or her that he truly wants. Anthony tells her that he believes their places and roles align, him as the viscount and her as the diamond. Emboldened, Edwina asks Anthony if he loves her, but instead, he tells her that he “understands” her and “sympathizes” with her. Ouch. He then assures her that Kate will have no place between them and their future once she returns to India.
Kate has sought out refuge in a closet, and when she decides to leave, she unfortunately runs into Anthony. She turns right back around, and he follows her. She’s angry and tells him to leave, reminding him of how improper the two of them being alone together would appear. Anthony implores Kate to do something to change her sister’s mind. When she goes to leave, he grabs her wrist. They tentatively hold hands, staring into one another’s eyes, as he tells her to wait. Kate shakes her head and exits the room.
When Kate returns to Edwina’s dressing room, she admits that she once had feelings for the viscount, but they were no match for her love for her sister. Edwina was born to be a viscountess. Kate tries to explain herself and how she was merely trying to protect her with all of the choices she made, but Edwina coldly reminds her that she is only her half-sister. She then confidently proclaims that if goes through with the wedding, it will be her choice; it will have nothing to do with Kate.
The Featheringtons, your resident scammers!
Lord and Lady Featherington have decided to take their latest scheme — convincing men of the ton to unknowingly buy into the Lord’s failing mines — to the wedding. Prudence is outfitted with an expensive-looking, albeit counterfeit, necklace in order to attract buyers. While a group of men does indeed seem interested, Mr. Mondrich appears to catch on that there may be something amiss. And to make matters all the more troublesome … Lord Featherington has now begun to see Lady Featherington in a new light.
Eloise may actually have a crush after all
Eloise admits to Penelope that she visited Theo Sharpe the other day, but she claims that she’s merely interested in his thoughts. They’re simply friends. This should bode well for Penelope, as she has been hoping to keep her friend away from Lady Whistledown’s printer, but her response makes Eloise rethink her budding relationship with Theo entirely. Eloise comes back to her later, having thought it over, and she ponders if perhaps she shares more than an intellectual bond with Theo. And so despite Pen’s protests, Eloise leaves the wedding to go and talk to him. When she arrives, Eloise stumbles over her words as she tries to tell Theo that when she reads something new and has thoughts about it, he’s the person that she wants to talk to about it. And when she asks him his feelings on the matter, he turns away and disappears inside of the building for a moment. Theo comes back out holding a stack of books. He tells Eloise that he read all of them and set them aside for her so that she could read them and share her thoughts.
A decision is made
Edwina goes to speak with the queen, who asks her whether or not she will be marrying Lord Bridgerton. However, before she can reply, King George comes running into the room. He’s confused because he thinks that it’s his and Queen Charlotte’s wedding day. The room is stunned, but Edwina manages to calmly pacify him. While Queen Charlotte had initially been resolute on her decision that Edwina and Anthony could not back out of their marriage, Edwina’s display of compassion for the ailing king seems to have changed her tune. The queen finds Edwina alone afterward, and she tells her that she cannot force her to marry Lord Bridgerton. She must make the decision on her own.
Finally able to sort through all of her thoughts and feelings, Edwina sends word for both Kate and Anthony, making them both think the messages were from one another. The two are confused when they meet in the room the ceremony was meant to take place in, and Edwina strides in shortly after. While she’s spent so much time being told what to do by everyone around her, Edwina is finally given a chance to speak up for herself. She bravely tells Anthony that she can’t marry him because he cannot provide her with what she deserves: love. And she knows that he will never look at her the way he looks at Kate. As for Kate, this day is her loss, not Edwina’s. Despite Kate’s well-meaning intentions, they have fallen flat.
After Edwina leaves, neither Kate nor Anthony moves. The two stand there for a while until Kate admits that she’s hesitant to leave the room because she knows what comes after. She wants to delay the inevitable. Kate bids Anthony farewell, ready to let him go once more, but it won’t be quite that easy. Their eyes meet, and they rush into one another’s arms, finally sharing their first kiss.
Lady Whistledown — revealed?
As the non-wedding festivities come to an end and the guests begin to leave, it appears that the day may have been a fruitful venture after all. Queen Charlotte learns that her loyal minions may have indeed finally discovered Lady Whistledown’s identity … but we’ll just have to wait to the next episode to see if they were right.