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Bridgerton (Season 2): Recap and Ending Explained

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Bridgerton (Season 2): Recap and Ending Explained – If there is a show that really hooked the audience to their seats and made them partake in the fun of Regency-era style matchmaking, it has to be the popular American TV drama, Bridgerton. It is based on Julia Quinn’s popular book series, Bridgerton, and it has been produced by the same Shonda Rhimes, who has secured a place for herself in popular culture through her contribution to Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – ), a popular Drama series currently in its 18th season.

Bridgerton seeks to explore the gossip, social life, culture, and practices of the Regency era in England, sometime between 1811 and 1820. It is a period drama whose success at colorblind casting has left the internet chatting, excited for the recently dropped Season 02 of the drama that promised to feature the Sharmas, a family of Indian origins and practices.

Bridgerton (Season 2) Cultural References:

I cannot deny that I wasn’t half excited at the thought of the K3G (Kabhi Khushi…Kabhi Gaam) theme song feature in this season and to observe how the filmmakers portray the people of the Global South. I also cannot say I am very disappointed. Although Twitter has been fraught with conversations around the language ‘Hindustani’ that Kate claims Edwina is skilled in, the Marathi origins of a Sharma (a typically North Indian surname) family, a misplaced Ghalib reference, and the fictional musical instrument name dropping, I quite liked the sustained idea that Kate could not stand the British tea or the ritual around it.

In a brief few seconds, we actually see her adding whole spices and milk to the tea that she is left to enjoy by herself at Aubrey Hall. However, even though the cultural researchers might have mixed up the languages across India in the foreign tongue of the Sharmas, in my research, I found out that Indians indeed formed a major part of the cultural milieu in those times, and marriages between the British and the Indians weren’t uncommon. If you are interested, you might wish to delve into the pages of William Dalrymple’s book, The White Mughals.

Bridgerton. (L to R) Rupert Young as Lord Jack Featherington, Bessie Carter as Prudence Featherington, Harriet Cains as Philipa Featherington, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington, Polly Walker as Lady Portia Featherington in episode 201 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

Anyway, this realization brought to the front my ideas about the Regency era in England, shaped as they are by my readings of Jane Austen. In fact, British literature from those times seems to have consciously snubbed the truths about the presence of any race except the whites – aristocrats and otherwise – on English soil. The show, I am very glad, challenges our cultural memory and the garb of cultural make-up that the British have so long hidden behind. The show, however, isn’t political in this statement – an advantage as well as a disadvantage as it caters to the larger, more commonplace audience but doesn’t draw them inside the conflicts of race, sex, and class sufficiently. It fails to become but certainly seeks to be the popular British drama series Downton Abbey (2010-2015).

Bridgerton (Season 2) Critical Take:

Bridgerton is a riper with gossip and sexual scandals. Flaunting a fictional Queen Charlotte and a long list of prettily dressed, upper-class debutantes – men and women – who only promenade by the day and dance at balls at night. It reeks of romance – the focal narrative governing both seasons of the show till now. It is also, perhaps, the only thing, apart from their fashionable clothes, that keep the viewers hooked. Season 02 strains under the weight of the diverse set of characters the story flaunts.

It lacks the tenacity that the previous season displayed, perhaps because the audience has expectations. Everything else about the show is like the rococo art movement in Europe (a controversial opinion) – so saturated with grandeur that it renders itself lacking in long-term impact.

Wish to learn more about the show but do you keep putting it off for the one-hour-long episodes, eight of them per season, that the show brings along? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Below is a quick recap of the second season of Bridgerton. Keep it handy, just in case Season 3 is round the corner. Happy revising!

Bridgerton (Season 2) Recap:

This season begins the year following the last, after 1813, we assume, when Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, got married.

It opens with the entire Bridgerton household waiting on Eloise, the third Bridgerton sibling, to show herself to Queen Charlotte. However, Eloise is not ready for matchmaking, knowing fully well that her interests reside in books and actual ideas around women, their freedom, and rights in society, not men and marriage. She finds herself escaping to forbidden parts of the town to decipher the truth behind Lady Whistledown, coming very close to identifying the press where her scandal sheets were taken to print. She meets a certain Theo Sharpe, a worker at the same press, and begins exchanging ideas with him. Soon, they develop a friendship that grows roots until it is exposed to the public eye by Whistledown’s scandal sheet. She not only opts out of the matchmaking but breaks her association with Theo and uncovers the real identity of Lady Whistledown by the end of the show.

Bridgerton. (L to R) Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton, Calam Lynch as Theo in episode 208 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

Penelope Featherington navigates her way through the growing inquisitions around Lady Whistledown’s identity, going as far as to buy the letterpress ‘K’ to change the font style and rope Madame Delacroix in to help her keep the secret intact. However, she is faced with the dilemma of letting Eloise take the blame for being Lady Whistledown in front of the Queen and revealing her identity. She chooses to write about Eloise’s affairs with Theo and decides to rest her pen. She is found out by Eloise by a piece of gossip that she divulges to her about Mr. Fife and his mistress at the Featherington Ball. Their friendship tears apart. She also starts to believe that Colin Bridgerton, her old friend, is finally starting to take interest in her romantically, but her hopes come crashing down at the end of the season.

The Featherington household finds itself bankrupt after the death of Lord Featherington in the previous season. However, a new Lord Featherington, Jack, the son of a distant relative, takes over the charge of the Featherington household. When Portia, the old Lady Featherington, realizes that Jack is trying to court Cressida Cowper, she schemes to ensure that her eldest daughter, Prudence Featherington, gets to marry Jack.

He later reveals that his financial situation is bleak, and his marriage with the Cowper’s daughter would have brought some money into the household, the prospects of which are now lost. Portia and Jack come up with a fraudulent scheme to trick the London gentlemen into investing in Jack’s mines. However, it backfires. Jack also tries to sexually seduce Portia into agreeing to flee to America with him, taking her daughters along but instead gets tricked by Portia into running away from London to America the very next morning after the Featherington Ball at the end of Season 02.

The Return of Colin Bridgeton:

Colin Bridgerton, who had left for his travels offshore in the previous season, comes back to London earlier in this season. However, he goes to meet the now-married Marina Thompson and soon realizes that she has moved on with her life. In pursuit of finding something to keep himself occupied with, Colin finds himself interested in the new Lord Featherington’s ruby mines. His withdrawal of the large sum of money from their accounts is questioned by Anthony, and he is warned by Will Mondrich about the same.

He soon discovers that the business is a fraudulent scheme and privately exposes the new Lord Featherington. He also softens toward his old friend, Penelope, sharing a dance with her at the Featherington ball by the end of Season 02.

Bridgerton. (L to R) Florence Emilia Hunt as Hyacinth Bridgerton, Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Will Tilston as Gregory Bridgerton in episode 202 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

Soon afterward, he confesses to his friends that he would never court Pen (short form for Penelope) for marriage. He takes them along to Will’s newly set-up club for the gentleman to express his gratitude for the fair warning about the Featherington business earlier in the season. We also learn that Benedict Bridgerton, who had received admission to the Academy of Arts for practicing his skills as a painter, did so because of the large sum of money that Anthony had donated to the Academy. By the end of the season, we find him quitting the Academy and the life that it had brought along with it.

The Matchmaking Season in London:

This season, Lady Dunbury, who had set up Simon and Daphne, is set to introduce the Sharma sisters, Kate and Edwina, at the matchmaking season in London. Queen Charlotte even crowns Edwina Sharma, the younger sister, as her ‘diamond’ of the season. Soon, the viscount, Anthony Bridgerton, starts showing interest in Edwina and court her against the many reservations held against him by her elder sister, Kate Sharma.

Anthony proposes marriage to Edwina, knowing fully well in his heart that he has fallen for Kate. At the altar, Edwina realizes that Anthony’s true feelings lay with her sister, Kata, and breaks off the marriage, stating she would like to figure herself out instead of being bogged under Kate’s shadows and wishes. While Anthony and Kate stumble towards their realization of love for one another, we find the Queen proposing to introduce Edwina to her nephew, a Prince, by the end of Season 2.

Bridgerton (Season 2) Ending Explained: All’s Well That Ends Well?

The main narrative in Bridgerton Season 02 revolves around the bubbling romance between the Viscount, Anthony Bridgerton, and the elder Sharma sister, Kate. Although they form the locus of this drama in Season 02, they barely get enough screen time together to allow their own story to ferment as the Daphne-Simon plot did in the previous season. However, their characters are laid out to help the audience understand that both of them, being elder siblings, have been responsible for their family for the longest time, so much that they cannot think of themselves or their interests separately from their familial duties.

Through a series of flashbacks from the incidents around the death of Edmund Bridgerton, their father, we come to learn that Anthony has had to take charge of the Bridgerton household – mother, siblings, accounts, and estates – from a very young age. Similarly, when Kate lost her father, she made it a point to be responsible for her mother and younger sister. She trained her sister in the most acceptable ways and brought her to London to find her a well-to-do bridegroom, a condition that also ensured a large dowry from their maternal grandparents’ side. While Anthony, in his marriage, would be doing a duty to his role as the head of the Bridgerton family, Kate, too, was eager to get her sister married and sail back to India to live an unmarried life of a governess. However, the writers of the story intervene in their respective paths.

Kate and Anthony happen to come across each other very early in Season 02 when they are out at dawn, riding their horses in the park. Kate beats Anthony at it, intriguing him. Soon afterward, at the ball hosted by Lady Danbury, she overhears a conversation between Anthony and a group of men to whom he was proclaiming the qualities he is looking for in his wife – everything except love. This appears to upset Kate. However, Edwina, her younger sister, soon begins to fall for Anthony.

Despite Kate’s best efforts, Anthony finds ways to charm Edwina, even inviting the Sharmas to the Aubrey Hall to spend some time with the family. However, a simple game of pall-mall finds Kate and Anthony land in a mud ditch, rolling in laughter, desperate to win against each other. When Kate is stung by a bee in the garden on one of the mornings, Anthony’s careful concern for her makes them wary of the intensity of feelings that they share for one another. Soon, Anthony proposes marriage to Edwina, which she gleefully accepts. Kate and Anthony find themselves becoming intimate with each other physically in the library on more than one occasion, the latter being discovered by Anthony’s sister, Daphne, who asks him to be true to the feelings of his heart rather than the duties of his position.

Queen Charlotte decides to throw the wedding of Anthony and Edwina. Preparations begin, but Kate and Anthony can barely keep their distance. At the altar, Anthony seems to be lost and daydreaming about Kate when the Archbishop jolts him to reality, asking him to repeat his vows. Just then, Kate, the bridesmaid for Edwina and standing right behind her, accidentally drops one of her bangles to the floor. Kate and Anthony raise public eyebrows by diving to get it reflexively – an act that also harks Edwina to the realization that Kate and Anthony have feelings for each other.

Bridgerton. (L to R) Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma, Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in episode 206 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

Afterwards, Edwina leaves the altar, Kate locks herself in a closet, and Anthony, although expressing his wish to marry Edwina for the similarity of roles they share, tries to insist Kate stay in the closet with him for a little while. Edwina makes her decision as she calls for Kate and Anthony in the church – She refuses to marry Anthony. Kate and Anthony come close to expressing their feelings for each other and share a passionate kiss at the altar.

However, now that the marriage is off the charts, both families try to silence all the gossip around this failed nuptial ceremony by pretending to maintain cordial relationships in public. Lady Danbury specifically asks Kate and Anthony to keep away from each other since news of their love affair could be scandalous for the reputation of both families.

At the ball that Lady Bridgerton throws, none except the members of the Sharma and the Bridgerton families arrive and enjoy a spritely dance with each other before the news of Eloise’s scandal and Edwina’s words of hatred towards Kate force both the protagonists to leave for the garden. Once outside, Kate and Anthony soon start spewing hate against each other, an act that sets them off into a passionate lovemaking spree. However, when Anthony wakes up the next morning, he finds Kate gone.

Anthony fishes out the engagement ring and goes over to the Sharmas’ to propose marriage to Kate but learns she is not in her room. Soon, he sets out to look for her, sure that he will find her in the field where they had met at dawn. But it is raining torrentially, and an emotionally-fluid Kate comes across an accident, falling from her horse, hurting her head, and losing consciousness for almost a week. Anthony brings her back home but considering himself responsible for Kate’s predicament, he leaves and never calls on her while she is unconscious and recovering.

Once Kate is awake again, Anthony visits her and brings her flowers. He tries to propose marriage to her, but Kate doesn’t allow it, thinking he was doing it from some misguided sense of responsibility due to their recent scandalous act. She announces her return to India and asks him to leave. Both their mothers and Kate’s sister come forward to explain to them the importance of prioritizing their feelings over their responsibilities, especially now that love is at stake. The Bridgertons and the Sharmas attend the Featherington Ball, where Anthony and Kate decide to have one last dance, a dance so charming that it forces everyone around to stop and marvel at them. Anthony and Kate confess their love for each other in the garden. In the most dramatic way possible, the fireworks go off, and the couple kisses under the firework-lit sky.

We come to know by the end of the final episode that Anthony and Kate have been married and are back from six months of traveling abroad on their honeymoon to spend time with the family at Aubrey Hall. We find them entwined in each other’s arms, with Anthony lovingly addressing Kate as the ‘viscountess’. Down with the family, they appear to still bear their competitive bent with each other; they are now giddily happy to share a life together, unless the consequent seasons of the show, Bridgerton, comes with its fair share of trouble and troublemakers in their happily married life.

Bridgerton (Season 2) is now streaming on Netflix

Bridgerton (Season 2) Links – IMDb
Bridgerton (Season 2) Cast – Adjoa Andoh, Lorraine Ashbourne, Simone Ashley, Jonathan Bailey, Harriet Cains, Charithra Chandran, Shelly Conn, Phoebe Dynevor


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