Bridgerton from Shonda Rhimes brings Regency-era London to life on Netflix. The series is based on Julia Quinn‘s best-selling series of the same name. The first season is based on the events of her novel, The Duke and I. The series promises us romance and quite a bit of scandal as the eight Bridgerton siblings find their happily ever afters. In “An Affair of Honor”, Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon (Regé-Jean Page) create a scandal that could lead to deadly consequences.
It goes without saying that this recap will contain spoilers for Bridgerton; if you haven’t watched it, check out the series here!
“An Affair of Honor” begins a few days following the events of Daphne’s “break up” with Simon. She is attending an event with her mother, Lady Violet (Ruth Gemmell). Her mother is worried for her, as she has seemed rather strained these past few days. Daphne brushes her off, simply sharing that she has much on her mind.
Before the conversation can go any further, The Queen (Golda Rosheuvel) and Prince Friederick (Freddie Stroma) arrive. Daphne’s presence enraptures the Prince and it is pretty clear he is besotted with her. He gifts her a beautiful necklace, though as he places it around her neck, Daphne can’t help to imagine it is Simon instead. It becomes pretty clear what has been weighing on Daphne’s mind these past few days.
At home, Daphne is overwhelmed with questions from Hyacinth (Florence Hunt) about her soon to be life as Princess. This again points to Daphne having second thoughts about the Prince and Simon. This is something Lady Whistledown (Julie Andrews) completely agrees with. Are Simon and Daphne making the right choice?
Simon visits his friend Will (Martins Imhangbe), sharing that he is leaving London immediately and will not be making his boxing exhibition. Will convinces him to stay for at least the match, needing him to be there to help bring supporters (and their coin purses) to his side. Simon agrees to stay, paying back this one last favor.
At the Featherington household, Marina (Ruby Barker) is on display for Lord Rutledge (Michael Culkin). Marina is angry with Lady Portia (Polly Walker) for even thinking Lord Rutledge would be an option. But Lady Portia reminds her that what she needs is someone who is going to marry her quickly and won’t question if the child is born earlier. She makes it clear that Marina is running out of options.
Lady Portia questions Lord Featherington (Ben Miller) again why they simply can’t send her back to the country, but the matter is not up for discussion. However, things may be looking up for the Featherington’s when Phillipa (Harriet Cains) receives her very own caller, Mr. Finch (Lorn MacDonald). Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) and Eloise (Claudia Jessie) discuss their admiration for Lady Whistledown and her independence while at the morning market. Eloise decides it is up to them to figure out who is the woman behind the scandal sheet.
Later that day, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and Daphne arrive at Will’s boxing exhibition. The Prince had requested Anthony bring her so they could spend more time together. She is overjoyed with the idea, but soon catches sight of Simon, sending her thoughts and feelings in a million different directions. The boxing match may be between Will and his opponent, but the focus heavily falls between Daphne and Simon’s undeniable draw to each other.
After Will wins the match, Lord Featherington can be seen hounded by fellow men seeking payment for his lost bets. He promises to have them paid within two days. Benedict (Luke Thompson) is approached by the artist Henry Granvill (Julian Ovenden). Benedict attempts to apologize for his cruel bluntness, but Henry rather enjoyed hearing his critic. They speak a bit on art and Henry invites Benedict to his studio to see his true art and get some practice himself.
Anthony approaches Simon after apologizing for not believing his true intentions with Daphne to be honorable. He knows he is leaving London. During their conversation, Anthony is called away by Prince Friederick, who wishes for a more private word with him. Later at the Bridgerton house, Anthony shares that this private conversation between the two was about a possible proposal.
Later that night, Lady Violet visits Daphne as she is getting ready. The two discuss Daphne’s choices between the Prince and Simon. Lady Violet thinks that she should keep her mind open and not settle so quickly. Daphne finally breaks down and opens up to her mother about the ruse between her and Simon. That none of it was true and she only did it to find herself a better suitor.
Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) visits with Simon prior to his departure from London. She shares with him her disappointment for allowing Daphne to slip through his fingers. But unlike Daphne, he does not open up about the act being a ruse. Lady Danbury understands that he believes that love and devotion are frivolous, but she knows how important they are to the society they have helped to build. In the end, Simon still believes that love can not conquer all.
At the evening’s soiree, the Featheringtons arrive and Marina is forced into the company of Lord Rutledge yet again and Phillipa finds herself being swept away by Mr. Finch. When Lady Portia comments on the idea that they will have two weddings this season, Lord Featherington shares his doubt. While Daphine is awaiting the Prince, Cressida Cowper (Jessica Madsen) appears at her side. Cressida is upset that Daphne stole her one true chance at happiness by taking the Prince from her, though Daphne doesn’t seem to care.
While preparing to depart London, Simon comes across the painting that he donated to Somerset House. Jeffries (Jason Barnett) reminds him that he asked for it to be returned to him. The painting takes him back to that moment where he and Daphne unconsciously reached out to each other while viewing it.
Benedict chooses to skip the evening’s events for a chance to visit Henry’s studio. There he is given a chance to practice his art among like-minded people. Here is a place where he can relax and let go of his family’s stress and have some fun. So Benedict decides to let loose and take part in one of the benefits of being a second son.
Back at the soiree, Lady Violet attempts to introduce Anthony to the eligible ladies, though he is unable to take his eyes off of Siena (Sabrina Bartlett), who is performing. Stressed over her children’s wellbeing, Lady Violet turns to the wine to help take the edge off. On the other side of the room, Lady Portia finds Phillipa in tears after Mr. Finch will no longer speak to her after speaking with Lord Featherington. When Lady Portia questions him, he brushes her off, saying that all three daughters can wait until next season to be wed.
Back at the Bridgerton house, Eloise has snuck into the housekeeper’s rooms to investigate further into Lady Whistledown’s identity. After accusing her mother’s maid and being laughed at, she understands that it could not be the help. They would be too busy to spend their time writing about the frivolous lives of the rich. Instead, it must be one of her peers.
“An Affair of Honor” bounces back to the soiree yet again, where Marina is being shuffled around the dance floor by Lord Rutledge. Clearly unhappy with her current situation, Colin (Luke Newton) steps in and saves her. During Daphne’s dance with Prince Friederick, she begins to see Simon in every corner of the room. Torn between the Prince’s discussion of marriage and seeing Simon, she becomes overwhelmed. She excuses herself before the Prince can complete his proposal.
Daphne rushes outside to take some fresh air. Overtaken with the weight of her choices, which are represented by the necklace, she yanks it off. Simon arrives moments later and the two argue over the choices they are currently making. Daphne attempts to convince him, and most likely herself that marrying the Prince will make her happy. Angry that he won’t answer her, Daphne walks alone into the dark garden.
Simon follows after her, knowing the gardens can be unsafe and she shouldn’t be alone. When he finally catches up with her, all of their emotions boil over and the two finally share a long-awaited kiss. And then some. But before things can get too far, Anthony finds them. Clearly angry as he just caught his best friend compromising his sister, he demands that Simon marry her. When he declines, Anthony challenges him to a duel.
Anthony takes Daphne home, leaving a now drunk Lady Violet in the care of Colin. But before they leave, Cressida makes one last jab at Daphne, asking her if she “caught a chill in the garden”.
Lady Portia and the girls leave the party early as well. Lady Portia uses her time to search through Lord Featherington’s office to uncover what secrets he has hidden from her. Upstairs, Marina is gushing over how Colin saved her from Lord Rutledge. She truly believes that Colin will propose and take care of her and her unborn child. Clearly, the conversation bothers Penelope, who pretends to grow tired and sends Marina back to her room.
Before she can settle back down for bed, Eloise begins throwing rocks at her window. While trying to discuss the identity of Lady Whistle, Penelope loses her temper and argues with Eloise. Upset with how she is being treated, Eloise walks away, leaving Penelope alone.
At home, Anthony sends Daphne to bed before meeting with Benedict. He asks him to be his second. In the event of his death or in the event Anthony kills Simon, Benedict will become the next head of the family. Simon turns to Will… well Will’s brandy. Simon shares that he will be meeting Anthony at dawn and Will demands to be Simon’s second.
Having settled things with Benedict and Colin, Anthony goes out in search of Siena. He shares with her that he duels at dawn and if he lives to see the sunrise, he will be a free man. They could leave London together and start a new life. Instead of telling him to leave, Siena allows him to come inside and they spend the night together.
Back in Grosvenor Square, Lord Featherington returns home to find Lady Portia in his study. She confronts him about the state of their financial accounts. Lord Featherington has spent every last bit of money they had on his gambling and debts, including their daughter’s dowries. He admits that he does not know what to do to save them from their financial situation.
Anthony and Simon meet at the dueling grounds at dawn with the seconds in tow. Daphne, unable to sit by, demands that Colin take her to the duel. He tells her to let them handle things among themselves and to be happy that no one saw them in the garden. But then Daphne remembers Cressida’s comment before she left the soiree. Daphne knows they were seen and that regardless and what happens at the duel, she will be ruined. With this new information, Colin agrees to take her.
At the dueling grounds, Anthony asks Benedict for one last favor. Should he die, Benedict is to make sure Siena is looked after for the rest of her life. Once he agrees, Anthony passes on their father’s watch. The duel commences as Daphne and Colin race towards them. With Anthony’s gun aimed toward Simon and Simon’s gun aimed towards the sky, the shoots are taken, but not before Daphne ends up in between them. The shot startles the horse, who sends Daphne flying off, thankfully unharmed.
Daphne demands a moment alone with Simon, where she explains that they were seen. Simon still stands by his word that he cannot marry her. But not because he despises or hates her, but because he holds her in such high regard. He shares that if they were to wed, he would never be able to give her children and it is her dream to be a mother. Simon could never ask her to sacrifice her future for him. He walks away with every intention of continuing the duel, but Daphne makes her own choice to give up the future she wanted for a future with him. She informs everyone that they will be married.