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 “Swish”, Daphne learns just how uninformed she is going into her marriage and a new scandal comes to London.
It goes without saying that this recap will contain spoilers for Bridgerton; if you haven’t watched it, check out the series here!
“Swish” opens as Lady Whistledown (Julie Andrews) congratulates Simon (Regé-Jean Page) and Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) on the marriage and hopes they enjoy their honeymoon. The two arrive at their new home and settle in quite well, with Simon giving Daphne a tour of their bedroom. It is clear the tension and misunderstanding in the week leading up to their wedding has been all but forgotten.
Back in London, the Bridgertons are attending an event with the ton. With Daphne married, Lady Violet (Ruth Gemmell) turns her eyes to Eloise (Claudia Jessie). Eloise still has no interest in making her way into society. She has many great goals in mind for herself while also trying to uncover the identity of Lady Whistledown. This last part is essential as the Queen (Golda Rosheuvel) herself has charge Eloise with the task.
Colin (Luke Newton) and Marina (Ruby Barker) use the event to announce to their families and the ton that they are engaged to be married. Everyone seems thrilled, including Lady Portia (Polly Walker) and Lord Featherington (Ben Miller). However, we can see that quite a few are not like Lady Violet, Benedict (Luke Thompson), Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and Penelope (Nicola Coughlan). Lady Violet asks Benedict and Anthony to congratulate the couple as everyone is watching.
Anthony meets with Colin privately and shares his feelings on the matter. He finds Colin to be too young and too immature to get married. Not to mention that he barely knows Marina. Colin argues back that he is in love with her and that is all the matters. In the end, he doesn’t require Anthony’s permission to marry, but he would like his blessing. But this is not something Anthony is willing to give to the couple. Colin leaves disappointed in his brother.
Back in the country, Simon and Daphne find they can not spend all their time locked away in their room. Daphne joins Mrs. Colson (Pippa Haywood) on a tour of the grounds. It appears that the housekeeper might not be overly fond of Daphne as the new duchess. Simon finds himself thrown into more work than he expected when he learns that the previous steward has left the records and accounting books in disarray.
At dinner, Simon and Daphne continue to shock the servants. First, Daphne ups and moves herself to the other end of the table to be closer to Simon. They discuss her redecorating rooms within the house, which Simon is completely for. And then, before even having a bit to eat, they ditch dinner altogether to enjoy some fresh air outside. To those on staff when Simon’s father (Richard Pepple) was the duke, it must be a complete 180.
Simon and Daphne spend the next few days enjoying each other’s company in nearly every room of their mansion as well as outside. Daphne shares with her lady maid, Rose (Molly McGlynn), that she believed these activities would not happen due to Simon’s inability to have children.
The Bridgerton household is still dealing with Colin’s unexpected engagement. He searches out Lady Violet again and apologizes that he did not tell her first. She shares that she is just happy she found out before Lady Whistledown. Colin shares that he has been courting Marina all season though perhaps Lady Violet was too involved in Daphne to see it. The two come to terms and Lady Violet wishes him only the best.
Penelope is still struggling to find happiness in the engagement. She is vocal about her dislike of the plan to make a fool out of Colin. Marina simply wishes that their friendship could go back to what it was before. However, Penelope believes Marina only wants her continued silence so she might not lose Colin. She shares that she would never say or do anything to bring shame to her family. But, she can not condone Marina’s actions.
At Genevieve Delacroix’s (Kathryn Drysdale) shop, Lady Violet discusses Eloise’s upcoming season and tries to convince her how excited she will be. While discussing the items Eloise will need for next season with Genevieve, Lady Portia and Marina arrive at the shop. Lady Portia extends an invitation to Lady Violet, Colin and Anthony to attend dinner with them before stealing Genevieve away to discuss Marina’s trousseau.
Genevieve reminds Lady Portia that she already told her maid that the line of credit is not available due to previous bills being paid. Marina, who has realized that Genevieve is only pretending to be French, blackmails her into doing the work. She would hate the see how the ladies of the ton would react if they only knew the French seamstress they have been paying a fortune for was a lie.
While visiting the opening of the local village’s fair, Daphne and Simon take part in the festivities and speak with the farmers who live on Simon’s land. It is brought to their attention that things have been rough for them since Simon’s father has passed. Daphne promises that they will do anything in their power to help ease their burdens.
They also come across a small screaming child who Daphne is immediately drawn to. During their walk back home, Daphne worries that being around children would upset Simon. He shares that it is only her he worries over. He is so thankful that she is so satisfied in their marriage and it only being just the two of them. Daphne knows that once her brothers and sisters are married, there will be more than enough children to entertain them.
Lady Portia prepares Marina and the family for the upcoming dinner with the Bridgertons. They will need to bring up the need for a hasty wedding. While they are certain Marina’s situation will be unnoticed, they do not wish to take any chances. Penelope is quite sure they will not be able to pull one over on Lady Violet. As a mother of eight children, she clearly knows when she is being managed.
The dinner and after entertainment go by without incident, though it is clear that Anthony still does not agree with the marriage. Lady Portia tries to bring up the idea of a wedding sooner rather than later, but Anthony stands by the idea that Colin is young and should wait. Colin excuses himself from Phillipa (Harriet Cains) and Prudence’s (Bessie Carter) terrible entertainment. Penelope follows him out into the hall. She chooses to tell him that Marina’s heart belongs to another, though he brushes this off as a past love.
Before Penelope goes on, Marina makes her way into the hall and sends her back into the parlor. Colin realizes that Marina looks upset and questions if Anthony has said or done something. She shares with him that her own father and the Featheringtons do not want her. She was hoping that she could find acceptance within his family, but it is looking as if that isn’t going to happen. All she wishes is that she could be with him always. Colin tells her they can get married in the next few days; they need to travel to Gretna Green. Afterward, they can always be together and no one will be able to say otherwise.
With Simon throwing himself into his work, Daphne focuses on her role as the duchess. Though no matter how much effort she puts in, she seems to be letting people down. During a visit to the village, she learns that her choice to save all the pigs from slaughter meant that no one won the bid to provide meat to Cliveden. She returns home and turns to Mrs. Colson for aid. The two take tea and Mrs. Colson opens up about Simon’s rough childhood, the late Duke and Duchess’ marriage, their struggle to get pregnant and the Duchess passing. Something about the conversation gets Daphne thinking about her current situation.
Back in London, Penelope pretends to be sick to stay home alone. Once everyone leaves, she sneaks into Marina’s room to search for Sir George Crane’s love letters. She also finds a hidden bag that is packed with clothes and toiletries. She realizes that something is off with the letters. When Marina returns home, she finds Penelope waiting for her.
They discuss how the letter in which Sir George broke her heart was a forgery written by Lady Portia and her maid. However, Marina has still not received a letter, only leading her to believe that he truly abandoned her. She burns the letters and stands by her choice to marry and lie to Colin. Penelope continues to argue that Colin deserves better and Marina realizes that Penelope herself loves Colin. Marina tells her that this childish infatuation must end because Colin never has and will never see her as more than a sister figure.
At Cliveden, Daphane searches for Simon, who has gotten lost in the estate’s books again. The two share an intimate moment in the study and Daphne finally realizes that something is not right. She rushes to the servant’s quarters to find Rose. She asks her to explain to her how a woman comes to be with a child. Rose tells her that her mother should have told her, but Daphne admits that Lady Violet told her nothing. After Rose’s explanation, Daphne realizes that there is a chance that Simon has lied to her. That every time they are intimate, he makes sure never to take the chance of spending inside her.
Daphne takes matters into her own hands and when she realizes that he has been lying the whole time, she breaks down. Simon claims he never lied, that he believed she understood how a child came to be in the world, that she was fine with never having children because he was enough. Daphne tells him she feels used by him, that there is no way he could love her and continue to lie to her face and use her innocence to his benefit. She leaves Simon alone to deal with the repercussions of their fight.
Back in London, Penelope turns to Eloise for comfort after her fight with Marina. Lady Whistledown imparts some wisdom when it comes to love and war. All is fair, but some battles lead only a trail of broken hearts that make people wonder if it is truly worth it in the end. The next morning Lady Violet awaits Colin as he prepares to leave for Gretna Green. Lady Whistledown has revealed Marina and her scheme to marry Colin to hide that she is already pregnant. “Swish” comes to a close as the hearts of two of our Bridgerton’s are left broken.
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