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 “Oceans Apart”, Daphne and Simon find themselves returning to their former ruse for the ton while Marina and the Featheringtons face scandal.
It goes without saying that this recap will contain spoilers for Bridgerton; if you haven’t watched it, check out the series here!
“Oceans Apart” begins vastly different than “Swish”. Gone is the happy couple and in their place, two people who are battling it out against each other without even speaking a word. It is clear to everyone that Simon (Regé-Jean Page) and Daphne’s (Phoebe Dynevor) honeymoon is over faster than it started. They have a heated discussion over dinner before the latest announcement from Lady Whisterdown (Julie Andrews) arrives.
Daphne decides to head back to London to help see her family through the scandal. Simon decides to go with her even though she tells him not to. He shares that he will stay by her side until they know whether Daphne is with child. She permits it, though she demands he give her the space she wants.
London is still invested in the scandal days after Lady Whistledown’s news of Marina’s (Ruby Barker) pregnancy. Colin (Luke Newton) appears to be taking it extremely hard, having thought himself in love with her. Lady Violet (Ruth Gemmell) and Eloise (Claudia Jessie) exit their home and see Lady Portia (Polly Walker) and Marina on the other side of the square. The tensions between the two families can be felt through the air.
During a visit to Genevieve Delacroix’s (Kathryn Drysdale) shop, Eloise tries to convince her mother to let her delay her debut season. Certainly, the scandal will make things harder and things will be different in a few years. Lady Violet will hear non of it and tells her they need to go on as nothing has happened. Eloise is angry that Marina’s scandal is affecting Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) and her sister’s Phillipa (Harriet Cains) and Prudence (Bessie Carter). She comes up with the idea that if Lady Whistledown can ruin a reputation, she could most certainly fix one as well.
Lady Portia is trying to fix this scandal in another way, by procuring a room within an orphanage for Marina’s child. However, there are no rooms currently available. Lady Portia explains that this is an extenuating circumstance and the child will have nowhere to go. The orphanage suggests they can find a room if they were to receive a sizeable donation from the family. Unfortunately, Lord Featherington (Ben Miller) seems not to have fixed their financial struggles.
Daphne returns home and sends Simon to his London townhouse, not wanting him to be by her side. She finds Colin, Lady Violet, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and Benedict (Luke Thompson) inside discussing what the family is to do. Lady Violet believes that Daphne and Simon are the answer to their problems. Showing they still have the Duke and Duchess on their side will show the ton that nothing is amiss. Daphne takes a few jabs at her mother as well, clearly upset with her though no one knows why.
Daphne seeks out Colin separately from the family to learn more about the events that led up to the scandal. He shares with her that he truly loves Marina and wanted to marry her. Daphne says he should count himself lucky he learned her secrets before they were married instead of after. He asks if something happened at Cliveden between Daphne and Simon. She doesn’t give him an answer but instead offers to set up a rendezvous between him and Marina.
Simon seeks out Will (Martins Imhangbe) for a sparring match to get out some of his troubles. Will imparts some knowledge on him that marriage follows no reason or sense. When Simon returns home, Daphne is waiting up for him. She questions where he was and with whom. Hurt that she already thinks he is cheating on her, the two argue over their future. After a brief intimate moment, Simon decides that the passion between them can never happen again. If Daphne is with child, he will stay by her side for the sake of the child. If she isn’t, they will live entirely separate though she will be taken care of in the matter befitting a duchess.
The next day Colin and Daphne meet with Marina, who confirms that she is with child. Colin is angry with her and demands an explanation for her deception. Marina stands by her choice, believing she had no others. She needed to find a husband to protect her and her unborn child. Colin was the only one who offered her even a glimpse of happiness. Before Colin leaves, he tells Marina that he would have married her without question if she only came to him and told the truth. For that is how much he loved her. Or so he thought.
The Bridgertons arrive in full force at the Queen’s (Golda Rosheuvel) luncheon. And much like they believed, with Simon and Daphne home, the ton’s attention is drawn to them instead of Colin’s scandal. The two put on a rather impressive ruse though not everyone appears to be tricked this time around. Benedict speaks with Henry Granvill (Julian Ovenden), who attempts to introduce him to his friend, the same one he found him with a few weeks prior, but Benedict excuses himself quite quickly.
Eloise speaks with the Queen, who is growing impatient with Eloise’s hunt for Lady Whistledown. She wants to unmask the gossipmonger and she wants it done quickly. Elsewhere at the party, Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) finds Simon and Daphne. She shares that their plan of drawing the ton’s attention is working and invites Daphne to a special soiree only for the married ladies of the ton.
Everything is going well at the luncheon when Lady Portia and her daughters arrive. Eloise drags Penelope away to check in with her and share her plan to get Lady Whistledown to write a retraction and save the Featherington name. Lady Portia attempts to speak with Lady Violet and claims that they have both been duped by Marina. Lady Violet will hear none of it and the Queen has Lady Portia and her family sent home immediately.
Lady Violet attempts to speak to Daphne on what has been troubling her since her return to London. She just wants to help provide Daphne with any wisdom she can surrounding her marriage. Daphne snaps back that it was her vague metaphors and lack of information that caused all of the issues in the first place. Had she been better-prepared, things could be so much different. Before the conversation can go any further, they are found by Lady Danbury and Daphne rushes off.
Daphne pays a visit to the Featherington house to meet alone with Marina. She apologizes for judging Marina so harshly initially and understands now she was only doing what she thought best for her child. She wants to help Marina find a way to better her situation. She offers to use her station to find Sir George Crane and force him to come home and take responsibility for Marina and the child.
After spotting a poster for Will’s exhibition matches, Lord Featherington visits him and tries to make a deal with him. He wants Will to throw his next match. He will place an enormous bet on his opponent, knowing that he will win. He promises to share the winnings with Will, which will provide for his family and then some. It also answers all of Featherington’s financial problems as well. Will declines, but Lord Featherington leaves his card and tells him to think on it.
Daphne attends Lady Danbury’s party for the ton’s married ladies and finds it is a mixture of drinking, gambling, and laughter. She is seated at a table alongside a group of women, including Henry Granvell’s wife Lucy (Sandra Teles) and the general’s wife, Kitty Langham (Celine Buckens). At a club across town, Anthony finds Simon and accuses him of trying to hide from him. While settling in to enjoy an evening with his old friend, Anthony believes he spots Siena (Sabrina Bartlett) enter the room, though it is someone else entirely.
While winning all of Kitty’s money, Daphne asks her if there is a way she could convince her husband to help her find a soldier. Kitty reveals that she will have to ask him that herself as the two do not live together. Kitty gets to enjoy all of the benefits of marriage without the burden of having to spend time with her husband. This idea confuses Daphne, but Lady Danbury chaulks it up to the fact that she and Simon are still in the first blooms of marriage.
Back at the club, Anthony and Simon get into a heated discussion about how to head a household. Anthony claims that Simon doesn’t know how because he never had a proper example and Simon claims Anthony is so terrible at it that his father must be ashamed of him. The two become so heated it becomes a bout of fisticuffs and after it is broken up, both are left fuming towards each other.
Daphne returns home to find Simon cleaning up after his fight. He claims that things became a bit too rough while training with Will. While cleaning up his wound, she finally gets Simon to open up about why he will not have children. He shares with her the vow he made on his father’s deathbed to end the Hastings line. It is his anger for his father that keeps them from being truly happy. Daphne informs him that her menstrual cycle should begin in a few days and then they will learn exactly how this marriage will continue. Miserable together or happy apart.
The next morning Daphne sends a letter off to General Langham. She and Simon are seen ignoring each other in passing and spending their time apart. Lady Whistledown remarks in one of her scandal sheets that the two have yet to receive callers together. She also mentions that there have been no important news or events to note. The Queen notices that she mentions nothing of her luncheon, which gives her quite a bit of suspicion.
Eloise is in full investigator mode as she throws herself into her mission to uncover Lady Whistledown. Her report on Marina was personal, meaning it could have only come from within the Featherington household. While it could not be a servant, there is a chance it could be a tradesperson. Someone who was in the home and could have overheard or was told by someone else. She plans on sharing this news with the Queen during the evening concert. Penelope thanks her for her continued support and friendship through all of this.
Daphne visits with Marina again to let her know that the letter has been sent. However, Marina believes the general will simply ignore it since Simon did not sign off on it. She thanks her for all of her help, though she now believes there is nothing else Daphne can do.
Anthony finds Colin avoiding the concert and uses this time to apologize for how he has reacted to Colin’s engagement and the scandal. He was only trying to protect his younger brother from his more foolish choices. Anthony shares that with his family by his side and time, Colin’s heart will heal and he will forget Marina all together. Colin asks how this advice is faring for Anthony, who admits it is still a work in progress.
Lady Violet helps Eloise get ready for the night’s concert, though she is surprised she agreed to attend with them. She tells Eloise that if she is not ready to take her place in society, she shall not rush her. She was wrong to try and persuade her to jump before she was ready. Eloise does not argue back with her mother this time but simply asks if the Queen will be in attendance. It appears that she is pushing herself out into society to further her cause of saving Penelope and her family from ruin.
Before the concert, Benedict seeks out Henry to learn more about his relationship with Lord Wetherby. Henry explains that he is in love with him, but the two can not be together because of society’s standards. They live every day in constant threat of being found out. Henry believes that Benedict can not even begin to understand what it is like to be in love with someone you can not live without but can’t live with at the same time.
Eloise meets with the Queen to update her on her latest theories surrounding Lady Whistledown. However, the Queen is no longer in need of Eloise’s services as she has hired a group of Bow Street Runners to investigate the woman. She fully intends on unmasking her and having her answer for her impertinence. Eloise is upset that the Queen plans on silencing Lady Whistledown when she still needs her to save the Featherington’s reputation. Eloise seeks out Benedict, who both have no interest in attending the concert after their unhappy encounters and decide it is time to leave.
At the Featherington household, Marina sneaks into the kitchens undetected and begins grabbing ingredients from the shelves.
On their way home, Benedict stops to pick up a friend claiming he is not bound to society’s rules. Though he quickly asks Eloise not to tell their mother. The friend in question is non-other than Genevieve. She inquires after Eloise’s evening, asking if it was everything she expected. Eloise shares that with the entire ton there, she was unable to find a worthwhile exchange. Genevieve remarks that it was everyone except the Featheringtons. With their mention, Eloise begins to piece together who could be Lady Whistledown and she might very well be sitting across from her.
During the concert, everyone is in attendance and Anthony spots Siena in the crowd for the first time in weeks. She is with someone new and from the looks of it, they are more than friends.
“Oceans Apart” comes to a close as the scenes flash from Featherington house and Marina to Daphne at the concert. Marina has concocted some type of tea with herbs found in the kitchens and drinks it. Penelope then finds her collapsed in her bedroom and barely responsive. Daphne begins to feel cramping in her stomach during the performance and races back into the room behind her to find that her cycle has started. Lady Violet shows up to offer comfort while Simon remains seated in the box, hearing Daphne’s cries.