The tension and competition have never been higher in this season of Netflix’s Bridgerton. Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) has made it clear that he has his sights set on marrying Edwina (Charithra Chandran), but Kate (Simone Ashley) still stands in his way. So how do you deal with a prickly sister? You host a weekend away, of course! Anthony plans to spend some quality time with Edwina before the rest of the ton descend on Aubrey Hall. We’ve spent enough time here; let’s dive into episode three, “A Bee in Your Bonnet!”
DISCLAIMER: It goes without saying that this recap will contain spoilers for Bridgerton; if you haven’t watched it, check out the series here!
A Single Bee Can Change the World
Grab your tissues, dear friends. “A Bee in Your Bonnet” opens with a flashback to the devastating loss of Anthony’s father, Edmund Bridgerton (Rupert Evans). After spending the morning trying to teach his son how to hunt, he stops to pick some flowers for Violet (Ruth Gemmell). Unfortunately, a bee stings him, causing anaphylaxis, resulting in his death. It is heartbreaking to watch as he says goodbye to pregnant Violet and Anthony must watch over the younger Bridgerton siblings. Take a moment to yourself.
Okay better? Back in the present day, Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews) gets us up to date on what is happening with the ton. Anthony has invited Edwina and her family out to Aubrey Hall to spend some time before the rest of the ton arrives. Hopefully, this will provide him with some quiet time to really get to know her? Edwina is worried that Anthony will find fault with her, but Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) and her mother, Lady Mary (Shelley Conn), both agree that it is a good sign that they invited them early.
Kate reminds Edwina that she should be using this next week to decide if Anthony is really what she wants in a husband. Let’s keep our minds open, everyone.
Back in town, Lady Portia (Polly Walker) tries to sneak answers out of Lord Featherington (Rupert Young) on where he is going and who he is seeing. He still seems pretty closed off, which only exacerbates her worries. Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) is worried too, since her mother is forcing them all to head to the modiste before they leave for Aubrey Hall. I wonder if Madame Delacroix (Kathryn Drysdale) will out her for being in the market and wearing maid’s clothes?
Lady Portia and Mrs. Varley (Lorraine Ashbourne) continue to debate the Lord Featherington situation. They both realize that they need to steer him towards someone who won’t be able to handle the household and is stupid enough that they can bully around. Of course, in walks Prudence (Bessie Carter), who might be their best candidate. Suppose we can get past the idea that he is her fourth cousin. And don’t use the royal family as a way to make this seem better.
Welcome to Aubrey Hall
“A Bee in Your Bonnet” returns to Aubrey Hall as Daphne (Pheobe Dynevor) arrives with the baby! This catches everyone’s attention as Franchesca (Ruby Stokes), Hyacinth (Florence Hunt), Gregory (Will Tilston), Benedict (Luke Thompson), Colin (Luke Newton), Anthony and Violet swarm the baby. On the other hand, Eloise (Claudia Jessie) has to be called over. It’s okay, Eloise; babies cry when we hold them too.
Daphne is interested in learning more about Anthony’s season and is surprised that he has invited someone out to Aubrey Hall. It must be love, right? Anthony explains that he needs all of his siblings to help win over both sisters this weekend. And of course, Kate is going to be the harder of the two. The gatekeeper, as he so lovingly refers to her as. Daphne can’t help but agree since Anthony was so helpful with her season.
Lady Danbury and the Sharmas arrive to quite the welcoming party. As Kate admires Aubrey Hall, Anthony uses the moment to try and charm her a bit. And, of course, the bantering begins. This little bout between the two catches the eye of Daphne, who mistakes Kate for Edwina. How could she not? He lights up when talking to Kate. While everyone gets settled and prepares for a mysterious battle, Anthony and Violet head off to handle some other business.
Anthony needs Violet’s engagement ring to prepare for his proposal to Edwina. Violet offers him some unsolicited advice to maybe wait a bit. They only just arrived and he should use the next few days to get to know her. Anthony doesn’t think it necessary, but Violet still wants him to think about it. We are pushed into another flashback at Aubrey Hall, a few days after the death of Edmund. This time, Anthony is forced into the role of Viscount and is in charge of everything. Clearly, he isn’t ready to take over and was forced into the role. It plays heavily into who he is as a person today.
Just a Friendly Pall-Mall Game
“A Bee in Your Bonnet” returns to the present day Aubrey Hall as Daphne, Kate and Edwina prepare for a friendly game of Pall-mall. Totally friendly. Daphne explains the rules and how each sibling plays (except herself, of course) as everyone prepares for battle.
Back in London, the Featheringtons are visiting Madame Delacroix. Lady Portia isn’t happy with how it is going and rushes Prudence across the street to the new modiste in town. Penelope uses this moment to try and figure out precisely what Madame Delacroix knows. However, they each dance around each other, but it seems that Penelope’s secret is safe for now. Madame Delacroix’s business is another story entirely.
We return to Aubrey Hall, where the Pall-mall field is set and everyone is ready to go; they select their mallets and head off. Kate manages to grab the black mallet, better known as the mallet of death, which happens to be Anthony’s favorite one. He is willing to let it go…this one time. Now, let the games begin! There is tons of cheering, groaning, missed shots and cutthroat maneuvers as the group makes their way through the Pall-mall field. One thing is pretty straightforward, though, Edwina doesn’t really fit in.
Colin also uses the game to figure out what is on Benedict’s mind. It turns out our favorite artist has taken the advice of art school and has applied at the Royal Academy Schools. He is worried that he isn’t good enough to get in but is excited at the prospect of making a name for himself. Off to the side, Violet and Lady Mary discuss family and children and share a heartfelt moment about loved ones and memories. Lady Danbury returns to them and we are all reminded that things might not go as smoothly this year if things don’t stay the course.
“A Bee in Your Bonnet” gives us another montage of cutthroat Pall-mall gameplay until Kate sends Anthony’s ball out into left field. Edwina doesn’t take kindly to this and decides to head off the sit with their mothers and Lady Danbury after missing her next shot. Anthony offers to go with her, but she sends him back to the field. There Colin sends Kate’s ball in the direction of Anthony’s. The two head off to collect their balls while the others continue with the game.
Change of Heart
Anthony and Kate eventually find the balls, but they are stuck in the mud. Kate offers not to tell anyone that they plucked them out, but Anthony has too much honor. Kate climbs right into the mud, so Anthony follows because she can’t best him. And when she gets stuck, the two struggle to get out and find themselves on their backends. And her dress was so pretty.
Now that things seem to have lightened between the two of them, Anthony and Kate come to a sort of truce about his courting Edwina. Kate is to Edwina as Anthony is to all of his sisters. Truce aside, Kate continues the game and knocks Anthony’s ball further away before hearing Daphne secure her victory. However, Anthony’s mind is elsewhere as he stares off at the bench his ball fell near. The mood quickly changes and he storms off, claiming the game is over. Kate heads over to grab the ball and finds it fell right next to Edmund’s grave.
As Anthony heads back up to Aubrey Hall, we slip back into the past again. This time, Anthony is being summoned to decide whether or not the doctor should save Violet’s life or baby Hyacinth’s. It is a hard decision to make but made even more challenging because they just lost Edmund and Anthony is still very much a child in Violet’s eyes. It’s heartbreaking to watch them all suffer through this and Anthony’s final choice is to allow Violet to make the choice herself.
How to Charm Another
“A Bee in Your Bonnet” returns to London in the present, where Lady Portia is giving Prudence lessons on wooing Lord Featherington. She tests her skills when he arrives, but it’s awkward for all of us. Especially when she insults the Americas. Lord Featherington then drops the bomb that he has invited the Cowpers over for dinner. Poor Lady Portia’s plans keep slipping further out of her fingers.
Back at Aubrey Hall, Anthony spends some time with Edwina as Violet and Lady Danbury look on. Edwina seems to come off as overly agreeable, but she makes it clear that she also has her own mind about her. What starts as a bit of an awkward conversation slowly turns warm and the two even laugh with each other over Anthony’s lack of reading material in the last year.
Edwina shares how happy and charming she finds Anthony to be with Kate later that night. Edwina can’t help but go on about how excellent Anthony is, and instead of offering criticism, Kate listens intently. It seems that her impression of him is getting better and better. Thankfully, it also appears that Edwina has an idea of what she wants as well and hopefully, this trip ends with a proposal for her.
Elsewhere in the house, Daphne checks in with Anthony. Regardless of how badly she did at Pall-mall, he still sees Edwina as the woman who has won his heart. But if we are going by Daphne’s definition, Anthony might have to rethink exactly how he feels about Edwina. He clearly isn’t having such intense feelings about Edwina at this time. However, it seems like he will still be lying to all of us.
“A Bee in Your Bonnet” jumps back to London, where the Featheringtons host dinner with the Cowpers. It’s an awkward dinner overall as Lady Cowper (Joanna Bobin) and Lady Portia push Prudence and Cressida (Jessica Madsen) towards Lord Featherington. But, there is something to take away from all of this. One, Lord Featherington has no interest in talking about his mines in the Americas and two, he is in need of a wife. Maybe the guy is just looking to settle down, but this is Bridgerton and we know that something must be afoot.
Relax and Drink Some Tea
Back at Aubrey Hall, Colin attempts to help Benedict relax as he awaits his results. Colin’s best idea is to provide his brother with some medicinal tea to help ease his stress. It isn’t Colin’s fault that Benedict dumps the entire package into his cup. This scene is also hysterical because the two have found themselves hiding in the nursery of all places.
Elsewhere, Kate enjoys her own tea party when Eloise happens upon her. She gives Kate some insight into Anthony’s change in mood during the Pall-mall game and that it isn’t Kate’s fault. In return, she discusses the idea of how being a spinster can be comforting and that it isn’t the women’s fault for making it seem bad but society’s.
We shift to Anthony, who pays a visit to Edmund’s grave. We are thrown back into another flashback that continues to crush our hearts. The previous ones centered around Anthony’s struggles with glimpses into Violet’s, but this one is different. He watches on as his mother quietly suffers to get herself up every day and continues living after losing her husband. And yes, this does have an impact on how Anthony sees relationships. Why would he want to fall in love knowing that this is how he would leave his wife behind? But he is ignoring the rest of Violet’s story.
Eventually, Violet joins him at Edmund’s grave in the present day. The conversations between the two turn to his unwillingness to allow love into his marriage. This breaks Violet’s heart, knowing that his father’s death plays a significant role in his choices. But Anthony has it in his head that he knows everything and doesn’t need to take advice from Violet. He then hits her with a low-blow remark about being absent in the weeks following Edmund’s death.
Can I Ask You a Question?
“A Bee in Your Bonnet” shifts to later that night as the Bridgertons and Sharmas settle in for dinner. Benedict is high as a kite and quite entertaining while Colin goes on about Greece. Lady Danbury tries to shift the mood by asking for Anthony to make a toast. Kate tries to dip out beforehand but is forced to watch as Anthony rambles on into what will eventually become a proposal to Edwina. Except, it doesn’t happen. He takes one look at Kate and his mood shifts and he asks Edwina not to discuss his terrible Pall-mall playing. If awkward turtles were going to have babies, it’s happening now.
This clearly upsets Edwina, who confides in Kate after dinner. She blames herself for Anthony’s lack of a proposal and claims that she should have learned more about him and his family. Like a good sister, Kate comforts Edwina by reminding her that she is the diamond and there are definitely more fish in the sea. With the rest of the ton arriving tomorrow, she has the chance to win over someone else’s heart. Maybe even rekindle with Lumley (Louis Grant)?
Elsewhere in Aubrey Hall, Benedict creates art when Colin and Eloise appear with news from the academy. Our lovable second son has been accepted! While he screams his acceptance to the heavens, Eloise and Colin chat about his return from Greece. And why did he? Because his mind has been on one Miss Thompson (Ruby Baker) or now known as Lady Crane. It seems that Colin hasn’t been able to let her get out of his head.
Back in London, Lady Whistledown has thrown her hat in the ring to support Madame Delacroix against the new modiste across the street. When Penelope appears in her shops, she doesn’t hide behind her secret but comes right out and tells the modiste that she is Lady Whistledown. Well, in so many words, she does. But the more significant aim for Penelope here is for Madame Delacroix to assist her in work and is willing to throw her some help with hers.
“A Bee in Your Bonnet” comes to a close in a rather fiery way. After finishing up a ride, Kate runs into Anthony outside Aubrey Hall, where he apologizes for the evening last night ruining his proposal. This leads to the two banter about who knows what is best for Edwina when a bee stings Kate, and Anthony has a panic attack. To help calm him down, Kate presses his hand to her heart and fireworks folks. Fireworks. The two tear apart and run in different directions with the knowledge that they each have a relatively strong pull towards each other.
We are officially three episodes into season two of Bridgerton and it is pretty clear that Shondaland and Netflix are steering wide of The Viscount Who Loved Me. One most notable change is that the bee sting to Kate that comes at the end of this episode doesn’t lead to a scandalous marriage – yet. This episode was fantastic when looked at as an ensemble story. We can’t help but love Violet more, root for Benedict, fall in love with Daphne all over again and want to smack Collin for thinking about Marina. But what stood out both good and bad was the chemistry and fire between Kate and Anthony. It is too good to ignore, but they only come few and far between. Hopefully, this is where the story turns and heads in that direction.
Let’s not waste any more time here! It’s time for episode four!
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