We are nearly halfway through Netflix’s second season of Bridgerton. Things are starting to heat up and almost caught fire at the end of the last episode. Will Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) ignore these new feelings for Kate (Simone Ashley)? What will happen when the rest of the ton arrives at Aubrey Hall? What new scandal will Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews) have to share with us? Let’s get ready for a party to remember and dive into episode four, “Victory!”
DISCLAIMER: It goes without saying that this recap will contain spoilers for Bridgerton; if you haven’t watched it, check out the series here!
There is Nothing Like a Country Party
“Victory” opens as the staff of Aubrey Hall prepares for the most significant country party of the season. Daphne (Pheobe Dynevor) seems to have learned a thing or two from Violet (Ruth Gemmell) and is on board with helping Anthony get his proposal underway. Elsewhere in the home, Benedict (Luke Thompson) and Anthony discuss whether or not he made the right choice by inviting the Sharmas early. Benedict may not like the idea of the marriage mart, but if one must deal with it, they might as well do it somewhere nice.
We shift to Kate and Edwina (Charithra Chandran), where the two are discussing the week’s events. Kate seems preoccupied with the sting (or rather where Anthony’s hand was), but she hasn’t told Edwina the whole truth about what happened. Kate tries to make her feel better with the reminder of other suitors, but Edwina has her heart set on becoming Anthony’s wife. She needs Kate and Anthony to fall in love so that he will propose to her. Now would be a good time to open up to her, Kate.
We get a quick glimpse in London, where we watch how Madame Delacroix (Kathryn Drysdale) assists Lady Whistledown pass on her pamphlets to the printer. She sews them in a dress and has them delivered across town in time for printing. It seems that Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) won’t be having to make any late-night trips anymore. But we also catch a glimpse of the worker that Eloise (Claudia Jessie) met when she visited and it seems their paths might all cross again.
Back at Aubrey Hall, Penelope settles in reading Lady Whistledown as Prudence (Bessie Carter), Lady Portia (Polly Walker) and Lord Featherington (Rupert Young) wait in a long line of carriages. Lord Featherington’s attention to Cressida Cowper (Jessica Madsen) might be what sends Lady Portia over the edge this season.
As Daphne and Violet welcome the members of the ton to the party, they both remark about how little they know of Edwina and Daphne makes it her job to fix that. Elsewhere, Penelope finds Eloise and Colin (Luke Newton) and learns that Eloise is still visiting the printer shop. The gentleman she met is named Theo Sharpe and while she could care less about their connection to Lady Whistledown, she enjoys the women’s rights stuff he publishes. That could put her in quite a bit of hot water.
And speaking of hot water. It seems like Colin is jumping into the pot with her. He plans to visit Marina (Ruby Baker) while the rest of the men go hunting. Neither Eloise nor Penelope gets to needle him further on his choice when Violet sweeps in and pushes them towards spending time with the other ladies. Violet needs Eloise to be on her best behavior this week.
“Victory” shifts its attention to Edwina and Anthony, chatting away when Kate arrives. It seems both are going to lie about the bee sting incident. Edwina tries to push for Anthony and Kate to spend time together. No can do, though, since he is going hunting with the men. But, Edwina doesn’t let that stop her from pushing and goes on about how Kate is such a good shot. This leads to some more banter between Kate and Anthony and support for the idea from Benedict, which ultimately leads to her joining them. Let the competition begin!
Away from Aubrey Hall, we see Colin hasn’t given up on his idea of visiting Lady Crane. Things seem to be looking good for Marina at first glance. She looks healthy, happy and has twins. This seems to surprise Colin a bit, probably thinking that she would still be devastated after everything that happened last season.
Back at Aubrey Hall, the party is in full swing and Daphne and Edwina get the chance to play cards with Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) and Lady Mary (Shelley Conn). Daphne uses this moment to get to know Edwina a bit better and figure out what she is looking for. What’s funny is that they see Anthony in two very different ways. Even-tempered? We have an entire first season to show that isn’t true. But what sticks out to Daphne is Edwina’s plan to get Anthony and Kate on better terms. Our Duchess might be seeing something more between the two.
Let the Hunt Begin
Out in the woods, the hunt has begun and so has the bickering between Anthony and Kate. But, when the bickering dies down, the two are actually able to talk. They discuss where Kate learned to hunt and we can see how well they interact with each other. Clearly, this is causing a bit of confusion within Kate and maybe even Anthony.
We slip back to Colin and Marina, discussing his trip to Greece. He reminds us all of that one friend who goes on vacation and spends the next few weeks talking about. Just before he heads out, Sir Phillip Crane (Chris Fulton) arrives and the two get excited over botany and olive trees. Poor Marina just wants to get this meeting over with and Crane is extending dinner invitations.
Back at the hunt, the bickering has continued. I get Kate wanting to be able to head off on her own. Especially when someone like Lord Featherington is leading the way. But I also understand that she can’t just wander off in the woods alone. But bickering aside, can we all take a moment and watch Anthony nearly have a heart attack after catching a glimpse of Kate’s bare calf.
“Victory” returns to the party where Eloise and Penelope are forced to chat it up with other ladies who find their happiness in Lady Whistledown. Except this week because how does she know what happened at a party away from London? We then skip over to Lady Portia and Prudence, who are still trying to figure out the Lord Featherington/Cressida issue. Lady Portia is worried about all her family’s scandals, but Prudence may be right. Is entrapping a man really so uncommon?
We return to the hunt where Anthony has finally found Kate. The bickering turns to an argument about the bee sting and we want to say that, for the record, they both looked at each other the same way. And before we know it, we get another heated Kanthony moment as he tries to teach her to shoot. Of course, Benedict ruins the moment as he and the other men catch up with them and head inside before the rain begins. We forgive you, Benedict.
Back at the Crane’s, Colin and Phillip continue their overly long chat about botany while Marina looks like she is about to fall asleep. The awkward night finally ends, and Phillip steps away so Colin and Marina can say goodbye. This is where things get awkward. He tries to bring up their past and how she seems unhappy with her lot in life, but Marina puts him in his place. She also reminds him that there are people who care about him and who he can make happy, including Penelope. It seems like Colin is feeling lost and hopefully, he will eventually find his way.
Back at Aubrey Hall, Kate returns to her room and right into Edwina. She reports that things went well, but not how well. Like, hot steamy smoldering well. Later that night, both Anthony and Kate struggle to sleep. Kate escapes downstairs to the study for a book where Anthony finds her. In another charged moment between the two, we are also gifted to a more subtle and more profound connection between the two. It is proof that what is between them isn’t just fiery passion but something more. Now, if they could just both see that, it would be great.
The following day, the staff of Aubrey Hall put the finishing touches before the ball while Violet and Daphne discuss Edwina and Anthony’s relationship. Daphne has a lot of thoughts on the diamond and that she is perfect. It may not be ideal for Anthony, who needs someone to challenge him and keep him on his toes. She decides to check in on Anthony, who just seems to find her meddlesome and has no intention of talking about his connection with Kate.
“Victory” shifts to the ball in full swing. Anthony whisks Edwina away for a dance leaving Lady Danbury to check in with Kate about her tenuous relationship with Anthony. Does she recognize that there is something brewing beneath the surface? Or is Kate just overreacting? Elsewhere, Violet coerces Eloise into a dance that starts rough and continues to get worse before she storms off. This leads to a rather emotional fight with her mom, where Eloise shares how she knows she is a disappointment. We know that Violet doesn’t feel this way, but it’s hard to watch them struggle in their relationship.
The party continues as Lady Portia plots to force Lord Featherington’s hand as Penelope quietly watches over them. Lady Portia sends Prudence to the orangery and then lies to get Lord Featherington there. Some mothers will do anything to secure a match.
Kate watches on as Anthony and Edwina twirl across the dance floor. During one of the breaks, Edwina hatches a plan to get Anthony and Kate on the floor so Kate can grant her blessing on the marriage and a proposal can be underway. To appease Edwin, the two take to the floor and a literal fire could have started and no one would have batted an eye. We’ve watched Anthony dance with plenty of possible suitors this season (including Edwina), but none of them hold a candle to this.
The passion shifts to tension as the conversation moves towards his proposal to Edwina. Kate drops the bomb that it doesn’t matter what she wants since she is on a boat home as soon as Edwina is married. Is Anthony angrier that she is leaving him or that she is abandoning Edwina? Before she can give her blessing, Anthony rushes off. Kate promises Edwina that she is going to fix things before rushing off after Anthony.
It seems that the Featheringtons just can’t avoid scandal as Lady Portia leads a group of other attendees into the orangery to find Lord Featherington and Prudence. Shock. Drama. A scandalous marriage proposal. It seems that Lady Portia won’t have to worry about Cressida anymore.
“Victory” shifts back to Anthony and Kate, who find themselves alone in their study. Which, with the number of books within, might just catch on fire. While Anthony is a gentleman and has every intention of making Edwina his Viscountess, he can’t ignore the feelings for Kate. They vex each other, are drawn to each other and neither can tell the other that they don’t have feelings. As they inch nearer and nearer to a kiss, Daphne comes barging in and then hurries out with Anthony on her tail, leaving Kate to put herself back together.
Don’t worry, Daphne; we are pouring a drink right now too. Daphne is right; Anthony needs to do the right thing. She can see how he cares for Kate and is drawn to her. She has witnessed it the entire week. But she made the mistake of bringing love into the equation. We know that word sends Anthony running and his claim to do the right thing is making us worried.
As the rest of the party heads off to bed, Penelope tries to get Prudence to open up about what happened in the orangery. She does willingly and then mistakes Penelope’s anger and worry over what the scandal can mean for their family as jealousy. Is Penelope going to use Lady Whistledown to out her family again? Or is she going to let this one slip through the cracks?
Lady Danbury lays some big advice on Kate in another corner of Aubrey Hall. The woman sees everything and we get the feeling she knows that Kate doesn’t hate Anthony. But that she may feel something more for him. She warns Kate to be honest with Edwina about how she feels. Lady Danbury is giving Kate the chance to confess to Edwina and allow her to make her choice.
The following day, Lord Featherington drops a major bomb on Lady Portia. He is broke. B-R-O-K-E. Those mines in America? A failure. The dowry for Philippa (Harriet Cains)? A counterfeit ruby necklace and a promise of more. We suspect the necklace he gave to Cressida was fake too. So now what will they do? While they are left worrying about their future, Penelope runs into Colin and asks about his visit with Marina. She hopes that it helped him move on from the past, and it did. But his comment about Lady Whistledown possibly ruining what could have been doesn’t sit well with Penelope.
“Victory” comes to a close with one last morsel of gossip. Kate tries to open up to her sister about her feelings, but Anthony rushes over proposes to Edwina with Kate looking on. The hurt in her eyes is evident, but she doesn’t say or do anything.
Well, talk about flipping the switch! This seems to be where Bridgerton separates itself from The Viscount Who Loved Me. It is a bit worrisome. With his engagement to Edwina, how will Anthony and Kate end up together in the end without hurting so many people around them? And while we are enjoying the additional stories being told throughout the season, especially the other Bridgerton siblings, we wish we would have more Kate and Anthony. It is hard not to judge the second season to the first, but the first half of this season has left us wanting so far.
Let’s not waste any more time and dive right into episode five and the second half of season two!
- Saturday Morning Webtoons: HEARTWIRED and GEPETTO - December 2, 2023
- MOONSIA Chats THE WITCH AND THE BULL, Being a Digital Nomad and Content Creation - December 1, 2023
- Tavern Talk Thursday: EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM RPGS: A PLAYER’S HANDBOOK FOR THE GAME OF LIFE Review - November 30, 2023