Spoilers for Bridgerton season 2 are coming. Clear.
Look, I know you missed the sex. Since the eight episodes of Bridgerton’s season 2 aired on Netflix on March 25, viewers have generally stuck with one of two things: the sex, or lack thereof. Forget poor Eloise and her Lady Whistledown reveal. Forget the Featheringtons sired ruby scam. In fact, forget that Colin Bridgerton seems more likely than his older brother, Benedict, to have his time in the eligible bachelorette seat next season. The people have spoken and they want the sex they have been promised!
I have empathy for this plight, I really do. There’s no question that protagonist Regé Jean-Page set unrealistic standards in Season 1’s objectively more explicit storyline, in which we saw him instruct his character’s wife, Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), in the joys of oral stimulation on a ladder. . Understandably, Season 2’s romance—which focuses on, well, boffing—may disappoint viewers who enjoyed last season’s let-down-to-the-fantasy approach. But, in the words of Lady Whistledown herself, this author has thoughts on how the finale ended up going. (Spoiler: It was sexier than you remembered!)
Let’s summarize first. Until the penultimate episode, Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) and Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) had managed to keep their hands (mostly) off each other, despite Anthony’s growling confession in a locked salon that, “You are the bane of my existence. And the object of all my desires.” As you may recall, Anthony was at one point engaged to Kate’s sister, Edwina, who leaves him at the altar once she realizes – rather late – that almost, if not quite literal, steam comes out of every can. Anthony and Kate just happen to be. parts.
It turns out that they actually can’t keep their hands off each other, and in episode 7, the two engage in (pre-marital!) sex in the gardens. Shocked at having taken his lover’s honor without a wedding ring, Anthony moves to marry her, but Kate is too ashamed and rides into the storm on horseback. Her one true love follows and the ensuing chase leads her to jump over a hedge, fall to the ground and hit the back of her head against an intrusive rock. His shirt soaked again, Anthony carries her home, bridal style, where she remains in a week-long coma.
Basically pulled straight from Pride and Prejudice.
We open the finale with this image: a delirious Anthony who blames himself for Kate’s near-death experience. He refuses to even visit her in the days after her accident – because this time, of course, he will succeed in avoiding the woman he has proven he cannot avoid. (Lady Danbury is, rightly, disgruntled.) But these are the things yearning tales are made of: When he learns that Kate has finally awakened, Anthony lowers his head into his hands, overwhelmed with relief, sadness, confusion, and adoration. Beside him, his mother Violet (Ruth Gemmell) not only apologizes for her absence in the months following his father’s death, but encourages him to follow his heart: “True, true love is worth it,” she says. Scenes like this can stiffen the shoulders of even the least cringing among us, but Bailey and Gemmell are nailing every second.
So Anthony steps on, bowing to his love on bent knee. But the newly non-comatose Kate shuts it down with alarming speed: She’s returning to India, and anyway, he’s only proposing out of obligation. Anthony says she’s on the run from her problems, which she absolutely is, but it’s not like he’s been a shining example of self-righteousness this season, right?
The mothers are sick of this nonsense. Lady Mary (Shelley Conn), Kate and Edwina’s mother, tells her aged child that she indeed deserves a great love story. At the Featherington Ball that night, even Kate’s sister agrees: Edwina instructs Kate to stop shunning the Viscount, so the two dance their way through the ballroom to an instrumental version of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball. It’s much more moving than it sounds on paper!
Hungry for Whistledown-worthy gossip given the recent absence of the aforementioned from society’s papers, the barrel is quick to see the sparks flying from the couple. Slowly their looks turn into cans. But Queen Charlotte shuts down all rumors of an affair once and for all, loudly proclaiming that she was the one who called off Edwina and Anthony’s wedding, not Edwina herself. The tons accept this as truth, probably out of fear of retaliation rather than genuine faith. I suspect some of the judgmental whispers may bleed well into the next season.
Definitely not sexy!
But Anthony and Kate don’t care. Finally, after eight episodes, they have allowed themselves a moment of unity, a moment of vulnerability, in front of their peers. After the dance comes to an end, they meet in the gardens to discuss the future – Kate is still India-bound, after all – and Anthony shoots his picture: “I love you,” he admits, under the soft gasps of the viewers everywhere. And, dear reader, we all know she loves him too. But isn’t it still a pure joy to hear her say it out loud?
Anyway, the two get married, have (married!) sex and all is happiness for the (still very horny) couple. But not everyone has such a clear and happy happily ever after: In the course of the finale, the Featheringtons are discovered for trying to sell fake rubies, and Lady Featherington (Polly Walker) sends in the new Lord Featherington (Rupert Young) for his attempt to steal her from her daughters. At the end of Bridgerton, Benedict leaves art school after learning that Anthony is the one who secured his placement. (Benedict: No Boyfriend Baby!)
But worst of all, Eloise discovers that her best friend, Penelope Featherington, is the one who revealed to the barrel her secret relationship with a printer assistant (Theo, played by Calam Lynch). That’s right – someone but the milliner finally knows Whistledown’s identity, and Eloise is considerably less happy about it. Penelope is not well, very bad night gets worse as she listens to her crush, Colin, talk about her with his friends. Of course, she’s within earshot if he (more or less) admits that he would never date her. ouch.
Revelations like this make up for much of the drama that will come in Season 3. We have reason to suspect that Colin, not Benedict, will be the protagonist next season, meaning Penelope could finally get her shot at a love affair. But with Pen in the spotlight – and under the microscope – will she be forced to let Whistledown go for good? Or could Colin embrace his (theoretical) bride’s gossip talent? And what about Eloise? Will she tell the tons of her recent discovery? Will she convince Benedict to stop being an imbecile and still paint his beautiful naked portraits?
For now, we don’t have many answers. What we can judge right now, friends, is the gender. Did his (relative) absence ruin most of Season 2? I’d like to make a silly argument for “Absolutely not.”
Look how happy they are!!!
It’s true that the culmination of Kate and Anthony’s desire could have been more provocative; I admit the sex scene in the garden lacked finesse. And yes, we missed tons of explicit moments from the book season 2 was based on (particularly the infamous venom sucking). These are valid complaints. But if I revisit the finale, I’d say Bridgerton season 2 played with skill what would otherwise have been eyeroll-worthy tropes, largely due to Bailey and Ashley’s dedication to the bit. Breathless yearning from enemies for loved ones is as classic as a cliché. And yet we care about Kate and Anthony’s eventual marriage when we should really be tired of their blaring excuses! Indulging in these tropes — sliding them to their limits, as Bridgerton does by making Kate and Anthony wait to reveal their attraction until they’re literally at the altar — can really work a show’s favor. Season 1 may have shunned the stereotypes of the average period romance by embracing the hot and heavy, but Season 2 used the same tact by leaning towards its own tropes.
As Bailey told USA Today, “What you lose in sex scenes, you gain in a deeper human understanding, which hopefully enriches the world so the future intimacy scenes won’t be the heavy duty, and (you) won’t have to spend so much lean on them.” I’m not sure how much Bridgerton gets us closer to “deeper human understanding,” but I do think the actor is on to something: The show leans less on literal sex scenes and more on what she’s wearing — the parts she’s wearing. the sex scenes, ideally, make sexier, because sex on the internet is easy to find, but a good story about that sex, a much rarer discovery, indeed.
The finale’s sub-plots aren’t quite as compelling, but they set up a third season that could take on the style of the second — a misguided bride, a breakup with a best friend, an unrequited love, a misunderstood (and maybe queer? ) artist – and erase the expectations that surround them. That’s what excites me about where Bridgerton is going: once the tropes themselves are uncovered, they can be remixed and reinvented. Since season 3 already seems to be heading for a departure from the books, I expect some juicy creative developments to come. Just don’t expect Kate and Anthony to get out of bed for them anytime soon.
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This post Was the Season 2 Finale of ‘Bridgerton’… Good?
was original published at “https://www.elle.com/culture/movies-tv/a39533383/bridgerton-season-2-finale-ending-explained/”