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With the end of the London season, Bridgerton season 1 also comes to an end. Daphne and Simon will host the final ball of the season in Bridgerton episode 8 (« After The Rain »), which will mark the end of their relationship. They are determined to go their separate ways, despite Daphne finding the letters Simon wrote to the old Duke as a child. She finally learns why Simon hates his father so much and what specific wound the old Duke inflicted on his son. As I thought, this episode actually races to the finish line, essentially resolving Daphne and Simon’s discord with a big speech on the ball. Daphne says that a person doesn’t have to be perfect to be worthy of love, which is a very beautiful message, but that’s basically all Simon needs to see the light and decide their marriage all over again trying and having kids too won’t be that bad. It’s a happy ending and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just wish I had a little more time to resolve the conflict between Simon and Daphne. But Bridgerton is an escapist fantasy at its best, and in this fantasy world one can overcome deep-seated childhood trauma in five minutes or less. Hooray!
However, other endings are not so lucky. Marina’s situation in this world of rigorous adequacy and patriarchy has always been unsustainable, and her attempt to end her pregnancy has failed. She’s back in first place and needs a socially acceptable out for her situation, but after treating Colin as badly as she is, she’s determined not to get involved in any plans. And then comes the worst news: Sir George Crane was killed in action. His brother, the newly minted Baron Sir Phillip Crane (a surprise Easter egg for book readers), comes to deliver the bad news. But Sir Phillip also intends to do Marina right to grant his brother’s wish to see her and her child safe and secure. Just before Sir George miraculously returns to claim her hand in marriage, this is the best outcome Marina can hope for: married to a respectable man who is not a total monster. But it’s a bittersweet ending for her as Marina sets off to marry Sir Phillip and sets off a story Bridgerton will return to many years later (assuming Netflix doesn’t drop her off first). .
Things are not going much better for the Featheringtons. Lord Featherington persuades Will Mondrich to throw a boxing match so they can take advantage of the odds. This deal tarnishes Will’s honor, but secures his family’s financial future. Lord Featherington’s security is much shorter, as is Lord Featherington himself. He’s taken down by the robbers he played with and Lady Featherington discovers that not only is she a widow, but she’s broke again. And here’s a riddle for season two – who inherited the title? But what’s even more important about the Featherington ladies? Without a man or money to protect them in this world, they are practically defenseless. They had a brilliant night at the Hastings Ball, but then fell back to earth and were taken to an even worse place than when Marina brought the scandal to her door. All season long, with the exception of Penelope, the Featheringtons have been either villains or comic book relief, but this is a real reminder of how dangerous this world really was for women who were completely at the mercy of men in their lives. We hope their fortunes improve on Bridgerton season two, but something tells me they won’t.
But all is well for the Bridgertons, that ends well. Daphne and Simon are reconciled, cute fool Colin is finally on his big tour, Francesca is back from Bath – did anyone notice that she is gone ?! – Eloise is as restless as ever, Benedict stays great and Anthony announces his intention to find a woman to do his viscountess without all the love stuff that messes it up. His affair with Siena Rosso ended badly and now he will never bother feeling anything again. A plan that I am sure will work well for him. Anthony only has two modes: asshole and idiot. This whole season does an excellent job and lays the foundation for Anthony’s story to be told in the second season. These last episodes, however, show particularly well how emotional he can be, despite his facade of tense restraint. Something to keep in mind for the next season – Anthony’s temperament will keep getting better, and no matter how hard he tries, he will always be a passionate man.
Nicola Coughlan’s performance has been strong all season and only gets better in the face of this reveal, especially given the conflict between Penelope and Colin and Marina. It’s not just about overthrowing her own romantic dreams, it’s also that she knows if she has to, she can end the relationship through Lady W, but that would ruin Marina and her family as well. And she does it anyway! Penelope Featherington is a brave chick. You need to watch out for these wallflowers, they might as well be poison ivy. And that, dear readers, brings us to the end of Bridgerton. It’s been a dazzling, colorful, romantic ride, but now it’s time to retreat until next season when the new edition of Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers brings us the latest gossip and scandals of the bin. It is said that there are two new sisters here called Sheffield. They say you are a great beauty and you have a sharp mind and an even sharper tongue …
Sarah Marrs is a film critic and writer at LaineyGossip. com and co-host of the Hollywood Read Podcast. She also has bylines on Pajiba, SYFY Fangrrls and Consequence of Sound. She can be yelled at on Twitter @Cinesnark. Sometimes she goes places and does things, if not so much in 2020.
Netflix, Regé-Jean Page, Phoebe Dynevor, Shonda Rhimes
World news – AU – Summary of episode 8 of « Bridgerton »: Everything is good, it ends well
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