A bee landed on a rose at the start of the Bridgerton Season 2 premiere, and that set the stage for a season filled with romance, fatherly flashbacks, marriage proposals, and the gossipmonger everyone loves to hate, Lady Whistledown.
Not far from the nectar-seeking insect, excitement in the Bridgerton household reached a crescendo as Eloise got poked, prodded and beautified for her societal debut in front of Queen Charlotte. Daphne, having gone through the very same process during her season, attempted to give Eloise advice on how to smile and seem pleasant, but the more she talked, the more Eloise sweated-n-fretted.
Just as a nearly hyperventilating Eloise was about to be presented to the Queen, Lady Whistledown’s gossip rag arrived and Her Highness shut down the ceremony so she could read what the scandal sheet’s author had to say. A relieved Eloise ran in the opposite direction, overjoyed that she had been spared from the Queen’s discerning gaze — if only for a short amount of time.
The Queen was especially interested in what Lady Whistledown had penned because, as she told Lady Danbury, she had deduced that the unknown writer was a member of the noble class. In one of the premiere’s funnier moments, Charlotte’s premonition was followed by a scene with Penelope gazing out the window, waiting for her alter ego’s scandal sheet to land in the right hands.
Anthony, who was seeking a bride, hadn’t caught Whistledown’s eye and ire just yet, because the first edition proved to be more of a warning to the rich and ruthless that she was back to watch and record their foibles for alllll of London to dissect. Speaking of Anthony, he attended the Queen’s diamond ceremony to support Eloise, but also to find his future wife with an insulting list of qualifiers that would make any marriage-minded mama in the Ton grasp at her pearls.
The eldest Bridgerton told his brothers, Benedict and Gregory, he wanted a wife who was “tolerable” and “dutiful,” and who had suitable hips for childbearing. Anthony also required that the woman have “half a brain.” And half-brained is exactly how Anthony approached his marriage search in a montage that showed him interrogating prospects and scratching off their names from his list by day, and bedding ladies of the evening by night.
This continued on until one morning, while sleepily leaving the brothel at dawn, Anthony rode his horse home and ran across a woman in a dark green rider’s hood galloping rapidly through the park. At first, he thought the lady was in trouble, but when he attempted to help her, she rode her horse faster, daringly jumping a bush to end the chase.
After clearing the bush, the beautiful woman turned and smiled at Anthony and he followed her so he could find out who she was. She refused to give her name and mocked him for losing “the race.” Anthony snarkily returned the favor when he learned she was headed to Mayfair, and pointed out that she was going in the wrong direction. The breathtaking stranger was of course Kate, and Anthony was smitten.
Kate would soon become smitten, too, when her family’s host for marriage season, Lady Danbury, told her, her mother (Lady Mary) and her younger sister (Edwina) who Viscount Anthony Bridgerton was, and that he was the Ton’s most eligible bachelor. When Edwina said he was handsome, Kate blushed and agreed. However, at 26, Kate was deemed too old to be presented societally, so she put all of her time and energy into making sure Edwina would be wed to secure a dowry from her grandparents, the Sheffields.
As for Kate’s blushing visage, it soon shifted to a snarl when she overheard the viscount tell his friends he didn’t care about love, just a quality candidate with a pleasing face and “acceptable wit.” The men laughed and retired inside to smoke and left Anthony behind on the terrace where he heard someone moving behind the tree.
Upon investigating the noise, Anthony realized it was Kate and started smiling devilishly. She didn’t smile back and instead repeated back to him some of the offensive things he’d said. Anthony attempted to explain himself, but it was too late. Kate was offended and rushed inside to beg her mother and Edwina to leave early, and so they did.
Two nights later, when the Queen once again met Edwina, she took a liking to her, especially because Lady Danbury challenged her to choose Edwina despite the fact the her mother, Lady Mary, had married someone of lesser standing and adopted his motherless daughter (Kate). Never one to pass up a challenge, the Queen proclaimed Edwina her incomparable diamond, and Anthony immediately leapt at the chance to court her.
The two danced and had a wonderful conversation, which inspired Anthony to ask Edwina to speak to her father, in order to ask for her hand. Edwina said her father had died, and this touched Anthony’s usually cold heart because he too had lost his father at a young age. The youngest Sharma said Anthony should instead speak to her sister for permission to pursue her for marriage, and when he turned to meet her, he learned that Edwina’s sister was none other than Kate.
Anthony’s jaw dropped as Kate whisked Edwina away and warned her to never talk to the viscount again. What she failed to mention is that the two of them had been briefly sweet on one other until Anthony opened his mouth and inserted his foot.
But even — or especially — when they bickered, there were sparks between Anthony and Kate, sparks much hotter than any between him and Edwina. And as fans of the books know, where there is smoke, there is the fiery passion of forbidden attraction.
What did you think of the Bridgerton Season 2 premiere? Did you feel the heat between Anthony and Kate or were they as cold as ice? Grade the opener in our poll and drop your thoughts in the comments.