‘Bridgerton’ Season 2 Recap: What to Remember for Season 3

It’s been over two years since we last heard from Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews), but that ends on May 16, when Part 1 of Bridgerton Season 3 arrives on Netflix. The first four episodes will begin to unfold the love story of one Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan), aka “Polin,” perfect for springtime.

Penelope and Colin will step into the spotlight after hovering in the background of the love stories of Colin’s older siblings Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) in the first two seasons. While Season 2 followed Anthony’s enemies to lovers romance with one Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley), it also unspooled some threads with Bridgerton siblings Benedict (Luke Thompson) and Eloise (Claudia Jessie).

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Here’s what happened in Bridgerton Season 2 for those who need a refresher:

Queen Charlotte declared Edwina Sharma the diamond

Golda Rosheuvel’s Queen Charlotte is not one to be left out of the gossip of the ton, and she challenged Lady Whistledown’s authority by naming her own “Diamond,” or incomparable young lady on the marriage market, who becomes the target of all eligible suitors and bachelors with the approval of the queen and/or Lady Whistledown. For those keeping score, it’s important to note that Lady Whistledown named Daphne Bridgerton a Diamond of the First Water in Season 1 after the queen called her “flawless,” but she challenged Queen Charlotte to find the sparkle in Season 2.

In an attempt to switch things up (with the help of Adjoa Andoh’s Lady Danbury whispering in her ear), the ruling matriarch selected Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran) as the diamond of the season. Viscount Anthony Bridgerton, who had just declared his intent to marry this season, immediately flocked to the young Ms. Sharma, but little does he know he has already met the love of his life — in the form of her older sister Kate, who is already almost considered a spinster at the age of 26.

Charithra Chandran as Edwina Sharma in Bridgerton
Charithra Chandran as Edwina Sharma in Bridgerton

Complications arose with Edwina’s dowry, which stipulated that she must marry a  gentleman of nobility to receive the bride price fortune from by her mother Lady Mary Sheffield’s parents, who iced out her daughter when she chose to marry Kate and Edwina’s father, a man without title. At first, Anthony and Lady Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmel) feel slighted by the lack of transparency regarding Kate’s intentions for Edwina (who doesn’t know the stipulations), but Anthony plowed on until Edwina realizes what is really going on between him and her older sister.

Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma’s love story

Anthony first encountered Kate in the early morning on a horseback ride. The elder Ms. Sharma does this in secret, because the behavior is not considered very ladylike, especially without a chaperone. Her competitive spirit to outpace Anthony’s horse only made him more curious about her. Kate later overheard Anthony describing what he desires in a wife, but his checklist — which doesn’t include love — did not render him a favorable suitor for Edwina in Kate’s eyes because it only counted women as chattel and breeding stock. So Kate made it challenging for Anthony to get to know her younger sister as Edwina’s guardian of sorts. Kate isn’t related to Lady Mary by blood, so Edwina is her half-sister.

What Edwina first thinks is hatred between the pair proves to be attraction and chemistry, which she notices moments before she is set to marry Anthony, who denies his feelings for Kate because he feels the pressure of being Viscount and sees Edwina as the perfect wife. He also specifically didn’t want a love match because he didn’t want to get hurt. Edwina did desire a love match. Still some back and forth occurred before Kate and Anthony could no longer deny their attraction to each other, and even then, it took until the finale for them to declare their love for each other and decide to be together.

Bridgerton. (L to R) Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma, Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in episode 208 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022
Bridgerton. (L to R) Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma, Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in episode 208 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

Edmund Bridgerton’s Fate

In Episode 3, titled “A Bee in Your Bonnet,” the root of Anthony’s intensity became apparent after Kate was stung by a bee. Anthony’s seemingly outsize reaction to ensure her well-being gave way to a flashback upon the untimely death of his own father, the Viscount Edmund Bridgerton. While bending down to pick some flowers for Violet, a bee stung Edmund’s neck, and his allergic reaction proved fatal. Anthony had blamed himself ever since.  He had to grow up fast once he assumed the position as head of household and took on responsibilities for his whole family. This is one of the ways he connects to Kate, who also assumed the responsibilities for her stepmother and sister when her father died. It is her training, tutoring and instruction that has made Edwina so desirable, but that does not come without pressure on both Kate and Edwina.

Eloise’s clandestine courtship

Aside from making her own debut in the marriage mart, which gets interrupted by the delivery of Lady Whistledown pamphlets and let Eloise fly under the Queen’s radar, Penelope’s best friend remained on the trail of Lady Whistledown after the Queen tasked her with tracing the author’s mysterious movements. She became particularly fascinated with the paper trail of the gossipmonger, and this led her to the publisher who prints her columns as well as an unexpected friendship and potential romance with Mr. Theo Sharpe (Calam Lynch).

At first Eloise assumed Theo thought of ladies like most gentleman she associates with, but he shared books and ideas with her, and she quickly found herself feeling for him. Unfortunately, Penelope outed Eloise’s visits to the dodgy side of town where Theo worked, bringing some scandal upon the Bridgerton family. It only made things worse when Eloise does discover Lady Whistledown’s identity.

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Benedict’s pursuit of art

Benedict, whose love story comes next in the books — An Offer From a Gentleman watches him marry one Sophie Beckett — leaned into his artwork in Season 2, and he went to extreme lengths to push his talent to the limits. Colin helped him with experimental drugs. He applied for a spot at a prestigious academy of art and gets in, only to find out Anthony made a hefty donation to secure the second oldest brother a spot.

Cousin Jack Featherington became “the new Lord Featherington”

Lord Archibald Featherington’s (Ben Miller) addiction to gambling led to some poor decisions and an unfortunate end in Season 1. Though Lady Portia Featherington (Polly Walker) is perfectly capable of running the household herself, a new “Lord Featherington,” which the girls call Cousin Jack (Rupert Young), moved in with the women to take over. His lucrative ruby mines proved to be a lie, and he pursued Cressida Cowper in the hopes that her dowery could set the Featherington finances straight. Portia foiled that plan, but she ultimately tricked him into leaving while securing matches and money for her daughters like the powerful woman she is. Colin narrowly escaped a ruinous investment in the unsuccessful ruby mines as well.

Eloise figured out that Penelope is Lady Whistledown

This moment proved a powerful one, and it set quite a tone for Season 3. Penelope had always carefully stored copies of her columns in the floorboards of her room, but after Eloise’s suspicion got the best of her, Penelope’s best friend found all the pamphlets, and her anger at Penelope could cost their friendship. Eloise had always admired Lady Whistledown from afar, even saving her in a trap set by the queen in Season 1.


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