‘Bridgerton’ Recap Before Watching Season 3 On Netflix

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Preparing for this recap of Bridgerton, I found a new appreciation for the first season of the show. As a hardened “Kanthony” stan, I’ve always advocated the second season to anyone who wants to step into the world of modernized regency romance. However, I’ve come to realize that despite the main plot of the first season being subpar, there are a lot more layers to uncover with the rest of the series. It feels as though we’ve been waiting for this moment our whole lives (pardon my hyperbole) simply because Shondaland’s been feeding it to us right from the get-go! Bridgerton has slowly risen up the ranks of “for the women” shows for me personally. I suppose it’s because of how it’s trope-y yet nuanced. Of course, we’d rather not talk about that problematic moment in the first season. The Netflix show is adapted from Julia Quinn’s book series, and season 3 is based on her book Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. Since I’ve finally put to rest my love for Anthony and Kate so I can make room for Colin and Penelope, I must surely stir your enthusiasm by bringing to you Lady Whistledown’s story thus far. Here’s your comprehensive guide to Bridgerton seasons 1 and 2 to get you ready for season 3.

Spoiler Alert


Who are the Bridgertons? 

The Bridgertons are a village of eight children, named: Colin, Eloise, Gregory, Hyacinth, Daphne, Benedict, Anthony and Francesca. Anthony became the Viscount at the young age of 18, when his mother was pregnant with Hyacinth and his father was “felled” by a little bee. There are lots of bees in the first season as an Easter egg to this little background story that is revealed to us in season 2


The Duke and the Duchess 

Season 1 is focused on Daphne Bridgerton, the first of the ladies to debut. Daphne’s love story is a bit of a mess because it’s all based on a misunderstanding. The Duke and Daphne plan a ruse, a fake courtship (basically fake dating to lovers), to get the ladies of London to leave the Duke alone and so that Daphne can live up to the name of the “Diamond” of the season, you know, because all the men will flock to a chosen woman. The Duke doesn’t want to marry because he promised his dying father (a monster of a man) that he would not have children as an act of rebellion. Unfortunately, what Simon didn’t realize was that he would fall in love with Daphne, “deflower” her, and then get forced into marrying her. After an almost-duel, the two are married; as Daphne would say, she “trapped” the Duke, but Simon never told her why he “wouldn’t” have babies; instead, he told her he “couldn’t” have them. Ultimately, Daphne finds out the truth, and they do, in fact, have a child (a very yikes moment for that to come about). I suppose there isn’t much else to it. 

The closest person the Duke has to a mother is Lady Danbury, a friend of his late mother. She’s the town’s oldest spinster, and she can honestly get away with anything except murder (said in her own words from Romancing Mr. Bridgerton). Lady Danbury is Violet Bridgerton’s (Mommy Bridgerton’s) closest friend and confidant. They’re quite the match-making duo to look out for!


Kate and Anthony 

Season 2 focuses on the eldest brother in the Bridgerton family, the Viscount himself, Anthony Bridgerton. Season 2 is a special gift for fans of the enemies-to-lovers trope. But to make matters more high-stakes, it’s a competition between sisters! Mary Sheffield left England when she decided to marry an Indian clerk who already had a daughter from a previous wife. They moved to Mumbai and had a daughter together. This is the season Anthony decides to find a wife for himself, and Kate and Edwina Sharma go to the marriage market with their mom. Kate’s made a deal for an inheritance for Edwina from the Sheffields, but only if she marries into a respectable English family. Who’s better than the Bridgerton’s? Kate hides this fact from her mother and half-sister, but to make matters worse, though she wants Edwina’s happiness, it is she who attracts the attention of the Viscount. Disguising their pining with hatred, the Viscount and Kate do a terrible job at staying away from each other, and on Edwina and Anthony’s wedding day, she discovers their true feelings (yikes). But, at the end of the season, we get “Kanthony,” and I really don’t know how anybody’s going to top these two. 


Who is Lady Whistledown? 

Now, the most curious thing about Bridgerton is that it’s like Gossip Girl, but set in the Regency period. What we would’ve expected was for Whistledown to be revealed at the end of the series, but shockingly, Penelope Featherington is revealed to be the arduous author keeping the ton at the edge of their seats, the Queen included. So much so that the Queen decides to investigate the gossip monger. When she learns that Eloise Bridgerton, who happens to be Penelope’s best friend, is also trying to figure out who Lady Whistledown is, she decides to team up with her. However, in the second season, the Queen thinks Eloise herself is Whistledown and gives her three days to unmask the real deal if she doesn’t want her family in complete shambles. To save her, Penelope writes ill of Eloise, who befriends a mere printer boy in her search for the author (so much to take in), leaving their friendship in shambles instead (scandy). 


Who are the Featheringtons? 

The Featheringtons are neighbors of the Bridgertons, and they wind up broke when the man of the house runs away after he’s lost all their money. They’re three sisters, but we only care for Penelope because it’s her story we’re going to see next. Anyway, a cousin, Jack, arrives from the Americas to save the ladies, but at the end of season 2, Lady Featherington gets rid of Jack, who doesn’t care for her daughters at all and simply wants the fortune she made for him (a full scam). With the words “I am a mother,” she throws a huge farewell party for him (that’s where Kate becomes the Viscountess) and promises to care for her daughters, which means another season for Penelope in London (woot). 

On a side note, in the first season, Marina Thompson, a distant relative, moves into the Featherington household despite being poor. We later find out that, apart from being untitled and not innocent, she’s also unchaste (ridiculous). Marina tries to entrap Colin into marrying her because he falls in love with her in the blink of an eye, and she knows he can give her a good life, much to the dismay of Penelope. Ultimately, though, Marina learns that the man who made her “with child,” did, in fact, love her but also died. However, his brother decides to marry her and take in the baby as his own. Colin does actually like Marina very much, and when he goes to check on her, she tells him that he should worry about people who’ve cared about him for a long time instead, like Pen (yes, girl, knock some sense into this boy).


The Mondriches 

Will Mondrich is a boxer and friend to the Duke in season 1. He then starts a gentleman’s club, which almost goes under thanks to his association with the uncouth. In an attempt to gain Jack’s trust before revealing that he’s scamming all of London with his American charm, Colin ends up badmouthing Will’s club. However, when he comes clean about Jack’s fake rubies, he also brings the gentlemen of the town to Will’s club for what he owes him. From the previews of season 3, we may get to see more of Will and his wife, Alice, this season. 


Penelope’s Unrequited Love for the Bridgertons 

Now, I know you’re confused about why I say Bridgertons and not just Colin, but that’s because the girls have described Eloise and Pen’s friendship as the third love story of the show. Now, Eloise has vowed never to speak to Pen again after learning that she is Whistledown and that she wrote those nasty things about her. They hurt each other’s feelings terribly. Penelope had stopped writing the gossip sheet after writing harshly about Eloise because she realized there was no way she could hide it anymore (nah, but the idea of Eloise and Cresida becoming friends this season is astonishing, to say the least). Also, I can presume she’s already made a fortune from the paper. Ultimately, after the big fight, Penelope decides it’s time to get back to her favorite hobby, writing about the ton’s gossip like an insolent little woman. 

On the other hand, Pen’s got a thing for Colin right from the beginning of the series, but he’s too busy looking at her as a friend to care. When Colin decides to travel after the incident with Marina, Pen always writes back to him and actually cares for what he is saying, yet he’s so daft. So, for the ultimate friends-to-lovers romance, we’ll just have to wait for Bridgerton season 3! 


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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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