An Affair Of Honor
Daphne draws looks everywhere she goes after taking the Prince’s fancy. With the Queen on the way, episode 4 of Bridgerton begins with Lady Bridgerton helping herself to a cheeky bite to eat from the buffet table.
Eventually Queen Charlotte shows with Prince Friedrich by her side. He has a gift for Daphne; a stunning necklace which he puts around her neck personally. Only, she sees Simon in his stead and struggles to control her emotions.
With Daphne on the verge of becoming a princess, even Lady Whistledown is impressed with this match – if her writing within the gossip rags are to be believed. She even foreshadows that Simon won’t go down without a fight.
Simon is on the verge of leaving England but before he goes, his friend Will convinces him to stay behind to rally in his corner for the upcoming fight.
Prince Friedrich happens to be there too and brings in Daphne by her side to watch this take place. Daphne is distracted by Simon’s presence on the other side of the ring though as they continue to catch each other’s gaze.
Marina is matched up with Lord Rutledge and forced to show up at the Ball that evening with him. Given he wants an heir and won’t ask questions, Lady Featherington reminds her that this is her best option. As Marina passes and heads upstairs, Penelope tries in vain to call after her.
At the dance that evening, Philipa Featherington is matched up to a possible suitor in the form of a boy called Finch.
After his indiscretions last episode at the art gallery, Benedict finds himself catching the eye of painter Henry, who invites him to bring some of his work to his place after handing over his business card. On the other side of the room, Anthony sits with Simon and drinks to him holding up his end of the bargain with his sister. Just then, Prince Friedrich shows and takes Anthony aside as he asks for Daphne’s hand in marriage.
When Daphne finds out later that day, she ponders whether to accept this proposal or not. Lady Bridgerton questions her daughter about the Duke Of Hastings as she confirms that what they had together was just a ruse. Daphne claims all of it to be fake but it’s clear she doesn’t really believe the words she’s saying. Her Mother realizes this too and embraces her; an affectionate hug that shows that she knows how Daphne feels.
Lady Danbury confronts Simon about him running away and gives a speech about racial equality. Still, no word she says can change his mind as he decides to depart that day on a ship. However, the familiar painting from the gallery might. He sees it on the ground along with the rest of his belongings and has second thoughts.
Elsewhere, Eloise goes on the hunt for Lady Whistledown, checking through her maid’s belongings to see if she’s the infamous writer. However, she simply laughs incredulously at the suggestion.
Anyway, that evening another ball takes place as Philipa and Finch wind up dancing together… until Lord Featherington says his part and breaks off their potential engagement. Daphne meanwhile eyes up the Prince before eventually deciding to dance with him.
Benedict shows up at Henry’s home where he winds up painting and showing his skills with drawing. Given he’s the second son, Henry convinces Benedict to have some fun and loosen up.
Penelope and Colin meet up again at the Ball and as the latter draws Marina away from her Lord to dance. Penelope watches jealously from afar as it seems this prospective triangle is about to get underway.
The Prince seems on the verge of asking Daphne to marry him but she runs away before she can, gasping for air outside and taking the necklace off. As she does, Simon returns and says goodbye to her.
As she walks away from him, Simon follows into the garden where he eventually kisses her. He apologizes for being so bold but it eventually leads to Anthony getting involved and knocking Simon down. Anthony demands Simon marry her after “defiling” his sister but he refuses again.
Instead of explaining why (given his past honour and promise to his estranged father) Simon’s forced into accepting a duel at dawn with Anthony.
Tensions are high as both Anthony and Simon prepare for their duel. Just before Anthony goes, he sees Siena and propositions they leave and go somewhere away from this high society if he’s to live past sunrise. It seems to do the trick too and she opens the door, letting him in where the two make love.
That evening, Lady Featherington finds out that her husband is up to his eyeballs in debt and begins weeping, telling her he doesn’t know what to do.
In the morning, the duel goes ahead but unfortunately Cressida seems to have spotted them both out in the garden. Daphne races up to see him and finally admits that he’s not able to give her children. He pleads with her to let Anthony finish what he started. Instead, Daphne makes a bold decision and decides they should be married after all.
The Episode Review
As we reach the halfway point of the series, Bridgerton begins to add in extra drama in the form of this duel between Anthony and Simon. With Daphne torn between choosing love and marriage, her struggle looks to encapsulate the rest of the series going forward.
Alongside these two themes, the show continues to subtly weave in racial undertones as seen in Lady Danbury’s speech about Queen Charlotte and telling Simon that she’s “one of us.” Of course, there’s also mention of male and female divides too, which continues to form the beating heart of this series.
It remains to be seen though whether the ending is written in stone or if there’s another twist in the tale to come.