A Bee In Your Bonnet
Episode 3 of Bridgerton Season 2 starts 10 years ago with a hunting trip. Anthony is taught about patience and confidence by his father. After failing to shoot a deer, Anthony and his dad head back to the house but there’s a problem.
Edmund is stung by a bee and has an adverse reaction, clawing at his neck and struggling to breathe. As he looks up at Violet, the light fades from his eyes and he passes away. Anthony is right there, witnessing it all, but he’s told to head off and shield the other women from this.
This incident occurred up at Aubrey Hall, the ancestry home that Anthony has invited the Sharma family to come and visit. Lady Whistledown believes that this could well lead to a marriage proposal. For now though, the carriage arrives carrying Edwina and Kate.
While they travel, Anthony meets with his family – including Daphne – and asking for their help in winning Edwina and helping to stop the “gatekeeper” Kate from interfering. Kate is prickly on entrance, despite Anthony promising to improve her opinion of him by the end of the stay.
Violet takes Anthony aside and urges him to get to know Edwina properly. Anthony refuses, and as he fingers the ring he’s going to give Edwina, he contemplates whether this is the right course of action or not.
For now, a game of croquet takes place but Kate ends up using Anthony’s mallet. She teases him about it, likening him to a child with a blanket. Anthony is way off the mark with his shots while Kate does a great job. Edwina decides to bail when her ball ends up amongst the trees, sending Kate and Anthony out together to fetch their balls.
After falling together in mud and laughing about their folly, the pair talk plainly about their desire to protect family. Unfortunately, Kate smacks her ball into a bench, ending the game completely. This happens to be the spot where Edmund was buried, and as we see from flashbacks Anthony has had the weight of the world on his shoulders for a long time. The memory of his father is just too painful to bear.
Back in town, Lady Featherington decides to pass on the responsibilities of marriage to Prudence, encouraging her to get married to Jack Featherington. Pen can only watch from afar and despair.
That much is especially apparent when she watches Prudence having her dress fitted and fussing over the fitting. Predictably, this bit of comic relief doesn’t really go anywhere, with Lord Featherington having no interest in Prudence. Instead, his gaze casts further afield to Cressida. He even invites her out at dinner, right in front of Lady Featherington and Prudence, who can only smile weakly.
Edwina and Anthony eventually get talking in the sitting room, with the pair discussing their interests. They’re actually quite different but they do get on well, with a nice sense of humour between them. When Daphne speaks to Anthony about love and how all-consuming it is, Anthony finds himself reflecting on his choice. Does he feel this way about Kate?
Regardless, Anthony continues to be burdened by his desire to do right by his family. He’s also haunted by the memory of his father too, which weighs him down as the wedding proposal draws nearer.
At dinner the two families gather, with Daphne remarking how similar Kate and Anthony’s background are. Benedict happens to be stoned, thanks in part to Colin’s “calming” medicine given to him earlier on. All of this is overshadowed when Anthony has second thoughts and decides not to propose after all.
Meanwhile, Lady Whistledown gives a scathing assessment of Cressida and her dress in the morning telegram, going on to point out how capable Madame Delacroix is. Pen arrives to see the dressmaker and decides to help with her business in exchange for keeping her secret. So the pair continue to work together for the foreseeable future.
As the episode closes out, Anthony meets with Kate and admits that she wants Edwina to be happy. When a bee ends up on her chest and stings her, Anthony breathes heavily and finds himself panicking.
Kate holds his hand, bringing it up to her chest and urging him to calm. The pair lock eyes. They look set to kiss… and then their horse whinnies and distracts them both.
The Episode Review
The third episode of Bridgerton this year is by far the best. We see more of Anthony’s history, including his loyalty to family and how similar that is to Kate’s background.
The pair are both fiercely loyal when it comes to protecting their siblings and they both have a charismatic wit and air of arrogance about them that actually works incredibly well in a pairing.
I may come under some flack for this but I actually prefer their pairing to Daphne and Simon. In terms of chemistry, these two have it in abundance.
The subplot including Lady Featherington is pretty naff, if I’m being honest, and really doesn’t add very much. Far more interesting though is that involving Delacroix and seeing her team up with Penelope now, keeping her secret at Whistedown, sets up an interesting dynamic going forward. But of course, there’s Eloise there too who could spoil the fun.