The duke and the duchess's season-ending ball signals a turning point for their marriage – and ushers in changes of fortune and fate to those around them.
Lady Whistledown speaks of a very rapid courtship during a markedly wet season in 1804. Miss Mary Leopold secured a betrothal over sugared almonds and licorice in the course of four and a half minutes. Then she and her husband left London hours after their wedding, reason unknown. You can never known what's happening in marriage behind closed doors.
Lady Featherington shuts Lord Featherington out of a room.
Alice watches Will as he lies awake.
The queen watches the king throw a fit and insist he be left alone.
Lady Bridgerton wakes, reaching over to the empty pillow next to her.
Simon and Daphne pose for a portrait. Henry stops his work and tells them they're allowed to smile. He also suggests moving closer to each other. Simon quietly tells Daphne that once the portrait is finished, he'll leave London. She doesn't want that, as people will gossip about their marriage. Now that they know she's not pregnant, she says he should leave London at the end of the season as planned. It's just a few more days. She asks if she can count on him attending their ball and he says he must. Henry stops them and says it's not working. He suggests alternative poses to make them look happier. Simon places his hand on Daphne's shoulder and they make eye contact. As they look at each other, Henry comments that they're the picture of devotion.
Eloise questions Benedict about his relationship with Genevieve. He brushes her off. As she and Gregory play cards, Hyacinth asks Anthony if she'll be able to join the fun at Aubrey Hall in the summer. Anthony is distracted by the announcement of a new opera in the paper, in an article that mentions Siena's role. Hyacinth snaps him out of it and is delighted when he says she can join them. Eloise continues to interrogate Benedict about Genevieve, asking about places she might frequent. He draws in his book and tries to ignore her. He's surprised to hear her object to his relationship. He thinks her concern is due to Genevieve's lack of status in society. She assures him that's not her concern, but can't tell him what her real concern is. She leaves to get ready for the ball. As she goes to walk out, Lady Bridgerton comes in with word from Aunt Winnie that Francesca will be back in time for the ball. Colin says she can tell them all of time spent away from London. Gregory notes how much she's missed. Lady Bridgerton says it has been a busy season.
Penelope goes to see Marina. She's up even though she's supposed to be resting. She assures Penelope that she's well and that the tea has done what she meant for it to do. And now that the seasons over, she can go home. Penelope confirms that she's no longer pregnant. Marina's sure she would have felt something by now if she were. Marina says Penelope was right about Colin and she's sure one day Colin will see Penelope for who she is. They hear noise outside and Marina goes white at the new arrival.
Daphne tells Lady Bridgerton that she and Simon are going their separate ways. She believes it's for the best, but Lady Bridgerton implores Daphne to consider forgiveness. Daphne says it's not up to her. Simon is choosing a grudge over happiness. She can't move forward from that. Lady Featherington and Mrs. Varley approach them. She talks about her daughters not receiving an invitation to the ball. Prudence in particular was in tears over it. Lady Bridgerton tells Lady Featherington to explain to her daughters how they got into such a position and who put them there. Daphne suggests that instead, they could make room. She'd like to forgive the errors of the past and move forward. Lady Featherington is pleased. Mrs. Varley then informs her that a carriage has arrived at their house carrying a Mr. Crane. Daphne overhears and thinks it's George.
Lady Featherington, Mrs. Varley, and Daphne arrive to greet Mr. Crane as Penelope sits with Marina on the couch. Marina quickly clarifies that it's not George, but his brother Philip. He brings grim news. George died on the battlefield. Marina leaves the room in grief and Daphne follows her.
Marina tells Daphne that George was writing to her to tell her he loved her, that they could run away together, get married, and have their child together. Philip found a half-written letter among his belongings. If it had not been for Daphne's inquiries, Philip wouldn't have known where to find Marina and Marina would have never known that George loved her. She thought ill of George, but he had a perfectly reasonable explanation not to write her back. And she was wrong.
Eloise visits the modiste. Genevieve says the shop isn't open but Eloise is hoping she'll make an exception. She needs a dress for her sister's ball, even though she already has one. She spots a yellow dress and thinks it'll make her look good in the eyes of the Featheringtons, who are still recovering from Lady Whistledown's reports of them. Perhaps she'll write something positive about them soon. Genevieve says perhaps they will. Eloise asks why she thinks that. Genevieve says Lady Whistledown knows what's good for her business. Angering loyal customers isn't good. Eloise says that's true, whether the customers be Featheringtons or Bridgertons. Lady Whistledown might want to be careful what she writes about both. Eloise has heard that men can withstand gossip, but she's not certain. Genevieve knows why Eloise is there, but says she has no intention of compromising anyone. Eloise says that's good because the queen is engaged and she'd hate to see Lady Whistledown silenced before she has a chance to make things right. Genevieve thinks Whistledown is smart enough to take care of herself. Eloise agrees and leaves. Once she's gone, Benedict tells Genevieve to lock the door.
Daphne runs into Simon, who is on his way to Will's match. She's not going as she has to get ready for the ball. As he goes to leave, Daphne asks Simon what his father did to make him take the vow. She deserves an explanation, which he agrees. He says he's doing it for Daphne's own good and she'll be better off without him.
The crowd prepares for the fight. Alice tapes Will's hands and tells him if he wins the fight, they can leave the city and take their exhibitions all over England. He doesn't want to keep living fight to fight. He wants to plan their futures. He can't fight forever. He suggests he might lose and use the money from that to keep them comfortable. He sees Lord Featherington nearby.
Lord Featherington meets with two men, Tom and Reggie, so he can place a large bet, the kind he's heard they can handle. He bets against Will, even though he's heavily favored. They know his word is worthless. He puts up the deed to his house to cover the bet.
Anthony, Benedict, and Colin arrive at the fight. Anthony sees Siena with another man and pauses for a moment.
Simon goes to see Will. Simon's later than Will expected. Will says he's ready as he'll ever be. Will sees Lord Featherington walking by and makes eye contact with him.
Mrs. Varley tells Lady Featherington that their credit at the modiste is still precarious, meaning non-existent. Lady Featherington says the girls will just have to wear something they've worn before then. Prudence would rather not attend than to that. Philippa wonders if it's even possible to wear a dress you've worn before. They go into the sitting room and see Philip in there. He needs to speak to Marina.
Marina is shocked that Philip has proposed marriage to her. Philip says he'd be doing his duty, since George took liberties with her honor. Lady Featherington sees it as a respectable marriage. Philip has the means to support her and perhaps her distant cousins as well. Marina says she can't marry him as she doesn't know him and doesn't love him. Philip says George cared for her and that will never change, but he would have wanted her to be looked after and supported. Philip asks her to allow him to realize his brother's wishes. Marina thanks him, but tells him he should take his leave. He respects that and wishes her well. Once he's gone, Lady Featherington tells Marina that was a perfectly acceptable proposal. Marina says she's no longer with child, so it's not acceptable for her to participate in unwanted arrangements.
Daphne searches the house. She finds letters Simon sent to his father, letters never opened.
While the fight goes on, Anthony and Siena watch each other from opposite sides of the crowd.
Away from the crowd, Siena and Anthony have sex.
The fight continues. Lord Featherington cheers for The Beast. Will lands a punch and then holds his shoulder. He doesn't return the next few hits and then falls to the ground. The fight is declared over with The Beast claiming victory over Will. Lord Featherington cheers in the crowd. As Simon calls for Will to get up, Tom and Reggie look suspiciously at Lord Featherington, who is celebrating.
Daphne pores over the letters until Lady Danbury interrupts her. She's there to help with ball preparations. Daphne asks her if she knew about the letters Simon wrote to his father. She says she did know. Daphne didn't know Simon had trouble speaking as a child. Lady Danbury says he worked hard to correct it. The late duke never even read them. Lady Danbury says he demanded perfection in his son. When that didn't happen, he abandoned Simon. Simon is so different from his father. Daphne knows Lady Danbury helped Simon. She says she just encouraged him. It had to be his own triumph.
Simon goes to see Will and passes Lord Featherington, who is on his way out. Simon is upset that Will didn't come to him when he needed more money. Will says he doesn't need charity. Simon asks him what happened to his honor. Will says taking care of one's family is honorable. Simon doesn't think Alice will agree. Will tells Simon to worry about his own marriage. Will tells Simon to take his anger somewhere else and do something about it.
Lord Featherington shows Lady Featherington his winnings. She asks him where he got it. He says he had an inside tip, a good one. And this is only half the winnings. The other half went to pay off his guy. This half is more than enough. Lady Featherington calls for Mrs. Varley and tells her they'll be off to the modiste first thing in the morning. The ladies will have new dresses after all.
Simon goes to breakfast and is surprised to see Daphne in the dining room eating. He sits down and starts eating as well. Daphne tells Simon she's going to her family home to welcome Francesca home. The whole family is gathering. She asks him to join, saying her brothers will think it odd if he doesn't. He says he'll join her.
Daphne and Simon arrive to hear Benedict and Colin talking about the match. Francesca is delighted to see Daphne and also welcomes Simon. Hyacinth then comes and asks Simon when she can visit Clyvedon. Simon says she's welcome to visit any time. Francesca sits down to show Daphne what she's learned. Benedict sits down next to Eloise on the couch. He makes her promise never to repeat her act with Genevieve again. Anthony joins them and Eloise reluctantly gives him one of her chocolates. Benedict then admits to his relationship withe Genevieve, though he downplays the intensity. Anthony tells him he deserves contentment. Colin starts to sing along with Francesca's playing as the others dance and laugh. Their footman lets Penelope into the room and Eloise drags her to the couch to share her news. She tells Penelope that Genevieve is Lady Whistledown and she's going to print something in the Featheringtons' favor. Penelope is impressed that Genevieve has been able to run two businesses and Eloise aspires to be like her, unmarried and earning her own money. Penelope is glad Eloise found her, but doesn't think she can ever be like that. Having a duchess for a sister will make achieving what she wants easier for Eloise. Her family is a much more precarious situation. Eloise offers Penelope a chocolate. As Colin finishes his song, Hyacinth asks Simon if he has an extra horse she could have. Lady Bridgerton tells her to leave Simon alone, but he merely asks Hyacinth if a pony would do. He takes a square of paper and folds it into a pony. Gregory points that that's only made of paper and Simon feigns shock.
Lady Featherington, Prudence, Philippa, and Penelope fawn over the dresses Genevieve has brought. Lady Featherington says everything works out in the end. Perhaps Mr. Finch will even reconsider his proposal now that Philippa has her dowry again. Philippa is surprised to learn she ever lost it.
Marina is walking in the hall when she suddenly stops and grabs her belly. The others rush out and ask her what's wrong. Marina says she needs a doctor. Genevieve looks at her suspiciously.
Lady Whistledown says the final ball of any season brings anticipation or dread. Preparations are made for the Hastings Ball. The portrait of the two of them is placed where all may see it.
Rose helps Daphne get ready.
In another room, Jeffries helps Simon.
The doctor is surprised that Marina believed a tea would rectify her situation. She is still with child.
Anthony and Siena laugh together in bed. She has to leave to prepare for his show while he gets ready for the ball. He says he'll stay away from the dance floor. He impulsively asks her to come with him. He's a viscount. His sister is now duchess. No one would dare say a thing. Siena says they won't say anything to him. It's preposterous and he knows it. Anthony insists that he wants her by his side.
Simon and Daphne agree that their portrait is an excellent likeness. They try to negotiate how many times they should dance together. They pause when they meet each other's eyes. Daphne notes how good he was with Hyacinth and Gregory. Children have always loved him, but that doesn't mean he wants his own. Rose informs them that guests are arriving. Daphne says they have one last dance.
The ball is underway. Simon watches Will and Alice from afar and notices a new necklace Alice is wearing.
Eloise and Lady Bridgerton arrive and Eloise scoffs at a young man who is staying at her. Lady Bridgerton advises her to think of this as a rehearsal as she's not officially out. All Eloise feels is the inability to breathe in her corset. Daphne approaches and tells Eloise how exquisite she looks. Then Daphne says if Eloise goes to the library for the rest of the evening, she won't say anything or blame her. She's just glad Eloise came. Eloise thanks Daphne for being perfect so that she doesn't have to be.
The Featherington ladies arrive. Lady Featherington points out Mr. Finch to Philippa. Lady Cowper then says she didn't expect to see the Featheringtons. They've heard that her husband secured a win and wonders if he's still out celebrating.
Lord Featherington is led into a room where a prostitute is meant to be waiting. When he goes in, he's surprised to see Reggie and Tom waiting instead. They tell him to join them.
Benedict and Colin walk around. Colin spots Penelope and apologizes to her, saying he understands she was trying to protect him with Marina. Penelope says she understands. Penelope wants to tell Colin something, but before she can, he tells her he's leaving. He begins his tour first thing tomorrow. She inspired him. He asks what she wished to say. She says she can't remember, so he invites her to dance, but she's all danced out and excuses herself.
Eloise crosses paths with Penelope. The queen is at the ball, which will give her a chance to ask the plan for Lady Whistledown. Eloise notices Penelope's face and asks if she's all right. Penelope says she is and leaves Eloise to her plan.
Eloise goes to see the queen, but Brimsley stops her, saying she can't just approach the queen. Eloise pretend she wants to thank her for the chance to investigate Whistledown. She imagines the queen is close to identifying her. Brimsley says she'll be unmasked tonight, in fact. Eloise flatters Brimsley, who reveals where Lady Whistledown gets her pamphlets printed. She'll be seized there tonight. The queen calls him away.
Eloise goes to Benedict, telling him to make sure Genevieve stays home tonight.
Eloise bribes the footman to take her somewhere.
Anthony brings flowers to pick up Siena. A man answers the door and Anthony is shocked. Siena sends the man upstairs so she can talk to Anthony. She thought about coming with Anthony, but she couldn't do it. She's looking out for herself, ensuring her own future because she knows no one else will. Anthony says he tried, but Siena can't allow him to set her adrift. He needs to let her go. The man upstairs sees her for who she is. He doesn't expect more of her. He doesn't want her to change nor does she want to change. Anthony apologizes to Siena and she shuts the door.
The footman warns Eloise they must return to the party, but she tells him she needs another moment. Eloise sees a carriage approaching the printer and thinks it's Lady Whistledown, there to deliver her missives. Just then, a bow street runner arrives, and Eloise tells Lady Whistledown to go as it's a trap. The runner takes off after Lady Whistledown, but it's useless.
Simon watches Daphne from afar. Lady Danbury sees him watching and asks if his plans haven't changed. He confirms that they haven't and the separation is still planned. She tells him his pride will leave him with nothing.
Daphne asks her mother if it's different for men to know they're in love. Everything else seems different for them. She tells her mother they agreed to one dance tonight, a waltz. Lady Bridgerton says she misses dancing with Daphne's father. The last time they danced together was at a ball. There were peacocks present. She misses everything about him. They loved each other so very much. But their love was not without its trials. They faced difficulties, but they overcame them. They chose to love each other every single day. Love is a choice and it's never too late to make it. She may never see Daphne's father again. She may wake every morning and touch the pillow where he used to lay his head. Knowing that they made the choice to love has brought her peace and comfort. Daphne wishes there were something she could do. Her mother tells her there's nothing she can't do.
Daphne and Simon meet for their dance. Other couples soon join them. They watch each other as they dance. Soon after, thunder rings out and then it starts to rain. Simon tries to pull Daphne to shelter as others race for cover, but she chooses to stand out in the rain.
Philip and Mr. Finch go to walk out into the rain, but Lady Danbury stops them with her cane. She declares the evening complete and tells everyone to go.
Simon apologizes to Daphne. It's not what she had envisioned for the evening, but it's better. She knows why he made that vow to his father. She found his letters and read them. But she says just because something isn't perfect doesn't make it less worthy of love. His father made him believe otherwise, but he was wrong. To prove it, he just needs to look at Daphne. She's tired of pretending and she can't continue acting like she doesn't love him. Because she does, even the parts he believes are too dark and shameful. Every flaw. He can choose to love her as much as she loves him. He can choose to be happy. It can't be up to anyone else.
The Featherington ladies return home. Philippa gushes over Mr. Finch, which annoys Prudence. Lady Featherington says Prudence will have plenty of opportunities to find her match. She thinks a full renovation of their country house is in order. They enter the hall to find some men there waiting. Lady Featherington asks where Marina is. Marina then comes down the stairs. Mrs. Varley then comes in and says there's news. They're saying Lord Featherington is dead. The Bow Street Runners have questions. Lady Featherington races to her husband's office, left empty. She looks in his bag and finds the money gone. She starts sobbing.
Simon goes to Daphne and tells her he doesn't want to be alone. But he doesn't know how to be the man Daphne needs him to be, the man she deserves. Daphne says he does know. He tells her to stay and let them get through it together. If they do this, nothing else will matter. They start kissing. Simon picks her up and takes her to the bed and they start undressing. When the moment comes, he does not withdraw.
Lady Whistledown reports on the wonderful end of the season, courtesy of the Duke and Duchess of Hastings. Their ball brought another season to a close.
Colin prepares to leave on his travels.
Penelope cries on Eloise's shoulder. Eloise pledges her support to help Penelope through this. Penelope asks Eloise to share something good and asks what happened with Whistledown. Eloise says she saved Genevieve and now she'll be able to put right what she broke this season. Penelope says she'll make next season far more interesting.
Lady Featherington looks at her husband's empty bed. Marina comes to her and asks her how she endured 22 years of marriage without love. Lady Featherington says you find things to love. Some small things, but also big things like your baby. And they add up to be enough. She tells Marina she's strong, maybe even more than Lady Featherington herself. She'll do well.
The Featheringtons gather on their front step and watch Marina get into the carriage with Philip. After she's gone, Mrs. Varley comes to Lady Featherington with the name of the man who will inherit the Featherington estate. She hands Lady Featherington the note with the name.
Colin prepares to leave for Greece and says goodbye to his family. Gregory asks him to bring back a gift. Hyacinth says it's not a gift if you have to ask, but also says she'd like anything blue or white herself. Colin tips his hat at them and leaves on horseback. Daphne tells Anthony she didn't see him at the ball and he apologizes, saying he wasn't well. He presumes she and her husband will return to Clyvedon, but Simon says they've decided to stay in London for a while, to enjoy some time together. Anthony himself has no plans himself, other than finding a wife. He doesn't expect the union to come with any love. He needs to have no more distractions.
Eloise sends her regards to Genevieve through Benedict, but he's not going to see her. Genevieve is on her way to visit France. Benedict already said his goodbyes to her last night when they went to a party together. Eloise clarifies that he was with Genevieve last night. Benedict tells Eloise not to tell Daphne he left in the middle of her ball. Eloise realizes that means she's not Lady Whistledown after all.
Lady Whistledown is aware of the scheme to unmask her by a worthy opponent. Perhaps she'll come forward someday. Lady Whistledown rides alone in a carriage, with a large hood over her head and face. If she does come forward, the decision will be entirely up to her. Lady Whistledown removes her hood to reveal that she's Penelope Featherington.
Daphne cries out as she labors. Simon and Lady Bridgerton hold her hands as the doctor tells her to push. Soon, a cry rings out as her baby is born. The midwife wraps the baby and hands the bundle to Daphne, telling them it's a boy. Daphne asks if Simon wants to hold him and then hands him off to his father, who smiles. Daphne says they have to think of a name. Simon says whatever it is, he believes it must start with the letter A, as they have family traditions to maintain.
- Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury
- Lorraine Ashbourne as Mrs. Varley
- Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton
- Ruby Barker as Marina Thompson
- Sabrina Bartlett as Siena Rosso
- Harriet Cains as Philippa Featherington
- Bessie Carter as Prudence Featherington
- Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington
- Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Basset
- Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton
- Florence Hunt as Hyacinth Bridgerton
- Martins Imhangbe as Will Mondrich
- Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton
- Ben Miller as Archibald Featherington
- Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton
- Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset
- Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte
- Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton
- Will Tilston as Gregory Bridgerton
- Polly Walker as Lady Portia Featherington
- Julie Andrews as Lady Whistledown
- Geraldine Alexander as Mrs. Wilson
- Jason Barnett as Jeffries
- Joanna Bobin as Lady Cowper
- Tom Christian as Reggie
- Kathryn Drysdale as Genevieve Delacroix
- James Fleet as King George III
- Chris Fulton as Sir Philip Crane
- Ash Hunter as Tom
- Lorn Macdonald as Albion Finch
- Molly McGlynn as Maid Rose
- Emma Naomi as Alice Mondrich
- Julian Ovenden as Sir Henry Granville
- Ned Porteous as Lord Wetherby
- Hugh Sachs as Brimsley
- Sandra Teles as Lucy Granville
- Ruby Stokes as Francesca Bridgerton
- Terri Ann Bobb-Baxter as Daphne's Birth Midwife
- Matthew Cottle as Featherington Doctor
- Ross Cullum as Society Man
- Jarren Dalmeda as Bow Street Runner
- Joanne Henry as Judgy Mama
- Oli Higginson as Bridgerton Footman
- Rob Kendrick as Composer
- Sarah Lawn as Madame
- Euan Macnaughton as Daphne's Birth Doctor
Notes and Trivia
- The scene in which Penelope Featherington is revealed to be Lady Whistledown was filmed much later than the rest of the season because they hadn't yet decided to include the reveal in season one.
Behind the Scenes
A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.
|#01||"Diamond of the First Water"||#04||"An Affair of Honor"||#07||"Oceans Apart"|
|#02||"Shock and Delight"||#05||"The Duke and I"||#08||"After the Rain"|
|#03||"Art of the Swoon"||#06||"Swish"|
|Season 2 >>|