After watching episode 7, I said to my partner, “This episode was so boring. I don’t feel like writing about it.” He had a lot of things to say, so I suggested that he write the post, and he did! So, dear reader, I give you a guest blog post on Bridgerton by Mr. B.:
Ah, episode 7, the beginning of the end. This episode begins with a passion fueled performance of Beethoven’s Sonata 21 by Daphne on pianoforte repeatedly interrupted by the Duke’s gun shots (is there a metaphor here?). She totally rocks this piece and it is clear that sexual tension does wonders for her piano playing. This scene reminds me of siblings trying to annoy each other while pretending they are not annoyed, another testament to this young couple’s immaturity.
Duplicity is a major theme in this show, and it is present at many levels. Daphne calls out Simon for it in this episode but his is just the tip of the iceberg. There is the thing and the appearance of the thing and in the world of Bridgerton appearance matters most. The Whistledown pamphlet acts as the great equalizer by which the truth is made public – a threat to power that the queen decides she must extinguish even while reveling in it.
The perfect marriage is fundamentally duplicitous. In public men must maintain the appearance of control and provide for and protect their helpless wives and daughters. But in private, the women run the show and clean up the messes made by their male counterparts. Maintaining this charade requires significant effort which is probably why the general’s wife tells Daphne that a far away husband is the best possible scenario.
Daphne is right to be so angry at her mom for keeping her in the dark about life and sex, but neglects to recognize the values she instilled. This world has prepared her to be a starry eyed blank slate, cheery and utterly naïve. Fortunately, she is a “quick study” as Lady Danbury points out. I do wonder what she thinks “matters most” that her mom neglected to tell her though. Ironically, Daphne’s naiveté is what allows her to so naturally break down the female roles of private power and public dependence. She does not know what she cannot do (e.g. force a man to take responsibility for his actions) and so, like Whistledown, threatens the duplicitous nature of this society.
While the ladies are drinking, gambling, and having fun at Lady D’s married women only party, Simon and Anthony get in a testosterone fueled punching match complete with a body slam into a breakaway table. The injuries give Simon the opportunity to lie to Daphne about their source, proving that while he may not have technically lied about his progeny issue, he certainly is willing to lie about other things. In any case he does finally open up to Daphne about his reasons for not wanting kids. She sees the ridiculousness of it but calling out the vow as such doesn’t help matters. She doesn’t know much about the emotional scars Simon’s dad left on him or consider how much the deathbed vow means to him. If she just listened with an open heart and helped Simon heal from his tortured relationship with his father, then perhaps it would bring them closer.
Daphne and Simon still can’t seem to get over their own insecurities about deserving each other’s love. I suppose it is too much to expect that a few days of fornicating could change these characters, but I had hoped they would grow in respect for themselves and each other after marriage. What strikes me about these two more than anything is that they have everything they need to live an incredibly happy and fulfilling life together, if they would only get out of their own way, relax a little, and practice communicating effectively (perhaps what “matters most?”).
Daphne has been raised with the express purpose of producing a child and wants to fulfill that purpose as soon as possible it seems. Little does she know that waiting a few years would probably be pretty enjoyable and give her some time to learn the ropes of Duchess-dom without also learning to be a mom. The Duke wants to keep the vow to end his father’s line, an act of revenge against a man who, while utterly despicable to the point of being almost comical – Mr. “All I want in life is an heir but god forbid my son has to overcome a mild speech impediment” – also happens to be dead. The Duke’s vow is only hurting himself and the people he cares about and as he has already given in to marriage, the other shoe will drop eventually. The Duke’s prized pull out method is not known for being an effective way of preventing pregnancy and after a few years of wedded bliss Daphne would get inevitably get pregnant and Simon would be like, “Ah, what the hell, life is good.”
Misty is right that the men in this show are awful. Colin is “good and decent” but fails in the rules of the man’s world. Marina’s story turns into a real tragedy. My favorite character is Eloise who wants nothing to do with the marriage market and instead wants to get an education. Perhaps with her brother Benedict’s help she may even be able to escape the system and become, oh I don’t know, a writer?
So, there you have it, dear reader, your bloggeress needed to put down the pen (er, stop typing) for an episode. With one episode left, and one blog post remaining, we’ll see what there is left to say. Will the final episode clear up all matters? Is Marina dead? Is Benedict (so that’s his name) gay? Will Eloise really go on the market? Will Anthony ever actually get over himself? Will Colin realize that Penelope is his love match? What is going to happen with Will and Mr. Featherington? Will Mrs. Featherington ever get back into proper society? Will Simon and Daphne make up and have a lot more sex? Will we ever find out who Lady Whistedown is? So many questions surely will remain unanswered. Till then……..