Here we are, dear reader, at the end of Bridgerton, season 1. Did it end the way I expected? In some ways, but not in all. In this post I’ll address the expected and unexpected denouement of your beloved show.
Expected: Of course, I expected Daphne and Simon to turn this marriage around and enter happily-ever-after mode. If they had not resolved their marital conflicts by the end of episode 8 I would have expected a season 2 where that would have occurred. Of course, I’m also expecting a second season. Aren’t you? Though I expect we won’t see as much of Daphne and Simon humping. I’m sure the actors will be glad of that. It looks exhausting!
Unexpected: I was not expecting for the show to fast-forward nine months in a split second near the end of the episode and show us Daphne giving birth to a boy. Why not save that for season 2? Give us a chance to anticipate something. Geez. Unless we’re done with Daphne and Simon, which would explain why that plot line is wrapped up in this episode so quickly.
Expected: Marina’s tea concoction did not abort her baby. It would have been too easy. For the tea to work, I would have expected it to kill Marina (which was a question I had at the end of episode 7) and show the world why you don’t try to abort a fetus. I’m not saying I support or do not support a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy; I’m just saying that it could have been a lesson for young female viewers. Instead, Marina lives, and she is still with child.
Unexpected: Baby daddy George’s brother showed up not only to tell Marina that George is dead, but also to ask for Marina’s hand in marriage. While at first she (expected) rejected him (after all she thought she wasn’t pregnant anymore), she later accepted his offer because she needs someone to care for her and her baby. She did “the right thing,” at the expense of her happiness. Let’s hope the brother isn’t such a bad guy, though.
To be honest, much of what occurred in this episode was unexpected (at least for me), so what remains of this post will focus on the unexpected.
I did not expect Mr. Bird Brain Featherington to get killed. He definitely did the bookies dirty, but I kinda expected them to steal all his money and rough him up as a warning never to do it again. At the close of the episode, we are to believe that Mr. F is dead. What will become of his family now? Will Marina show them some kindness and give them some money? 😀 Nah.
What about the poor eldest Bridgerton brother–man, that guy has been suffering this entire season. I felt sorry for him in this last episode because he was willing to destroy his reputation for love. He “burns” for that singer, and he was willing to take her to his sister’s ball! That’s major, y’all! How scandalous would that have been? His dear mama would’ve dropped dead on site. But Siena shunned him and his flowers and chose to stay with that other unnamed dude. Why? Because she had to look out for #1. She had to know that Anthony would dump her again after that night, or if he didn’t she would have to become like all of those other stuck-up ladies, and she really didn’t want that. She was really sick of getting her heart broken. She deserves better. So poor Anthony threw down the flowers and skipped the ball. At the end of the episode he hinted that he will search for a viscountess soon. Hints for season 2, yeah?
The most expected-yet-unexpected event in episode 8 was the big reveal: Who is Lady Whisteldown? For a few episodes, my husband was convinced that it was Eloise. I didn’t think so, but the show did a good job of suggesting that it was. I mean, come on, she carried a little notebook on her wrist everywhere. My hubs thought that she was faking shock and surprise at all the Whistledown stuff all season, but I was convinced that Julie Andrews (who voices the Whistledown narrative) was going to appear and delight us all. NOPE! Penelope is Lady W? Huh?
So Eloise explained rationally that Lady W couldn’t be a servant, and even though she offered a good explanation for why it could have been the modiste (I actually liked this theory a lot), we learned that brother #2 had been with her that night, so it couldn’t be her. (Side note: is this brother not gay?) Who was left? Lady D would have been a great choice, but alas no. Penelope is our writer. Really? That seems highly unlikely.
Unless Penelope has a dual personality (dissociative identity disorder), this role does not fit what we’ve seen of her in the show–we’ve seen her in public, yes, but in private she also doesn’t seem to have the kind of personality that would befit a Whistledown. I’m sure many of you are sitting here thinking, but wait, you can be nice and sweet to people but a viper in print. You can take on a persona. That’s what being an author is about. I’ll grant you those objections to my claim.
Indeed, I could totally get onboard with a character having a side not shared with all that know her, but it still seems to me that she would have shared being Lady W with Eloise. Ah, maybe you’re thinking that Penelope just wanted something all for herself and that’s why this has all been a secret. There are a ton of theories floating around the internet, even some that suggest she was trying to prop up the Bridgertons because she loves Collin, or because her bestie is a Bridgerton. Maybe. Doesn’t seem too plausible to me. The only plausible theory would be that the wallflower was sick and tired of all of the marriage market shit and wanted to stick it to everyone of polite society, including the queen. Still, I stand behind my argument that this is a gimmick and so out of character for Penelope.
Another thing–who’s paying for the printing of these zines? We know that the Featheringtons are broke as hell, so where’s the money coming from for the printings? Eloise’s idea that Lady W must be a rich, old widow would have explained this. How is Penelope paying for this?
As with the big reveal of the Hastings baby, I don’t think it was the smartest idea to reveal the identity of Whistledown at the end of this episode. Give the viewers something to chew on as they wait for season 2. Draw this out a bit more. Ending the season with Daphne and Simon having sex with ejaculation (in the body, not the sheets) was enough. It was enough to satisfy the viewer. That happy ending was enough! The pacing was all off when the episode fast-forwarded and then flashed back to reveal Penelope as Lady W. Meh.
So Bridgerton is done, at least series 1, and we can now all find something else to entertain our fancies. I never finished season 3 of The Crown. I guess I’ll go do that now.