[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the Season 1 finale of Bridgerton, “After the Rain.”]
Scandal, intrigue, romance, and fate all merged to create a very inviting first season of Bridgerton, the new Shondaland Netflix show. Adapted from author Julia Quinn‘s bestselling romance novel series of the same name and created by Shondaland’s own Chris Van Dusen, Bridgerton plunges us into the very glamorous world of Regency Era London at the start of the social season. It’s a time filled with balls, dinner parties, and outdoor events that ensures the wealthiest members of London society get the chance to hobnob, people-watch, and perhaps have a few illicit encounters.
Throughout Season 1, we followed the various dramas surrounding the titular Bridgerton family and, primarily, eldest daughter Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), as she found herself in a heart-stoppingly enticing romance with a duke named Simon (Regé-Jean Page). Add to this the brewing scandal of an unwed young woman trying to hide her pregnancy, a romance with a member of the royal family attracting major attention, some thrilling boxing matches, and a mysterious figure known as “Lady Whistledown” (voiced by Julie Andrews) airing everyone’s dirty laundry out in pamphlet form, and you have an exciting Season 1.
If you’ve already binged Season 1, then you might have some lingering questions about the characters of Bridgerton and where their stories will go. You’re in luck, because we have some big questions, too. So, even though Bridgerton hasn’t been renewed for Season 2, we figured it couldn’t hurt to work through some of the biggest questions about Season 1 that we hope get answered in the next season (if it happens).
How Does Lady Whistledown Gather Information?
So, first off, there are no spoilers here about the true identity of Lady Whistledown. Instead, what I want to focus on is the mechanics of Whistledown’s information-gathering operation. Throughout Season 1, Whistledown is shown to be a mysteriously omnipotent figure looming over London society as the season progresses. She sees romantic matches made between young lovers, scandals unfolding in shadowy corners of ballrooms and palatial gardens, and knows enough about how society should work to not only judge it but speaking with the knowingness of someone also in this particular social class.
Bridgerton Season 2 needs to remove that veil of omnipotency and show us precisely how Whistledown knows what she knows about all of the key high society players. Season 1 shows new pamphlets containing damning assessments of the action thus far, straight from Whistledown’s lips. But who told her this information? Did she see every event she talks about? Does she have one (or more) informants feeding her information? It’s not that this is a plot hole, per se, but knowing how Whistledown operates while gathering the material that will get tongues wagging will help Bridgerton evolve as a show and maybe allow for some new drama to unfold.
What Kind of Parent Will the Duke Be?
Poor Simon. Throughout Season 1, the Duke has been haunted by the ghost of his father. It may not have seemed like it at first, what with Simon being something of a charming rogue reluctantly participating in the season’s events. But, as we’ve peeled back Simon’s layers, we’ve learned that he is merely putting up a front to hide his deepest pain: Being rejected by his father at such a young age. A man with impossible standards who only cared about appearances, Simon’s father was just awful; it’s no wonder Simon is still healing all these years later. But we also learned that Simon made a vow (admittedly a pretty irrational one at that) to never have children. So, when it came time to think about starting a family with Daphne, a conflict between the spouses emerged.
Simon and Daphne were able to come to terms with the impact of Simon’s vow and its effects on their marriage by the end of Season 1, ultimately conceiving after their big ball thrown as a married couple. The first season ends with Simon and Daphne together, marveling over their son. It would be unfair to expect Simon to be just like his father as he settles into his new role as a dad, but it’s worth wondering how he’ll deal with being a parent given the fact he’s still processing his own trauma. The mere act of Simon meeting Daphne halfway and opening himself up to the possibility of starting a family was a huge plot point in the latter half of Season 1, so pushing the Duke into parenthood is going to be an impactful narrative choice in Season 2. Will Simon be able to rise to the occasion and be the father he deserved to have? Or will anxieties about his new role in life chip away at him?
Will Eloise Bridgerton Continue Her Search for Whistledown?
Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie) had one of the more interesting arcs in Season 1. As the headstrong, independent, and bookish Bridgerton, Eloise gravitated towards the mystery of Whistledown’s identity like a moth to the flame. A chance to put those brains to good use and unmask the person who was writing one of the most-read pieces of literature in the entirety of London was too enticing a mystery to just ignore. So, naturally, the very-curious-borderline-nosy-as-hell Eloise took on the case. She was a bit reckless with her single-minded focus on Whistledown’s identity, occasionally making accusations or taking leaps in her logic that resulted in some awkward or uncomfortable conversations (and, for a brief moment, got her a private audience with the Queen).
Season 1 ended with Eloise in shock when her theory that dressmaker Madame Delacroix (Kathryn Drysdale) is Whistledown was proven incorrect. Eloise was becoming more and more convinced Delacroix was actually Whistledown since the dressmaker was constantly around the gossiping women of high society. On the night of Simon and Daphne’s ball, Eloise received a tip that Whistledown would be going to drop off the draft of her latest pamphlet at the printers, which led her to very nearly seeing the mysterious figure before fate intervened and she was unable to confirm it was Delacroix. However, Eloise’s brother, Benedict (Luke Thompson), confirmed Delacroix was with him the whole night.
Now, Eloise is back at square one and running out of options about Whistledown’s true identity. She seems more committed than ever to finding out who Whistledown actually is. However, the field of suspects is narrowing quickly. Soon, Eloise is going to have to start investigating her friends and loved ones which could prove tricky. And, on top of this, why is Eloise feverishly hunting for Whistledown in the first place? Is it to avoid the pressures of being in London society? Is she looking for an escape?
What Does the Future Hold for the Bridgerton Sons?
Speaking of Benedict, those Bridgerton boys have some big stories ahead of them in Season 2. We didn’t get to spend as much time with the three grown-up Bridgerton sons, but their roles in the drama of Season 1 were pretty darn important. There was the eldest son, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), who spent his time caught in a whirlwind romance with an opera singer named Siena Rosso, a.k.a. Scarlett (Sabrina Bartlett), who toyed with his affections. Meanwhile, Benedict was mostly in search of something to actually do with his life, a quest that led him to the bohemian world of renowned artist Henry Granville (Julian Ovenden). Finally, there was sweet Colin (Luke Newton), who briefly found himself caught in a potentially scandalous romance with Marina Thompson (Ruby Barker), a cousin of the Featheringtons.
Season 1 ends with Anthony brokenhearted after Scarlett rejected him for good and resigned to growing into his predetermined role as the overseer of the Bridgerton family’s affairs. A final exchange with Daphne and Simon revealed Anthony is resigned to finding a good wife even if it means entering into a loveless marriage. But surely Anthony can still make room for love in his life, right? And what about Benedict? Will he still pursue his love of the arts? Will he fall deeper into Granville’s world and possibly get caught up in some new scandal? As for Colin, he’ll mostly return at some point in Season 2 after living abroad in Europe. Will he bring anyone back to England with him? Or will he be single and more open to the affectionate advances of Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan)?
What Is the Fate of the Now-Disgraced Featheringtons?
The Featheringtons are in a very precarious position by the end of Season 1. This well-heeled family fell further and further from the good graces of society thanks to the decisions made by both Lord Featherington (Ben Miller) and his wife, Portia (Polly Walker). While Portia’s schemes to get her daughters married off and meddling with the pregnant Marina led to temporary woes, it was Lord Featherington’s behavior that had the most impact. A notorious gambler with a penchant for losing his big bets, Lord Featherington pushed his family to the brink of destruction multiple times in Season 1 before actually doing it when he bet the deed to his house in a boxing match he was trying to rig. His death, as a result of being found out by his bookies, left Portia and her daughters alone and with no means to make money to support themselves while maintaining their position in society.
Luckily for the Featheringtons, it was revealed in the final moments of Season 1 that a male heir to the Featherington estate was on his way to London to take control of the family’s affairs. Portia seems to know who this man is and her expression when she learned he was coming seemed to spell trouble. Who is he? Could it be Lord Featherington’s brother? Or perhaps his father? And why is Portia so troubled by news of his impending arrival? If anything, just figuring out what will happen to the Featheringtons is a good enough reason for Bridgerton to be renewed for Season 2.
Bridgerton Season 1 is now available to stream on Netflix. For more, check out the new Netflix shows we recommend you watch ASAP.
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