This Week’s Most Exquisite TV Moment

January 3-8
“Art of the Swoon” | Bridgerton

NETFLIX © 2020

Okay so technically, this episode didn’t air this week, but we covered it this week, and we get to make the rules. The Expanse gave us yet another remarkable episode dealing with belters and inners, A Discovery of Witches finally premiered in a stunning display of affection, and we’re all still reeling from Georgia’s elections flipping the Senate–a hearty congratulations to Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff! We could not be more thrilled with these wins. (The rest of the world is utter trash though and we are appalled by everything that took place at the Capitol this week. Thank heavens for good television, right?)

That said, we are here to elaborate further on the incredible development we get between Benedict and Eloise Bridgerton in “Art of the Swoon”

Another late night cigarette passing leads to the kind of conversation that’s absolutely necessary and riveting in terms of highlighting just how much women were lacking in opportunities. Eloise voices her frustrations about not being able to attend university in the previous episode, and she continues this week by calling Benedict out on the fact that as a man his privilege is immense. He is the only thing standing in the way of achieving his goals. “If you desire the sun and moon, all you have to do is shoot at the stars…so do it. Be bold.” If I loved this moment less, I might be able to talk about it more.

As we mention in our Character Deep Dive, for Benedict, he is the brother who listens, the one who stands in the background and actually hears people out, thus the declaration that he would support Eloise if she were Whistledown was an incredible homage to the character. Plus, we need, it’s not a want, it’s a need, for Eloise to call him out in the future with Sophie too. We love the man, but sometimes he needs to bite his tongue. (Kind of, sort like at Somerset House when he shat on Henry Granville’s work in his presence. Facepalm.)

Bridgerton 1×03 “Art of the Swoon” Review

Eloise Bridgerton making sure people follow their dreams since 1813. She’s an interesting little gem this one. If everyone else just talked as they do, situations would not have been dire–people wouldn’t be as anxious as they actually are. But establishing this bond between the second son and the second daughter is a fascinating little detail that also pays homage to the fact that they’ll be the ones who’ll live close to each other in the future with their spouses. Eloise sees and Eloise hears, and trying to reiterate the importance of male privilege is A+ in my book.

It’s also necessary to point out the quips and details where there’s a moment as though Benedict looks both surprised and unsurprised when he finds her there–here we are again, but let’s roll with it. This is a thing now. And it’s also lovely that there’s an innocence in the idea of all this taking place on swings, a place that marks some of the first freeing moments from childhood. They’re not kids anymore. And that’s what this is, two people having the freedom to share their frustrations, namely Eloise whose face crushes me when she says “some of us cannot” because it’s a deep ache within her not to pursue what she wants as herself. It’s a small moment, but Claudia Jessie’s ability to switch between emotions in this scene is so very pertinent for the character. It’s subtle and it makes the moment that much more riveting.

But also part of what makes this moment so exquisite is the fact that we should have expected something like this, and yet simultaneously being surprised by it makes that much better. As we keep saying here at Marvelous Geeks–conversation matters. And these two having these moments of vulnerability contributes to both their growth process in a beautifully organic way. This isn’t an overnight fix, but it’s a start, and a great one at that.

It’s so rare to see siblings actually bond on television. Part of what makes Bridgerton such an exceptional series is the relationships within the family. Romance aside, it’s the heart of the series. And with eight of them, highlighting the different dynamics rightfully should take priority, thus giving the audience these moments between Benedict and Eloise works wonders. (No but seriously, the last time I loved a sibling relationship this much was Chuck and Ellie Bartowski from NBC’s Chuck! It’s been too long.) Who else can mock and tease the way a sibling can while simultaneously being the one who’d give their life for you? Each of them have distinct bonds with one another, but this is the one with the mutual understanding that the confines of society don’t appeal to them. It’s the one where there’s freedom to say as they please without the fear of judgement. They are the two who’d much rather have the freedom than the titles and there’s so much vulnerability in that revelation when we understand that they’re also the creative ones in the family. The writer and the artist. (Though Colin will eventually join too.) And there’s an understanding there that no two could fathom quite as well reiterating the idea that honest conversations are key to growth.

What was the most exquisite thing you watched on TV this week? Tell us in the comments below.

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