Bridgerton 1×08 “After the Rain” Review

NETFLIX © 2020

Well, gentle readers—we’ve reached the end of the season. (Are we going to be doing this for eight years? Hopefully!) In its season finale “After the Rain” Bridgerton excelled at tying up loose ends and setting up the next season in an incredibly joyous little bow. This is type of content we long for when it comes to the romance we consume–keep the ambiguity, we’ll take all the happy endings we can get. As we have been saying all season, every episode has been leading up to this moment to restate the importance of transparency and the fact that agency matters. “After the Rain” is all about choices, and the decisions our favorite characters make in ensuring their futures look better than their present.

Thematically strong and beautifully executed, “After the Rain” is a solid, impeccable finale that’s left us eager for the next story. It was rewarding and endearing and really, we have very few complaints—each of the characters (understandably excluding the younger ones) made crucial decisions in this episode that prelude their arcs exquisitely.

“Oceans Apart” was an incredible penultimate, and “After the Rain” follows its footsteps beautifully. The Duke and I isn’t the strongest book—we have been fairly vocal about the fact that this was never one of our favorites, but we are pretty thrilled with how the series has handled the adaptation now making Simon and Daphne one of our favorite couples. We start off the season with an awkward 19th-century photo op with Henry Granville struggling to paint the couple because the tension in the room could burn it all down. And throughout the entire episode, every single time they looked at one another, we felt it. No wonder pride is among the deadly sins, it kills where moments like this are concerned and ruins relationships.

Daphne and Simon both had choices to make in the episode that would lead to their happy ending, but first, Francesca’s back and a trip to Bridgerton House to celebrate was a necessity. We learn in “After the Rain” that Daphne isn’t the only one who’s good with kids, but Simon is, too–managing both Gregory and Hyacinth by entertaining them adorably. One of the things I could never get behind is someone snooping and reading something that they were not given permission to read. My 21st century agency respecting brain can rarely get passed this, but I’m putting it aside to discuss Daphne finding the letters because she tried, in more than one way to get Simon to open up. Was it right of her? No. But he wouldn’t tell her the truth even after she asked what the late duke did to deserve the kind of vow Simon made. After Simon tells her that he’s doing all this for her, that she’d be better off without him, Daphne tries to figure it out for herself. (Are you sick of us saying transparency matters because frankly, we are.)

It leads to a lovely conversation later with Lady Danbury finding her in the room reading the letters and she states that ultimately though she helped Simon, it had to be done on his own. That said, Daphne finally learning the truth about his past is crucial to understanding his character. And the reality is that it probably would have taken Simon far too long to ever open up about all this—if he even ever did. It has to be his choice, but sometimes people need the nudge to make certain decisions.

People need to be reminded that they are loved, supported, and believed in. If Lady Danbury had not pushed and believed in Simon, he likely would never have believed in himself. No one can achieve anything on their own and though taking away his agency by reading the letters isn’t our cup of tea per se, but the final conversation she has with Simon is the one we’ll cheer about for a long time. This was also a fantastic scene between Lady Danbury and Daphne in not only sharing their love for Simon, but understanding the man they both care about a little more. Daphne doesn’t have a mother-in-law, she has Lady Danbury, and while she can be fun at soirees, she could also be vulnerable around her–teaching her what’s important when need be, and this is a small detail, but it’s one we all adore here.

It’s this conversation with Lady Danbury that ultimately prompts Daphne to step back a bit—there’s nothing more she can do at this moment then give him the space to make the decision to be her husband instead. It’s all on him. And Lady Danbury has a similar conversation with Simon, too reiterating the fact that his pride will cost him everything and leave him with nothing. There’s nothing better than the two of them in a scene–thus, a statement like this coming from someone like Lady Danbury is incredibly important for him to hear. She is the one person who believes in him more than anyone and anything—long before he was the Duke of Hastings, Lady Danbury loved him as he was (flaws and all) so to have her state that he’s essentially throwing it all away by making the choice to be stubborn was excellent. And at this point, Daphne probably wasn’t  going to do much but leave up to him; however, when Violet finally opens up about Edmund, it helps her realize just how much she does in fact love Simon.

We knew that any conversation with Violet about Edmund would make us teary-eyed, but we didn’t expect to be full blown ugly crying. (Are we even prepared for season two at this point?) Violet states that the last time she danced, ten-years-ago, was with Edmund—she states that she still (and might always) wake up every morning and touch the pillow where her late husband laid. Ruth Gemmell is exceptional in this delivery, and we’re so glad she’s bringing this character to life as she is. Violet will never stop loving Edmund, and she’ll never stop hoping that they had more time. She’ll never stop missing him. And when Daphne states that there’s nothing more she could do, that she doesn’t know how to keep fighting when the duke has made up his mind, Violet states that she must choose to love every single day. “You are a Bridgerton. There is nothing you cannot do.” And that’s it right there—that’s why we’re ugly crying.

This family isn’t perfect—far from in fact, but they are good and kind, and they are loyal. They fight for what they love and they protect what they cherish. They put aside their pride when need be because the tremendous loss they have lived through in losing an incomparably loving father has forced them to live their lives honorably. It has forced them to go in headfirst and come out of the other side stronger than ever. And after this moment of vulnerability, a moment where Violet didn’t sugarcoat or use metaphors, but opened her heart up to her daughter, growth took place. Transparency was at bay beautifully, and it told the audience that Daphne is no longer a debutante, she’s no longer just a child who doesn’t understand, but she is a wife, she is a woman, and she is a Bridgerton. She is a woman with a choice and thus she makes the choice to bare her soul to her husband. She makes the choice to let rainfall take her to a place of child-like wonder where there’s nothing more to do than to be honest and to be bold in the choice she makes. And that choice is to tell Simon just how loved he is. That choice is the decision to fight for love.

But before we get into the stunning moment, which was one of the best things we watched last year, it’s absolutely necessary to note the darling parallel we got of the two them walking towards a ballroom, their own this time, and discussing how many dances he is to dance with her. They have come so far from promenading in the park and yet, they still can’t settle on a number. They’re still bickering lovingly and they’re walking together towards something bigger, something better. Where an end an appears to be in sight, it’s just the beginning for the two of them. And just as they didn’t know where they would end up after that first promenade at the park, in this moment they have no idea that they are on their way towards a waltz that will bring them together again.

The waltz was lovely, but even more than that the cinematography set the scene beautifully–the rain, the stunning painting, the flowers, the candles, and the dance floor. What a scene. If we don’t take a moment to take apart the ball’s theme (the blue hydrangeas, the white roses, and every little detail that went into telling this story) then we may as well call my English degree useless. Most of the women (excluding the Featheringtons) wore a shade of light blue, which represents serenity—a sense of loyalty as well that is thus reflective of the Bridgertons, and their devotion to fighting for people they love. The serenity throughout the night and the rain thus solidifying a cleanse to all that’s happened, which hydrangeas, blue specifically touch on apologies. And finally the white roses to signify new beginnings—the everlasting love Simon and Daphne will finally find in one another as they choose to move forward with transparency.

Daphne’s infectious, beautifully euphoric laughter in that moment as the rain falls quintessentially reflects the best of period pieces we adore. Thus, when the crowd clears the dance floor and they’re the only two left, there’s no going back—only forward. Daphne admits to reading the letters and she states that just because his father made him believe he wasn’t worthy of love does not mean that it is the truth. She admits to the fact that she can no longer pretend that she doesn’t love him. She can no longer pretend that he isn’t all that she has ever wanted.

Just because something is not perfect does not make it any less worthy of love. Your father made you believe otherwise. He made you believe that you needed to be without fault in order to be loved, but he was wrong. Should you need any proof of the matter than just look here. I am tired of pretending and I cannot continue acting as if I do not love you. Because I do. I love all of you. Even the parts that you believe are too dark and too shameful. Every scar. Every flaw. Every imperfection. I love you. You may think you are too damaged and too broken to ever allow yourself to be happy but you can choose differently, Simon. You can choose to love me as much as I love you. That should not be up to anyone else. That cannot be up to anyone else. It can only be up to you.

Phoebe Dynevor delivered this speech with astounding sincerity and Regé-Jean Page said everything with zero dialogue further reminding us of what wonderful scene partners they have been throughout the season. Simon has known devotion. He knows that Lady Danbury cares about him and always will, but he has never known or believed that someone else could possibly love him for all that he is—stubbornness included. He believes every word that comes out of Daphne’s mouth because every word is good and sincere—every word is coming from the most genuine place. He knows (even if he isn’t sure how to handle it) that every word coming from Daphne is the very picture of devotion. It’s a love he feels, too and it’s a love he understands. And though presumably hours pass before he finally meets her inside, when he walks in, the glowing transparency coupled with vulnerability is everything we could have asked for.

He tells her that he doesn’t know how to be the man that she deserves. He doesn’t know how to share himself completely with someone else. And Daphne’s reply is just right—you stay. “You stay and we get through it together.” Because that’s what love is. It is choosing somebody every single day even when it’s hard to. It’s choosing someone every single day even when you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s choosing to let your walls down even when it’s hard. It’s choosing to risk heartache for the sake of adoration. It’s choosing to put someone else’s desires above your own. It’s choosing to believe in love and to believe that the person who stands before you is worthy of every ounce of you–as you are of them.

In a room that is so cool toned, this is the warmest it’s ever been for Simon and Daphne. As they finally made love with no walls or secrets between them, they finally chose each other. They chose to love each other. They chose to give each other all that they could have ever wanted. When he no longer pulls out, he’s allowing himself the chance to move past the demons that his father instilled upon him. He is choosing to believe that he is worthy of the kind of man he always believed Daphne was deserving of. He is choosing to believe that he is not only good enough, but he is better than that–he can be the very father he once dreamed of having.

And in deciding to adopt the Bridgerton alphabetical order of naming their children, Simon chose to accept that he belongs somewhere. He’s no longer an outlier, no longer a jaded rake with imperfections unworthy of love, but a man with a family to adore, a man with a place to call his own, and a man who’s worthy, in every way, because he chose to get there—he chose to fight past the demons that tried to bring him down. He chose to put his pride aside and win the battle against his father by not letting him take away his happiness, and inadvertently, Daphne’s—the woman who sees him for all that he is and loves him through it all.

It’s the end of the duke and duchess and the start of the viscount and viscountess—but what exactly is our viscount up to other than finally deciding it is time to declare his intentions? A lot. Anthony Bridgerton has a long journey ahead of him. There’s a lot he needs to learn and it starts with taking a chance—it starts with a choice. It starts with listening and letting your brother know that whatever he’s up to, you’re happy for him. It starts with quiet moments around your family and the decision to perhaps try. (Jonathan Bailey floored me in that final scene with Siena when Anthony said “I tried.” As we’ve been saying, physicality matters, and it’s so fascinating to see how Bailey plays on the character’s innermost emotions. We’re ready to see him smile more. It’s what he deserves.)

But what happens when you pursue a love that’s not meant to be and it’s the wrong person? You walk away brokenhearted throwing flowers on the floor.

What happens to Anthony that suddenly prompts him to ask Siena to accompany him to a ball? Could it be the idea of Daphne and Simon’s title giving him a bit of leeway? Or rather is it the indescribable human desire to try to make something work even when you know in your heart it’s not right. (Raise your hand if you’ve been there before.) The fact is, his reaction is entirely human—it’s believable. Is it real, genuine love? No. But it’s human to try, and it’s especially human for someone like Anthony when so much of his demeanor is a facade. He acts like he doesn’t care when really, he cares a tremendous amount. And so much of the reason why this makes sense is because there’s a sense of desperation in Anthony to make things right. Daphne is happy and settled—he really is next. He has to be. He needs to step up and do something about his role as the viscount; therefore, he goes in headfirst tackling familiarity and comfort.

But it all comes down to the fact the relationship is wrong in a number of ways. No, people shouldn’t have to change themselves in a relationship, but compromise is a must. We might be living in a patriarchal society in this time, but it isn’t entirely misogynistic to expect one’s own partner to accept their roles and their family. So often Siena mocked his role and the dedication he has to his family, inadvertently his duties as the viscount. She doesn’t have to like it, but respecting it is necessary.

Edmund Bridgerton was a good man—from what we understand, exemplary even. Anthony’s title isn’t passed down forcefully from corruption but rather love. Simon’s refusal of the dukedom makes complete sense, but so does Anthony’s acceptance of the viscountcy. To love someone means to love all of them. Siena might not be a traditional debutante, but if she adored Anthony (really and truly) then she would adore all of him. She would adore the parts of him that would give the world for his siblings. She would adore the parts of him who wants to do right by his father’s legacy. She would adore the parts of him that are jaded and messy and trying. Sometimes you have to don the ridiculous gown you hate just to support the person you claim to love, but that’s not in the cards for these two because this isn’t love.

To be honest, I never got the impression that Anthony wanted Siena to change—she could’ve been there as she is, and sure sometimes you put up a front for the ton, but other times, you get to go home and laugh it off. To think that if Henry Granville and Lord Wetherby were allowed to be together in public, they would have done all that’s necessary not to steal glances and hide away. But Siena wasn’t willing to try, while Anthony was, and what that tells us is that Kate Sheffield is right in deeming him the nicest man. (After she gets passed him being the worst, of course.) If he was worth it, she would risk it all. If this “love” was worth it, she would go to the party and impatiently wait to be stripped of the outfit later. Because love is compromise. It’s adapting and it’s understanding. Sometimes you can and should say no to your partner when you don’t want to do something, but if something is important to them, you put aside your desires and support them. And you expect that they would do the same for you because that’s what love is—give and take. It’s a partnership, it’s a choice, and this is the opposite of it.

Anthony Bridgerton has a long way to go and it’s going to require finally talking to someone. He might believe that eliminating love is the key to a successful relationship, but what he doesn’t realize is that the relationship he was in wasn’t love. He will understand (once he falls in love with Kate Sheffield) that love is sharing parts of you with someone else that you never thought possible. It is opening up to someone who understands you all the way down to your bones, and for whom your happiness is everything. You choose to love someone every day, that’s the overarching theme of the series—to find one’s person is one thing but choosing to love and fight for them is another. But Anthony will learn (in spite of Simon’s belief that he won’t) that love is in the cards for him, and the reason it never worked out with anyone else is because no one could have freed his soul the way Kate Sheffield would.

In every instant where we watched Anthony spot Siena from across the room, his physicality told the audience that he wasn’t okay. These weren’t longing gazes, not the ways in which Henry and Lord Wetherby would look to one another–these were acts of desperation and confusion. But when Anthony spots Kate across the room (even before he admits that he loves her), he’s going to be filled with a sense of serenity and the certainty that she is his–that just being by her side will make everything more bearable.

As we’ve said, he’s got a long way to go, but he’s on the right track towards the kind of healing he needs.

Where Anthony is on his way towards finding a happy ending, Benedict has time to go and that’s perfectly fine. If there’s any character we have zero complaints about and zero angst to report on, it’s Benedict. He is doing just fine—even when his younger sister unknowingly disrupts his alone time with Madame Delacroix.

If the series has done one thing right, it’s how they have set up Benedict and his arc. It’s giving him a place to shine as the sibling who listens and the sibling who cares—the sibling who’s 110% the momma’s boy. But where does that leave him for season two? (Fans everywhere have been speculating that seeds are planted for Benedict to potentially be bisexual, and we could see it—season two would be the great place to canonically establish that and work it in. Although we’ve got to say, not with Henry because he’s clearly in love with Lord Wetherby–as are we. A new character perhaps?) In writing him the way that they have, and allowing him to explore his passion for art early on along with his beliefs that he has ample respect for people, women especially who work for a living sets up his arc remarkably in wanting something that polite society might not deem appropriate.

We also wouldn’t mind seeing more of him and Madame Delacroix as they’re both incredibly nuanced and fascinating. Whatever’s in store with Benedict’s character, sign us up–as long as he continues to lack control in his facial expressions, we’re in.

That leads us to Colin Bridgerton and the choice he makes to finally go to Greece. An excellent choice as is. Upon first viewing, it was a bit jarring to see Colin pre-travels. It made him seem so much younger, and then the whole thing with Marina happened allowing us to understand that this is a completely new side of him we are seeinng.

That said, I’m now thankful that we actually go to see these sides of Colin because when he does return from Greece, the charming, meddling, infinitely loved by all brother will be that more much more intriguing. We know where he’s been, so to see how far he comes will make his arc incredibly fascinating and worthwhile. Where does that leave Penelope? Ways to go and unsurprisingly heartbroken—as are we.

But we knew this was coming and we knew that it’d hurt, which allows us to believe and know without a shadow of a doubt, that it will be worth it. The way Bridgerton has handled Colin and Penelope is setting them up to be even more beloved than we thought possible.

We’ve been saying from the beginning that friendship matters more than anything in a relationship. You’ve got to be friends with somebody before you could be their lifelong partner, and while sometimes friendship happens quickly as it did with Simon and Daphne, other times, there’s incredible buildup like with Colin and Penelope. Colin doesn’t see Penelope as a potential love interest, that much is clear, and that much is understandable. Colin has a lot of growing up to do and a lot of finding himself before he could find a partner. He’s what, 20? 21? (Who even knows how accurately the series is following ages from the book?) That said, what Colin does see in Penelope is someone who he knows is always on his side.

Penelope might be Eloise’s best friend, and thus the family cares about tremendously, but building up this friendship with Colin where it’s easy to talk to her, it’s easy to confide in her will make their eventual relationship that much more interesting. Colin knows that Penelope is someone who’d never hurt him and for now, that’s enough. It’s enough to know that he trusts her, and it’s enough to know that she reminded of the fact that he wants to travel. And one day in the distant future when he realizes it’s been her all along, he’ll be reminded of these moments where it’s clear that when he thought he was talking to his friend, he was really talking to his person.

Penelope’s arc is everything we could have asked for. To see her come to a place where she almost blurted out her feelings was gut-wrenching, but simultaneously riveting. In getting these bits and moments of Penelope’s bravery, the audience is coming to understand just how she could be Whistledown, too.

Cracks knuckles. Shall we get into Penelope Featherington? First and foremost, the decision to reveal Whistledown in the finale is perfect. Simply and truly perfect. These are romance novels at the end of the day– they aren’t teen thrillers or dramas where uncovering an identity should take priority. When I first read the books, I was never even looking for Whistledown’s identity to attempt to uncover it. I was reading because these are love stories and I was interested in the couples.

But with the way the series has framed Whistledown’s identity, especially with Eloise’s quest to unmask her, the decision to reveal it to the audience really takes away some of the anxiety I had going in that they’d potentially change it and thus focus more on the mystery. Sure people could have googled the ending, but people also googled shows like Pretty Little Liars, and look how that turned out. The teasing and the questioning would have taken away from the series’ specialty, which is the romance and the platonic relationships. They matter more than Whistledown—she’s just the delightful bonus on top.

That said, by revealing the identity, I’m also hoping that we’ll be given the opportunity going forward to see more of Penelope’s thought process in how she went/will go about everything. As mentioned in the episode review for “Swish,” we know, given the extraordinary performance Nicola Coughlan put on that revealing Marina’s pregnancy was the hardest article she had to write. So where does that leave her? And where does this leave Eloise?

Romancing Mister Bridgerton is probably the least problematic book in the series, we adore them all, but we’ve got our issues, understandably, as most people do. But the biggest issue we’ve all had with this book is the lack of Eloise in Whistledown’s reveal. Naturally, we imagine that this is something the series will surely change given just how invested she is in Whistledown’s identity. How will Eloise react knowing Whistledown is her very best friend? It’s something we need to see but most importantly, understanding Penelope’s motives as the seasons progress will be so incredibly fascinating to watch as viewers.

It’s been a season for Penelope, and with the loss of their father, we’re intrigued to see how she’ll handle so much of the changes that are coming for the Featherington family. Is this when she’ll start using her income to help? How will all that be addressed? There’s no character with quite as much riding on them as Penelope, and that’s not something we see directly, but something we know of now due to her identity.

Penelope always has a long road ahead of her and how next season will look is bound to be excellent. Coughlan’s work deserves immense credit because that final moment as she unveiled herself was a masterpiece. The confidence and poise in Penelope as Whistledown is riveting when paralleled alongside Penelope’s wallflower timidity. Sometimes it’s easier to be confident through an alter ego and it’s an interesting detail to note to when we discuss the internet discourse. (Think of the confidence some people will send anonymous messages through.) We aren’t saying Penelope is at that level of unkind, but it’s easier for people to listen to Whistledown than they would Penelope. It’s easy to hold it together as Whistledown.

Just as she could tarnish a reputation, she could build one up, and exploring all these nuances to her character is going to make her even more compelling. Will she struggle through the inner turmoil of what she’s revealed and what she’s kept hidden? How will it all affect her day to day to life as she keeps this going?

We also appreciate the detail that in an episode where choice is the overarching theme, Whistledown states that revealing her identity will be entirely up to her. Her best friend can try as hard as she’d like—even the queen could try, but as Whistledown, Penelope has agency and no one is going to take that away from her unless she decides it is time.

Where does all this leave the Featheringtons? Well at least their deadbeat worthless father is gone and hopefully they don’t have to worry about their dowries or finances being thrown away and threatened again. I said this last week, but truly, the series’ biggest flaw was including Lord Featherington. I could not care a single ounce about the character. At the end of the day, they are going to be better off. But what this did however was make me appreciate Portia that much more. She’s not likable, she isn’t meant to be, but Polly Walker’s performances as Lady Featherington are topnotch astounding. She’s a class act in every way from the utter horror when she cried realizing he’d gambled with their estate to the surprising vulnerability she spoke to Marina with when asked how she’d lived as long as she had with a man she didn’t love.

Portia’s surprising sincerity in that moment was the unexpected gift in this episode. I didn’t think she’d approach Marina with kindness, but I’m glad she did so. Stating that you find ways in your babies, and noting that Marina is much stronger than she was is a beautiful send off to the character.

As we know by now, Sir Phillip Crane has found Marina and he reveals the terrible news we’ve all been expecting, which is that George died in battle. But what’s lovely in all this is that Marina was right in the belief that what they had was love, and Ruby Barker put on a fantastic performance as she cried telling Daphne that he loved her all along—she’d pegged him a villain, but he was willing to be the father their child needed. And in an episode where choice matters, marrying Phillip had to be Marina’s, and she agrees to it only after she realizes the tea hasn’t worked.

As book readers, we all know how Marina’s story ends, but here’s to hoping it’s not as it is in the books. The series has changed enough, and this is a detail they should change as well. While the conversation of mental health is important, we aren’t sure they would be willing to take it on fully, and if that’s not the case and Marina is still meant to pass, we hope it’s through natural causes. Or perhaps, George comes back, it wasn’t his body all along and they run off to Paris together raising their child? Stranger things have happened. . .

Who is this Sir Phillip Crane, well book readers will note that (MAJOR SPOILER) Eloise Bridgerton marries him later. (The series hopefully needs to handle this relationship better in making it feel less awkward.) Though that’s not happening for a while because our girl Eloise has zero interest, and she’s aspiring to make her own way in this world—making a living like Whistledown.

Eloise has to write a book at some point, right? We’re all in agreement that she is going to be the next Jane Austen except instead of writing about romance, she’ll be writing about women making a living and they’ll be best sellers. Or maybe, just maybe she’s the author of Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron? (We know who the author is, but still, this could be changed?) Point being, Eloise Bridgerton deserves the stars and we want to make sure she gets it.

That said, it’s easy to appreciate the scene between her and Daphne at the ball when Daphne tells her she could go up to the library all night because it’s such a stunning showcase of how far the sisters have come. As we’ve been saying throughout our reviews, the women are foils of one another—they are polar opposites and that’s okay because they love one another as they are. Thus, Eloise thanking Daphne for being so perfect so she doesn’t have to be was a great way to reveal that they’re not on the same path, and that’s entirely okay because as long as Claudia Jessie and Phoebe Dynevor have such scenes where their differences are showcased, we’ll be happy. Performances galore. But also sisters. Accepting such differences is great.

Eloise is right in a lot of ways, but she’s wrong about Whistledown’s identity and that final moment between her and Benedict where she realizes that Madame Delacroix isn’t actually Whistledown was genius. We’ve been talking about Benedict’s facial expressions all season, but this final Eloise reaction wins it all. Jessie’s delivery of that moment is utter chaos in the best way—the complete malfunction that she has is genius, and just as we pictured when we’d read about Eloise.

She’s got a long way to go before she uncovers the real Whistledown, and she’s got a long way to go before balls don’t make her uncomfortable, which ultimately means never. Eloise Bridgerton is never going to be a ball girl and she doesn’t need to be. The series giving her the freedom to do as she pleases is our one hope. Sure the Bridgertons must behave with honor, but who’s to say she can’t shoot with the men or write a book? No one. She deserves the freedom and she deserves the agency. We’re getting there. She chooses who to share her candy with and Penelope is that person. She’s there for her best friend, and she’s there for her siblings, eventually—they’ll all be there for her helping her achieve the goals she wants to. Right? Right. That’s the manifestation we’re putting into the universe.

And then there’s Francesca who’s finally returned home from Bath. But why on earth was she even gone? Here’s the thing, gentle readers—I am not attached to Francesca Bridgerton, and I hate that. I want to be. I want us to know more about her, and I want to be invested in her story by the time we get there, but if she’s away as she is and we don’t even see her when she’s there, how is this said attachment going to happen? As mentioned in our review for “The Duke and I,” we really hope Simon and Daphne’s wedding is the last one she misses. We know this season wasn’t her time, and that’s fine, but going forward, we’d all really like to see more of her.

Gregory and Hyacinth just really want to go to Clyvedon and participate in all the fun at Aubrey Hall. PALL MALL. It deserves to be in caps. It is what it is, we don’t make the rules. We see what the writers did there and we’re thankful for it. Is it time for The Viscount Who Loved Me yet? The littles are delightful and they’re especially delightful when they’re pestering their older siblings just as we’d imagined they would.

Bridgerton’s first season took the weakest book in the series and made it exceptional. It’s been a joyful ride and we can’t wait for what else is in store. We came into this season hoping we’d like Simon and Daphne and we ended up loving them. We came into this season ready to get character development and they exceeded our expectations in delivering. The final episode brought to light the importance of choice beautifully and in doing so reminds viewers that love can heal even the darkest of wounds. It tells us that happy, hopeful endings matter. It’s been a dark year, but Bridgerton revolutionized the romance genre on TV, and to know that this is just the beginning is a treat in and of itself.

Afternoon Tea and Reflection
Further Thoughts

  • When we say we hate Lord Featherington, we mean it. Involving Will in his gross scheme was just the cherry on top. All he and Alice wanted is the chance to be happy–we get why he agreed, but good lord, we hated it and we actually hope that perhaps we could see more of them in further seasons. (Again, we had all these fascinating characters and yet we focused on the least interesting of them all with Featherington.) We hate it. We really do.
  • For all the times that Benedict’s expressions floored us, in a moment where we would have loved more, what does he does he do? Hides most of it. Facepalm, indeed. But that said, the scene was Chef’s kiss. Eloise once again bringing up the idea that men bounce back from scandal was an exceptional detail in reminding viewers of the fact that this is a patriarchal society we’re living in and it sucks. It really sucks. But it’s great where it incredible scenes are concerned and this was one of them.
  • That awkward moment on the couch where they waited for Anthony’s reply to Benedict’s news about Madame Delacroix also resulted in some excellent facial expressions. This casting department–can we talk about just how well they have done in finding people that actually look like siblings? Between Eloise and Benedict, we can’t pick whose expression was best. Both. Both is good.
  • We also appreciate Marina telling Penelope she was right about Colin. Apologies matter, and the show giving it to us also matters.
  • We also really caught that moment with Daphne inviting the Featheringtons to Hastings ball as a sign of forgiveness and slight pettiness to Violet stating she should forgive Simon.
  • Philippa’s comment about losing her dowry cracked me up way more than it should have. Really though, the Featheringtons are a disaster and we love them all the more for it. we’re glad she and Mr. Finch are back at it.
  • COLIN BRIDGERTON SINGING. We’re fine. We’re good. And listen, we know that this entire cast is talented. We know that Jonathan Bailey, Luke Thompson, and Luke Newton have a faux boyband off screen, the good people of this world deserve to also see ABC singing on screen, but we’ll take what we could get for now as it was a beautiful scene—especially with Penelope coming in at that exact moment. Did she fall in love even harder? Because really, who doesn’t fall harder when they hear someone sing?
  • Penelope in a bright yellow dress seems to be missing in a sea of blues … and we love this journey for her. If we didn’t have it confirmed, this would tell us without a doubt.
  • The way Lady Danbury, Queen Charlotte, and Violet looked at Simon and Daphne in the rain was a mood. As was Lady Danbury finally using her cane to stop people from doing something!
  • Who could the estate owner be? We’re kind of sort of really hoping it’s someone we like so we can continue to see them on screen. Maybe Will? This is ultimately wishful thinking, but we’ll put it out there.
  • While we don’t think the Mary Leopold mentioned in the beginning of the episode is our Mary Sheffield in spite of the bee landing on their flowers, we do think it’s a clear sign of the fact that Mary is coming as are Kate and Edwina!
  • Bring on the bee, Newton the Corgi, and everything The Viscount Who Loved Me. We’re ready for it.

One thought on “Bridgerton 1×08 “After the Rain” Review

Add yours

  1. I have really enjoyed all these Bridgerton recaps. They’re so in-depth and I love reading about little nuances I might have missed (like Benedict being a momma’s boy haha)

    Agreed that the casting for Bridgerton was exceptional. The sibling interactions were on point and all the actors are wonderful at their craft. Props to Jonathan Bailey for making Anthony such a complex character. I can’t wait for his season.

    Benedict (Luke T really) was an absolute standout for me this season. Really unexpected as book!Benedict wasn’t nearly as mesmerising, but whatever Luke did with the character worked ridiculously well.

    I wasn’t on board with naïve Colin at first, but it makes sense now. I think we’ll be seeing some great character development when he returns.

    I enjoy Julia Quinn’s books a lot, but the way the show has fleshed out the characters and plots has made it even better.

    I’m looking forward to next season a lot as well as your reviews!

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