Bridgerton Season 2 Episode 5 Recap: “An Unthinkable Fate”

One thing I noticed while recapping the episodes of Bridgerton Season 2 is that the various subplots aren’t integrated into the A plot as well as they were last year, so there’s no graceful way to transition from the drama of Anthony and Kate to the Featheringtons scheming and tricking Cousin Jack into an engagement with Prudence, and how disastrous this match turns out to be, for Cousin Jack is just as broke as Lady Featherington, and now there is no heavy dowry to save family. But it happens! The Featheringtons are a family of schemers, and Penelope, in many ways unlike everyone else in her family, is also her mother’s daughter where it counts.

Meanwhile, Benoît begins his art studies at the Royal Academy, where he continues his banter with working-class women. They’ve done a great job of establishing Benoît’s complete disinterest in society ladies and his admiration for a girl who works without making her an asshole or a predator, which should pay off next season when he becomes the lead and will enter her Cinderella-like love story. . Likewise, another great foreshadowing is that Sir Phillip Crane is a neighbor of Bridgerton in the country, and Marina can tell she’s “satisfied” as Lady Crane, but she’s clearly quite bitter and remains unnecessarily mean with Colin. Again, more things to pay for as the seasons progress.

Back in Kate-And-Anthony Land, however, the STARS carry on as these two can’t stop making erotically charged eye contact. This episode (“An Unthinkable Destiny”), directed by Tom Verica and written by Abby McDonald, sees the Queen take charge of planning the wedding of Anthony and Edwina, who DO NOT DESERVE ANY OF THIS SHIT. I mean, she totally deserves to be swept away and have the extravagant wedding of her dreams, Edwina is a gem, give her the world. But she doesn’t deserve the shit Anthony and Kate put her through. As Lady Danbury points out to Kate, now that Anthony has proposed to Edwina and their engagement is public, it’s virtually impossible to call off the wedding, although that’s obviously a huge mistake given all the intense stares, the heavy breathing and the palpable PINING. between Kate and Anthony.


But Anthony isn’t the only Bridgerton to make misguided life choices. Eloise continues her political activities by attending an assembly in Bloomsbury, where she again meets the cute printer’s assistant and political writer, Theo Sharpe. There’s an undeniable chemistry there, but the class divide is real, and Eloise flirts with real disaster the more she searches for Theo on the dodgy side of town. It’s not right, but it’s the way of this world. Anthony isn’t the only Bridgerton to bake a disaster cake. But oh, Anthony’s disaster cake is EXTRAVAGANT. And! For some reason! He insists ! By eating it! This episode gives everyone a picture-perfect outing of Anthony and Edwina’s ‘doomed engagement’, as Lord and Lady Sheffield come to dinner at Lady D’s to meet their estranged granddaughter. But do they come out? No! Because everyone is crazy, and this love triangle is totally out of control.


First of all, I really appreciate that between Bridgerton and Ted Lasso, Anthony Stewart Head has become the go-to villain of British television. And second, the dinner scene feels like something out of a horror movie, unfolding with growing tension and growing fear. It’s one of the best sequences of the entire season so far, the disastrous counterpart to the super fun Pall Mall scenes. Kate’s secret to the Sheffields’ stipulation that Edwina marry an aristocrat to gain her inheritance is revealed, and although it is devastating for Edwina to realize that her grandparents are awful people and that there will be no no happy reunion of Sharma-Sheffield, this is the perfect exit from the engagement. Anthony pulls it off perfectly, Edwina can call off their engagement and no one will look at her sideways, they will come out of this mess unscathed.


But Kate can’t do it. Edwina believes herself to be in love, she comes to Anthony’s defense of the Sharmas as a sign of his devotion and not as, just an example of genuinely nice behavior towards a family he thinks good and who are dragged by a couple of assholes. She wants to marry Anthony, and Kate doesn’t have the courage to break Edwina’s heart, even if it means, once again, swallowing her own feelings for Anthony. But WORST, she KNOWINGLY lets her romantic little sister marry a man Kate knows doesn’t love her, and worse, who lusts after Edwina’s own sister. Suck it, Kate! TELL HIM THE TRUTH. Of course, Edwina will be upset. But she is already upset!

She’s already mad at Kate for lying about the Sheffields, just tell her the truth, at this point one more upset won’t change the toll. And it would be better to break Edwina’s heart now, before she gets married, before she finds out Anthony isn’t in love with her, or worse, Anthony and Kate cheat on Edwina. Telling Edwina wouldn’t be easy, she’d be hurt, but of all the possible outcomes, finding out now, before the engagement went any further, would be better than any other option. But Kate says nothing and Anthony agrees to get married. And the episode ends with a string cover of “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette, an absolutely perfect needle stroke. It’s a mess indeed, Alanis.

Sarah Marrs is a film critic and associate editor for, and a programmer for the Chicago Critics Film Festival. She also has signings to Pajiba, SYFY Fangrrls and Consequence of Sound. She can be shouted out on Twitter @Cinesnark. Sometimes she goes places and does things.

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