Bridgerton: Season 1/ Episode 2 “Shock and Delight” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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While Daphne, and the Bridgerton family, try to avoid scandal, we learn of Simon’s past, including why Lady Danbury plays a notable role in his life.

Director(s) Tom Verica
Writer(s) Janet Lin
Aired (Netflix) 12/25/2020
Introduced This Episode
Eloise Claudia Jessie
Queen Charlotte Golda Rosheuvel
Lord Hastings Richard Pepple
4 Year Old Simon Oscar Coleman
11 Year Old Simon Lucas Booth-Clibborn

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The Woman Who Made Me A Man – Lord Hastings, Simon, Lady Danbury

Simon is an indefinite rake. It is even shown by him having a fun time in a brothel. However, what is his origin story you ask? Well, his poor mother struggled for who knows how long to give Lord Hastings a son, and she died giving birth to Simon. Then, at an early age, Lord Hastings practically disowned Simon due to Simon having a bit of a stammer, leading to Lord Hastings thinking of him as lame.

Now, mind you, Simon was brilliant in anything that didn’t require talking, but that was of no matter to Lord Hastings. But, luckily for little Simon, his mother’s close friend, Lady Danbury, who lost touch after Simon’s mother died, found him and took him under her wing. Thus, by 11, his stammer was gone when not in his father’s presence, and by his current age, Simon is Duke material. Something even his father recognizes on his dying bed.

Woe Is Womanhood – Eloise, Lady Portia, Penelope, Marina, Daphne, Anthony, Simon, Nigel, Anthony

While Daphne is hoping that Simon’s interest will ward off Nigel, unfortunately, it just emboldens him. After all, Nigel isn’t a catch by anyone’s standards, and Anthony did make a deal. However, with the reveal that Nigel was rather unbecoming towards Daphne, Anthony breaks the arrangement. This leads to Nigel confronting Simon, asking of him to let him have this win, but Simon dares not back down. So, Nigel brings up Simon’s mother and is beaten to a pulp for doing so.

Which leads to Nigel going nuclear and threatening Daphne with presenting the rumor that they did something unbecoming together. This is something he swears he’ll get to Lady Whistledown and ruin not only Daphne’s reputation but her family’s. Thus making it seem, Daphne might end up trapped in a loveless marriage.

Eloise (Claudia Jessie) processing what her sister is going through
Eloise (Claudia Jessie)

This, as you can imagine, doesn’t make Eloise, Daphne’s little sister, the least bit interested in marriage. In fact, she is rather more interested in where children come from. Such information Penelope becomes slightly aware of through talking to Marina, but with Marina making it seem love leads to babies, she and Eloise are more confused than ever. After all, it seems rather clear Penelope’s mother, Lady Portia, has little to any love for her husband, and vice versa, yet here are three children.

Nothing Is Sharper Than A Woman’s Tongue – Lady Violet, Queen Charlotte, Nigel, Simon, Daphne, Anthony

Despite Anthony making it seem Lady Violet is powerless in her position, she is anything but. Actually, she is one of the most powerful women in the room. Well, outside of when she is in conversation with Queen Charlotte. Someone who, with seeing the course Daphne is on, reminds her how much power there is in a rumor, especially one which holds truth.

So, while Anthony did his digging and found nothing, Lady Violet goes to work and learns Nigel has fathered a bastard with a maid, and he doesn’t take care of them. Thus ruining his reputation and, at least for now, getting him away from Daphne.

But, while that is certainly a win for Daphne and Lady Violet, it does leave you to question what role will Simon continue to play? He is courting her, under their agreement, but he remains a Duke who hasn’t proposed. So will his continued interest truly still bolster her, or with him starting to fall for her, as shown by him touching her skin and asking of her to call him Simon, limit her callers?



Lady Danbury & The Introduction of The Subtle Black Nod

Can we just begin with saying Lady Danbury gives us Ma Rainey energy? The way she took on Simon, despite his stammer, made him into the man we see, and pretty much owns every room she walks in? You have to not only love it but respect it. Especially since, while Bridgerton never directly makes race and culture a thing. Mainly, it focuses on high society culture.

Lady Danbury talking to a young Simon

Yet, as we see in the hair and skin tone of Black characters, there are certain nods to Black culture. For example, Lady Danbury very much has that aunty vibe. The woman who wasn’t your mother but did so much for you she earned an honorary family title.

Also, when it comes to Lord Hastings, you can hear in his voice the fear of him being the generation that brought the family from the mud and worries it will all end with him. And in his disownment, you can see that sense of abandonment a lot of Black children have, and what leads to many Black men having attachment issues, no matter how great the women in their life are.

And I could go on and on about how I see the connection, but that’s an article within itself.

Showing Women Aren’t As Powerless As Some May Think

One of the things many shows and movies will remind you of is that while women may not always have brute strength to overcome a situation, there are alternatives. One of which is the power of conversation for whether it is planting an idea or sharing information, as we see in the episode, there is an entire network. One that often goes untapped, but when put into action, as Nigel learned, it can take down nearly anyone.

Simon’s Backstory

I truly didn’t realize how much I needed Simon’s backstory. To be honest, I was perfectly fine with him being Anthony’s childhood friend, who he attended college with, and that being the end of it. Granted, I was curious why he was close with Lady Danbury, but most Black people on this show stick to their people, if you notice. Daphne and Simon are probably one of the few interracial mixes on here, so one could easily assume with the Queen granting Lord Hastings his Duke title, Lady Danbury could have been a sponsor or something of that ilk.

But, with knowing the full story, can I just say Lord Hastings was a full-on *expletive!* First, your wife is dying, and you don’t give a damn about anything beyond whether or not she had a son? I mean, the man wasn’t even there for the woman’s last breath! He didn’t even peek in the room to thank her! Then he disowns his child over a stammer and makes it seem to everyone the kid is dead?

Lord Hastings (Richard Pepple) admonishing his son
Lord Hastings (Richard Pepple)

Now, I would never excuse bad behavior just because you had a trash upbringing, yet it does remain amazing that the worst thing about Simon is he frequents brothels. And even with that, he seems to respect all the women in his life, no matter their social standing, and while we haven’t seen how he handles male authority in the present day, one could submit he comes off well adjusted. Mind you, thanks to the greatness of Lady Danbury, who we thankfully have gotten to see at various stages of his life.

Leaving you to wonder, will we get to ever see less formal moments between the two? Since she seemed to step into a parental role for him.

Falling For The Idea of Simon and Daphne

You and I both knew Simon and Daphne were destined to be. The question just was when would we see that moment when it clicked and if it would ever come? Well, with Nigel out the way, and watching Simon and Daphne dance, and him touch her skin, we got the moment. It is then when the banter and the looks they share made it so you saw the chemistry and knew this ruse would become real. In the long run, the only question is how bumpy of a courtship will it be when Simon finds himself admitting his feelings aren’t part of the agreement.


There always has to be one who goes against the grain, and while Penelope flirts with the idea of not being like the other girls, Eloise is truly about that life. How and why? Well, she takes a look at Daphne’s limitation and what her mother went through with childbirth and compares that to the life of her brothers. Anthony is a rake, her other brother may have no intention to marry, and how strange is it that a woman can be forced to be with a man detestable?

Lack of autonomy is a major thing, and while Daphne is willing to make the best of any situation, even when she has very little say so, Eloise has no desire to just await the tidal wave and be glad for water.

On The Fence

The Featherington Storyline

Outside of Penelope, it’s a struggle to really get into the lives of anyone in the Featherington household. And even with Penelope, the main reason you want to see more from her is because she is the nicest character on the show, well second to Lady Danbury, and was born in a horrible family. But when you take note of Marina’s pregnancy, Lady Portia, and Penelope’s sisters, who are mannequins in the room, there isn’t much there to really make you crave more.

The Queen

Do we enjoy the antics of the Queen and her eccentricity? Yes. However, while it is entertaining to watch her sniff cocaine and be a chaotic neutral person, what does she bring to the show? For besides having a Black queen, who is beautiful, wears her hair out, and all the pride you can take from that, there isn’t really anything she brings to the table besides being a minor catalyst for events. Most of which she becomes a minor part in once they start going, like Daphne becoming the diamond of the season or the situation with Nigel.

Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) in a portrait
Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel)

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Lady Danbury & The Introduction of The Subtle Black Nod - 92%
Showing Women Aren't As Powerless As Some May Think - 87%
Simon's Backstory - 88%
Falling For The Idea of Simon and Daphne - 83%
Eloise - 82%
The Featherington Storyline - 75%
The Queen - 74%


With Simon's backstory added to the mix, your investment grows stronger, and as characters who may not have been of note in the premiere make their voices heard, the addiction may have begun.

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