Bridgerton Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – Diamond of the First Water
Published 4 weeks ago
Lady Whistledown, the town’s anonymous gossip paper writer, narrates that it is 1813 in Grosvenor Square. She tells her readers that the time has come to place their bets for the upcoming social season. She asks them to consider the household of Baron Featherington, where there are three young women under the care of their tasteless and tactless mother.
At the Featherington House, Portia, the mother of the household, forces Prudence to fit into her gown by tightening her corset too much. She tells her daughters that she was able to squeeze her waist into the size of an orange and a half when she was Prudence’s age, so she must do the same.
Lady Whistledown then asks her readers also to consider the household of the widowed Viscountess Bridgerton. She says the Bridgerton family is noted for having a bounty of handsome sons and beautiful daughters.
At the Bridgerton House, Daphne’s siblings wait in vain as she gets ready for her presentation to the Queen. Eloise calls out to her and tells her to make haste.
As both the Featherington and Bridgerton families board their carriages to go to the palace, Violet asks Benedict if he knows where Anthony is and tells him that if he wants to be obeyed as Lord Bridgerton, he should act like one. Anthony is having sex with someone against a tree as they speak.
Daphne and the rest of the family arrive at the palace just as Anthony alights his horse. He approaches Daphne and tells her that he wouldn’t miss such an important day for her and their family.
Lady Whistledown tells her readers that that day is very important because it is the day when London’s marriage-minded women will be presented to the Queen.
Prudence, Philippa, and Penelope get presented by their mother, Portia. The three walk and bow before the Queen, and the Queen looks displeased. She signals them to go, but Prudence faints before they can walk away. The Queen didn’t even care to be bothered.
Daphne gets presented by her mother, Violet. They walk towards the Queen and bow. The Queen stands up and touches Daphne’s face while telling her that she’s flawless. The Queen then kisses her on the forehead. A look of pride is seen on Anthony’s face.
Lady Whistledown’s society papers get distributed the following day across town. Daphne is still beaming for being called flawless by the Queen, and Eloise reads a copy of the society paper. Daphne tells Eloise that her success in the marriage mart will influence theirs and that they will all need to find love one day, and she hopes that they might find one as pure as what their parents have shared.
Violet barges into the room and announces that the girls’ dresses have arrived. She excitedly shows Daphne a dress in the same shade as Mary Edgecomb wore last time, which got her three offers the day after her presentation. Eloise then tells them that Mary Edgecomb is now miserable, according to Lady Whistledown.
Violet tells her to stop reading scandal sheets, but Eloise tells her that Lady Whistledown lists subjects by name. Daphne gets a hold of the paper and reads that Lady Whistledown loathes that the Bridgerton siblings were named alphabetically. Violet and Daphne gasp as they read that Lady Whistledown has named Daphne the season’s Incomparable and calls her a diamond of the first water.
Meanwhile, Portia reads the same paper and tells Lady Cowper that she won’t be surprised if Lady Whistledown is revealed to be Violet. She writes about the Bridgertons with much indulgence. Lady Cowper tells her that the papers report nothing but the truth. She further tells her that Daphne has bloomed exquisitely, and it would be good for the other ladies if she gets taken off the market soon. Portia tells her daughters to get settled as they wait for their guest’s arrival, Marina. She is a distant cousin of the Baron, and she will be under Portia’s care for the season because she has no close female relative to sponsor her debut.
Penelope takes the opportunity to try and convince Portia to delay her debut a year like what Violet did to Eloise. Portia tells her no, but Lady Cowper tells her that she might want to reconsider because the competition might get unimaginable with the cousin in the mix. Portia begs to differ, as she says that Marina will not be much of a competition because she hails from a farm with a 4-figure dowry, and they can only hope that she is more presentable than the animals she tends to.
Marina arrives, and everyone but Penelope gets speechless. She is beautiful.
Simon arrives in town and goes straight to Lady Danbury, who offers him her condolences for the passing of his father. She invites him to the ball she’s hosting that night, but he tells her that she is only in town to arrange his late father’s affairs and that he has no time to socialize. Lady Danbury disagrees with this, so he says he’ll make a brief appearance.
Anthony goes to the opera to see Siena, an opera singer and the girl he had sex with earlier. They have sex again until Anthony has to leave so he can chaperone his sister to the Danbury ball. She asks what the events Daphne has to go to are like. He tells her she wouldn’t like them because they are all about lavishly-dressed eligible ladies with blood-thirsty mamas and wary fathers making arrangements for only the most advantageous of matches. He tells her that since their father passed away, the responsibility of matching Daphne has fallen to him. He also tells her he must protect Daphne’s virtue from any defilement. Siena tells him that Daphne is lucky because not every woman has that kind of protection. Anthony assures her that he will protect her too.
Lady Danbury’s ball is the season’s opening ball where people might discover which young ladies will be able to find themselves a match. Penelope eyes Colin, who is dancing with a woman.
Daphne arrives with Violet and Anthony, and everyone looks at them. Lord Ambrose approaches Daphne, but before he can ask her to dance, Anthony sends him away by mentioning his debts in their betting books. Anthony roams the room with Daphne, and he badmouths every man showing interest in Daphne. They see Benedict and Colin at the ball, and Colin asks them if their mother has already told them that he’s starting a tour in Greece. When they see Lady Danbury approaching, all the men turn around. However, Lady Danbury tells them it’s too late for them to avoid her. They all bow in respect for the Lady. She tells Daphne she looks lovely and asks why she hasn’t danced yet. Anthony tells her that she’ll dance in due time.
Colin sees Marina dancing and asks Benedict about her. He tells Colin he hasn’t seen her before. Colin approaches Marina’s group, and Lady Cowper quickly points this out to Lady Featherington. She tells her that the Featherington House will be a hive of suitors in the morning because where one suitor goes, the rest follows.
Simon makes an appearance, and the mothers of the ladies quickly notice him and swarm around him to introduce their daughters.
Daphne and Anthony stand in the distance. When Daphne excuses herself to get a drink, she’s approached by Lord Berbrooke, who tells her that she has always amused him since he was a schoolboy. Daphne tells him she might be just five years old by that time. She pretends to hear her brother summon her in the hopes of getting away from him. He goes after her while she tries her best to get back to Anthony. She bumps into Simon and apologizes. Seeing that Lord Berbrooke is coming toward her, she tries to engage in a conversation with Simon. She asks him his name, but Simon tells her he doesn’t believe that she doesn’t know his name. She accuses her of wanting to get an introduction with him. Daphne gets enraged by this and tries to tell him that she isn’t trying to do anything but escape Lord Berbrooke.
Anthony calls out to Simon using his last name, Basset. The two shake hands, and Anthony tells him that he should start calling him the Duke of Hastings instead of Basset. Anthony introduces Daphne to Simon and tells her that they know each other from Oxford. He invites Simon to their club.
Anthony drags Daphne across the dance floor, but Violet stops them and tells Daphne that Lord Wetherby wants to dance with her. Daphne gets delighted by this, but Anthony tells her that it’s time to go. Violet insists on Daphne staying with her. When Daphne agrees to stay, Anthony tells her that the best thing to do is not to dance but to leave everyone wanting more. He assures her that he knows how those things work. Daphne tells Violet that Anthony might be right, and they leave.
The next morning, Daphne was excited to receive suitors, but only one came, which Anthony has managed to drive away. Meanwhile, at the Featherington House, suitors flock to see Marina, much to Portia’s disappointment.
Lady Whistledown writes that the Queen might want to reconsider the high praise she has given to Daphne because an even rarer jewel, Marina, seems to be more deserving. She also writes that Lady Featherington must be overjoyed, given that the true Incomparable is living under her roof.
Eloise asks her mother and sisters if they have read what Lady Whistledown has written lately. Daphne tells her mother that perhaps it would be better if Anthony won’t go with them to the upcoming events, but Violet tells her that he has managed their calendar for the whole season. A caller comes for Daphne, and much to her dismay, it is Lord Berbrooke. This happens just as another batch of callers bid goodbye to Marina at the Featherington House.
While on a morning ride, Daphne confronts Anthony for driving away everyone who shows interest in her. He tells her that he’s just protecting her because it’s his duty. Daphne tells him he has no idea how it is to feel like she will have no value if she cannot find a husband. He tells her that is not true because she is a Bridgerton, but Daphne tells him that it would be easier if she were not.
Lady Whistledown writes that mamas rejoice because the Duke of Hastings is still in town. However, she tells her readers that he has announced that he has no plans to marry.
While at the Bridgerton club, Anthony asks Simon if he has no plans to marry. He tells him that he wants the Hastings name to end with him. He then turns on Anthony and asks why he has no wife himself and if he plans to sleep with his mistress forever. Anthony tells him that he has brothers who can sire an heir for their name, something that Simon doesn’t have.
Lady Whistledown writes that Colin is trying to woo Marina while Lord Berbrooke is Daphne’s most persistent suitor.
At the opera, Daphne arrives with her mother. When she sees Lord Berbrooke, she quickly calls for Violet so they can proceed to their box. They get stopped when Lady Danbury asks them to join her in her box. She is talking to the Queen, so Daphne and Violet curtsy. The Queen tells them that Daphne has made quite an impression, however fleeting it might be.
While Siena sings, Lady Danbury and Violet talk about the things that Lady Whistledown is writing. They agree that the writer damages both Simon and Daphne’s reputations because what she’s writing is not true. To solve the problem, Lady Danbury and Violet agree to have Simon come to dinner at the Bridgerton House so they can give Lady Whistledown something to write about.
Over dinner, the Bridgertons talk about who Lady Whistledown might be. Violet tells Simon he should join them more often. Simon tells Daphne that she looks displeased when she should be happy that they are seated beside each other. She tells him that she is not interested in him because he’s a rake. He tells her that she’s chaste, neat, and desperate to marry.
Anthony tells Simon that it is very spontaneous of him to join them at dinner. Still, Simon tells him that he couldn’t have declined when Lady Danbury accepted Violet’s invitation on his behalf.
Before going to bed, Violet comes to Anthony’s office. He tells her that the matchmaking scheme she had with Lady Danbury will not work because Simon has no intention of marrying. He adds that Daphne deserves better. She tells her that Simon will be their guest at the Vauxhall the next day. Anthony tells her that she is overstepping because Daphne is his responsibility. She then confronts Anthony about his relationship with Siena and how he relies on his brothers to do the job that he cannot. She tells him that Daphne is terrified of the life that awaits her should he continue to get in her way. She insults him and tells him that if his father were alive, he would have already found a match for Daphne – so he must ask himself if he is an older brother or the man of the house.
The next morning, Anthony breaks up with Siena.
At the Vauxhall, Colin approaches Pen and asks for Marina. She tells him that she’s ill and that Portia has to stay with her. Miss Cowper comes to Colin and asks him to dance with her while spilling a drink on Pen’s dress. Colin tells her he cannot dance with her because he has to escort Pen to the floor. They proceed to the dance floor and dance away.
Simon arrives, and some guests tell him that he looks like his father. When the host announces an extraordinary event is taking place, Simon takes the opportunity to walk away from the crowd. Daphne watches as hundreds of bulbs light up the hall. Anthony approaches Daphne and tells her that she will marry Lord Berbrooke because his barony is over a hundred years old, and his lineage is legitimate. Daphne refuses to listen and walks away.
At the Featherington House, Portia confronts Marina because it has been over a month since she came, but she has not bled yet. Portia tells her that she couldn’t be happy that Marina would be gone because her daughters might be affected by the news. Marina begs her not to tell his father about the pregnancy. She tells Portia that she will never understand her because she is not like them, so out of touch, so superior. Portia slaps her.
Daphne paces back and forth in a secluded spot in the garden, contemplating what Anthony has just told her. Nigel or Lord Berbrooke finds her and talks about being her husband. She tells him that he will never be her husband and that she will never marry him. She claims that her brother made a mistake and that he should leave. Nigel tells her that he’s her only hope because no one wants her. He grabs her, and when she tells him to stop, she catches the attention of Simon, who comes to her rescue. Before Simon can even defend Daphne, she punches Nigel, and he falls to the ground.
Simon tells her he’s impressed with what she’s done. Daphne realizes that she’s alone with two men, so she tells him she must leave. Nigel awakens and asks Daphne to marry him. Simon tells her she should not be marrying him, but Daphne tells him that if she cannot secure another offer, there will be no alternative. He tells her that he knows what Lady Whistledown has written about Daphne and that he hates the author just the same for provoking ambitious mamas to go after him.
Daphne tells him they should part ways and walk on opposite paths. However, Simon tells her that he might have a solution for both their problems. He suggests that they pretend to form an attachment so that every mama will think that he has found his duchess, while every man will be looking at her. He tells her this will prompt Lady Whistledown to write that he’s unavailable and that Daphne is desirable.
They walked to the dance floor together, and indeed, everyone was looking at them. They dance together as Anthony, Violet, and Lady Danbury observe them from a distance.
Whew, the first episode of this series is certainly promising. There are lots of characters to watch out for, and the events in this episode alone tell us that we are in for quite a ride. The old-school setting of this series is quite refreshing, and the modern touch of the music being played throughout made it even better. We are excited to see how the agreement between Daphne and Simon plays out, but we are pretty nervous about how the pregnancy will affect Marina’s future. We are worried about Lord Berbrooke, and we are curious if Daphne can still get out of the arrangement Anthony made for her marriage. We certainly hope she does not end up with Nigel; that is just so sad!