Saturday, December 26, 2020

REVIEW: 'Bridgerton' - A Proposal and a Kiss Have Life-Altering Consequences for Daphne in 'An Affair of Honor'

Netflix's Bridgerton - Episode 1.04 "An Affair of Honor"

Daphne receives a stunning gift from Prince Friedrich but soon courts scandal at a ball. Eloise searches for clues to Lady Whistledown's identity.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Bridgerton.

"An Affair of Honor" was written by Abby McDonald and directed by Sheree Folkson

So many people are willing to accept less than they deserve because of a sense of obligation or personal responsibility to something greater. Daphne believes she should be perfectly content to marry a prince. It's the best possible outcome she could have expected when searching for a husband. People note that it would be her climbing up in rank and bringing her entire family with her. She would be elevated to a princess. Someone who would attend royal gatherings regularly. Moreover, the prince's vision of the future lines up perfectly with what Daphne has always wanted. She wants to raise a loving and large family in England. She doesn't want to give up any of this. And yet, her passion doesn't reside in this bond. The prince is quick to propose. But she is terrified to accept. She feels the weight of this pressure. She should be happy. She isn't though. She can't get Simon out of her mind. She sees him whenever she starts worrying about the weight of this decision. Her mother certainly encourages those thoughts. She notices that her daughter isn't as enthralled with the prince as everyone assumes that she is. She too believes in keeping hope alive that things will work out with the Duke. That forces Daphne to break down and confess what her relationship with Simon truly was. It was all a ruse. Feelings did eventually develop. That's why she is heartbroken right now. He is leaving town and declaring that their friendship was never real. That is devastating to her because she saw their bond as genuine. They brought things out of each other that expanded their worlds. They weren't fundamentally changing each other. They simply offered a different perspective that enhanced and added to everything they each already encompass. Daphne is absolutely holding any potential marriage to that high standard. She wants the best. That's what she always expected. It plays as a fairytale when Simon chases after her and confesses his romantic feelings for her as well. They disregard all of the rules of society in order to embrace each other as passionately as they can. A kiss is seen as scandalous though. It's incredibly insane. It's a boost of the male ego and pride as well. Anthony believes that he has to defend his sister's honor. In reality, he is simply trying to reassert his dominance over the family. A duel is illegal. And yet, it's an action he must take in order to ensure that the family is still treated with respect. Daphne's feelings on the matter aren't considered whatsoever. She is accustomed to being dismissed over and over again. She fights back though. She demands to have her voice heard. She needs to understand why Simon won't marry her even though he has these passionate feelings towards her. He doesn't give her the full truth either. He simply states that he wants to spare her from sacrificing all that she dreamed she'd have in a marriage. He proclaims that they won't have any children. She accepts that proposal anyway. She is willing to make that sacrifice. She does so with the understanding that her feelings for him are enough to dramatically change everything she has once known about the world. In reality, it's his pride and animosity towards his father that is preventing him from offering her a family. That is bound to create conflict. The two are engaged now. The families embrace that fully. They came to blows. A physical fight was used to make money in town. And then, a duel is used to present a battle for one's honor. These feats are important to entertain the male desire and expectations of the world. But the narrative continues to note that there is so much more that should be embraced as well. Sure, so many things are dire. People are willing to embrace so much of that to have just a glimmer of hope. Marina is excited by the prospect of Colin marrying her because it means she won't have to settle for an old man who won't ask questions about the timing of her pregnancy. She is too blinded by that to see how disappointed Penelope is because she has long had a crush on Colin. This burden is placed on so many at an increasingly young age as well. Penelope believes she has to act maturely because of her responsibilities. She can't embark on childish pursuits with Eloise that don't mean anything. She has to concern herself elsewhere. That shows just how selfish so many are in this world as well. People want to dictate the terms of how others should behave. Certain actions are acceptable while others highlight the depravity that is unbecoming to those of nobility. It's so much pressure. People can break from all of it. Things may be hopeful between Daphne and Simon. And yet, there are still too many concerns that they fail to be completely honest about. Daphne demands respect and compassion. She fails to get it from so many places. She has accepted that but still demands and deserves more. She makes her sacrifice. Now, only time will tell if others will do the same for her.