Did you miss us? Bridgerton season 2 is here and we’re back to analyzing our favorite characters. As we can never get enough of the Bridgerton family, you have already read our reviews from the point of view of a reader, now we ask you to join us in the review from the perspective of a non-reader. It’s time to break down Bridgerton 2×02 “Off to the Races.” Ready?
Bridgerton 2×02 “Off to the Races” continues in the footsteps of the previous episode and is no longer just about duty, but about what we are willing to do to fulfill that duty. What are we willing to risk?
THE FAIRY TALE AND THE LIES
Anthony Bridgerton is clear that he’s willing to risk everything for his duty, even his heart. In Bridgerton 2×02 “Off to the Races,” he continues with his idea of looking for a wife with his head while he forgets about his heart and protects it with a thousand layers of ice so he can feel…nothing.
He feels that he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and, to a large extent, this is true because he carries the weight of his surname and his family and believes that he must sacrifice himself for them and fulfill his duty. We keep wondering why. Why does Anthony have this worldview where feelings are a weakness that will keep him from fulfilling his duty to his family?
Precisely that lack of feelings, or the inclination to have them later, is one of the reasons why Kate doesn’t want Anthony near her sister. She heard him and knows that he has no intention of letting love into his marriage, not now, not ever. He is not open to falling in love and while it’s true that loveless marriages are common, Kate wants something better for her sister. She deserves better. She deserves the fairy tale… but Anthony Bridgerton will never be her prince… or anyone’s prince.
Not even hers. Because a part of Kate, against her better judgment, doesn’t want her sister near this man who drives her crazy…in every way, even if she can’t admit it to herself.
But if anything, Viscount Bridgerton is stubborn…and he decides to go to the horse races in Bridgerton 2×02 “Off to the Races.” As soon as his gaze meets Kate’s, sparks fly, there’s fire all over the place and we just love the way they challenge each other, the way neither one is willing to lose or give an iota and how, almost without realizing it, their eyes are hooked.
There is a magnet that inevitably attracts them and when Kate walks into a room, Anthony’s gaze is directed towards her and vice versa. They steal the scene just by their presence, they steal each other’s breath and neither of them can recognize it…yet.
It’s like something that is there and neither of them dares to say because their duty means they can’t get carried away by whatever is between them every time they see each other. But that competitiveness, that challenge between them, that electricity… soon ends abruptly because Anthony messes up again, in Bridgerton 2×02 “Off to the Races.” The plan in his head was great for sure but, in reality, what he did is disrespect Kate and yeah, disappoint her.
Kate lived her whole life for her sister, she never had a life of her own, she sacrificed everything for her sister, including her wishes and her hopes. So she resigned herself to the fact that no one, especially a Lord, would pay attention to her. They always wanted her sister and that was fine because that’s what she chose.
But then this young man, Thomas, comes along, and for the first time, he doesn’t want anything to do with Edwina, he wants to spend time with her. It’s the first time that someone is interested in her, takes her into account, and sees her.
It’s the first time that someone looks at her. And Kate is happy about it. She chose to sacrifice her life for her sister but she likes to feel desired, although Kate knows that it is not destined to go anywhere.
But then that fantasy is broken and it turns out that the first man who was interested in her without ulterior motives… did have ulterior motives. And Kate, despite herself, is disappointed. Again, it’s her sister, not hers. And… Anthony is the vilest man she has ever had the misfortune to meet.
She never thought that he would be cruel enough to play with her feelings in such away. When Kate thinks Anthony can’t let her down anymore, when she almost begins to enjoy the challenge of being in his company…he does something that, against her better judgment, hurts her.
And she can’t stand it. She can’t stand him or how he makes her feel. And she is not willing to forgive him for it. And Anthony, wait, he also doesn’t want to catch on to the fact that Kate Sharma attracts him in a way that goes far beyond the simply physical.
Sparks fly between Kathony again in Bridgerton 2×02 “Off to the Races” when Anthony gets the wrong gift. Edwina is not like Kate and she doesn’t like horses at all.
This author wonders, who was Anthony thinking when he decided to buy that horse? If Anthony had paid attention to Edwina during the race, he would realize that she wasn’t enjoying it. But Anthony’s eyes were on Kate all the time and she enjoyed that race very much, just like him. Both have much more in common than they are willing to admit.
Kate is passionate…in every way, including when she’s dotting Anthony’s i’s and that’s one of the many reasons we love her. Kate knows men like him, who are willing to do anything to get what they want. What she doesn’t realize is that they also have that in common.
Kate doesn’t want an empty life for Edwina, and empty life is just what Anthony offers her. Her marriage to him would be a marriage without love, without true happiness, peaceful perhaps, quiet for sure, but not full. Edwina deserves better. And we agree with that. But Anthony makes a point here when he berates Kate for not letting Edwina decide. It’s Edwina’s life that is being decided here, after all.
A fulfilling marriage full of love, challenges, and passion is what Kate’s heart yearns for her sister… and for herself. Although it’s a longing, a secret desire, almost unspeakable, it’s what she wants. Because that means happiness. She decided to give up that longing at a young age but if she doesn’t have it, her sister must. Kate gave up everything for it. Edwina deserves it. They both do.
But the thing is, this is Kate’s idea of a perfect life, of a happy life, but what is Edwina’s idea of a happy life? Maybe it doesn’t match Kate’s…or maybe it does. Despite Kate’s good intentions, Anthony has a point in saying that the decision belongs to Edwina, not Kate, as much as that means Kate has to once again sacrifice something of hers: the wish that her sister is truly happy.
And this author feels that Kate Sharma is always being asked to make more and more sacrifices. She sacrificed her entire life for her sister… and now she must sacrifice her yearning for happiness. What else can Kate sacrifice without breaking down?
Luckily, we can count on Kate Sharma to fight for the real happiness of her sister in Bridgerton 2×02 “Off to the Races.” Anthony was too clear on his goal to marry without love and that is not acceptable to Kate, so she teaches Anthony a lesson by beating him at his own game of proms and ball gowns. Kate won a new battle…it’s Anthony’s turn to move. Of course, Lord Bridgerton can’t resist a good challenge from Miss Kate Sharma.
So Anthony tries to pretend to have feelings for Edwina, or at least be open to it, fighting to win this little competition he’s having with Kate but he just…can’t. So he decides to be honest. It’s a risky move because Edwina is an innocent young woman who dreams of her fairy tale and her charming prince…and that prince is telling her, right now, that he doesn’t have feelings for her. Edwina could have told him to go to hell, this author, like Kate, would have. But Edwina does the opposite and is willing to allow Anthony to court her.
And Kate can’t stand it. She can’t stand her sister sacrificing a happy life for someone who will never love her. Because Kate knows. She saw in Anthony’s eyes that love is not in his plans and that he will never feel it for her sister. She feels it in her bones. It’s a certainty, not a doubt, and Edwina doesn’t listen to her.
Kathony doesn’t realize it but the whole time, this whole scene has been a little competition with each other. Edwina and the courtship didn’t matter, it was a challenge, a war of wills between them. And the eyes never left each other’s, not until Kate disappeared from the room.
Kate is used to being alone, she always has been. But in Bridgerton 2×02 “Off to the Races” Lady Danbury is with her as Kate tries to convince herself that she still wants the life she planned before coming to London. The truth is that Kate decided to sacrifice herself for her sister and she did it with pleasure because the sacrifices for family are easy.
But London changed everything for Kate, even if she doesn’t want to admit it. Without realizing, Anthony is getting into her bones, a constant reminder of the love and happiness that she will never have. And, somehow, everything is the same and everything is different at the same time.
Lady Danbury knows that she lies, no one wants to be alone, not really. Living without love is not living, it’s just passing through life without anything or anyone touching you and leaving a mark on you. Love hurts many more times than it doesn’t but it makes you feel like you’re living.
This is another point that Kathony has in common: they both run away from feelings and love, fighting to the point of exhaustion to enclose their hearts and not feel it. But that’s not life, it’s just…emptiness. And it was fine until now, but now they both yearn for…more and they are determined to fight against it. The question is: how long will they hold?
“YOU DON’T COUNT”
Our Polin heart suffered a lot in Bridgerton 2×02 “Off to the Races.” It all starts with hope. Colin finally returns from his long trip and Penelope is the first to see him, she wants to hug him and, when he sees her, his eyes light up and that says much more than any word Colin could say. You can feel that sparkle in his eyes and how glad he is to see her, how he longed to see her again.
Colin takes a deep breath when he first sees her, he does it without noticing it, it’s as if he lets out a breath that he didn’t know he was holding. But the moment passes when the Bridgerton family begins to greet Colin and this author yells “why!?” to her screen.
The next meeting is… different. Colin doesn’t realize it, but when he’s talking to Penelope, his voice softens and his gaze can’t leave her. But everything spirals out of control when Penelope misunderstands Colin’s words. She believed that he had been alone on his trip and now that he is back there, next to her, maybe…something could happen between them. But when Colin hints that he wasn’t alone, Penelope jumps to conclusions.
Of course, he met another woman. How could he not? How could he not find a beautiful woman? Penelope curses herself and her hope that Colin would realize that she was right there, in love with him for years. And just when everything is about to become clear, Eloise interrupts them and I never thought that I could curse her appearance but that’s what I did here.
Luck is on Polin’s side in Bridgerton 2×02 “Off to the Races” and they meet again at the ball. Colin clears up the earlier misunderstanding, and for a moment, Penelope felt that hope bloom in her heart again. If Colin isn’t engaged to anyone and he’s right there, talking to her and looking at her like that…it might mean something. Especially when he values her opinion of him so highly. Maybe this is their time. But Colin dashes her hopes when he says that the last thing on his mind is women and romance.
Penelope decides to take a chance because if that’s true, why is he looking for her? At this moment Colin breaks Penelope’s heart. You can feel the moment when it’s torn to pieces. “You don’t count.”
This author is aware that Colin had no intention of saying anything malicious or downright cruel. He just wanted to acknowledge the fact that she is his friend and he doesn’t see her that way— or he doesn’t want to realize that, maybe, she is something more to him, as this author thinks.
But those words, just those words, hurt like hell and are like a knife to Penelope’s heart. Because she doesn’t count for anything or anyone. She doesn’t count for her family, who barely register her presence, and when they do, it’s always to humiliate her. Penelope doesn’t count for high society either, who considers her the forgotten vase, the ugly one at the ball, the spinster nobody sees.
But Colin… Colin was the only person besides Eloise that she thought she counted for. Colin was the only one she felt cared about her. Colin was the only one who saw her. But he doesn’t. She is nobody to him. And that will never change.
That destroys Penelope because all her illusions suddenly collapse. It’s time for her to start forgetting her dreams with Colin and living in reality. In her reality.
And this author doesn’t mind confessing that she feels like smothering Colin Bridgerton with a pillow because Penelope counts. And if he can’t see it, he can go to hell.
DETECTIVE ELOISE BRIDGERTON
Eloise is hell-bent on finding out the identity of Lady Whistledown in Bridgerton 2×02 “Off to the Races” and that brings its problems…because it ends with Penelope being discovered by Genevieve. What will she do now? Lady Whistledown is the only thing Penelope has, it’s a part of her, and Genevieve can put an end to that. Genevieve wasn’t particularly cruel like the ladies of high society, but she might see an advantage here and we’re not sure that would be good for Penelope.
On the other hand, we’re intrigued by this boy that Eloise meets. Of course, at first, he takes her as just another high-society woman, but when he realizes that she is not like that, he likes her… and stimulates her rebelliousness and her activism. We like that because it’s so easy these days for men to feel threatened by women like Eloise, Penelope, or Kate…
Other Stuff In Bridgerton 2×02 “Off to the Races”
- The Queen is manipulating Edwina to find out the identity of Lady Whistledown. We can’t say that she surprises us… but it worries us.
- Kate and Eloise’s sister-in-law’s moment is one of the highlights of this episode!
- The scene where Edwina sincerely compliments Penelope and her dress and she thinks Edwina is making fun of her because she’s too used to everyone doing it brought tears to my eyes.
Time to say goodbye, for now, dear reader, stay tuned for tomorrow to enjoy a new edition of our Bridgerton season 2 reviews from the perspective of a non-reader.