What is ‘Bridgerton?’ An episode-by-episode guide to the TikTok trend

The Netflix original series Bridgerton has gained international love and praise, even becoming a social media phenomenon on apps like Tiktok.

Determined to know what all the fuss is about, my best friend Morgan and I spent our first weekend back on campus in my apartment, surrounding ourselves with junk food and blankets.

The following article documents our experience watching the show and contains spoilers.

Characters Mentioned in this Article

Daphne Bridgerton: A lady entering her first season of courting as a debutant, newly out to society

Simon: The Duke of Hastings, and a man of great intrigue amongst young ladies.

Lord Berbrooke: One of Daphne’s suitors, who does not know the meaning of the word “boundaries.”

Penelope Featherington: Another debutant, and best friend to Daphne’s younger sister Eloise

Antony Bridgerton: Daphne’s eldest brother.

Colin Bridgerton: The third born son of the Bridgertons.

Lady Whistledown: The author of an infamous gossip magazine popular in society.

Episode One | Diamond of the First Water

Like many historical dramas based in this period, Bridgerton opens with the inescapable issue of marriage.

Daphne is cornered by Lord Berbrooke. Simon runs to her aide and the ruse of attachment begins.

“We know how this goes,” Morgan says. “You both are going to catch feelings.”

Of course, the fireworks blazing behind them cannot merely be for visual effect.

Episode Two | Shock and Delight

I would like to claim that we were not immediately enthralled like the countless others who have watched Bridgeton. I would like to say that we did not break out the chips and dip and immediately settle onto the couch to find out just how far Daphne and Simon would go to carry on their ruse. But that would be a lie, and binge-watching Netflix is socially acceptable these days, so I won’t deny it.

“He just caught feelings. He broke first,” Morgan exclaimed, as Simon revealed the actions of Lord Berbrooke to Antony.

And, as we have both observed, the flirting begins.

Episode Three | Art of the Swoon

As we continued, Morgan and I found ourselves admitting to far more interest in the show than we had previously anticipated. It should also be noted that we had scarcely looked at our phones without pausing and were constantly talking at the screen as though the characters could hear us.

“You know this show would be over in two episodes if they weren’t so stubbornly refusing to admit that they’re only playing themselves.” We remarked on this and the like throughout their time in the gallery.

The tension grows between Daphne and Simon, and as does the pressure to “put a ring on it.”The fool, of course, destroys their friendship, and aptly ignores the protests from those of us on our couch.

Episode Four | An Affair of Honor

The Prince’s proposal causes Daphne to confess the ruse to her mother. She is totally and completely lying about it being unreal and we both were on the verge of tears. Daphne’s mother has absolutely seen through this.

The ball is a dance of subplots, with Antony enthralled by his opera singer, Colin with Miss Thompson, and Daphne confronts the Duke outside. Meanwhile, the second son is being an artist.

“Go kiss her! Right now!” Morgan exclaimed.

“Finally!” I concurred as he did just that.

Episode Five | The Duke and I

The stress radiating from Daphne is contagious, and the Duke really needs to get himself together. He’s an absolute mess.

Both the speech to the Queen and the one during the honeymoon were wonderful and now I’m crying. In Morgan’s words, “He really turned that ship around.”

Episode Six | Swish

Do you remember when someone got called to the office in high school and the entire class would collectively “ooooo?” Such was the sound when Colin was left alone with his mother.

The rest of the episode went without comment from either of us, as we leaned in and watched the drama unfold.

Episode Seven | Oceans Apart

Well now they’re both just being petty, and Simon’s behavior continues to be a thorn in our side.

This is quickly resolved – or not. Apparently, Simon is more stubborn than I realized and my brief liking of him is now pulled into question.

Daphne has a habit of running to gardens when she is distressed, doesn’t she?

Episode Eight | After the Rain

This episode is a whirlwind. So much happened that I cannot begin to describe it all. Lord Featherington is dead, and we finally learn the identity of the infamous Lady Whistledown.

It’s Penelope! Honestly, I had my list of suspects, but I was certain it was a tradesperson by Eloise’s theories. This means that Penelope was the one to publish the information about Marina Thompson’s condition. Some friend she is.

I am, of course, getting ahead of myself. The ball thrown by the Duke and Duchess of Hasting is beautiful, with an even more satisfying ending. We knew that they were going to work things out for themselves, but the rain was a nice touch.

The ending was also a nice close, with the birth of their heir.

Final Thoughts

Despite my initial apprehension about liking the show, I must say that it was well worth the time spent watching. If you like period dramas, then this is definitely the show for you.

It took a total of two days, a good friend, and a coffee table full of snacks, but I can officially say that I am no longer ignorant of why Bridgerton carries the hype it does.