It’s no surprise that Bridgerton season 2 has become such a pop culture phenomenon. There’s just so much to love—the drama, the sexual tension, the angst, not to mention forbidden love and an enemies to lovers trope. This season is slow burn in the very best way.
But Kate and Anthony’s romance is more than just longing looks and secret touches. It’s also a story about trauma, class, and what it means to put others first—even when that means you’re always second best. It’s a story about what it means to be chosen, especially when you never expected to be.
Miss Kate Sharma is truly the embodiment of all these themes. She is beautiful, intelligent, and interesting—all traits that don’t seem to matter much in the context of her society, where she is penniless, parentless, and lacking noble blood. Throughout the season, Kate takes on the role of Edwina’s mentor, determined that her sister have only the best—in part because she knew she could not have it for herself.
Because in the context of Kate’s society, she knows she’s not the first choice.
As TikToker Allyssa Ablon so keenly observed, Kate is fully aware that despite the obvious attraction between her and the viscount, the chances of them actually ending up together are slim to none. Even disregarding Anthony’s emotional guardedness and her sister’s infatuation, Kate is aware that, for most of the season, she’s not even an option that Anthony is considering—something made clear when Anthony tells her that once he breaks off the engagement with Edwina, he and Kate will never have to cross paths again, and then again when he insists on going through with the wedding despite interrupting it for Kate.
Because Edwina was the diamond. She was the daughter of a noblewoman (even if she was outcasted) and the heiress to a fortune. She was the beautiful sister, the proper sister, the sweet sister. She fit every one of Anthony’s requirements for the perfect wife. She was everything society wanted her to be—and everything Kate was not. And though Kate loved Edwina dearly and never held it against her, it did change the way she viewed herself. She didn’t see herself deserving of the love she wanted for Edwina. She didn’t see herself as the one Anthony Bridgerton might actually want to marry.
And so because of that, she chose to push Anthony away—in part to protect her sister’s heart, and in part to protect her own.
But it’s this knowledge that makes their eventual union all the more beautiful—because despite everything Anthony has been told he should want and should do, he chose Kate anyway.
So many of us know what it feels like to be the less desirable one in the room. To be the person who is lusted after but never fully loved. To be the person who doesn’t fit someone else’s requirements on paper—and who, because of that, is never seen as good enough. So many of us know what it means to always be the second choice.
That’s why this season is so special to so many people—not just because of the romance or the longing or even the heartthrob that is Anthony Bridgerton, but because it shows a woman who believes she’s not worthy of love absolutely getting the love she deserves. It shows the woman who’s used to being second best finally becoming the first choice. It shows that love can be more powerful than class or societal obligations or the other’s expectations of others—or our own. Sometimes the person who always feels less than does get to be the chosen one.
And when Anthony so tenderly uses Kate’s full name at the end of the season—Kathani Sharma—it’s proof that he loves her for exactly who she is. He doesn’t see her upbringing (which the rest of polite society is scandalized by) as a bad thing but just another beautiful part of her. She is not someone he should love, and not someone people expect him to love. She is, quite simply, someone he loves.