The Bridgerton hype is real, though there’s no surprise there. With so few rom coms making their way to the big screen, the hopeless romantics of the world have had to turn their attention elsewhere—specifically Netflix, where season 2 of the beloved Shondaland show finally dropped.
This season, it was the Viscount Anthony Bridgerton’s turn to fall in love—though not willingly, of course. Though he planned to marry the lovely Edwina Sharma—who ticked all his boxes of what an acceptable wife should be—he instead found himself falling in love with her stubborn, clever, and fiery older sister. Cue the fireworks!
But though this season brought us some pretty unforgettable moments—such as “Do you think there is a corner of this earth that you could travel to far away enough to free me from this torment?” and “You’re the bane of my existence and the object of all my desires”—there were plenty of swoonworthy scenes that have gone overlooked in favor of some of the more hot and heavy moments.
Let’s begin, shall we?
1. When Edwina made Kate tell Anthony about her bee sting—and it was obvious the memory had been haunting them both.
None of us will ever forget the infamous bee sting moment, where Anthony panicked that Kate was harmed and the two finally realized their strong attraction to one another. But they also share a small moment later that seals the deal for them. Though they initially avoid one another after the encounter, Edwina calls Kate over to speak with Anthony and encourages her to tell him about how she had been stung by a bee (unaware that Anthony had been with her at the time). “I got stung,” she tells him, to which he replies, “Ah.” After a moment, she adds, “I am well,” and his next “Ah” is so quiet it’s practically a sigh. His eyes then flash to the area on her collarbone where she had been stung, clearly affected by the memory (as we all are, really) and relieved she is safe.
2. When Anthony asked Kate if he should reconsider his proposal to her sister.
Even though Anthony seems set on marrying Edwina despite his obvious affections for Kate, there is a moment early on where he falters. After his first botched proposal at Aubrey Hall, he and Kate share a dance so that she can give him her blessing for the union between him and her sister. “Can you make her happy?” she asks him, and when he doesn’t respond, she says, “If your silence is any indication you are reconsidering your declaration—” He immediately cuts her off, asking, “Is that what you want? For me to reconsider?” Though Kate claims her opinion doesn’t matter, Anthony clearly doesn’t agree. Though the moment is ruined when Kate tells him she’s leaving for India, it’s clear that in that moment, Anthony was already ready to risk it all for her—if only he’d been given a better chance.
3. The fact that they couldn’t even finish sentences when they’re around one another.
You know the tension is off the charts when they struggle to speak around one another. And we’re not talking about nervousness—they simply just lose their words. For instance, when they’re close enough to kiss and Kate reminds him, “Your heart is with my sister,” he repeats, “My heart is with your sis—” but the rest of the word doesn’t come out. There are also several times where Kate can’t completely finish her thoughts because, before she has the chance, she kisses Anthony passionately, such as at the very end when the two confess their love and Anthony says, “It seems the two of us are finally seeing eye-to-eye on something.” Kate means to reply, “I suppose we are,” but kisses him before it fully comes out. Gotta love a couple who leave each other speechless!
4. When Anthony stood up to the Sheffields.
Kate’s stepmother’s parents are… pretty terrible, to say the least. When they join the family for dinner, Mrs. Sheffield immediately begins insulting Mary for her life choices and even drags Kate into the fire and insults her parentage. Anthony carefully watches Kate’s pained reaction, and even when it’s revealed that Kate purposely wanted her sister to marry English nobility, he still cuts off Mrs. Sheffield when she turns to attack Kate specifically. He’s clearly upset with Kate, but we still love a man who will stand up for his woman, even if he feels he’s been wronged by her.
5. Anthony’s disbelief that Kate won’t talk about the kiss.
After their first kiss (you know, the one that immediately followed Anthony and Edwina’s doomed wedding), both the Bridgertons and the Sharmas agree that, while the families should spend time together to squash any rumors of scandal, Kate and Anthony absolutely must stay separated to avoid rumors. That only works for so long, though, because Anthony almost immediately seeks her out at the art museum and tries to talk to her about the kiss, then seems shocked when she denies it ever happened (despite him constantly denying their sexual tension earlier in the season). This perhaps signifies the first time Anthony’s tune has suddenly changed—not only has he finally given in to his desire for her, but he’s no longer willing to deny it. Truly the first step to admitting his love for her.
6. Anthony’s “It’s maddening how much you consume my very being.”
Fun fact: Simon’s “burn for you” line from the first season is actually lifted from Anthony’s novel in the book series. This seems like a good nod to that, though, and he takes it a step further when he tells Kate that even though his life is in shambles and he marred the Bridgerton name (one of his greatest fears come true, as evidenced through both seasons), all he can think about (and breathe for) is her. “Do you think I want to be in this position?” he asks her. “Contending with these thoughts of wanting to be nowhere except for with you. Wanting to run away with you. Of acting on the most impure, forbidden desires, no matter how much I remind myself I am a gentleman and you are a lady.” Sir, please! Now I can’t breathe at all!
7. Anthony and Kate’s shared understanding of familial duty and trauma.
When Daphne said Anthony should end up with someone more like him, she was certainly hinting at Kate, who felt the same sense of responsibility to her mother and sister after her father passed away. Both of them wanted what was best for their families, even when it meant sacrificing everything for them—and they both felt deeply robbed by the losses they suffered in the past, even if they tried to hide how much it truly affected them. Some of the best scenes in this season were the quiet ones when it was obvious the two of them had found a kindred spirit that understood them in a way seemingly no one else in their life did—and how significant it truly felt to them. (One particularly striking scene is in the garden, before they kiss, Kate tells him, “I came here resolved to save my family. Everything I have ever done—” and Anthony finishes her sentence knowingly: “has been for them.”) Love is often about finding someone who is willing to share the weight of the world with you, and for Kate and Anthony, this is a second nature to them both.
8. Anthony telling Kate he’ll stop after passionately kissing her.
…and Kate’s empathic response: “Do. Not. Stop.” Look, consent is so sexy, and the way Anthony goes about it is great. He makes it clear he will stick with whatever boundaries make Kate the most comfortable (even if it may feel maddening to him in the moment). The fact that Kate is the one one who got to make the call made it all the better, especially because it showed how much Anthony really cared about what she wanted and what would make her happy—and showed that Kate is just as madly attracted to him as he is to her.
9. When Anthony said he didn’t want their first time together “to happen like that.”
It’s clear from Kate’s point of view that when he says this before proposing to her, she believes he means that he regretted being with her and now felt the obligation to marry her. However, this line seems to be a bit of an Easter egg from Anthony’s book in the series, where he nearly sleeps with Kate in the garden at Aubrey Hall but stops himself because he has too much respect for her to have their first time be, you know, in a garden. It’s clear that Anthony means the same thing here—it isn’t that he regrets being with her, he regrets that he was so quick to give into temptation that he didn’t give her the experience he thought she deserved as a lady. He thought he should have waited for her, because by that point in time, it’s clear he wants nothing more than to be with her—not out of obligation, but purely out of love. Within that context, his otherwise dry proposal to Kate doesn’t seem quite as unromantic as it may come off as.
10. During their final dance, when everyone is scandalized enough to leave the dance floor—but Anthony tells Kate to ignore the attention, because “No one else matters.”
This is a pretty big moment of growth for Anthony, who, before that moment, seemed to live his life solely around what he believed people wanted and needed from him. He spent most of the season truly believing that what he wanted didn’t matter—and, by extension of that, that Kate didn’t matter. By the end of the season, though, he finally realizes that she’s the only thing that matters to him.
11. When Kate called Anthony by his first name.
Look, it was an easy moment to overlook, especially with so much drama unfurling around the couple. But when Anthony met with Kate in the woods to tell her that he was calling off his engagement with her sister, Kate, fresh from the realization that Edwina was in love with the viscount, begged him to reconsider. “Please, Lord Bridgerton,” she pleads, followed by, “Anthony.” It’s clear that her use of his real name rattles him—especially since, in their society, first names were only used with people you were intimately familiar with. It was because she chose to address him this way that he could not refuse her request—even if he knew it was breaking both of their hearts.
12. … And when Anthony used Kate’s full name.
Not only does Anthony call her “Kate” when she’s thrown from the horse (again, the name thing is a big deal!) but he actually uses her entire name after he confesses his love to her at the end: Kathani Sharma. This is a particularly nice touch, especially since everyone else referred to her using her very anglicized nickname. The fact that Kate’s family ran away to India is a big point of contention in the show, and I see this as a subtle nod from Anthony that her upbringing isn’t something he sees as a bad thing—and that he treasures her for exactly who she is.