“Shock and Delight” steps up the drama and gives audiences an insight into Simon’s past.
This recap of Netflix’s Bridgerton season 1, episode 2, “Shock and Delight” contains significant spoilers.
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“Shock and Delight” opens up with a flashback of the Duchess of Hastings pushing out a baby. Her husband wants to know if it’s a boy. He keeps demanding to know. The baby is finally delivered, and it is a boy. Duchess of Hastings has lost loads of blood, but she tells Lady Danbury that she’s proud of providing a son. Duchess of Hastings dies, but the husband names the boy Simon. Bridgerton season 1, episode 2 is an origin story for Simon, showing how he was abandoned by a man who should have loved him.
The plan worked
In the present day, Lady Whistledown talks about the “Shock and Delight” from the Vauxhall Celebration. She is praiseful of Daphne and Simon. Meanwhile, Simon is waking up from sleeping with another woman. Daphne’s and Simon’s plan seems to have worked.
Anthony puts his foot down
With Daphne now desirable, she has more callers. Men are lining up to see her. Lord Berbrooke is furious at Anthony as he is the only one who has proposed. Anthony tells his mother that Simon doesn’t have the maturity for his sister and that Daphne will marry Lord Berbrooke. The mother reassures Daphne that the marriage will not happen and she knows that Simon is the one for her. It’s no surprise that the family does not want Daphne to marry Berbrooke — he looks like a toad.
A sparring session
Anthony confronts Simon in a sparring session about his sister Daphne. He tells him that Daphne is engaged to be married. Simon tells Anthony that Berbrooke is not suited for Daphne. Anthony raises the number of brothels that Simon has left — he feels betrayed by his best friend.
A horrible father
In a flashback, Simon’s father, the Duke of Hastings, is frustrated with his son as he cannot speak properly. He calls him an idiot. He’s worried about the Hastings lineage and states that his son is dead to him. These are harsh words that cut through Simon as his younger self cries; Bridgerton Episode 2 is demonstrating how he has become the man he is today.
How can you be pregnant?
Penelope Featherington asks Marina how she became pregnant without marriage. Marina talks about Sir George; how they exchanged letters and fell in love. Sir George is now fighting in a war, but he still sends letters. Penelope still seems confused about how a woman can be made pregnant without marriage.
An invitation to dinner
The Queen writes a letter to Lady Violet Bridgerton. She has been invited to a private dinner with her. This is evidently a high honor and there’s excitement in the room. Daphne’s success is opening up their privilege.
Lady Danbury tells a young Simon he can no longer hide
Flashbacks show Lady Danbury meeting Simon. She asks him why he is not in school. Simon states he cannot speak and stutters that sentence to her. Lady Danbury encourages Simon, telling him that he can no longer hide. Lady Danbury seems to be the real reason Simon grew into the man he is today.
Anthony finally fends off Lord Berbrooke
At a dance, Simon and Daphne continue plotting their “planned romance” to prying eyes. The pair seem to act like they don’t like being in each other’s presence but the audience will not buy that. As they dance, Lord Berbrooke looks on with a strange smirk on his face; he touches the bruise where Daphne punched him. Lord Berbrooke asks Anthony to resolve the misunderstanding and wants Simon to leave Daphne alone. Simon then tells Anthony that Lord Berbrooke tried to hurt his sister, which led to the bruise on his face. Anthony is furious and tells Lord Berbrooke to leave his sister alone.
An angry Simon and Daphne
Daphne is angry at Simon; she wants to stand up for herself and didn’t want him telling her brother about defending herself to Lord Berbrooke. After the dance, Lady Danbury tells Simon to not ruin his chances with Daphne. As Simon makes his way home, Lord Berbrooke tells him that he needs her and wonders if Simon has already slept with Daphne. He brings up Simon’s father and his lack of judgment; Simon turns around and repeatedly punches Lord Berbrooke. The man deserves it to be fair, the creep.
“You are my worst failure”
In a flashback, Lord Danbury introduces Simon to his father when he is a little older. His father is surprised that his speech has improved but calls him his “worst failure”. Lady Danbury reminds him that Simon will the best next Duke of Hastings. Simon asks his father if he received his letters but the father continues to offend his son.
Lord Berbrooke’s threat
At a social event, Daphne asks Simon to button her cuffs. She’s trying to look intimate in front of others. Simon tells Daphne that she wouldn’t marry her even if he had the chance. Afterward, Lord Berbrooke storms to the event with a license for marriage; Anthony reminds him that he isn’t marrying her. Lord Berbrooke states that his family and the Bridgerton’s will be unified. Lord Berbrooke threatens to spread the rumor that Daphne has been dishonored — essentially, already had sex. The Bridgerton family debate this after, and with Lord Berbrooke’s threat, Daphne feels she has no choice but to marry him.
Lady Violet Bridgerton tells Daphne that marriage has its pros, including feeling comfortable in an estate. Daphne explains how she wanted what her mother and father had, and she cries. Bridgerton season 1, episode 2 provides a somber moment, where arranged marriage, rather than true love, seems to be on the cards for Daphne — it’s a demonstration of old-fashioned beliefs.
The Queen’s invitation and meeting Lady Berbrooke
Lady Violet Bridgerton attends her private audience with the Queen. She seems very nervous around her and just agrees with her about everything. Afterward, Violet Bridgerton wants to invite Lady Berbrooke over for tea instantly.
Getting rid of Lord Berbrooke
At the tea, Lady Berbrooke analyses Daphne and talks about her only son, Lord Berbrooke. Afterward, Lady Violet Bridgerton wants Lady Whistledown to know how much of a horrible man Lord Berbrooke is. They need to prove to the town that he isn’t a nice man by spreading his secrets — Lady Whistledown writes about Berbrooke; she explains in her musings to the town that he is sending funds to a former maid and her son. Lord Berbrooke leaves town. “Shock and Delight” finally sees a conclusion to this mess — Daphne does not need to marry Lord Berbrooke.
A game of pretend
Eloise tells Daphne that she’s happy that Lord Berbrooke is no longer in the picture. She then tells her sister that she finds marriage and children frightening. Eloise reminds Daphne regarding that perilous night with their mother, but it is not clear what she really means. Daphne admits she is frightened. Eloise tells her sister that she must find it taxing to play a game of pretend that she must maintain. Eloise is the outlier in this story — she clearly desires a different life; she discusses education frequently and wants to be seen as a different woman.
I want a husband
At a dance, Daphne tells Simon that she wants to get her life on track; Simon tells Daphne that if they are to truly court, then she must call him by his name, Simon, and not refer to him as “Grace”. She agrees and their dancing becomes more intimate, with Simon’s hands lingering. Daphne then reiterates her desire to have a husband and children. Simon agrees and vows to find her a husband. They are communicating falsely with each other — any sign of feelings and they both retreat.
As Daphne dances with another man, Lady Danbury asks Simon what is bothering him as he watches Daphne dance. As the episode draws closer to an end, a flashback shows Simon visiting his dying father — he tells him that he will never marry and carry on the Hastings name. Simon calls him a “f*cking monster” as he dies.
Bridgerton season 1, episode 2, “Shock and Delight”, steps up the drama and gives audiences an insight into Simon’s past. There’s plenty of pressure in the story for Daphne to marry, but this construct that the “man of the house must arrange it” does not have the foundation, as the story naturally finds solutions.
- Benedict Bridgerton catches Eloise smoking outside and catches her. Eloise talks about how she doesn’t desire the same thing as Daphne and she wants a different life. Benedict says he wants something else as well.