Bridgerton season 1, episode 4 recap – what happened in “An Affair of Honor”?

By Daniel Hart
Published: December 25, 2020 (Last updated: February 9, 2024)
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Netflix series Bridgerton season 1, episode 4 - An Affair of Honor


Drama, passion, and a tense duel, “An Affair of Honor” has everything as Daphne and Simon’s love for each other becomes too intense, which has undesirable consequences.

This recap of Netflix’s Bridgerton season 1, episode 4, “An Affair of Honor” contains significant spoilers.

We have recapped every episode — check out the archive.

The opening

Whispers are spreading of how Daphne has caught Prince Friedrich’s eye. The Queen and the Prince show up at Court. Friedrich gives Daphne a gift; a sparkling diamond necklace. As he puts it on her, she imagines Simon putting it on, and she starts breathing heavily. But it appears the Queen has her crown jewel now. Lady Whistledown, however, does not underestimate the Duke of Hastings and his pull, as Bridgerton season 1, episode 4 clearly demonstrates.

As for the Duke of Hastings, he plans to leave England. His friend believes he is self-pitying due to Daphne’s path to engaging the Prince.

The fight

Daphne attends a boxing fight with Prince Friedrich — Simon’s friend Will is fighting. When she sees Simon, it catches her off-guard. Simon is also caught off-guard during his interview about the fight — he is coaching his friend. As the fight begins, Daphne admires Simon’s physique as he coaches Will Mondrich in his fight. She keeps on flitting between her conversation with Prince to watching the fight. Simon is evidently jealous. Will wins the fight, but regardless, the problem remains the same — Daphne and Simon love each other.

After the fight, there’s a double blow — Anthony approves Prince Friedrich’s engagement to Daphne, but she is unsure of herself.

It was all a lie, mother

Later in the night, Lady Violet Bridgerton asks Daphne if she likes the necklace. She advises not to wear the necklace if she doesn’t intend to accept the engagement proposal. Her mother asks about Simon, but Daphne states how their friendship was a “lie” as part of an agreement. Her mother is shocked, and she tells Daphne that she wants what is best for her. Daphne gets upset and claims that what she and Simon had was not real.

Lady Danbury is also frustrated, and she tells Simon that “love conquers all”. Simon disagrees with her and states that love “changes nothing”. While we understand Simon’s stubbornness, at this stage of “An Affair of Honor”, it’s easy to be frustrated with the character — of course, later in the episode, there is more context to his stubbornness.

A near proposal

Colin Bridgerton asks Marina Thompson for a dance at a Ball. He’s distracting her from a Lord that she has been set up with by Lady Featherington. Meanwhile, Daphne and Prince Friedrich dance; he tells her he wants to start a life with her, but she is getting anxious again — she sees Simon in the corner of the room. As the Prince is about to propose, Daphne walks off. She heads outside, takes her necklace off and she has a slight panic attack. And then, the most dramatic period of “An Affair of Honor” begins, which will excite viewers.

Finding Daphne

But then Simon finds her and tells her goodbye. Daphne tells him that they are not friends. Simon keeps apologizing, but she acts like she isn’t interested and that she’s marrying the prince. Simon questions whether she will be happy and Daphne tries justifying her choice. As Daphne gets more frustrated, Simon has no words but then ends up chasing after her.

They finally kiss but…nothing is ever simple.

He catches up to her in the maze, and they kiss each other with passion — you can tell they have longed for each other. But then Daphne’s brother Anthony catches them and punches Simon. He tells Simon to marry her, but the Duke tells Anthony that he cannot. As it is assumed that Simon has dishonored Daphne, Anthony proposes a duel — he feels he has no choice. Daphne is confused and upset and wonders why Simon would rather die than marry her. Anthony is angry that he feels that Simon has dishonored his sister. This is edge-of-your-seat stuff, making “An Affair of Honor” the best episode so far in the series.

Duel prep

Daphne tells Anthony that she cannot duel Simon; she doesn’t want a death on her hands — she believes it’s just as much her fault as Simon’s. But Anthony doesn’t listen and asks one of his brothers, Benedict, to take over the estate if he is killed. However, if he kills Simon, he will have to leave the country — it sounds like a lose/lose. As for Simon, Will tells him to apologize for what he has done and offers to be his “second”. It’s fascinating how both men have to discuss legalities before potentially killing each other.

Late in the night, Anthony asks Siena if she will accept him if they can be in a place where they’d both be able together — he tells her that at dawn he duels, and if he wins, he will be free from society as he can flee with her. With emotions high, the pair have sex.

The next morning, Daphne is pacing, stricken with anxiety. She asks one of her brothers to give her the location of the duel. She then realizes that Cressida also saw what happened in the garden with her and Simon — this changes everything.

The ending

Before the duel, Anthony tells Benedict to take care of Siena if he dies. Anthony turns up at the location. Meanwhile, Daphne is riding on a horse and racing towards the duel location. Simon tries apologizing before the duel but Anthony does not accept it. The duel starts as both men start walking, guns in hand.

Anthony shoots as Simon appears to concede, but he misses Simon as Daphne gets in the way with her horse — the bullet nearly hit her. Daphne pulls Simon aside and tells him that Cressida Cowper saw them in the garden, and it isn’t just his life in the balance anymore — “If you do not marry me, I shall be ruined”. Simon sticks to his position that he cannot marry her.

Daphne is even more upset now; she believes Simon despises her. Simon tells Daphne that if they did get married, he wouldn’t be able to give her children — he knows it’s her dream to have a family and believes that she deserves her desires. As the duel restarts, Daphne announces that she will be marrying Simon.

Drama, passion, and a tense duel, Bridgerton season 1, episode 4 has everything as Daphne and Simon’s love for each other becomes too intense, which has undesirable consequences.

Additional points
  • Phillipa Featherington has a suitor.
  • Eloise Bridgerton doesn’t want Daphne to get married because that means she will be next.
  • At a private artistic event, Anthony sees Siena Rosso, and he’s transfixed on her as she sings. His mother tries introducing him to another woman but he is too distracted.
  • Lady Featherington continues to find a suitor for Marina, but she’s unhappy with the choices. Also, due to the stress of managing Marina Thompson, Lady Featherington questions why she can’t send her home to her father.
  • Eloise is investigating who Lady Whistledown is. She asks one of her servants why she has a pile of Lady Whistledown musings. The servant laughs at her, stating that servants do not have time to write musings; she highlights if she were as wealthy as Whistledown, she wouldn’t be a servant.

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