Bridgerton Season 2 Episode 7 Recap: An Empty Ballroom

Oh, the torment! The pining! The delicious agony of a good slow-burn romance! Season 2 of Bridgerton has it all. While the first season of the Netflix hit romance show waited only five episodes before giving Simon (Regé-Jean Page) and Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) their day at the altar, with a bit of premarital dirty talk thrown in for good measure, the series’ second run is taking its sweet, sweet time with Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate (Simone Ashley). The unlikely couple had to wait through six one-hour-long episodes before sharing their first kiss, and if anyone out there thought that meant the end of their plight, they couldn’t be more wrong. In “Harmony,” the Bridgertons and Sharmas have to deal with the societal fallout of Edwina’s (Charithra Chandran) self-thwarted wedding to the viscount. And, to add insult to injury, a new issue of Lady Whistledown’s Society Paper spells disgrace for yet another member of the Bridgerton household.

London is aflame with gossip about the abrupt ending of Miss Edwina Sharma’s betrothal to Lord Anthony Bridgerton. Theories about what happened between them abound, but Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews) doesn’t deal with uncertainties. What she wants is an official explanation from both families and the Queen (Golda Rosheuvel). After all, it is Her Majesty’s fault that Edwina had such a big stage to make her scene.

But an official explanation good enough to satisfy the ton’s most influential member doesn’t seem to be coming any time soon. Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh), Lady Sharma (Shelley Conn), and Lady Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell) have decided that saying the bride and groom parted peacefully due to private matters is enough to quench everyone’s thirst for information. They are, of course, wrong. During their promenades, both families must endure the scornful looks of their neighbors — and, sometimes, of their own. Edwina, for instance, doesn’t like the idea of pretending nothing has happened, and, right now, she isn’t a fan of her older sister either. The fact that Kate and Anthony can hardly fit themselves and their sexual tension inside a small room doesn’t help. Still, for the good of both families, they must stay away from one another and pretend that their kiss never happened.

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Image via Netflix

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The awful promenade prompts Lady Danbury and Lady Bridgerton to come up with another plan to put an end to the unsavory rumors about Anthony and Edwina’s ill-fated engagement: a ball at the Bridgertons’ residence. First, of course, the two families must make a public appearance together to show the rest of the London high society that there’s no bad blood between them. Edwina is, as always, reluctant, and Anthony fears that the ball will only serve as an opportunity for the ton to examine the wreckage of their lives up close. But, as they stroll across an art exhibit, arms linked with members of the “opposing” family, the plan seems to bear fruit.

As her mother and older brother try to mitigate the damage done by the failed wedding to their family name, Eloise (Claudia Jessie) faces an imminent scandal of her own. After receiving news that Lady Bridgerton’s second daughter was seen associating with a printer’s apprentice, Queen Charlotte is certain that she has discovered the true identity of Lady Whistledown. She gives Eloise three days to consider her proposal of forming an alliance with the Crown and using her alleged powers for Her Majesty’s benefit. If Eloise fails to respond, the Queen will reveal her secret and allow those victimized by Lady Whistledown to take their vengeance on the Bridgertons.

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Image via Netflix

Unable to convince Queen Charlotte of her mistake and at a loss for what to do, Eloise vents to Penelope (Nicola Coughlan), who, in turn, tells her friend to sit tight, far away from the printer’s shop, and wait for the next Lady Whistledown. But, despite Penelope’s advice, Eloise goes looking for Theo (Calam Lynch) to warn him about the danger he’s in. Her face falls when the young man all but kicks her out of the shop, telling her that men from the palace have been looking for him and that the whole business almost cost him his job.

Meanwhile, Penelope pays a secret visit of her own to Madame Delacroix (Kathryn Drysdale), looking for information that might help her save Eloise from the Queen’s rage. Afraid of losing everything she has fought so hard to conquer, the modiste first tells Penelope to turn herself in, but the young lady argues that Queen Charlotte would see it merely as a girl trying to protect a friend. Then, Genevieve suggests that Lady Whistledown publish something on Eloise that she would never say about herself. Penelope then states that she could never do anything to tarnish her best friend’s reputation and leaves assuring Madame Delacroix that she will find a way to help Eloise while keeping their secret safe from the Queen.

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Image via Netflix

At home, Penelope struggles to come up with something for the next issue of her Society Papers. Her concerns only worsen when she comes out of her room only to find Colin (Luke Newton) talking business with cousin Jack (Rupert Young). After ensuring Mondrich’s (Martins Imhangbe) silence with some compromising information from the late Lord Featherington’s (Ben Miller) book of debts and wagers, Jack is now ready to take over London with his fake ruby mines scheme. And who else is looking for an investment opportunity but young Colin Bridgerton, desperate to make a name for himself? The only person that might save Colin from falling into Jack’s trap is Lady Featherington (Polly Walker), who thinks involving respectable, high-profile families like the Bridgertons in their plot might jeopardize the operation.

Despite not being fully in on her mother and cousin’s deceitful business, Penelope knows something isn’t right, but she can’t tell Colin what it is. And so it pains her to no end when he calls her a loyal friend. The compliment hurts even more when it comes out of Eloise’s mouth, for Penelope knows what she has to do to protect her friend from Queen Charlotte, and it involves breaking her trust.

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Image via Netflix

At the night of the ball, Lady Danbury, Lady Bridgerton, and Lady Sharma are shocked to find an empty ballroom. Anthony suggests that they all dance together and manages to take their minds off the problem with a joyful contradance. But, as soon as the music stops, Lady Danbury and Lady Bridgerton must go back to figuring out why their plan has failed. The answer to their questions is written all over the newest issue of Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers: Eloise has been seen associating unchaperoned with political radicals. It seems the ton had indeed bought the two happy families act, but was unable to accept yet another scandal coming from the Bridgerton home. For Jack and Portia, this means that Colin is now fair game.

While the people of Mayfair busy themselves with yet another blow to the Bridgertons’ reputation, Kate has her own problems to worry about. Unable to cope with her sister’s contempt, she leaves the ballroom and goes looking for a quiet place to rest in the garden. She finds solace in the gazebo, but her silence is interrupted by Lord Bridgerton, who had quietly stepped out himself to do some brooding. They argue, as usual, but their heated debate soon turns into something else. Anthony once more confesses all the extent of his passion for Kate, and she reciprocates. Before they can do anything about it, their lips are touching once again — and, this time, clothes are coming off! The two finally allow themselves to forget their duties and give in to desires. However, the following morning, Anthony awakes to find himself alone.

Now certain that his heart belongs to no one else but Kate Sharma and that there is nothing he can do about it, Anthony picks up his mother’s engagement ring and goes out in the pouring rain to look for his beloved at Lady Danbury’s. But Kate isn’t home. She has disappeared alongside one of the horses. And so Anthony rushes to the park where he met her for the first time, arriving just in time to see her falling from the horse and lying unconscious on the ground. As the credits roll, viscount and viewers are left to suffer for one more episode before they get their happy ending.

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