Bridgerton (2020) s02e06 Episode Script

The Choice

1 [Lady Whistledown.]
A march down the aisle may very well be the longest walk any young lady ever takes.
It does not simply cover the length of the church, but rather, countless floors for dancing, and meandering paths for every afternoon promenade too.
It is a wonder, then, that feet do not tire or, heaven forbid, trip under the scrutiny of all those attentive eyes keeping close watch, indeed.
Does it fly? Uh, some, Your Majesty.
What kind of answer is "some"? [man.]
Well, it does not soar, but if you like, I can place it on a high perch and allow it to glide down.
Only if you follow its path.
The fireworks are ready, Your Majesty.
Timed perfectly to discharge directly after the bride and groom utter, "I do.
" Whatever you have planned is not good enough, Brimsley.
Make them bigger, longer, brighter.
Our guests must be captivated.
I believe I asked for His Majesty's wing to be closed off today.
I do not wish for anyone to lose their way and end up somewhere curious.
Of course, ma'am.
Though, you may rest assured His Majesty appeared in rather good spirits this morning.
And what of our other grand plan? - Is everything in place? - Indeed.
Every young lady that remains under suspicion of being Lady Whistledown will have a footman assigned to her, watching her every move.
Simply watching will not be enough.
We must entrap the scribbler.
Perhaps you might put forth false rumors so that when Whistledown prints them, we will be able to trace the origins.
- An ingenious idea, ma'am.
- Yes, that is why I thought of it.
The author thinks she has bested us all with her illicit spying and reporting.
Well, no one has sharper eyes on the ton than I do.
[classical rendition of "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham" playing.]
You must calm yourself, Bon.
Keep still.
It is all so strange.
I have faced a thousand tomorrows, but they have all been leading to this one.
Tomorrow is a day you have been preparing for your entire life, dearest.
You are ready.
I believed that to be true.
But now that the viscount has hastened things Oh, it has caused you doubts? Bringing the wedding forward is a sign of true feeling, but, well, it has unnerved me too.
Rest assured, the viscount adores you.
He has devotedly courted you and made his intentions clear from our first arrival.
It is meant to be a sipping spirit.
Have you not heard? The viscount believes in hurrying things along these days.
First the wedding, now his drink.
I hope, for Edwina's sake, the tendency stops before the honeymoon.
[Colin laughs.]
Have you always been so vulgar, or has staring at naked models all day turned your brain to charcoal? [laughs.]
Must he choose just one? [chuckling.]
That has always been the privilege of not being the firstborn.
You both get to choose your passions and adventures, while I, on the other hand, must fulfill my Tell me, dear brother, once you marry, will your duty finally be fulfilled so you can stop reminding everyone of it? I believe the reminders are also my duty, so no.
I still wish that when he looks at me, I could be certain that he truly loves me.
Oh [Edwina.]
I fear, in fact, that he does not look at me often enough.
[Mary and Kate sigh.]
Looks can be powerful, Bon, but also fleeting.
Displays of mere passion, perhaps.
Nothing more.
So the viscount feels little passion for me? [Kate.]
Of course not.
What I mean to say is that true love is something else entirely.
It is when the rest of the world goes quiet.
It is not eyes that meet but souls that dance.
Settle into each other.
Make room for each other until there is nowhere else to hide.
No need to worry.
Much will remain the same, apart from the fact that I shall finally have my viscountess, as is required.
[Benedict sighs.]
Not much shall change at all.
Though, soon enough, we will have a tiny Anthony to contend with, running around, declaring all of his tiny duties too, no doubt.
Yes, he too shall be a tyrant.
Is it not also said, when spread on an unmarried person, haldi will help them find a worthy partner that makes the rest of the world quiet too? - Edwina - Now, now.
It is your turn to hold still.
[chuckling softly.]
A toast! What is it we are drinking to if not the future? [Benedict.]
To, well, the sister.
- The sister? - [Benedict.]
The gatekeeper.
I do wonder whether this blessing would be greater if the viscount were here to participate as well.
Oh, I am certain Lord Bridgerton has his own wedding traditions to perform.
- To besting her.
- Hear! Hear! You do love gloating about your victories, do you not, Brother? [laughing.]
[coughing, laughing.]
My word, Prudence.
Stand up straight.
Chin up.
Chest out.
However am I meant to stand like this all day? Just stop your fidgeting.
Lord Featherington has so graciously allowed you to borrow this beautiful necklace for the occasion.
It is very heavy.
That means it's very valuable.
Remember that.
You are certain about this? The young lady quite naturally draws attention to herself.
She will get people speaking of the very valuable jewelry that came directly from your mines.
I will, of course, confirm that you are rather quiet about how well your business is doing, out of modesty.
And when the husbands come to you, you agree to the arrangements.
Your confidence is admirable, I concede.
Would you prefer I cower? Oh, I did not say that.
I cannot help but enjoy a lady who seizes control.
[Varley coughing.]
Pardon me, madam.
Yes, well.
I shall meet you in the carriage.
Mademoiselle Penelope, I have made the alterations you requested.
Thank you, Madame Delacroix.
It is a great risk for me to meet you here.
Your mama will certainly know you do not have a dress in need of repair.
This could not wait any longer.
What do you know of that apprentice who works for our printer? A Mr.
Theo Sharpe, I believe.
Well, if you know his name, you know much more than I do.
Have any of our delivery boys mentioned him? Is there something more serious you wish to tell me about our little undertaking? Because if there's trouble on the horizon, I cannot be associated.
- My business is too important - As is mine.
And no, there is nothing to worry about, I assure you.
Madame Delacroix? I was not expecting you.
- If this is about our bill - Ah, no, madame.
I was just saying I seem to have lost my head.
This delivery is for the Bridgertons, you see.
I came here by mistake.
Good day.
Can you imagine? A woman reduced to running her own business.
No wonder her mind is so scattered.
Make haste.
We can't be late.
[sighs softly.]
Didi? What are those? I brought them with us from home.
I knew this season would be a success.
They are quite beautiful.
How have I never seen them before? They belonged to my mother.
Amma wore them on her wedding day and saved them.
For you? I brought them for you.
I insist.
- Beautiful bangles for a beautiful bride.
- [Edwina sighs.]
[Edwina chuckles softly.]
Oh, Didi.
I know this has been a difficult time, and you never much cared for the viscount, but I hope today we may all find joy.
I am happy if you are happy.
- He has taken my ribbon! - I have done you a service.
Do not chase each other.
Or, well, perhaps do not catch each other.
You must look presentable.
Why does no one truly seem ready for this wedding? - Mrs.
Wilson! - Oh, Mother.
Please, not so loud.
Whatever you have done to your brother, undo it.
I may never reach your capacity for drink, Brother.
It's a simple remedy.
If you continue to drink, there can be no after-effects.
If only you would use your powers for good.
Has anyone seen Anthony? Benedict, see that he is well.
I am sure the emotions of the day have somewhat confused him.
You are ready? Of course I am.
Born ready, in fact.
Shall we? [rousing classical music plays.]
[indistinct chatter.]
[soft melody playing.]
Lady Danbury.
Lady Bridgerton.
It seems the two of us have not spoken since our dinner with the Sheffields.
Yes, it seems so.
Though why would we? It is not as if you have even more private information you wish at last to share with me, do you? - You must know - Enjoy the wedding, Lady Danbury.
It is a wonder I have found the two of you in the midst of all this opulence, is it not? Quite.
Her Majesty's fondness for the diamond exceeds even what Lady Whistledown suggests.
Daphne's wedding was not nearly as extraordinary, and she married a duke.
Perhaps the queen requires our attention in new ways.
The weight of the Crown is quite heavy.
Perhaps she seeks to prove herself still significant and equal to the task.
- Is that not the plight of all mankind? - I believe it is.
Do not indulge him.
He has been insufferable since returning from Greece.
Or was it your visit with Lady Crane? The cause does not matter nearly as much as the truth.
One must make a name for oneself if this life is to mean anything at all.
A noble pursuit.
Thank you, Pen.
It is surprising that you and Eloise remain so familiar when you could not be less alike.
What can you mean? Well, you have sense.
[both chuckle.]
It is a fool's errand to try to make an impression on those in good society who have not a single original thought.
And what good is it anyway to make a name for oneself if it is only to be written on dance cards? What of Lady Whistledown? She speaks of everyone without remorse.
No, she does not speak of all.
Perhaps she simply does not know that there are some beyond the ton worthy of attention too.
Are you speaking of Mr.
Sharpe again, El? [scoffs.]
I have heeded your warnings.
It'd be foolish of me to continue to visit him.
And what in actuality? [scoffs.]
I visited him the other day.
But it's not nearly as scandalous as you make it out to be.
- It's only his thoughts I'm interested in.
- It is a friendship, then? [chuckling.]
Of course.
What else could it be? - Sister.
- You are late.
Well, in truth, I was delayed by doubts about whether the festivities of this day might or might not take place.
Does the duchess not care for your bride, Brother? I find Miss Edwina to be quite lovely and deserving of the truth, which we must not deny her.
[Benedict chuckles.]
I'm confused.
Who is denying what to whom? Benedict, you must excuse us.
It seems the duchess has opinions.
- But I wish to know - The best man listens to the groom.
[Anthony breathes deeply.]
I've gone too far down this road to turn back now, Daph.
Miss Edwina will be ruined if we do not marry, and our family will suffer equal scandal.
This was always the plan.
And what of the sister? She has made her own plans for the future.
Plans which do not include me.
We have decided there is nothing more between us.
There cannot be.
Do you ever wonder what Father might say on a day such as this? He was the only one you ever truly respected.
The only one you ever listened to.
- [chuckles lightly.]
- [Anthony sighs.]
- If Papa was still here - You cannot know what he would say.
Father had different words for me than he did for you.
So please do not insult me with your baseless conjecture.
I have been here.
And I have seen you at all stages.
I witnessed you change the day he died.
Do you know you did not even weep once? And you stopped laughing, altogether, in fact.
It was as though you had become an entirely different person, consumed by the expectations of others.
And what choice did I have? I changed so that our family might survive, so that you could be respectable enough to marry a duke.
I am happy for you, Sister, but I'm not like you.
I have never wished to succumb to the blind delight of being in love.
I cannot so indulge myself.
You can choose to be happy.
To follow the desires of your heart instead of pushing away any feeling that comes to the surface.
It should not be a luxury, but a right to choose, to fight for the family that you want.
I fight [exhales.]
for the family that I have.
You'll never understand.
You were born to marry into another family.
I was born to carry on the Bridgerton name.
That is what outweighs anything else.
It is rather easy to be selfish when you have no one else to whom you must answer.
[exhales deeply.]
I mourn for you, Brother.
All of these decisions that you seem to make and then resent us for.
Though they do not make you worthy of your family's respect.
They simply make us pity you.
Nothing more.
[somber classical music plays.]
[Anthony exhales.]
- [Mary.]
Thank you.
- Mm-hmm.
[Mary gasps softly.]
My word.
You look so beautiful, my darling.
[chuckles lightly.]
Didi? Yes, Bon? I cannot wear them.
They do not belong to me, and I do not want to feel as though I am taking what is rightfully yours.
They were meant for you.
You should be the one to wear them.
[Edwina chuckles softly.]
They suit you, Kate.
[chuckles softly.]
[door opens.]
It is time, my lady.
[both exhale.]
Let us put all of the nasty gossip behind us for once and for all.
Let us give the ton a wedding to remember, and show them who we truly are.
[sighs, chuckles lightly.]
[classical rendition of "Sign of the Times" playing.]
[classical music builds.]
[music ends.]
Miss Edwina, you look lovely.
Thank you, my lord.
I am happy you are pleased.
Please be seated.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony.
And therefore, it is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, and wantonly, to satisfy men's carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding [Archbishop fading.]
but reverently, discreetly, advisedly - [somber classical music plays.]
- [Archbishop continues indistinctly.]
[Archbishop, faintly.]
My lord.
My lord.
[guest lightly coughing.]
The archbishop would like you to repeat, my lord, after him.
Yes, of course.
I, Lord Anthony Bridgerton Allow me.
[slow classical music plays.]
[heartbeats pulsing.]
[musical tempo quickens.]
Might I continue? - [Anthony.]
My apologies.
- [Kate.]
My apologies.
[Edwina breathes heavily.]
Viscount, repeat after me.
I [gasping softly.]
Miss Edwina, are you [shouts.]
I need a moment! - [Edwina gasping.]
- [guests murmuring.]
- What has happened to my wedding? - The bride seems to have run away, ma'am.
- [fireworks popping.]
- [gasping.]
[whistling and popping.]
Breathe, Edwina.
It is just nerves.
We will call for tea, and once you have something in your stomach, you will be strong enough to go back out there.
The viscount The viscount will understand, yes, Kate? - Kate, perhaps you might find that tea - It is not tea that I want! [shakily.]
What I want is the truth.
- Suddenly, your words fail you, Sister? - Edwina.
- I am not sure what is going on.
- I shall tell you what is going on, Mama.
After a lifetime of filling my head with nonsense, of all this talk of great, gallant notions and looks between lovers - Edwina - You have feelings for him! All this time, you wanted him for yourself.
- No, that is not true.
- Oh, you cannot deny it now, Kate.
How could I have been such a fool? You lied to me again and again.
You told You told me.
You told me we had put all secrets to rest, but no.
The Sheffield inheritance, that was merely the beginning of your deception.
I fooled myself into believing you had only the purest of intentions, that your only desire was for me to be happy.
And you are no one's fool.
That is the truth.
Do you love him? What? [Edwina.]
You told me you hated him.
But that only meant your feelings your feelings were strong.
Do you love him? Edwina, I That is enough.
No good can come from this at present.
[Edwina sobbing.]
Let us all take a moment to calm ourselves, shall we? You have kept so very much from me.
Anywhere else, Kate.
[Edwina continues sobbing.]
[Mary sighs.]
[uptempo classical music plays.]
[exhales sharply.]
[inhales sharply.]
[bangle clattering.]
[sighs deeply.]
Does this have anything to do with our dinner with the Sheffields the other evening? Or perhaps some even greater issue has come to pass that we must discuss, Anthony? Miss Edwina is merely agitated.
She will come to her senses.
Miss Edwina does seem to have a delicate constitution.
- Perhaps fresh air will be just the thing.
- Flask.
Perhaps the archbishop's talk of lifelong covenants overwhelmed her.
Perhaps she realized that marriage is, in fact, a prison for women.
Must you always be so you? How else should I be? Married and silent? Perhaps she decided she must change into a different dress.
She looked beautiful.
Perhaps we should allow Anthony a little respite.
Brother, is that what you need? [inhales deeply.]
What? - You know something.
- [Daphne.]
I do not.
Daphne, you may be a duchess, but you are still my daughter.
Tell me what you know.
A failed wedding with their queen presiding.
As if I needed the embarrassment.
It is not your fault, Your Majesty.
Lady Whistledown will make it so.
"Her Majesty has picked poorly," she will say.
My once immaculate taste now questioned.
Her words carry far too much import for my delicate comfort.
Your Majesty, with all due respect, we may very well find ourselves in a situation that cannot be salvaged.
- It would be wise - Well, it must be salvaged.
You vouched for this family, did you not, Lady Danbury? I never would have entertained the thought of making Miss Edwina my diamond, let alone arranging this elaborate affair, if it was not for you.
This is as much your blunder as anyone else's.
You must not forget that.
Indeed, I will not.
Perhaps I may go and find Miss Edwina.
Perhaps there is something I can do.
Escort the guests to the gardens and do not allow anyone to leave.
The nuptials shall resume shortly, and we shall proceed with our plans.
All of them.
[pleasant classical music plays.]
[indistinct chatter.]
I heard Miss Edwina has not eaten a morsel since the engagement in order to fit into her dress.
It's no wonder she's been taken ill.
I hear the royal physician has brought in leeches to hasten her recovery.
Can you imagine? Rather embarrassing for Lord Bridgerton.
And yet far more worrying for us.
What guarantee do the rest of us have that these other young ladies will not follow the lead of the chit? Jilting their grooms left and right.
A rather fortuitous turn of events, my lord.
Nothing makes the ton come alive like a fresh scandal.
All eyes and ears seem to be open for the freshest detail.
I suppose all we must do now is redirect their attention.
Do you wish to insult Lord Featherington by not showing off this beautiful necklace? I do not understand why he should care whether I cherish it so.
We are already engaged, and he barely speaks to me.
What sort of engagement is born of silence? Do as I say, child.
Or would you rather be without any prospects, like Penelope? - Heaven forbid.
- Oh Come on.
I've given much consideration to what you said.
About Mr.
Sharpe and his degree of interest.
El, I did not intend you to think about that.
You should put him out of your mind.
[Eloise chuckles.]
I know it is [clears throat.]
odd, but I had assumed ours was merely an intellectual bond, a friendship based in like-minded thought and rigorous conversation.
But what if you are right? What if he feels more? I never said El, do you want him to feel more? My feelings about his feelings do not matter if I do not know for a fact what it is he is feeling.
Perhaps you have already gone farther than is wise.
Have you not heard of all the trouble that befell Lady Mary because she married beneath her station? No one speaks of marriage, Pen.
I am speaking of clarity of thought.
- I simply would like to know.
- But why? I can accept certain mysteries.
I may never know how men came to be considered leaders when women are clearly better suited.
I may never understand why the modiste tortures her own clients with tight bodices and scratchy fabrics.
I may never even know who is behind Lady Whistledown.
And you could accept such a mystery? Of course not, but those are mysteries I may never solve.
This one with Theo Mr.
Sharpe, I can.
But what good will it do? It is not as though you can act on it.
I suppose if I know for sure, it will be a relief.
It is the not knowing that makes it feel like torment.
To turn over in your mind the events of a mere conversation.
To look at all of the evidence and still not be sure.
It is a pleasing, stimulating, thrilling kind of torment.
- Have you ever felt that way? - No.
I can only imagine such a thing.
[knock at door.]
Lord Bridgerton.
Lady Mary.
I was hoping to speak with Miss Edwina.
Of course.
Lord Bridgerton.
I am quite certain this delay is rather unexpected.
But I must ask if it is, in fact, a delay and nothing more? I am considering what more there may be regarding our courtship and those involved with its interference.
- I know you may think that we - Please.
Tell me you did not come here to offer me more lies or half-truths, my lord.
At least offer me that.
I am intent upon this marriage.
The very fact that we have arrived at this day with whatever interference there might have been should be proof enough.
Yet I still wonder whether it is the marriage or me that you truly want.
It is both.
Miss Edwina, I have never wavered in my intentions since the first moment of our meeting.
It was clear to me then, as it is now, that what we share is greater than all else.
And what is it that you believe we share? Our places.
Our roles.
They align.
I, as the viscount.
You, as the diamond.
Neither by our own choice.
We are yoked to each other in that respect.
It is why I never gave up pursuing you, even when some thought me a fool to continue.
It is why I was not swayed by the insults of the Sheffields or your lack of a dowry.
Because you love me? I understand you.
I sympathize with you.
In a certain light, I am you.
We do not have the luxury of choice.
We cannot escape our roles.
But married, we may face these difficulties together.
And what of my sister? What role will she play between us in the future? The thorn easily removed from the blossoming flower of our lives.
She shall have no place in our future.
Once we marry, she will return to India, as she wishes.
And you and I will be free of her.
And that is what you now wish? That is what I now know.
The great distance between us will only bring you and I closer.
But that future is only possible if you decide today to marry me.
I have been told what my future will look like more times than I now wish to admit, my lord.
But I am no fool.
I know the scandal that would ensue should the two of us fail to see this through now.
But I cannot find that reason enough.
I require a moment to think.
Of my future, indeed.
But only in the way that I might now imagine it.
You must understand.
Of course.
Of course I do.
[exhales deeply.]
[sniffles, sighs.]
[sniffles, sighs.]
[breathes deeply.]
You cannot be here.
- Miss Sharma - This is my place of refuge.
- A closet? - [Kate.]
It may not be grand, but it met my main requirement when you were not present.
So go and leave me in peace.
We must speak.
- Do you realize how improper this is - I've just met with Miss Edwina.
She was harsher than I knew her capable of being.
Well, you cannot fault her for that.
I concede I do not know her as well as you do, but that is why I am coming to you.
You must do something.
What would you have me do, my lord? More plotting and scheming to get her to comply? It seems my sister has finally become wise to all of it.
In one way, I should be quite proud.
So you intend simply to cease to help her, and hide in a closet as she ruins her life? I have ruined her life.
You should not be here.
Just, just [soft music plays.]
Goodbye, my lord.
[door closes.]
Lady Danbury.
Whatever are you doing in here? I assure you, it is for good reason that I am in here and not out there.
It is unlike you to be off somewhere, hiding.
Well, we all require a modicum of self-reflection from time to time.
- Do you not think? - Mmm.
Lady Bridgerton.
I must apologize for not sharing certain information with you.
That business between the Sharmas and the Sheffields, well, it was not my place, but I certainly did not wish it to be revealed as it was at that dinner.
This entire scheme seems to have got out of hand.
Indeed it has.
Daphne has, uh Well, she has finally confirmed something I have been fearing for quite some time.
Something I believe you too have observed, no doubt.
Her Majesty wishes me to repair today's situation.
And for what may very well be the first time in my life I do not know what to do.
[chuckles nervously.]
[chuckles quietly.]
[both laughing.]
[both laughing heartily.]
Look! Peacocks! [Lady Danbury.]
Dreadful creatures! They attack, unprovoked.
As if the day could get any more unfortunate.
[both laugh.]
You could always tell her that there is nothing to be done.
The Queen of England? I would rather go out there and offer my hand to one of those birds.
- It would be less painful.
- [Violet laughing.]
[both giggle quietly and sigh.]
[both exhale.]
Do you think the bride will return to that altar? There is only one person who can answer that question.
- Hmm.
- [knock at door.]
What? - Has Mama - You seem to know all.
How could I possibly offer any insight of my own? She is off, getting some air.
Edwina, you must know I never intended to wound you.
I know I should have told you more.
I should have told you everything.
Yes, I once did have feelings for the viscount.
But they were no match for the love I had, and continue to have, for you.
And you must know I will do everything in my power to ensure your happiness.
Including going back to India? That is your solution, is it not? I wish to make things right.
My feelings for Lord Bridgerton do not matter anymore.
We do not have a future together.
But you You, Edwina, were born to be viscountess.
[breathes deeply.]
The viscount said the same.
I half expect to discover the two of you prepared it ahead of time.
I am not too proud to admit when he is right.
- You deserve this.
- Why? Why me and why not you? You view your youth and naïveté as a hindrance, but it has shielded you in many ways.
You do not remember when Appa died, when the world fell out from beneath us.
And so, to save us from an even worse fate, I promised I would not consider myself until you and Mama were taken care of.
I gave what I had without regret, and I would do it again, Bon.
I still do it.
I give what I have in order to protect you.
Say something, Bon.
Anything, please.
I do not know which pains me more.
- Your betrayal or your pity.
- Edwina, you are my sister Half-sister.
What I am, Kate, is a grown woman.
And for the first time in my life, I am able to make a decision based on what I would like.
I have already imagined the life I would lead with Lord Bridgerton as viscountess at Aubrey Hall.
It lives in my own mind, and it is mine to do with as I like.
So if I choose to marry Anthony, it will be because it pleases me and no one else.
I need you to understand that.
If I go through with this wedding, it will have nothing to do with you.
[mellow classical music playing.]
Apparently, it has to do with the honeymoon.
Miss Edwina was not pleased with the rather simple one Lord Bridgerton had planned.
She is using the delay to negotiate a new itinerary that will have the queen's particular approval.
It appears Miss Edwina is far more cunning than we have given credit.
[men chattering.]
- Gentlemen.
- Come now, Featherington.
There's a more appropriate venue for the discussion of business.
We thought you might be coy, Featherington.
Now, are these mines as profitable as we are hearing? I did not make the journey across the Atlantic for pennies.
If there's interest, I can send word to my men on the ground in Georgia.
- Very good.
- Indeed.
And do these men work for you, Featherington? Why, of course.
Then why send word to your workers if the investment is, in fact, yours? Because I must write to my men to obtain the latest report.
Wise investors would like to know if it is rubies or amethysts that we are finding more of these days.
Mondrich, I must ask about this social club of yours.
An admirable endeavor, if not rather surprising.
What can a boxer know about running a business? [men chuckling.]
About as much as a gentleman knows about mining.
[chuckles weakly.]
Excuse me.
Come in.
- Have you yet come to any agreements? - Almost.
You must know time is of the essence, my lord.
Who knows how long this wedding will be delayed? We may never again have such an engaged audience.
You must leave it with me.
We must be careful not to attract too much attention.
This opportunity must appear for the chosen few.
Not to mention, we cannot risk snaring those who would bring scandal outweighing any profit.
I think it best we concentrate our attentions on members of the ton who are not particularly beloved and whose regard matters little.
And who would make that list? The Cowpers, the Clarksons, the Gorings, the Wallaces [chuckles.]
Perhaps the better question is, and who would not make that list? [sighs.]
The Bridgertons, I suppose.
They are on the verge of enough scandal today all on their own.
Well, they do seem liked well enough.
Do not mistake this decision for fondness.
It is pure strategy.
I'd never think you had affections for another.
It'd make me far too jealous, my lady.
Save your charms for the investors.
Why? I have plenty to spare.
My lord, your lies are wasted on me.
I do not need to lie.
You are far too cunning to fall prey to that, are you not? You and I see the truth.
That is why this is such a promising partnership.
I see you for the capable woman you are.
My cousin was a fool about many things but none greater than in leaving this world knowing he had a brilliant wife still in it.
We must return to the gardens before we are missed.
After you.
I must thank Your Majesty for such a splendid event.
Every detail.
It simply takes one's breath away and While I quite enjoy the adulation, Lady Bridgerton, unless you are here to tell me that your son and his bride are at present standing at that altar, I simply do not have the time.
For this wedding to fail is unacceptable.
Lady Danbury, what have you to say? As always, Your Majesty, I am humbled by your generosity of spirit.
Though, uh Though It is unlike you to lose your words, Lady Danbury.
Though it pains us so, both Lady Bridgerton and I are in agreement that it is up to Miss Edwina to decide her fate.
I did not realize the diamond outweighed the Crown.
It does not, Your Majesty.
Pardon our interruption, Your Majesty.
It is noted.
To be sure.
I do hope my efforts today have not been wasted.
It has not been a waste, Your Majesty.
But rather further proof of the love you have for your people, ma'am.
Miss Edwina and I come before you humbly now in recognition of all that you Is there not a person alive who can think of something else to say to their queen other than sheer flattery? It is the obvious choice.
[Mary sighs.]
Are you here to tell me you are going to marry him or not? Did you see them? - Your Majesty.
- Your Majesty.
The fireworks? They were brilliant! [chuckles.]
Will there be more? Oh, dear.
It seems It seems I am late for the ceremony.
My king.
Can someone come and assist? I didn't mean to keep you waiting, Lottie.
My bride.
My My beautiful bride.
Um, but where is the archbishop and-and-and-and our congregation? George.
She is radiant, is she not? What are they, uh What What are they doing? Stop! Leave! Leave me! Leave me! Lottie [somber classical music plays.]
She will make a most excellent queen, Your Majesty.
I hear the two of you faced many trials during your happy courtship.
But today Today will make all of it well worth it, will it not? Why yes.
Then perhaps you might find your rest, Your Majesty, before you both rule this kingdom with the kind of love, compassion, and kindness the two of you undoubtedly share.
My queen.
[sniffles softly.]
Oh, Edwina [indistinct chatter.]
A celebratory drink? Have you succeeded already, Colin? Only if whatever I am looking for can be found at the bottom of this flask.
I am certain you will find your purpose one day.
Everyone must eventually.
- Have you found yours? - [chuckles.]
Of course not.
But I imagine it to be something both animating and satisfying.
The type of venture that speaks not to who I am but rather who I am to be.
My purpose will challenge me to be brave and witty.
My purpose will propel me far beyond the watchful glare of my mama.
My purpose shall set me free.
What could possibly measure up to all that? [chuckles.]
Your dreams are grander than you let on, Pen.
Yes, they are mere fantasies, but I do believe we must allow ourselves those private moments so we may face reality armed with our reveries.
Lady Crane was right about you.
Lady Crane? What did she say? That you cared for me.
That you would never forsake me.
I am beginning to believe that now.
[guests gasping.]
It appears we had better nab a piece of cake before it's all gone.
El? - El, whatever are you - I've made a decision to visit Theo now.
Eloise, it is your brother's wedding.
People will notice.
This is why no one will.
Everyone is worried about Anthony and Miss Edwina.
They'll hardly miss me.
Because an opportunity presents itself does not mean you should take it.
There are other things to do.
Have you seen the peacocks? It is vexing to think only of his thoughts when I should be thinking of my own.
I - I do not know what to say.
- Say nothing.
That is all I ask.
I am only telling you now because you are my friend, and I do not wish for secrets to set us apart.
- Do you like that one? - Your Majesty, I I wore it for His Majesty's golden jubilee.
[chuckles softly.]
- Oh, I could not possibly - Yes, you could.
Miss Edwina.
I chose you as the season's diamond for a reason.
Yes, you possess great beauty, but you made an impression.
You still do.
And you still can.
Even after all the confusion of the day.
And after, most especially, all that has been witnessed in private.
All that I have witnessed, ma'am, is the love a king shares with his queen, and nothing more.
I should certainly not find the proper words to discuss it even if given a million lifetimes to do so.
[Queen Charlotte.]
The challenge of the Crown is that it is tangible.
It is a physical reminder of the position.
It is why, say, Lady Whistledown circulates her pamphlets instead of trading in whispered rumor.
A whisper is relevant for only as long as it is spoken, but a paper represents more.
Its physical form grants permanence.
The same cannot be said of true love, of course.
It changes.
It forgets.
It forces you to remember who you once were.
And it forces you to choose how you will live with it, again and again.
How does one make that choice? That, I cannot dictate.
I am your queen, but I suppose even I must recognize the importance of each person deciding what to do in the face of true love.
Everyone deserves to make that choice just as everyone deserves to feel its power.
But one must know it is the hardest and greatest choice one can ever make.
[Lady Whistledown.]
It is a distinctly human act to marry.
Animals require no contracts or dowries.
[door opens.]
The hen and the rooster make no vows.
You sent word for me? I thought you sent word for me.
[footsteps approaching.]
I have made my decision.
I thought it best you both hear it from me.
Edwina, we should speak in private.
I cannot marry you, Lord Bridgerton.
You cannot provide me with what it is that I want.
What it is that I deserve.
What everyone deserves.
I may not know exactly what true love feels like but I certainly know what it is not.
It is not deception, or wandering eyes, or a role to be fulfilled.
I cannot marry you because I cannot betray myself.
You will never meet my eyes in the same manner that you met my sister's on that altar today.
You will never You will never look at me the same way.
You say you have spent your life trying to give me everything I lacked, but really, you simply gave me everything you really wanted for yourself, as though my life were not my own.
I did not ask for any of it, Kate.
So, today, I can be sure that what I leave behind is not my loss.
It is yours.
Your dream, your plan, your feelings that I had merely borrowed.
Today, you have lost your power, while I have made up my own mind.
And that is victory enough for me.
[classical rendition of "What About Us" playing.]
[Lady Whistledown.]
Leave it to people to complicate matters with their ceremonies and their cakes.
Is it not a wonder that anyone marries at all? It is not as if Miss Edwina could do any better than the viscount.
Perhaps it is for that very reason she changed her mind.
She knows she is not worthy of him.
Or perhaps we might judge the viscount anew.
Perhaps Miss Edwina discovered something the rest of us might wish to know of too.
- [women chattering.]
- [woman clears throat.]
- Oh, Your Grace.
- Duchess.
- Shall we make our way home, Mama? - I believe we shall.
[Lady Whistledown.]
Indeed, some may call a wedding the ultimate act of faith.
While others would venture that it is the ultimate act of fools.
You've come quite a long way to ask me something, so go on.
I have thoughts.
I can see how that might pose a problem for someone in your world.
Thoughts I would like to share with you.
[chuckles softly.]
And are you not sharing them now? What I am failing to say is that often, when I read something new or interesting or provoking, it is you who crosses my mind.
It is you I would like to speak with about those thoughts.
I see.
Uh And so I am wondering if you might also have thoughts of me when you think.
I have read all of these.
And? And I set them aside for you.
I thought perhaps you might share your thoughts on them.
[chuckles softly.]
[Lady Whistledown.]
Eagerly awaiting two words.
"I do.
" Bride and groom declare intention alone, with no guarantee of happiness.
All is not lost today, ma'am.
I have received word.
It had better be a worthy distraction.
Our trap for Lady Whistledown has indeed produced a result.
[Lady Whistledown.]
Marriage amounts to little more than human ritual.
We may not force the rooster or hen, yet we continue to collect eggs.
Does that make us more complicated, or simply too stubborn to believe that we must orchestrate what nature has already ordained? I suppose we ought to go.
Lord Bridgerton? Your sister is braver and wiser than us both.
She had the courage to act on what she sensed between us.
And here we are, standing perfectly still having felt it for months.
I stand here because the moment we go the moment we step foot outside those doors we face the truth.
Of our situations? Of our failures.
We have indeed failed, my lord.
Of our duties.
Of our responsibilities.
We have failed at it all.
So forgive me if it is now my wish to suspend time.
To delay the inevitable.
To for a mere moment, not think of what comes next.
To wait.
[soft instrumental music plays.]
Goodbye, my lord.
[breathes deeply.]
[breathing heavily.]

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