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Welcome to Fix It, our weekly series examining projects we love — save for one tiny change we wish we could make.
If you watched all of Bridgerton in a day (there is no other way to experience it), you might find yourself giddy from the rush of Daphne and Simon’s whirlwind romance. You may have swooned for their courtship, their chemistry, and their future as it stands in the finale.
But we have some notes.
Daphne and Simon Hastings are not #goals; they are a classic example of a couple sweeping their deeper issues under the rug so they can keep up appearances and focus on the good parts of a rich and complex relationship.
At the heart of it all is their poor communication. In how many episodes is the central conflict between Daphne and Simon the fact that just misunderstand each other on a simple point? In episode 3? Simon stops the ruse but doesn’t tell Daphne why, so she’s upset. They have to be told over and over that they love each other — through obvious body language and classic crush behavior, by third parties including Daphne’s mother, in front of the queen, and finally on their wedding night when the message sinks in at least long enough for that epic and seemingly endless sex scene.
Communication is also the root of their biggest problem: that Simon refuses to have children because of his father’s abuse. Dude could’ve brought this up as early as episode 2. It’s maybe not the kind of lighthearted conversation he wanted with his new friend… so then bring it up in episode 4, when Anthony demands they marry! Or later in that same episode, when Daphne demands they marry and Simon is suddenly okay with it! Perhaps after the wedding, during that endless montage of lovemaking — I mean surely he felt at least some minor urge to tell the truth? Or maybe not, with other urges so prominently at the fore.
To that end — and I truly do hate having to bring this up — Daphne and Simon’s sex life does impede the love they both describe so ardently. This starts with the Regency era’s poor if not nonexistent sexual education; recall that it was Simon who told Daphne about masturbation in the first place. She doesn’t learn how babies are made until she’s regularly engaging in babymaking activities! Based on episode 6, these two don’t really talk about what they like so much as they learn it through trial and error; verbal communication is simply not welcome in the Duke and Duchess’s bedchamber (or library, or gazebo… basically within a 50-foot radius of them at any time).
That’s all fine and good while they’re having super hot consensual sexytimes, but leads to them struggling to talk when it’s what the relationship desperately needs. That staircase encounter in episode 7 is incontestably steamy, but it’s a familiar case of a couple opting to revert to known physical comfort as a way of avoiding tougher emotional discussions.
Obviously Simon’s reluctance to share the whole truth is part of the deeply embedded trauma of his childhood. This is completely valid, but the disconnect arises from episode 6 when Daphne learns that he’s willingly not siring an heir. That was the time to tell the whole truth and stop sitting on the information that makes it all fall into place. Simon’s childhood troubles are worth discussing and dissecting — for the couple and for us — but this never happens. He just magically changes his mind after one conversation in the finale, a conversation that was clearly put off until this point in order to sustain the conflict between them.
In other words: we could’ve wrapped that shit up with a bow by episode 6 and then spent the rest of the season on Benedict kissing boys. But we didn’t do that, and that’s on us, as a society. But there are eight Bridgerton books, so nothing we can’t fix in future seasons.
Bridgerton is now streaming on Netflix.