Warning: Spoilers ahead for Bridgerton season 2.
Bridgerton season 2 was confirmed last year without Regé-Jean Page’s Simon. However, his absence is not explained properly.
Regé Jean-Page will not be reprising his role as the Duke of Hastings for the second season of Bridgerton. Simon will only appear in the background of the film, despite the presence of his wife.
The absence of Simon Bassett (Regé Jean-Page) from Bridgerton season 2 raises the question of how the show will explain his absence. This announcement disappointed many Bridgerton season 1 viewers who had looked forward to seeing the romance between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and the Duke of Hastings blossom. However, Bridgerton season 2 has moved on from the Duke’s alluring spell and will instead focus on Anthony Bridgerton’s romance with Kate Sharma (Katherine Kelly Lang).
In season one of Bridgerton, Daphne and Simon agreed to pretend to be in court so that other eligible men would try to steal Daphne’s attention away from Simon, and the duke would be relieved of the responsibility of worrying about his own marriage. As fate would have it, these plans were derailed when the couple fell in love and eventually tied the knot. Jean-Page quickly established himself as a Bridgerton fan favorite, and his absence from season 2 will undoubtedly be felt by many. However, those who are familiar with the book series will not be surprised by the decision.
In the first season of Bridgerton, the first book in Julia Quinn’s series was used as inspiration for the show. The relationship between Simon and Daphne was the focus of The Duke and I, but each of the remaining books was centered on a different Bridgerton sibling. A character named Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) is featured in the second novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me, and Bridgerton season 2 follows suit. In keeping with the books’ narrative, Anthony is the main character, and while Daphne does return for Bridgerton season 2, her husband Simon does not return for the second season. And here’s why it works, as well as how the show accomplishes it.
Why Is Simon Not in Season 2?
Regé Jean-Page was only ever partnered to appear in a single season of Bridgerton, and that season was the final season. That was one of the factors that drew him to the role in the first place: it would allow him to pursue other projects after the season was over. The following is an excerpt from a Variety interview with Jean-Page, in which he explains why his one-season role on Bridgerton was actually the best decision and why it’s fine that he won’t be returning for Bridgerton season 2:
“It’s only going to last one season. It will have a beginning, a middle, and an end – give us a year to complete it… “That’s interesting,” I thought because it then felt like it was a limited-edition television show. I get to come in, I get to contribute my part, and then the Bridgerton family continues on its journey.”
The same interview went on to say that Jean-Page is “absolutely enthralled by Bridgerton,” but that “there is also value in completing these arcs and sticking with it.” Because the Duke of Hastings’ storyline was completed by the conclusion of Bridgerton season 1, it was always expected that he would depart the show before the start of Bridgerton season 2. Due to the fact that Regé Jean-Page has several upcoming films and television shows, including a leading role in the Dungeons & Dragons film adaptation, it was not worthwhile for him to take time out of his busy schedule to appear in season 2. According to the books, his character had no more story arcs to complete, nor did he have any more significant character development to go through. Any minor references or additions to his story that may arise in the future could easily be revealed through Daphne, making it unnecessary for Jean-Page to appear in person for Bridgerton season 2 in the future. So, how does Bridgerton explain his absence, especially in light of the fact that his wife Daphne is still on the scene?
Simon’s Absence Doesn’t Fully Make Sense in Season 2: My Thorughts
Bridgerton season 2’s explanation for why Simon didn’t show up doesn’t make sense all the way through. They had a baby together at the very end of the first season of Bridgerton. This helped to wrap up their storyline in more ways than one. Fans were surprised to learn that Regé-Jean Page, who played Simon in the first season of Netflix’s Bridgerton, would not be back as Simon in the second season of the show.
Simon and Daphne have broken up on screen in Bridgerton season 2. Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma are the two main characters in season 2. Daphne is still very much a part of the Bridgerton family, but she isn’t the main focus of the new season. To be sure, Simon isn’t forgotten at all in season 2. I don’t think it means that he’s been thrown away and never talked about again.
Simon’s absence isn’t explained, but that doesn’t mean we know why. He isn’t away on business, and he hasn’t had a fight with the tonne or the Bridgertons. A reason why he doesn’t go to important events, like Anthony’s wedding or the Bridgerton’s ball in episode 4, doesn’t make sense because there aren’t enough facts. After all, he’s a member of the Bridgerton family now, and he’s likely to be around for the social season and for important events, since he and Anthony are friends. In the first episode of season 2, “Capital R Rake,” Daphne goes back to her family’s house to see her sister Eloise’s debut for the ton’s social season. She says she left her husband and child at home so she could be there. As long as Daphne didn’t go back home to her new family, it works.
Daphne shows up again and again in the second season of Bridgerton, but Simon is never there. As well, August, the son of Daphne and Simon, makes a couple of appearances. Violet, the oldest Bridgerton daughter, talks a little about how she and Simon married to her mother. But that’s all. It’s clear that Simon is still alive and doing well, but there doesn’t seem to be much of an explanation for why he hasn’t been on screen. In the season 2 finale, Daphne says that for newlyweds, six months away isn’t a big deal. The first comment was about Anthony and Kate. Daphne’s response suggests that Simon may have also been away. One time, Daphne’s absence is explained because August’s baby has a cough. But there is still no clear answer about Simon.
Because there is a new love story going on, Simon’s absence isn’t felt very much because there is another one going on. It doesn’t make sense that the romance series doesn’t fully explain why the duke hasn’t been around for so long. This makes the duke’s disappearance even more weird. In season 2, Simon isn’t on screen, but the show could have done better at explaining why he isn’t there.