Bridgerton Season 2 radically departed from the book it’s based on in many ways, but that doesn’t mean it ignored the source material entirely. For example, the show made references to a bunch of details from the books, like Anthony’s father’s pocket watch, Kate’s fear of thunderstorms, and of course, the bee sting. But there was another moment that came and went so quickly, even the biggest Bridgerton fan may have missed it: Anthony’s tulips for Kate in the finale episode.
Warning: Spoilers for Bridgerton Season 2 follow. The final episode of Bridgerton Season 2 begins the morning after Kate and Anthony have consummated their relationship. In a panic over that she’d just done, Kate goes riding and is knocked unconscious after she falls from her horse. Anthony rescues her, but then leaves her with her mother and sister as he angsts over the chaos of his life. When Kate conveniently wakes back up a few days later, he turns up in her bedroom, this time ready to propose to the proper Sharma sister, carrying a bouquet of tulips to accompany his romantic gesture.
So, what’s the big deal with the flowers? It’s a two-fold situation. In the books, it’s Kate’s excitement over seeing tulips in their natural habitat for the first time in the Bridgerton gardens that makes Anthony realize how badly he’s lusting over her, and that maybe asking Edwina to marry him is a bad idea. (Most of that internal dialogue does make it into the show, but it winds up in Anthony’s speech to Kate after the disastrous Sheffield dinner.)
But it’s also a callback to the show already having referenced Anthony and Kate’s tulip scene in Season 1. As fans recall, Season 1 has several recurring motifs: Wedgewood blue and bees for the Bridgertons, butter yellow and butterflies for the Featheringtons, and lilac purple and tulips for Anthony. There are tulips on his pocket watch and tulips on the wallpaper in Siena’s flat.
There’s also an entire scene in which Lady Violet was embroidering purple tulips, which she said she was creating for Daphne, with a hint she will be making one for Anthony’s marriage next. (After all, a mother has to be prepared.) She looked at Anthony and said, “Tulips, they symbolize passion ... Perhaps your bride would like the same.”
It seems Anthony remembered his mother’s words when it was time to pop the question.
Bridgerton Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix.