"You Vex Me" In 'Bridgerton' Season 2 Is The New "I Burn For You"

- Bridgerton -
"You Vex Me" In 'Bridgerton' Season 2 Is The New "I Burn For You"

Who among us didn't burn for the Duke of Hastings? Regé-Jean Page heated up Bridgerton Season 1 as the long-suffering, always smoldering Simon, but Season 2 makes a strong argument in favor of being vexed by a viscount. In fact, I would argue that "You vex me" is the new "I burn for you."

Daphne first uttered that famous line in "The Duke and I," the fifth episode of Season 1. At the time she was trying to break through Simon's cold demeanor on their wedding night by expressing her true feelings to the duke, and things quickly escalated when he admitted he burned for her too. From there the line became part of the pop culture lexicon as Bridgerton fever took over the world.

And look, it's a great line. It's also an incredibly sexy moment that precipitates Simon and Daphne finally resolving their unresolved sexual tension. But "You vex me" is equally iconic for the way it so perfectly sums up Kate and Anthony's entire dynamic.

In Season 1, the show gave us an older man with serious trust issues who was determined to torpedo his own happiness to punish his dead father falling for a young, somewhat naïve young woman who believed in marrying for love. Theirs was a story of cultivating trust and coming of age, respectively. Meanwhile, Anthony and Kate are two headstrong eldest siblings who will do absolutely anything to protect their families.

This instantly puts them at odds, because Anthony believes Kate's sister will make the perfect viscountess. Since Kate knows Anthony has no intentions of marrying for love — something she wants for her sister — she sets about thwarting his attempts to woo Edwina. This leads to them both vexing one another during the viscount's doomed courtship, which is just another way of saying they fell hard.

When Kate angrily spits out "You vex me" when they slip off after an emotionally charged dance at the ball, it's immediately evident that Anthony has gotten under her skin in a way no one ever has before. Thankfully, the feeling is mutual, which leads to Anthony delivering the kind of speech that's designed to make even the most levelheaded person swoon. He makes it clear the vexing is entirely mutual — and that's a problem since falling for each other complicates their ability to make the choices they believe their families demand of them.

"You vex me" deserves to be printed on the front of t-shirts, coffee mugs, and bookmarks. It should be immortalized by Bridgerton fans with the same sort of reverence that was afforded "I burn for you," because of all that it represents. It's the rallying cry for what is truly a next level enemies-to-lovers romance.

But Simone Ashley also deserves major props for her line delivery. While fans often forget Daphne was the one who told Simon she burned for him first, there's no forgetting Kate — who so loathes being undone by the viscount — is the one who admits she's vexed by Anthony. Much like the viewer, she doesn't want to fall in love with the rakish, duty-bound eldest son of the Bridgerton clan, but even with his many faults, he proves just too hard to resist.

The true joy of Season 2 is that Kate and Anthony vex the entire audience — and by vex, I mean leave viewers emotionally compromised in a way that would be cruel if it wasn't satisfying.

Image: Liam Daniel/Netflix; Netflix

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