WHAT ABOUT BRIMSLEY AND REYNOLDS? (A ‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’ Review)

WHAT ABOUT BRIMSLEY AND REYNOLDS? (A ‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’ Review)

Bridgerton’s spinoff-slash-prequel, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, focuses our attention on the love story of the ton’s supreme ruler, the fabulously commanding Queen Charlotte (played to perfection by Golda Rosheuvel), and the beginning of her marriage and life with her husband, the King of England, George III (James Fleet). The show transports us back in time to when they are newlyweds (played by the already massively popular faces of India Amarteifio and Corey MyIchreest) simply getting to know each other, interspersing the storytelling with flash-forwards to the current Bridgerton timeline, where the Queen is fighting to ensure the continuity of her ailing husband’s bloodline.

While the romance between Charlotte and George obviously takes center stage as the two deal with the political pressures usually put on a royal marriage and the slowly emerging issue of George’s illness, it’s not the only love story we were treated to. This spinoff also brought us the very first queer romance in the Bridgerverse (I am still side-eyeing the missed opportunity with Benedict Bridgerton).

And it is a romance that has predictably become dearly beloved by fans and casual viewers alike.

Brimsley is the Queen’s man, who we were already introduced to in the past two seasons of Bridgerton. He is Charlotte’s personal attendant (played by Hugh Sachs) and is once described by Charlotte as “a terrible gossip”— like everyone else in the ton, one might add. There is a reason Lady Whistledown is so popular.

In Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, we see how the two – Charlotte and Brimsley – met and started working together. A young Brimsley, played by Sam Clemmett, enters the Queen’s service immediately upon her arrival to the United Kingdom and remains with her—always five steps behind—from that moment on. From ordering people to pick the Queen’s oranges and taking care of her travel plans to posting her mail, Brimsley grows sincerely attached to Charlotte—so much so that we see him try to take matters into his own hands when her marriage to King George appears to be going south. And that includes talking to the King’s man.

King George III, who ascended to the throne in his early twenties, obviously also has a personal attendant: Reynolds, played in the series by Freddie Dennis. The two are shown to be quite close, with Reynolds being one of the very few people who knows of the illness that afflicts George and the extent to which it affects him.

It is clear once we start seeing interactions between Brimsley and Reynolds, that their relationship is already ongoing the moment the story starts—so we got to skip the courting part, instead following along as their romance waxes and wanes in light of the queen and king’s struggles.

At the very end of Queen Charlotte—once Charlotte and George have no more secrets between them and have decided to live together and love each other in the way that works best for them—Reynolds and Brimsley share an adorable moment in the bathtub together.

“Will it last? Will he stay as he is?” Brimsley asks as they wash their bodies in the bathtub. He sounds hopeful, in part for the Queen he has become so attached to and in part for what the future will hold for him and his lover.

“One can hope,” a more pessimistic Reynolds replies.

“Reynolds, if it lasts, they would have one another. They will be together, have a marriage, grow old as one. We would serve them together.” Brimsley is earnest in the picture he paints.

And it seems Reynolds sees it now, because he responds with, “A lifetime.” And when Brimsley echoes his words, he embraces some optimism when he says, “It is possible.”

“But truly possible?” Brimsley pushes.

“I do not know,” Reynolds says cautiously. “Perhaps. Great love can make miracles.”

And you suspect that even though the great love he is referring to is that of Charlotte and George, the miracle is an opportunity for him and Brimsley to always be together as their principals are together, being afforded a chance to grow old alongside one another while walking the halls of the same palaces.

It is a very poignant scene, one that fills the viewer with both hope for the longevity of their love and dread at how fleeting this promise feels.

But for now, the promise is there. And it is sealed when the two men dance together at the ball thrown by Charlotte and George—deeper into the gardens and secluded from view. Fun fact: the official novel that goes hand in hand with Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story revealed that the king and queen actually do catch a peek of their attendants dancing together—and are very happy to see them in love, just like they are.

All of this only makes the edit from Reynolds and Brimsley dancing together to an older Brimsley spinning by himself that much more painful. And it’s a question that has kept fans busy ever since the show premiered: What exactly happened to Reynolds? Why is he gone by the time we reach the main Bridgerton timeline?

So far, there has been no official answer as to what exactly happened to Reynolds and why an older version of him hasn’t appeared in Bridgerton. Of course, the extradiegetic answer might very simply be that the show’s executive producers hadn’t yet created him when Bridgerton first started.

That hasn’t stopped fans from fretting that Reynolds may have passed away.

However, showrunner Shonda Rhimes’ words give fans hope. “Reynolds is not dead. There’s a lot more I could write about that,” Rhimes reportedly said. By showing Brimsley dancing alone, she wanted to convey the idea that “service takes over,” and not necessarily that Reynolds passed away sometime before the Bridgerton timeline.

Hopefully that leaves the door open for catching a glimpse of an older Reynolds sometime in the future Bridgerton seasons—maybe leaving the king at Kew Palace, which would give his relationship with Brimsley a bittersweet air, similar to the one between Charlotte and George.

Written by Mandy

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  1. Kings
    May 21, 20:36 Reply

    The romance between these two is a delight to watch. I love their relationship sha though they couldn’t have the time they needed alone

  2. Rudy
    May 21, 22:11 Reply

    Thanks for shedding light on this enchanting relationship between the duo.

    This queer love displayed in this spin-off is touching and shows how far queer love has come from the shadows of the chambers in chateaus & palaces into the light in bustling cities around mega cities in the form of pride.

    A warm Welcome to you Mandy, you’ve been away for a minute.

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