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‘Bridgerton’ is Back: What We’ve Seen So Far And Where It Could Go in Part Two

The new season of ‘Bridgerton’ is here and everyone is screaming (without the “s”). What a touching way for the world to unite.

A red-haired woman and dark-haired man stand in front of a mirror making intense eye contact.
Credit: Netflix

The newest installment of the Regency romance came out on May 15, and since then, the Internet has been buzzing about it and clutching their pearls (or diamonds, in this case).

A Quick Refresher

Years have passed since we last got a taste of Bridgerton, and, yes, we got Queen Charlotte (2023)–it was epic, it was steamy, it was all the good things–thank you Shonda Rhimes and team for giving us something while we waited–but it wasn’t the main event. But now that season 3 is finally here, let’s take a step back so we can talk about this from the beginning. 

Last season we left off with a newly minted Viscount and Viscountess (Kanthony for life). Colin left to do some soul-searching across Europe. And the biggest moment was the major fallout between Penelope and Eloise. Discovering that your best friend is the gossip writer who nuked your reputation will do that.

Viscountess Kate, beautiful young woman wearing an orange dress is hugged from behind by Viscount Anthony, a young man in a white shirt and blue vest.
Viscountess Kate and Viscount Anthony. Credit: Netflix/Liam Daniel

These endings left fans hungry for more. Then, when it was announced that the show would stray from the original order of the books (Penelope and Colin’s story moved from fourth in line to third), the fans became downright ravenous.

Speculation flew about what plotlines and scenes we could see plucked from the novel–the carriage, the mirror, Penelope’s glow-up–the possibilities were endless. Now that we have had some time to digest the juiciness of season three, part one in the Ton, let’s recap and discuss what could come in part two. 

The Wallflower Who Bloomed (and Colin Too)

For our lead couple this season, the beloved Penelope and Colin or “Polin,” as they have been crowned by fans, we see their slow-burn, friends-to-lovers romance blossom. We also see both of these characters become insanely sexy (like so jaw-droppingly hot, it’s ridiculous).

If there’s one thing that Bridgerton is known for besides the insane amount of sex in an otherwise prim-and-proper environment, it’s the infamous “Shonda Rhimes Glow-Up” that each character undertakes when it’s their season to shine.

In the first two seasons, Penelope cannot escape the color yellow or her corkscrew-curled hair. Mostly because her mother insists on making sure her daughters have the “Featherington look.” But let’s keep it real, this look does no favors for the fair-skinned, copper-haired Penelope. 

In season three, we finally see her step away from the shadows of the ballroom walls. She trades in the citrus gowns for stunning shades of blue. Putting forward a more risqué look with sheer gloves and a snatched silhouette. Penelope’s hair is now often styled in loose waves and kiss curls–a style historically used to hint at a woman’s sensuality (we love to see it).

The top two photos show Penelope Featherington, a young, white, red-haired woman. In the left photo she is dressed in a yellow dress that washed her out. In the photo on the right, she wears a blue dress that suits her well. The bottom two photos are of Colin Bridgerton, a young, white, dark-haired man. In the photo to the left, he is baby-faced and unsure of himself. In the photo on the right, he exudes confidence and has a brooding expression.
Penelope and Colin’s glow-ups. Credit: Netflix/Liam Daniel

As for Colin, he got the same treatment Shonda Rhimes gives to all of her beautiful British boys. He suddenly just turned up even hotter. As Benedict Bridgerton would say “Under what foreign sun did you apparently get so sturdy?” He’s asking the real questions that the people want answers to (seriously, what sorcery is this?). 

Nobody knows exactly where Shonda sends these men–to boot camp, to a magician, we may never know. Regardless, it is clear that Colin’s time away on his travels was certainly beneficial–for his soul-searching journey, of course (absolutely no other reason at all).

Moments that Shined in Polin’s Romance

Penelope has always had an unrequited crush on Colin. Colin has always been in his own little world–much to the frustration of fans. The only thing that seems even more frustrating than Colin’s head-in-the-clouds attitude is the fact that Penelope’s family and other members of the Ton always count her out. 

She is smart, gorgeous, and loyal to a fault. She’s a businesswoman in an environment where it’s a big no-no for women to have jobs. Put some respect on her name. Yeah, her style sucked in the first few seasons, and yeah, she’s introverted, but that’s not a crime. As we saw, she can pull if she wants to.

The kiss. The sweet, semi-pathetic kiss between Penelope and Colin. She was convinced she’d live her entire life as a spinster (relatable), so she asked him for a quick peck. No big deal. Except that she had that man dreaming about her for weeks after. Stealing sultry glances at one another and sneaking away to chat under the guise of “helping Penelope find a husband.” Talk about power.

Colin looks longingly at Penelope Featherington as she runs her hands through his hair.
Still from the carriage scene. Credit: Netflix/Liam Daniel

Now, let’s talk about the carriage scene, the one that had jaws (and other things) on the floor. Let’s look at the image above…are you joking? After Colin interrupts Penelope’s marriage proposal with Lord Debling, she flees from the ball by carriage, only to be tracked down by Colin who finally confesses his feelings for her. Of course, things got hot and heavy after that. The string version of Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything” rained down from the heavens (excellent song choice). Fans lost their ever-loving minds when Colin asked Penelope to marry him–and that was the end.

It could be considered cruel and unusual punishment to make everyone wait an entire month before they get to see what comes next. Some may even feel like it was a big middle finger to fans–fitting since we know how much fingers played a part in that heart-pounding mid-season finale.

Lady Whistledown

The secret gossip writer and alter-ego of Penelope Featherington just scraped the surface of the drama in part one. She did something interesting by starting the social season with lots of flattery toward the members of the Ton. This could have been a way to distract from the harm she had done. Or perhaps to do damage control if anybody finds out about her identity later on.

It seems like Penelope hopes that this new face of Lady Whistledown will also help her save face with Eloise. It works, Eloise keeps her secret, but things heat up more as the season goes on.

Eloise, a young white, dark haired woman wearing a light blue dress, stands face-to-face with Penelope, a young, white, red-haired woman wearing a yellow dress. They look at each other with serious expressions.
Eloise and Penelope talk at the modiste. Credit: Netflix/Liam Daniel

She called out Colin Bridgerton for “not knowing if the new version of him was the true one.” She also wrote about herself asking Colin, a male friend and eligible bachelor, to help her find a husband. Very scandalous and improper, indeed.

This ended with Colin vowing to “ruin Lady Whistledown” if he ever found out her identity. That’s awkward considering he was getting handsy with her by the end of episode four. Maybe he meant “ruin” in another way, if you catch the drift. 

Keeping Up With The Other Bridgertons

Benedict Bridgerton this season has fallen a bit flat in many fans’ eyes so far. His storyline seems recycled–he finds a woman of unique tastes, has…relations with her, and that’s that. His season is coming soon, so here’s to hoping part two sheds light on how Benedict’s story will move forward. And how his newest lady-friend fits into it.

Through the grapevine (Tiktok), there’s also been one big question being asked in regards to Eloise’s storyline–is she into women? In the books, Eloise marries Phillip Crane, but fans this season have noticed a certain chemistry between Eloise and Cressida Cowper, the recurring mean-girl who constantly picks on Penelope Featherington (way to be a great friend, Eloise). Given Eloise’s hatred of the marriage mart, Cressida’s father telling her to “stay away from the Bridgerton girl,” and the creators of the show saying they were expanding on queer storylines, it seems possible. We shall have to wait and see how her story unfolds in part two and the seasons to come. 

Eloise, a young, white, brunette woman smiles. Cressida, a young, white, blond woman looks forward with a serious expression.
Eloise with Cressida Cowper. Credit: Netflix/Liam Daniel

We haven’t seen too much of Kate and Anthony this season, aside from their few steamy romps and sweet dances in the first few episodes. Rumors were swirling amongst fans that there could be a new Bridgerton heir on the way for the Viscount and Viscountess, but alas no news was revealed in part one. Maybe once they come back from their extended honeymoon, they’ll have a surprise to share.

In part one, we also saw more of Francesca Bridgerton, who made her debut on the marriage mart this season. She caught the Queen’s eye with her incredible piano skills. She also caught the attention of John, the suitor who will be the love interest in her season. Fans speculate that they are both neurodivergent based on Francesca’s hyper-fixation on playing the piano and John’s reserved demeanor, as well as the fact that they are most comfortable in each other’s silence (how sweet).

How Did It Stack Up to Fan’s Expectations?

Overall, the consensus seems to be that fans loved this new addition to the Bridgerverse. The drama, fashion, and, burning romance that is a hallmark of the show, once again, shot it to the top of Netflix’s ‘Top Ten in Shows Today’ list (and we know it will be there for weeks).

Of course, even the best works aren’t free from criticism. Some fans complained about the way the characters were styled and brought up the historical inaccuracies. There was even talk that Penelope and Colin’s story felt too rushed. Many fans also said that the secondary characters this season had too much screen time compared to the main couple.

To that, I will say nobody watches Bridgerton for historical accuracy- plain and simple. The diversity, fashion, and stylistic choices are part of what makes this series so iconic in the minds of fans. The copious amount of sexy moments too. Yeah, those certainly leave an impression. 

Penelope and Colin’s romance is very…Polin. It’s been building since season one, they’re both a bit awkward, struggling to find themselves in society, and known for hiding behind masks–and that’s what makes them so perfect for each other. Friends to lovers was always in the cards for them and it’s all finally coming to a head (thank the stars). As for the other character’s storylines…in Shonda Rhimes and her team we trust, we’ll have to see if it all falls into place by the end of the season.

In part two, we can expect to see Colin and Penelope make their public debut as a couple. There will certainly be more tension between Eloise and Penelope over Lady Whistledown. Maybe we’ll even see what happens if the writer’s identity is revealed to the rest of the Ton–and how Colin will react to the news. Many twists and turns lie ahead, that is for certain, and the excruciating wait for the second part of the season continues to march on (stay strong, soldiers).

Season three, part two of Bridgerton will be released on Netflix on June 13.

Written By

MI📍🧤|| English, Business, & Film student at Michigan State University

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