Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Bridgerton: Season Three, Part One

“She is not drinking the lemonade!”

This review contains spoilers for the first four episodes of season three.

Well, that was unexpected. While I’ve always championed Penelope, I was never a huge fan of her and Colin together. I know, you’re shocked. I’ve been so subtle about it in my previous reviews. I didn’t think Colin deserved her, especially after saying he would never court her to a bunch of his bros last season. But it occurs to me that I did not like Anthony in season one and I became the biggest Kathony shipper ever during season two. Opinions can change, and I believe mine has.

I came into this season, well, this first half of the season, with the expectation that the majority of the episodes would be Penelope pining over Colin and I’ve had quite enough of that, thank you. So when, in episode three, it turns out to be Colin’s torrid dream and not Penelope’s, I was happily surprised. PS. Did that remind anyone else of Spike’s infamous dream in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Going from the trailer, I further expected Colin’s charm lessons to be a centerpiece of the season. However they make it barely an episode before they are discovered due to an indiscreet moment of Eloise’s. Penelope is forced to disparage herself in Whistledown (she tells Colin and Eloise both plainly that doing otherwise would have been suspicious). It weirdly turns out that this might have been the best thing to happen to Penelope. She no longer has to put on the “Oh Lord so and so, blah blah blah” and finds out who her true friends really are: a reluctant Eloise, still stinging from last season’s revelation, Colin, certainly, and the rather handsome Lord Debling who is rather ostracized from society himself. He is, and brace yourselves, for this is truly shocking: a vegetarian. While at first it seems that Cressida Cowper (more on her later) and Penelope must compete for Debling's attentions, Penelope’s lack of filter and unwillingness to playact any further does her kudos. Cressida has done her research on the great auk and is willing to flirt and flounce her way into becoming Lady Debling but her quarry seems to prefer frankness over pretended compatibility.

Cressida returns for a third season, this time as so much more than Bridgerton’s Regina George. Over the months between seasons, she developed a friendship with, unlikely as it seems, Eloise Bridgerton. While she’s still scheming and occasionally falls back into some of her crueler habits (tearing Penelope’s dress in episode one was so not cool), she proves herself to be a good friend to Eloise and her desperation to find a husband is given some explanation: her parents are bitchy and unpleasant and she wants to get away from her family, which is exactly why Penelope herself seeks a husband.

Romance is certainly in the air for more than Penelope and Colin this season. Lady Bridgerton finds herself face to face with a handsome stranger who turns out to be Lady Danbury’s brother. Benedict Bridgerton’s head has been turned by a beautiful widow and, of course, the Queen’s “sparkler,” (diamonds are so last season) Francesca Bridgerton, is on a husband hunt too, however uncertainly. Francesca is... I’ve decided the best word is “chill.” She’s quiet and prefers the company of her pianoforte to the scores of admirers she finds herself with. Much to her mother’s chagrin, she does not desire a passionate, all consuming love but just someone she can be herself with, someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy being the center of attention, and someone who doesn’t want eight children. (Given the statistics on women dying in childbirth in the early 19th century, who can honestly blame her?)

Speaking of children, we come at last to the Featheringtons. Lady Featherington has forged a document saying that her late husband’s estate will go to her oldest grandson. Of course, this document does not hold water as the Queen’s... lawyer? Is that what he was? is quick to point out. However, for plot reasons, the Featheringtons are given some leeway and the race is on for Prudence or Philipa to get pregnant immediately. Some rather crude humor is spent here but little else becomes of this, for now.

Absolutely terrific additions to the main cast are Mr. and Mrs. Mondrich. Their son is left a title and a lot of money by a wealthy aunt and now the former boxer slash club owner and his wife are free to mingle in society. I was so scared at first, thinking something would go wrong with their position and they’d have to lose everything, but their arc this season was more about learning the rules of “polite” society and mingling with the people who are now their peers. I particularly enjoyed Will quieting his wife’s worries of “What have we done to deserve this?” with the very truthful answer: “Nothing. No one does anything to deserve this.”

I am seriously concerned about the rest of the season.

With Colin now all but engaged to Penelope, will he discover her secret? Shonda Rhimes isn’t exactly known for letting her characters get uncomplicated happy endings so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Just one month to go...

Bits and Pieces

Blink and you missed it but it’s mentioned that Edwina got married abroad. Hopefully to someone who deserves her.

Lord Debling did not save the great auk from extinction. RIP great auks you would have loved that people have heard of you now.

While I did miss Kate and Anthony, I think it was right to sideline them. The half-season was pretty stuffed as it was. I do hope to see more of them in a potential season four.

Can you believe I made it through a whole Bridgerton review without complaining about the lack of gay rep? I didn’t. Where are my gays!? If Black nobility and neon pink sequins can exist in 1810 so can gay people.

Honestly? Four out of four alphabetically named siblings



  1. I've been a bit apprehensive and haven't gotten to it yet, but am now encouraged. Thanks, sunbunny. :)

  2. What I found pleasantly surprising was new added diversity in other areas - the deaf debutante and the lord (and potential suitor for Pen to charm) in a wheelchair. I've seen many comments about Francesca likely being ND as well.

    I felt the scenes with the Mondriches dragged a little. I hope Lady Danbury takes them under her wing a bit more so they have more connection to the other characters. There were so many subplots (Benedict and the widow, Francesca and her 2 suitors, Violet and Lady Danbury's brother, Mrs. Featherington trying to get a grandson, Eloise and Cressida's friendship), it felt like Colin and Pen were getting far less screen time than earlier main couples. However, they have had a lot of their story told over the previous two seasons that the other couples didn't have.

    I'm curious if Edwina married the prince or not. I guess by keeping it vague they can adjust things to their liking in future seasons (bringing back the prince for someone else or not needing to recast him if Edwina shows up at some point with her husband and the actor isn't available).

  3. Katie, yes!! I think it's great to incorporate some disabled representation in the show. I was kind of concerned with the Lord in the wheelchair, like would he be seen as a less than desirable catch because of his disability? But no! It was very fine and chill. Although I can't help but wonder how he makes it up and down ALL THE STAIRS at these fancy residences.

  4. Okay, I've zipped through all four episodes already and I was also pleasantly surprised.

    The consistent theme -- being oneself, no matter what -- was everywhere and well done. I did like the Mondrichs, although I kept forgetting their names, who are sadly discovering that being themselves in their new situation is making them outcasts.

    I was so relieved that Penelope was finally permitted to wear clothes that looked good on her. It was such a painful plot point for the first two seasons. And I actually did like Colin this time. He grew up and realized what he truly wanted.

    Sunbunny, there's a gay love story in the Queen Charlotte spinoff. It was genuinely touching and well done.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.