‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Vol. 1 Recap (Episodes 1-4): Did Colin Confess His Feelings?


The Bridgerton season 3 trailer had already caused quite a stir before its release. The most anticipated couple, Penelope and Colin, finally have an entire season dedicated to their alluring love story. Unlike seasons one and two, where the lovers meet for the very first time during the matchmaking season, Penelope and Colin have always been good friends, and their romance feels effortless. Season two was quite difficult on Penelope, with her losing her best friend, Eloise. When Eloise found out Lady Whistledown was none other than her best friend, Penelope, she felt betrayed. Penelope had caused more damage than good, and Eloise refused to be friends anymore. Penelope grew lonelier with time, and in season three, she decides to seriously consider taking a husband to finally move out of her house. In this article, I take a close look at all four episodes of Bridgerton season 3.

Spoiler Alert

Episode 1: How did Colin try to be a better friend?

Just like every season, the Bridgertons have grabbed the attention of the ton once again, thanks to debutant Francesca and her flamboyant brother, Colin. A music lover and pianist, Francesca preferred to hide from the crowd. Unlike Eloise, she did intend on taking a husband, while not necessarily attracting everyone’s attention in the room. Contrary to her usual style, Lady Whistledown chose to be appreciative of the debutants. Change was undoubtedly what Penelope was seeking as well; after all, she did not intend to live with her mother forever.

The Queen was rather not pleased with the debutants, and she was quite expressive about how much they bored her. While everyone waited for the Queen to choose the season’s Diamond, she did the unexpected and made no announcement. Penelope felt like an oddball at the gathering—Colin was busy attending to the ladies, while Eloise seemed rather comfortable in Cressida’s company. The two people who mattered a great deal in her life were doing fine without her. Colin had recently returned from his travels across France, Spain, and Italy, and the experience had greatly influenced his personality. He was more mature and knew how to keep conversations going. While every other woman wanted to know more about Colin’s adventurous stories, he walked away from his eager crowd to speak to Penelope. He was glad to see her and tried to strike up a conversation, but she was done being the supportive good friend (especially after finding out how he spoke about her in public) and walked away. Penelope realized that her mother had accepted the fact that she would forever be by her side—this was nothing but a nightmare for the gossip writer, and she decided it was time that she implemented some changes in her life. She decided to part ways with her citrous-colored clothes that made her appear childlike and instead do something bolder and ‘French’. It was not just Penelope who embraced change in her life, but also the Mondrich family, who owned the Mayfair Club. As it turned out, Mrs. Mondrich’s great aunt, Lady Kent, had left her son, Nicholas, her title and properties. Nicholas was to be the next Baron of Kent, and all of a sudden the family was welcomed into the aristocratic society. 

At Lady Dunbury’s extravagant ball, Penelope, in her new attire, looked breathtakingly beautiful, and she caught the attention of the entire room. While it was easier to upgrade her fashion choices, she still struggled to have conversations with men. Change was not easy on Eloise as well. As much as she tried to become friends with others, the conversations were rather dull, and she was often bored. The best friends perhaps desperately needed each other, but then again, the truth was too difficult and shocking for Eloise to accept Penelope back into her life. Francesca and Penelope bonded over the fact that they both wanted to stay away from attention, and Francesca reminded her before getting back on the dance floor that it was important that she did not get too comfortable standing by the wall. But life was not easy for Penelope, with Cressida intentionally stepping on her gown to ruin the possibility of her establishing a relationship with Lord Debling. An embarrassed Penelope rushed out of the ball towards the end of episode one of Bridgerton season 3 and Colin followed her. Colin was concerned about Penelope deciding to leave all of a sudden, and that led to an emotional outburst. She called herself a spinster and expressed how tiring it was to find a prospective match, especially when no one showed any interest in her. Penelope also confessed to overhearing Colin say that he would never date her, and that was the reason why she preferred not to stay in touch with him.

Penelope poured her feelings out as Lady Whistledown, and she did not mince her words while criticizing Colin. Penelope did not expect Colin to come to her house to apologize for his past behavior. He proposed to help her find the right match, and episode one came to an end with Penelope accepting his proposal. While Penelope and Colin became friends once again, Colin criticized Lady Whistledown and promised to destroy her once he figured out her real identity.

Episode 2: What did Penelope ask of Colin?

The Queen announced that she would not be merely impressed by one’s appearance this season; if someone truly wanted to become the season’s Diamond, they had to sparkle in more ways than one. The word started to spread, and every mother did their best to help their daughters to win the title. Meanwhile, Penelope and Colin worked on their courting lessons. She believed she was a lost cause, but Colin showed confidence in her. He was certain that once Penelope started to feel secure about herself, she would attract suitors. Colin invited Penelope to the Bridgerton house when most of his family members had either stepped outside or were busy playing cards. He replicated the ballroom and suggested Penelope make a move, but he did not expect her compliment to make him blush. Soon, Eloise returned home, and he had to hide Penelope in his study. There, she came across his journal, where he described his many lustful European affairs. Colin was embarrassed when he found her reading his journal, and in an attempt to remove it from her vicinity, he ended up dropping the candle holder on the floor. As he reached for the glass pieces, they sliced through his skin, causing a cut on his hand. Penelope tended to his wound, and it was a moment that Colin would eventually revisit over and over again. At that moment, he felt closer to Penelope than ever before, especially when she held his hand.

Eloise had seen Penelope leave her house, and she later asked Colin about it. He confessed to helping Penelope find a suitor. Eloise ended up sharing the gossip with Cressida, and she was loud enough for the young ladies around to overhear the conversation as well. Penelope had started to enjoy the party, with Colin encouraging her to mingle with prospective suitors, before she realized that everyone in the room was gossiping about her. Penelope could see the pity in everyone’s eyes as they spoke about her hopeless situation and how Colin was benevolently trying to help her find a husband. Hurriedly, Penelope departed from the party, her confidence already fragile and shattered further by the gossip that circulated.

In episode 2 of Bridgerton season 3, the Queen chose Francesca as the season’s Diamond. Unlike the rest of the debutants, Francesca did not make efforts only to impress the Queen; she attended to her own interests as well, and that was the sparkle the Queen was searching for. Penelope stayed true to her job as Lady Whistledown and published the gossip as well, even though she was aware of the shame that it would bring upon her and her family. Penelope had pretty much given up on finding a husband, especially after her mother ridiculed her for assuming that she had a chance in the marriage market. Penelope stayed in her room and only left when Colin came to visit her. Penelope made a special request to Colin at the end of episode 2—she asked him to kiss her. She thought that if she was to remain unmarried all her life, she at least deserved to be kissed once. She did not expect anything out of the kiss; it was simply a heartfelt request she made to her friend. Colin obliged, but he did not expect the kiss to stir romantic affection in his heart all of a sudden.

Episode 3: Did Colin confess his feelings?

By the third episode of Bridgerton, Colin had come to realize that he was in love with Penelope. His dreams revolved around her, and his eyes searched for her at every gathering. But Penelope did not think the kiss would impact the nature of their relationship, and she had made peace with the fact that Colin would never reciprocate her affection for him. The only suitor Penelope had taken an interest in was the nature lover, Lord Debling. He had made up his mind to take a wife this season, and his status and wealth attracted the ladies. Debling enjoyed Penelope’s frankness and loved how easy it was to have conversations with her. However, it was not just Penelope who had her eyes on Debling; Cressida was also interested in him. She preferred marrying the naturalist to someone her father would choose. Colin was bothered by Penelope’s interest in Lord Debling. He could not confess his true feelings, but at the same time, it was not easy for him to watch her attempt to impress another man. Penelope lied about her tastes when she realized that Cressida was also trying to grab Lord Debling’s attention. At the balloon flying event, Cressida and Penelope competed to become Debling’s favorites. Meanwhile, the ropes holding the gigantic balloon came off, and Colin heroically saved the day by grabbing onto it and ensuring no one was hurt. While he had the attention of all the ladies, Penelope seemed preoccupied with Lord Debling, breaking Colin’s heart a little.

Meanwhile, the Queen had introduced Francesca to Lord Samadani, who had specially arrived in London from Vienna upon the Queen’s request. She strongly believed they would make a beautiful couple. Francesca tried to get to know Samadani better, but she was a little alarmed when he expressed how much he enjoyed the chaos of having seven brothers and sisters. Francesca preferred the quiet, and she wanted to get married precisely to live in peace and not in constant chatter. She was all the more worried when he stated how he wished to have eight children of his own, thereby prompting her to take a break from the conversation. She was not the only one who needed a break from the chaos; Lord Kilmartin stood by her side, and Francesca was quite impressed when he did not attempt to strike up a conversation and chose to share the silence instead.

Benedict Bridgerton seemed to have also found his match this season in Lady Tilly Arnold. The widower’s direct and fearless approach impressed Benedict a great deal. By the end of episode 3, Penelope managed to once again win Lord Debling’s heart. She was her authentic self, and he believed that he would much rather appreciate someone whose tastes did not match his and who already had interests to keep herself busy during the time he would be away studying nature. Lady Bridgerton realized that Colin was in love with Penelope, and she advised him indirectly to make his move before it was too late. Colin gathered the courage to finally confess his feelings to Penelope, but before he could express himself, Lord Debling requested a dance, and Penelope obliged. Colin accepted his defeat. 

Episode 4: Did Lord Debling propose to Penelope?

In Bridgerton season 3, we are introduced to Lady Dunbury’s brother, Marcus, who returned from the countryside to get accustomed to the social life of Mayfair. Marcus seems to have taken an interest in Lady Bridgerton. While the mother remained preoccupied with finding a suitable match for Francesca, she did not mind the attention of the gentleman. But Lady Danbury does not seem to be fond of her brother, and there might be a possible secret behind it.

Lord Debling had taken a serious interest in Penelope, and she was quite happy about it. She wanted a husband, but at the same time, she was worried that she might end up with someone she was not in love with. Penelope had to decide between a secure life and love, and given that Colin did not have the courage to confess his feelings, she believed a secured life with a husband was better than living with her mother. Meanwhile, Colin appeared to have resigned himself to his fate and preferred drinking away his pain.

Lady Bridgerton was surprised when John Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin, arrived at their doorstep to call upon Francesca. Francesca was glad to see the man she had shared silence with, and just like the first time, they chose to sit in silence together once again. Their silence was interrupted by Lord Samadani, who was still hopeful about building a relationship with the season’s Diamond. The next time Francesca came across Lord Kilmartin, she eagerly approached him, but he seemed too blunt for her taste. He walked away when she stated that she did not quite enjoy the music that the cello player by the street was playing. She assumed that maybe he was not the right match and tried to move on. At the Queen’s Ball, Lord Kilmartin approached her once again. And while she tried to ignore him, he handed her piano notes of the music they heard on the streets. She was pleasantly surprised by it because he had arranged the notes just the way she had suggested. Seeing the glimmer in Francesca’s eyes, Lady Bridgerton knew her daughter had fallen in love with Lord Kilmartin.

Towards the end of episode 4 of Bridgerton season 3, Lord Debling sought Lady Featherington’s permission to ask Penelope’s hand for marriage, and she happily gave him the permission. This was all that Penelope had hoped for, and even if she had to sacrifice love, she believed it was for the better. Colin tried to distract himself, but when his mother announced that Lord Debling intended to propose Penelope for marriage, he realized he would always regret losing her. Colin arrived late at the ball and approached Penelope while she was in the middle of her dance with Lord Debling. He begged Penelope not to marry Lord Debling; he hoped for her to realize that she deserved better. Meanwhile, Cressida made use of the opportunity and asked Debling for a dance, during which she suggested that Colin and Penelope had been old friends and that their houses were right opposite one another. Debling realized that Colin was the reason why Penelope spent most of her time staring out the window of her house. Penelope disagreed with Colin’s proposal and approached Lord Debling once again, but he rejected her because he was afraid her feelings for Colin would disrupt their marriage. Dejected, Penelope boarded the carriage to return home.

Colin followed Penelope, and he managed to stop her carriage. Penelope allowed him the chance to speak, and at the end of episode 4, Colin finally gathered the courage to confess his feelings to Penelope. She initially thought he was not serious, but when she realized that every word he said was true, she admitted that she too wanted them to be more than just friends. What followed was a passionate lovemaking session that will surely flood our social media until volume two is released on June 13th. Colin Bridgerton is ready to marry Penelope Featherington, and while Penelope will happily accept his proposal (hopefully), there is a part of her that Colin has yet to discover. We can expect drama and momentary separation once he figures out that she is Lady Whistledown. But will Eloise give away the truth? How will Colin and Penelope’s relationship affect her? We have to wait a month to find the answer.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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