‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Episode 1 Recap

Editor’s notice: The under recap comprises spoilers for Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 1.

The Big Picture

  • Colin and Penelope’s gradual burn romance faces obstacles as Penelope grapples with emotions and Colin stays elusive.
  • Francesca’s indifference to her debutante season contrasts together with her household’s romantic pursuits, sparking concern from her mom.
  • Penelope’s glow-up creates buzz on the ball, however a tear in her costume and her previous confrontation with Eloise depart her feeling remoted.

Welcome again, esteemed members of the ton, to a different season of Bridgerton. It feels as if it has been an age since we final caught up with the Bridgerton siblings of their quests to seek out love — 26 months, to be exact, although we did have the gorgeous, sweeping, and delightfully swoonyQueen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story to carry us over — however right here we’re eventually, able to dive into the tremendous gradual burn romance that’s Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan). But is it going to be easy crusing for the couple? Considering she’s been pining for years, and that Season 2 ended with Colin claiming he’d “never court Penelope Featherington,” it is secure to say: after all not.

As we, the viewers, return to the world of Regency-era Bridgerton for the primary time in two years, so too does the ton return to London for the season within the opening moments of Episode 1, “Out of the Shadows.” Wherever the ton is, after all, so is Penelope’s alter ego, Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews), and she or he arrives again on the town delighted to see all of London society as soon as once more engrossed in her newest column. For all that Penelope’s identification as Lady Whistledown has prompted a falling out together with her greatest pal Eloise (Claudia Jessie), that does not appear to have dulled Penelope’s quill — or her eager sense of commentary as she lays out this yr’s most eligible debutantes.


The eight close-knit siblings of the Bridgerton household search for love and happiness in London excessive society.

Release Date
December 25, 2020

Chris Van Dusen

Main Genre



Francesca Finally Makes Her Debut in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3

Hannah Dodd as Francesca Bridgerton sitting at a piano in Bridgerton Season 3 Episode 1
Image by way of Netflix

One of those debutantes is, after all, Francesca Bridgerton (Hannah Dodd), who’s ostensibly preparing for her presentation to Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) whereas her anxious mom Violet (Ruth Gemmell) and siblings Eloise, Gregory (Will Tilston), Hyacinth (Florence Hunt), and Benedict (Luke Thompson) wait outdoors. None of them can determine why Francesca is being so quiet till Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate (Simone Ashley) arrive, hand in hand, and Kate suggests if all of them are standing right here, and somebody down the corridor is enjoying piano, then it stands to motive Francesca will not be in her room in any case.

Sure sufficient, they discover her enjoying within the drawing room, and regardless of her mom and Hyacinth’s shock that she could be so informal on a day as vital as her presentation, Francesca insists it is simply one other day and leads the best way out of the room. Violet’s shock rapidly turns to horror when Benedict factors out Francesca was enjoying a funeral march once they walked in. With us now having adopted the Bridgerton siblings for 3 social seasons, it is attention-grabbing to trace how every of the sisters reacts to her popping out: Daphne exhibited eldest-daughter perfection, whereas Eloise proceeded with nothing wanting disdain. Hyacinth is over the moon about her flip. But Francesca, no less than for now, reveals one thing we do not see too usually in both reveals or in romance novels: indifference. She does not hate it, she does not like it, it holds about as a lot pleasure for her as a dental cleansing. Or no less than, that is how issues seem because the household heads off to current her to the queen.

But whereas many of the household put together to go away for courtroom, there’s one Bridgerton who stays unaccounted for — Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon (Regé-Jean Page), we presume, are off at their residence in Clyvedon — and that’s the world traveler himself, Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton). But by no means worry, he is arrived again on the town simply in time, rocking a Prince-Eric-meets-pirate swagger and setting the hearts of each younger girl within the neighborhood aflutter, together with Penelope’s, as she watches his homecoming from the sq. between their homes. The brothers journey over to the presentation collectively, and Anthony and Benedict lovingly roast Colin over his leading-man glow-up (although not in so many phrases). Their phrases roll proper off of him although, and moderately than regaling them with tales of his travels, he stays as elusive as each belief fund school grad that took a spot yr to backpack and “find himself.”

At the palace, the debutantes are offered to the Queen, who is sort of bored to tears. Though Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story did a fantastic job of illustrating how Charlotte might go from being the fiery, passionate teenager she was to the queen we see right this moment after many years in a monotonous system, the present additionally now brings up some attention-grabbing questions we did not have earlier than. For occasion, Charlotte bemoans the shortage of “interest” within the crop of debutantes, however what kind of leisure is she anticipating from the identical presentation yr after yr? As somebody who has lived on this world for many of her life, certainly she is best poised than most to comprehend these poor ladies are cogs in that very same system, pressured to convey solely the strictest, most well-behaved mannequin of English womanhood. The extra the season progresses as properly, the extra baffling Charlotte’s characterization turns into, notably in gentle of the prequel sequence.

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Portia Featherington Lies to Save Her Family within the ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Premiere

But whereas the Bridgertons have a comfy day with their household, the identical can’t be mentioned for Penelope, who’s trapped inside listening to her sisters Prudence (Bessie Carter) and Phillipa (Harriet Cains) brag about their weddings to 1 one other whereas their besotted husbands look on, till their mom Portia (Polly Walker) broadcasts that each one their monetary troubles have been settled due to some cash “left to them by their Aunt Petunia.” While there apparently was an Aunt Petunia, Portia’s story is just to function a cover-up for her taking the cash Jack Featherington (Rupert Young) stole in Season 2. While this lie will nearly definitely come again to chew them later, we hopefully will not have to spend an inordinate period of time on the Featheringtons’ cash troubles this season as we did within the final.

The Featherington ladies head out to a backyard occasion organized within the Queen’s honor — albeit with out the Queen in attendance — the place Colin proves to all of the younger girls that the one factor he picked up on his hole yr journey is a rare quantity of rizz. Penelope is caught between a rock and an ungainly place, as she goes from having to observe Colin flirt with different folks to coming head to head with Eloise… and her new BFF Cressida Cowper (Jessica Madsen). Though Eloise stops Cressida from being outright merciless to Penelope, she has nothing to say to her former pal, leaving Penelope standing alone. Also feeling awkward and alone is Francesca, who is perhaps surrounded by her friends, however finds she has little in widespread with them and their lofty desires of a super husband when all she actually needs is a house of her personal and a sort man to share it with.

Francesca’s sensible method offers Violet trigger for concern, as all of the Bridgerton matriarch needs is for her youngsters to seek out love as she did. She vows to Kate that she won’t intervene together with her daughters this season (we’ll see how lengthy that lasts) and guarantees that she’s going to transfer right into a dower home as a way to let Kate totally assume her position as Viscountess. Kate assures her there is no have to deliver that European nonsense into this now partially-ethnic family, and that she will keep so long as she must.

Penelope Takes Her Life Into Her Hands within the ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Premiere

Following a snide remark from Cressida’s mom (Joanna Bobin), Portia abruptly reveals that the final Lord Featherington bequeathed the household property to whichever of her daughters is first to provide a male inheritor, a bombshell announcement made all of the extra suspicious by Prudence and Phillipa’s shocked reactions. While Portia tries valiantly to save lots of face, Colin lastly finds Penelope and tries to choose up the friendship the place they left off, however is left stunned by her chilly, imprecise, well mannered responses. Fortunately for her, all the household has had sufficient, and so they head out quickly after, together with her sisters now every decided to turn out to be the girl of the home. Portia lets the 2 of them squabble, believing Penelope will not be even a contender, and tells her daughter that she’s joyful she’s going to at all times be there to look after her. The prospect of a life spent with solely her mom for firm lights a hearth below Penelope: our woman is lastly prepared for her main girl glow-up.

After hitting a wall with Penelope, Colin makes an attempt to get the reality in regards to the scenario from Eloise. While he nonetheless does not get the complete fact from her, it is clear Eloise continues to be hurting from Penelope’s misguided try to guard her final season by almost ruining her within the Whistledown column. The harm rises to the floor when the 2 ladies run into one another on the modiste and Eloise rebuffs Penelope’s makes an attempt to apologize, although she does not have a very good reply — or any reply in any respect — about why she would befriend Cressida of all folks.

Elsewhere, Will (Martins Imhangbe) and Alice Mondrich (Emma Naomi) are additionally experiencing some main modifications, with the information that Alice’s great-aunt Lady Kent has died, and left her whole property to their oldest son, making him the subsequent Baron of Kent. Though the pair have been first launched as mates of Simon’s specifically, I like that the sequence has stored them round and retains discovering new methods to maintain them woven into the plot of the bigger sequence. Through all of the romantic drama Bridgerton has to supply, the Mondriches are a counterpoint, displaying what a fortunately married couple seems like years into their relationship — not with out their ups and downs, however nonetheless affectionate, loving companions.

And talking of affectionate, loving companions, the episode then cuts to what I can solely describe as a really attractive apology for the truth that we barely acquired to see what a cheerful Kate and Anthony appear to be in Season 2, since a lot time was taken up with extraneous drama discovering methods to maintain them aside till the final potential second. But joyful they’re, and likewise very engaged on this complete enterprise of creating an inheritor, regardless of having Lady Danbury’s (Adjoa Andoh) ball to organize for. Kate needs to make impression at her first ball as Viscountess, however if you happen to ask me, Anthony’s the one who must be apprehensive: in any case, he is the one who spends the scene, ahem, speaking along with his mouth full.

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With her new emerald inexperienced costume, and a brand new, extra trendy hairdo, Penelope unveils her glow-up on the ball, to nice success. It’s wonderful what a costume that really matches, in a shade that really fits the wearer, will do for an individual. Even Colin manages to cease speaking about his Eurotrip lengthy sufficient to note. A trio of males approaches Penelope and try to interact her in dialog, however maybe unused to the eye, she slips up, journeys over her phrases, and talks for too lengthy, which annoys the boys and causes them to go away, as how dare a girl not carry out to their simpering expectations?

Penelope Catches an Eligible Lord’s Eye in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3, Episode 1

(*1*)(*3*)Hannah Dodd and Nicola Coughlan standing at a party in Bridgerton Season 3 Episode 1
Image by way of Netflix

But Penelope hasn’t solely caught the eyes of the boys within the room. Eloise cannot cease glancing over at her, and even Queen Charlotte has taken discover. Lady Danbury reminds the Queen that, Penelope’s new look apart, Charlotte has but to pick a diamond for the season — a development that has been in place for under two years and has now instantly turn out to be an expectation. Charlotte asserts that diamonds are treasured as a result of they’re uncommon — they don’t seem to be, they’re stunning, but in addition so widespread they’re used to make drill bits — however Lady Danbury, desirous to stir the pot slightly, acknowledges that Charlotte solely picked the diamond final yr, and that it was Lady Whistledown who did so the primary time, the implication being, after all, that solely Lady Whistledown was profitable in predicting the season’s greatest match. That lights the mandatory hearth below Charlotte, who does not say a lot, however the gears in her head are whirring. You know what’s a treasured, uncommon, and delicate stone? Emeralds. Just saying.

Like Penelope, poor Francesca cannot catch a break both. But the place Penelope talked an excessive amount of, Francesca hardly says something past the mandatory politeness, at the same time as she’s cornered by a trio of Lords who all however demand she rattle off her Bumble profile for them. She slips away and tells Anthony she needs to be left alone for some time, and in an indication of how a lot he is grown as an individual, he truly lets her go. Perhaps it is as a result of he’d moderately dance along with his spouse than chase his sister across the ballroom.

Francesca finds Penelope standing off to the facet and admits to her that she does not notably like attracting discover. Penelope agrees that that is in all probability troublesome for somebody from such a notice-attracting household, however tells Francesca to not turn out to be a wallflower, and tells her she’s fortunate to have the eye in any respect. Francesca takes her phrases to coronary heart but in addition encourages Penelope to come back off the wall as properly. Penelope takes her pal’s recommendation if solely to go so far as to get a bowl of ice cream, however there she meets the tall and good-looking Lord Debling (Sam Phillips), with whom she shares a way more pure banter.

But as a result of Cressida cannot let anybody have something good, she “accidentally” steps on Penelope’s robe and tears it. Lord Debling graciously heads off to discover a maid to assist, and Cressida taunts Penelope in regards to the cheapness of the material. Never thoughts the truth that the 2 store on the similar modiste, however it’s very wealthy for somebody whose each costume seems more and more ridiculous to name another person’s costume “cheap.” Eloise, on the very least, has the decency to look embarrassed, however Penelope storms out earlier than her former pal can attempt to apologize.

Colin finds her crying outdoors and tries to consolation her by complimenting her costume. He is shocked when his appeal does not work on her the best way it appears to have labored on everybody else, and Penelope makes an attempt to go away once more, rebuffing his try to seek out her a chaperone and telling him that, as a spinster, she does not want one. While by and enormous the updates made to the sequence from the books have served to make the books work higher within the medium of tv, this assertion of Penelope’s brings the 2 into jarring battle. In each the books and the present, Penelope was offered to society a yr early — say, at 17 years outdated. The e-book encompasses a main time soar earlier than Colin and Penelope’s story kicks off, and she or he is 28 for many of it. The sequence reminds us that is her third yr out, making her 20 at most. A lady at 28 would possibly firmly be on the shelf, however 20? Hardly a spinster. It’s potential to write down her remark off as self-deprecating moderately than goal reality, however it does make me surprise why they wished to maintain the spinster storyline in adaptation moderately than simply the wallflower-in-bloom side of the plot.

Following her spinster outburst, Colin lastly clues into the truth that there is perhaps one thing improper between the 2 of them, and she or he lastly reveals the explanation she is so upset with him is due to how vehemently Colin instructed everybody he would by no means ever courtroom her. He makes an attempt to maneuver the dialog someplace extra personal, however Penelope has had sufficient and heads residence to write down the subsequent difficulty of Whistledown, sparing no Bridgerton within the course of.

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The subsequent day, Portia will get a go to from Henry Dundas (Edward Bennett), the identical man who delivered the life-changing information for the Mondriches. He tells her his job oversees traces of succession, and he is come to observe up together with her declare that the household property will go to whichever daughter is the primary to have a son. He implies that he is aware of the doc is cast, and all however units a ticking clock for the Featherington ladies to make sure one of many ladies has a son earlier than he uncovers that reality. If Mama Featherington wasn’t overly invested in her daughter’s reproductive habits, she definitely is now.

While out for a stroll within the park, Eloise lastly calls Cressida out on the cruelty of ripping Penelope’s costume, reminding her it could in all probability be simpler for her to discover a husband if she was a nicer particular person — value noting too, that nobody is looking Cressida a spinster, and she or he’s older than Penelope — and Cressida admits that husbands apart, it is also been troublesome for her to discover a pal. It’s in all probability acquired one thing to do with that complete “seeing all other women as competition” factor she’s acquired happening, one thing she no less than has sufficient self-awareness to acknowledge.

The two of them make for a wierd pairing. It’s as if in her loneliness, Eloise forgot about how Cressida has beforehand tried to undermine each Daphne and Penelope’s households. Yes, Cressida admits she’s fallen prey to society pitting younger ladies in opposition to one another, however her actions immediately impacted folks Eloise supposedly cared about. It would in all probability even be simpler for Eloise to seek out different mates if she wasn’t nonetheless susceptible to waving her “not like other girls” flag. Lady Bridgerton might need let her daughters pursue their varied pursuits, however it’s infuriating to observe Eloise sneer at different ladies for having fun with embroidery when it is one of many few hobbies they in all probability have entry to, and to assert she thought she was the one one who observed how all the women must compete with one another. The distinction is, the opposite ladies have mates. Eloise solely has the one. Hopefully, that will get unpacked extra this season, as a result of for now, Eloise is turning into more durable and more durable to learn.

Back at Bridgerton House, Anthony finds Kate within the examine catching up on some paperwork. Before he can whisk her again to mattress, and again to the enterprise of heir-making, Kate means that the pair of them lengthen their honeymoon slightly longer, leaving the duties of Viscountess to Violet, and presumably the property administration to Benedict, who took care of it whereas they have been away the primary time. Kate is burnt out from having to handle Edwina for thus lengthy and desires only a bit extra time to be egocentric, one thing Anthony readily agrees to. It’s such a candy scene that it nearly makes you neglect that that is the present’s built-in motive why Ashley and Bailey will not be round a lot this season, as booked and busy as they’re.

Elsewhere in the home, Violet tries to get Francesca to speak about how she appreciated her first ball, tries to encourage her daughter to be open to the concept, and wrongly assumes Francesca is afraid of assembly anybody. Francesca assures her that’s not the case, however she is not holding out for a similar type of all-consuming love and fervour that everybody within the household has skilled so far. Violet seems like she does not know what to make of this, and I’m begging a single particular person on this present to take Francesca and her needs significantly. Just as a result of she is quiet and sensible, and never snarling in regards to the bane of her existence and the thing of her needs within the face of the primary particular person she finds engaging, doesn’t suggest she feels any much less keenly.

And talking of Bridgerton’s discovering love, Colin heads to Penelope’s to apologize for the night time earlier than, and to inform her that he values her friendship, and positively is not ashamed of her. Penelope tells him she’s envious of his confidence, and the best way he feels so at residence in society when she by no means does, and he tells her appeal will be taught, and provides to assist her discover a husband if it would make her joyful. How might this presumably go improper? No one ever caught emotions like this, did they? Penelope is joyful to have her pal again however horrified to comprehend the issues she wrote about him within the newest Whistledown have been hardly complimentary — a lot so, that Colin ends the episode vowing to deliver the gossip columnist down and spoil her life.



Bridgerton’s Season 3 premiere units the stage, placing Colin and Penelope within the limelight eventually.


  • Penelope totally steps into the main girl limelight, with a glow-up that did not require her to get skinny to be sizzling.
  • We get glimpses of a cheerful Kate and Anthony after probably not having any within the couple’s personal season.
  • The non-Colin/Penelope subplots are equally attention-grabbing, notably Francesca’s.

The first 4 episodes of Bridgerton Season 3 are streaming on Netflix now.

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