Bridgerton season 3 part 1 ending explained: The mid-season proposal that has stopped time

Bridgerton season 3 part 1
Bridgerton Season 3 part 1 tangles the stories up more intricately (Image via Netflix)

Bridgerton season 3 part 1 finishes on a massive cliffhanger, heightening the suspense and excitement for the series' second installment set to air on Thursday, June 13. As usual, the final episode of Bridgerton’s latest season included, concluded, and also, left open, a variety of storylines.

Disclaimer: Article contains spoilers for Bridgerton season 3.

Bridgerton season 3 part 1 features Penelope's renewed desire to find someone to marry. While Penelope and Colin commanded attention, Colin's promise to assist Penelope in finding a spouse leads him to acknowledge his desires for her.

This is further complicated by (ironically) her convoluted connection with Colin following his jabs at her last season; Eloise's surprising friendship with Pen, following her and Penelope going their separate ways, and, most importantly, the attempt to discover Lady Whistledown's identity, which was a major revelation last season, were all the major plot points.

Bridgerton season 3 part 1 ending explained

Bridgerton season 3 part 1 might have been all about Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin (Luke Newton). Still, it wasn't until the last episode of part 1 that the couple declared their affection for one another.

Episode 4 of Bridgerton Season 3 starts off with Lord Debling, who calls on Penelope. Her family is surprised when he gifts her a plant. Everyone else is in a jolly mood too, as fans witness Benedict (Luke Thompson) check on Lady Tilley Arnold (Hannah New), and even the queen is upbeat when she reads Lady Whistledown and discovers she is in excellent standing with the anonymous writer.

Penelope's identification as Lady Whistledown, the said anonymous writer, is one of the most contentious issues in Bridgerton season 3. While her gossip blog has always been a hobby of hers, it has become a big stumbling block in her romance with Colin due to how she has represented the Bridgertons in her pieces over the previous few seasons.

As a result, once Colin proposes to Penelope towards the conclusion of Bridgerton season 3 part 1, she has a decision to make. Pen has two options: reveal to Colin that she is Lady Whistledown and risk destroying their engagement, or keep it a secret and lose what she loves most.

Penelope eventually accepts Colin's proposal to marry her and appears determined to leave Lady Whistledown behind. Though it kills her putting her artistic endeavors away, she adores Colin too much to jeopardize their growing love.

However, her perspective swiftly shifts when Cressida Cowper creates a competing edition of Whistledown, burying Pen's status as Lady Whistledown. Penelope creates her own edition of Whistledown that night, encouraged by Eloise, and, as predicted, Colin discovers it. Despite her best attempts, her and Colin's romance comes to a standstill and ends on a cliffhanger.

What happens with our other characters in Bridgerton season 3 part 1?


While previous seasons dealt with one of the members of the Bridgerton family's road to marriage, season 3 features four separate romances blossoming. Francesca Bridgerton develops feelings for a man called John Stirling who shares her interests and values.

Because of their mutual affection for quiet and stillness, the two appear to be a wonderful fit, and they become engaged. They nevertheless run into difficulties due to the Queen's wish for Francesca to enter into a marriage of her choosing, as well as Violet's obvious reservations about the union.

Overall, these issues left Francesca and John also with a cliffhanger at the close of Bridgerton season 3 part 1.

Bridgerton season 2 saw the supposedly unbreakable connection between Penelope and Eloise crumble as Eloise discovered that Penelope (as Lady Whistledown) was to blame for her social exclusion.

As Bridgerton season 3 begins, she is seen devoting her time to Cressida Cowper, who, in spite of her rudeness, has begun to mature as a consequence of their friendship.

After seeing Penelope mock herself in Lady Whistledown's pages, Eloise ultimately comes to reconciliation with her. But both of them do not resume their previous connection.

Instead, Eloise seeks to help Cressida find a spouse for herself before her father gives her to someone else. To avoid marrying an elderly man, she claims to be Lady Whistledown.

This unanticipated series of unfortunate events leaves Eloise feeling betrayed by Cressida and concerned for Pen. As a result, by the end of the season, the two appear to be on a rough patch. Cressida thus fails to marry Lord Debling at the conclusion of Bridgerton season 3 part 1.

Bridgerton Season 3 Part 1
Bridgerton Season 3 Part 1

After his and Penelope's romance ended, she might have had a chance to be with him, but she instead, as mentioned, told him she was Lady Whistledown. By doing so, she puts herself in a perilous situation that, if successful, will result in her ultimate freedom.

However, as audience members may have seen, Cressida and Lord Debling seemed remarkably well-matched. Cressida may yet have a chance with Debling, despite the fact that she is currently caught up in Whistledown turmoil.

As a whole, the finale of Bridgerton Season 3 Part 1 was tumultuous. The majority of the cast is in a state of uncertainty with their ambitions unfulfilled and, more problematic their lives on the verge of collapse.

In the following fashion, Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 must repair all that the previous part destroyed. Before anything else, Penelope must face Colin's reaction to the situation she has placed him in, over her falsehoods and lies.

Hopefully, all will be answered in Bridgerton season 3 part 2, when the series returns on June 13, 2024. The series is currently streaming on Netflix.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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