Queen Charlotte holding a fancy tea cup
(Netflix)

We’re Spilling Tea and Speculating About ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3, Part 2

Netflix left viewers with a tantalizing cliffhanger halfway through the third season of Bridgerton. With the season poised to continue on June 13, 2024, we’re tipping our china cups ever-so-slightly to spill some tea about what might happen next!

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The beauty of a television series that’s based on a series of novels is that we know a few things about the characters and plot going in. Season 3 is based on Penelope and Colin’s story from the book Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, making it easy to speculate on where the TV show will go. So speculate we shall! As Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) says in the newly-released trailer for part 2, “Who needs fresh air when you have fresh gossip?”

How did part 1 of season 3 end?

At the midway point of the season, Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) realizes he has developed feelings for his longtime friend Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan). The pair finally confess their love for each other in a spicy carriage scene that left viewers fanning themselves … and begging for more! In the newest trailer for part 2, we get a teaser for the aftermath of Colin’s sudden marriage proposal.

What the trailer reveals

We can learn a few things about the second half of the season just by closely watching the trailer. The entire Ton will be shocked by the wedding announcement, especially the Bridgerton and Featherington siblings. Eloise (Claudia Jessie) is especially perturbed, and she and her former friend argue about whether Penelope should tell Colin that she is the secret writer behind the popular Lady Whistledown gossip flyers everyone loves to hate. Colin is angry about what Whistledown wrote earlier in the season, and he’ll likely see Pen’s duplicity as a huge betrayal. Will Eloise force Penelope to confess, or will she keep her secret?

From the trailer, we can also ascertain that we’ll see more of the blossoming love stories between Francesca (Hannah Dodd) and John (Victor Alli), and between Benedict (Luke Thompson) and Lady Tilly (Hannah New). The latter of these storylines is exclusive to the show, by the way. Lady Tilly is not in the Bridgerton books.

What we think might be coming in season 3, part 2

Spoilers ahead for the novel Romancing Mister Bridgerton along with predictions about the upcoming second half of the season

Penelope and Cressida face off at the ball
(Netflix)

Cressida pretends to be Lady Whistledown

After Lady Danbury issues a monetary reward for information about Lady Whistledown’s identity, Cressida (Jessica Madsen) comes forward to “confess.” In the show, she’s desperate to set herself up financially so she doesn’t have to marry a boring old man, but in the book she’s already been married and widowed. Her late husband had debts that must be cleared, hence her need for cash.

Lady Danbury suspects the truth

The reward was Danbury’s attempt to flush out her casual friend, Penelope, whom she suspects is behind the gossip.

Cressida blackmails Penelope

When Cressida’s claims are debunked, she figures out that Penelope is actually behind the Whistledown letters. She threatens Pen and demands ten thousand pounds to keep the secret.

Colin discovers Penelope’s secret on his own

Obviously this will happen, but how? In the book, Colin suspects that Whistledown is his sister Eloise, so he follows Penelope into the busy city streets and finds out that it’s been her all along. They have a furious fight about the lie while sitting inside a carriage, but they make up in a big way in a scene that’s very reminiscent of the scene showrunners used as a cliffhanger at the end of episode 4.

In the book, Colin isn’t actually that mad that Penelope has been writing as Lady Whistledown because they’ve always bonded over their mutual love of reading and writing. In fact, he becomes a bit jealous of his fiancee because he too craves literary attention and success. In the end, Colin and Penelope become writers, so it’s all good!

Colin helps Penelope thwart Cressida

Once Colin knows she is Lady Whistledown, Penelope confides in him about Cressida’s plot to blackmail her or reveal the truth to the whole Ton. He has a surprising reaction—he decides they should out her themselves!

During a ball (of course), Colin stops the music and gets all eyes on him. He toasts his love, Penelope, and then tells everyone that she is Lady Whistledown. After a shocked silence, Lady Danbury starts the slow clap, and soon everyone is excited and full of compliments and congratulations for Pen. Everyone except Cressida, that is.

Eloise reading a book
(Netflix)

Eloise forgives Penelope

The friends’ rift in the novel isn’t as deep as it is in the show. Eloise’s conflict with her friend comes more from jealousy than anger, as she had hoped Pen would become an unmarried spinster and they’d grow old together. In the book, they have a big fight and Eloise confesses she’s sad, they talk it out, and move on. We will likely see a similar heart-to-heart unfold on the show, especially once the Whistledown secret is out. After all, they’ll soon be in-laws!

The happy ending

About a year after Colin and Pen get married, she is eight months pregnant and he has just published his first book (which she encouraged and helped edit) and has plans to publish more. Penelope reveals that she too has been putting quill to parchment and is finishing her first book, a novel appropriately called, The Wallflower.

We can’t wait to see how closely the second part of Bridgerton’s third season aligns with the book! Until then, you can re-watch all four episodes from part 1 on Netflix ahead of the June 13 debut.


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Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins (she/her) is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She writes about pop culture, entertainment, and web memes, and has published a book or a funny day-to-day desk calendar about web humor every year for a decade. When not writing, she's listening to audiobooks or watching streaming movies under a pile of her very loved (spoiled) pets.