Colin Bridgerton all glowed up for his turn to lead a Bridgerton season
(Netflix)

Can ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Part 2 Fix Part 1’s Glaring Mistake With Colin?

Netflix breaking Bridgerton season 3 into two parts isn’t necessarily our favorite thing, but okay, we get it. But one mistake with Colin isn’t so easily overlooked.

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The first part of the season dealt with Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) undergoing personal growth and realizing their true feelings. It had to be wrapped up in four episodes to make way for the Lady Whistledown drama that will unfold over the next four episodes in part 2. But this has left us with a rather underdeveloped male lead, whose character arc barely matches up with the rich arcs of his predecessors.

One of the best things to come from the female gaze is layered male characters. Of course women write women better, but the men … oh, the men are written with such nuance and depth. Bridgerton, a product of Shonda Rhimes’ production house Shondaland, is a prime example—the way it handles the arcs of Simon, the Duke of Hastings, the Viscount Anthony Bridgerton, King George, and even Mr. Mondrich. But alas, with one Colin Bridgerton, it hasn’t been so judicious. Consider this my official complaint!

Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 3
(Netflix)

In season 3 part 1, we see Penelope go through some major changes onscreen: a makeover, a confidence boost, getting over Colin (somewhat), realizing the life that she wants for herself. For Colin, though, the character development is rather thin. We get two scenes of Colin being supremely uninterested at the brothel, reflecting the emptiness within him. He has traveled the world looking for something, and when he returns, nobody understands his pain of not finding it.

Another scene between him and Penelope, where she reads his journal, establishes how lost he feels, with Pen assuring him he is a good writer and capable of much more. I wish the show had spent more time exploring these middle-child emotions that Colin has been experiencing and how they’ve crescendoed to a point where Pen comes to him as the answer he is looking for.

Why does Colin feel that Pen, his childhood friend who has been there all along, is the one? What’s his thought process post-kiss, when he’s evaluating all these surprising feelings for his friend? I would’ve loved if the writers were able to explore this in depth and give us more potent yearning as Colin comes to terms with his feelings for Penelope!

Colin and Penelope gaze into each other's eyes
(Netflix)

Remember the scene in part 1 where Lady Violet tells Colin that he is the most sensitive of her children? It’s true when you recall the way Colin was with Daphne and Marina in season 1, or protecting the Featheringtons from a scam in Season 2, always offering his mother his arm at balls, and more. But this sensitivity, his hidden personality traits, all of it needed to be further underlined in Bridgerton season 3 in order to make the central romance feel satisfying.

Colin has spent most of his time pretending to be a version of himself that society deems appropriate, and so we don’t quite get to know Colin, see a side of him we haven’t yet seen, like we did with Anthony or Simon over the course of their seasons. It’s only in the carriage scene, when all pretenses come undone, that we catch a glimpse of who Colin truly is. For someone who has eagerly waited for Polin season, because I relate to Penelope’s struggles, Colin didn’t quite hit me as the male lead I’d obsess over like the previous ones. But I’m willing to hold my breath and wait …

And so, there lies a huge burden of expectation on season 3 part 2 to give us a better written tail end of Colin Bridgerton’s male lead arc, especially for those of us who haven’t read the books and don’t have all the extra information to tell us why Colin is so beloved. Perhaps he will shine like the diamond Polin fans claim he is after being tempered with all the Lady Whistledown fire. Come June 13, we shall see!


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Author
Jinal Bhatt
Jinal Bhatt (She/Her) is a staff writer for The Mary Sue. An editor, writer, film and culture critic with 7+ years of experience, she writes primarily about entertainment, pop culture trends, and women in film, but she’s got range. Jinal is the former Associate Editor for Hauterrfly, and Senior Features Writer for Mashable India. When not working, she’s fangirling over her favourite films and shows, gushing over fictional men, cruising through her neverending watchlist, trying to finish that book on her bedside, and fighting relentless urges to rewatch Supernatural.