Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton as Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton in the third season of Bridgerton
(Netflix)

Everything About This First Major Polin Moment in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Was the Stuff of Dreams

I can’t believe one of the promotional stills was from this scene!

If you’re anything like me, then chances are you’ve been screaming crying shaking over the first half of Bridgerton season 3.

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As someone who has read and reread Julia Quinn’s Romancing Mister Bridgerton approximately a thousand times to get over the infinite wait for Polin’s story to appear on my television screen, I have to say I’m pretty stoked about this adaptation so far. The Major Moments™ are all there.

Spoilers ahead for the first four episodes of Bridgerton season 3, so be warned if you are not caught up yet. 

Among those Major Polin Moments™ there is, of course, their first kiss—which was, I really have to say it, perfect. I just can’t get over how incredibly dreamy it was. 

Sure, the context in which it happens is somewhat different from the book, but the soul is all there. In the show, Penelope is reeling from having been forced to absolutely drag herself through the mud as Lady Whistledown—exposing how she enlisted Colin’s help to teach her how to attract a suitor. She’s once again the laughingstock of the ton, her mother has just scolded her by essentially wondering whatever was a girl like her hoping to achieve, she thinks she’s doomed to be at the whims of one of her sisters when either Philipa or Prudence give birth to the next Lord Featherington. Let’s just say things are not looking up.

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington at home in Bridgerton Season 3
Not my precious baby being at rock bottom (Netflix)

And then Penelope’s lady’s maid knocks at her door saying that there’s someone to see her and leads her through the rear entrance of Featherington House. There, of course, is Colin, who just “had to see [her].” Alone in her garden. At night. For someone who has just been through a pretty considerable scandal they both sure don’t seem too worried about potentially causing another one—then again, I suppose it helps when the only person who knows about this encounter is the one who decides what Lady Whistledown writes.

Still, Colin expresses his sorrow for what Penelope has just gone through and she, who pretty much considers her already feeble hopes of securing a match completely evaporated, responds that really, she was silly for even considering it in the first place. And out of that desperation, Penelope asks the same thing that her book counterpart does—for Colin to kiss her, so that she can experience how it feels at least once.

While we’re not privy to the characters’ thoughts in the show like we are in the book—where the third person narrative still takes on either Penelope’s or Colin’s POV, letting us know what exactly is going on in their minds—we can still clearly see the indecision on Colin’s face before he gives in. 

What follows is a perfect first kiss, featuring one of romance’s tried and true tropes—the “Tiny Peck Turns Into Passionate Kiss,” which is exactly what we were all here to see. Once it ends, Penelope thanks Colin and runs off, but we remain with him to see just how much his world has been rocked by what happened. That single Bridgerton Brother Brain Cell—that he’s finally holding since it’s his turn to lead the season—is finally spinning hard enough to make him realize feelings that have probably been there for a while.

Colin Bridgerton all glowed up for his turn to lead a Bridgerton season
This starts the pining extravaganza of Colin Bridgerton (Netflix)

In fact, we see just how much that kiss has affected him right as the following episode starts. Episode 3, “Forces of Nature,” opens with what seems like the same setting as the kiss with which episode 2, “How Bright the Moon,” ended. We see Penelope walking up to Featherington House’s back entrance wearing a pitch-perfect period romance dressing gown—and that’s when we realize that everything is a bit too dream-like for this to be real. There are more flowers on the walls, there’s a slight mist, and there’s an absolutely dashing Colin emerging from it living his best Mr. Darcy life. 

The two confess that they haven’t been able to stop thinking about their kiss and proceed to go right back to it—before the dream ends, and we realize that the one dreaming it was not Penelope as one might first think, but Colin. Talk about being obsessed. He’s so struck by it that his siblings—who have probably had a betting pool going on for years on when their brother was actually going to understand that what he feels for Penelope is love—immediately clock him when he joins the rest of the family for breakfast.

Considering how we obviously can’t read Colin’s thoughts like in the books, I think adding this dream sequence was the perfect way to convey just how much his kiss with Penelope made him reassess their relationship—plus, it’s the perfect catalyst for him falling head over heels into obsessing over her.

The iconic morning scene from 2005 Pride and Prejudice, with Matthew Macfayden's Mr Darcy walking towards Lizzie through the morning mist
Not Colin living out his best Mr Darcy life in his dreams. Maladaptive daydreamer king (Focus Features)

That’s also why it was a good idea to have them kiss so early in the season—we do need some time to truly get to the bottom of pining Colin, after all. There’s also the fact that one of the main conflicts of this season is bound to be him finding out about Penelope’s “little” side hustle as the gossip queen of the ton, and that’s definitely going to take up a good chunk of the storytelling. 

Still, I can’t believe that one of the earliest promotional stills that we got for this season was one taken just moments before that first kiss—that’s how you do a teaser, I suppose.


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Author
Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.