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The Hollywood Insider Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 Netflix

Part 1 Recap

After a month-long wait, the highly anticipated second installment of ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 was finally added to Netflix on Thursday, June 13. The wait was long overdue but entirely worth it. As the events of Part 1 may feel like a distant memory, let’s do a brief recap before diving into Part 2.

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Narrated by the ever-mysterious Lady Whistledown, the season begins with the ton filled with excitement for another marriage season. Notably, Hannah Dodd takes on the role of Francesca Bridgerton, replacing Ruby Stokes from the first two seasons. Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) returns from his travels abroad, showing off a new look that quickly has the women of the ton fawning over him. Meanwhile, Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) seeks an eligible suitor this season, eventually turning to Colin for help with unlocking her charm. However, tension heightens between Penelope and Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie), who knows Penelope’s secret identity as Lady Whistledown. Out of pettiness, Eloise befriends Cressida Cowper (Jessica Madsen), further straining their friendship.

Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) names Francesca Bridgerton the diamond of the season, though Francesca repeatedly turns down suitors, instead taking a liking to Lord John Stirling (Victor Alli). Colin’s steamy dream about Penelope in Episode 3 ignites a “friends to lovers” storyline for the pair, known affectionately as Polin. In another subplot, Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmel) and new series addition Lord Marcus Anderson (Daniel Francis), who is Lady Danbury’s (Adjoa Andoh) brother, share a growing interest. Lady Danbury, however, is not thrilled about the connection between her brother and best friend. Benedict Bridgerton (Luke Thompson) embarks on a “friends with benefits” relationship with Lady Tilley Arnold (Hannah New), who has no interest in remarrying.

New characters Will Mondrich (Martins Imhangbe) and Alice Mondrich’s (Emma Naomi) son Nicholas, who has inherited a title, must navigate their new, higher-ranked life in the ton. Penelope’s attempts at charm land her a potential match with Lord Debling (Sam Philips), but this is cut short when Colin interrupts their dance, leading to a dramatic revelation. Lord Debling, furious, informs Penelope of Colin’s feelings for her, which she initially dismisses. However, Colin follows her to her carriage, where he confesses his newfound feelings, leading to a steamy and passionate moment between them. The first part of Season 3 concludes on a cliffhanger with Colin proposing to Penelope, setting the stage for even more drama and romance in Part 2.

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A Whistledown Revelation 

In Part 2, the focus centers around Colin and Penelope as they navigate their path to marriage, with Penelope grappling with how to reveal her secret identity as Lady Whistledown to Colin. The countdown to the revelation is filled with tension, as Colin carries hate for the mysterious gossip writer who has previously penned unflattering remarks about him and the Bridgerton family. Throughout the installment, the tension escalates as Eloise threatens to expose Penelope’s secret to Colin and the entire ton. This brewing conflict takes an unexpected turn when Cressida Cowper deceitfully impersonates Lady Whistledown for her own selfish gain. In response to the Queen’s offer of a cash reward for uncovering Whistledown’s identity, Cressida, driven by a desperate desire for money, attention, and power, falsely claims to be the infamous writer. This deceitful act heightens the suspense and drama, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats as they anticipate Penelope’s response. 

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Despite Penelope’s desire to personally disclose her secret identity to Colin, he ultimately discovers the truth on his own. This revelation strains their new marriage, leading to separate sleeping arrangements, strained conversations, and a deep sense of betrayal for Colin. Cressida Cowper, the imposter, uncovers Penelope’s true identity as Lady Whistledown and attempts to blackmail her, demanding double the Queen’s cash reward for her silence. As tensions rise, Penelope, Colin, and Eloise unite to prevent Cressida’s scheme. Learning from past mistakes, Penelope stops Colin from lying to his brother about needing a large sum of money.

The narrative takes a dramatic turn when Penelope writes to the Queen, seeking forgiveness and expressing her willingness to reveal her truth to the ton. In a tense party scene, with viewers on edge, Penelope bravely announces that she is Lady Whistledown. Surprisingly, the crowd reacts with indifference, and the Queen remains mainly unfazed. This puzzling lack of response raises further questions for the audience, as it seems unrealistic that no one outwardly reacted to such a momentous revelation. With her identity exposed and roughly any reaction from the ton, the scene left viewers with questions. Will she abandon her writing to focus on her wifely duties? Will Colin’s progressive views on women’s roles in society encourage her to continue her scribing? What does the Queen truly think of this revelation? The season’s ending suggests a happy resolution, seemingly overlooking the realistic consequences of Penelope’s actions. Presumably, future seasons will explore the long-term repercussions of this revelation. For now, viewers are left with another of Rhimes’ signature cliffhangers, eagerly anticipating what comes next.

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Engaging Subplots

In a series like ‘Bridgerton,’ with its captivating storylines, it’s easy for subplots to get overshadowed. However, Shonda Rhimes does a masterful job of developing these stories throughout Season 3. For instance, Benedict’s relationship with Tilley Arnold evolves into a significant subplot, further exploring his sexuality and reluctance to settle down. Could we be looking at a Benedict-focused season next? Additionally, Kate and Anthony reveal they are expecting a child and plan to venture off to India for the birth. This decision by Anthony is both charming and selfless, considering Kate moved to Mayfair to become part of the Bridgerton family. 

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Violet and Lord Marcus’ slow burning romance also progresses, as they grow more comfortable interacting in public. He even asks her to save him a dance at the Featherington Sisters Ball, which she obliges. Lady Danbury works through her issues with her brother, accepting his growing relationship with her best friend. It’s heartwarming to see Lady Bridgerton experiencing the love she has longed for, reflecting the deep affection she desires for her children. Rhimes’ ability to segway these intricate subplots ensures that each character’s story receives the attention it deserves.

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What’s Next?

One can never be too sure about what’s up Shonda Rhimes’ sleeve, but one thing is certain: there will be more drama, passion, love, and betrayal. Could the next season revolve around Benedict’s relationships? With Penelope and her sisters each having a baby by the end of the series finale, what kind of story could Rhimes create from this development? After Francesca kisses Lord John Sterling following their “I do’s,” it’s clear from her expression that she didn’t fully enjoy the moment. Later, she’s introduced to Sterling’s cousin, Michaela Sterling (Masali Baduza), who will be joining the couple on their journey to John’s hometown in Scotland. Francesca appears flustered in this scene, struggling to make eye contact and even say her name. Could there be a same-sex leading couple in the future for ‘Bridgerton’? Eloise also joins the newly married couple on their trip, insisting that she needs to explore the world before she can change it. A passionate Eloise makes for a compelling storyline. Could this be next? There are numerous main storylines that could unfold in the future, but we’ll just have to be patient … dearest gentle readers.

Cast: Luke Newton, Nicola Coughlan, Sam Phillips, Claudia Jessie, Luke Thompson,  Jonathan Bailey, Simone Ashley, Ruth Gemmell, Hannah Dodd, Victor Alli, Florence Hunt, Will Tilston, Golda Rosheuvel, Adjoa Andoh, Julie Andrews, Lorraine Ashbourne, Harriet Cains, Bessie Carter, Jessica Madsen, Martins Imhangbe, Polly Walker, Daniel Francis | Created By: Chris Van Dusen | Executive Producer | Shonda Rhimes | Production Company: Shondaland

By Kaili Spooner

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