Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 2 Explained – A Surprise First Kiss

By Daniel Hart
Published: May 16, 2024
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Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton (L) and Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington (R) in Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 2 - “How Bright the Moon” (Credit - Netflix)


Gentle reader, the premise is set: and similarly to Season 1, with the duke and duchess playing a strange game, Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton appear to be doing the same thing in Season 3, Episode 2. “How Bright the Moon” is a slight reality check for Penelope, who is experiencing her third Marriage Market as a recognized spinster. 

Securing the Estate for Baron of Kent

It’s like winning the lottery for Will Mondrich and his wife, Alice. They waltz into their new estate with their son, Nicholas, the new Baron of Kent. But you can sense anxiety between them, as they now have to become accustomed to a new life, including sleeping in separate bed chambers.

But of course, by the end of Episode 2, Will comes to his senses (after some man-to-man advice) and tells his wife that he wants to share the same bed as her, and nothing much has to change despite securing the equivalent of a lottery win. Again, as I said in my Episode 1 recap, this family has had so much luck, and you wonder whether they will strike out eventually.

Lady Portia Featherington Worried About the Lack of Heir

It’s actually quite comical watching Portia sweat in Season 3. But can you blame her? Securing her family’s future with no guiding wealthy man must have been difficult during this period. However, Episode 2 sees the Lady encouraging her daughters, Prudence and Philipa, to have a child so she can secure an heir for the family to gain their future fortunes. 

This leads to some humorous moments, as Portia is dismayed that Philipa still does not know what sex with her husband is. By the end of the episode, it seems Portia’s encouragement has paid off—the couples are well and truly getting down in the bedroom.

Philipa Featherington and Prudence Featherington in Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 2

Harriet Cains as Philipa Featherington (L) and Bessie Carter as Prudence Featherington (R) in Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 2 – “How Bright the Moon” (Credit – Netflix)

Queen Charlotte Still Needs a Diamond

It’s evident in Season 3 that Queen Charlotte is off her game. Lady Whistledown is her favorite enemy, but each season levels up the Marriage Market. And after the events of Season 2, she’s doubting herself. She tells Lady Danbury that whoever the Diamond is will need to earn it.

By the time the Ball arrives in Episode 2, the Queen is far more impressed, with the women making way more effort. 

Of course, this brings Francesca Bridgerton into question. Lady Danbury decides to help her look more natural and has her play the piano in a private room. Then, Danbury invites the Queen into the room; the Queen is impressed by her talents and calls her “sparkling,” hinting that she will be the new Diamond.

It’s ironic that, apart from Season 1, the whole concept of the “Diamond” feels secondary to the story. 

Colin Starts Teaches Penelope How To Flirt

Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton (L) and Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington (R) in Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 2 – “How Bright the Moon” (Credit – Netflix)

With Penelope on board for Colin’s support, the Husband Bootcamp for Marriage Market begins. There’s doubt at first that Penelope feels “unteachable,” but Colin obviously (wink, wink) sees the potential in her. On the sidelines, of course, Colin is concerned about the breakdown of friendship between Eloise and Penelope. 

Making the state of affairs riskier, Penelope visits Colin at the Bridgerton estate and, rightfully so, is nervous they are meeting unchaperoned. Colin wants to play out a Ball scenario with her and practice flirting. Penelope intensely compliments Colin’s eyes, and the chemistry between the two is heightened. 

But, their risk does not pay off (predictably) as Eloise turns up at the estate, so Penelope hides in Colin’s study, where she ends up reading his journal. When Colin catches her, he is so angry that he accidentally smashes a glass and hurts himself. Penelope helps clean his bloody hand but also compliments his writing. 

Eloise catches on that Penelope is in their home and clearly still cares about her, but she raises to Colin her concern that he’s training her to find a husband when he is a top prospect for Marriage Market this season. 

Colin’s support for Penelope extends to the next Ball, and he tells her that if she flirts with a Lord, she can read more of his writing. And so she does, picking up the confidence as he watches from a distance. 

What I loved about this part of Episode 2 is that you can tell Colin truly cares for Penelope, but for whatever reason, he cannot process his feelings for her because of their friendship. 

Eloise Spreads Gossip on Penelope

Eloise in Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 2

Eloise (Claudia Jessie) has hurt her old friend Penelope by spreading gossip about her in Bridgerton Season 3 (Credit – Netflix)

The irony is not lost that Eloise has somehow become as bad as Penelope. Last season, Eloise was dismayed that Penelope had reduced her life to gossip and spreading rumors about people’s private lives.

Eloise tells Cressida that Colin is helping Penelope find a husband, knowing full well what it means in terms of social standards.

And so, while Penelope is talking to Lord Remington at the Ball, the gossip spreads that Colin is helping Penelope find a suitor. He’s an eligible suitor, so it’s frowned upon. Of course, Penelope walks out of the Ball, understandably embarrassed and distressed.

And the consequences start hitting home for Eloise, especially when Colin scolds her for starting the rumor. It’s even worse when Cressida claims it was not her who spread the gossip and tells Eloise to self-reflect on her actions. Receiving true wisdom from Cressida is a bad day for anyone. 

Of course, the series is drumming all this to make it ugly. Eloise and Penelope are indirectly hurting each other, and it will end in tears.

Colin and Penelope’s First Kiss

Colin and Penelope share their first kiss in Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 2 (Credit – Netflix)

Usually, we have to wait longer for the lovebirds to kiss for the first time in Bridgerton. However, Season 3, Episode 2 shows that Penelope has run out of patience, mainly for insecurity reasons.

Colin visits her late into the night to check up on her after the embarrassing Ball. In a strange turn of events, Penelope tells Colin that she brought it upon herself and now never expects to have any romantic experience. And so, she asks Colin for a kiss, fearing she will never experience what it feels like. It takes some encouragement, but Colin does kiss her, and it’s not awkward – it looks natural and passionate. After they finish, Penelope thanks Colin and walks away. 

I was not sold on this couple, but now I am. Bridgerton always throws twists and turns, but this was a surprising end to Episode 2. It’s unexpected but welcome and starts a path of many more complications.

You can check out more of my coverage of Bridgerton Season 3 with my explanation of episode 3.

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