Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 3 Explained – Colin Is Confused About His Feelings

By Daniel Hart
Published: May 16, 2024
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Colin Bridgerton in Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 3
Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) in Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 3 - "Forces of Nature" (Credit - Netflix)


What I love about Bridgerton is how quickly things can escalate. In a world where the characters suppress their feelings, once something burns inside them, they go absolutely mental with it. And that’s what makes Season 3, Episode 3 fascinating: seeing Colin be reduced from an eligible bachelor to being confused about his feelings for Penelope makes the last two seasons worth the wait.

Francesca’s Pursuit of Marriage

It’s never confirmed if the Queen confirms if Francesca is the season’s diamond, but she’s been treated like one. Queen Charlotte wants to find Francesca the best suitor, presumably because the last two seasons have not turned out in the way she expected. However, it does feel like Francesca wants a love match.

The Queen introduces Francesca to Lord Samadani from Vienna. Despite having an OK conversation, Francesca cuts it short. Later in the episode, Francesca is overwhelmed by the Ball and ends up outside, where she meets John Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin. They both want to sit in silence, away from all the noise and pressure — they enjoy the silence together. Bridgerton imposes the idea that love can stoke from various places and situations, but it’s also funny how the Queen can never make good matches in this series.

Francesca Bridgerton and Lord Kilmartin in Bridgerton Season 3

Francesca Bridgerton and Lord Kilmartin, standing in silence together, happy in Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 3 – “Forces of Nature”

Lord Alfred Debling

Before we get into Colin’s strange pining for Penelope, let’s talk about Lord Alfred Debling, Penelope’s first potential suitor in season 3. In episode 3, Cressida Cowper is always encouraged to court the Lord and asks Eloise to help.

At a big hot-air balloon festival, Penelope tells Colin that Lord Debling has shown an interest in her, and she struggles to contain her excitement. Alfred has the pick of the litter as both Pen and Cressida talk to him, with Eloise on the sidelines trying to help Cressida engage.

But then there’s drama, which was a little bit pathetic, really, and I’m sure the production team could have done better with it. The wind picks up, leaving the balloon in jeopardy. Colin and a few men pull the ropes to stop it from blowing away. The balloon base nearly hits Penelope (barely), and Lord Debling protects her. It felt like a needless scene, to be honest. It was wedged in.

At the Ball, Penelope decides to be honest with Lord Debling — she admits that she’s being someone she is not and confesses to liking society and discussing gossip. This appears to work well with Debling.

The whole point of the Penelope, Lord Debling scenario is that the series is ensuring that the character is capable of securing marriage regardless of the outcome with Colin. I think that’s important, at least for Penelope’s dignity.

Colin Is Confused About His Feelings For Penelope

Colin and Penelope Kissing in Bridgerton Season 3

Colin dreams about him and Penelope kissing in Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 3 (Credit – Netflix)

At the start of episode 3, Colin has an intense dream about Penelope and wakes up confused. Colin has feelings despite his insistence that they are “just friends.”

And it gets worse for Colin – remember, he’s a Bridgerton man, so rejection is not something they are used to. Penelope tells him they cannot continue their lessons and assures him they will not kiss again. She suggests they keep a distance. Colin is clearly irked by this but wishes her happiness.

And then, Colin’s feelings for Penelope intensify after speaking to his mother, Lady Bridgerton, about friendship and love. At the ball, Colin attempts to talk to Penelope, presumably to confess his feelings, but Lord Debling asks her for a dance.

Episode 3 ends with Penelope enjoying a dance with Lord Deblin while Colin and Cressida have no option but to watch.

But this is a good thing! Up until now, Colin played all the cards. Penelope now has the power, which I’m sure she doesn’t know she has at this stage of the story.

Lady Whistledown’s Telegram

In this section, I’m just going to provide some additional commentary from Episode 3:

  • Eloise visits Penelope. She admits the rumor spreading was her fault but that it was not intentional. They clearly miss their friendship.
  • Lady Tilley Arnold and Benedict Bridgerton flirt with each other. Tilley is a widow and makes it known she is not in a hurry to find a new husband. However, before they know it, they are on the dance floor.
  • Prudence and Philipa Featherington are put on a specific diet to ensure they have a baby boy.


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