The ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Ending is Happy and Triumphant For One Character

By Daniel Hart
Published: June 13, 2024
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Penelope and Colin understand each other by the season 3 finale of Bridgerton (Credit - Netflix)




A superb ending, bringing a warm conclusion to a well-worked story arc.

At the start of Episode 8 of Bridgerton Season 3, Lady Danbury ironically brings Queen Charlotte a theory while playing chess. She believes that Lady Whistledown is a vulnerable person who is not trying to beat the Queen at her own game but to be in her game. While it is not a massive plot point, I called a long time ago that Queen Charlotte needs Lady Whistledown just as much as Lady Whistledown needs her. It’s not about power. It’s about being heard.

I don’t think Bridgerton is especially nuanced or deep, but this light chat between Lady Danbury and Queen Charlotte reminded me of the many conversations with Lord Varys from Game of Thrones, who raised perspectives for the audience while with powerful characters.

A lot happens in the Season 3 finale of Bridgerton, and it’s a happy ending. It also feels triumphant, especially for Penelope, who has a demon shifted from her at last

Cressida Blackmails Penelope

Cressida Cowper blackmails Penelope Bridgerton in the Season 3 Finale (Credit – Netflix)

It should come as no surprise that Cressida has nothing left in her armory except for blackmail and that she does, asking Penelope for £10,000, doubling Queen Charlotte’s reward. Of course, that means her mother, Portia Featherington, finds out Pen’s secret (who is dismayed that her daughter is Lady Whistledown). Cressida threatens to take it to the Queen if she does not take the money.

Money is Cressida’s motive—she needs it for a new life after ruining her old one.

But as the viewer, we have become accustomed to underestimating these characters: when Penelope, Portia, Eloise, and Colin discuss Cressida’s demand, Colin insists that no one is paying her, highlighting the bravery and nobility of being a Bridgerton man. There’s always a better way.

So Colin speaks to Cressida and explains how Penelope felt lonely and invisible, which led to her transformation into Lady Whistledown. He makes the claim that Penelope and Cressida are alike. This, folks, is an olive branch. It’s a peace gesture. Colin chooses not to bring war but instead shows Cressida the importance of kindness.

It felt foolish when Cressida rejected Colin and doubled the money to £20,000 (an absurd amount if you consider inflation from then until now). She also gave him a deadline—the end of the Ball.

Colin is ruffled by this, especially when Cressida also requests a column from Penelope to put her in a positive light. It almost feels like Cressida stretched her arms too much. Colin feels he needs to ask Benedict permission to use £20,000 to pay Cressida off, but as the rest of the episode shows, Penelope has different plans.

In conjunction with all this, Lady Featherington has been exposed as a fraud, and Penelope finds out that the money her mother had all along was from Jack’s criminal activities. The mother and daughter get heated, but then they find common ground—they both realize they were both surviving: one struggled to be a mother, and the other struggled without a voice. Finally, Portia regrets how she overlooked Penelope as her daughter, a moment that was way more powerful than I expected.

Penelope Finally Reveals Herself To Be Lady Whistledown

Penelope in Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 8

Penelope Bridgerton finally comes out as Lady Whistledown in Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 8 (Credit – Netflix)

This moment had to arrive eventually. Penelope does not want Colin to lie to his family and take their money to cover up her secret life. She no longer wanted to hurt those she loved. And so, before the final Ball, she sent a letter to the Queen, asking for mercy and judgment.

Queen Charlotte arrives at the Ball and dramatically stops the music, revealing the letter she received from Lady Whistledown. She gives Whistledown the opportunity to speak for herself, in front of everyone, so judgment can finally be given.

It’s at this moment that, in front of the entire ton, Penelope Bridgerton reveals herself to be Lady Whistledown, which comes with a shaky but thought-provoking speech. If you don’t get slight goosebumps when she addresses everyone as “dearest gentle readers,” then you’ve not been invested from the start. Penelope gives her usual spin of needing a voice and how everyone in the ton and their actions captivated her. She admits being careless with power, offers her gratitude to the Queen, and requests that she write responsibly in the future.

Queen Charlotte declares that Lady Whistledown has been humbled and hopes she remains so while she writes. The aftermath is surprisingly calm, but to be honest, this forgiveness by Queen Charlotte has been planned for a while. It becomes apparent that due to the Queen’s power, she has no idea where her voice is reaching, while Penelope just needs a voice. They needed each other’s voices for different reasons. The Queen was never going to let Lady Whistledown quit. She just needed to know she could trust her.

Bridgerton Season 3 Ends With Happiness and Triumph

Portia and Penelope finally find common ground in Bridgerton Season 3 (Credit – Netflix)

Penelope was always a dark horse of a character, and it was difficult to see her finding happiness and triumph. She was always so bitter and unhappy that the Lady Whistledown issues were her outlet.

But it’s good to see that Colin is proud of her at the end of episode 8. He can see her for who she is: a woman with a voice. He tells her to continue and expresses how she makes him feel like a fulfilled man.

The ending brings a few tidbits, too: first of all, Francesca Bridgerton and Lord Kilmartin, who are now married, set off to the Highlands to live a peaceful life. Eloise wishes for a similar life and joins them. However, Francesca appears overwhelmed when she is introduced to Michaela Stirling, his cousin, who seems to be joining them. Is it because it’s hit her that she’s now a wife and is expected to show up for his family, who she has not seen before? Or is it because she is no longer getting peace as their estate in the Highlands is slowly filling up?

Secondly, the ending shows that all the Featherington daughters have had babies, with Penelope having a boy: the new Bridgerton heir. I was surprisingly happier for Lady Featherington, who can enjoy being a grandmother rather than a stressed-out Lady trying to secure her daughters’ futures.

Finally, the ending confirms that Penelope still continues to write, but as herself, marking a checkpoint in the Bridgerton series.

This story arc, which started from the first season, ends, making many viewers wonder what the future will bring. Those aware of the books will know, but if you are like me, I have no idea at all.

I will say that this was not my favorite season. I especially liked Season 2, but I can appreciate good writing when I see it. This is good.

Lady Whistledown’s Telegram

The finale had a lot to talk about, so here’s some more important highlights:

  • Lady Danbury gives Lady Bridgerton her blessing to romance with Lord Anderson.
  • Francesca and Lord Kilmartin enjoy a small, private wedding in the Bridgerton estate.
  • Lady Arnold wants a private, intimate moment with Benedict because she cares for him rather than a throuple with Paul—she wants things to grow serious between them. Benedict expresses that he cares for her, but he wants to be free.
  • Penelope pays for the greatest Ball for her family and allows her mother to have the credit.
  • Lady Danbury tells Penelope that she knew she was Lady Whistledown because she loved the Bridgertons more than her.
  • Penelope thanks her mother for her support and tells her to tell the solicitor that she got the money from her writing so she can get away with fraudulent activity.

RELATED: Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 7 Explained

Readers, what did you think of Bridgerton Season 3, Episode 8, and especially that happy ending for Penelope and Colin? Join in the discussion below.

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