Bridgerton Season 3 Part 1 Ending Explained: What Happens to Polin?

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers from Bridgerton Season 3 Part 1.

Dearest gentle reader, Polin season is officially upon us as Bridgerton has returned with a third season. Bridgerton Season 3’s steamy Part 1 was everything one could expect from a will-they-won’t-they story. Revolving around Nicola Coughlan’s Penelope Featherington and Luke Newton’s Colin Bridgerton, the Regency-era series is full of banter and palpable moments of yearning. In comparison to the first two instalments, the four episodes of this season are rather eventful. The plot moves fast between life-altering events, new love interests and fiery exchanges. Unless you’re Lady Whistledown, it can be hard to keep track of where everyone in the ton is at by the end of episode 4.

Fortunately, we got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know:

What happened in Bridgerton Season 3 Part 1?

The new season begins as expected with the marriage mart opening up to eager mamas and fresh prospects. Colin returns from his travels as a changed man. And he won’t stop talking about his exploits overseas. Penelope, in her third season out in society, is bent on finding a husband this time around. Colin takes it upon himself to help her, giving her lessons to entice a match. Eloise (Claudia Jessie) who knows the identity of Lady Whistledown has a falling out with Penelope and finds a new friend in Cressida Cowper (Jessica Madsen). Francesa (Hannah Dodd) who makes her dazzling debut in society, catching Queen Charlotte’s (Golda Rosheuvel) attention, has plenty of suitors but doesn’t seem to enjoy the spotlight. She’d rather play the pianoforte and dream of moving out of the noisy Bridgerton home. Elsewhere, the Mondriches find themselves coming into new money. The biggest conflict (apart from Penelope and Colin’s inability to confess their feelings for each other) seems to be Lady Whistledown’s hidden identity. Only Eloise knows Penelope’s truth while the latter is afraid of it becoming public information.

Francesca makes an unexpected choice the Queen won’t be too happy about

Bridgerton Season 3 ending

While Polin is the main focus of the season, Queen Charlotte chooses Francesca Bridgerton as the diamond after her debut. She is introduced to Lord Samadani (David Mumeni) and they make for a pretty pair. However, in spite of Samadani’s charm, Francesca hits it off with a mysterious man whom she spends a moment of much-needed silence with at the Hawkins ball. This man turns out to be John Stirling, the Earl of Kilmartin. The Bridgerton family was in for a surprise when the two men called on Francesca on the same day. John chooses to leave but it is clear he’ll be back. Later, during a stroll, Francesca tries to strike up a conversation with John about music. However, John abruptly ends the interaction, leading Francesca to think her advances have been rejected. Towards the end of episode 4, John gifts Francesca a sheet of music. We find out that he thoughtfully got the music bits Francesca talked about earlier rearranged as per her liking. Lady Bridgerton who finds her daughter busy playing the piano from the sheet of music is surprised by the choice but she is glad to see her daughter prioritise an organic attachment.

Lord Debling is about to propose when he finds out Penelope might have feelings for Colin

Bridgerton Season 3 ending

One of the most eligible bachelors in ton this season is Lord Debling (Sam Phillips). A new entrant, Debling is a man with peculiar interests. He is a nature enthusiast who works to preserve endangered species. While sparks fly with Penelope, Cressida also has her eyes set on him (or at least his large estate). Penelope and Debling’s wavelengths match intellectually. The best part? He hasn’t read Lady Whistledown’s scandalous account of Colin giving Penelope lessons in charm and chemistry to help her secure a match. Their sweet exchanges at balls are enough for the Debling to ask Lady Featherington for her permission to propose to her youngest daughter. On the evening of the anticipated proposal, however, a jealous Colin cuts off Penelope and Debling’s dance to tell her that she’s making a mistake. Debling witnesses this confrontation while Cressida swoops in for a dance, filling him in on Colin and Penelope’s equation. Debling pieces it together and realises there’s something going on between the two. He begins to leave the ball without proposing. Penelope catches up with him to explain that Colin is just a friend. However, she hesitates when he asks her if she wants to be more than friends with Colin. Taking her silence as the answer, he leaves.

Penelope and Colin finally go from friends to lovers

Bridgerton Season 3 ending

Towards the very end of episode 4, Colin who has been mulling over his feelings for Penelope, finally pops the question. It all happens very fast in the heat of the moment after a steamy make-out sesh during a carriage ride. As the carriage reaches the Bridgerton home, Colin asks if the driver can keep driving. He then steps out only to ask her to come with him. Penelope is confused by the gesture. That’s when he straight up asks her – “Are you going to marry me, or not?” If that doesn’t leave you squealing for Polin, we genuinely don’t know what will. This scene is very different from the books where Colin follows Penelope’s carriage only to find out that she is Lady Whistledown. This leads to a heating argument that turns into a toe-curling make-out sequence.

With the way this particular scene pans out in Bridgerton Season 3, it looks like the potential couple is in for a bumpy ride. Penelope’s dream scenario – Colin expressing his desire to marry her, plays out right in front of her but there’s a catch. She doesn’t get to leap into his arms and say yes yet because of the huge Lady Whistledown problem. Her identity remains a secret for him and her conscience isn’t clear yet. So does she say yes? Well, the scene closes before Penelope can say anything but it’s safe to assume that happily ever after will have to wait.

Meanwhile, Lady Danbury’s brother takes an interest in Violet Bridgerton

Season 3 has multiple new connections including one for Lady Bridgerton herself. While Violet is much occupied finding matches for her kids, she captures the fascination of Lady Danbury’s brother Marcus. Also a widower, Marcus shares a solidarity with Violet. He also openly flirts with her. Towards the end of episode 4, he makes his intentions of finding a partner clear to his sister who seems to be rather annoyed by it. Looks like a friendship is about to be tested in the upcoming episodes.

And finally, Benedict Bridgerton forms an unexpected connection with Lady Tilley Arnold

There is someone for everyone and for Benedict Bridgerton (Luke Thompson), that person is a charismatic woman who seems to emerge out of nowhere, Lady Tilley Arnold (Hannah New). With her quick wit, confidence and interest in engineering, she has Benedict’s attention. And as we see later in the show, his heart as well. It remains to be seen whether their affections will materialise or if the two value their independence a little too much to tie the knot.

Bridgerton Season 3 Part is currently streaming. Part 2 will be released on June 13, 2024.