So, Are We Ready to Talk About the Bridgerton Season 3 Carriage Scene?


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Spoilers below.

Colin “Clueless” Bridgerton really waited until the last possible second to realize his love for Penelope Featherington. But once he’d pieced together the mountain’s worth of evidence, at least he knew how to act on it. By the finale of Bridgerton season 3 part 1, Colin (Luke Newton) has not only shared his feelings with Penelope (Nicola Coughlan), but he’s treated her to a particularly enjoyable carriage ride and an impromptu marriage proposal. The man might be slow for the journey, but you can’t argue his efficiency upon arrival.

And, sure, everyone knew it—or some version of it—was going to happen. Bridgerton season 3 had already promised fireworks: Showrunner Jess Brownell teased fans only days before the season premiere, claiming the “steamy scenes” would be “off the charts.” Fans of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton book series, and particularly of Romancing Mister Bridgerton (upon which season 3 is based), knew to expect the infamous “carriage scene.”

But perhaps no one was aptly prepared for the drama that would, at last, unfold on screen. Penelope—sure that Colin has ruined any chance of her engagement to Lord Debling (Sam Phillips)—flees the ball for the nearest escape carriage, leaving nary a glass slipper in her wake. Colin sprints to catch up with her, climbing into the vehicle only to get down on his literal knees for her. He’s sorry (not really), but Penelope can’t marry Lord Debling! She just can’t. It’d be wrong, because he, Colin, cannot stop thinking about their kiss in episode 2. He does not want to stop thinking about their kiss. He prefers dreaming to waking, for that is where he might find Pen wandering in her Bridgerton-blue gowns!

Penelope fears Colin has slipped into some lovedrunk stupor, that he cannot possibly mean the words spilling from his lips. (Understandable, given how the man’s treated her in prior seasons.) She insists they’re friends, have always been friends. At this, Colin visibly wilts. He is Clueless, remember? Somehow, he worries he’s misread her, despite every possible indication to the contrary. Beautiful, confident Pen steers them back onto the same page: “But I’d very much like to be more than friends.” Colin’s jaw drops; he seems momentarily paralyzed. Thankfully, an instrumental rendition of Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything” sweeps in to guide their ensuing make-out session. What might have happened without Pitbull, we’ll never have to know. By the time these lovebirds reach Bridgerton House, Colin’s hand has made its way up Penelope’s dress, and he’s asked for her hand in marriage.

’Tis a joyful conclusion to season 3 part 1—even if, of course, the secret of Lady Whistledown’s identity looms over their wedding before it’s even begun. But re: this half-point finale, there are a few salient points worth discussing before Bridgerton moves into its next segment. Ahead, let’s get into them.

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First and foremost, did Colin humble himself enough before Penelope?

This is already a subject of much debate amongst fans. Audiences wanted groveling. Colin wrote his dear friend Penelope off for multiple seasons, thanks to her citrus-colored gowns and wallflower personality and attachment to the much-derided Featheringtons. Did he do enough to make up for that cruelty, enough to deserve her courageous, gossip-loving heart?

Deserving is a high bar. I’m not sure any of the Bridgertons deserve Penelope, her former friend Eloise (Claudia Jessie) included. But Colin, in his own words, endured “torture” in the wake of his kiss with Pen. In the carriage, he drops down on his knees to attend to her pleasure. Nor does he dangle the prospect of marriage once they’ve finally shared their affections. Mister Bridgerton proposes so fast he seems halfway convinced Lord Debling will pop up outside the carriage window and steal Pen back before he has the chance.

Colin certainly needed to eat his humble pie after his atrocious attempts at flirting in episodes 1 and 2. But this author’s convinced he got his slice adequately served.

Was there a more perfect musical accompaniment than Pitbull’s 2011 masterpiece “Give Me Everything”?

No. We needn’t debate this.

How much more do these carriage drivers have to deal with?

Here, we must pause to credit the carriage drivers for their discretion. Penelope and Colin are not what I’d call…quiet. And from my admittedly limited understanding of Regency-era technology, carriages were not soundproofed. There is zero chance the man driving Pen to Bridgerton House didn’t know exactly what she and Mister Bridgerton were up to in the backseat. He knocks on the window to interrupt them! Penelope then loudly asks, “Do you think anyone saw us?” I mean, really, they might as well have put a sock on the doorknob.

Know this: If the carriage drivers of the ton ever decided to write their own gossip column, it’d be absolutely over for Lady Whistledown.

Speaking of which, will Colin ultimately learn that Penelope is Lady Whistledown?

This remains the most pressing question moving into Bridgerton season 3 part 2. Brownell has made it clear that Penelope will have to reveal her secret identity to Colin, but whether that takes place before or after their wedding remains to be seen. Will Penelope wait until she’s officially a Bridgerton, or will she be straightforward with the love of her life? Or might Eloise step in and make the decision for her. (Book readers, you already know the answer. Shh!)

“I think there’s also a part of Penelope, who in her journey toward stepping into the light, wants Colin to know her full self,” Brownell told The Hollywood Reporter after the season 3 premiere. “And I think she knows that until he knows she’s Whistledown, she can never be fully seen by him.”

In the meantime, should I watch more reactions to the carriage scene?

Of course you should. They’re currently some of the best content on the internet. Ahead, a curated handful of personal favorites:

Siri, play “Give Me Everything (Stripped Down)” by Archer Marsh on repeat.

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