‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Ending Explained: From Season 4 Setup To The Post Credit Scene (2024)

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers for Season 3 Part 2 of Bridgerton.

Another season of Netflix’s and Shondaland’s Bridgerton has come and gone with two touching weddings, Lady Whistledown revealing herself to the public, some festive balls and a hint of what’s to come for Season 4.

There are still four Bridgerton siblings who have yet to secure their love match, as matriarch Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell) desires. Season 3’s finale already suggests some changes to certain story threads while teasing some anticipated events from the books to come.

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With many moving parts still in motion at the end of Season 3, it might be difficult to keep track of how everything wraps up. Read on for various parts of the third installment’s ending, explained.

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Colin Finds Out that Penelope Is Lady Whistledown

Part 2 of Season 3 builds quite a lot of tension in terms of Penelope’s secret pen name. Eloise (Claudia Jessie) threatens to tell Colin (Luke Newton) that Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) is Lady Whistledown as soon as she hears the news of Colin and Penelope’s engagement. Penelope begs her former best friend to hold onto the truth a little bit longer so that Penelope can tell her husband herself.

‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Ending Explained: From Season 4 Setup To The Post Credit Scene (3)

Colin discovers the truth at the end of Episode 6, and he takes some moments to deal with his emotions, which range from anger to jealousy, as one Cressida Cowper points out. Cressida, prompted by Queen Charlotte’s (Golda Rosheuvel) reward to unmask the scribe, had claimed that she was the gossip columnist, but Penelope couldn’t let her take credit for all the hard work over the years, so Pen published an issue that came out right after Cressida’s fake one, which had some harsh things to say about the Bridgerton family.

Colin and Penelope Still Get Married

In the penultimate episode of Season 3, the pair get married in a big church setting with Coldplay’s “Yellow” playing in the background. Penelope hesitates as she walks down the aisle, but after some counsel with his older brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and sister-in-law Kate (Simone Ashley), who is pregnant, Colin nods to her and encourages her to keep going. Kate’s words to “not let one mistake define their marriage” seem to have influenced him, though he sleeps on the couch the night of their wedding.

Their wedding breakfast also presents some challenges as the Queen interrupts it demanding a word with the Bridgertons — whose last name Penelope now shares. The Queen takes the simultaneous pamphlet publishing as a sign that the scribe is a Bridgerton, because it came out to denounce the lies in Cressida’s column. Colin assumes Penelope will give up the column, but she tearfully tries to explain to him how much it means to her. He “cannot accept” that she would continue the column and no longer hide behind it.

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Violet and Lady Danbury Address the Complications of Their Romantic Pursuits

Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) grants her approval for Violet and her brother Lord Marcus Anderson (Daniel Francis) to court, and while she gives a “blessing” of sorts, she acknowledges that she did not ask for Violet’s blessing when she slept with Violet’s father, which is shown in the prequel series Queen Charlotte.

Violet did encourage Marcus to sort his affairs with Lady D because they were in conflict over his tattling on her attempt to run away seemingly from her marriage when she was still a child. They have a conversation about what happened, and Lady D forgives her brother.

Cressida’s Blackmail Attempt Fails

‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Ending Explained: From Season 4 Setup To The Post Credit Scene (4)

After she finds out that Penelope is the real Lady Whistledown, Cressida visits Penelope to threaten to spill the tea, and she tells Eloise and Colin the news. She doubles the Queen’s price to ten thousand pounds, which Penelope does have from printing the column for so long. Colin attempts to dissuade Cressida from blackmailing Penelope, but she just raises the price she wants in return for not revealing Lady Whistledown’s identity to twenty thousand pounds.

Colin sleeps on the couch after that, and then he and Penelope don’t share a carriage to his house. Then he finds a bunch of letters she wrote to him while he was away traveling, and this is when he realizes that Pen and Lady Whistledown are inextricable from each other.

Penelope decides for herself to come forward as the scribe at her sisters’ ball. She sends letters to both Queen Charlotte and Violet to warn them, and the Queen bursts in on the ball to unmask Penelope, who has asked for the Queen’s mercy. He supports her through the incident, and after she confesses, he tells her how proud he is of her. He confesses that he was envious of her, but now he knows how lucky he is to soak up her light.

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Lady Whistledown’s Future

In Julia Quinn’s books, Lady Whistledown ceases to print after Penelope comes forward at the end of Romancing Mister Bridgerton. The scribe’s future remains unclear at the end of Season 3, but it doesn’t seem shut down completely.

At the beginning of the final episode, Lady Danbury tries to talk the Queen down by saying that Lady W is probably “a vulnerable player” in the ton, and she’s merely “trying to stay in the game,” not beat the Queen at her own game. So the Queen shows up to the ball because she received a letter from Lady W. She says the letter said Lady W “calls upon my mercy,” asking the Queen to allow her to plead her case publicly.

‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Ending Explained: From Season 4 Setup To The Post Credit Scene (5)

In the beginning, Pen never thought anyone would take her writing seriously, because no one has ever taken her seriously. Now, she realizes many young women probably feel that way. She says she wrote about all of them because she was “captivated” by them, but writing about them gave her power and agency back, and she warns it was “intoxicating,” but she recognizes she acted careless with that power. She says “I see now how much courage it takes to live a life out in the open.”She also reminds everyone they all gossip, because “gossip is information” and “it forms bonds.”

“If [the Queen] affords me the chance to continue, I aim to wield my quill more responsibly” she concludes Then the Queen says she seems humbled, but she’ll be keeping an eye on her…but “what is life without a little gossip?” alluding that Pen can continue with her gossip column.

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Lady Danbury tells Penelope that she suspected her being behind the scribe. “I know the family well enough to know it was not one of them,” she tells Pen after her big moment at the ball. There is only one person who loves the Bridgertons more than I.” Lady D also tells Pen she looks forward to her next column.

At the end of the finale, Julie Andrews’ voice turns into Nicola Coughlan’s reading Lady Whistledown’s farewell missive, signed Penelope Bridgerton.

Francesca’s Love Story

‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Ending Explained: From Season 4 Setup To The Post Credit Scene (6)

Francesca drops the news to Violet that she and John Stirling (Victor Alli) hope to take up residence at his primary estate in Scotland, and Violet reacts gracefully, though she is noticeably sad about her daughter being so far away. Violet rests assured that John is a fine choice for Francesca, who has shown her that “the slow approach” can work as well and that love doesn’t always have to be a swift feeling of butterflies. They play a duet together after she weds John, which ends in a sweet, if a bit awkward, kiss to seal their union.

Eloise has asked Francesca if she can accompany her to Scotland, and Francesca concedes. At the final ball of the season, John’s cousin Michaela Stirling enters the picture to “complete their travel party” to Scotland. Francesca stumbles over her words in her introduction of herself to Michaela. In the books, John’s cousin is a man, Michael Stirling, and he ends up marrying Francesca at the end of When He Was Wicked. In an interview with showrunner Jess Brownell, the Season 3 boss told Deadline of the plan to take a queer turn with the sixth Bridgerton sibling’s plotline.

Benedict’s Bids Lady Tilley Arnold Farewell

‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Ending Explained: From Season 4 Setup To The Post Credit Scene (7)

After he meets Lady Tilley Arnold and strikes up a romance of sorts with her and later her male friend Paul Suarez (Lucas Aurelio). Benedict’s fluidity was another topic of conversation in Deadline’s interview with Jess Brownell, who hinted that this exploration of sexuality may not be over for Benedict.

The second Bridgerton brother confesses to Tilley that he does not wish to be exclusive with her after she reveals she has started to care for him. “You have opened my world,” he tells her, saying he does not wish to close it again.

In a heartfelt moment on a very familiar swingset (that is visited by the siblings in Seasons 1 and 2), Benedict tells his sister Eloise, “It feels right now that the next thing I learn might change me entirely.” At the end of the finale, Eloise tells Benedict that she will be back in time for their mother’s masquerade ball, which is where he meets his book love interest Sophie in An Offer From a Gentleman.

Penelope and Eloise’s Friendship Mends

Eloise and Penelope have mended their friendship through the trials and tribulations of Penelope’s unmasking as Lady Whistledown. Eloise begins to come around when she realizes she has let “that viper” Cressida Cowper endanger her family again as the false Whistledown. She urges Penelope to publish again after the Mondrich’s ball where Cressida disseminates a teaser of her full issue. Eloise comforts Pen when Colin is slow to come around to accepting her identity, and they share a long embrace before Eloise heads off to Scotland with Francesca.

Anthony and Kate Decide to Visit India

‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Ending Explained: From Season 4 Setup To The Post Credit Scene (8)

Viscount Anthony Bridgerton suggests to his pregnant wife Kate that they journey to India so that their child can learn the Sharma family history, and so that he can visit her home town. This suggestion is prompted by Kate sharing that Edwina’s new husband not only loves to read, but has gotten her to go outside. Queen Charlotte said earlier in the series that she had heard word of Edwina making a suitable match abroad.

The Post Credit Scene Reveals the Featherington Heir

All three Featherington sisters are seen crooning over their babes after Francesca and Eloise’s departure. It turns out that Prudence and Philipa both had daughters while Penelope bore a son, who gets his good looks after his father. Penelope and Colin’s son will be the new Lord Featherington, but his Bridgerton background will also lend him power, indeed.

Colin reveals that he did publish his travel journal manuscript as a book with Penelope’s help, and Philipa even consider’s her daughter Philomena’s future as a successful writer with no husband.

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‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Ending Explained: From Season 4 Setup To The Post Credit Scene (2024)
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