Bridgerton season 3 episode 2 recap: First charm lessons and first kisses

Penelope's lessons with Colin begin and end with an unexpected twist.
Bridgerton. Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 302 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024
Bridgerton. Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 302 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Warning: Spoilers ahead from Bridgerton season 3 episode 2.

After Lady Whistledown pokes Queen Charlotte for taking her time with choosing a Diamond of the Season, Charlotte informs Lady Danbury that she won't be picking one right away and won't be swayed by the bribery being sent her way or Whistledown's taunts. She wants to see more from the girls and to find a sparkling match to put Whistledown in her place.

In her latest newsletter, Lady Whistledown writes about supposed spinsters and older debutantes finding love matches later in life (a.k.a. at 26 like Kate), not so subtly and deservedly pushing her agenda to the public. As she writes, time will reveal Penelope to be precious stone rather than "common rock."

During a stroll down Rotten Row, Colin ditches Benedict and Eloise after some light teasing about his reformed personality (honestly, it's a bold line of prodding after the public shaming he received from Lady Whistledown) to meet up with Penelope for their first lesson. He asks if she still wants his help after what was written about him, and she insists that Whistledown has "never been more wrong about anyone."

Bridgerton. (L to R) Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 302 of Bridgerton. Cr. Laurence Cendrowicz/Netflix © 2024 /

Dr. Colin Bridgerton's love lessons

Colin prompts Penelope to show him her skills as they are before crafting a syllabus. Her attempt to wave her fan and flutter her eyelashes as a means to flirt with a group of three men... Well, let's just say it doesn't come naturally to her. She's a bit awkward.

However, Colin isn't awkward at all. He doesn't need any lessons himself as he has season 3's second intimate scene with not one but two female partners. Who knew Colin Bridgerton engaged in this sort of activity in his personal life?

For their next lesson at the market, Colin takes a different approach to build Penelope's confidence by helping her believe that she already knows how to make an impression on a man. He reminds her of when they first met, her yellow head covering blowing in the wind and into him as he rode his horse, sending him into the mud. Colin found her subsequent teasing charming, and he thinks she was able to be so free because they were children and weren't weighed down by the fear of judgment from others. He wants her to find that freedom again

Bridgerton. (L to R) Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington, Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in episode 302 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

It's such a sweet scene between Colin and Penelope that further builds their chemistry and tightens their bond, whether they're realizing it's happening or not. Penelope admits that what made her feel most comfortable were Sunday teas at his house, which aren't possible due to her split from Eloise.

Colin then takes her to the Bridgerton drawing room to make her feel comfortable so they can pretend to navigate a ball. When she expresses her anxiety about saying the wrong thing and squandering her personality, he instructs her to say what she wants to a prospective suitor without worrying about what he thinks. She comments on his blue eyes and his kindness, which makes them both flustered.

When she overhears Eloise returning home early from the modiste, Penelope hides in the study and finds Colin's journal. Do you think the woman who writes the Lady Whistledown newsletter isn't going to read her crush's journal? She reads his writings about the beautiful women in Paris and the poetic way he writes about intimacy. He catches her and slams the journal shut, sending a glass candle holder to the ground and shattering.

Colin picks up the glass and cuts the palm of his hand. She wraps the wound in fabric, and there's something about her being attentive toward him that makes him look at her differently. She holds his hand and their eyes meet. Penelope takes the intimate moment to compliment his writing, but he pulls away and ends their lesson. He doesn't seem to be mad at her anymore, but Eloise catches her as she rushes out of their home.

Bridgerton. Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in episode 302 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

A secret revealed at the ball

Eloise doesn't mind if Colin hangs out with Penelope but requests that he doesn't do so at their home (which doesn't seem totally fair, but I'll let her have this one). She asks how her former best friend is doing and is shocked to learn the secret that Colin's helping her find a husband. Oh, Eloise, girl, get ready...

When they chat at the ball, Penelope again compliments Colin's effortless writing and tells him she would like to read more of his work, with his consent this time. He makes a deal that if she talks to a lord at the ball, she can read more of his writing. Honestly, little do either of them know that these lessons are working on each other. It's textbook rom-com stuff, people!

She talks to Lord Basilio, but he's not much for conversation due to the recent death of his horse. They joke together and laugh, which Eloise notices from across the way. For some reason, Eloise decides to confide in Cressida Cowper of all people with the information that Colin is helping Penelope attract a husband. After making a connection with Lord Remington, Penelope hears whispers of her secret about Colin's help spreading around the ball.

Colin confronts Eloise about telling Cressida about the secret and questions her reasoning behind even being friends with Cressida in the first place. (Cressida later reveals that she didn't tell anyone the secret, which we saw was true. Someone else overheard Eloise when she told Cressida.) Penelope cries on her carriage ride home before sitting down to write her next newsletter. She writes about her sisters and she writes about herself. What she writes about herself isn't hopeful.

Bridgerton. (L to R) Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 302 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Penelope and Colin's first kiss

After Lady Whistledown writes about Penelope, Portia expresses her frustration with the lengths Penelope was willing to go to find a husband in her third year in society. She basically tells her daughter she has no chance. It's brutal and so, so untrue.

Later that night, Penelope still wallows by her window until Colin comes to visit her. He checks up on her after what Whistledown wrote (remember, she wrote that herself), but she takes ownership of what was written about her. Colin doesn't like hearing Penelope speak badly about herself, though.

And then... She asks him to kiss her without any strings attached. She hasn't been kissed and wants to be, and even though he's initially resistant because he doesn't believe she'll die before she'll be kissed, he grants her wish. The build up of their lessons brings us to this moment where the fireworks go off between them. Colin was the love match he'd be guiding her toward all along, and now he knows it.

Notes from the ton:

  • The Mondrich family moves into their new home, an estate for the Baron of Kent. Will and Alice are to reside in separate bedrooms, an arrangement they aren't accustomed to in their previous life. Suddenly, they also have lots of the finer things in life, too.
  • Portia worries about her own dynasty's fate given the Baron of Kent's unexpected heir. In pursuit of her own heir, Portia discovers that one of her daughters doesn't enjoy the process and the other believes that kissing is how she will get pregnant. She puts an end to that.
  • It's only episode 2, but Francesca's already ready to find a husband and get the season over with, a complete opposite sentiment than her sister Eloise. She doesn't want to hold out; she wants to be free of pressure.
  • Francesca meets Lord Petri, a cello player, but she doesn't hit it off with him. Lady Danbury takes her away to play the piano and leads Queen Charlotte to watch her play. She's found the sparkling, dazzling one.
  • Benedict's resistant to finding a wife in spite of dancing with Miss Stowell. His storyline isn't connecting yet this season, but we'll see what happens next. Eloise's, though, is rich with complex explorations of female friendship.
  • Lady Danbury receives a letter announcing the arrival of a visitor.

Keep up with us here at Netflix Life for all of our Bridgerton season 3 recaps. You can watch all four episodes of part 1 right now on Netflix!