Bridgerton season 3 episode 3 recap: Forces of nature push Polin apart

Colin becomes a hot air balloon hero as Penelope grows closer to Lord Debling.
Bridgerton. (L to R) Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 303 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024
Bridgerton. (L to R) Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 303 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Warning: Spoilers ahead from Bridgerton season 3 episode 3.

After their big kiss, Colin visits Penelope and tells her that he can't eat or sleep and that she's all he thinks about. She reciprocates his feelings and they kiss again. But.. Colin shoots up in bed all hot and bothered. Yes, he was dreaming of Penelope. Benedict seems to suspect something's up when Colin joins them in the drawing room, and Hyacinth commends him on how he helped Penelope. He's flustered and calls her a "very good acquaintance."

According to Penelope's mom, it's been a week since the previous episode and Penelope has been "sequestered in her room." She actually does receive a visitor, but it's not the Bridgerton she's expecting. Eloise drops by and says she was a bit hard on herself as Whistledown. She admits that the secret got out because of her, but it wasn't intentional. Penelope wouldn't have held that against her, though. Unfortunately, this isn't an olive branch to reconcile.

Colin and Penelope meet again for their next lesson, but she tells him they can't keep on like normal. He thinks it's because of their kiss, which she insists won't happen again. It's cute because this is the part of the romantic comedy where they're actively denying their feelings for each other. Because of the embarrassment of the whole ordeal, she wants to keep her distance from Colin and get serious about Project Husband. Girl, he's standing in front of you!

Bridgerton. (L to R) Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington, Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in episode 303 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Penelope and Lord Debling make a connection

After getting some chuckles from men at a soiree, she seems to hit it off with Lord Debling. She's surprised he's speaking to her given the gossip, but he hasn't read it and doesn't know. He understands being ridiculed since he's a vegetarian and hasn't heard the end of it. (Ahead of his time!) When she informs him of her supposed crime, he applauds her for "stepping away from the herd." Colin sees them connecting and feels a pang of jealousy.

Everyone gathers as a man prepares to take flight in a hot air balloon. When Penelope arrives, she signals to Colin to meet her in the sweets tent. She tells him about Lord Debling's interest in her, but he's distracted when she licks frosting off her fingers. He's down so bad!

Penelope sees Lord Debling talking to Cressida and Eloise and tries to walk in the other direction, but he calls her over. It's not like his conversation with them was going that well anyway. Cressida impresses him with bird knowledge she learned from Eloise's books, making it a little hard to tell where his interests might really lie.

Bridgerton. (L to R) Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton, Martins Imhangbe as Will Mondrich, Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in episode 303 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Colin the hero has a question for Penelope

A strong wind suddenly overtakes the hot air balloon festival and shakes the giant balloon and its basket loose. The ropes become untied, threatening to send the balloon into the air, but Colin bravely pulls on the rope and inspires other men to join him. Penelope's directly in the path of the rogue basket, but Colin stops it in time before it hits her and Lord Debling jumps in front of her to protect her. An unofficial love triangle! Of course, Cressida fakes a hurt ankle to pull Debling's focus.

Later at the ball, Penelope and Cressida race to speak with Lord Debling first. Cressida wins. Penelope also watches Colin speak to a group of girls, in which he inspires them with a message on courage. Seemingly, this pushes Penelope to approach Lord Debling and being herself to him. She dosn't want to pretend to like nature and hate gossip to impress him. He appreciates her honesty and doesn't want to be with someone with the exact same interests. I think Penelope just won the war Cressida was aiming to wage.

Meanwhile, Colin seems lost. He talks to his mom and asks her what she hopes to find for Francesca. Violet wants for Francesca what she had and what Anthony and Daphne have: passion, excitement, love that is thrilling. He continues to ask questions about friendship and when she knew she and his father, who began as friends, reciprocated romantic feelings. She's beginning to piece together why he's asking when he takes a peek at Penelope across the room.

The conversation with his mom bolsters him to ask Penelope a question. The build up to him asking her is charged. They both feel something. They're on the precipice of something. But — there's always a but — Lord Debling interrupts them before Colin can get the question out. Debling asks Penelope to dance. Could that have been what Colin wanted to ask her? Well, he missed his chance this time and watches on as she dances with Debling.

Bridgerton. Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in episode 303 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Notes from the ton:

  • The Queen and Lady Danbury debate a suitable match for Francesca. In spite of assurances from her mom and Lady Danbury, Francesca says she trusts the Queen's judgment. Lord Cutbill and Lord Samadani don't make an impression on her, but she meets a man while they're both outside getting some fresh air. It's love! Calling it now.
  • Portia forces Philippa and Prudence to drink a green drink that's supposed help them get pregnant with a boy. It makes both of them sick, but a pregnancy might be on the horizon for one or both of them.
  • Benedict continues to avoid attention from women and their mothers, but when he later escapes into a tent at the hot air balloon festival, he unexpectedly meets and becomes impressed with the intelligence of Lady Tilley Arnold. They banter again at the ball, get to know each other a little better, and share a dance. She's not looking for a husband after hers passed away and basically says he should be afraid of her. This will be fun!
  • While walking into a ball, Violet meets a handsome man who picks up her glove. She runs into him again at the ball and they have a sweet banter. Surprise! He's Lady Danbury's brother Lord Marcus Anderson.
  • Will becomes torn between being a member of society and continuing to run his bar. He wants to do both, but it's becoming clear that everyone else says he can't.

Follow along with more of our Bridgerton recaps, and make sure to watch season 3 part 1 now on Netflix!