Bridgerton season 3 episode 4 recap: Old friends bloom into new lovers

Penelope's relationship with Lord Debling approaches its final stages, but Colin's yearning brings him to a realization.
Bridgerton. Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in episode 304 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024
Bridgerton. Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in episode 304 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Warning: Spoilers ahead from Bridgerton season 3 episode 4.

Portia, Prudence, and Philippa are shocked as they peek inside the drawing room at Penelope and her gentleman caller. Lord Debling brought her a plant so she can enjoy nature when she sits by her windowsill with a book. When her family barges in, the topic of discussion turns to why Penelope sits at that particular window. She likes (or liked) the view. Let her live!

Meanwhile, Colin sulks at his desk and turns down his mother's invitation to join them when Marquess Samadani calls on Francesca. Bravely, she presses him on why he asked her about friendship blossoming into love. Just circling back! Would you like to expand on that thought? He doesn't bite and agrees to join the family for Francesca's caller before she can press further.

Bridgerton. Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in episode 304 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Colin's time is running out

Penelope visists a library, and it's her paradise. But Portia wants her to focus only on Lord Debling. He's impressed that she was reading about the Northwest Passage, where he's intending to travel, though Portia butts in with her own tactics to have Debling explain it to her. Colin watches on as Penelope and Debling hit it off even more. He agrees to join his friends for some revelry.

Oddly enough, Debling notes that Penelope sneaks a yearning look at Colin before returning to the conversation to books. He asks what she enjoys reading, and she admits that she loves books about love. While her family thinks her chosen genre is a waste, he welcomes her passion for stories of romance. He asks if there are books about a husband who travels and a wife who stays at home looking after the estate. Penelope picks up on what he's implying. Obviously, he's planning to ask Portia for her hand in marriage. Colin, get up!

Again, Colin looks to free his mind by hooking up with two women, but even though he's already paid for the evening, he's too caught up in his mind (with his longing for Penelope) that he doesn't go through with it. He watches instead, but he's far too distracted to even watch. He seems to be regretting and rethinking all of his choices. Colin doesn't even have fun later with his friends.

Bridgerton. (L to R) Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Jorden Myrie as Lord Stanton, Joe Barnes as Lord Wilding in episode 304 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Penelope receives a proposal

Lord Debling asks Penelope's mother persmission to propose, which she happily gives him. However, Portia's none too please to hear that Penelope's taking time to consider the potential proposal. She's yet again frustrated with Penelope for wanting to wait for some "make-believe" love that she doesn't think exists. Oh, but it does!

Colin stays home from the ball, and Violet can see that he's hurting. She tells him that he's her most sensitive child who puts others first before himself. But she warns him that there are drawbacks to wearing an armor that might never be able to come off. As he's walking up the stairs, the drops the news that Penelope will be receiving a proposal. Tick, tock, tick, tock...

Instead of sitting at home and sulking, the memory of Penelope fixing up his cut hand inspires him to rush to the ball. He ignores his friends and continues into the ball. Penelope dances with Lord Debling and she asks him if he thinks a practical match could grow into love. He doesn't give her a very hopeful answer. Colin interrupts them to dance with Penelope and dissuade her from marrying Debling.

Cressida gets into Debling's ear about the Bridgertons living across the street from the Featheringtons, and he's smart enough to realize why Penelope's always perched at that window: Colin. Because of this realization, Debling turns her down.

The carriage scene!

Penelope rushes out of the ball in her carriage and Colin chases after her. He pleads with her to get into the carriage and asks if Debling proposed. Without ever admitting he has feelings for her, he insists Debling isn't right for her and he cares about her. Keep going, Colin! Penelope doesn't believe Colin would ever have feelings for her, but he finally says it out loud.

He confesses to dreaming about her and being unable to stop thinking about their kiss. He doesn't want to give up his feelings for her, and she can't believe what she's hearing. However, she also finally admits that she wants to be more than friends. And they kiss! Now, let's not go into any further description of the scene, but it's the steamy carriage scene fans have been waiting for.

When the carriage stops at the Bridgerton house, Colin invites her to come in with him, but that's not the only invitation he gives her. "For God's sake, Penelope Featherington. Are you going to marry me or not?" Ahhhhh! The proposal! She looks on in shock and joy, but it's doubtful that in the moment she's even considering the Lady Whistledown implications of it all. What happens when he finds out?

Bridgerton. (L to R) Hannah Dodd as Francesca Bridgerton, Florence Hunt as Hyacinth Bridgerton, Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton, Will Tilston as Gregory Bridgerton in episode 304 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Notes from the ton:

  • Benedict brings flower to Tilley, but she doesn't want to be called on. Instead, they go to her bedroom and kiss... and more.
  • Lady Danbury's already fed up with her brother Marcus and his return. He's back for society and "the lack of ladies" where he lives. Marcus talks with Violet during the ball and they relate to both losing their spouses. He wants to find a love match. Oh, this is going to be awkward!
  • The Bridgerton family receives a surprise when Francesca's caller isn't Lord Samadani. The man she met at the ball is John Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin, and she's instantly taken with him again. The family watches on in bewilderment as Francesca and Kilmartin sit in silence. They're interrupted by Samadani making his arrival, prompting Kilmartin to leave.
  • Violet continues to push the Samadani agenda on Francesca, but when they run into Kilmartin while out, and Francesca rushes to speak with him. They talk about music and he rushes away, making her think he doesn't like her.
  • During the ball, Kilmartin brings her written music. She turns down Samadani and leaves the ball. He rearranged the music they heard on the street. She's crushing!

  • Will and Alice debate what he should do about his bar. He insists on keeping the club, though she wonders if he should do the opposite. Lady Danbury tells Alice that the Queen won't be happy that Will intends to keep his club.
  • Cressida waits for a caller, but Eloise visits instead. She's instructed to leave and overhears Cressida's parents telling her she can't hang out with Eloise anymore. However, Cressida doesn't plan to obey her parents. Finally, she asks Eloise to open up about her perspective on society. Cressida doesn't listen; she rushes to dance with Debling.

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