Bridgerton season 3 part 1 ending explained: Does Penelope accept Spoiler's proposal?

Bridgerton season 4 part 1 ends with a major proposal but does Penelope end the season engaged?
Bridgerton. Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 301 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024
Bridgerton. Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 301 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

We might have had to wait over two years for Bridgerton season 3, but man was it worth it! Rather than getting the full season at once, Netflix has chosen to split the season into two parts and I’ll admit I wasn’t sure if the split season was going to work. Well, let me tell you, it absolutely did! 

The first four episodes of the season told an amazing story that felt honestly felt like a self-contained season in a sense, which is part of why this split season actually worked in the show’s advantage. So much happened in the first episodes of the season, but nothing compares to what went down in the part 1 finale which ended with a moment that we’re going to be talking about right up until the final four episodes arrive on June 13. 

What exactly went down in the final episode of season 3? Let’s break down the final episode in the first part of the season and what that ending means for the upcoming episodes.

Spoilers ahead for the Bridgerton season 3 part 1 finale!

Bridgerton. (L to R) Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington, Sam Phillips as Lord Debling in episode 303 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Does Lord Debling end up with Penelope? 

Across the first four episodes, we see Lord Debling entangled in a love triangle with Cressida Cowper and our favorite wallflower, Penelope Featherington. He goes a bit back and forth between the two throughout the episodes, but in the finale, he finally hints that he’s going to ask Penelope for her hand in marriage! 

Lord Debling goes to see Lady Featherington to ask for her permission to wed Penelope. Lady Featherington then tells Penelope she gave him her blessing and that it would be great for them if she were to marry Lord Debling… the only problem is that Penelope doesn’t seem to be in love, at which point her mom says love is for fairytales and security is more important.

While at one of the season’s many balls, Penelope and Lord Debling are enjoying a dance when Colin shows up and cuts in which gives Cressida the chance to pull Lord Debling aside for a dance. Having heard about the rumors of Lord Debling preparing to propose to Penelope, Colin says Penelope barely knows him but Penelope is adamant that she’s going to accept this proposal. 

As Colin and Penelope are dancing, Cressida tells Lord Debling that the Featheringtons live across from the Bridgertons which is when he starts to put some pieces together and realize the feelings Penelope has for Colin. Recalling a previous conversation about why Penelope enjoys the view from her drawing-room window, Lord Debling realizes that the view she was referring to was that of the Bridgerton house and Colin. 

When Lord Debling confronts Penelope about her feelings for Colin, she says that Colin would never have feelings for her. He then basically asks her if she wants more than just Colin’s friendship and she fails to give an answer which essentially gives him the answer he needs as Lord Debling realizes Penelope is harboring feelings for Colin. Knowing that he’ll be going on a long journey that will keep him away and out of the country for a few years, Lord Debling tells Penelope that he cannot propose to someone whose heart belongs to someone else – basically insinuating that he wouldn’t trust her to not act upon her feelings in his absence. 

He then leaves the ball and it’s the last we see of him in the episode, leaving us to also question whether it’s the last we’ve seen of him in the season. 

Bridgerton. Hannah Dodd as Francesca Bridgerton in episode 301 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Francesca seems to make her pick

Upon making her debut, Francesca begins turning heads and ends up catching the attention of two suitors: Lord Samadani and Lord John Stirling Kilmartin. 

While Lord Samadani is more forward with his pursuits of Francesca, it becomes quite clear that she shares a stronger connection with Lord Kilmartin. The two had chemistry the moment they first met and it became clear that they were each not a fan of the spotlight, as their first encounter came when they sat in silence at a ball enjoying the silence together. 

What seems to be the turning point is when Lord Kilmartin brings Francesca a gift, the gift being a rearrangement of a piece of music the pair briefly spoke about while out in the ton. At first, Francesca thought the interaction proved that Lord Kilmartin was not interested in her as she feared she scared him away when she spoke of her qualms with the song’s arrangement when in fact he was inspired by her ear for music and raced off to have the song rearranged to the tune she laid out. 

Although the two are not together by the end of the first part, it seems clear that Francesca has chosen Lord Kilmartin and those familiar with the books likely aren’t surprised by this choice. 

Bridgerton. (L to R) Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 301 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Do Colin and Penelope end up together? 

Early in the episode from Penelope’s side of the story, we see that Lord Debling is preparing to ask for her hand in marriage. Eventually, this news makes its way to Colin via a conversation with his mother, who not so subtly tells her son that if he truly has any feelings he might want to act now before Lord Debling makes his move at the impending ball. 

Colin crashes the ball and his arrival is what prompts Lord Debling to realize Penelope is still harboring feelings for Colin and ultimately makes him choose against proposing. After Lord Debling breaks things off, Penelope races out of the ball and Colin follows after her. 

He races to Penelope and catches her in her carriage. He asks if Lord Debling proposed, but before she can answer he says she cannot marry him because he’s not right for her. Penelope tells Colin that Lord Debling did not propose because he suspected feelings between her and Colin. She’s understandably frustrated with him and tells Colin to be quiet which is when the moment we’ve all been waiting for happens. 

Colin says he cannot be quiet because he does have feelings for Penelope. He tells her he cannot stop thinking about their kiss or dreaming of her, and it’s a feeling he doesn’t want to give up. Penelope says she’d like to be more than friends and then kissing turns into something much more as things get quite steamy between the two. 

As the season ends, the carriage arrives at the Bridgerton house and he exits the carriage. However, instead of wishing her goodnight, he asks her if she is going to come with him and whether she’s going to marry him or not! 

Talk about a cliffhanger! We’re going to have to wait until part 2 to see how Penelope replies to the proposal but if you’ve read the books, the answer is yes. However, the proposal is just the beginning as the pair have a very long road ahead of them in the upcoming episodes. 

Don’t miss the final four episodes of Bridgerton season 3 when they arrive on June 13!