The mirror scene and a Whistledown shocker heat up Bridgerton season 3 episode 5

Bridgerton season 3 part 2 kicks off with the streamy scene fans have been waiting for and a surprise that no one was expecting.
Bridgerton. (L to R) Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 305 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024
Bridgerton. (L to R) Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 305 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Warning: Spoilers ahead from Bridgerton season 3 episode 5.

Although it's been less than a month, Bridgerton season 3 part 2's premiere feels like it's taken forever, especially when part 1 left us on such an enchanting cliffhanger. The carriage scene (the carriage scene!) ends with Colin and Penelope pulling up to the Bridgerton home and Colin popping the biggest marriage question to Penelope. What will she say?!

Well, season 3 episode 5, "Tick Tock," wastes no time in delivering the news to the world and Colin's family: Colin and Penelope are engaged! The opening sequence wisely takes place in Penelope's haze of mixed feelings. From her perspective, she's living in a dream, breathless (for multiple reasons), wondering if it's all real. Meanwhile, everyone but Eloise relishes in excitement for their impending marriage.

The former best friends have it out, and Eloise expresses her dismay at Penelope pursuing Colin when she knows how he feels about Lady Whistledown. Penelope promises she will find the "right moment" to confess the truth to her husband-to-be, but she waits a little too long, even with Eloise later laying down an ultimatum. Someone else steals Penelope's thunder.

Cressida lies about being Lady Whistledown

Queen Charlotte basically puts a bounty on the Lady Whistledown reveal, offering reward money to whomever can provide the official name of the gossip writer. During Colin and Penelope's engagement party, Cressida overhears the perks of the punishment that would come with being unmasked as Lady Whistledown and decides to take the blame for being ton's Gossip Girl.

It's the second most pressing news of the evening (Anthony and Kate are expecting a baby!), but it's certainly the most bewildering. The mood of the room shifts as they attempt to decipher if she's telling the truth. Should they take her seriously? Could Cressida actually write like that? It's hesitation she probably didn't expect, but the chaos of it all causes Penelope to pass out.

Admittedly, this storyline wasn't fully clicking until this episode. The stakes were raised higher than they have ever been for Penelope's secret. Eloise putting the pressure on her to fess up to Colin brought her the closest she's ever been to openly admitting her side hustle to someone, and another person taking credit for her work on top of that anxiety sends her over the edge.

Colin and Penelope's intimate mirror scene

Earlier in the episode, Penelope went over the edge in a different way. After the carriage scene, which was Colin and Penelope's first sex scene of the season in episode 4, the mirror scene might be the next most-talked-about steamy scene in their love story. We've heard Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton talk about how they broke furniture filming a scene, and maybe this was it?

After breaking the news of her engagement to her mother and being berated for "living out a fantasy" or whatever nonsense she said, Colin stands up for her to Portia. It's maybe the first time anyone has talked back to her mother for her and defended her, and it's probably even hotter than the subsequent sequence of their first time having sex and all of its romance. "I advise you not to sully our Bridgerton name." Penelope definitely folded right then and there!

She tells Colin as much when he takes Penelope to what will be their home after they get married. She's still bewildered by it all: The engagement, the Portia takedown, the "I love you"... But it's all the reality she deserves. Colin takes her to the mirror, shows her to herself from his point of view, and undresses her, which is when Ariana Grande's love song "POV" begins playing. Colin undresses also and, well, you'll just have to see the rest of the beautiful but NSFW romance scene for yourself.

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