Move over, Colin! Some of us are watching Bridgerton season 3 for Penelope and Lord Debling

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

Bridgerton season 3 is just around the corner and May 16 can't get here fast enough for viewers looking to tune into Penelope's story. However, if you're like me and haven't been that enthused about her pairing with Colin Bridgerton, that's not the romance that's going to have you seated like this is appointment television. My heart didn't flutter until Netflix dropped a tease of her and her second suitor, Lord Debling, on X/Twitter.

It's a very simple shot. The pair aren't doing more than giving a traditional, courteous greeting to one another before turning to look at us, the audience, but the chemistry lept out the video! I knew that I would be giving the third season of this beloved franchise a try because I've been waiting for Penelope's turn to step fully into the spotlight, and I adore Nicola Coughlan's performance in the series. Now I have something to look forward to besides her. Sorry, Polin shippers, but I'm not on your boat.

Lord Debling, played by Sam Phillips, might seem like a curious addition to Bridgerton season 3 as Bustle reports that he's not in Romancing Mister Bridgerton, the Julia Quinn romance that centers Penelope and Colin. However, given the premise for the season, his inclusion makes perfect sense. The plot is a cross between the best friends-to-lovers and romantic wingman trope. Colin is set to "mentor" Penelope, giving her lessons in confidence so that she might find a husband. However, while doing so, he'll begin to realize that his feelings for her might not solely rest in the realm of the platonic.

Debling's appearance is bad news for Colin, but it's great for us! Now, it's unlikely that the Shondaland adaptation of Penelope's story is going to supplant the original by putting our leading rose with someone other than her leading man. But! That doesn't mean we're not going to have a good time along the way getting to know beau #2, particularly when he's such a catch, and he's exactly the kind of person that she'd be interested in.

Who is Lord Debling in Bridgerton season 3?

He's about to be the talk of the ton. Of course, much of this has to do with his title. Young ladies and their mothers will be working hard to secure the bag if you catch my drift. Netflix's description doesn't give away much: "[He's a] genial lord with unusual interests. But with wealth and a noble title to back up his eccentricities, he’ll have no shortage of interest from young ladies this season.”

So thank goodness for Phillips weighing on his character in an interview with Shondaland otherwise we really wouldn't know what we, and Penelope, are working with.

"Lord Debling is seen as an outsider. He lives on the fringes of society, and he is after a love match this season; he’s after someone who goes against the grain, someone who is a little bit of an outsider like him. And he spots Penelope. He thinks she’s special because she’s sort of seen as an outsider too. Lord Debling is interested in other things outside of the norms of society. For instance, he loves wildlife, he’s a conservationist, and he is a vegetarian."

Eat your heart out, Colin! From the sounds of things, Debling is a suitable match for Penelope though that's simply on paper. We'll have to see what he brings to the table in regards to charm, listening to her, and being able to match wits. My ship flag isn't flying high (yet), but I do have my eye on one just in case I do decide to throw canon to the wind. I mean look at the material!

I can't be alone in seeing the Moulin Rouge of it all in that picture (but without the tragedy, this is a romance, an HEA is required). It's unclear what's going on in the still. Maybe someone had been rude or nearly took poor Penelope out with a stray flying projectile. But, if you allow me to be fanciful for a moment, perhaps Debling is playing pretend with her.

He's an eccentric, as is she considering she's Lady Whistledown. It's not out of the realm of possibility that he's having her imagine the beautiful English greenery that they're sat in is actually the vast, gorgeous Serengeti and there's a herd of zebra heading their way that he must protect her from. Maybe even a lion. Who knows! But the point is the two spark the imagination. There's something fresh here ready to be explored, and I for one can't wait to see what they'll be up to in Bridgerton season 3.

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