‘Bridgerton 3’ Is The Most Gripping And Intriguing Of All Seasons

‘Bridgerton 3’ Is The Most Gripping And Intriguing Of All Seasons

Those binge-watchers who were addicted to the Netflix adaptation of Julia Quinn’s best-selling series of novels will be overjoyed to return to the world of Regency high society with Bridgerton 3.

The family composed by eight close-knit siblings, has so far revealed the romantic denouements of Daphne (Season 1) and Anthony (Season 2). Season 3 is entirely dedicated to Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton), but most importantly to Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan), whose double life is expressed through the witty and poignant pen of gossip writer Lady Whistledown (whose voice continues to be that of Julie Andrews).

Penelope has decided it’s time to take a husband, meanwhile Colin has returned from his summer travels with a sense of swagger. The two friends, who seemed to have taken their separate ways, will rekindle when Colin offers to mentor Penelope in the ways of confidence to help her find a husband. Needless to say the proximity between the two will venture into territories that go beyond friendship. In parallel to this, we see Penelope confronting her rift with Eloise (Claudia Jessie), not to mention the way other characters enrich the new series, such as the underestimated Cressida Cowper (Jessica Madsen), the pensive John Stirling (Victor Alli), the enchanting Lady Tilley Arnold (Hannah New) and the charming Lord Alfred Debling (Sam Phillips).

This third chapter of the Bridgerton saga does not neglect to make space for the multifaceted personalities of all the titular family members: The Mother, Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell), and her other children Benedict (Luke Thompson), Hyacinth (Florence Hunt), Gregory (Will Tilston), and Antony (Jonathan Bailey), with his wife Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley). The storyline of another Bridgerton sibling, who is introduced in society, will be rather enthralling. A new actress playing Francesca (Hannah Dodd), leads us to a world of introspection, where music and silence can become the love language between two shy individuals. Meanwhile, the moulder of society, Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel), leads the way through the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair and the aristocratic palaces of Park Lane, whilst her faithful friend Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) is in discord with her brother, Lord Marcus Anderson (Daniel Francis).

More room is given to Will Mondrich (Martins Imhangbe) and Alice Mondrich (Emma Naomi). In line with Bridgerton’s inclusive and diverse approach we also have a young lady attending society who uses sign language. We also see how the dynamics between Penelope and the women in her life evolve in unexpected ways — with her mother Portia (Polly Walker) and her sisters Philippa (Harriet Cains) and Prudence (Bessie Carter). Her most supportive ally remains the modiste Genevieve Delacroix (Kathryn Drysdale).

The third season is sumptuous, witty, seductive, daring. The power struggles concerning social status and gender are enhanced with remarkable observations that reiterate the logics of Regency England. The aspirations of the female gender are limited, because “ladies do not have dreams, they have husbands,” a good marriage does not necessarily contemplate romance. After all “love is make-believe,” and to secure a propitious union women need to downplay their intelligence because “men love to explain the world to them,” if not they will feel “superfluous and unmanned.” This is the familiar chorus that plays, as the intrigues of confounding feelings unroll. Ire and mirth mingle and the only certain thing is that “surprise is one part secrecy and one part speed.

If undercover Penelope thrives through the quick-witted pen of her alias Lady Whistledown, in the romantic department she recalls Homer’s Penelope in The Odyssey: a woman willing to wait for a man to shape her destiny. Nevertheless, for Penelope Featherington matters will unravel in an unheralded way.

This season is nothing farther than being perfunctory. It is profound, historical and modern at the same time. It will parch your thirst for debate about equality, across all fields. Some characters believe that hope can lead to recklessness, others have a moment of glory but must be prepared to return to the shadows after a taste of the light. Others still have a hard time relinquishing their old lives, which can be dangerous places to revisit. A time of respite is much needed when heart and head are in conflict, because every choice might feel like agony. Some names might be tarnished, some might rescind their offers, some may be sorely mistaken in their thoughts. What is certain is that the characters, we have learnt to love, feel deeply and their emotions are not a thunderbolt from the sky. When it comes to family issues childhood grievances have a way of lingering, if instead it comes to courtship it is truly bewildering how one person can become all that matters. The power of a gesture proves to be the most appreciated expression of care, and an occasion to smile.

Images are courtesy of Netflix

Final Grade: B+

Check out more of Chiara’s articles.

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