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‘Bridgerton’ is back (again). Here’s where things left off.

REUTERS/ISABEL INFANTES / JUNE 12
                                Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan arrive for the launch of ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Part 2 in London, Britain.
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REUTERS/ISABEL INFANTES / JUNE 12

Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan arrive for the launch of ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Part 2 in London, Britain.

The first half of “Bridgerton” Season 3 left viewers on a cliffhanger — and a little hot and bothered — with Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington finally giving in to their desires in the very climactic Carriage Scene.

With that will they/won’t they out of the way, plenty of questions still remain. Will Penelope and Colin actually get married? Will Eloise spill Penelope’s big secret? Can Lady Whistledown continue to hide her true identity? With the second half of Season 3 upon us, here’s a quick refresher on where things stand in Netflix’s version of Regency-era London.

COLIN AND PENELOPE’S FLIRTATION

Because the series more or less follows the plot of the novels, many fans knew that a Colin-Penelope (Polin, if you’re on BridgertonTok and have listened to “Espresso” by Sabrina Carpenter too many times) romance was in the works from the beginning. Throughout the first two seasons of the show, Colin and Penelope were relatively close friends connected by Eloise Bridgerton, Colin’s sister and Penelope’s bestie. In the “Bridgerton” universe, where the separation of unmarried men and women is mandated, the familial tie gave them occasion to interact.

At the end of Season 2, Penelope overheard Colin telling his friends he “would never dream of courting” her. When Season 3 picked up, we learned that Colin traveled around Europe by himself during the summer and that he wrote letters to Penelope — a tradition they had maintained since Season 1 — but that she didn’t respond. When Colin confronted her about the letters, she told him she had overheard his insult.

PENELOPE’S NEW GROOVE

Preparing for courting season, Penelope underwent a makeover moment, the so-called “Bridgerton glow-up,” changing her hair and clothing in the hopes of landing a marriage proposal.

In an attempt to repair their friendship, Colin offered to teach Penelope how to flirt. To nobody’s surprise, Colin became attracted to Penelope — but he wasn’t the only one.

When Colin found out that Penelope might get a marriage proposal from Lord Debling (Sam Phillips), he chased after her.

THAT CARRIAGE SCENE

The last scene of the fourth episode, the final one before the show’s break, finally exploded the sexual tension between Colin and Penelope. Though it took place in a carriage, it didn’t match the carriage scene from the book, so there is likely more steaminess ahead in the second half of the season.

After Colin and Penelope got into some shenanigans that helped earn the show its TV-MA rating, he finally proposed marriage. When the carriage abruptly stopped at Colin’s house, he asked her to come in with him. She declined, because his family might see them, to which he responded, “for God’s sake, Penelope Featherington, are you going to marry me or not?”

As we know from past seasons, marriage is often only the first step of a relationship in the Regency era, so the Polin love story is really only just beginning.

LADY WHISTLEDOWN FALLOUT

Lady Whistledown, voiced by Julie Andrews, has been the show’s constant, the all-knowing narrator tying together story lines. The character started off as a sort of Regency-era “Gossip Girl,” a mysterious writer who pens a pamphlet detailing society happenings under a nom de plume. Her identity remained unknown until Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie) figured it out in Season 2.

That season began with Eloise, then Penelope’s best friend, seeking out Lady Whistledown, based on their shared distaste of high society norms. Separately, Queen Charlotte also sought to uncover Whistledown’s identity and, after spotting Eloise near the print shop, suspected she might have solved the mystery. Attempting to clear Eloise, Whistledown (aka Penelope) revealed that Eloise had been going to political rallies, a besmirching of the Bridgerton name that Eloise surely wouldn’t have publicized if she were the real Whistledown.

But Penelope’s disclosure backfired. In the last episode of Season 2, Eloise discovered that Penelope was Whistledown and ended their friendship. The shunning continued into the third season, even as Eloise’s brother got very involved in Penelope’s life.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Because it is a love story, we know that Colin and Penelope will end up together, so the real question is: how?

The other big question: How is Colin going to react when he finds out that Penelope is Lady Whistledown? We know that Colin does not like Whistledown and has made it his mission to figure out her true identity, so clearly there are some hurdles to Polin’s happy ending. Also, now that Penelope is about to become a Bridgerton, will she mend her relationship with her soon-to-be sister-in-law Eloise?


This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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