‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Part 2 Recap & Ending Explained: Did Penelope Reveal Her Identity?

Season three, part one, of the Netflix original Bridgerton ended with Colin and Penelope expressing their love for each other. Penelope was on the verge of being engaged to Lord Deblin, the traveler. Even though Penelope had issues with his idea of what companionship was, she was willing to be his wife. It was Colin’s grand gesture that made Lord Deblin back away from the engagement; he figured Penelope loved the Bridgerton boy. Colin and Penelope made love in her carriage and he expressed his desire to marry her.


Spoilers Ahead

What did Eloise think of the match?

Eloise was livid at her friend and Colin, who never informed her about their feelings for each other. Eloise had reasons to be angry, mostly over Penelope hiding her identity from her brother; hence, she was now aware their relationship was not based on honesty. She kept her distance from the couple and wanted to make sure she wouldn’t spill the beans about Lady Whistledown. She also warned Penelope to inform Colin about her identity, saying she would not hesitate to reveal the secret.


Was there prize money to reveal Lady Whistledown’s identity?

Cressida Cowper, Eloise’s best friend, revealed she was being married to an older gentleman who was a rich lord, but he wasn’t far away from stepping into his grave. The old man revealed he loved to live a simple life away from the gossip of the ton and would expect the same from Cressida. He planned to dictate the way she dressed and who she would mingle with. The young woman and her mother were not happy with these terms. Meanwhile, the Queen announced prize money for whoever would reveal the identity of Lady Whistledown, and suddenly Cressida had come up with an idea. She wanted to be the one to find out who the writer was, and with that prize money, she planned to getaway to France and live alone in her apartment. At the ball, Penelope was afraid to come out to Colin and fainted out of fear. Meanwhile, Cressida revealed herself to be Lady Whistledown, which came as a shock to Eloise and Penelope as well. 

Why was Penelope angry at Cressida?

Penelope was not willing to give up her identity to Cressida. Eloise also came clean to Penelope and revealed she could not convey the truth as it would devastate Colin and he would be livid at her for keeping this secret from him. Eloise asked Penelope to perhaps see this as a sign, give up her identity, and let Cressida take the burden of it. Penelope would not have it, for her Lady Whistledown was not just a gossip monger. Writing the newsletter was probably the only time she could be herself. 


How Did Colin Find Penelope’s Hidden Identity?

When Penelope left the ball to work on publishing her version as she was livid at  Cressida for stealing her identity. Penelope wanted to prove hers to be the real version of the Lady Whistledown newsletter. Colin followed her, and he was shocked to know Penelope was the Lady Whistledown. Penelope had not expected Colin to find out the way he did, and he went back to staying aloof. She was afraid he would break off the engagement, but he did not do so. Initially, they agreed to get married, yet it would be Colin who would set the terms for how their marriage would be. Penelope agreed to give up her identity, which sorted matters out between her and Colin, and they decided to go ahead with the marriage as planned. On the day of their wedding, after the ceremony, Queen Charlotte made an appearance and revealed she knew of a secret that the Bridgerton women were carrying, and she would rather have the said person come forward. Colin knew his family name would be at stake if Penelope was caught, which made him not share the marital bed with his wife. 

Were Lord Anderson and Lady Bridgerton in love?

Lord Anderson was the brother of Lady Danbury, and everyone in the ton was aware of his manly escapades as he had been a widower for a long time. He was smitten by Dowager Lady Bridgerton and vice versa, and they had begun to spend a lot of time conversing. Lady Danbury sensed the growing affection between the two and began to set him up with other rich widows. Lord Anderson was not happy, and the siblings had their first friction in many years about how their father favored him as the favorite child over her. Lady Danbury did not want to lose her best friend in the process of her falling in love with Lord Anderson. Both made peace with their lives and wanted to know if Dowager Lady Bridgerton was in love with him as well. Both never expressed their feelings outwardly, but it was understood from their conversion that they adored each other’s company. Dowager Lady Bridgerton also came to terms with the fact that her father may have been unfaithful to her mother by having an affair with Lady Danbury. 


What was the relationship status of Tillie and Benedict?

Lady Tillie and Benedict Bridgerton were happy with the casual nature of their relationship. She introduced her friend Paul into their relationship, and the three began to have intimate relations. Tillie knew the society around them would never accept Paul and the kind of relationship she and him intended to have with other men. Benedict finally opened himself to a new form of relationship and realized he was indeed attracted to men as well. But he was attracted to her and did not hesitate to make love to her. Tillie was beginning to develop feelings for Benedict after understanding the kind of lifestyle she enjoyed from time to time. She confessed her feelings, but Benedict backed away from a serious relationship with her. He had begun to discover himself now that he knew he was attracted to men as well. He wanted to explore that avenue before getting married and settling down. 

Who did Francesca get engaged to?

As the Queen came forward and expressed herself, she was aware of a secret held by Bridgerton. Francesca was worried she was the one Queen was referring to, as she had gotten secretly engaged to a man she was in love with, John Stirling, Lord of Kilmartin. The Queen had expected her to marry the Marquess she had chosen for Francesca. She, however, fell in love with the man who understood her love for silence in chaos and did not add to it. Francesca’s secret engagement was a shock to her mother and her family members as well. The Dowager Lady Bridgerton was afraid that she would upset the Queen, who might shun them. John Stirling and Francesca Bridgerton soon got married in a small ceremony at her home, surrounded by just enough people, and she planned to move to Scotland with her husband. 

Who was blackmailing Penelope and her family?

Cressida, in the hope of running away from her home, finds out from one of the printers that Penelope is Lady Whistledown. To fund her travels, she began to blackmail Penelope’s mother, who was shocked to find out her daughter had been writing malicious gossip about many people, including her sisters. There was hardly any time to react, and she had no means to offer the money Cressida demanded for her silence. Colin was made aware of these blackmail tactics, and he went against Penelope’s better instincts and decided to speak to Cressida to get back off from ruining the reputation of his family. Penelope had made some money from publishing the newsletter, and she had offered to use it to pay off Cressida, but Colin was too egoistic to accept help from his wife. Cressida refused to back away because, as a woman, she was humiliated in the name of putting herself out there for men to judge her and her capabilities as a wife, something Colin would never understand. As a man from a prominent family, he was raised with a lot of privileges that he was unwilling to accept. 

Did Penelope reveal The Truth?

The only way to keep Cressida from revealing the name of Penelope as Lady Whistledown was at a ball thrown at the Featheringtons’ home. She came forward to the Queen and disclosed her identity. Everyone present at the event except Eloise, Penelope’s mother, and Colin was shocked. All three were skeptical of how the people would react to this revelation, as the people of the ton were very judgmental. The whole idea behind this plan was to take the power back into her hands and not let anyone destroy her. Cressida was not a smart woman, and in desperation, she’d made the move of blackmailing Penelope’s family. Cressida wanted to live on her own, away from her parents, but instead of finding a practical solution, she chose immoral ways. Cressida was also raised in privilege, but unlike Eloise, she never had supportive parents, nor did she have the courage of Penelope to live life on her terms and perhaps show patience. Cressida was sent to live with her aunt after the debacle, and she could not get away from her destiny this time.


Penelope’s coming out as Lady Whistledown was a weight lifting off her shoulders after many years. She was happy that everyone she loved accepted her, and as an extension, that the people of the ton did the same. The Queen did not excommunicate or punish Penelope or her family, but she was happy the young lady had found the courage to come out and promised to reduce the malice in her newsletter. 

Season three ended with Eliose excited about heading to Scotland with her sister and her new husband. They were also joined by John’s cousin, Michaela, who was a well-read woman. The next season could focus on Francesca, Eloise, and Michaela. There was a hint of Francesca being attracted to Michaela, and we wonder if she would give up her marriage and pursue her husband’s cousin. Eliose might find a partner who would match her intellect as well. The show also focused on Penelope Bridgerton not going to publish anymore as Lady Whistledown, instead using her own identity and continuing to publish her newsletter. She also gave birth to a son, and both sisters gave birth to a daughter. The Featherington saga comes to an end this season.


Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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