Bridgerton – Season 3 Episode 1 “Out of the Shadows” Recap & Review

Out of the Shadows

Episode 1 of Bridgerton Season 3 begins with Whistledown announcing the new season. As the columnist describes all the new debutantes, we see Penelope observing these ladies. At the Bridgertons’ home, everyone is nervous as it is introverted Francesca’s turn to debut but Kate points out that she is already ready and playing the pianoforte. 

At the same time, Colin returns home, tanned, buff and dressed in a Parisian fashion which catches everyone’s eye including Pen’s. His brothers tease him while the debutantes swoon over him. However, the presentation this season has Queen Charlotte bored with all of the debutantes including Francesca who doesn’t really care. 

Meanwhile, the Featheringtons are back in society with the older two sisters married and the family getting the inheritance left behind by “dead Aunt Petunia.” As a refresher, Portia loudly whispers that it is the same money that Cousin Jack scammed from the investors last season.

Onto the afterparty – Colin approaches and flirts with all the debutantes even after explaining that he isn’t looking for a wife. Is this his rake era? He isn’t the only one who has changed as Eloise is dressed in the latest fashion and has apparently befriended Cressida which has Pen heartbroken.

Elsewhere, Francesca is bored by the girls’ gossip and doesn’t have much to say. Violet and Kate run into Danbury who reveals that Charlotte is absent because she is being careful after the diamond fiasco last season. However, this is making all the parents nervous.

As the afterparty winds down, the other families mock Portia which has her revealing that her estate will go to her eldest male grandson. Of course, the two eldest daughters start daydreaming about how they will run the house including throwing out Pen’s books. This has Penelope deciding to quickly find a suitor so that she doesn’t have to live under her sisters’ thumbs.

She confides with Genevieve, the modiste that she wants new outfits in Parisian style (just like Colin’s). Pen later runs into Eloise and tries to apologise and thank her for keeping her secret. However, Eloise is still upset and shares that they should go their separate ways.

As for Colin, as he showers his family with gifts, he is surprised to see Eloise turn down the book he got her because she is into romance novels now. He asks her about Cressida and she claims she is tired of fighting and has simply joined the winning side. She also calls him out for nitpicking on her new interests as he too has changed after his travels.

The older Bridgerton boys hang out at Will’s where Benedict confesses that he doesn’t know what to do with his life. Meanwhile, Colin is not too happy with all the admirers while Anthony is still in his honeymoon phase with Kate. As for Will, he is suddenly told that a great aunt has passed on and left everything to his son Nicholas, making him Baron of Kent.

That night, Lady Danbury throws the first ball of the season and even Charlotte makes an appearance. Of course, Danbury tries to get her to pick a diamond to ease the parents’ anxiety. However, Charlotte points out that diamonds are rare which means she doesn’t need to pick one every season.

As Pen arrives in a striking green gown and sleek hair, everyone is stunned by her appearance including Colin. Three men try to approach her but she messes it up with nervous banter. They run away and focus on Francesca. Meanwhile, Eloise is bored by the girls going on about embroidery. 

Francesca is overwhelmed by the men interrogating her and she runs off. Anthony covers for her as he calms his mother before dancing with Kate. Francesca finds Pen and they bond over being different from their siblings. While they do want to find a suitor, they do not like the current way the ton goes about it. However, Francesca is asked to dance and she tells Pen to try once more.

Unfortunately, Pen gets nervous by the girls’ sneering and stuffs herself with ice cream before getting brain freeze. Lord Debling checks on her and even flirts with her. She is flustered and tries to leave but Cressida steps on her dress and tears it. She mocks her and Eloise tries to apologise but Pen runs off.

Colin notices and tries to check on Pen but she thinks he is mocking her. He is surprised by her cold behaviour as they are friends. She takes her chance and recalls how he had cruelly commented that he would never court her. She leaves and takes out her anger on her next Whistledown column.

The next day, Dundas visits Portia and warns her that the succession document is too convenient, and if it is forged, the Featherington estate will go to another family. Meanwhile, Eloise reprimands Cressida for being cruel to Pen. Cressida actually apologises and appreciates Eloise’s candour. She reveals she has had no friends ever since she debuted as the season pits girls against each other.

While it is customary for the mother to move out once there is a new viscountess, Kate sees that Violet enjoys the title. She suggests that Violet can continue to be viscountess longer as it would allow her and Anthony freedom to do what they want like extending their honeymoon. Anthony is excited by the idea. Elsewhere, Violet tries to talk to Francesca who reveals that she is not afraid of balls but love is rare so she is just going with the flow.

Colin pays a visit to Pen to clear the air. He declares that he seeks her out at every social assembly because it makes him happy and he is proud to be her friend. She also accepts that she lashed out because she is frustrated that she cannot find a match. He tells her charm can be taught and he will help her. They shake hands but as he leaves, she suddenly regrets her column.

The new Whistledown column provokes Charlotte and the queen decides to play as she is confident she will win. However, Pen also puts Colin on blast as she writes that his new personality may be a ploy for attention. Eloise checks on him but he doesn’t care. However, he will never forgive Whistledown for ruining Marina and Eloise in the previous seasons. At the end of Bridgerton Season 3 Episode 1, he claims that if he ever catches Whistledown, he will ruin her.

The Episode Review

Well, Bridgerton Season 3 is off to a great start with Episode 1. Now that all the secrets are out in the open, we can clearly see how Penelope gathers her information before writing her column. And despite this being her season, we get a more gradual and realistic change as we see her motives for changing and why she is suddenly so worried about finding a suitor.

Meanwhile, we do wonder if the Whistledown mention did actually strike a nerve with Colin. He does say that he doesn’t want the attention or any suitor, but he goes out of his way to wink and flirt and approach the ladies of the ton. And even if we don’t like Whistledown, Penelope does more often than not stick to the truth.

All of the other characters get their moment to shine as well from the usual Featheringtons’ financial drama to Violet’s mama bear instincts coming out now that her introverted daughter is out in society. Within all this conflict, it is fun to see some fluff from Kate and Anthony, especially with all the angst we got in Season 2. Eloise and Cressida’s friendship is quite surprising too. While we were ready to hate on it, now it makes us wonder, is there more substance to this new dynamic?

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