‘One Bridgerton scene made me sob. It isn’t the one everyone’s talking about.’

There are a lot of emotional moments in season three of Bridgerton worth crying over. 

The scene when Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton share their first kiss comes to mind. The moment when Penelope and Eloise finally make up

Literally every scene where Violet Bridgerton and Lady Danbury are friendship goals. 

And of course, the speech Colin gives at the end as he and Penelope mend their marriage before she gives birth to their first son. 

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These are beautiful scenes, but for me, there was one moment earlier in the season that hit me so much harder. A scene between two women which had me sobbing.

In a tender moment, Penelope opens up to her mother Portia in episode six about not wanting to give up her own aspirations to become Colin's wife — clearly referring to her secret passion project as Lady Whistledown. 

In the conversation, the mother instructs her daughter to "cater entirely to your husband, his dreams, his wishes," she says.

"What about my dreams?" Penelope demands back. It's an emotional moment that succinctly sums up the unspoken sacrifice the women of this era must make when they get married and become mothers. 

Image: Netflix. 


This line was delivered perfectly by Nicola Coughlan, with the weight of an entire era of women sitting on her shoulders. But it was Portia's response that had me bursting into tears. 

"What dreams? Ladies do not have dreams. They have husbands," the mother solemnly replies.

"If you are lucky and you fulfill your role, sometimes what you wish for may come true... through him." 

The moment was an important reality check for a period drama which we sometimes forget — amid the gossiping, debutante balls and the courtships — was about a time when a woman's only goal in life was finding a husband to marry and bearing his children.


This was a time underpinned by the oppression of women. They couldn't vote, own property, dress how they wanted, go where they pleased without an escort or have agency over their bodies. 

These women lived a small and conditional existence. 

An existence dependent on a man — whether that be a husband, father or brother.  

For the Featherington family of four women, this was a dangerous position to be in. 

This could have been another moment of Portia being Portia: dismissing Penelope and refusing to validate her feelings. But as she recognised the sadness washing across Penelope's face, she goes on to share how she chose to marry Penelope's father for security, despite his treatment of her. 


"Your father could be cruel, a weak man. I chose a match for security and he could not even provide that," she told her daughter. "But he gave me you three girls."  

The scene comes to a bitter end with her mum reminding Penelope of how 'lucky' she is to be marrying a rich man who also treats her well — as if this is exceptional and not an expectation for women seeking marriage. 

Throughout the second part of the season, Colin struggles with accepting not just that Penelope is Lady Whistledown, but that she is more accomplished than him and has higher aspirations than just being his wife.  

By the end of the season, Colin has come full circle, as the writers give a possible callback to Portia's scene in Colin's final words to Penelope at the end of the season. 

"If my only purpose in life is to love a woman as great as you then I will be a very fulfilled man indeed," Colin tells Penelope in the season's final minutes.

This is a beautiful ending for Polin, but sadly for most women of this era, their dreams end at the altar. 

Feature image: Netflix. 

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