"I feel like, especially in the last season, there are these moments of tension between them where it’s like, Colin walks up to the line of almost realizing that Penelope has feelings for him but doesn’t quite get there. Instead of treading water on that dynamic, we wanted to push it into their season. It really felt like the perfect moment to tee it up."
It's likely Benedict's romance will predominantly happen in the fourth season, though it may be intertwined with other stories like that of Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie) and Sir Phillip Crane (Chris Fulton).
What happens in Colin Bridgerton's love story in the book?
Since POLIN will be the reigning love story of the third season, it just makes sense that we would divulge some juicy details around how their relationship unfolds. If you don't want any more book spoilers, skip this next part.
Because the show-runners have planned this change to the story order, they've already woven elements of the books into the second season.
In season two, Penelope overheard Colin saying he could never be interested in her romantically (which actually happens in the third book and she snaps back at him tremendously). Her identity as Lady Whistledown was also discovered by Eloise Bridgerton in season two (the fourth book is actually the first time we find out about her secret identity as the scandalous author).
In the fourth novel, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, Colin and Penelope "don't get together for another 10 years."
Book POLIN actually begin their romantic relationship a decade later when she is 28 and considered to be entering "spinster" territory due to her age. The Regency Era was not kind to women, duh.
In the book, Colin returns from his travels in Greece and begins to look at Penelope differently now that they're both grown-ups. He already returned from Greece in the second season, so we've been there done that.
After sharing a risqué moment at a ball, Colin attempts to find Penelope and apologise for his very un-gentlemanly ways when he discovers her heading to the "bad part of town."
You know, the part of town where she regularly travels to print her paper as Whistledown. Upon his realisation, Colin picks a huge fight with Pen before proposing... for some reason.
How will Season 3 of Bridgerton be different to the book?
Shonda has confirmed there will be some changes, because at this stage Penelope isn't actually a "spinster" and is still out on the marriage mart on the show. But one key feature remains: Colin will finally be the one pining for Penelope after years of her being obsessed with him.
“Colin doesn’t see what is right in front of his eyes,” Luke tells TVLine of his character. “He’s got this amazing connection with this young woman, but his judgment is so clouded about feeling like he has to be a man and find his purpose, that he’s put her in the friend zone. He’s ticked off his ambition, which was traveling, and now he’s trying to figure out what’s next. Everyone else has things going on, and he’s distracted by ambition. It’s really hard to defend Colin because there are moments where even I’m like ‘Bro, you’re just being a d--k right now.'”
According to the synopsis shared by Netflix, Colin will be offering Penelope "lessons in courtship" when his feelings of friendship turn to something more.
"Penelope has finally given up on her long-held crush on Colin after hearing his disparaging words about her last season," the synopsis reads.
"She has, however, decided it’s time to take a husband, preferably one who will provide her with enough independence to continue her double life as Lady Whistledown, far away from her mother and sisters. But lacking in confidence, Penelope’s attempts on the marriage mart fail spectacularly.
"Meanwhile, Colin has returned from his summer travels with a new look and a serious sense of swagger. But he’s disheartened to realize that Penelope, the one person who always appreciated him as he was, is giving him the cold shoulder.
"Eager to win back her friendship, Colin offers to mentor Penelope in the ways of confidence to help her find a husband this season. But when his lessons start working a little too well, Colin must grapple with whether his feelings for Penelope are truly just friendly.
"Complicating matters for Penelope is her rift with Eloise, who has found a new friend in a very unlikely place, while Penelope’s growing presence in the ton makes it all the more difficult to keep her Lady Whistledown alter ego a secret."
Will Kate and Anthony be in Season 3?
When the second season premiered, many die-hard book fans were upset because Kate (Simone Ashley) and Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) were somewhat robbed of their romantic storyline from The Viscount Who Loved Me.
While we got to see all of the delicious squabbling, tension, and build-up to their romance, many were left reeling over the lack of steamy scenes in the show. And the fact that Edwina (played by Charithra Chandran) had been brought further into the messy love triangle in the show, when she was pretty chill and unbothered in the book.
But there's plenty of time for Anthony, Kate and Edwina's happier moments to play out on screen, with Simone confirming their return in season three - saying they're "just getting started."
"We're going to be back! Kate and Anthony are just getting started," the actress tells Deadline, much to our delight.
"We have the amazing Jess Brownell who is taking the lead as showrunner in Season 3," she continued. "In Season 2, there was a lot of push and pull between Kate and Anthony, there were complications with the family, and then they find each other towards the end. I think everything is just starting."
"She's in charge of the household now and she's got big boots to put on. I think she can do it," she shared. "I want to keep that softness and vulnerability to Kate, for sure, and she can share that with Anthony. I'm just excited for her to have a home and to have a family."
Kate and Anthony will be back, but Season 3 will mostly focus on Penelope and Colin.
Will Daphne Bridgerton be in Season 3?
A recent interview with Phoebe Dynevor has many fans concerned about the fate of Daphne Bridgerton in the upcoming season.
In a chat with Screen Rant, she was asked if her character will have any "exciting dynamics" in the new season.
"Sadly not in season three. Potentially in the future. But season three, I'm just excited to watch as a viewer," she told the publication.
With that question answered, we can focus on all the other need-to-know details about the third season.
When is the Bridgerton Season 3 release date?
If history is anything to go by, we have a while to wait. The first season began production in July 2019 and wrapped in February 2020, before the series was released on December 25, 2020.
The second season faced greater challenges due to COVID-19 in London. Though they began production in March 2021, various shutdowns meant they didn't finish until November 2021. It was released on March 25, 2022.
Although we thought early 2023 would be the go for the third season, it seems like we might have to wait a while longer.
According to a recent report, Shonda wasn't happy with parts of the new season's plotline, deeming it "very dark."
"There are some elements that Shonda is just not happy with so wants to change them. Some of it got very dark," a source told MailOnline.
"We have been told that it needs the fun back so there are changes, which of course means delays. One thing is for sure though, the production team want to get it right for Bridgerton fans so they enjoy it as much as they have in the past."
Filming for season three wrapped before the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes took over Hollywood, but at this stage it's unclear if the season was completed by then. Regardless, it's unlikely we'll be seeing the third season until the strike is over.
In the meantime, there are plenty of other shows that can help cure your Bridgerton hangover.
What happens in Benedict Bridgerton's love story?
He might not be front and centre in season three, but fans are still obsessed with Benedict.
If you're keen for a little insight to the love life of this artsy man with a penchant for hallucinogenic tea, his novel is called An Offer From a Gentleman and follows his relationship with Sophie Beckett. If you don't want any more book spoilers, skip this next part.
Julia Quinn went full "Cinderella" with this one, with Sophie and Benedict first meeting at a masked ball. Years pass and the pair finally cross paths again when Benedict visits her new workplace. Realising she's in a dodgy situation as a servant, he "rescues" her to come and work at his family home.
They fall for each other - of course - but due to that whole Regency-era society thing, they're not considered a good match and can't tie the knot. A good way of summing it up thereafter would be: chaos ensues, love triumphs, we love Benedict and Sophie.
Read more about the fourth season here.
Bridgerton Season 1-2 is available to watch on Netflix.