BRIDGERTON, Season 3, Part 2: The Truth Floats to the Surface Like a Drowned Corpse [REVIEW]

In the Bridgerton series, it’s not just intrigues that matter, but also the context of relationships between people from the upper echelons.

Odys Korczyński

16 June 2024


About the truth, it obviously comes out after some time, usually at the least wanted and expected moment. The second part of season 2 is based on this confrontation of Penelope with her alter ego, Lady Whistledown, and consequently with her beloved Colin Bridgerton. Certainly, fans of this universe, in a sense, will appreciate the acceleration of events, as the previous four episodes could have had a livelier pace. Now the tension is much higher, and the plot has entered a phase where society balls are a backdrop to events, rather than the core of the story. It is good that from the very beginning of the second series, viewers are confronted with society’s reaction to the discovery of Whistledown’s identity. This twist has many levels, leading us to a surprising finale. In the Bridgerton series, it’s not just intrigues that matter, but also the context of relationships between people from the upper echelons.

The world of the Bridgertons appears to be an ideal reality, at least it seems that way initially, when we see the glamour and poise of the characters. In this world, there is no poverty, squalor, or the evil of wars, not even the typical male violence that was a much more common way of resolving conflicts at that time. However, this does not mean that the perfection of this reality is real and authentic. One can wound with a pen and words just as effectively as with a sword and a pistol. Wars can be fought through social promotions and demotions of opponents, not to mention compromising them in salons through skillful behind-the-scenes machinations. Even in the world of wealthy snobs, having money doesn’t prevent you from suddenly becoming a pauper if Queen Charlotte decides not to invite you to an important ball. The epitome of the injustice of this ideal world is loneliness, not so much for men, but for women. All women in these higher circles are raised to have respectable husbands, fulfill their whims, and hope to give birth to heirs of great family names. As Penelope’s mother aptly and suggestively states: “Ladies don’t have dreams, they have husbands.” The world of the Bridgertons, although so multiethnic, is a bitter portrayal of predatory and hypocritical social inequality that persists in our human culture to this day. Lady Whistledown can be seen as a beacon of enlightenment, a guide to freedom, which can easily be trampled on because she is a woman. How could she think independently, let alone write for a newspaper? For Penelope, putting her thoughts on paper was almost like having the right to vote, although the process of having articles printed in Bridgerton was not in any way similar to today’s standards. If Colin ever wanted to forbid her from doing so, he would show a very stunted personality, and that’s not what the creators of the series aimed for. Principles are important, but rational questioning is also necessary.


The press has power – that is certain, and how strong it is in shaping the ideology of minds is shown quite realistically in the Netflix series. The press can destroy by spreading false rumors, but even in Whistledown’s edition, it can also bring uncomfortable truths to light, reducing hypocrisy in society, which is not liked – at least outwardly. Deep down, however, those less bound by conventions and more courageous support such unnoticed creeping changes. So there is hope, a voice of progress seems to whisper in Bridgerton – hence the multiculturalism, sexual openness, although unequal, varying depending on the pair of actors; the discreet presence of the disabled; as well as bisexual Benedict Bridgerton, all sealed by Guyanese Golda Rosheuvel as the English queen.

Bridgerton – Ideal reality

The main character is modern, or maybe even postmodern. Penelope, fighting for herself in the most controversial way she could imagine at that time. She undoubtedly takes advantage of her position. If she were from the common people, she would never have had a chance for herself. Society was her cushion. And what is Nicola Coughlan’s cushion as an actress? Some might say appearance. It is undeniable that in Penelope’s stance, and thus Nicola Coughlan’s, there is much of the body-positive approach, which raises controversy, and the Bridgerton series gives her a chance for a kind of manifesto. Not aggressive, I am sure, but clear – remember who in the series so openly showed their naked body – stomach, thighs, and especially breasts. It was a manifesto, much stronger than the sexual triangle in episode 8, where the bra remained on till the end. Nowadays, it is increasingly rare for actresses to take this step, as they treat equality in the opposite way. Nicola Coughlan acted rationally, showing that a naked body cannot be objectified in itself, and one should not worry about others’ attitudes but enjoy their preferences.


Returning to episode 8, viewers will receive a well-executed conclusion to the intrigue. Side plots will be resolved, perhaps sometimes through overly lengthy dialogues and drawn-out scenes, but the finale related to Lady Whistledown will satisfy even the English queen, who has truly memorable entrances. Incidentally, Lady Whistledown apologizes too much for what she writes. Sometimes it ruins the effect, weakens her power, makes one doubt whether she really wants to live openly as Penelope and her alter ego. And if the drowning man has already surfaced, he should not be hidden at all costs in the reeds, but buried with dignity to become an unquestioned co-creator of the narrative that makes up this world.

Odys Korczyński

Odys Korczyński

For years he has been passionate about computer games, in particular RPG productions, film, medicine, religious studies, psychoanalysis, artificial intelligence, physics, bioethics, as well as audiovisual media. He considers the story of a film to be a means and a pretext to talk about human culture in general, whose cinematography is one of many splinters.

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