What Happened in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2? A Full Recap Ahead of Season 3

Bridgerton is back for its third season and there’s a bit to remember before diving in.

The Regency era show has remained a fan-favorite for the fashion, characters and of course, the romance. The Netflix hit drama is returning for another installment, with the first four episodes of season 3 premiering on May 16, 2024, followed by four more episodes on June 13, 2024.

Season 3 will focus on the budding relationship between longtime friends Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton). For fans of the Julia Quinn novels that inspired the show, Coughlan told PEOPLE in June 2023 that the season was “so romantic” and “stays very true to the books.”

Leading up to the latest release, the first season of the show laid the groundwork for viewers with the rocky, slow burn relationship between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), which ultimately ended in marriage for the lovers.

By the show’s second installment, fans got the opportunity to watch their favorite characters once again — sans Page, who departed the show after the first season — as well as a few new faces.

In anticipation of Bridgerton season 3, here’s a recap of how things left off in season 2.

What happened in season 2 of Bridgerton?

Charithra Chandran as Edwina Sharma and Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma in ‘Bridgerton’ season 2.

In season 2, Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) sponsored half-sisters Kate and Edwina Sharma, portrayed by Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran, in England in order to find Edwina a husband. All the while, Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) was looking for a wife — not for love — to fulfill his duty as the patriarch of the family following his father’s death.

After Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) named Edwina the “diamond” of the season, Anthony pursued her but was conflicted by his feelings for her independent and headstrong sister. Kate’s opinion of Anthony was immediately soured in the season’s first episode when she overheard him telling a group of men about his intentions to marry for duty.

As he tried to court Edwina, Anthony continued to come face-to-face with Kate, who remained protective of her younger sister and didn’t consider marriage for herself. Despite his plan to propose to Edwina, Anthony and Kate’s chemistry grew, though they continued to fight it.

Following the insistence of Kate to carry on with the wedding, Anthony and Edwina made it to the altar, but their nuptials were thwarted when the bride ran away when she realized her sister’s feelings for her fiancé.

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington and Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton in ‘Bridgerton’ season 2.

While Anthony’s complicated love story unfolded, his younger sister, Eloise (Claudia Jessie), faced her own issues with romance during the season. Throughout the series, she had been resistant to love and marriage until she met Theo Sharpe, who worked at Penelope’s printshop.

After they crossed paths, Eloise started to sneak out to meet up with him, sparking a flirtation, though this ultimately made Queen Charlotte suspicious that she was Lady Whistledown, the anonymous author of a recurring scandalous pamphlet.

Season 2 also involved financial troubles the Featherington family needed to overcome. Jack Featherington, a distant cousin of the family, inherited the family’s estate after the death of Archibald Featherington in season 1. Lady Featherington planned to have her daughter Prudence marry Jack, but as it turned out, he had no money of his own.

Though he devised a scheme to scam members of the ton, he was ultimately caught and sent away by Lady Featherington, but not before she took a share of his newfound fortune.

Meanwhile, Colin and Penelope’s friendship continued to flourish during season 2, while Eloise and Penelope’s friendship was put to the test. At the end of season 1, Penelope was revealed as Lady Whistledown, and Eloise eventually discovered her friend’s secret in season 2 and it drove a wedge between them.

Where did season 2 of Bridgerton leave off?

Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma and Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in ‘Bridgerton’ season 2.

Liam Daniel/Netflix

After Anthony and Edwina’s wedding was called off, both the Bridgertons and Sharmas became shunned by society, cemented with a scarcely attended ball due to Penelope’s latest newsletter as Lady Whistledown. With Queen Charlotte believing that Eloise was the true author behind the anonymous pamphlet, Penelope attempted to throw the queen off her tracks and wrote a piece about her friend that caused even more scandal for the family.

Following another one of their heated fights, Anthony and Kate finally gave in to their desires for each other in a steamy moment in the gazebo, but their new romance was cut short when she fled on horseback the next morning. In an unexpected twist, Kate got knocked off the horse while she was riding away and hit her head on a rock, leaving her unconscious at the end of the penultimate episode of the season.

During the final episode, Lady Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell) spoke to her son about his view on marriage and marrying for love, just as she had with her late husband. When Kate regained consciousness, Anthony proposed to her, but she rebuffed his gesture and told him that she was moving back to India.

Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte in ‘Bridgerton’ season 2.

Liam Daniel/Netflix

However, the couple got another chance at love at the Featherington ball and shared a dance. Their fate was sealed by the end of the episode, with Anthony declaring his love for Kate and the pair sharing a kiss.

While Anthony fell in love, Eloise had to face a hard truth about her best friend, Penelope. At the beginning of the final episode, Eloise confided in Penelope that she was closer to discovering the identity of Lady Whistledown. Panicked, Penelope told her there was gossip that she was speaking to a “man from the lower classes,” which led to Eloise breaking things off with Theo.

At the Featherington ball, Eloise began to put two and two together regarding Penelope and Lady Whistledown. When Eloise confronted Penelope about her secret, Penelope stated that she’d stop writing the pamphlets, but Eloise couldn’t forgive her friend, and the two had a falling out.

Penelope’s bad night didn’t end there, either. At the ball, she overheard Colin talking to a group of his friends, claiming that he would never court a girl like her.

What is Bridgerton season 3 about?

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington, Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton.

Liam Daniel/Netflix

Season 3 of Bridgerton will follow the friends-to-lovers romance between Penelope and Colin. Based on the fourth book in the series, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, the tagline for the season is fitting for the characters: “Even a wallflower can bloom.”

Penelope’s feelings for Colin have been extinguished after the comments he made about her at the end of season 2, according to an official synopsis. Instead, she’s decided to find a husband to get distance between her mother and her sisters and “preferably one who will provide her with enough independence to continue her double life as Lady Whistledown.”

Colin has returned from his travels over the summer and appears to have “a new look and a serious sense of swagger,” but quickly notices that Penelope is giving him the cold shoulder. As a means of restoring their friendship, he offers to help her find a husband, pushing them closer together and causing more questions for them about their true feelings for each other.

Coughlan described her character to PEOPLE in June 2023 as “a woman on a mission” in the new season, adding, “She’s ready to go, ready to launch herself out into the marriage market in a new way. She wants a whole new look, and she gets it.”

The trailer for season 3 captures several moments from the newest installment, including Penelope and Lord Debling (Sam Phillips) sharing a dance and a bit of flirtation. At one point, Colin even confides in his mother, asking, “Do you believe the best foundation for love is friendship?”

More moments between “Polin” were revealed in subsequent sneak peeks, including a scene of Colin getting flustered by one of Penelope’s observations about him. In a different glimpse, she confronts him about his comments from the end of the previous season.

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