‘Bridgerton’: Why Penelope & Colin’s Romance Wasn’t Rushed

Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton in 'Bridgerton' Season 3
Liam Daniel/Netflix

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Bridgerton Season 3 Part 1.]

Bridgerton‘s third season may still be ongoing as fans await Part 2’s arrival, but it’s clear that this latest chapter has already broken the formula previously explored in past seasons with the main couple — Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin (Luke Newton), a.k.a. Polin — declaring their love for one another before the second half of the season.

While some fans have voiced their feelings about the quick turnaround in the couple’s romance, it’s a stretch to suggest it was rushed. Unlike previous seasons, there was no need to build a dynamic between Colin and Penelope as they’ve existed together in this TV universe since Season 1. Unlike the romances between Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon (Regé-Jean Page), and Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate (Simone Ashley), both Colin and Penelope have a years-long friendship by the start of Season 3, making the seemingly quick jump to romance not altogether shocking.

If anyone remembers all the way back to Season 1, Colin proved he doesn’t waste time when it comes to romance, at least, when he believed he was in love with Penleope’s cousin, Marina (Ruby Barker). Unaware that a scheme to entrap him was afoot, Colin played the part of doting fiance, which makes his actions towards Penelope even clearer as mutual and genuine feelings are actually involved.

Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in 'When Harry Met Sally...'

When Harry Met Sally… (Credit: Columbia Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection)

Of course, this is a series with drama and plot involved, meaning that despite knowing each other so well, Colin still doesn’t know Penelope’s biggest secret of being the Ton’s premiere gossip columnist. But after years of pining for Colin, Penelope’s romantic feelings need next to no time for considering Colin’s speedy proposal, which might bring to mind one particularly loved 1989 rom-com: When Harry Met Sally….

After following Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally’s (Meg Ryan) friendship for the majority of the film, things change when the pair have one fateful hookup. Initially messing up their dynamic, it ultimately leads to a realization on Harry’s side of things that he’s in love with Sally. When Harry does realize this love, he runs after Sally on New Year’s Eve to confess his feelings.

“I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible,” Harry famously tells Sally. If that doesn’t remind you of Colin’s jog after Penelope’s carriage where he confesses how he feels after the pair shared a fateful kiss in Season 3’s second episode, then perhaps showrunner Jess Brownell’s words might convince you.

When Harry Met Sally… is an obvious answer,” Brownell tells TV Insider when it comes to rom-coms that define Penelope and Colin’s Season 3 romance. “I think it’s the classic friends-to-lovers story and it deals directly with that idea of whether friends can be lovers.”

Although fans have only witnessed a couple of years in Penelope and Colin’s lives, their history extends to childhood, which is referenced by Colin in Episode 2. Sure, Colin was extremely blind to the romantic feelings Penelope has had toward him in past seasons, but when he realized his chance to tell her how he felt was fading, Colin wasted no time.

While he wasn’t initially successful in his efforts, becoming tongue-tied after walking up to Penelope during a ball at the end of Episode 3, Colin got his act together by Episode 4, when his mother Violet (Ruth Gemmell) hinted that a proposal from Lord Debling (Sam Phillips) was on Penelope’s horizon.

When Colin learned Debling didn’t propose, he finally spoke openly about his feelings, making it clear to Penelope what he felt for her, and in return, so did she. Familiarity was a key component for Colin’s love confession and the pair’s ultimately steamy carriage ride. Sure, it didn’t take five episodes for some romantic revelation, but that doesn’t mean that Penelope and Colin’s romance was rushed. If anything, it’s had the longest build-up over all other Bridgerton romances, setting it apart from the crowd. But what did you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section, below, and stay tuned for more as Part 2 arrives this June on Netflix.

Bridgerton, Season 3, Part 1, Streaming now, Netflix

Bridgerton, Season 3, Part 2 Premiere, Thursday, June 13, Netflix