Bridgerton – S03E03 – Forces of Nature | Transcript

Penelope catches the eye of nature-loving Lord Debling, to the dismay of other admirers. A near-catastrophe on a windy day makes a hero out of Colin.
Bridgerton - S03E03 - Forces of Nature

Season 3 – Episode 3
Episode title: Forces of Nature
Original release date: May 16, 2024

Plot: Colin continues to have steamy dreams about his kiss with Penelope, revealing his subconscious feelings. At breakfast, Colin awkwardly denies any closeness to Penelope, despite family discussions about her. Distressed by her role in the gossip, Eloise visits Penelope to apologize for Whistledown’s harsh words but declines to come inside. Persuaded by Eloise, Penelope takes a walk and encounters Colin, leading to an uncomfortable conversation where Penelope suggests they distance themselves. At a party, Penelope hides while Colin’s friends commend him for helping her. Colin feels conflicted as Penelope engages with Lord Debling, who appreciates her honesty about being the subject of gossip. Cressida also pursues Debling, leading to a rivalry. At a hot air balloon exhibition, Colin heroically saves Penelope from a runaway balloon, but Debling gets the credit, much to Colin’s frustration. Later, at a ball, Penelope’s candid conversation with Debling about her true interests impresses him. Francesca meets gentlemen when they share a welcoming, silent moment together. Meanwhile, Violet Bridgerton advises Colin on love, hinting that friendship can lead to romance. Violet also meets Lady Danbury’s brother, who is visiting. Benedict meets and flirts with a beautiful dowager, Lady Tilley Arnold, whom he pursues for casual intimacy. Colin attempts to approach Penelope, but Debling intervenes, leaving Colin disheartened. As Penelope enjoys her success, Colin must confront his feelings.

* * *


Thank you for meeting me. I apologize for the late hour, but I had to see you immediately.

What is it?

Pen, I, uh… I have not been able to sleep, not been able to… eat.

I… I can… I can barely speak these days.

My entire thoughts consumed by…

By what?

By our kiss.

By you.


I feel the same.

You occupy my every thought.



Was it worth the glimpse of the balloon? Hmm?

I fell off the roof before I could even see it.



Tell me one more time what precisely the queen said to you, dearest.

Again, Mama?

“She was splendid. She sparkled. Brava.”

I ask because it is important.

If the queen has truly granted Francesca her favor, she shall have her pick of suitors. It changes everything.

Who shall you dance with first, sister?

Perhaps I shall go alphabetically.

Morning, family.

You slept late.

Did I? Hmm.

Something keep you up?

Not at all.

I slept peacefully.

No sooner did my head touch the pillow

that I was met with complete and immediate darkness.

Not even a dream.


Brother, I know we are not supposed to mention it,

but I thought it was quite a kindness that you did for Penelope the other week.

She waits for the maids to throw out last week’s Whistledown,

as she knows she is not allowed to read it.

It was unfortunate Whistledown wrote what she did, or that she

found out about it in the first place.

Uh, excuse me.

Well, I think Penelope is quite fortunate to have you as a friend.


She is, um…

Well, a very good acquaintance

of… the family’s, of course.

Are you all right?

Never better.

{\an8}Dearest Gentle Reader,

{\an8}humankind has accomplished extraordinary feats

{\an8}in its attempt to compete with nature.

{\an8}Built ships to travel the globe,

{\an8}castles nearly to the clouds,

{\an8}and now, great balloons to traverse the skies.

{\an8}But no matter how many accomplishments

{\an8}our debutantes have displayed for Queen Charlotte,

{\an8}it seems Her Majesty is interested in only one.

{\an8}The suitor Miss Francesca marries

{\an8}must be rich, must be handsome,

and he must be of high rank.

What of Lord Debling?

I hear he is eager to take a wife this season.

Lord Debling spends half his time devoting himself to nature,

and the other half talking about it.

He is a bore.


You must throw it like you mean it, Lady Danbury.

Ah, forgive me, Your Majesty. My mind is elsewhere.

I’ve received word of an unwanted visitor.

Do you wish your queen to banish this guest

to the far reaches of the kingdom?

No. It is not worth your time.

Let us throw it… from our minds.

And though other young ladies may scramble

for Miss Francesca’s leftovers,

they would be wise to remember

the higher one flies, the further one has to fall.

I do not think I will grow a belly when I am with child.

I’ve always kept quite an elegant figure.

It’s not weight that produces a belly,

it is the child itself.

What? Do you mean its little… head and body inside me?

Are you sure?

Do not work yourself up.

I am certain your baby boy will be delivered by a golden stork.

What makes you certain they’ll have boys?

A week sequestered in your room, you come down, and you say this to me?

Varley, a word.

Uh, yes, ma’am.

But first, there is a visitor… for Miss Penelope.


I noticed you have not been seen in society for some time.

It is not pleasant to have Whistledown write about oneself, is it?

No. It is not.

It was quite harsh what she wrote about you.

Unnecessarily so, I think.

It would have looked strange if Whistledown had not commented.

I fear it may have been my fault the rumor about you and Colin got out,

but you should know it was not intentional.

I would not reproach you if it was.

It wasn’t.

Would you like to come in?

I have a few new books that may be…


Thank you.

I’m meeting a friend.

But I do hope you find what you are looking for this season.

With Colin’s help or otherwise.

Good day.



Agreed, dear. And where…

Good day.

Good day.

It’s good to see you.

Yes, it is… it is good to see you as well.

And I apologize for not coming to see you… earlier.

Oh. It is for the better you did not.

Is it?

Isn’t it?

It is.


We cannot continue our lessons.


Uh, I agree.




Uh, just so I am clear, what is your reasoning, exactly?

Is it because of what happened between us?

No! N… No, um…

But I assure you, nothing of the kind will happen again.

Of course. And I apologize for the…

No. I apologize for asking.

Please do not apologize.

You apologized.

Yes, but I…


The lessons.

You said they cannot continue.

They cannot.

Whistledown has written about us. I have embarrassed myself and my family,

and if we’re to continue, I’d embarrass yours as well.

Yes. That is very… sensible.

In fact, it may be best if we keep our distance for now.

Oh, of… of course.

I must become serious about my prospects.

Prospects are important.

Prospects which have gone from very little to even less, but I must do my best.

Yes, you must. Uh…

Well… Um…

I will go and leave you to it.


I will go.

Uh, Penelope. I…

I hope…

Well, I… I wish very much for your happiness.

Thank you.

For all your kindness.

If I secure a proposal, it will be because of you.

I think he might turn out to be most eligible lord of the season.

And personally, I find his concern for the wilderness endearing.

Concern is one thing. Fixation is another.

Apparently, he only eats vegetables.

Lord Debling has made his intention to marry this season quite clear.

And I hear his estate is rather vast.

The man who talks to birds?

Cressida, do you know what people will say

if you do not marry this season?

If you do not find a husband soon,

your father and I will be forced to find one for you.

How vast is his estate, exactly?

Are you enjoying the evening, my lord?

More than they are, to be sure.

I would certainly rather be predator than prey.

It is a pity your sisters are otherwise occupied.

If they were here, you would have more people to hide behind.

I cannot stay in my room forever, Mama.

Some new scandal will distract them soon enough.

Very well. Just keep a low profile.

I think I see a corner in which to hide myself.


If anyone asks for me, I am not here.


You should know. I spoke to Penelope.

Did you?

What did… What did she say?

Well, I apologized for revealing the story about you two.

Oh, I see. Um…

Thank you for that. Excuse me.

I was…



It seems the queen’s favor is weaving its magic.

Indeed. Our drawing room has been full all week.

Oh. With whom, exactly?

The Baron Harvey, Lord Godwin, Mr. Ford.

Just as I expected.

The lower-ranking lords always show their feathers first.

Once they have had their fill,

the higher-ranking lords inevitably descend.

But it is likely, when she feels you are ready,

that Her Majesty will introduce you

to the highest-ranking lord of all.

Perhaps a close family friend.

That’s just as it was with Daphne and the prince.

But as with Daphne,

you do not have to marry whoever the queen selects for you.

You must simply follow your heart.

I did wonder if there might be some kind of introduction from the queen,

and I am inclined to think he shall be the best suitor for me.

Because it is easier?

Because I trust the queen.

Lady Bridgerton. Lady Danbury.

Miss Francesca, how delightful to see you.

I am Lord Cutbill, the earl.

Miss Featherington.

My lords.

Are you enjoying your evening?

Are you in search of a new prospect to help you find a husband?

Good luck in both endeavors.

Mrs. Mondrich.



Mr. and Mrs. Mondrich.

What a strikingly noble figure the two of you both cut.

Don’t we?


Are you assessing your pupil?


I see that, with good fortune and good taste,

gossip has made its way into your home as well.

You cannot blame me,

for Whistledown proves to be quite an education.


But unlike the rest of the ton, I do not find what you did shocking,

but rather considerate.

Gallant, even.

It is the mark of a good man to help a friend in need.

And I am sure because of your kindheartedness,

she will find herself a husband in no time.


That is, of course, the hope.

I’d be delighted, yes.



Lady Danbury. How ever are you?

Are you… Are you quite well, or…

In a moment.

You are quite transparent, Mr. Bridgerton,

using me to repel the unwanted attention of hungry mamas.

You have my apologies. But, uh…

It does seem to have worked, so you have my gratitude as well.

Then I shall have you express your gratitude

by taking me for a turn about the room.

I, too, could use the distraction.

It will be my honor.


Good evening, Miss Featherington.

Good evening.

Are you enjoying the party?

Immensely. And yourself?


Besides the fact that I am feeling a little like… well, prey.

So you’ve come to my hiding place.


Although, typically, only abject failures and social outcasts are allowed.

You’ll not take pity on a hunted man?

Unfortunately, I require all pity for myself.

But I can offer you social contagion in exchange.

You must’ve done something truly heinous.

I’ve foregone eating the flesh of dead animals,

and they barely tolerate me for that great sin.

You do not read Lady Whistledown?

I do not.

Has she written about you?

She has.

And of what did she write?

That I enlisted an eligible male friend to help me find a husband.

I say.

Well done.

For being a fool?

For stepping away from the herd,

even though you risked becoming a target.

Just like him.

He is dead.


But at least he got to come to the party.

A rather dull one, if I am honest.

Forgive me. I should not have said that.

Do not apologize.

In fact, I find your frankness immensely refreshing.

I have come to a decision as to who shall be my husband.

Splendid. And does this man know he is to be your husband?

Lord Debling.

The naturalist?

You say that with such surprise.

It is only… you do not seem to care for nature.

Or for animals. Both of which are apparently his great passion.

I care very dearly for animals.

I love a good fur.

Oh, I would not tell him that.

Do not trouble me with the details.

Was he not

speaking at length with Penelope last night?

Penelope? Come now, Eloise.

I am as resolved as you are to be kind to her,

but I am certain Lord Debling simply sees her

as yet another wounded creature in need of defense.

Proof only of the kindhearted husband he will be for me.

Perhaps. But I should warn you,

Penelope is not as defenseless as one might expect.

And neither am I.

We are not all so lucky to have the support of our families as you do.

Marrying may be my only way of feeling such support.

Lord Debling is good-natured

and most of all, my choice.

Will you help me?

I do have a few books on natural history I could lend you.


My mother had five boys. Took this every time.

Except for when she had me.


Go on. Drink.

You cannot be in earnest. It smells of…

Ugh! Rotted egg!

Do not be so ridiculous. You both wish to have a boy, yes?

You might feel a little… pressure in the belly.

Ha. It is actually not so bad.

Unexpectedly sweet.



Chamber pot! Chamber pot!

Come one, come all!

Watch man attempt to take flight,

soaring to heights never before seen!

I did think it would be bigger.


It is enormous.


And now that you’re feeling better, ready to fly at a moment’s notice.

What are they talking about?

Apparently, they are great balloon enthusiasts.

Who knew?

I want to be a balloonist one day.

I believe it is called an aeronaut.

I believe you are called a know-all.

You are going up later, yes?

Excuse me.


Come all! Watch man attempt to take flight…

Pretend to be loitering for sweets, so no one suspects we are speaking.

Of course.


I fear it is rather sweet.

How are you?

I am well.

Surprisingly well.

Colin, Lord Debling has shown an interest in me.


It looked that way at Stowell House.

Your lessons worked.

I was feeling low.

In fact, it somehow allowed me to stop caring so much

about how I am perceived, and… I was simply myself.

Do you feel some attachment to him?

It is early.

But he does seem to have a strength of character.

He is not unpleasant to gaze upon.


Thank you.

Do I have sugar on my face?

No. Um…

You removed it.

Wish me luck.

Good luck.

They’re taut now.

I’ve prepared my thoughts on that silly-looking bird

in that book you lent me.

It’s actually quite charming.

A shame they are in danger of becoming extinct.

The great auk? A word to the wise.


Lord Debling may not appreciate you calling his life’s work “silly-looking.”

I do hope he wants to talk about birds and not balloons.

Although they do both fly.

The great auk does not fly.

Miss Cowper. Miss Bridgerton.

Good day to you both.

Magnificent balloon, isn’t it?

Have you ever… ballooned before?

I have not.

The places I favor are so remote,

there will be no prospect of returning by the same means.

No civilization whatsoever, really.


Is there some reason you are trying to escape civilization, my lord?

Oh. The pursuit of natural beauty.

Magnificent creatures.

A place where my family cannot possibly find me.

Do you not get on with your family?

Trying to fit in with my family is like trying to force a camel

through the eye of a needle.

Rather than shrink my sides, I decided long ago to forge my own path,

far away from them.

If that makes any sense.

It makes perfect sense.

Miss Featherington.

Over here.

My lord.

I do not wish to intrude.


I am about to embark on another trip with no one but my crew.

Surely you will not deny me the company while I have the pleasure of it.

Of course not.



What is the name of that bird I was telling you I adore?

The great auk.

I am making every effort to prevent the great auk from being eradicated.

It is in danger.

I know. It is so dreadful.

Did you know they mate for life?

I find that so… touching.


I love birds.

As well.

But do you not think the most beautiful birds

are sometimes the most common?

One should not overlook the sparrow.

I suppose one should not.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is here!

The Hawkins Balloon!


I should have known we would find you here today, marveling at man’s ingenuity.

You do love the fanciful.

Is that what inspired you to take up the occupation of marriage whisperer?

I am done with all that.

It is good to be back.

Go up there and grab that one.

What was that about?

Well, I have just been invited out on a hunt.

You are in your element, my love.

I suppose I am beginning to feel more at home in this world.

Although, I do miss the club.

I’ve been in and out, but it is not the same as spending an evening there.

With all these events, I actually miss spending time at home.

Must we attend tonight’s ball?

What is the rule?

We can do whatever we want.

They’re most tempting.

Good. Thank you.

Thank you.

Bring the children closer,

so that they may get a good close look at this wondrous spectacle of science…

It has to do with heat and combustion.

That’s what makes it move?

Yes, inflates…

As I have found a more durable and lighter fabric,

it should enable me to stay aloft

for over two hours!

Two hours?

You know, a sailing ship can last all the way to the Americas.

And you can actually steer them.

Steering or not, they might make for useful vehicles

to escape the eager mamas present outside.

My apologies. I thought you… you were a, um…

A man?



Because a lady could not possibly have an interest in engineering?

What is the use of such a balloon, Lord Hawkins?

I am sorry, but is this tent a balloon?

Because you all are certainly filling it with air.

This man’s ingenuity will drive forth practical progress.

I came here to listen to someone who thinks differently,

not to hear the familiar chorus of what cannot be done.

Thank you, my lady.

Ah, well. Yes…

Did you have another comment, or…


Not at all. I am simply excited to hear the lecture.

I do so enjoy learning about the passions of others.

Now, as I was saying…

Miss Francesca, Your Majesty.

Miss Francesca.

I should like you to meet a great friend of mine.

Lord Samadani has been living in Vienna,

but I asked him to come to London specifically to meet you.

He is a marquess.

My lord.

Miss Francesca.

I have heard a great deal about you.

I hope I do not disappoint.

I am confident you will not.

The first spark of affection.

It is electrifying, is it not?

I spend all the time I possibly can outdoors.

In fact, I find myself quite adaptable

to the natural world in all of its splendor.

Do you, Miss Cowper?

I do.

As well.

I much prefer the natural world to the… unnatural one.

There is nothing I love more than… grass.

What about grass do you so love, Miss Featherington?


How it is so… green.

It is quite green.

Right. And how long ago was that?

It would be about six or seven months ago, I’d say.

That Debling fellow, he is a little odd, is he not?

He has singular passions, to be sure.

But I do not believe there to be anything untoward about him.

Besides his untoward love for vegetables.

True. But with the kind of fortune he possesses,

he can afford to be as singular as he wants.

He reminds me of horticulturalists I met in France.

I believe you did not…

Do you think that is normal?

Tether it here.

Gusting up something terrible.

Mostly from the wind.

Grab hold. Grab the guide rope.

Right. Steady it as much as you can.

Move it across.

What do you see?

I see…

It’s kicking up a bit, innit?

It’s just a shilling.

Don’t mind if I do!

Are you certain we should do this here? It is rather… windy.

I must feel your lips upon mine.

You have never looked more… windswept.

Is that a compliment?



How is my ensemble?


Whoa! Steady!


I can’t! It won’t stop!

Jump out!

Help me! Now!

Give us a hand!

It’s blowing over!

All men on deck! Come on! Come on!



Oh God!

Miss Featherington!


One, two, three! Heave!

Hold it steady!

Lash it down.

Let it go, sir.

Let it go!

And Hawkins is off to the skies!


Well done, Bridgerton.


That was good!

You’re a hero!

It was everyone, honestly.

You were so strong.

Very impressive, Mr. Bridgerton.

That was incredible!


that was a thrilling distraction, was it not?

It was a good thing no one was injured.

Who says I wasn’t?

Oh! Ow!

What happened?

My ankle. I think it was hit by one of the ropes.


Let us find you a seat.

Are you escorting me tonight?

More like using you as a shield.

Thank you.

Are you still upset with me?

No, Eloise. We are well.

I am simply in my own thoughts.

A man can be pensive, can he not?

Mm. I believe this is yours?

Thank you.


Thankfully, everyone will now be talking about Mr. Bridgerton and the balloon,

and not Mr. Bridgerton and you.

Yes, Mama.

Lady Featherington, may I present

what Sir Humphry Davy calls a lamp.


You must secure a dance with Lord Debling.

I know, Mama. I am trying.

You may think me harsh, Cressida, but

if you knew the ways your father is trying to put me under his thumb…

He has reduced our allowance by half.

We may have to wear these very dresses a second time this season.

Mr. Bridgerton.

I am in awe of your heroism.

Are you just as heroic on the dance floor?

Lord Debling, I must thank you again for saving me in my time of need.

You are most welcome, Miss Cowper.

Are you well now?

My ankle hurts a great deal.

But I can certainly still dance on it.

Have you all thought about your wedding day?

What you shall wear?

Oh, yes. I have it planned in detail.

I am so pleased Her Majesty made our introduction,

for you and I have the greatest thing in common.

Seven brothers and sisters.

Seven is quite a rare number, indeed.

You must not get a moment’s peace either.

I do not.

I love my family dearly, but

it can be rather lonely to be among them all at once, can it not?

I believe it to be quite the opposite.

In fact, I wish to have eight children of my own,

so my home will always be filled with constant chatter.

If you will excuse me a moment.

You are a cad.

Excuse me.

Yes, indeed.

Looking for your other glove?

Uh, no. No. But thank you for earlier.

Well, some cannot help being heroes.

I am looking for my daughter.


I remember that feeling. Mine have all since flown the nest.

Do they ever, really?

No, I suppose not.

Well, a nest is just twigs and leaves.

It becomes a home when your children are near,

which is… always,

as you carry them with you wherever you go.

I do not believe I have seen you before.




You are here.


I see you have met my brother.

Your brother?

Lord Marcus Anderson.

It is a pleasure to formally meet you.

Violet Bridgerton. Lady Bridgerton, the dowager. Formerly.


Yes, Marcus has just arrived in town.

He’s only visiting.

I was not aware you have a brother.



Uh, well, welcome to Mayfair, Lord Anderson.

Thank you.

I am quite enjoying my time here already.

It was rather close in there.

Yes, very well suffocating.

Good evening.

Good evening, sir. Forgive me. I was simply…

In need of some quiet? I have been in search of it all night.

Perhaps we can enjoy the silence together?

Please, excuse me.

Hello again.

I am surprised to see you here.

After all, a ballroom is a mama’s favorite hunting ground.

Well, in fact, I braved this nest of mothers and vipers to find you,

and I had hoped to be able to properly receive an introduction.

Benedict Bridgerton.

Oh, I know your name.

It is on everyone’s lips,

as you and your brother were amongst the heroes of the day.

I was quite impressed.

Are you telling me you have softened towards me

because I simply tugged on a rope?

I am surprised.

I took you for a woman who values ideas over brute strength.

Well, then you have misjudged me.

I am all for brute strength.

In fact, I much prefer it to aimless talking.

Lady Tilley Arnold.

Lady? Are you married?

I was married.

He died.

Oh. I… I am… so sorry.

Thank you.

I have had seasons to mourn,

and I am in no hurry to find another husband,

so you do not need to fear me plotting to ensnare you.


I am not afraid of you.

That… is a mistake.

Mr. Mondrich.

This is still your establishment?

Lord Garrett. It is, indeed.

Come. To the upcoming hunt.

I am very much looking forward to it.

Mr. Mondrich, if you are going to be a part of society,

you must know, you cannot continue to run this place.

Members of society do not work.

Does being a part of this world not mean freedom to do what I like?

Everything has limits.

If you shoot as well as you pour, I do hope to see you on the hunt.

…and brave.

Indeed, Mr. Bridgerton, wherever did you find such courage?

Well, I believe that…

Um… courage is within us all.

As long as we are honest with ourselves and about our feelings,

it is possible to do anything.


Pardon me, ladies.

Lord Debling.

Miss Featherington.

Any more encounters with wayward balloons?

Not at present.

If you’ll excuse me, I am fetching Miss Cowper a lemonade.

Lord Debling.

I am afraid I have not been honest with you.

Pardon me?

About… grass.

I do not love it.

I… I do not hate it, but I much prefer being indoors.

I see.

The person I was earlier today…

I was pretending to be someone I am not.

And I do not wish to do that anymore.

The person that I am, I’m someone who enjoys society and gossip,

even if I do occasionally hide at a soirée.

I am someone who enjoys a good book

more than exploring the natural world, someone…

who does enjoy watching birds, but specifically from the windowsill, I’m…

someone who is overexplaining themselves at the moment.

How many yous are there, exactly?

And where do you hide them all?

It does not bother you

that I do not wish to spend my time exploring the wilds of nature?

Heavens, no. If I only ever talked about nature,

my dinner party invitations would cease altogether.

I do not wish to court someone exactly like myself.

I want to be with someone who knows who they are

and embraces their own peculiarity, as I do.

As I believe you do as well.

It was a fortuitous endeavor.

Oh, yes.

Finally, you are unoccupied. I’ve been utterly wearied all night.

He shall return at any moment. I am certain of it.

Perhaps it is for the best.

A diet of vegetables does not suit you.


Have you seen Francesca?

I have not.

May I ask you a question, Mother?

Anything, dearest.

As you consider suitable matches for Francesca,

what do you hope she finds?

I… wish for Francesca the same thing I wanted for myself,

for Anthony, for Daphne.

Passion, excitement, a love that is thrilling.

I thought you believed the best foundation for great love was friendship.

Indeed, I do. It is how your father and I began.

But it is rare to begin as friends

and for both parties to then feel more.

Mm. And how did you and Father know it was reciprocated?

Because he gathered the courage to ask.

Uh… Well…

I hope if Francesca finds it, she is brave enough to ask the question.

I hope she is as well.

This author believes that all of man’s greatest inventions

are nothing more than a distraction from what is most natural to us.


Finally free from your admirers.

Are you well?

There is a question I have been needing to ask you.

Our instincts.

The innate animal impulse that is inside

even the most sophisticated of us.

For when all is said and done…


…our nature will always win out.


Miss Featherington.

I believe it is time for our dance.

Of course, my lord.

Mr. Bridgerton.

It seems Lord Debling’s instinct

has led this man of nature to the most surprising pick of the season

in Miss Penelope Featherington.

Is that a hallucination?

I feel sick.

As do I.

No, truly, I feel sick.

But I thought you’d both stopped taking the potion.

We did.

Well, then…

Oh! Ah…

Suffice it to say, this author is captivated.

For in the battle between man and nature, it is quite clear that the battle is, in fact, between man… and himself.


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