Bridgerton – S03E08 – Into the Light | Transcript

With a rival threatening to divulge her secret for money, Penelope chooses the best path forward as her relationships and livelihood hang in the balance.
Bridgerton - S03E08 - Into the Light

Season 3 – Episode 8
Episode title: Into the Light
Original release date: June 13, 2024

Plot: The day after their wedding, Colin and Penelope face a frosty start to their marriage. Colin spends the night on the couch and leaves early the next morning. Penelope’s troubles worsen when Cressida Cowper blackmails her for £10,000, threatening to reveal her identity as Lady Whistledown. Cressida exposes Penelope to her mother, Portia, leading to a tense confrontation. Portia demands secrecy to avoid annulment, but Penelope is determined to take control. Penelope and Portia inform Colin and Eloise of Cressida’s scheme. Colin’s attempt to negotiate with Cressida fails, increasing her demands. Despite feeling sidelined, Penelope takes charge, sharing her Whistledown identity with Queen Charlotte and the Bridgerton family. At a ball, Penelope publicly confesses, earning the queen’s leniency and surprising the ‘ton. Penelope’s assertiveness rekindles her relationship with Colin, who acknowledges her strength and independence. They reconcile, and Colin admires her bravery. Meanwhile, other Bridgertons experience personal growth: Benedict explores his romantic boundaries by enjoying bedding both Lady Arnold and her male friend Mister Suarez; Violet supports Francesca’s marriage, and Eloise joins Francesca and John Stirling in Scotland with John’s cousin, Michaela Stirling. The episode concludes with a flash-forward revealing Penelope and Colin as happy parents and both successful authors, with Penelope retiring Lady Whistledown to write under her own name.

* * *

[tense music builds slowly]

Good morning.

How did you sleep?


I am off to Bridgerton House for breakfast.

[Penelope] But my mother is coming.

I will give you and your mother some privacy.

No, you do not have to leave.

I wish to.

[knocking at door]

[door opens]

Ma’am, you have a visitor in the drawing room.

[Penelope] Um… Serve her tea.

I am not yet ready.

[light music playing]

Good morning, Mama.

[music fades]


Good morning. I trust you had a happy wedding night?

What are you doing here?

I am simply paying a visit… to the esteemed Lady Whistledown.

[music turns ominous]

I know your secret.

Whatever you think you know, you are incorrect.

Now I wish you to leave.

You know, thinking back on everything, it makes perfect sense.

No one would ever suspect you as you are so very forgettable.

[chuckles lightly] That look is enjoyable.

Shame I cannot stay long to savor it, seeing as I am under lock and key

until my aunt arrives to steal me to the countryside.

You are leaving town?

Yes. But not to my Aunt Joanna’s house.

You see, you are going to pay me double the queen’s reward

so that I might set up my life abroad,

or I will tell everyone of your true identity.

No one will believe you, Cressida.

Your reputation could not be any lower at present.

[door opens]

Miss Cowper.

Lady Featherington.

Penelope and I were just discussing whether or not I am to be believed.

Let us find out.

[tense music builds]

Think of your daughter’s love of the written word.

And think of how she is so easily overlooked,

allowing her to disappear for great periods of time.

And think of how all those she views as enemies

end up humiliated in print.

And then ask yourself

how it took you this long to realize

she is the true Lady Whistledown.

You will pay me my sum,

or I will reveal the truth to the entire ton.

Do enjoy your morning, ladies.


[gasps softly]

[tense music peaks and fades]

Tell me it is not true.

For once, Cressida does not lie.

[sighs] At every ball,

always there is an hour at which you disappear.

I thought it was because your social manners run dry at a point,

but now I realize… what a fool I have been.


All the terrible things you have written about your sisters,

about me, about yourself.

I have fought with every tool at my disposal

to claw us out of ruin time and time again,

and yet, under my own roof,

my own blood has been sowing the seeds of our ruin all along.

How could you, Penelope?

[tense music plays]

Does your husband know?


Well, he cannot know about this latest scandal.

For a gentleman such as Mr. Bridgerton to know

that your actions have led to blackmail,

he’d have grounds for an annulment even the most sanctimonious bishop would grant.

Mama, I do not wish to lie anymore.

I must tell Colin.

Well, I would forbid it.

But clearly, my word is not one you choose to follow.

I must get dressed.

[music fades]

[door closes]

[Charlotte] You play carelessly today, Lady Danbury.

The game will not last long.

Her Majesty has been quite forthcoming with accusations of late.

I was wondering how we would come around to that.

The Bridgertons are such favorites of yours.

But no, it was no accusation.

It is the truth.

I am closer to finding Lady Whistledown than ever before.

And what will you do once you have uncovered her?

I will have won, of course.

And then?

Will you command her to stop writing?

Lock her in a dungeon?

What are you trying to say, Lady Danbury?

When Whistledown first started writing,

I assumed she was someone with power in the ton.

But in her latest editions, it has become evident

that there is a vulnerability there, a certain… grasping to find herself.

Do you, in fact, know who Whistledown is?

Is that why you are trying to protect the Bridgertons?

I am on to something, aren’t I?

[Lady Danbury] I am simply saying

that perhaps Lady Whistledown is not

trying to beat you at your own game.

Perhaps she is merely trying to stay in the game.

As a vulnerable player.

A feeling perhaps you can relate to?

Perhaps a long time ago.

You could have had me in checkmate, Lady Danbury.

[Lady Danbury] I realize that.

But then the game would be over early.

And what fun is there in that?

[light music plays]

Oh, we should ready our autumnal wardrobe.

[gasps] Ah, is that why you no longer sneeze, Alby?

The warm weather we’ve been having?

It is not seasonal.

It is a nervous sneeze quelled by our happy marital bliss.

[both chuckling]

I contend with the chill already. Must I contend, too, with your displays?

Do you wish to retreat home, my love?

[sighs] Certainly no one would notice.

Now that Penelope has married her Bridgerton,

we are yesterday’s news.

As our bellies grow, so too will the ton’s appreciation of our efforts.

Have you ever seen a lady with child at a ball, Philippa?

Well… no.

That is because once women start showing, they are expected to retreat from society.

I, for one, do not wish to go out on a whimper.

I would do anything to help you avoid that fate, my sweet.


Because Philippa and I are going to host a ball.

[gasps] Ah!

Centered on the color purple.

And orange!

There will be… crystal, and gold,

and hundreds of flowers.

And we can have bugs!

And, uh… should we discuss a budget?

Of course. It should be very, very large.

[Philippa chuckling]

[music fades out]

[indistinct chattering]

Are you sure we should be in public?

The queen knows about your engagement. There is no use hiding it any longer.

She thinks one of us is Whistledown.

And I know well enough as the matriarch of our household that no one is.

The best thing that we can do right now is be out in the world

so that the ton does not start to think that we have something to hide.

Perhaps our nonchalance will convince the queen

that her accusations are incorrect. God help us.

Now, go ahead, eat. Mm?


We are out, like any other family,

having ice cream and planning the wedding.

[Violet chuckles]

There is still going to be a wedding?

[John] Of course.

It is only that John and I are going to apply for a special license

so that we can have a simple, small ceremony at home,

after which we shall retreat to John’s family estate.

To avoid any further bluster from the queen.

Yes, I… I suppose that is wise.

And I assume your Oxfordshire estate cannot be more than a day’s ride away?

In fact… we should like to take residence at John’s

primary estate.

In Scotland?

Uh, where is that, exactly?

It’s close to the border?

[John] No. The Highlands.

But it’s not too far from Glasgow.

That must be at least a fortnight’s ride away.

Oh, it is why I so enjoy staying there.

The distance creates a true sense of peace.

I cannot wait for the quiet.


[Eloise clears throat]

How are you?

Trying not to think about yesterday.

I think Mama was just thrilled the queen graced your wedding breakfast.

[Colin] Mm.

You know the family will be fine.

Do you believe that?


Her Majesty accused me of being Whistledown once, and I survived it.

[Colin] Mm.

Though not without some scars.

Do not let your marriage be the scar.


You know you will resolve things with…

Penelope. What are you doing here?

I, um… I was not expecting to see you till later this afternoon.

She knows, Colin. You do not have to hide your ire.

Certainly we should not be having this discussion in front of Miss Bridgerton.

[Penelope] She knows everything as well.


Glad to see the whole of Mayfair seemed to know before your mother.

And why do we all suddenly know that we know?

Because Cressida discovered my secret.

And she demands £10,000 to keep it.

You cannot be serious.

How did she discover you?

[Penelope] I am not sure.

It does not matter how.

If she knows, we must prevent her from revealing it.

I’m not asking for your help. I merely wanted to be honest with you.

It is not up to you what we do.

If Miss Cowper spreads this gossip,

it will besmirch our Bridgerton name. The entire family.

And I will not stand for anyone blackmailing my wife.

Well, that is certainly a relief to hear.

No, that is kind, Colin, but…

I can pay her.

[pensive music plays]

You have made that high a sum?

Slightly more, if we are being honest.

All this time?

You are not paying Miss Cowper a single penny.

But Colin, it is my…

Perhaps you will pay her, Mr. Bridgerton?

No, he cannot.

No one is paying her.

Then what do you propose we do?

Please, if you just let me…

I will not cower to Miss Cowper. I will call upon her tomorrow.

Bring her to see this course of action is ruinous for everyone involved.

It is the only way forward.

[pensive music fades out]

[enticing music plays]



[music intensifies]

[music fades out]

[overlapping chatter]

[Lady Cowper] Mr. Bridgerton.

Lady Cowper.

I was hoping to have a moment alone with your daughter.

Despite what the ton might say,

you insult me if you think this is not still a respectable household.

[Cressida] Mother, leave us.

It does not matter any longer.

Please go.

[clears throat]

I will give you five minutes.

I take it your mother does not know about your blackmailing my wife?

I no longer trust anyone but myself.

That must feel terribly lonely.

I have known what it is like to be truly alone,

when I am off on my travels.

[Cressida] Poor Mr. Bridgerton.

Traveling the continent, seeing the great sights of the world,

as only a man can do.

Hmm. You sound like Eloise.


[Colin] You are right. It is a privilege to travel.

But this last year,

I found myself yearning to hear word from home.

From Penelope, in fact.

But I did not hear back from her.

Or anyone else, for that matter.

It felt as if everyone was busy with their lives,

without the need for me in them.

So I attempted to pardon myself

into a man… with no needs of his own.

It is not a path I would recommend.

Mr. Bridgerton, I am confused.

It seems you have come for me to pay you sympathy,

but I am the one who is meant to be paid.

I have not come for your sympathy.

I have come for your mercy.

Penelope is no villain.

Trust me,

I can understand why you might hate Whistledown.

Her words are cutting and sharp,

and still, her readers are willing to pay to read about themselves week after week.

You do not sound as if you hate Whistledown.

You sound as if you are jealous of her.

No, I am not.

[solemn music builds]

My point is, there is Whistledown and then there is Penelope,

who has experienced a kind of loneliness surely neither of us can fathom.

Imagine being so ignored, you feel… invisible.

It does not excuse what she has done,

but perhaps it is understandable that, at times,

her column has reflected the cruelty around her.

A cruelty, I imagine, you have felt too.

For her hand in your troubles, I know Penelope feels remorse.

And she did not savage you in her latest column.

If even Penelope can find grace for you,

do you not see that the ton, too, will forgive you?

And surely, your father will welcome you back to London when all this passes.

A family’s love is enduring.

That is the difference between you and me.

You take for granted that you will always have your family’s support.

We are not the same, Mr. Bridgerton,

and we never will be.

Miss Cowper.

Miss Cowper.

[music turns tense]

Miss Cowper!

You will not be believed if we say you are lying.

You have no proof.

I have a printer’s apprentice who is willing to corroborate the truth,

all for the pleasure of meeting the real Lady Whistledown.

You have until the Dankworth-Finch ball to pay me,

or the following morning, I will tell everyone.

In fact, reflecting upon the lack of support I shall have in the future,

perhaps I am not asking for enough from you.

[music fades out slowly]

Just a little extra funds to throw the ball of the season.

Think small creatures with many legs.

Surely we are owed, as you spent much more on Penelope’s wedding than on ours.

Because you both married untitled misters,

while Penelope married a very wealthy Bridgerton.

Who is sure to take care of you in your old age.

What need could you have to hold on to your money now?

Let us in.

Now is not a good time. I am expecting a visitor.


[Lady Featherington] Mm.

Have no fear, ladies.

Of all the house staff in London,

I must be the most experienced at doing more with less.

[exhales sharply]

At least my sisters will be content when my actions lead to destruction.

Perhaps we might aim a little higher with our positive thinking?

Colin can be compelling when he wants to be.

It is not him I am worried about.

Cressida has her reasonable moments. Let us hope today is one.

Did you truly like her?

Or did you befriend her simply to punish me?

[chuckles softly] I am not so petty.

I genuinely enjoyed her at the start.

Though… perhaps the very initial befriending

was tinged with just the tiniest bit of pettiness.

[both chuckle]

Tell me what you are reading.

[Colin clears throat]

[tense music builds]

I am afraid I have failed.

And… she wants double now.


She’s lost her mind.

I do not have that sum.

There is more. She requires you use your column

to restore her reputation.

I must apologize. I…

It seems I have made everything worse.

This is my fault entirely.

What do we do now?

Perhaps Penelope was right. It’d have been better to just pay her.

I have the funds.

I will have to ask Benedict to sign off on such a large expenditure.

You’d tell your brother about Penelope’s identity?

No. I will have to invent some kind of a lie.

We will keep her identity shielded.


I am certain the Cowper girl only wants you to write

a few glowing words on her appearance and charm.

It is not a happy outcome.

I suppose I should not have expected any more from Cressida.

I’m so very grateful

for all your counsel.

[music fades out]

[enticing music playing]

[music fades out]

Does, uh, Her Majesty seem as though she will relent on this quest of hers?

I am hopeful that she will soon find another distraction.

Oh, speaking of which…

[both chuckle]

[Violet] Mm-hm.



[Violet coughing]

It is rather strong. [hiccups]

Only the Scottish could dream up such a drink.

It is needed to fight the bitter cold up there.

Oh, do not frighten me more than I already am, Agatha.

I would not worry.

Francesca seems to have found an inner courage.

Yes, she has.

And now she is using it to get as far away from her mother as possible.

I purchased this on a trip to Scotland many years ago.

At first, it was quite harsh on the palate.

But with time… it grows on one.

It’s still harsh.

[Lady Danbury chuckles]

You will have my support in Francesca’s absence.

And also my brother’s,

if you wish it.

Uh, we do not have to discuss that.

But perhaps we should?

[solemn music plays softly]

Lord Anderson has been an exemplary gentleman.

And, uh, if you were to… give your blessing…

It is certainly not my place to give or withhold a blessing on the matter.

You are both adults.

You may do as you wish.

After all, it is not as though I asked your permission.

It’s suddenly going down rather smoothly.

You know.


I know my father was a good man.

And that you have been a very good friend.

And that is all I need to know.

[inhales shakily]

And my brother is a good man.

And you are a good friend.

And that is all I need to know as well.

But if he sours things between the two of you,

I will pick you over him.

I shall not lose you for his folly.

There is nary a man alive with such power.

[both chuckling lightly]

[all laughing]

Can you imagine the three of us at a ball?

How would we explain ourselves to, say, The Dowager Lady Cheltenham?

We’d certainly have to get our story straight.

As if you be caught dead at a ball.

[Paul] True.


[light music builds slowly]

How do you stand society events?

[Benedict] Mmm…

I suppose I feel I have love to give in abundance.

Love for a bit of chitchat.


And love for a good party.

Especially… a party of three.

[enticing music plays]

[music fades out slowly]

Good night, sir.

[door opens and shuts]

[gentle music builds slowly]

I only need a blanket for the settee.

Of course.

[light music playing]

[music fades out]

I’m going to have tea with my mother before your sister’s wedding.

I thought I would spare you the confines of a shared carriage.

[door squeaks shut]


Oh, is Penelope here?

I cannot put him off any longer, ma’am.

That solicitor. He is here.

[Lady Featherington gasps]

Show him in, I suppose.

Oh. [sighs]

Lady Featherington. Walter D…

Walter Dundas, Esquire. I do remember.

I take it you are here to congratulate us on my daughter’s marriage

into one of the most esteemed

and respected families of the ton?

Regrettably, no, I have not come on happy business.

Though, some have told me they do find release from deception

a comforting feeling.

I pray you have sufficient evidence

for all the accusations you seem poised to make.

Not the evidence I sought, no, but all the evidence I shall need.

Hm. Ah!

The money you inherited from your Aunt Petunia.

I thought it quite curious you came into such a fortune

just as Jack Featherington ran away with yours.

And, in fact, Aunt Petunia’s neighbors in Cornwall seem to agree with me.

From what I hear, she was in a perpetual state of poverty.

Who is to say she was not a great saver,

living frugally so that others might one day benefit?

Her creditors.

Oh, Lady Featherington.

I know your funds

came from Jack Featherington’s fraudulent activities.

And I believe the Crown will agree

that the Featherington title should be transferred to a more

scrupulous family.

I shall be submitting my discoveries to the royal authorities this week.

[tense music rises slowly]

Good day.


[music fades out]


Is it true?

Is your money the money Cousin Jack took from the ton?

It’s not as if any of them needed that money the way we did.

You stole from them!

And you humiliated them.

You stole their dignity.


What you and I have done is not different.

What you have done is a crime!

I did what I had to do to protect this family.

Who were you protecting with your column?


Oh. From whom?

I see.


You know, it’s… [sighs]

…no easy thing being a parent.

How was I to raise daughters when, all my life,

I was taught that all power comes from a man?

[solemn music plays]

What you have done, you have done… entirely on your own.

Even if I do not like what you have written over the years,

it is a great regret of mine that I have overlooked you for so long.

You and I both, we have done the best we can

with the opportunities that society has afforded us.

Fine. [huffs]

Perhaps there were other ways. But at the time, I… I could not see them.

What would Lady Whistledown write

about our disgrace when I am exposed?

She will write whatever I like her to.

That is a great power.

What a thing you have made for yourself.

Thank you.

Perhaps we are more alike than I care to admit.

If we survive this round…

we must do better.

[solemn music fades out]

[birds chirping]

[Violet] Oh, my dear.


[Violet chuckles]

You are going to bring so much brightness to Scotland. [chuckles]

Are you upset about me leaving?

No, of course not.

I… I only… Well, I did not expect you to settle quite so far away.

Anthony and Kate are headed for India.


But you have spent so much time away from us already,

in Bath with your aunt

or on your own when you are home.

And now I fear I may be losing you for good.

Mama, it is the opposite.

It is difficult sometimes

to hear my own voice amidst the noise of this house.

Whereas, with John,

I hear myself more and more.

[Violet chuckles]

It is my great hope that the silence and beauty of Scotland

will allow me to know myself better

so that you can all know me better as well.

Because I want nothing more than to be close.

And you could not have found silence and beauty on Oxfordshire?

[chuckles] I would’ve been too tempted to come home regularly.

But you will come back?

Of course.

[both chuckle]

My brave, clever girl.

[solemn music plays]

You know, when I first met your father…

I could barely speak my own name. I was so taken by him.

I stumbled over words most familiar…

Mama, I…

I thought we had moved past this. John…

…is a fine man… and a good choice.

What I was going to say is that, for the longest time,

I thought that that is what love must be like for everyone.

Surprising, forceful, quick.

[chuckles lightly]

But you have shown me that there is another way.

There is… beauty in the slow approach.

You are already so wise beyond your years.

I think you will do very well in Scotland.

[Violet chuckles]


[solemn music fades out]

[bright music playing]

I take thee to be my lawful wedded wife,

to have and to hold from this day forward,

for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health,

till death do us part.

I take thee to be my lawful husband,

to have and to hold from this day forward,

for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health,

till death do us part.

May you now live together in holy matrimony until your dying breath.


[music rises]

[guests clapping]

[quiet cheering]

Oh, my dear.


[pleasant classical music playing]

[indistinct chattering]

[woman] I cannot wait for my wedding.

[man] Did you enjoy that?

Have I been overly influenced by the minister’s treacle speech,

or does Lord Anderson seem rather taken by Mother?

[Benedict] She looks happy. If that is the case, who are we to judge?

He looks like a fine fellow

who is very lucky that Anthony has already left town.

[Francesca] You should be grateful to Lord Anderson.

Now that I am wed, Mother’s attention may turn to you again

unless she is distracted.


Excuse me. I feel I should greet Mrs. Mondrich.

[both chuckling]


It was a beautiful ceremony.

I thought so.


Second only to the beauty of its hostess.

[laughs] You flatter me.

I am sincere.

And sincere in wondering if you would be so kind as to…

save a dance for me at the next ball?

Uh, wha… The, uh… Dankworth-Finch ball?

I… Uh, well…

[chuckles] Yes.



That would be most adequate.


Very good. [chuckles]

[glass clinking]

A toast, if I may.

To my beautiful wife,

I have not the words to express my adoration.

A fact for which I am sure you must be grateful,

as I know you are loath to be made the center of attention for too long.

So, instead, I shall offer a few humble words to your family.

Especially your mother.

Lady Bridgerton, I see your openness reflected in Benedict,

your charm in Colin,

your wisdom in Eloise,

and a brightness you have instilled in both Gregory and Hyacinth.


In this moment when I feel so much gratitude for my new wife,

I feel it in equal measure for the remarkable woman who raised her.

[Francesca] Mama.

[John] I thank you,

all of you, from the bottom of my heart.

[Marcus] Ah.

[Violet] Oh, dear.


[Marcus] Cheers.

Ah, forgive me. Tears were the last thing I meant to evoke.


Hyacinth’s been crying this entire time.

One day, you too will have a heart.

[scattered laughter]

Mama, will you play a duet with me?

[chuckling] Have a duet. Now? I… Well, I am dreadfully out of practice.

I believe the last time I nearly moved you to tears was when I first started playing.

She’s not the only one. I wept in my room from the hideous chord combinations.

Ha ha.

Thankfully, Mama did not abandon me.

And I shall not abandon you now.

Is that a threat?

[Violet and Marcus chuckle]

Good luck.

Thank you. [chuckles]

Thank you, John.

Thank you.


[light chuckling]

[light piano tune]

[chords clashing]

[both chuckling]


[all laughing]

[scales ascending]

[piano tune continues]



[Benedict] Bravo. Encore!


[clapping continues]

May I speak with you?

[Marcus] That was a splendid presentation.

[indistinct chattering continues]

If you are concerned about Miss Cowper’s funds,

I plan to speak with Benedict tonight.

I only wanted to wait until after the wedding.


I do not wish for you to speak to him.

But we are running out of time.

I cannot ask you to lie to your brother on my behalf.

Your family… the one you have so kindly shared with me, they are too good.

Too warm and wonderful to deceive or cheat in any way.

I will not let my lies spread any further than they already have.

Then how am I meant to help you?

By loving me.

[gentle music plays]

You’ve given me so much already.

You’ve taught me to hold my own.

You have shown me I am capable of pleasure beyond imagination.

But… it is not what you do for me that makes me love you.

It is your kindness.

Your empathy.

How much you care.

Just being you is enough, Colin.

I do not need you to save me. I just need you to stand by me.

To hold me.

To kiss me.

I want very much to do those things.

And what is it that restrains you?

I do not know.

But I do know this. Miss Cowper still hangs over us.

And as long as you live with this secret…

there will always be something between us.

I know.

Perhaps that is the key.

What are you saying?

[energetic music playing]

[Brimsley] A letter for you, Your Majesty.


I have received a letter from your wife.

We had better sit.

[music intensifies]

[music peaks and fades out]

It is no wonder she has turned out the way she has.

The house is far too warm.

You are right, Sister. It is my wife’s doing.

[pensive music plays]

[quietly] I forgot what a truly terrible woman she is.

I am not going anywhere with her.

You have no choice, Cressida.

You would truly allow me to succumb to such a fate?


Come, girl. Present yourself,

so that I may see what I have to work upon.

Certainly, Aunt Joanna.

After tonight, it will matter no more.

[music fades out]

Your maid sent me right up.

I’m beginning to enjoy such privileged entry.

You look handsome, as always.

[breathing deeply]

Mm. Is, uh, Paul meeting us?

I believe he is with someone else tonight.

[Benedict] Of course.


Should we invite someone else to join us, then?



I must be honest with you.


As much as I have enjoyed the three of us together,

I was hoping it could just be the two of us tonight.


Have you not enjoyed having Paul with us?

[chuckles softly]

I have.

Very much. But my relationship with Paul is friendly,

and I am finding that…

I am beginning to care for you, Benedict.

As more than friends.

Your openness,

your abundance of love…

I have never met someone so similar to me.

And I am beginning to wonder,

what if we did allow things to grow more serious between us?

Tilley… you are extraordinary.


I am not certain that serious is what I want.

[solemn music playing]

[gasps softly]

Is it… because of Paul?


No. Paul could be Patricia, or Polly, or Peter, or all three at once.

What happened between the three of us,

what has happened ever since I met you,

has made me realize how good it feels to be free.

You have opened my world.

And I am not ready to close it again just now.

I thought you wanted the same thing.

[both chuckle lightly]

I did.

Until I saw what it felt like to share you.

I am as surprised as you are.

I support your wishes.

But I must say, even merriment can grow tiring.

It felt good, for once, to want to commit to someone.

Thank you for reminding me that is possible.

[door opens and shuts]

[music fades out]

Well, fancy finding you here.

I think it rather ordinary, in fact, that I find myself, yet again,

swinging to and fro, not moving in any particular direction.

Where is it you wish you were going?

For now, I should like to be with the family,

until this Whistledown business with the queen blows over.

And it will.

And then?

[exhales deeply]

Anywhere, really.

I’ve spent nearly all of my life in either Mayfair or at Aubrey Hall.

If I am going to attempt to make change in the world,

certainly, I shall need to see some of it first.

Meet people who are not my family or debutantes on the marriage mart.

You wish to change the world again?

I thought you were more interested in fitting in this year.

I think I am properly done with all of that.

There she is.

[both chuckle lightly]

Does your silence betray you know something I do not?

[chuckling] No.

Certainly not.

Believe me… the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.

[Benedict sighs]

It feels…

It feels right now that the next thing I might learn

may change me entirely.

[solemn music plays]

I agree profoundly with everything you’ve said,

as I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.


[both chuckle]

There is one thing I do know.



We should not let so long pass again between us

before we meet on these swings to be entirely confused together.

[Philippa] You look lovely.

My efforts will be wasted,

knowing the disappointment that awaits behind those doors.

I am certain Varley has done her utmost.

[both gasping]

[spirited music playing]

[gasps] She got the ostrich feathers!

[Philippa] And the purple orchids!


[Prudence] Philippa, there is a… one, two, three, four.

Eight-piece ensemble!

Did we get them?

We got them.

[squeals, laughs]

Philippa, you caterwaul like a child receiving their first bite of cake.

Mama… thank you!

What is the meaning of this?

Well, it must’ve been you who paid for all of this.

Mama told me she wished for you to have the greatest ball Mayfair has ever seen.

Hmm. You are welcome.

Thank you.


It is beautiful.

I am proud of you.

[spirited music peaks and fades]

[“Lights (Stripped Down)” [by Archer Marsh playing]

[inaudible conversation]

[chuckling lightly]

[light chuckling]

[inaudible dialogue]


[“Lights (Stripped Down)” ends]

Have a lovely time.

[up-tempo classical music playing]

The purple was my idea.

If this is our last night in society,

at least Prudence and Philippa are having the time of their life.

[gasps, sighs]

[gasps] Your Majesty!

Forgive us, Your Majesty.

We do not have a perch for you

because we did not think you would accept our invitation.

It is not your invitation that brings me here.

Cease playing.

As a result of my tireless search

placing her in an impossible situation,

I received a letter… earlier this week

from Lady Whistledown.

[tense music builds]

[indistinct hushed murmuring]

[murmuring ceases]

She calls upon my mercy,

asking to address you all herself.

To plead her case publicly before I pass my judgment.

So I turn the floor over now…

to the scribe herself.

[hushed murmuring resumes]

[loud sneeze]

Not him.

My apologies.


[music rises]

[guests exclaiming]

[music peaks and ends]


[hushed chattering]


[breathing shakily]

[chattering dwindles]

Hello, all.

Or should I say, “Dearest Gentle Readers”?

I know it is no laughing matter

what I have done.

[solemn music plays]

In the beginning,

I never thought anyone would take my writing seriously.

Why should they?

No one has ever taken any part of me seriously.

I only realize now how common that feeling must be.

To be a young lady to whom no one listens.

I wrote about all of you because I was captivated by you,

living your lives so out in the open.

And in writing about all of you, I suddenly felt as if I had a life.

I had power.

And for anyone in this room who has ever had a taste of that,

they should know it can be intoxicating.

But I was careless with that power.

It was easy to cast aspersions from the shadows where I could not be found.

But I see now how much courage it takes to live a life out in the open.

To honor one’s weaknesses publicly

for all to see.

And to know,

regardless of the outcome… one always has worth.

All of us talk.

We gossip.

Gossip is information.

It forges bonds.

Especially for those of us who are told so little.

But I can no longer conceal the biggest piece of information I have.

My identity.

That is why I am so very grateful to our queen

for forcing me out of the shadows with her most cunning scheme.

If she affords me the chance to continue,

I mean to aim my quill more responsibly.

That is my repentance

and my plea.

[solemn music rises]

She seems humbled.

But we will be watching that she remains so.

[light music plays]

What is life without a little gossip?

[Penelope gasps softly]

[music turns solemn and fades out]

[indistinct chattering rises]


Now, Varley! The bugs!

[uplifting classical music plays]

[guests exclaiming]


[guests applauding]

[gasps] I did not know there were going to be butterflies.

Like I said, bugs.

You… are a genius.

I know.

[both chuckle]

Shall we dance?

[music fades]

[sighs, inhales deeply]


[up-tempo classical tune playing]

You “cannot tolerate a lie”?

Lady Danbury.

Your last column.

Her Majesty was close when she assumed

Whistledown was a Bridgerton protecting their own.

But I know the family well enough to know it was not one of them.

There is only one person who loves the Bridgertons more than I.

You knew it was me.

Hm… I suspected.

You are not the only lady of the ton who can keep a secret.

I look forward to your next edition.

Mm? [chuckles]

You are a wonder.

Could not have done that without your support.

And the queen’s.

Yes. And with her acceptance,

we can tell that solicitor your money came from my writing.


He will have no recourse.

Time for us to do better.

My girl.

[music ends]

Good evening.

Good evening.

Thank you for your letter.

I do not believe I have seen my mother so quickly shocked.

And also… so quickly impressed.

I believe she is proud of you.

There’s something I left out of that letter.

That I would not object to an annulment if you requested one.

I do not wish for any harm to come to you

or your family as a result of today.

The queen herself has accepted you.

For now.

As must everyone else publicly.

But Whistledown has upset many who will not soon forget.

The future may not hold such happy days.

Pen, ever since I found out you are Whistledown,

I have done everything I can to try to separate you from her.

But the other day, I went back and read all of the letters you have sent me.

Your letters have always been the ones I am most eager to read.

And I realized…

you are her.

You have always had one voice.

There is no separating you from Whistledown.

[gentle music playing]

And after seeing you speak today, I…

Well, I would not want to.

Because forgive me, but that was bloody brilliant.

I think, in truth, I…

I have been envious of you.

Of your success.

Of your bravery.

And now I simply cannot believe

that a woman with such bravery loves me.

How lucky I am to stand by your side

and soak up even a little bit of your light.

If my only purpose in life is to love a woman as great as you…

then I will be a very fulfilled man, indeed.

I love you.

You are a very good man, Mr. Bridgerton.

I love you.


will you please do me the honor

of joining me on the dance floor, Mrs. Bridgerton?

[bright classical music plays]

[Eloise chuckles]

They all seem happy.

That they do.

And you?

I am positively elated… because I have come up with

a rather brilliant idea.

Or a request, rather.

And what request is that?

Let me accompany you to Scotland?

Mama will love the idea of me keeping an eye on you.

But in truth, I simply wish to live for a little while

outside our tiny bubble.

Have some adventures.

I cannot change the world without seeing more of it.

I promise you, I will give you your space.

What do you think?

As long as you stay in your wing of the castle.

We will be living in a proper castle? Ha!

[John] “We”?


Eloise has asked to accompany us.

Um, if that does not burden you, my lord.

Not at all.

That is wonderful news.

And thankfully, my cousin has arrived to complete our travel party.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce…

Michaela Stirling.

I caution you, every sordid detail John has spoken about me is a lie.


The truth is far worse.

[Eloise chuckles]

And you must be…

Uh, I am…

Well, I’m…

Francesca Bridgerton. Kilmartin.

Kilmartin is my name now.

[music fades out]

A pleasure to make your acquaintance.

[Lady Whistledown] Dearest Gentle Reader,

I find myself suddenly at a loss for words.

[light classical music playing]

My reticence is not due to a desire

to protect any risqué couplings.

[breathing deeply]

[Lady Whistledown] Though I have heard whispers of a few.

My restraint comes from a place of joy.

To all those who feel

they have been wronged by this humble writer,

my sincere apologies.

I wish you only the best.

[music picks up]

[music fades out]


[sighs] I will miss you.


Only until next year.


Do you think Mama would ever let me miss her Masquerade Ball?

Mm. I suppose not.

I will be there, hiding out behind a mask,

avoiding eligible ladies like the plague.

I shall join you in your hiding place, then.



[solemn music builds slowly]

[Benedict chuckles]

[Lady Whistledown] It is time now to look toward the future,

whatever it may bring.

This author knows better than to make any predictions

about what the future may hold.

[indistinct chattering]

[Lady Whistledown] But with every closing chapter, the story is sure

to grow richer and deeper.

[uplifting music plays]

[Lady Whistledown] It has been quite a journey we have taken together.

And so it is with the heaviest heart

that I write this final, unbelievably short sentence

as Lady Whistledown.


[music rises and fades out]

[light music plays]

Who is the most handsome of them all?


You are.



You are so handsome.

Yes, you are. Yes. Come up.

[babies cooing]

[all chuckling softly]

I still cannot fully believe you had a boy.

And the heir, no less.

The new Lord Featherington is quite handsome.

Gets that from his father.


Your father is always trying to distract with a clever word and a beguiling smile.

You think my smile is beguiling?

[Penelope laughs]

I am glad we had daughters.

I am certain they will both marry very well.

I think little Philomena will one day become a great writer without any need of a husband.

Well, it certainly runs in the family.

I could not have written my book without the help of Philomena’s Auntie Penelope.


[chattering lightly]

It Is better than I expected.

Are you old enough to read that?


It is here!

I got almost enough for everyone.

Oh. Thank you.

Here, let me hold the baby.

[Lady Whistledown] And with the retirement of my literary persona,

I should like to formally introduce myself.

Previous wallflower, current columnist, observer, wielder of a quill.

Nobody unique, and yet, I have my moments.

[Penelope] And hopefully, dear reader, you will stay on to enjoy them with me as we begin this next part of our journey.

Yours Truly, Penelope Bridgerton.

[gentle music rises]

[music fades out]

[classical rendition of ballad plays]

[music ends]


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More

Weekly Magazine

Get the best articles once a week directly to your inbox!