Bridgerton’s love triangle teed up the wrong romance

bridgerton’s love triangle teed up the wrong romance

Bridgerton’s love triangle teed up the wrong romance

In the new season of Bridgerton, it’s Colin’s turn to get the leading man treatment. He comes back from his time abroad with a new found swagger — and a sexy coat — and all the ladies of the Ton notice. (And his brothers tease him for his newfound “sturdiness.”) He’s not the baby-faced idealist from season 1; nay, now he knows how to get down and dirty, and that makes it even sexier when he realizes that he’s actually in love with his long time friend Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan).

But Penelope, who realizes she cannot bear to live under the thumb of her controlling mother any longer, has her eyes set on what she believes is a more attainable marriage prospect: Lord Debling (Sam Phillips), a reclusive lord who’s set on finding a wife this season.

Now Lord Debling isn’t exactly popular himself, though according to the gentleman of the Ton, his biggest crimes are that he 1) is a vegetarian, 2) likes animals a lot to the point where his is determined to save endangered species, and 3) he doesn’t like cavorting in high society and would rather go on long expeditions to faroff regions and leave his estate behind.

To that I say: the Ton’s gentlemen are idiots and Lord Debling is an absolute catch!

He has interests that aren’t drinking, gambling, or having sex with prostitutes. He’s passionate and has ambitions and drive. He sparks to Penelope when she’s being herself. They have a connection, both being shunned by society for entirely trivial reasons, and they share meaningful conversations. Practically, a dude who is away for large swaths of time and doesn’t concern himself with the gossip of the Ton is a great match for Lady Whistledown. She’d be free to build her gossip empire without worrying about her husband busting her spot, or the pressure of producing heirs (as her sisters are currently experiencing).

bridgerton’s love triangle teed up the wrong romance

Of course, because this is Bridgerton, Penelope Featherington wants both her gossip empire and a love that sweeps her off her feet (and she deserves that!). So it is Colin who chases after her carriage and professes his love to her at the end of part one. We’ll have to wait and see how the Whistledown of it all effects their blossoming relationship, but this is a series full of happy endings (not to mention, one that solidly uses Lady Whistledown as a framing device and marketing tool), so it’s likely Penelope will find a way to balance both loves of her life.

There’s still half a season (due out in June) for Colin to prove that he’s worthy of Penelope, but as of right now, all he’s really done is realize she’s beautiful after kissing her. Sure, he’s apologized for the hurtful things he said in previous seasons, and he helped her in her pursuit to find a husband. But just because he’s gotten a bit of a makeover and now has more confidence, doesn’t mean he’s a worthwhile suitor. What are his passions? Can he respect Penelope’s own pursuits? What does he feel about her that’s not just “my best friend who’s been by my side forever, and also I realize she’s hot now”? The Lady Whistledown of all of this will certainly develop in the next half of the season, but Lord Debling already saw Penelope for something more than just a wallflower and best bud.

But once Lord Debling’s suspicions about Colin and Penleope’s feelings are confirmed, he graciously bows out of the love triangle. He knows he probably cannot love Penelope the way she wants (or deserves!), and with full confirmation that her heart is elsewhere he tells her as much. Yes, it’s a bit of a bummer at the moment, especially since Penelope hasn’t yet learned that Colin’s dumb in love with her. But it’s been clear from the beginning that Debling will always prioritize his passions over his wife, and any marriage for him would’ve been closer to a business transaction built on trust and understanding.

So, when he rejects Penelope it’s not because he’s worried or hurt that she’ll cheat on him with Colin when he’s abroad (honestly, he doesn’t seem like the type of guy who’d actually care what his wife does when he’s gone), but because he’s not about to trap her in a loveless marriage. He knows she deserves more, and he’s giving her a chance to have it! Sure, it might hurt in the moment, but the fact he’s willing to step back says a lot about his character.

I don’t think he wants to find romance, but I am rooting for him to get everything he wants: a nice wife who is more than content to run his estate (Cressida Cowper, now’s your chance to swoop in) and a chance to save an endangered species. And since this is a work of fantasy, maybe he does save the great auk before it goes extinct in 1844. If anyone can do it, it’s Lord Debling.

bridgerton’s love triangle teed up the wrong romance

There’s only one official photo of Lord Debling, so have some birds

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