“Bridgerton” showrunner answers our burning season 3 questions

Jess Brownell talks Eloise's choice, Julie Andrews' future on the show, and more.

Warning: This article contains spoilers about Bridgerton season 3, part 2.

Bridgerton season 3 ended with more reveals than a Lady Whistledown column.

The latest installment follows the central friends-to-lovers romance of Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan), ending with their connubial bliss and a new Bridgerton baby, the future new Lord Featherington. But besides the less-than-smooth course of their true love, there were plenty of other reveals along the way.

Related: Bridgerton season 3, part 1 recap: If the carriage is a-rockin’, don’t come a-knockin’

After their engagement is met with great jubilation (and an intimate session on a chaise lounge), Colin discovers that Penelope is, in fact, Lady Whistledown. His immediate reaction is to feel betrayal and rage, particularly because of the angst Whistledown's columns have brought the Bridgerton family.

Penelope waffles between giving up the column and continuing the career that has come to define her, but her hand is forced by Cressida (Jessica Madsen) taking credit for Whistledown's work. It strains Penelope and Colin's marriage, particularly once Cressida attempts to blackmail them. But Penelope ultimately comes clean, revealing her identity first to Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) and to Violet (Ruth Gemmell), before unmasking herself to the entire ton at the Featherington ball.

<p>Liam Daniel/Netflix</p> Nicola Coughlan on 'Bridgerton'

Liam Daniel/Netflix

Nicola Coughlan on 'Bridgerton'

Meanwhile , Eloise (Claudia Jessie) decides that she's had enough of the London social set and that she will accompany Francesca (Hannah Dodd) and her new husband John Stirling (Victor Alli), along with John's cousin Michaela, to their estate in Scotland. For their part, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate (Simone Ashley) are relocating to India, while Benedict (Luke Thompson) remains a bit lost.

We called up showrunner Jess Brownell to get the details on the jam-packed second half of the season and what all of these choices mean for season 4.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Cressida is off to the country with this terrible aunt, or so it seems. Will we see her return? Is she banished for good? 

JESS BROWNELL: I hope to see more of Cressida. I definitely have some thoughts on where her story could go. It felt a little early in this season for her to get a happily ever after just because we've watched two seasons of her being a real bully to Penelope. She has a little bit more growth to do, but I do want to give her a happy ending eventually.

Eloise is headed to Scotland. What might await her there? Perhaps some letter writing?

Oh, interesting question. I can neither confirm nor deny. I can say that I think Eloise is hopeful to learn more about the great big world, but she might not realize just how isolated they're going to be at Kilmartin Castle. So there's a chance her only friends will be sheep.

Related: Why Bridgerton opted for Colin's rippling forearms as his 'moment of thirst'

Will we see Lord Anderson (Daniel Francis) and Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) develop their relationship more going forward?

Yeah, absolutely. I'm really happy with where we end their relationship. We get them to a really good place. And it's nice to see more of Agatha's personal life, which is something I hope to lean into more going forward.

Anthony and Kate make this big decision to head to India. Does that mean we won't see them anymore on the show?

No. I very much intend and hope to see more of Johnny and Simone. We love them so much, and they're both so incredibly talented and we want to support their ability to do other projects, while still leaving the door open for them to return when and if they're able. So the India send-off is a plot device in certain ways that allows us to leave the door open.

Related: Why does Francesca Bridgerton look so different (and who is she again)?

Penelope finally unmasks herself, and then, in the very last voiceover, she signs her column with her own name and it switches to Nicola's voice. What does that look like for Whistledown going forward?

It means that she's now a public scandal writer, which is going to be a tricky balance. She is the Regency Perez Hilton now. She has everyone knowing who she is. After her arc this season, she's going to be wrestling with accountability and with righteousness and trying to figure out what the right path is to use her pen responsibly.

Does this also mean that we will not be hearing the lovely Julie Andrews' voice anymore? 

Thematically and creatively, that would be the right thing to do. Penelope is owning her voice, so it really should be Nicola's voice. But it's Julie Andrews and I don't know how you say no thank you anymore to Julie Andrews. I couldn't possibly, so to me that's just the voice that Penelope uses in her head when she writes the thing. But it doesn't take away from the fact that she's owning her true self now.

<p>Netflix/Youtube</p> Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton on 'Bridgerton'


Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton on 'Bridgerton'

Throughout the season, and especially in her big speech, Penelope talks about gossip as information and stresses that she was seizing power and a voice when she did not have one. How important was that to you and how crucial it was to ensure Whistledown remains part of her life? She does give it up in the books.

We talked about her potentially giving it up at the end of this season. But it just didn't feel right, in a season that is about a woman trying to balance love and career, for her to give up the career for the man. I do think that gossip gets a bad reputation. It's all about the intention with which one gossips. There's gossip that's meant to judge or to condemn, but there's also gossip that — especially between vulnerable players, especially women in the Regency era — that is designed to help each other avoid danger and give each other power and agency in a time when so much information was withheld. So I'm excited to see Penn lean more into the good side of gossip next season.

She uses this reveal also as a reset for her with her family. But old habits die hard. So is Portia (Polly Walker) really going to be able to do better going forward? 

I hope so. I love Portia. She loves her children just as much as Violet Bridgerton does. She's just had a lot of bad luck in terms of making not the best match and then running into financial trouble. She has a lot to learn about how to share her love, and we try to help her along that arc this season. She's never going to be someone for whom hugs and kisses and "I love you" come easily. But I'm excited to see more from her next season and see how she's stepping into being a more outwardly loving mother.

Related: How Bridgerton recreates the beloved Polin hand-wrapping moment from the book

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With each of the previous seasons, we've seen our central couples take a step back. Their love story is complete in a way. So how much will Colin and Penelope continue to be part of this world? 

Colin and Penelope will absolutely follow suit with past couples in terms of being more in the ensemble, so that our main couple next season can come to the foreground. But I do think that there is a bit more to tell story-wise with Whistledown. Whistledown has been the narrative glue of every season. Now that Penelope's out publicly as Whistledown, I want to see more of what that's like. So, we will continue with them next season for sure.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

All episodes of Bridgerton season 3 are now streaming on Netflix.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.