After Watching Bridgerton Season 3, I Need To Talk About Cressida

 Jessica Madsen in Bridgerton Season 3.
Credit: Netflix

So, I finished watching Bridgerton Season 3, and I have a few things to say about Cressida Cowper.

Truthfully, when I first found out that Bridgerton Season 3 would be following Penelope and Colin, I expected that all of my attention would be centered on that couple. They were something special from the very beginning, and I love a good friends-to-lovers romance – I mean, I enjoy the best rom-com movies out there, so of course, this would be the season right up my alley.

But consider me surprised when I first watched the show, and I found myself caring for Cressida Cowper, of all people. Of all the Bridgerton characters on the show and the stories we are about to see in future seasons, hers was one that I wanted to see the most – and now I have to talk about it because the way it ended unsettled something in my gut that I have to get off my chest.

Jessica Madsen and Claudia Jessie in Bridgerton Season 3.
Jessica Madsen and Claudia Jessie in Bridgerton Season 3.

Let Me Start Off By Saying That I Didn't Like Her The First Two Seasons

I think most viewers, on some level, didn't like Cressida in the first two seasons of Bridgerton. 

With so many people on the Bridgerton cast, there were plenty of stories to follow, but in many of them, Cressida always felt like a thorn in the side. Whether it was criticizing one of the Bridgerton girls, making sly comments towards Penelope, or whatever the case may be, she didn't really exhibit the best personality for plenty of reasons.

Cressida, if we're being honest, feels like a 19th-century version of the Mean Girls cast, and even that is being generous because I don't think Cressida is as clever as Regina George. She was really mean – and obviously, at first, you don't understand why she's acting the way she is.

Jessica Madsen in Bridgerton Season 3.
Jessica Madsen in Bridgerton Season 3.

Even In The First Half Of Season 3, She Still Had Her Moments Of Mean Girl-Ness

While I would love to say that Cressida seemed to change from the beginning of Season 3 of Bridgerton, we all know that's not the case because even in the first part, there are still plenty of moments where we see her embracing her inner mean girl – or at least this century's version of it.

She blatantly makes it her mission to try and get Lord Debling to court her when she realizes that Penelope was also trying (at the time), but the reasons for that are more profound, as we find out in later episodes. Even so, she says plenty of not-so-great things about others as she attempts to do this.

Honestly, if not for Eloise becoming her companion for a bit, we probably might have seen more, but Eloise almost kept her in check rather than let her go wild – and I think we really start to see that as the season goes on.

Joanna Bobin as Cressida's mother in Bridgerton Season 3.
Joanna Bobin as Cressida's mother in Bridgerton Season 3.

But I Started To Really Get Cressida On A Deeper Level Towards The End Of Part 1

As I mentioned before, Cressida did try to take Lord Debling from Penelope, but I don't believe it was for entirely malicious reasons. Season 3 of Bridgerton is where we start to see the person behind all the fancy Bridgerton dresses that Cressida wears – we begin to see her home life, with her mother and father.

I always say that if someone is bullying you, tormenting you, or lashing out, it's usually because they have something else going on. While that doesn't mean what they are doing is good or should be allowed, you always have to take into consideration what the other person might be experiencing that we are not fully aware of.

Cressida's home was something that never crossed my mind, and as we started to get to know her better, we saw that she was struggling – a lot. This is her third year on the market with no prospects, and her family is threatening to marry her off to someone older and, by the end, send her away altogether. She has a crappy home life, with a ton of pressure on her, so of course, she lashes out – because it's the only way she knows how. It was how she was raised.

Again, this doesn't excuse any of what she's done in the past, present, or future of the show, but it opens your mind a little about what she does.

Jessica Madsen and Nicola Coughlin in Bridgerton Season 3.
Jessica Madsen and Nicola Coughlin in Bridgerton Season 3.

I Understand What Cressida Was Doing, But It All Backfired

Okay, here's where I need to make things clear – I don't agree with everything she did. In fact, I think that a lot of what Cressida did only made her situation that much worse. But man…I understand why. I get it. She's fighting for her life out here.

She took credit for being Lady Whistledown to get out of the marriage to her father's elder friend, and she blackmailed the Bridgertons in order to get out of being sent away, and obviously, both of those aren't the ideal thing you'd want someone to do. It blew up in her face, regardless, and backfired immensely – to the point where she's the one who looks like the fool in front of the queen.

But you can't sit there on your couch and tell me you don't feel bad for her at all. Yes, she does some awful things that really don't go her way, but she's doing all this to try and make it out of a very unfair situation that she is forced to suffer with when, in reality, all she wants is to stay where she is. But her family refuses – or, more specifically, her father does.

Her actions feel almost more like a cautionary tale, warning her not to dance too close to the flames because it truly did all blow back in her face, but I can't blame the girl for wanting to do whatever she could to survive this. If we're being honest, if any of us were in these situations, we'd want to do everything we could to have some semblance of freedom.

Jessica Madsen in Bridgerton Season 3.
Jessica Madsen in Bridgerton Season 3.

I'm Extremely Bothered By What Happens To Her At The End Of Season 3 - And I Hope This Isn't The End

Look, I know we're all thinking about what's going to happen in Bridgerton Season 4. We all want to see more of Benedict's adventures, and we're convinced that the lines said in the Bridgerton finale will lead to him being the star. I know we want to see more of Eloise, Penelope, Francesca—everything.

Bridgerton Season 3 Cut One Of My Favorite Scenes From The Books, But I Am All Right With It. Here's Why

Nicola Coughlan in Bridgerton Season 3
Nicola Coughlan in Bridgerton Season 3

Bridgerton cut another scene from the books, but here's why it's actually not that bad that it happened. 

But I'm so bothered by what happened to Cressida at the end.

Yes, she did some bad things this season, but I still didn't think she deserved to get sent away. This time, it wasn't even for marriage – it was to be sent off to live with her Aunt Joanna, who was far away from society after news came out that Cressida lied about being Lady Whistledown.

While for some, this may feel like the punishment fits for the crime, I can't help but be bothered. It almost feels like the terrible part of society, the one that is so focused on women getting married and siring heirs won in this case. She had tried to stay, to fight it, to make sure she didn't get sent away, but none of it worked.

I can't help but wonder if this is the end of her story. I know that what she's done has been terrible, but I genuinely believe that everyone deserves a second chance – and we could be on the precipice of a new redemption arc that might make fans love Cressida. At this point, who knows, but all I do know is that I hope we get to see her again – and see this story continue because her getting sent off after all of that does not sit right with me.

It's going to be some time before we see Bridgerton Season 4, so I guess I'll theorize about what might happen to Cressida after that. Until then, we will see.