5 Surprising Parallels Between Penelope & Cressida In Bridgerton S3

5 Surprising Parallels Between Penelope & Cressida In Bridgerton S3
Image credit: Netflix

The protagonist-antagonist duo of Part 2 have a lot in common.

The first part of Bridgerton Season 3 is finally here, and it has brought a lot of surprising transformations to the picture. The main theme of the season is breaking out of the cocoon of social expectations, family pressure and self-doubt.

Season 3's male lead, Colin Bridgerton, came into the chapter as the overconfident, sexy pirate who was willing to do anything to impress his high society pals, but soon realized that it wasn't going to bring him happiness.

Penelope Featherington's secret identity as Lady Whistledown will be the central drama in Part 2, which premieres on Netflix on June 13. And there's at least one other character whose arc has been surprisingly deepened this season, and who needs her own metamorphosis.

We're talking about Cressida Cowper, of course. The ill-mannered bachelorette is shaping up to be one of the show's most compelling characters. The screen time she was given in Part 1 allowed us to see how multi-layered and similar she is to the season's lead and her nemesis, Penelope, making the conflict between them exciting to say the least.

Here are five similarities between Penelope and Cressida that make them two sides of the same coin.

1. Family

Both girls grew up in unhappy families. Portia Featherington and her older daughters constantly overlook Pen, considering her spinsterhood a done deal. And Cressida's parents are cold and abusive, willing to sell their daughter to the highest bidder. The overbearing mothers even control the characters' outfits (until Pen breaks out of this pattern), which are similarly extravagant and designed to attract attention.

2. Crushes

Interestingly, Pen and Cressida seem to be attracted to the same type of men, non-threatening and adventurous. You may recall that Cressida was very interested in Colin in Season 1. And now we have a race for Lord Debling's ring.

3. Friend

5 Surprising Parallels Between Penelope & Cressida In Bridgerton S3 - image 1

Aside from men, they even have the same preferences for friends, with both drawn to Eloise Bridgerton, who is known for her unapologetic honesty. Since both have to hide their true selves, Eloise's sharp wit and unfiltered tongue are a breath of fresh air that both girls desperately need.

4. Gossip & Scandal

All of the girls' teenage angst, unhappiness, and frustration find an outlet in their love of gossip and scandal. Cressida is a known bully who never (well, almost never) misses an opportunity to talk about people behind their backs. And Penelope has turned her interest into a thriving business, the Lady Whistledown column. While the forms of escape are different, the reasons and the results are the same: people get hurt.

5. Attitude to Life

The previous points show exactly why Penelope and Cressida have a very similar outlook on life. Their main mission and driving force in life is to escape the house that is their prison. And that's why they target Debling as the most acceptable husband. But deep down, they both know that a marriage of convenience is not a real happy ending for them.

Why does it matter?

Yes, it is clear that Pen and Cressida are very much alike, but why does that matter, you may ask. Well, Bridgerton Season 3 clearly sets up Cressida as the Lady Whistledown hunter and Penelope's main antagonist in Season 3. More than that, she is a mirror for the lead to look into.

Without the realization that she and her bully aren't so different, Penelope won't be able to move forward with her love story. Also, it would be great to see Cressida's journey of redemption. After all, she's already halfway there. Many fans stopped hating her and started sympathizing with her after Part 1.